What length kayak do I need for my height?

Are you tired of leaving gear behind on your kayaking trips because your boat can’t handle the weight? Don’t let a low-weight capacity hold you back any longer! 

Here I’ve mentioned the nine simple ways to increase your kayak’s weight capacity and ensure you have all the gear you need for your next adventure on the water.

What Length Kayak Do I Need For -My Height

What size kayak you need mostly depends on your body shape and your intended use, budget, and storage options. How easily you feel in a kayak depends on your height and body type.

The best way to figure out whether a kayak is suitable for your height is to try it out before buying. For reference, you could always use a height chart for kayak length.


There are various things that you should keep in mind before deciding the perfect length of a kayak. Here are various factors that you should consider before choosing a kayak length:-

1. Purpose of kayaking

While selecting a kayak the first question that should arise in someone’s mind is the purpose for which they are buying the kayak. One can easily select the perfect kayak length for himself if he knows for what purpose he is buying the kayak. The length of a kayak or a boat is different in calm waters than that in rapid waters, for example, longer kayaks are needed in seawater.

2. Your height vs Deck height

 Overall height does important since taller people have a higher centre of gravity than shorter persons. The less stable you will feel in a kayak, the higher your centre of gravity will be. Finding a kayak with a lower deck height, a deeper seat area, or both can help you balance out your height and higher centre of gravity. Both of these will make you feel more stable and decrease your centre of gravity.

3. How much gear will you be taking with you

The length of a kayak also depends upon the gear which the user is taking along with them. While going on a trip lot of things are necessary to carry along like a tent, food supplies, medicines etc and all the other necessary things, therefore, the more gear the larger the kayak size needed. The optimal length should be 12 inches.

4. How many people will you be kayaking with

The kayak length also depends upon the number of people we are travelling with. The more the number of people the larger the kayak size is needed. Tandem kayaks are more suitable for travelling with more people as they are large.


In this section of the blog, we will discuss how the design of a kayak can affect our comfort and also how much impact will be seen on the performance of the kayak.

1. Length

A longer boat will glide farther, track more straight, and go faster, making it more effective. Longitude also increases capacity and stability. A shorter boat might be more maneuverable and simpler to control.

You may travel further in less time and with less effort with longer models because they often track better and move faster. It could be difficult to travel long distances or move straight because most short kayaks turn fairly quickly. Short kayaks have the benefit of offering greater manoeuvrability.

Some river-running kayaks have hulls that are less than 7 feet long, which allows them to turn with just one sweep stroke. What you need to get over whitewater rapids.

2. Width

 A kayak’s width will affect both its stability and speed. In general, a kayak’s stability increases with width, but speed suffers as a result. A kayak will move quickly as it becomes narrower, but it will also flip more easily.

The division between leisure, touring, and sea kayaks is also influenced by width. Sea kayaks measure lean and mean 21 to 24 inches wide, touring versions range from 23 to 28 inches, and recreational kayaks are often 28 inches or bigger.

3. Volume

The most helpful way to compare kayaks is to look at their overall volumes because there are so many different sizes, lengths, widths, and forms that may be used in their design.

The total volume is a reasonably reliable estimate of a kayak’s capacity to carry gear, but the distribution of the volume can have a significant impact on the storage space that is available.

A kayak with sharp ends and a lot of volumes in the cockpit, for example, would have less storage space than a boat with a more evenly distributed volume. Storage may also be more advantageous in kayaks with larger ends than those with long, slim ends because it is simpler to put more in the larger ends.

4. Weight capacity

For kayak safety, purchasing a suitable weight-capacity of Kayak is crucial. An overloaded kayak loses stability and may capsize. Keep in mind that the manufacturer’s recommended weight is the kayak’s maximum carrying capacity for you and any gear you bring.

5. Cockpit size

The size of the kayak cockpit affects two factors: how simple it is to get in and out of the kayak and how much water can enter the boat through waves and spray.

Naturally, a bigger cockpit will be simpler to get into and out of; this feature can be required for people who are heavier or less flexible. On the other hand, a wider sprayskirt will be necessary to seal the large cockpit, which will enable more spray to enter the kayak.

You should also think about the breadth of the cockpit in addition to the length. You should be able to enter the cockpit by sliding rather than pushing your hips in. Wider kayaks, which have wider cockpits, are worth considering if the seat is pressing against your hips.

6. Legroom

Legroom is an important factor in determining the comfort level of a kayak. If the kayak length is not sufficient enough to provide you with enough leg space during your journey you may feel claustrophobic which can affect your experience of kayaking.

Taller people generally want longer kayaks as they offer more space for the legs. The size should be sufficient enough so that the legs reach the paddle without moving the legs.


Does the length of the kayak matter?

If you are thinking that whether the length of a kayak is an important factor or not, well it depends upon the difference in size a few inches won’t matter a lot but a difference of two or more feet would be quite noticeable. Generally, large kayaks are quite efficient as they offer more space but short kayaks are quite easy to control as they turn quickly.

Are longer or shorter kayaks better?

In general, shorter kayaks are better for beginners since they are lighter to carry, easier to handle, more readily available, and less expensive to buy.

However, longer kayaks are frequently preferred by intermediate and experienced paddlers as they can carry more weight when packed for multi-day activities, typically handle rough waves better, and need less effort to paddle over a longer distance.

What size kayak is best for tall people?

If you are a tall person you must be wondering what size kayak must be the best for you to sit in, as tall people require more leg space a sit-on-top kayak is the best choice.

A sit-on-top kayak offers enough wide space which allows you to sit comfortably. Concerns about cockpit size disappear when the seat is large enough for you to sit comfortably on it and there is a foot peg or position that allows you to have your legs bent.

What size kayak is best for short people?

Now as we have discussed what should be the best kayak for a tall person it will not be fair if we ignore the short people. Generally, short paddlers will be uncomfortable in larger kayaks as it will be difficult for them to reach out their feet towards the paddle, therefore sitting on top of kayaks is not suitable for them.

Kayaks with smaller volumes are better for shorter persons because they find it harder to control anything longer or larger. Since most recreational kayaks are typically shorter in length, shorter kayakers are fortunate to have a wide choice of possibilities.

What size kayak is best for heavy people?

The weight capacity will be one of your key concerns if you are a heavy person. Additionally, you might want to seek a kayak with a roomier cockpit. The longest and largest sit-inside cockpits are available in recreational kayaks, making entry and exit more convenient.

A recreational sit-on-top kayak, which provides lots of space to sit comfortably is a good option for heavy paddlers. On the other hand, fishing kayaks have the greatest weight capacity.

However, overweight paddlers are not prohibited from using sea or touring kayaks. You may. Simply search for extra-large or high-volume kayaks, which are roomier and have higher weight capacities.

What size kayak is best for kids?

Kayaks made for kids are typically 6 to 8 feet long and resemble beginner kayaks greatly. Kids frequently begin their instruction in sit-on-top kayaks for safety reasons before moving on to sit-inside kayaks once they have mastered the basics of paddling.

Looking for a kayak is a challenging job as there are numerous choices that can leave anyone confused like what length one should select or whether to choose a sit-in – kayak or a sit-on-top kayak etc.

We have researched all over the web to help you select the perfect kayak for you, we hope that we were able to help you in selecting the perfect kayak. Watch this space for additional blogs on kayaking on our website.

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