Kayaking is a fun outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by people of all sizes and shapes. Contrary to popular belief, being overweight does not mean that you can’t participate in this activity!
In fact, when I started kayaking, I was around 285 lbs and I was intimidated by the whole idea of kayaking. But when I did some research, I found out there are many kayaks available that can comfortably accommodate larger individuals.
If you are new to kayaking and thinking about trying it out, you may have some questions about whether or not it’s possible for fat or overweight people to kayak, what to look for in a kayak, and what kind of gear you’ll need.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these questions and give you some tips on how to enjoy kayaking even if you’re overweight. Here we go:
1. Kayaks for Larger Individuals
If you’re carrying some extra weight, you’ll need to make sure that the kayak you choose can safely and comfortably support your body weight. Look for kayaks that are specifically designed for larger individuals, with wider seats and a higher weight capacity.
Recreational kayaks are a good option for beginners, as they tend to be more stable and easier to maneuver, and many models come with features such as adjustable footrests and padded seats for added comfort.
However, if you plan on kayaking in rougher waters, such as on a river or in the ocean, you may want to consider a more specialized kayak that is designed for these conditions.
2. Kayaking Gear for Overweight Individuals
In addition to finding the right kayak, you’ll also need to invest in some gear that is suitable for your body type. If you’re renting, make sure to call ahead of time to make sure they have the gear in your size.
One of the most important pieces of kayaking gear is a life jacket which is essential for safety. Look for life jackets that are designed specifically for larger individuals and that have adjustable straps for a comfortable, secure fit.
You’ll also want to look for a kayak paddle that is the right size for your body. Longer paddles are better suited for taller individuals and wider blades can be more effective for pushing through the water.
Lastly, sunglasses and a hat are also important to protect your eyes and face from the harsh sun!
3. Kayaking Technique
While kayaking may seem like an activity that requires a lot of upper body strength, proper technique is actually more important than strength.
To paddle efficiently, you’ll want to use your core muscles, rather than relying solely on your arms and shoulders.
Sit up tall in your kayak and engage your core muscles to rotate your torso, rather than just pulling with your arms. This will help you to paddle more efficiently and avoid getting tired too quickly.
4. Getting Comfortable in Your Kayak
When kayaking, it’s important to feel comfortable and relaxed in your boat. This can be a bit of a challenge if you’re overweight but there are some things you can do to make yourself more comfortable.
For example, you may want to adjust the footrests in your kayak to make sure that your knees are at a comfortable angle. You can also place a cushion or pillow on your seat to add extra padding and support.
And don’t forget to take breaks and stretch your legs throughout your kayaking trip.
Safety Considerations For Overweight People
While kayaking is a relatively safe activity, there are some safety considerations that you should keep in mind.
As we already mentioned, wearing a life jacket is essential for staying safe on the water. You should also be aware of the weather conditions and water temperature before you kayak and choose a location that is appropriate for your skill level.
Finally, never kayak alone and always let someone know your plans before you head out on the water.
Things To Consider If You’re A Bigger Person Before You Get A Kayak
If you are bigger than average weight, there are a few things for you to consider before you rent or purchase a kayak.
#1. You May Have A Harder Time Sitting If You Carry Weight In Your Butt
You may want to look for a kayak that has more room or is specifically designed for wider bodies or opt for a canoe as kayaks are kind of tight and take a bit of getting used to (even if you’re a person of average weight).
#2. Opt For An Open Kayak, Not A Closed One
Open kayaks are better for bigger people as they provide more space for your legs and torso.
The extra room allows you to move around more freely and get comfortable during long periods of paddling. In comparison, closed kayaks are more restrictive and can be uncomfortable for larger individuals.
#3. Look For Adjustable Features
Most kayaks come with adjustable footrests and backrests that can be adjusted to fit your body.
You may also want to look for extra padding or even cushions to make sitting in the kayak more comfortable. Backrests are essential for me; it’s one of those things that you don’t know you needed until you do.
#3. Look For A Kayak With A High Weight Capacity
When you’re shopping for a kayak, make sure to check the weight capacity.
Kayaks can have very different weight capacities and you’ll want to make sure the one you choose can handle your weight and any gear that you plan to take with you.
#5. Consider A Kayak That You Can Peddle Instead of Paddle
Peddling kayaks are great for bigger people, because you don’t have to exert as much energy when paddling.
The peddles allow you to propel the kayak forward with your feet, so you can focus on steering without getting tired. Peddling will also help you conserve energy
#6. If You Are Renting A Kayak…
If you decide to rent a kayak, make sure to call ahead of time and see if they have a kayak for overweight people or a certain weight limit as some rental places may not have the right size or weight capacity or a limited selection.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions before you get on the water. The staff should be able to answer any of your questions and help you find the right kayak for you.
Kayak Recommendations For Big Guys and Ladies
If you’re a bigger person looking for a great kayak, here are some of our favorites:
- The Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Kayak is a great choice for bigger people as it has a 750 pound weight capacity and plenty of room. It’s also great for fishing and comes with a pedal-drive system.
- The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is perfect for larger people who are looking for a cheap and durable kayak. It has an impressive 400 pound weight capacity, adjustable seats, and two skegs that provide superior tracking.
- The Sea Eagle 385ta Fast Track kayak is a great option for bigger people, as it has an impressive 635 pound weight capacity and plenty of room. It’s also great for fishing and comes with a pedal-drive system.
- The Old Town Vapor 10 Kayak is perfect for larger people who want a comfortable and stable ride. It has a 300-pound capacity and an adjustable seat with a built-in backrest. It also comes with plenty of space for gear.
- The Driftsun Voyager 2 is a great option for bigger people—it has a 500-pound capacity and plenty of room to move around. It also comes with adjustable footrests, a comfortable backrest, and plenty of storage space.
Can A Plus Size Man Or Woman Kayak?
Yes! Even if you’re a plus size man or woman, it is still possible to enjoy the sport of kayaking. All you need to do is make sure that you find the right kayak for your size and weight, as well as take some safety precautions. With the right equipment and a little bit of practice, you can enjoy the sport of kayaking just like anyone else.
In conclusion, kayaking is a fantastic way to experience the outdoors and get some exercise, regardless of your size or shape.
By finding the right kayak, investing in the right gear, using proper technique, and making yourself comfortable in your kayak, you can enjoy this activity to the fullest. Just remember to always put safety first and have tons of fun.
If I did it at 300 pounds, you can too. If you’re bigger, you can still do it!