Help bigger guy with smaller canoe

I was hoping someone could help this newbie with some info:

I'm about 6'0" and 190 lb. I have been paddling my wife's OC Fuze for a few month's now. Been having a great time, by the way. Just wondering what it is that I am missing by being too heavy for the canoe. It was designed for paddlers 170 lb or less.

Will I be slower on this than a larger canoe because it rides too low in the water? For other Fuze paddlers, how will my weight affect the canoe behaving the way it was designed to? in the flat? in surf? upwind, downwind? etc.

Thanks ahead of time


Submitted by acolytephoto on Tue, 06/23/2009 - 1:49am

At 190 lbs on the Fuze you are probably only "missing" .1 or .2 MPH in overall all hullspeed throughout the performance envelope. Read close , that`s point 1 and point 2 MPH or one or two tenths of a mile per hour.

So, I`m saying a boat with more volume than a Fuze will float you higher and give you a little better glide.

I have millions of hours on these boats and can speak with great authority .

Pay no attention to those Fuze bashers on the other threads.

#1 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 2:06am

I have heard from a greater authority, the great owl, that Fuzerider is full of you know what and should be ignored. The great owl said a Pueo would be perfect for you.

#2 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 7:18am

Geez Fuze, you are ancient and great!!! .....millions of hours....that would make you, well, old beyond belief!!

#3 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 7:29am

I have spent millions of hours avoiding a Fusion or Fuze.

Does that count?

#4 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 7:42am

It really can depend on where you're paddling, acolytephoto. If you live here on the mainland, and spend about 95% of your time in flat water, then fuzerider (I hate saying this) is probably right - you're not missing out on much. As the conditions get bigger though, you'll probably want something made for someone your size...

#5 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 8:15am

I'm 180, and probably barely have hundreds of hours on the Fuze, but it worked great for me. When I bought it, I took the Fuze and Fusion demos out at the same time. In my "limited" tests (timing loops around flat island, and counting strokes between buoys), they were even downwind (small chop, no waves), and Fuze was slightly faster upwind, for ME, on that particular day. Based on that minute bit of experince, I got the Fuze (smaller, less volume, and still worked well down wind). When I tried the Zephyr a couple years later, I didn't time loops or count strokes, but it just didn't "feel" significantly different than the Fuze, for what that's worth. When I tried a Pueo, however, I sold my Fuze and bought one... (I had to sell my prone paddleboard, too. A new canoe's not cheap...).

All that said, I doubt you are missing much. I had just as much fun on the Fuze, as on my Pueo, as on my wife's Hurricane, as on any other canoe I have ever tried out (I'm just faster - RELATIVE word, here - on my Pueo...). You want to know what other boats are like, try one. Demoing new boats is a lot of fun.


#6 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 8:22am

Sell the Fuse. Go get a Scorpius right now. As a FORMER owner of a Fusion, then Zephyr, I am jumping to the Scorpius. Great paddling boat for the plus size guys. I am making the jump because of its paddling capabilities. It doesn't surf any better than the Fusion or Zephyr, but it is superior to both boats in the no surf to small surf category. That is why I jumped.


#7 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 10:03am

"If the shoe fits, wear it." Low volume boats good for flat water. More volume better for big ocean water. You're just working harder to get the hull to plane and stay there. Easier to get the heart rate up too. You'll tire faster in a race, so only do short ones. Although it isn't recommended, I do puff a little bit of air into mine also, which seems to help keep things more lively. Just remember to unplug when pau paddle.

#8 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 10:16am

Ok, im really light, and used to paddle a fuze which was a little big for me in the flats, but amazing in the surf. Its true, when stuff gets really big, you might want to look for something with a little more volume. And its been said almost twice, you may only lose .1 or .2 mph? im not really sure, but just re-illiterating the point. But dont go off and let other people here tell you what boat to buy because they think the other one sucks. Some people have different preferences and somethings work for some people, other things dont. The fuze is a great boat, and is made by a great builder. If you're looking for something else in the market, go out and demo, you'll find there will be some you like better than others. Base your decision off of your own tests, not someone elses opinion.

so cliche saying DEMO DEMO DEMO.

aloha and good luck,

#9 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 10:29am

To get your answer with some level of certainty, why not test it out on the water first hand?
You should probably talk to Karel about testing out one of his other OC-1's made for larger people or ask someone who has one and doing a time trial run with a Garmin or fixed points on a stop watch maintaining the same stroke rate on both your fuze and the larger volume canoe and see which canoe performs better in the various conditions you noted. Place a tape or marker on the sides of the canoe so you hit the same entry point on every stroke to keep the stroke as consistent as possible throughout the test. And for overkill, you could use a digital metronome to set the cadence on the stroke rate. Some kayakers use digital metronomes to set their stroke rate for a given piece of workout.

You could also place the Fuze on flatwater/ swimming pool on a windless day, mark the water line with you sitting on top and then your wife and see how much water displacement differences there is.

Just throwing out some ideas.

#10 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 11:21am

Wow. Thanks everyone for the fast comments.

I am not in the market for new canoe. I was mostly wondering how feasable it would be (or ridiculous) to use this Fuze to enter next one man season. Never raced before. Only paddles a couple months. I would mostly be trying to finish, not place, but still did not want to battle a very, very severe disadvantage with a small canoe.

It doesn't sound too bad. .1 or .2 mph loss sounds like a disadvantage in, say, a five or ten mile race or so. But not ridiculously severe.

I paddle mostly around Kailua. Usually Mokes runs twice a week. It feels to me like the canoe does great in the upwind (moves with low HR), does horrible in the downwind (very high HR, hard to connect, die in the troughs). It seems to move really well in the flat kailua river though.

Pretty much all on par with what most of you guys said. I don't trust myself to determine these things alone, being one of wee little experience.

P.S. Inherited the canoe temporarily from my wife since she is pregnant.

Aloha and thanks all.

#11 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 12:06pm

Main thing is that you have fun! Good to hear that you're planning on racing the upcoming season; any canoe beats sitting on the beach!
(Unless of course you're taking those amazing photos of yours!)

#12 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 1:10pm

Totally feasible. Absolutely fun. You won't be sorry until your wife takes her canoe back, after your kid is born. Congratulations on your upcoming addition to the family!

#13 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 3:02pm

"Dies in the troughs," is because you're still learning. You got the perfect canoe to practice because of less volume. A canoe with more volume would just make it easier for you, and you won't learn. So have your wife drop you off at Makai Range Pier and do many practice runs from there to Kailua boat ramp, Birdshit or Pinkys. Eventually, you'll get the hang of it. Right now, avoid taking the drop, stay high and let the ocean position you to make the connections.

#14 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 6:08pm

Thanks for all the enlightenment and the support. This is a really great forum.

I've had my eye on that run from Makai to Kailua for a few weeks. Looks fun. Maybe 4th of July weekend. At least gotta wait for the really big surf to mellow out.

Thanks and Aloha,


#15 Tue, 06/23/2009 - 10:56pm

All canoes "die in the troughs" , like koacanoe said , " Right now, avoid taking the drop, stay high and let the ocean position you to make the connections."

Perfect advice !!. I wish I had someone around to tell me that when I first started.

#16 Wed, 06/24/2009 - 2:58am

Stay inside and learn on the small wind bumps. You don't have to go outside the breakers to do the run.

#17 Wed, 06/24/2009 - 8:19am

I'm 188lb. I am still not heavy enough for the fuze. My fuze runs great downwind flat and upwind when im on it. I'd say its agreat all round canoe for all size paddlers.

#18 Wed, 06/24/2009 - 12:48pm

Acolytephoto, you may be on to something, for now I'm beginning to notice bigger paddlers on these low volume canoes. Just the other day, I saw a paddler, twice the size of Kai, pull into Costco with his Pegasus on top his car. So Mean DNA, you got me curious enough to go try one.

#19 Thu, 06/25/2009 - 9:33am

"Help bigger guy with smaller canoe"

surprisingly not one person went to a different direction with the title of this thread :)

I'm 190 and have tried the Fuze and felt sluggish in it compared to the Pegasus. Comfy and fun canoe in the surf though.

#20 Thu, 06/25/2009 - 3:28pm

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