What Size Kayak Do I Need For My Weight? [Secret Tips and Tricks-2022]


Picking up the right size of kayak is quite mandatory for safe and sound kayaking. But, sometimes choosing the perfect kayak size is a disquieting fact for overweight people, right? Homie, if you are concerned about the fact, then it will be over soon!

It’s not that tough to select the correct size. You just need to retain some criteria before buying your dream kayak. Here we have clarified what size kayak you need not only for your weight but also your height, activity, and comfort. Hopefully, this article will help you avoid being deceived and choose the right one.

Why Does Kayak Size Matter?

Every man is different in weight and they need a kayak according to the weight limit. In like manner, the weight limit of a kayak depends on the kayak size. It’s very simple!

Moreover, your height and weight are also very important to select the size. Height determines the center of gravity when you sit and so your stability gets affected. On the other hand, your weight determines the force that affects your movement.

Every kayak has a different weight-bearing range. So, you need to check the maximum capacity first and then decide if it is able to carry your weight or not. If the capacity is lower than your weight, you may face a serious accident anytime. So, be careful with the size and pick the suitable one according to your weight and height.

What Is A Kayak Weight Limit?

A kayak’s weight limit or maximum capacity means the most weight you can put in a kayak and it floats without any problem. This most weight is not only your body weight but also your gear, paddle, and the weight of anything you’re bringing with you on the kayak.

If you don’t know the weight limit and load the kayak with more than the weight capacity, can you imagine then what will happen?

Of course, you can! If the weight (including you and your gears or whatever you take on the kayak) is over your kayak’s weight, then-

  • It will be very difficult to paddle.
  • You will lose kayak stability and maneuverability.
  • If misfortune comes down, the kayak can overturn in the rougher waters at any time.

So you don’t want that kind of trouble at all. That’s why you must know the weight limit of the kayak before buying it. So, here are the considerable factors to determine the weight limit-

What Size Kayak Is Suitable For My Weight?

The kayak manufacturers rate the weight limit of their kayaks. It doesn’t mean that you can easily load the kayak with your weight which is equal to the maximum weight limit of the kayak. Maybe you can, but you won’t enjoy your kayaking trip.

For the best kayaking experience, it is wise to figure out what is the performance kayak weight limit instead of a maximum weight capacity.

To get the performance weight limit, reduce the manufacturer’s maximum capacity rating by about 30%. That means the maximum capacity should be 30% more than the maximum weight you will take on. For this, just apply a formula form below.

The performance weight limit = your total weight × (130/100) lbs

The performance weight limit = your total weight × 1.30 lbs

Get confused? Don’t worry. We are explaining now.

Suppose, your weight (including your gears or partner) is 250 lbs. Then the performance weight limit should be 30% more. Then,

The performance weight limit is,

= 250 lbs× (130/100) lbs

= 250 × 1.30 lbs

= 325 lbs

Note: So, the kayak’s maximum weight capacity should be 325 lbs. Calculating this way, you have to figure out the max weight limit for your maximum capacity load.

Determine The Kayak Volumes For Your Weight

Different kayaks come with different volumes for the different paddler weights. Find out how much volume you need for your weight.

Low Volume

Paddlers who are under 140 pounds, can go for a low-volume kayak. It provides enough space for day trips with minimum gears.

Medium Volume

The medium volume kayak is suitable for average size paddlers between 140-180 pounds. They have average space storage for all of your necessary gears.

High Volume

Typically made for larger paddlers above 180 pounds. They are perfect for multiple-day trips with all the necessary gear.

Kayak Size Varies On Kayak Types And The Water Conditions

The size also varies depending on which kayak you use. Let’s have a look at the kayak types and their sizes-

Recreational Kayak

It is usually a sit-in kayak with a larger opening and short in length. Most of the recreational kayaks are a maximum of 10 feet long.

A recreational kayak is not for speed or professional use. It is especially for beginners to exercise balance on calm water. As healthy paddlers need more stability, they are always welcome for this type of kayak.

Touring Kayak

Touring kayak is typically sleeker than the recreational kayak. It is longer at least 12 feet and narrower to generate speed while kayaking. After being skilled with the recreational kayak, you can go for this kayak to navigate large bodies of water. Professional kayakers emphasize this type of kayak for racing and long journeys on the river or sea.

Whitewater Kayak

Whitewater kayak is more advanced than recreational and touring kayaks. Playboats, river runners, creek boats and longboats are the four types of whitewater kayaks available in the market.

Playboats are 6 feet long and suitable for standing on waves and holes on a rapid. River runners are a little longer and can afford a trip down the river. Creek boats are longer and heavier than playboats and river runners. Longboats are the tallest and can be 12 feet long. They are ideal for a day-long trip and river runs.

Inflatable Kayak

The Inflatable kayak is handier than the hard-shell kayak. Inflatable kayaks are ideal for those paddlers who paddle occasionally. Both flatwater and whitewater designs are available depending on where you will like to paddle.

Fishing Kayak

If you are an angler and want to purchase a kayak for fishing purposes, a fishing kayak will be an ideal kayak for you. This type of kayak comes with some extra features like- fishing rod holders, fish finder setup, and necessary fishing gears.

A fishing kayak can handle more weight than the others. But if you are a beginner or just want to paddle around, we don’t suggest a fishing kayak right away.

Tandem Kayak

If you want to paddle with a friend, partner, or family, the tandem kayak can be your best choice. It comes with a larger space and maximum weight handling capacity.

Can Heavy People Paddle A Kayak?

Of course! All kayak brands think for their customers of all weights. You just need to choose the right one for your weight. Hunt a kayak that’s volume is at least 30% heavier than your weight and 3 feet longer than your height. If you don’t pick the right size, paddling will be difficult for you. You won’t be able to catch enough speed. You may fall into an accident by the way. So, be careful with your height and weight while purchasing a kayak.

Final Verdict

Both the weight and height of a paddler determine the size of the kayak mostly. So, before buying a kayak, decide the size you need for your weight and height firstly then go for the design.

Another aspect you should think about before buying a boat is whether you will take your partner with you or not. If you take anyone with you, just know his/her weight too. Then guess how many weights you may have to carry most of the time with you in the future.

Maybe we have successfully made you understand how to buy a kayak for your weight. Then why late ?Homie ! If you have a kayak, go on. If you don’t have then buy one!

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