Borealis XL Kit

Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Borealis XL Kit Description

The Borealis provides the volume, stability, and ease of entry that bigger paddlers need. Originally designed for heavier paddlers, we were surprised to discover what a pleasure the Borealis is to paddle for anyone wanting a roomier more comfortable boat with increased stability for a more relaxed feeling on the water. Paddlers wanting more foot and leg room will love the Borealis XL. High performance, high volume, and high comfort equals a great boat for long distance touring. If you want to carry lots of stuff with ease and comfort the Borealis XL should be considered a great choice for ocean touring and extended camping.

Borealis XL Kit Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit Inside
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Pygmy Boats
Borealis XL Kit Reviews

Read reviews for the Borealis XL Kit by Pygmy Boats as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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Excellent Boat. I am a big…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/3/2019

Excellent Boat. I am a big guy (290) and it fits me well. It is stable in all conditions. Easy to paddle and hold its speed well. I built it from the kits and it came together quickly (2nd build). I love my Borealis. I can put newbies in it and they will have a good experience.


I was fortunate to have…

Submitted by: paddler514154 on 6/7/2019

I was fortunate to have taken the Pygmy Boat building course in Port Townsend and this Borealis XL was the boat that I assembled at the course. Went together well in the week and took about another two months to complete when I took it home from the course. I am a bigger guy 6'2" 280 and I was sinking smaller boats when doing kayak recovery after practicing rollovers. The Borealis XL has a lot more buoyancy so a larger guy like me can recover from a flip over with this excellent boat. After completing this boat my lovely wife was wanting one for herself. My wife was using a plastic boat to see if she liked Kayaking and it was a chore to paddle that because of its design and its lack of tracking. Back to Port Townsend and the Pygmy people allowed her to try 7 different boats in the harbor. Her choice was a Pinguino 145-4PD and the assembly time was 8 months of off and on work over the winter with an April launch date. The construction Videos are a great help and if you are really stuck then just give Pygmy boats customer service a call and they will walk you through any problems.


I finished my Borealis XL…

Submitted by: WB_John on 10/23/2017

I finished my Borealis XL Kit last week and immediately took it out for a paddle on the Merrimack River. I've been paddling for eight years and went from an inflatable to a sit-on-top to a 14 foot plastic boat to this. It took me over a year to complete it but I was determined to get it in the water this season. It's so much fun to paddle that I'm considering buying a drysuit. I took it on a paddle with a meetup group and got many compliments even with some sanded spots in anticipation of varnish. What a joy paddling a boat I made with my own hands!

I originally bought the boat as I was a quite large guy. In the middle of the build, I had a gastric bypass and lost a whole person's worth of weight. Now I'm looking forward to doing a bit of camping with it.


I built my Borealis XL five…

Submitted by: John_Beulke on 8/15/2016
I built my Borealis XL five years ago during my first of three cancers. It took me quite a bit longer to build, but I had to move two cars out of the way and that often left me with only the strength to work for 15 or 20 minutes. I really appreciated the help I got from my family. I absolutely love the way the kayak handles. It carves turns very easily and is extremely stable and secure. I love to take it out in big waves in Lake Superior. I especially like to paddle under Split Rock Lighthouse. I don't think it really needed a rudder, but I paddled a Klepper Aerius Double for 37 years so I am very comfortable with a rudder. I do love the Smart Track system much better than the more common rudder on my wife's boat. I have used the Borealis with both the Greenland Paddle I made and my Werner Kalliste. I also love to paddle on the ST.Croix River which is only ten minutes from home. The sad part is that I never got around to putting on the varnish as I was having too much fun so I will have to sand the whole boat down and re-epoxy and varnish someday. I have always kept it under a tarp so I hope it will be alright.

At 6'3", size 15 shoe, and…

Submitted by: paddler234799 on 10/3/2012
At 6'3", size 15 shoe, and 290 pounds, the Borealis XL was one of the few boats in which I thought I'd feel stable -- my first boat. Almost no building experience, and limited chunks of time, caused it to be 18 months from purchase to completion (maybe more). But it turned out great despite occasional frustration, and almost unbearable anticipation.

Fifteen months since final completion, I've lost 30 pounds, and feel stronger than in many years -- mostly due to paddling 3 times a week, 5 to 15 miles each. I even enter races, and surprise people how fast it is -- can keep 5 to 5.5 mph for 8 miles.

I put a Smart track rudder on and I don't like it, so seldom use it. Most of my time is in flat coastal rivers -- I have lots to learn about handling cross-chop and lumpy conditions. Now that I am slimmer, I think I need a narrower boat -- the Borealis is very loose on me. I've tried narrower boats and actually felt more stable because the chop didn't have as much leverage upon me.

I love my Borealis XL even if some day I replace it -- it's moving me from a beginner to an intermediate paddler, and I am having a blast


I just finished building the…

Submitted by: rjmarlatt on 7/9/2012
I just finished building the Borealis XL. It came together very well.
I am 290 lbs and about 6 foot. The boat fits me well is very stable. When I put it on its edge to turn I find it very stable. It tracks straight and is as fast as other kayaks.

A beautiful boat. I am really pleased with this kayak. The only issue is the seat, which I am looking for an option...


I have some minor wood…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/11/2010
I have some minor wood working skills but have never done anything of this magnitude before or done any glass work. Now that my Borealis XL is complete I can't believe how great it looks and the admiration I receive! I am only 5'10'' and 190 lbs. but wanted a roomier boat than a Coho to fish from and just be more comfortable but still have something seaworthy and with efficient paddling characteristics to do some touring in the San Juans. My first paddle on a small lake near my home was like driving a Ferrari across a parking lot. It is fast and does nice leaned turns and is VERY stable. I highly endorse this craft from Pygmy!

I bought this kit last fall…

Submitted by: paddler233524 on 3/31/2010
I bought this kit last fall as I couldn't find any of the commercially available boats that would fit me. I am 6'4" and 250lbs and have some old injuries that inhibit my range of motion. The 19" x 36" cockpit make getting in and out very easy!

She tracks nice and can hold two weeks worth of gear. I can fish from it without any problems as it is very stable and wide(25"). I will probably build another Borealis XL this fall for my wife as she is nearly as big as I am! The kit is easy to build, BUT you need to read the assembly book THREE times before you start building it! Follow the instructions to the letter and you will not have any trouble.

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