OC-1 for a Big Guy

Looking for advice or insight on OC-1's for big guys. I'm 6'6" and 235#. Would be racing in SoCal mostly. Any thoughts?

Submitted by Poeman on Fri, 04/01/2005 - 12:13pm

I have heard that the Kaimana is a great canoe for those under 170#. Any thoughts? Also, looking for feedback about the Elua from Kaku. Lemme know, and thanks in advance.

#1 Tue, 04/19/2005 - 6:18am

I'm 205lbs and I own a Kaimana and this is the best ride I've had. I had to change the way I paddle but I can make it glide now. The canoe is very stiff, tracks well and rides rollers and waves awesome. After paddling the Kaimana for 10 months I no longer believe that theres a big guy or small guy canoe. Find the canoes sweetspot and make it work for you. I'm no slower now than when I paddled my Stingray.
You asked about the Elua. I've padled it and it's a beautiful canoe. the only fault I had with it was that I couldnt get it to turn fast.
I think the bottow line on canoes right now is to go out and purchase what ever is available. From what I've heard there is a 3-6 month waiting list for most builders. If your not in love with whats available you can always trade up, but at least you're on the water in the meantime.

#2 Tue, 04/19/2005 - 12:58pm

I will take this moment to sing the praises of the Seahorse by Futura. This is a slightly longer but narrower OC-1, at 24 feet long and 13 1/2 inches wide. This gives a longer waterline, which is great for flat to moderate water, with lots of glide. It also seems to have plenty of volume for me, at 225 pounds. Futura owner Vince Darwood is very helpful, and he answered a lot of my questions, since I was ordering mine from Maryland and had no opportunity to try one. Since Futura is right there in the SF area, trying one out is no problem for you!
I also spent alot of time speaking with Jude T. at Huki, he makes several OC-1s and the V1-R seemed the best big volume boat. However, I went with the Futura since Vince D. gave me a great deal. You can check them out at www.surfskis.com (Futura) and www.huki.com. Good luck in whatever you choose!

#3 Sat, 04/02/2005 - 4:33pm

For your body type and location I would recommend that you try Kaimana which is become a very popular boat. Additionaly Kaimana is produced in the Cali so you will save $$ on shipping.

As for Futura's Seahorse, its not for SoCal. I am 6' and 174lbs and I train and race on Futura's Seahorse. The boat is ok, but you will need to get to know it alot if you want to place well. It is our clubs boat and I dont want to buy my own boat just yet. It is long at 24 feet and as a result doesn't ride the bumps well. Additionaly, the ama is a little to small (volume wise) so when you hit the open ocean it has a dendency to "sink" on sinking swells (and I am compansating by leaning right), more volume at the back would help considerably.

In the end, any "open ocean" boat should work well for you Kaimana, Stingray, Polaris (very nice boat). Maybe even one of the tiger boats such as Pahoa. The best thing to do is to go to Hawaii for a vacation and try out all the boats you can, and then make your choice.

#4 Sat, 04/02/2005 - 5:39pm

A Kaimana or Fusion would be my recommendations.
I am 6'7 215 and have owned a Fusion, Polaris and Makia in the last
three years. I tried the Kaimana in flat water and thought it ok, though other big guys I know have liked it. A Pahoa is ok in the surf, but not ideal for your flat-water locale. Try the Fusion, it has plenty of volume and is comfortable.

#5 Sat, 04/02/2005 - 8:29pm


#6 Mon, 04/04/2005 - 7:04pm

Thanks Pete, and yes I need to get out on the water! Since you mentioned it, any thoughts on the Stingray for bigger guys?

#7 Wed, 04/20/2005 - 10:39am

Hey Poeman,

I think the Stingray is a pretty decent boat for bigger guys. I'm 6'3" and 230 lbs and I've been paddling the Stingray in all conditions for the last three years. It's been a solid performer for me regardless of the weather. You could also check out the Polaris. I had the opportunity to use one in Maui last spring and it was pretty comfortable too (not sure how well it moves in the flats though).

Dr.Jedi mentioned the Fusion as well. I haven't paddled it but my understanding was that it was geared more towards the big Hawaiian swell (Hawaii Kai and Maliko runs). My limited experience of SoCal so far has reminded me more of the Pacific NW (flat, steep wind chop, occasional sweet days, long low swells) where the extra volume up front in the Fusion isn't really needed.

My two cents

#8 Thu, 04/21/2005 - 6:43am

I have to agree with Pete above. I had a chance to paddle a few boats this year (Huki, Stingray, Kaimana). I am not a big guy weight and height wise (190lbs@5'9") but the boat I loved the most and was very comfortable and fast in was the Kaku Kaimana from John Puakea. The boat surfs great and pics up every little bump and it's pretty fast in flat stuff as well. It's easily the most versatile boat I have ever padlled so far. I plan on getting about 10 lbs lighter for next years racing season so hopefully it will be even faster then.

#9 Fri, 08/26/2005 - 8:01am

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