How Does a Fat Person Get in a Kayak?

How does a fat person get in a kayak? You are probably asking yourself this question if you feel slightly overweight. The good news is you can paddle and take your adventure to any water regardless of how much you weigh.

Anyone can kayak, whether male or female. Gender and weight do not determine who kayaks and who doesn’t. However, you should consider the weight-carrying limit of a kayak. Fortunately, kayaks designed for fat people exist.

Read to find out how you can get into a kayak if you are overweight, including choosing the best kayak that suits you.

How Does a Fat Person Get in a Kayak?

a big guy is fishing on a kayak
A big guy is fishing on a kayak | Credit: JodiJacobson /

Getting into a kayak is a pretty straightforward process. Just use the following steps:

  1. Push your kayak halfway into the water and ensure it is stable.
  2. Put the paddles across the kayak to improve stability.
  3. Put one leg inside, sit, and pull the other leg in.
  4. Detach paddles and use the two parts on the ground to push yourself and the kayak into the deep waters. You can also ask your friend to help you.

Note that how you enter inside a kayak can vary significantly depending on the kayak type. Let’s explore the methods you can use for various boats or in different situations.

For Sit-in-Kayak

The first step is to get a comfortable outfit and take your kayak to the shore or river bank. Now you are ready to get into the kayak and enjoy your adventure. Follow these steps:

  1. Drag the kayak halfway into the water and place your paddles across the cockpit for stability. Do not push your boat fully into the water as it will become unstable, and getting in won’t be possible.
  2. Step into the kayak with one foot and sit before pulling the remaining foot right in. You are now ready to get into the water and have fun.
  3. As a friend or any person nearby to push you into the water. But if you are alone, separate your paddle in the middle and flip it around. Just pretend you are a sled hockey player and push yourself into the water. Enjoy!

For Sit-on-Top Kayak

Getting into a sit-on-kayak is not as straightforward as sit-in-kayaks. They are a bit raised and unstable. So, it can be a real challenge for a fat person. We strongly recommend having a friend or someone nearby to help you get into a sit-on-kayak. 

Follow these steps:

  1. Drag the kayak halfway into the water to maintain stability.
  2. Climb onto the kayak, one foot first, followed by the other, and then sit. You may need your friend to hold the kayak down as you get onto it.
  3. Ask a friend or help from anyone nearby to push you into the water. Kayak remains stable once you get into the deep water, provided you sit at the center.

The Reverse Method

This method simply means getting into a kayak with the front side facing the shores and the back facing the water. Another difference is that you should push the kayak fully into the water to allow you to turn once you sit inside. But you should be ready to get wet if you use this method.

  1. Push the kayak fully into the shallow water, front facing the shore, and position yourself facing the water.
  2. Climb the boat with one foot first, followed by your body and your other foot last.
  3. Turn around to face the front side of the kayak and sit properly.
  4. It’s time to spin the kayak around and paddle away into the water.

How Does a Fat Person Get out of a Kayak?

Getting into a kayak is one story and getting out is another. The two tasks are challenging and require diligence if you don’t want to fall into the water and make yourself wet.

Use the following steps to safely get out of the water:

  1. Move to the shore until you feel the kayak’s bottom hit the ground. It will make it a bit stable to allow you to get out without an incident.
  2. Take the first feet out and step on the ground.
  3. Stand up and slowly pull out the other foot.  
  4. Ensure the kayak is balanced throughout the process.
a fishing kayak on the coast
A fishing kayak on the coast | Credit: Sanghwan Kim /

How to Choose The Best Kayak for Big Guys?

You should not buy or hire just any kayak if you are overweight. Not all types are designed for fat people, and many factors influence your purchasing decision.

First, consider the type of kayak. The most recommended ones are the sit-on-kayaks. They are more stable and easier to get into if you don’t have a friend to help you. That means stability and balance are also primary factors to consider.

Types of kayaks
Types of kayaks | Credit; paulbr75 /

The next factor to consider is the kayak’s weight limit. Different brands have maximum weight carrying capacity, which should never be exceeded. In fact, the golden rule is not to load a kayak more than 70% of its rated weight limit.

For example: if you weigh 200 pounds, have 100 pounds of supplies and equipment, and intend to catch 60 pounds of fish, you need a kayak with a load capacity of 360 pounds. But if you apply the mentioned golden rule, the recommended weight limit should be 360 pounds divided by 0.7. That gives you 514 pounds, which you can round off to 520 pounds.

Other factors that you can also consider include comfort, price, and kayak style. You may choose kayaks whose seats come with backrests over others or ones with spacious cockpits. Find out more about the best kayaks for large paddlers to make an informed buying decision.

Perception Pescador Pro 10 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak


How do you get into a kayak when you are fat?

Getting into a kayak when you are fat is a straightforward process. Assuming you have a sit-in-kayak, drag it halfway into the water. Put in one foot fast and pull your body to sit before your other foot

You can ask your friend to push into the water or use your paddles, as described, to get yourself into the water.

Is there a weight limit to kayaking?

Every kayak has a load capacity that should not be exceeded. Luckily, kayaks for fat people also exist. They have a higher weight limit and can comfortably fit an overweight person. So, you can enjoy kayaking regardless of your weight.

What is the best kayak for a fat person?

Different kayaks for fat people exist. You only need to choose what suits your weight and needs regarding the load capacity. Consider Bonafide Kayaks SS127, FeelFree Lure 13.5 V2, Jackson Big Rig HD, Sea Eagle 380X Explorer, etc.

Where should a heavier person sit in a kayak?

Weight distribution in a kayak is crucial for the stability, balance, and overall performance of the kayak. A fat person should sit at the center or lean slightly backward if you are alone in the kayak.

But if there are two paddlers, the heavier guy should sit at the back to allow the stern to sit slightly lower in the water and the bow raised. That enhances the maneuverability of the boat.  


Your weight should never discourage [if you like kayaking. You can still find the best kayak for large paddlers. Follow the steps outlined in this post, depending on your kayak type, and enjoy your time with nature.

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