While weíre on the subject of selecting a boat for tall people, I have a couple of thoughts. With the exception of a few models, the average sea kayak cockpit can be a bit of a challenge for very long legged people when it comes to getting in and out of the boat. Once again itís possible that technique might be the key to a more graceful and satisfying experience.
There has to be at least three, or four variations, or approaches to unassisted entries, but for me the one that works best is with the entire boat in the water (6 to 12 inches) and parallel to the shorelineómore, or less. I used to ride horses and still do ride bicycles and motorcycles, so to me, getting on, or in from the left side feels natural. I lean over the boat, place my left hand at the front of the coaming to hold the boat, lift my right leg and insert it into the boat as I drop my butt into the seat. My right hand braces on the right rear side of the coaming. Sure the boat will lean a little, but that is not a problem and in fact it can be helpful. Now youíve got one leg in and the other hanging over the edge. For those with average length legs and the normal range of bend, itís simple enough to bring the other leg aboard while remaining seated. For the less flexible and those with legs that are just too long to bend far enough one more little step is necessary; youíve got to use both hands and arms to lift yourself gently up as far as needed to allow your leg to bend and tuck under the front center of the coaming. Extra tall people might even have to lift their bottom quite high and lean backward over the back deck. This might be tricky in some boats, because of balance. Exiting is more or less just the reverse of the above steps. With practice, the whole process takes about two or three seconds and can be done even if the water isnít nice and flat.
I think the more conventional procedure for tall people is to straddle the boat, sit on the back deck, insert both feet and drop into the seat. That sounds easier, but in actual practice it requires a lot of luck and extremely good balance. Getting back out of the boat in this manner can get pretty sloppy.
From my observation, the majority of kayakers seem to prefer getting in and out of the boat while the boat is grounded. I donít.