I recently bought a 2nd hand 2003 Kevlar Necky Pinta. I have a lot of experience Kayaking though never bought one til now always kayaking on trips away from home. I have Kayaked in sea conditions in England, B.C California, and Maine but now am fortunate enough to live on Lake Ontario in Canada.
I am 5'10", 230lbs with 38 inch waist. I wanted a kayak I could enjoy that recreational paddle wise would track well and keep up with the rest of the crew. I decided away from shorter skeg kayaks in english style like Valley's though pretty are not as comfortable nor initially stable. The Pinta design is a modified greenland style double chine. It tracks well yet is fast and stable in a uniquely balanced nature. Mine being a hand laid kevlar built when Necky was Necky not Johnson Marine they truly built a hand crafted machine. Mine is unique in color dark top hull, sea blue seam and white hull. I can load my 230 plus everything I could want for 4-5 day trip with son, including tent, 15L of water etc. I have also surfed Lake Erie 2-3 foot rollers and though I use the rudder find my Pinta tracks well and does not exhibit weathercock issues. If you don't live on the sea and want a lake kayak for both rec exercise as well as long touring this is definitely the PERFECT Kayak. If you can find one buy it.The Pinta rules for big paddlers. I am 6' 5" and almost 300 pounds, with a 48" waist, and I have no trouble getting in or out of it. I have tried other "big boy" kayaks and I always found my legs cramped up and all of them were difficult to exit after iI squeezed in.
The Pinta has lots of leg room. I can cross my legs, or straighten them all the way out for a good stretch on long paddles. I also find paddle float recoveries easy in the Pinta. I never had an unintentional capsize yet, but in wet-exit (ocean) practices I always get back in quickly using a paddle float. Even at my size the cockpit has enough room to stash an extra drybag behind the seat in the cockpit without compromising leg room.
Now the Pinta is only available "used". Tried a Necky Pinta today and LOVED it!!!!! Here's the story: If you're a big guy, I mean really big, the choices amongst touring boats are pitifully few. There's the Current Designs Solstice GTHV, the Wilderness Systems Sealution XL, the Pacific Water Sports Thunderbird, the Nimbus Telkwa HV and the Necky Pinta. That's about it. The Pinta is a Necky Looksha IV in XXL and is a GEM! She's beautifully constructed with recessed hatches to prevent spray, a really large (36x19.5") cockpit with a VERY comfortable seat and back-rest. She has Necky's signature Looksha hull-shape with double hard-chine hull. The one I tested (and am gonna buy tomorrow!!!!!!) was a kevlar lay-up with carbon ribs and a wooden (spruce?) keelson to provide additional stiffness to the hull. She comes with Necky's rudder which, tho OK, has foot pedals that control the rudder so you lose
bracing when the rudder is down.
She's an incredibly stable boat both in initial as well as secondary stability.The 27" beam makes her feel like a rock at rest, though underway, her hard-chined hull takes over and she becomes even more stable.Here's the surprising part tho. For a boat this BIG, she accelerates like she's on warp dive rather than impulse engines! She's FAST!!!!! And, when put on a lean, she turns on her axis the FIRST time!!!! And without the rudder! Haven't had a chance yet to try her in serious seas, but her solid stability will make me feel real comfortable in doing so!
As a big guy. I've lamented the fact that sea-kayaking seems to be by default a shrimp's sport given the available boats. However, hats off to Mike Neckar for giving us fellow big-guys a boat that'll show all them small folk that size DOES matter! She's every big-man's dream!