What Size Kayak do I need for my Weight? Facts to Learn About

kayak size

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Last Updated on November 28, 2020 by Michael J. Branco

What Size Kayak do I need for my Weight? Well it is one of the most common and vital question because if your kayak can not load the weight capacity accident can occur in the river.

Weight limits on the kayak are one of the fundamental focuses to consider when getting the kayak. It’s normal for beginning kayakers to see all the available kayak length and width options and get confused, so they end up choosing a kayak that’s not properly sized for their weight. Hopefully, now we’re going to assist you in avoiding that mistake within this article. 

What size kayak do I need for my weight? The best size kayak on your weight is just one with a maximum capacity rating that’s about 125 pounds more than your body weight. The following principle of thumb would be to figure out the company’s maximum capacity ranking and reduce it by about 30-35%. 

If, your weight, along with all your equipment, fall below that decreased weight limit calculation. Afterwards, that kayak would be right for your weight.  

And that is as your kayak’s performance or even practical weight limit is 30% under the company’s maximum capacity rating. That maximum capacity weight limit is the way much weight a kayak will hold if fully loaded. But at maximum capacity, your kayak may ride very low at your water.  

So, here are the details about how to find out what size kayak you will need for the specific weight.  

What’s a Kayak’s Weight Limit?

There are different types of the kayak in the market. Different kayaks have a different weight limit. Maximum capacity is really just the most weight that you can set at a kayak and also still keep it afloat. It has a kayak’s strict weight limit, outside which it nearly gets or sinks shaky and capsizes easily.  

Three things set the maximum capacity of this kayak:

  • Length
  • Width
  • Displacement (quantity)

The producers of kayak use these three measurements and technology formulations to make what any kayak maximum capacity will be. The manufacturer’s usage of touring kayak is a difference. Check out the best touring kayak weight, weight limit, length, dimension, etc.

But here’s the rub–that there is not an agreed-upon standard among kayak makers on how best to measure maximum capacity. Just about every manufacturer does things just a little bit differently.  

Point: The maximum capacity load includes not merely your weight but all your gear, paddle, and the weight of any such thing you’re bringing with you on the kayak.

Different types of kayak width & weight limit:

Kayak TypesWeight LimitKayak Width
Recreational Kayak250-300 pounds26″ to 30″
Touring (sea) Kayak350 pounds20″ to 24″
Sit-on-top Kayak350-400 pounds27″ to 36″
Tandem Kayak500-600 pounds10″ to 18″
Inflatable Kayak400-750 pounds28″ to 40″
Fishing Kayak200-450 pounds30″ to 42″

What are the results when I am over my Kayak’s Weight Limit?

A kayak that is loaded to the maximum weight capacity will:

  • Be challenging to paddle
  • Lose Balance 
  • Reduce maneuverability
  • Be at risk of capsizing

It is a vast video demonstrating all the above factors:

Placing an Effectiveness Kayak Weight Limit

Thus, rather than the maximum capacity kayak the weight limit, we should figure out what the practical or “functionality” kayak weight limit is for any given kayak maximum weight capacity.

Performance kayak weight limit, in practical stipulations, is around 30-35% not exactly the producer’s said most extreme limit kayak weight limit. 

Kayak Weight Limit

And for that, we’ll need a formula.

Kayak Weight Limit Example

If you weigh 175 Pounds and all your equipment weighs twenty-five pounds, you’re want to search for a kayak using a practical or performance weight limit of 200 lbs, perhaps not a maximum capacity of 200 lbs.  

If we want to find out that a Kayak’s performance weight limit, we would take its maximum capacity x.7 (for 30% decrease) = 200

To go on it from the view of already knowing how much weight your kayak has to take, you will receive your 200 lbs. of weight which you want to put in your kayak and split it by.7 to get a desired maximum capacity evaluation of 285 lbs. 

Max Capacity = Complete Load Requirement /.7 (in our case that equals 285 lbs.)

So in this situation, you’d look for a boat with a 300 lb. kayak weight limit.

But no one likes to say kayak weight limit this manner since it is as if you are losing 30 percent of your boat! I mean, why your manufacturer could place a max capacity to get a kayak if you can’t use it all? 

It goes deeper.

Hold out I Can Only Use 65 percent of Your Kayak’s Weight Limit?

Now, providing 30 percent of the kayak size and capacity might seem ridiculous to you, but 30% will only set you in a range to safely operate your kayak. It means you may not sink, plus it won’t be overly challenging to paddle. 

If you want to have some breathing space, be in a position to bring a modest extra weight when you have to, or you’re in a fishing kayak that is taking up water throughout the scuppers when you buy in it, you might need to slice on the maximum capacity more. Moreover, as while in the operation weight limit is closer to 65 percent of a kayak’s maximum capacity.  

At this point, deciding a performance kayak weight limit that’ll permit you to comfortably, safely and efficiently paddle your kayak is going to be much more comfortable. Look on the kayak weight limit rating for your kayak you’re keen on and duplicate it times.

UPDATE: I only tested out this theory on the latest kayaking journey with my loved ones. With just me (250 lbs.), a life vest, along with a paddle, I borrowed one of my friends’ Perception Swiftly 9.5 DLX kayaks. They have a maximum capacity of 325 lbs. In 325*.7, the performance weight limit of this kayak’s approximately 227 lbs. Though I managed to paddle the kayak safely, it turned out more robust, more responsive, and less stable. On the flip side, my friends at approximately 120 lbs. And spouse at about 140 pounds. All paddle those kayaks nicely.  

Downsizing your kayak’s weight limit by 30-35% offers you a lot of regions to include a few sorts of gear you pick up or overlook only a little weight in a backyard BBQ. (Or to the chubby daddy to invest in your kayak!).

Which are Frequent Kayak Weight Limits?

Now I will discuss about the most frequent answer about kayaking.

300 lbs. Weight Limit Kayaks

Using our formulas and rules from our illustration above, producers stated kayak weight limit of 300 lbs. provides us about 180 pounds of usable performance kayak weight capacity. Don’t forget; we must account for man or woman along with gear weight. Therefore you are referring to a roughly 155-pound person and their 25 lbs. of equipment.    

  • Hobie Kayaks Quest 11 Kayak Weight Limit — 300 lb. (136 kg)
  • Perception Kayaks Carolina 14.0 Kayak Weight Limit 300 lb – (136 kg)
  • Perception Kayaks Expression 14.5 Kayak Weight Limit – 300 lb (136 kg)
  • Vibe Kayaks Expression 14.5 Kayak Weight Limit –300 lb (136 kg)
  • Jackson Kayaks Riviera Kayak Weight Limit300 lb — (136 kg)

400 lbs. Weight Limit Kayaks

A manufacturer’s said kayak weight limit (capacity) of how 400 lbs give us 240 pounds of performance kayak weight capacity. That’s a 215-pound person plus their twenty-five lbs of gear.  

Examples of kayaks with a weight limit of 400 lb:

  • 400 lb (181 kg) – Jackson Kayaks Cruise FD Weight Limit
  • 405 lb (181 kg) – Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 120 Weight Limit
  • 400 lb (181 kg) – Wilderness Systems Kayaks Tsunami 175 Weight Limit
  • 425 lb (192 kg) – Wilderness Systems Kayaks Pungo 125 Weight Limit
  • 440 lb (200 kg) – FeelFree Kayaks Moken 10 Weight Limit

500 lb Weight Limit Kayaks

Sticking with our premises, a kayak using a weight limit of 500 lbs gives us around 300 pounds of functionality that the weight that we may use for sea kayaking. That’s a 275-pound person plus equipment.  

Examples of 500 lb weight limit kayaks:

  • 550 lb (250 kg) – Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Kayak Weight Limit
  • 550 lb (250 kg) – Wilderness Systems Ride 135 Kayak Weight Limit

Tandem Kayak Weight Limit

Tandem kayaks will contemplate a lot more than solo kayaks. After all, they have been supposed to carry two people. Just don’t forget, you have to use the weight of passengers, both of their gear, and also any shared equipment they genuinely are bringing onboard as a basis to come up with a kayak weight limit that’s right for you. Check out this article for the review of the best tandem kayak.

Examples of tandem weight limit kayaks:

  • 450 lb (204 kg) – Jackson Kayaks Riviera T (Tandem) Weight Limit
  • 500 lb (227 kg) – Jackson Kayaks Big Tuna Tandem Weight Limit
  • 500 lb (227 kg) – Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem Weight Limit
  • 550 lb (250 kg) – Perception Kayaks Cove Tandem Weight Limit
  • 650 lb (295 kg) – Old Town Canoe LOOKSHA T Weight Limit

High Weight Capacity Kayaks

kayak size

“How much weight can a kayak maintain?” Recreation, sea, and touring kayaks have weight limits involving 200 and 450 pounds. Fishing kayaks which carry more gear have kayak weight capacities from 400 to 550 and upward. And tandem kayaks possess weight capacity evaluations, including 450 to 700 and much more.  

Seriously higher weight capacity kayak, or that an over Loaded Kayak?  

As you have likely guessed, you can find so many unique kayak brand names, designs, and weight alternatives that the answer to how much weight kayaks hold is specific to every kayak and separate between manufacturers.  

Examples of Top Weight Capacity Fishing Kayaks:

  • 475 lb (215 kg) – Perception Kayaks Pescador Pilot 12.0 Kayak Weight Limit
  • 500 lb (227 kg) – Perception Kayaks Pescador 13.0 Kayak Weight Limit
  • 550 lb (250 kg) – Jackson Kayaks Big Red Fishing Kayak Weight Limit
  • 600 lb (272 kg) – Hobie Kayaks Mirage pro Angler 14 kayak Weight Limit
  • 770 lb (349 kg) – Brooklyn Kayak Company TK122 Tandem Fishing Kayak Weight Capacity

Which exactly are Pelican Kayak Weight Limits?   

The kayak weight limit on any provided Pelican recreation, touring, or fishing kayaks could range between 200 lb maximum capacity to the low end to more than 425 lbs is the best size kayak on the high end.  

Here are some common pelican kayak weight limits as a benchmark to what is on the industry:

Here are several   

  • 200 lb (91 kg) – Pelican Argo 80 X Weight Capacity
  • 220 lb (100 kg) – Pelican Athena 100 XP Weight Capacity
  • 275 lb (125 kg) – Pelican Sprint 120 DT Weight Capacity
  • 300 lb (136 kg) – Pelican Mustang 100 X Weight Capacity
  • 325 lb (147 kg) – Pelican Sandbank 100 XP Weight Capacity
  • 375 lb (170 kg) – Pelican Argo 120 XP Weight Capacity
  • 400 lb (181 kg) – Pelican The Catch 120 Weight Capacity
  • 425 lb (193 kg) – Pelican The Catch 130 Hydrive (pedal) Weight Capacity

Frequently Asked Question

Can you go over the weight limit on a kayak?

Since the kayak will float a very little when carrying a load corresponding to the weight limit, it will drop its equilibrium and maneuverability when loaded into the extent. That’s the reason why it is crucial never to load up a kayak for its weight limit.

How much weight can a kayak hold?

Recreation, sea, and touring kayaks have weight limits among 200 and 450 pounds. Fishing kayaks which carry more gears have kayak weight capacities from 400 to 550 and upward. And tandem kayaks have weight capacity evaluations, including 450 to seven hundred plus more.

Where should the heavier person sit in a kayak?

Kayaks trip is the best when the weight is equally dispersed. If a paddler weighs more than the other, the thicker kayaker should sit at the trunk side. Together with the bag and provisions, the load may likewise be spread only a little far better. More weight over the stern is commonly superior to the extra load in leading part of the boat.

Is there any weight limit in a kayak?

Every kayak includes a weight limit. For example, a standard recreational kayak features a limit of 250-300 pounds, touring (sea) kayak features a limit of 350 pounds. The sit-on-top kayak includes a weight capacity of 350-400 pounds as a tandem kayak comes with a limit of 500-600 pounds.

How do you increase the weight on a kayak?

If that is the strategy for you, also you should begin paddling your kayak as it can have more buoyancy. Otherwise, you might try to raise the capacity by increasing the quantity or by improving the strand layout in the order. It makes certain that improved performance has a heavier load.

Final Word

In this article, I have very clearly mentioned everything in detail about the question “What Size Kayak do I need for my Weight?” It is vital to know about this thing. Neither you might face problems while you are kayaking due to the lack of knowledge of sizing. 

I hope you find this article very informative and let us know your thoughts via a comment. 

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