How Much Does Kayaking Cost?

While kayaking can be a relatively inexpensive hobby, it’s essential to know what kayak prices look like and just how much the different parts of this activity cost before you start investing.

This article will help you understand the average cost to have your own kayak and the necessary gear to go with it.

How Much Does Kayaking Cost?

The average price of kayaks can vary greatly, depending on the size and purpose of your kayak. You’re looking at a price range that varies anywhere from $150 to over $3,000!

Beginning Kayaks ($150-$300)

These inexpensive kayaks are built for beginners. Beginner kayaks are typically made from plastic or fiberglass.

Pros to these cheap kayaks are that they’re affordable and reasonably durable, but they do come with cons. For example, you simply can’t expect a plastic boat to last as long as a carbon fiber boat. 

Inflatable kayaks can also be a great option for beginners. Inflatable kayaks are more portable than traditional touring kayaks, and they’re easier to store as well. 

You may be able to find an inflatable kayak that is also a fishing kayak, and this kayak cost is likely to be lower than the price for a traditional fishing kayak — not to mention that it’s an extremely lightweight boat!

For the reasons mentioned above, many people choose to try inflatable kayaks before they venture into the world of hardshell touring kayaks. The average price range for an inflatable kayak is $100-$500. 

Intermediate Kayaks ($300-$700)

A mid-range recreational kayak or touring kayak is still reasonably cheap, but the materials used to make it are of better quality. For example, they can be made from fiberglass or a composite.

Pros to this boat are that it’s lightweight and durable; however, it may cost a little bit more than a beginner kayak. Cons to this type of kayak are that the materials may wear out over time, so you’ll have to make sure that you’re properly maintaining your kayak to improve its life expectancy.

Expert Kayaks ($700-$3000)

This average kayak cost isn’t cheap, but since it’s made from more expensive materials that are lighter and stronger, you can expect to get years of use out of your kayak.

Pros to having an expert kayak are that it’s lightweight, durable, and offers a smooth ride. Cons to this type of kayak are that you’ll have to maintain it more often, meaning you’ll spend more money on upkeep.

Many specialty kayaks, such as fishing kayaks, whitewater kayaks, folding kayaks, and sea kayaks, fall into this category. Of course, it is possible to find cheaper models of these kayaks, but they are typically made for those with kayaking experience who are willing to invest in their boat. 

A pedal drive system kayak would also fall into this category. These sit-in kayaks have pedal drive systems that need a deep cockpit to house them. 

These models cost anywhere from $900-$3,800. 

Tandem kayaks typically cost more than your average kayak, but when you consider the fact that you only have to buy one kayak instead of two, they can be a great option for couples. 

What You Need to Go Kayaking

Now that you know how much your kayak could cost, let’s talk about all the gear that you need to go kayaking! If you’re planning on doing some serious kayaking or fishing, then plan on spending anywhere between $200 to $3000.

If you’re planning a longer, overnight kayaking trip, you’ll also need to add camping gear to this list.

Kayak Paddle

You’ll need a paddle to move your kayak through the water, so be sure to buy one that fits your boat! 

Kayak paddles can cost anywhere from $50 to $300, depending on the type you get and the brand of your kayak. A whitewater kayak or sea kayak will need a paddle that can maneuver through rough waters, while your average recreational kayaks work well with standard paddles.

If you have purchased a tandem kayak, make sure that the length of your paddle will not interfere with your partner. 

Kayak Lifeline Kit

If you plan on going out into the water solo, then a kayak lifeline kit is for you! This device connects to your boat and will keep you afloat if you’re knocked out of your kayak. 

Prices range from $50 to $100.

While we’re on the subject of lifesaving gear, remember that you’ll need to purchase a life jacket before getting out on the water in your new kayak. The average price of a life jacket is around $40, but the price tag can range from $6 to $350; do your research to find out which type of life vest is right for you. 

Kayak Seat

Depending on how long you plan on being in your kayak, a good seat is essential! There are many types of seats available for different prices, ranging from $20 to over $200.

If you plan to take long trips, or even multi-day trips, in your kayak, you will quickly find that a comfortable seat is worth the investment.

Dry Bag

You’ll need a dry bag (waterproof bag) to store your belongings in. These bags range in size and price, but you can expect to spend around $20 on one at most stores.

You’ll find a dry bag especially vital if you are going to be boating in the open sea or in coastal waters that have waves to contend with. Dry bags are also necessary for sit-on, solid kayaks that don’t have a cockpit. 

Waterproof Phone Case

If you plan on bringing your phone with you, then investing in a waterproof case is worth it! The average cost of a simple one is around $20, but you may have to spend more for a case that can survive the depths of an ocean or river.

What Will You Pay to Go Kayaking?

Kayaking is a great way to get in shape, see all that nature has to offer, and enjoy being outdoors.

You can choose to rent a kayak or buy one, and the fees you’ll pay depend on whether you’re looking for an afternoon of fun, or several years. You will want to make sure that you research ahead of time to know what costs will be involved.


What are the costs of kayaking?

You can buy or rent a kayak, with costs to purchase a kayak ranging between $150 to $3,000. You’ll also have to factor in the fees that may be necessary for your boat or equipment, plus any gear that you may need to bring with you.

Used kayaks can be a great option for those looking to keep prices low. The price differences between new and used gear are significant, and can lead to some great deals!

What’s the difference between a beginner and an expert kayak?

A beginner kayak is made from less expensive materials, so it’ll be more affordable. Expert kayaks include specialized models like fishing kayaks.

A fishing kayak comes complete with additional features like rod holders and maybe even a fishing rod. These kayaks might also offer more storage space for fishing gear and other accessories. 

Ocean kayaks can be made for kayak surfing and are another example of specialized boats.

Expensive kayaks cost, on average, somewhere between $700 and $3000.

Why would you need to buy a high-quality kayak paddle?

A high-quality paddle will help you be more efficient and safe when on the water, meaning that you’ll have an easier time kayaking! Often, kayak manufacturers produce paddles that are customized to fit certain kayak models. 

What is a dry bag?

A dry bag (waterproof bag) will keep your items safe and dry even if they fall out or get wet! They’re typically made to float and come in a variety of sizes and prices.

What’s the best seat for kayaking?

This depends on your comfort level, how long you plan to be out on the water, and whether you’ll be on large lakes or choppy ocean water. There are many seats (with prices ranging from $20 to $200) that you can choose from to fit your needs.

Have a Blast and Save Some Money!

Kayaking can be one of the most fun ways to get out on the water, so go out and try it! 

Before investing in an expensive kayak or spending money on fees for kayaking, try renting one first. If you love it, then go ahead and buy your boat to use whenever you want!