Best Kayak for 300lb Man |

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What Is the Best Kayak For a 300lb Man?

I can answer what is the best kayak for a 300 lb man because I am one.

Kayaking for an overweight man can be a lot of fun, but there are some important tips and information that you need to know before attempting it.

Here is what I have learned while kayaking at 300 lbs and 6’3″ tall.

best kayak for 300lb man
Me and my trusty Swifty Perception 9.5′ Kayak at Pillar Falls, Idaho

Can big guys successfully kayak?

For many of us, weight is always on our minds. The limitations it brings can be paralyzing. Don’t even talk to me about spelunking.

Imagine the joy I uncovered when I realized, sitting in my floating kayak, that I could enjoy an outdoor sport with the rest of my family and not get left behind.

best kayak for 300lb man
Lisa in her Perception of purple and blue hues.

In fact, as long as your upper body works well enough, you can do quite well in a kayak.

By that I mean, bar any serious shoulder injuries or something that would make it so that you couldn’t paddle… you should be just fine.

You may have wondered if you are going to have to go on a diet before kayaking.


You may also have found yourself becoming apprehensive about doing it.

Here’s the good news!

It wasn’t that hard for me to go kayaking the first time.

No, really!

Oh, I was sore the next day. But not the day we went out. And the muscle soreness was nothing that I couldn’t work my way through.

I think what appealed most to me was that it was a kind of exercise where I got to sit down the whole time. I was really only using my arms to paddle.

I hadn’t learned about rotating during each stroke with my core yet. So, I was a little sore in my shoulders the next day. But nothing major.

So make sure you talk to your doctor before you attempt to do it.

The best kayak for a 300 lb man

I’ll have to land squarely on the Swifty Perception here. The length of 9.5 feet is long enough to stretch long legs and store floatation and gear.

best kayak for 300lb man
At 6’3″ and 300-ish pounds, I fit comfortably in my Swifty Perception 9.5

The price was only $299 at my local Dick’s Sporting Goods store. This was during the 4th of July sale. I mean, compare that to buying a new road bike or new snowboard.

This is affordable!

It has plenty of storage space. Check out my picture diagrams.

I tend to store my kayak dolly (like the one below) in the back during the late fall. Plus my dry bag full of gear and a separate dry bag for camera supplies. Everything fits.

The Perception comes in at a light 40 pounds carrying weight. This makes it super easy for a one-arm carry. Or, when I go kayaking with my wife, it is easy for us to carry both of our Perceptions together.

best kayak for 300lb man

She stands at the front, between both kayaks. I stand at the back. We both squat down and grab the sturdy handles and stand up, being sure to use proper lifting techniques.

We easily carry two kayaks a good 20 yards from the parking lot to the dock at our favorite kayaking spot.

best kayak for 300lb man

The only negative that I have to report on my Perception is the sway. Since it is on the shorter end of the commercial kayak spectrum, there is no rudder.

This means there can be a lot of zig-zagging while paddling if you don’t know how to control it. It only takes a trip or two out with you kayak to learn how to counteract this sway with a proper paddling technique.

best kayak for 300lb man
Our family of Swifty Perceptions. The red one reminds me of a rocket popsicle.

Weight loss in a kayak for a 300 lb man

To my delight, I started to lose weight after began kayaking on a regular basis.

To lose weight, start out by kayaking once a week, then gradually introduce some other exercises into your schedule. We eat a ketogenic diet as well so the lack of carbs makes the weight come off even quicker.

We talk about our keto stuff on our keto blog at KetoForOurKids.

If you fall in love with kayaking like I did but find it difficult to get out in winter, there are great alternative exercise machines at most gyms. They are called rowers and mimick the same motion as rowing a boat.

You can get them for home use if you have the room and financial ability. They usually run around $950 new but used ones can be found pretty frequently.

I find that mixing rowing with a treadmill during the really cold winter months has kept me in shape enough for jumping back into the water with my kayak the next Spring/Summer.


So don’t let weight stop you from enjoying the great outdoor sport and exercise of kayaking. Be sure to check with your physician first if you have any concerns.

And check out my other posts on what the basic essentials are to get started kayaking. There’s an article on common kayak etiquette too. Lots of good stuff so look around.

See you at the lake!