Tips on Buying a Kayak |

Reading Time: 4 minutes

What Are Tips on Buying a Kayak?

What are tips on buying a kayak? With dozens of kayak rental companies out there and even more retail stores, it can be difficult to find the right kayak for you.

So, to answer the question “what are tips on buying a kayak” it is best to first consider if you are a beginner or a seasoned kayaker.

Plus, I will offer what I have learned while purchasing our family kayaks from local box stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart.

Tips on buying a kayak for beginners

For beginners, it is best to buy a kayak that is light and easy to handle. These can be either used for a weekend trip.

When buying a used kayak, it is best to have an experienced kayaker help you with the entire process. The reason why is because of a few things:


It is best to buy a durable material that can withstand many bumps and scrapes.

This is especially true when you share a kayak among different family members.

Try to go with something that can withstand very rough situations.

Right Kayak

Make sure that the kayak that you choose has everything that you need for your trip.

This includes a place for water, food, a bilge pump, life jackets. kayak dolly and all the other fun things you might take with you.

If you are going on a very long trip, you might want to find one that comes with accessories for fishing and other water sports like snorkeling.

Tips on buying a used kayak

Good condition

A good tip for those that are looking to purchase a used kayak is to look for a used kayak that has been well maintained.

Any used kayak with a deep scratch that seems ready to show a hole all the way through is a Hard Pass. You don’t want this thing to fail on you at the wrong time.

Could you fix it up? Sure. If you know how to fix plastics and have time. But make sure the price reflects any damage or blemishes before purchasing.

Used kayaks present a great opportunity to save some money on a kayak purchase. There is certainly nothing wrong with buying a used kayak.

Check your local Facebook ads or Craigslist to see what is available. Wintertime is a great time of the year to find well-used kayaks for cheap.

Tips on buying a new kayak

Buying a new kayak from a retailer has its appeal. Shiny new kayak with all the bright colors and stickers untouched.

I bought my Swifty Perceptions from a local Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Twin Falls. It was during an Independence Day sale and prices were marked way down.

Lisa and I on our Swifty Perceptions at Pillar Falls, ID.

I believe the price I paid for my 9.5 Swifty was $299. Of course, I had to buy a paddle and a life jacket. The stores know you will need gear.

So they can sell the kayaks pretty cheap and then make their money on the accessories.

Over the months that followed, I upgraded my paddle and life jacket. Plus bought an anchor and a few other toys. They made money on me for sure.

But I was equally as happy. I’ve always been a fan of Swifty’s color patterns Very bright and vibrant…for now anyway. Right?!

Many companies today will take your money and offer you a warranty on their product.

New kayak warranties

One other tip that is essential is to make sure that you get a warranty on the kayak.

If you get a warranty on the kayak then you will not have to worry about replacing or repairing the kayak.

Making sure that you get a good warranty on the kayak is a very important part of the buying process.

In fact, it is one of the most important steps. A good warranty is not cheap, but it is worth it to find out that the kayak is safe and in excellent condition.

Tips on buying a kayak for non-noobies

If you have some experience with kayak rental, it is possible to get an amazing deal.

However, if you do not have any experience you may want to consider renting a kayak that you have not already tried before.

If you need a bigger kayak or a longer one, then renting the larger kayaks is a better idea.

Renting first can give you a great feel for how much you like or dislike a kayak. Much like test-driving a car before buying it.

The important thing to keep in mind when purchasing a kayak from a rental company is to make sure that the kayak is in excellent condition.


Buying a kayak has never been easier. Nowadays, you can easily find what you are looking for at rental websites or online.

I recommend always buying it in person so that you can try it out first. Of course, you could try it in person then order the same new model online. That might save you even more money in the long run.

Be sure to look for a company that offers good service as well.