When purchasing a kayak, the first thing we look at is its weight capacity. We are all aware of the challenges of overloading a kayak. The moment you exceed the kayak’s weight limit, you’ll be putting yourself at risk and diminishing the kayak’s value and life. Every kayak has a weight limit for a specific reason, and there are different types of kayaks. Whether you are looking for a tandem kayak or a one-person kayak, you will be spoilt of choices. It does not matter how big you are; there is a match for you.
How Much Weight Can A Kayak Hold
When looking for a kayak that suits you best, you need to ask yourself how much weight the kayak can hold. It does not matter whether you are a solo kayaker or enjoy having company; you can easily get a kayak that fits your weight limit from the different companies like perception, pelican, Lifetime, Intex, Sea Eagle, and Yakattack. When looking for the right kayak for weight, ensure that there is a 30% allowance. This is because a kayak’s usable weight limit is below the manufacturer’s weight capacity limit. So to ensure you have the right kayak, sum up your weight and that of your equipment; if there is a 30 to 35 % allowance, this is the right kayak for you. The manufacturer’s maximum weight capacity is the amount of weight the kayak will handle when fully loaded. If the kayak is loaded to capacity, be sure you will move slower, and you can’t just go kayaking in any water.
Kayak’s Weight Limit
A kayak’s weight limit or maximum capacity is the most weight the kayak can hold without capsizing. Three things determine the maximum weight limit of a kayak.
To determine a kayak’s capacity, manufacturers use these three formulas. However, there is no standard formula of how the manufacturers measure the kayak’s weight capacity. Therefore, every manufacturer has a unique way of determining the maximum weight capacity of the kayak.
Length: The length of a kayak determines how it performs in the water. Longer kayaks are known to be faster, and they offer better tracking. Shorter kayaks, on the other hand, are slower, but they ensure agility and controlled movements. These kayaks are also better when making turns. Before getting a kayak, ensure you get a clear indication of the kayak length that suits you best.
Width: The width of a kayak is the main determinant of the stability of a kayak. The wider the beam, the more stable the kayak will be. The kayak’s width also helps determine the length of the paddle.
Volume: The kayak’s volume gives you a clear indication of how much room a kayak has inside the cockpit. However, the space is relative to your weight and body type. The volume is listed as from
- Low Volume is perfect for paddlers who are less than six feet and weigh less than 140 pounds.
- Medium Volume This is for paddlers or kayakers between five foot seven and five foot ten and weigh about 180 pounds.
- High Volume is for kayakers who are more than five foot ten and weigh more than 180pounds.
What are the Results of Surpassing the Kayaks Weight Limit
Overloading or surpassing the required kayak weight limit is not always advised. When the kayak is filled to its maximum weight, it will.
- Be difficult to Paddle: If you choose to overload your kayak, make sure you have enough strength to paddle the kayak. So, if you are a beginner, don’t even think of surpassing the weight limit. Paddling an overloaded kayak will get you exhausted easily, and in most cases, you will suffer arm injuries and muscle cramps. If you are not careful, you will even be forced to abandon the kayak in the water.
- Lose Stability: Just imagine going out with an unstable kayak. This is a risky ordeal, and it can even be fatal. When you exceed the maximum capacity of a kayak, you are increasing the instability of your kayak. Going kayaking away from the shore can be risky. Also, you can’t kayak where there are waves due to the instability of the kayaks.
- Lose Maneuverability: Overloading a kayak limits your maneuverability. Unless you are an expert and you understand your sailing location. Moving forward with an overloaded kayak limits your ability to move forward. The best places to sail with an overloaded kayak would be in salty waters and limited waves.
Different Types of Kayak Weight Limits
Different types of kayaks vary in different weight limits. In addition, there are kayaks made for different activities. For example, a recreational kayak is different from a touring kayak and a sit-on-top kayak. The differences in these kayaks are determined by the purpose they serve, speed, types of water, and the number of persons each can carry. For example, sit on top kayaks have a weight limit of 350 to 400 pounds, while tandem Kayaks have a weight limit of 500 to 600 pounds. On the other hand, recreational kayaks have a weight limit of 250 to 300 pounds, touring kayaks have a limit of 350 pounds, and ocean kayaks have a weight limit of 200 to 450 pounds.
Common Kayak Weight Limits
You’ll find some common weight limits in the different types of kayaks from the different brands available.
To begin with, let’s look at 300lb weight capacity Kayak. A 300lbs kayak based on the calculations given gives 180 pounds of capacity. This includes the person and equipment. Giving that the gear probably weighs 25 pounds, the person should be about 155 pounds. For this kayak, you will find kayaks like
- Pelican Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak
- Pelican Sit-on-top Sentinel 100X Kayak
- Pelican Saber Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak
- Pelican Prime 100 Sit-on-top Recreational 10 Foot Kayak
The other kayak weight limit capacity is 400lb. Here, you have a capacity of 240 pounds. So if the gear weight could be estimated to 25lbs, the person should be 250 pounds heavy.
In this limit, you will find kayaks like
500 lb Weight Limit Kayak gives a weight capacity of 300 pounds. This means 275 pounds can be set aside for a person, and the gear accounts for the rest. Examples of these kayaks include;
Different Types of kayaks and their weight limits: There are quite a variety of kayaks. The most common ones are,
- Tandem kayaks
- Fishing kayaks
- White water kayaks
- Racing kayaks
- Touring Kayaks
- Recreational kayaks
Tandem Kayak and their Weight Limits
Due to the nature of their purpose, tandem kayaks are expected to weigh more and be bigger than another kayak. These kayaks are meant to accommodate two people, and so they are longer and broader. Therefore, when determining the weight capacity of these kayaks, you need to consider the weight of two people and their equipment.
Some Tandem Weight Limit Kayaks include,
- Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak 400 pound weight capacity
- Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak 14 500 pounds weight capacity
- Sevylor Big Basin Fishing Kayak 490 pounds Weight Capacity
- Driftsun 2-person Inflatable Kayak 650lbs Weight Capacity
- Coleman Tahiti Classic 2-Person Kayak 400 pounds Weight Capacity
Fishing kayaks are mostly designed for maximum stability. They sit on top kayaks are becoming more and more popular since you are elevated and in a better position to fish. The increased stability in the fishing kayak is to ensure that the kayak remains stable even when you are standing to fish. Examples of fishing kayaks,
- Perception Pescador Pro 10.0 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak Weight Capacity 325lbs
- Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K 120 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak Weight Capacity 400lbs
- Riot Escape 12 Angler Sit on Top Flatwater Fishing Kayak Weight Capacity 300lbs.
These kayaks are designed to ensure high stability and ease of use. These kayaks are perfect when you need to go out, have fun and enjoy an afternoon. For a beginner, these kayaks are the best. The kayaks are shorter and lighter than most kayaks. Their lengths vary from 9 to 12 feet, and their width measures 28 to 34 inches. Types of Recreational Kayaks
These kayaks are also referred to as sea kayaks. They are long and narrow sit-in kayaks, and they offer superior tracking. They are the most preferred for long-distance trips, and they are perfect in large water bodies. The single-person kayaks measure 12 to 20 feet, and the tandem kayaks can get up to 26 feet. Usually, the hull is narrower, and it ranges between 18 to 28 inches.
These kayaks are built for speed. They are common among racers and sportspersons. They are usually long, narrow beamed, and lightweight. This is because narrower and sleeker kayaks are usually faster. These kayaks have different designs and make. However, there is an international standard for racing kayaks. The single-person kayak should have a maximum length of 17 feet. A tandem racing kayak by international standards should be 21 feet long, and the four-person racing kayak should have a maximum length of 36 feet.
White Water Kayaks
These kayaks are built for better maneuverability, responsiveness, and buoyancy. The design and dimensions of these kayaks vary from one type to another. The different types are creek boats, playboats, and river runners.
Creek boats are the longest of white water kayaks. Their lengths vary from 7 to 9 feet, and they are best suited for charging over rapids.
Playboats are tiny and maneuver more easily. They rarely exceed a length of six feet. As a result, they are perfect for aerial tricks, flips, and rolls.
River runners’ lengths vary between 7 to 9 feet. They have the features of both the creek boats and playboats. They are perfect for whitewater rapids and going back upstream.
High Weight Capacity Kayaks
Different kayaks have varying weight capacities. The manufacturers mostly determine the weight capacity. Hogh capacity kayaks would be those kayaks exceeding 400lbs weight capacity. Most tandem and three-person kayaks are high-capacity kayaks. High weight capacity kayaks include,
To become a good kayaker or angler, you first need to have the right kayak. From the article above, we have seen different types of kayaks. The kayaks vary depending on their capacity, length, purpose, and width. Weight capacity is one of the key components you consider when purchasing a kayak. Therefore when picking a kayak, always seek advice from the manufacturer or fellow kayakers. This will help you get a suitable kayak.