What is the Kayak Weight Limit?

Last Updated on December 15, 2020 by Debra

Kayaking is one of the greatest water activities that everyone wants to do again and again. Picking the best kayak from a kayak store is an overwhelming task. The best kayak will give you safety, comfort, stability, unlimited fun, etc.

But everything will go in vain if you don’t buy a kayak with the weight limit factor. Even an accident can happen in the water if the kayak can’t bear your weight.

This article focuses on every detail of the question of what size kayak do I need for my weight.

What is the Weight Limit Factor of Kayak?

A wide range of well-designed kayaks is available in the market. Depending on the purpose, buying a kayak is significantly essential. Features of recreational purpose with camping plan’s kayaks and fishing kayaks have differences. Also, depending on your weight, the kayak model will differ.

So, let’s get to the answer to the most asked question – what size kayak do I need for my weight.

Kayak Weight limits

The Reasonable answer to this question is you should buy a kayak that is 125lbs more than your body weight plus belongings. Simply put, for efficiency and effectiveness, the kayak’s maximum capacity should be 30% – 35% more than your body weight.

The important thing that you will need to keep in mind is that the internal weight (kayak’s maximum capacity rating) of a kayak has to be 30% – 35% more than your external weight (kayakers body weight + belongings weight). Every kayak comes with a threshold point, and if you go beyond this point, either the kayak will not move, or the kayak’s speed will slow down. Want to learn the definition of threshold point?

Kayak’s maximum carrying weight without showing any trouble to float on water is called the threshold point.

Manufacturers determine the threshold point of a kayak. In order to get a swift and efficient kayak movement, you have to ensure that the kayak is carrying 30% – 35% less weight than its maximum carrying capacity rating.

kayak size

What Size Kayak do I Need for My Height?

In the priority list, the first place should be comfortability. The whole water activity may become unpleasant if you feel discomfort.

Comfortability not only depends on the weight but also relies on height. So, when buying a kayak, you must take notes of the kayak’s leg and foot space, cockpit, and deck dimension. 9’ – 12’ is the range of an average recreational kayak.

To learn more, read below

Ideal Kayak Length for Short Persons

Leg Space: It is effortless to find a kayak with relaxed space in the leg area for short height kayakers and 7’ – 10’ is the recommended kayak size. But it would always be best to check the best-suited kayak size for you.

Kayaks are available with adjustable footrests, and with this feature, you will get much comfort. The foot space is where your footholds. Therefore, it should not be pressed too much. Also, your legs will slip off if the area is too large.

Cockpit Dimensions: The ideal size of the kayak also depends on the cockpit dimension. The cockpit dimension means the cockpit size and width. With 140lbs and 5 ft. 6 inches’ person should buy a kayak that comes with a low cockpit dimension. You may think that the size is too less, but the truth is low dimension kayaks are the best for a day trip on a river.

For sleek hip owners, cockpit width has to be 20”. And for broad hip owners, 20”+ width will be an ideal option.

Deck Dimension: The upper part of the kayak, which is at the deck line, is known as the deck. The deeper deck can be a good option but make sure you are feeling comfortable with your leg size.

Ideal Kayak Length for Tall Persons

People who are more than 6’ tall, should prefer a 12’ kayak. Moreover, if you plan to kayak at sea, go for a 14’ kayak which is specially designed for the seas only. Leg space, cockpit, and deck dimensions should be as below.

Leg Space: It is expected that tall people’s legs are also long. The foot space should be enormous to fit the legs. 11/12 US shoe size kayakers can easily place their leg in a 12’ kayak. More extended kayak size is recommended for large shoe size kayakers.

Cockpit Dimension: Undoubtedly, tall paddlers require a large-sized cockpit. Choose a large volume cockpit if you are 5 ft. 10 inches tall and more or equivalent to 180 lbs weight.

For a wide waist and hip sized paddlers, should buy a kayak with 20”+ cockpit width. Moreover, don’t forget to check the opening; it has to be wide. A wide opening will save your knees from brushing. If you are planning to make a tour for an extended hour, go for a kayak that comes with an adjustable feature in the backrest and seat.

Deck Dimension: Kayak with shorter height is suitable for tall kayakers because shorter height kayaks have adequate space for seating and keeping the legs.

However, it would help if you seat in the kayak before making a final decision.

Ideal Kayak Length for Average Persons

An average person can comfortably sit in a small kayaker’s kayak. Some of the dissimilarities are shared below.

Leg Space: Many kayaks are available with 8’ – 10’ size and average size persons can comfortably place their legs and feet in there. Before buying, always choose a kayak depending on your leg size. It is because height may not matter still, but the leg does.

Cockpit Dimension: Average size persons should pick medium volume kayak. A person with 5 ft. 7 inches’ – 5 ft. 10 inches’ and 140 – 180 lbs weight will perfectly fit in a medium volume kayak. These kayaks are the best for overnight trips too. Also, while checking the width, make sure the kayak width is more than an average person’s waist and hip-width.

Deck Dimension: Again, your leg’s length is crucial at this point. Depending on your leg’s length, a kayak with a narrower or deeper deck is the right choice. Another important thing is, make sure you can stretch out your legs quite comfortably when seating.

Frequently Asked Question

Question: Is a 10’ kayak big enough?

Answer: In a 10’ kayak, you will get extra space to store your belongings. In fact, 10’ – 11’ kayaks are easy to maneuver and best-suited for beginners.

Question: Do kayaks flip over easily?

Answer: Kayaks are not designed to flip over easily. Depending on the kayak type and water type, a kayak can flip over. A recreational kayak will not flip over in a calm river. At the same time, a sea kayak or ultralight kayak will flip over easily in a whitewater river. It means, picking the right kayak for the right water type is crucial.

Question: What will happen if I cross the kayak weight limit?

Answer: You will face the below problems while kayaking

  • Paddling will be strenuous.
  • No stability.
  • No maneuverability.
  • Be in danger of capsizing.

Final Thought

Hopefully, reading this article, you have already understood that before buying a kayak, you need to know the measurement of your weight, height, hip and waist width, shoe size, etc.

I have discussed every aspect to give you the answer to the question of what size kayak do I need for my weight.

Happy kayaking!

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