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I am a very large man - I am 6'4" and weigh 450 pounds (I've lost a 100 pounds in the last year). I bike or walk everyday, (and swim laps occasionally) but want to add another sport to my exercise routine. I live in a gated community with 5 lakes - so I have a lot of places to go just outside my door. Does anyone know of a good resource to find a kayak or paddle board for large people? Are you a large person already been down this path? I really haven't seen anything out there - I assume most people my size really don't do such things - but I can swim over a mile nonstop now so I have no fear of getting out on the water.

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Afraid I don't have an answer, but you're doing awesome, keep it up! –  Kevin May 10 '12 at 22:43
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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think a sit-on-top tandem kayak might work; something like this:

tandem kayak

The open design means there is no cramped compartment to fit into. This particular tandem claims a capacity of 500 pounds. I assume some modification would be required to make it a centered single seat.


Actually, as it is apparently set up to seat three people there may be a natural middle position. Judge for yourself:

three-seat configuration

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I am also a paddler on the heavy side. You might check out the 14 foot Native Watercraft Ultimate. Is comes as a tandem, but a single seat can be mounted in the middle and the other removed. It is very stable and pretty agile for its size and hull shape. It is rated to 450 pounds.

You might also look at the 14ft versions of the wilderness system tarpon and lingo models. Both paddle nicely and are very high quality boats. I suggest them highly.

If there is an independent dealer in your area you should give them a call and ask if they will let you demo a few boats. Most good shops will. Stay away from the chain store boats.

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I'm a fairly heavy man myself though not quite as tall. Weight has always been my problems with recreation boats. You might want to look at sport canoes. They are also open designs but can typically hold more weight than a kayak.

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Malibu x-factor, etc. I clock in at 395--no problem. They have several high capacity boats.

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