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15 Best Fishing Kayaks For Big Guys

15 Best Fishing Kayaks For Big Guys

Getting a fishing kayak is a great way to access fishing spots that shore-bound anglers simply can’t get to. However, if you’re a larger guy, you will need to be careful to choose one of the best fishing kayaks for big guys.

These kayaks have maximum weight capacities of at least 300 pounds and many can hold much more weight than that. They are designed to provide excellent buoyancy and stability for big guys and all their kayak fishing gear.

Some of them even feature open cockpits and enough stability to accommodate your interests in stand-up kayak fishing. The features don’t stop there, however, and there’s a lot to unpack when it comes to these fully-loaded fishing kayaks.

In this review, we are going to highlight 15 kayak models that all larger anglers should consider. If you’re looking to upgrade your kayak fishing setup or get into kayak fishing for the first time, we hope you find something on this list that you’ll enjoy!

Photo by AlesiaMax589 via Shutterstock

Best Fishing Kayaks for Big Guys

  1. Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-RA220
  2. Intex Excursion Pro K2
  3. Perception Pescador Pro 10
  4. Brooklyn Kayak Company PK13
  5. Brooklyn Kayak Company FK13
  6. Perception Pescador Pro 12
  7. Pelican Getaway 110 HDII
  8. Perception Crank 10
  9. Perception Outlaw 11.5
  10. Perception Pescador Pilot 12
  11. Sevylor Coleman Colorado
  12. Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103
  13. Wilderness Systems Radar 115
  14. Brooklyn Kayak Company SK287
  15. Brooklyn Kayak Company TK122P

Kayaking Tips for Big Guys

Understanding the differences between fishing kayaks and regular kayaks is a great place to start. You’ll find more info in that full article, but let’s start with some quick highlights.

What Makes it a Fishing Kayak?

Photo by Anusorn ThaiLand via Shutterstock

Well, it’s easy to see some major differences at first glance because things like fishing rod holders and elevated, aluminum-framed seats will catch your eye. A major difference between regular kayaks and fishing kayaks, however, is in the actual body of the kayak.

Fishing kayaks tend to be wider than regular kayaks because this increases their stability. A wider kayak distributes your weight (and the weight of all your gear) over a larger surface area and, by doing so, makes it harder for you to tip your boat.

Additionally, most fishing kayaks are crafted with what’s called a pontoon-style hull. This hull design is largely considered to be the most stable option that you can find in a kayak, even if it’s not necessarily built for speed.

How to Keep Your Kayak Stable

Photo by wwwarjag via Shutterstock

For tall and big guys, it can be a little more difficult to keep a kayak stable, especially when you’re not moving. Kayaks are kind of like bicycles in that they are actually more stable when they are in motion.

When you’re paddling, a good rule to focus on is keeping your nose over your belly button. What we mean by that is that you don’t want to lean too far towards one side of your kayak, as that greatly increases your chances of capsizing.

When you’re setting up to fish in one location for a while, one of the best things you can do is to drop an anchor to keep your kayak in place. This will not only prevent drifting that results from wind or currents, but it can also keep you more stable.

Seat Choice

Photo by OlgaUA via Shutterstock

Many of these fishing kayaks are defined by their raised, aluminum-framed seats that certainly do have some advantages over regular kayak seats.

They give you an elevated vantage point and, for taller paddlers, they allow your legs to extend a bit more so you don’t feel like you’re sitting in such a cramped position.

The downside of these seats is that they raise your overall center of gravity further from the water’s surface. That can make you more susceptible to capsizing if you try to lean over to fetch a fish off the end of your line.

Overall, most anglers find that the benefits of an elevated seat outweigh the disadvantages. You’ll have to weigh comfort and functionality over the odds of capsizing when you’re deciding whether to go with a kayak with a traditional seat or an elevated design.

Get The Right PFD…

Photo by Kuznetcov_Konstantin via Shutterstock

There are several different types of personal flotation devices (PFDs) that you can choose from. We don’t need to go into all of the PFD classifications here, but you should be sure that the PFD you choose has enough buoyancy for your weight.

A flotation rating of 15.5 pounds is enough for most adults, but big guys sometimes aren’t “most” adults. To know how much flotation you need, here is a quick calculation:

Body weight – ((Body weight x 0.8) + (body weight x 0.15)) = minimum flotation required

The reason we multiply bodyweight by 0.8 is to identify the water weight in the body. Multiplying total weight by 0.15 gives us the fat content in the body and remember that the water in your body weighs the same as the water you’re floating in (and the fat actually weighs less).

What remains is basically your bone mass that is heavier than water, to keep things as simple as possible. Let’s give you a real-world example and, for this scenario, we are going to start with a big guy that weighs 300 pounds.

300 – ((300 x 0.8) + (300 x 0.15)) =

300 – ((240) + (45)) =

300 – (285) =

15 pounds

So, in this particular case, this individual needs a PFD that provides a minimum of 15 pounds of flotation. To err on the side of caution, you can add another five pounds to your calculation and search for an appropriate PFD from there.

…And Wear It Properly

Photo by Chanintorn.v via Shutterstock

Choosing the right PFD is a great start, but it won’t protect you from a failure to wear said PFD properly once you head out onto the water. So here’s a quick breakdown of proper PFD fitting:

  • Place your arms (and possibly your head depending on PFD style) through their appropriate holes
  • Zip all zippers and buckle all straps
  • Tighten straps running around your torso first
  • Then tighten shoulder straps to adjust how high (or low) the PFD sits on your torso
  • Place thumbs underneath shoulder straps and try to lift up

If you need a visual on how to test your PFD’s fit, check out this one:

If you can easily lift your PFD so that the shoulder straps slide up and above your ears in this final step, return to the top and repeat the procedure until your PFD is snug and cannot be raised above your ears.

This final test simulates what the water will do if you were to capsize and end up in the water. If your PFD is loose enough for you to easily pull it over your head and off on land, there’s no stopping the same from happening when you actually need that flotation in the water.

Keep in mind that there are multiple different styles of kayaking PFDS out there as well. If you just can’t seem to tighten your PFD enough to keep it on or the style you have constantly feels uncomfortable while you’re paddling, don’t hesitate to upgrade.

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BKC UH-RA220 11.5 Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles and Upright Chair and Rudder System Included (Green Camo)
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak, K2: 2-Person, Red
perception Pescador Pro 10 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 10' 6" | Dapper
BKC PK13 13' Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak W/Rudder System and Instant Reverse, Paddle, Upright Back Support Aluminum Frame Seat, 1 Person Foot Operated Kayak (Red)
perception Pescador Pro 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 12' | Dapper
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BKC UH-RA220 11.5 Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles and Upright Chair and Rudder System Included (Green Camo)
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak, K2: 2-Person, Red
perception Pescador Pro 10 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 10' 6" | Dapper
BKC PK13 13' Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak W/Rudder System and Instant Reverse, Paddle, Upright Back Support Aluminum Frame Seat, 1 Person Foot Operated Kayak (Red)
perception Pescador Pro 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 12' | Dapper
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BKC UH-RA220 11.5 Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles and Upright Chair and Rudder System Included (Green Camo)
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BKC UH-RA220 11.5 Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles and Upright Chair and Rudder System Included (Green Camo)
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Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak, K2: 2-Person, Red
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Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak, K2: 2-Person, Red
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perception Pescador Pro 10 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 10' 6" | Dapper
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perception Pescador Pro 10 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 10' 6" | Dapper
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BKC PK13 13' Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak W/Rudder System and Instant Reverse, Paddle, Upright Back Support Aluminum Frame Seat, 1 Person Foot Operated Kayak (Red)
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BKC PK13 13' Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak W/Rudder System and Instant Reverse, Paddle, Upright Back Support Aluminum Frame Seat, 1 Person Foot Operated Kayak (Red)
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perception Pescador Pro 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 12' | Dapper
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perception Pescador Pro 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 12' | Dapper
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Reviews of the Best Fishing Kayaks for Big Guys

1. Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-RA220

BKC UH-RA220 11.5 foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles and Upright Chair and Rudder System Included

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 11’6”
  • Width: 34”
  • Weight: 68 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 550 pounds

With a weight capacity of more than 500 pounds, the one-person sit-on-top fishing kayak is a great choice for big guys. It features an elevated seat with aluminum framing and a mesh-style seat that is designed to breathe well in hot climates.

You’ll have a total of three fishing rod holders and the drop-down rudder at the stern is controlled by foot pedals so you don’t have to worry about corrective paddlestrokes.

There are also three watertight storage compartments for your fishing gear and an additional open storage area for a tackle crate or kayak cooler.

2. Intex Excursion Pro K2

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak, K2: 2-Person, Red

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 12’7”
  • Width: 37”
  • Weight: 39.01 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds

The second kayak on our list is one of the best inflatable kayaks out there for kayak fishing. It is technically a two-person kayak, but you can also remove one of the seats and move the other to a more central position to paddle it by yourself.

It comes with inflatable seats and one seat booster that allows you to get a higher position for easier casting and paddling.

It also features tough, three-ply construction, two recessed fishing rod holders, footrests, and a removable and adjustable mounting bracket that can accommodate a wide variety of fishing accessories, such as a kayak GPS unit.

3. Perception Pescador Pro 10

perception Pescador Pro 10 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 10' 6" | Dapper

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 10’6”
  • Width: 32”
  • Weight: 57 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 325 pounds

The Pescador Pro 10 from Perception Kayaks offers an adjustable kayak seat that can be raised or lowered depending on your immediate needs.

The lowered position is great for relaxing as you watch your bobber float in the distance and the raised position is optimal for paddling and casting.

This kayak also features extra built-in buoyancy for added safety and plenty of bow and stern storage for all sorts of kayak fishing extras. You’ll also be able to attach additional accessories on the integrated rails that line the inside of both gunwales on this kayak.

4. Brooklyn Kayak Company PK13

BKC PK13 13' Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak W/Rudder System and Instant Reverse, Paddle, Upright Back Support Aluminum Frame Seat, 1 Person Foot Operated Kayak (Red)

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 13’
  • Width: 33.25”
  • Weight: 80 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 550 pounds

The PK13 is an even larger version of the UH-RA220 that we mentioned first, but this model differs in that it offers a pedal-drive system for hands-free propulsion. That means you can keep your kayak moving while your hands are still busy casting or reeling in a catch.

Three built-in rod holders, two watertight storage compartments, and many other excellent features make this kayak worth every penny.

Plus, the pedal-drive system can even be removed and replaced with a trolling motor down the line if you want to be able to get around more quickly and with less effort.

5. Brooklyn Kayak Company FK13

BKC FK13 13-Foot Solo Sit on Top Angler Fishing Kayak w/Upright Aluminum Seat, Paddle and Foot-Controlled Rudder

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 12’11.5”
  • Width: 34”
  • Weight: 77 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 550 pounds

The FK13 model from Brooklyn Kayak Company is very similar in size to the PK13, but it’s considerably more affordable because it does not boast that pedal-drive system.

So if you’re content to paddle and then use the gunwale paddle parks to free up your hands to fish, this kayak can save you a little cash.

It is loaded with the rest of the same features you’ll find on the PK13, however: three watertight hatches, a hand-operated rudder, two flush-mounted fishing rod holders, a raised aluminum-framed seat, and additional bungee cargo storage at the stern.

6. Perception Pescador Pro 12

perception Pescador Pro 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 12' | Dapper

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 12’
  • Width: 32.5”
  • Weight: 64 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 375 pounds

If you’re concerned that the Pescador Pro 10 won’t give you quite enough cargo capacity, beef things up with the 12-foot version. This kayak is perfect for lakes, ponds, slow-moving rivers, creeks, and streams.

The rear storage area is the perfect place for your fishing tackle crate (or for a kayak fishing cooler bag). It also boasts that same adjustable seat that we mentioned in the Pro 10, which allows you to change the height depending on whether you’re paddling, relaxing, or actively fishing.

7. Pelican Getaway 110 HDII

Pelican Fishing Sit-on-Top Kayak Getaway 110 HDII - Vapor Deep Blue-White - 11 feet - Pedal System, Stable and Comfortable one-Person Kayak - MHP10P101

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 10’5”
  • Width: 33”
  • Weight: 59 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

The Gateway 110 HDII is one of the newer and more innovative creations from Pelican Kayaks. It is a pedal-driven kayak with a super open design that is great for big guys because you won’t feel cramped like you will in other sit-on-top kayaks.

The rudder at the stern is hand-controlled and helps you steer the kayak as your legs do the work to propel you forward. With a huge open storage area at the rear, you’ll have no shortage of space for all of your fishing gear.

8. Perception Crank 10

Perception Kayaks Crank 10 | Sit on Top Pedal Kayak | Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | 10' | Grasshopper (9351800177)

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 10’
  • Width: 35”
  • Weight: 87 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds

The Perception Crank 10’s shorter length makes it a great kayak for creek fishing or navigating smaller rivers. It’ll be easier to maneuver than many of the longer kayaks on our list, but it still offers plenty of stability and buoyancy for big guys.

It is also equipped with a pedal-drive system that helps you save your arms for the real tasks: casting and reeling.

Plus, the captain’s chair in this kayak can be adjusted to several different positions, but it can also be completely removed and folded up if you want to use this kayak primarily for stand-up fishing.

9. Perception Outlaw 11.5

Perception Kayaks Outlaw | Sit on Top Fishing | Fold Away Lawn Chair Seat | 4 Rod Holders | Integrated Tackle Trays | Fossil Tan, 11' 5"

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 11’6”
  • Width: 35”
  • Weight: 77 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 425 pounds

Speaking of stand-up kayak fishing, that’s precisely what the Perception Outlaw 11.5 is designed for. It has a super open and flat cockpit deck that is finished with padded grip tape to make it easier to balance and also provide a soft feel under your feet.

The seat on this kayak can also be removed and there’s enough space to set a 35-liter kayak cooler in its place.

That provides extra storage space for your fish (or just a healthy beverage collection) and still gives you a temporary seat when you need a break (cooler sold separately).

10. Perception Pescador Pilot 12

Perception Kayaks Pescador Pilot 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Pedal Drive | Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat and Tackle Storage Areas | 12' | Dapper (9351587178)

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 12’5”
  • Width: 33.75”
  • Weight: 85 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 475 pounds

The Pescador Pilot 12 steps things up a bit from the Pro models by including a unique proprietary pedal-drive system that can be fully recessed into the hull for zero draft if you’re having trouble making headway on windy days.

The extra length allowed the manufacturers to include a console area that’s perfect for storing your smaller fishing tackle.

Secure storage at the bow and stern provides room for larger gear and accessory tracks on the gunwales provide secure attachment points for everything else.

11. Sevylor Coleman Colorado

Sevylor Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Fishing Kayak

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 10’11”
  • Width: 39.6”
  • Weight: 41 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 470 pounds

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado is another inflatable kayak that is technically built for two paddlers. Like the Excursion Pro, however, it offers the flexibility to remove one seat and reposition the other for a solo paddler.

It’s one of the lightest kayaks on our list because it’s inflatable and also offers all the other benefits of inflatable kayaks. That said, it boasts a durable design that can handle sharp fishing equipment and also includes Berkley quick-set rod holders.

12. Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103

Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103 Sit-On-Top Kayak, Lightning Fusion, 10 ft. 3 in.

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 10’3”
  • Width: 31”
  • Weight: 57.5 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

This Tamarack Pro 103 from Lifetime Kayaks is best for first-time big guys just looking to see if they like kayak fishing. It offers multiple rod holders, a super comfortable aluminum-framed seat, and it also happens to be one of the most affordable options on our list.

Some of its best features include three fishing rod holders, gear tracks for attaching a fish finder, a center storage hatch with an included bucket, and a large stern storage compartment.

13. Wilderness Systems Radar 115

Wilderness Systems Radar 115 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak | Premium Angler Kayak | 11' 6"

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 11’8”
  • Width: 34.5”
  • Weight: 85 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 450 pounds

The Wilderness Systems Radar 115 is another model that is designed for stand-up kayak fishing, which means it’s extra stable for big guy paddlers.

It also features one of the most unique storage features you’ll find on these fishing kayaks: a removable pod that can accommodate pedal drive or motor drive systems, fish finders, trolling motor batteries, transducers, and more.

14. Brooklyn Kayak Company SK287

BKC SK287 Angler Touring Kayak – 14.75-Foot Solo Distance Sit-in Travel Kayak for Open Water Paddling, Collapsible Paddle Included

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 14’9”
  • Width: 21.5”
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds

The SK287 is unique in that it is the only kayak on our list made for long-distance fishing trips. It is also the only sit-inside kayak that we’ve included and it should be clear that this kayak is best for experienced big guys because its narrower, sit-inside design can make it feel a bit squirrely until you really get moving.

15. Brooklyn Kayak Company TK122P

BKC TK122 Angler 12-Foot, 8 inch Tandem 2 or 3 Person Sit On Top Fishing Kayak w/Premium Memory Foam Seats and Paddles (Grey Camo)

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 12’8”
  • Width: 34”
  • Weight: 74 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 770 pounds

The TK122P boasts the highest weight capacity on our list and it is also designed to accommodate two paddlers.

However, for really big guys, this is a great choice because a single seat can be set up in the kayak’s central position and then you’ll have all that extra space for your fishing gear and kayaking safety equipment.

Our Pick – Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-RA220

BKC UH-RA220 11.5 foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles and Upright Chair and Rudder System Included

Check Price on Amazon
The Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-RA22o is our pick for the best fishing kayak because of its carrying capacity, fishing-specific features, and affordable price tag. For starters, you can bring three different fishing rod setups and keep them secure in the two flush-mounted rod holders and additional adjustable rod holder until you need them.

When you are paddling, the foot-controlled rudder allows you to keep the kayak straight with minimal effort. When you’re fishing, place your kayak paddle in the paddle parks to keep it secure until you’re ready to relocate.

It boasts plenty of waterproof storage for all-day or even multi-day fishing excursions and the kind of kayak seat you’d need for all-day comfort. Plus, the deck is even designed for stand-up kayak fishing if you want to give that a try at some point.

Perhaps most importantly, however, this kayak is significantly more affordable than many other fishing kayaks that boast similar features. That makes it an easy choice for big guys that are just getting started with kayak fishing!

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Best Fishing Kayaks For Big Guys

Author: Peter SalisburyPete is the Owner of KayakHelp.com. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When he’s not out on the water, you can find him skiing in the mountains, reading his favorite books, and spending time with his family.

Welcome! I’m so glad you are here :-) I’m Pete. I am the owner of KayakHelp.com. I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When I am not out on the water, you can find me skiing in the mountains, reading my favorite books, and spending time with my family.