When is the Best Time to Buy a Kayak?

Finding the right kayak for you can be a harrowing ordeal, mainly because these aren’t cheap products you can buy on a whim. Instead, before you buy a kayak you should conduct extensive research on the best features and find the best value you can afford. 

Of course, kayaks are available in almost every price range, but is there a way to get a better kayak model at a slightly lower price? The best time to buy a kayak comes down to several factors. 

Are you looking for a brand new kayak, the best kayak on the market, or used kayaks at a reasonable price?

Every year, kayak manufacturers release new models with somewhat varied characteristics based on the type of kayaking you want to do. You will fall into one of three categories: kayak racing, recreational kayaking, or kayak touring.

All of these types require different kayak sizes and features, which leads to varied pricing for the different kayaks available.

When to Buy a Used Kayak

If you’re working with a limited budget, it is essential to be cautious with the pricing. 

There are a variety of options for purchasing decent kayaks and accessories at a cheaper cost. The first option is to buy used kayaks, which may mean finding a seasoned kayaker who wants to upgrade to a newer kayak model and is thus selling their old one.

It’s relatively easy to find a secondhand kayak at any time, especially if you live in a warm climate where people kayak most of the year. In other cases, you may need to wait until just before summer, when people are beginning to prepare for the next kayaking season, to find a great deal.

You could also wait until the prime kayaking season comes to an end and those with limited storage space are eager to offload their kayak before the winter months.

Kayak owners enjoy getting new accessories for the next season, and the only way to save space is by getting rid of existing ones. To find the best kayak deals, you can visit local paddling clubs, garage sales, local stores, and flea markets.

The second option is to look for a used kayak on kayaking forums and online marketplaces like Facebook, eBay, and Craigslist. You may find a big number of sellers getting rid of older models. 

If you take your time and browse through the kayaks available for the perfect combination of functionality and affordability, you’re likely to find a good deal and be able to save money on your first kayak.

Things to Consider When Buying a Used Kayak

While getting a used kayak is an excellent way to save a few bucks, you should be careful not to be shortchanged. Check out the kayak for weak spots, breakages, and cracks before you purchase it. 

If you’re looking to buy your kayak from online retailers, look for sellers with a money-back guarantee in case the boat gets damaged during shipping or delivery.

Before you buy a used kayak, you should investigate how the previous owner stored your potential kayak. Before purchasing it, check for fading or any other signs of exposure to harmful elements of weather. 

Look out for any damage to the boat’s hull, and if you can, take it for a test run before you pay for it.

The Best Time to Buy a New Kayak

You can get a new kayak at any time from retail and online stores. You can even try calling your favorite kayak manufacturer directly to get a deal on an older model. 

Sometimes manufacturers can also offer you a good shipping discount.

Take Advantage of the Seasons

Like any other product, there are seasons and special occasions that are the best times to find a kayak at a discounted price. You can check out great deals that run seasonally during the spring and fall. 

Manufacturers also release newer models around the beginning of kayaking season, in the spring, which is the sweet spot between excellent functionality and fair pricing. Prices on new models won’t be anywhere near as low as prices on older, used models, but if you’re looking for a specific type of boat, like a fishing kayak or inflatable kayak, this might be your best option. 

The kayaking off season ends in early spring, and many retailers may be trying to get rid of older stock. If you’re looking to get an older model from a retailer, then watch out for stock clearance sales that offer discounted prices. 

Around late August and early September may be the best time to buy, as you may be able to save money by finding deals from kayak owners who are looking to get rid of their old boat at the end of the season. 

Look Out for the Holidays

Retailers and online vendors often offer significant discounts during the holidays, so take advantage of these days. While you can find sales year round, the holiday season is definitely when you’re likely to find the best deals.

Plan your kayak shopping around Black Friday or Memorial Day, when you can find deals at most stores. The month or two leading up to the Christmas holiday can also be a good time to buy, as many stores offer sales and deals for gift-giving.

Participate in Demo Day Events

Demo days are a way for potential kayak buyers to try out new kayaks on the market and find the models that work best for them. In addition, sometimes sporting goods retailers offer kayakers a test drive for a small fee.

You can have a fun day and get to go home with an on-sale kayak and accessories such as paddles, kayak carts, sandals, wet suits, among others. 

When Should You Avoid Buying a Kayak?

Now that we know the best time to buy a kayak, it’s essential to know the worst time to buy one. Purchasing a kayak during the paddling season is an unfortunate decision. 

In the US, the peak season runs from around mid-Spring to the end of Summer. This is roughly May–September. 

There’s a rule of thumb that any product in season is in demand and will cost more, mainly because last-minute shoppers may be willing to spend more. So, avoid peak season shopping if you can help it.

Instead, the best time to look around is during the off season, when you might be able to find someone who is willing to give you a good deal on a kayak they’re not using anymore.

You should also consider your budget before anything else. A high-quality kayak, either new or old, will be an investment.

Choose the best kayak according to your budget. A high-quality, new kayak model can go for more than $1000, and then you have to account for shipping if the manufacturer has to deliver it to you. 

If your budget doesn’t allow for that kind of investment, we recommend looking at a used kayak instead of choosing a lower-quality new kayak.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there a difference between a canoe and a kayak?

Kayaks and canoes are used within the same circles, but both these boats have noticeable differences. The first difference comes in appearance; a canoe is open at the top and can usually fit one or two riders. 

A canoe rider may have to kneel inside a canoe to operate it. Some canoes come with small benches that riders can sit on while paddling to propel the vessel forward. 

On the other hand, kayaks are more closed at the top, and a rider has to sit inside the boat and stretch out their legs in front of them to fit.

These vessels also use different accessories. A kayaker will use a double-bladed paddle, and they have to operate the boat on both sides, one at a time. 

A paddler on a canoe will use a single-bladed paddle for moving through the water.

Are there different types of kayaks?

Kayaks fall into two broad segments. The first category is flatwater kayaks, including recreational, sit-on-top, touring, pedaling, and inflatable kayaks. 

Flatwater kayaking is perfect for still waters with mild waves. The boats will work well in lakes, small ponds, and calm ocean segments.

Fishing kayaks are also often flatwater boats. Fishing kayaks, however, have added accessories such as rod holders that make them perfectly suited to fishing. 

Whitewater kayaks are suitable for extreme water sports and are primarily common in turbulent waters. The kayaks used for these sports include playboats, duckies, river runners, creek boats, and old-school kayaks.

What should I consider before buying a kayak?

Seeing as there are different types of kayaks to cater to varying forms of kayaking, the first thing to consider before you buy a kayak is where you’re going kayaking, how experienced you are, and what kayak type you’re looking for.

There’s no need to buy a whitewater kayak if you’re an amateur paddler. Think about your skill level and go from there.

Most new kayakers start out with a basic recreational kayak. Making the decision to spend a reasonable amount on a basic kayak can give you the chance to see if you really like kayaking without a huge investment. 

The second should be your budget constraints. Consider features such as kayak length and what material you’d prefer for your boat to be made from. 

Think about how much legroom is available, the best accessories to go with your kayak, and where you’ll store the kayak.

Where should I purchase a kayak?

You can choose to buy a kayak in person or online. You can look at new kayaks and possibly even make a purchase in person at a kayak demo day or a retail store.

You can also look for a local kayak owner if you’re wanting to buy a used one. There are numerous online platforms where you can find good deals and purchase your kayak, including common ones such as eBay.

You can also look for additional gear online, and many kayakers selling used boats may even throw in the paddle or some of their gear for a better deal.

Is buying a kayak worth it?

Kayaking is a sport, and aside from being something you do for fun, it’s also an excellent way to exercise. Overall, it promotes both physical and mental health.

Summing Up

Kayaking is becoming more popular as people realize that it is both a fun group activity and great exercise. Buying your preferred kayak at the right time will not only save you money, but it will give you enough time to consider all your options so that you make a solid, unrushed decision.

If you are looking for a fun hobby that you can do alone or within a group, kayaking is your sport. You can even mix kayaking with some of your favorite activities, such as fishing or meditating.