Kayaking is fun.
In fact, it’s amazing.
There’s nothing like being on the water with the wind in your hair and the sun on your cheeks.
Paddling is great exercise and a great adventure! Whether you are on the sea or going down the river, kayaking is the hottest trend in ocean sports and activities.
But where can you get your hands on one? It can be an intimidating search.
Looking for gear can be exhausting even for the most experienced kayaker.
What’s the best brand? How do I find gear that fits my budget? What kind of kayak am I looking for? Sometimes, it’s hard to know how to even get started when searching for the right gear.
Well put your fears to rest, because I have done the searching for you!
Below is a comprehensive guide to the best places for comparing and purchasing gear.
Streamlined and organized, this list will take the grunt work out of searching for your next perfect kayak!
#1 Major Sporting Goods Stores
Many big chain sporting retailers will have a wide variety of kayaks at a wide range of prices. Places like Dick's Sporting Goods, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and REI offer a great selection of different types of kayaks and paddles at various prices. You can buy them in person or on the stores website. Here are a few of the many sporting goods store that sell kayak gear.
1.Dick’s Sporting Goods
Sporting goods stores typically staff employees who are very knowledgeable about sports like kayaking. They can answer questions you may have about the function and performance of the different kayaks and paddles they sell. Often times, for an additional fee, the store will ship your kayak straight to your house. Major sporting good stores are always having sales too, so keep your eye out for some good kayak deals!
#2 Straight From the Brand
There are many different brands of kayaks that sell many different types, shapes and sizes. Depending on what type of kayaking you’re looking to do, most brands have something for everyone.
I’d like to start with my personal top choice, Malibu Kayaks. When I was a kayak tour guide at Van Damme State Park in Mendocino, California, we exclusively used Malibu brand kayaks. They are amazing sit on top kayaks that can be used for recreation or kayak fishing.
They sell long and narrow kayaks for more long distance activities like kayak backpacking. They sell short and wide kayaks for touring activities, like carousing through sea caves and they have kayaks with things like extra compartments for fishing and diving. They even have small, children-friendly kayaks for the little adventurers! This brand is definitely worth a look.
Another tried and true brand is Hobie. Hobie brand also has a great variety of kayaks and even greater prices. For example, the Mirage Pedal kayak has a rutter and feet pedals so you don’t have to paddle. They even have inflatable kayaks if you have storage restraints.
Old Town Canoes and Kayaks is probably my favorite brand of sit inside kayaks. They are long established, founded in 1898, and have a sparkling reputation. The Casting 140 is a great example of an excellent sit inside touring kayak. I like it because it has a great design for speed and efficiency, but is also very maneuverable.
Old Town also sells recreational sit-on-tops, fishing kayaks and inflatables. And they have a great accessory selection, such as seats and paddles.
To get more ideas of good brands to buy from, check out some of these reviews of top kayak retailers:
# 3 Department Stores
Some department stores, like Target, Walmart and Costco, offer outdoor sporting goods. They are a good place to check for kayaks at a lower price. The Sun Dolphin Aruba, for instance, is a great sit-on-top sold at Walmart for the impressive price of $240.00. Target has an inflatable kayak for only $149.00. If you want a brand new kayak on a budget, department stores like these are a great option. They also offer shipping world-wide.
# 4 Local Retailers
Wanna support small business? Many towns and cities across the country have smaller kayak shops where you can find your gear and get expert information. For instance, if you live in Concord, New Hampshire, check out Quickwater Canoes and Kayaks. They offer kayak rentals, sales and repairs, as well as kayak accessories and lessons. Live on the west coast? Southwind Kayak Center in Irvine, California has a great selection of kayaks and gear! It’s easy to find a shop near you. You can use any online search engine or your local telephone book.
If you want to extend your reach and open up your kayak purchasing options, you can check out our top kayaks main page for some reviews on the best overall kayaks on the market!
#5 On a Budget? Buy Used!
If you are looking to get a great deal, try used sources like eBay, or Letgo. I have scored some major deals on kayaking gear from ebay.com. eBay is an online store that sells used goods at auction or for immediate sale. You can type in what kind of kayak you are looking for in their search engine and a list of available kayaks will appear. You can search by price, brand or style. It’s very convenient, it’s safe and it’s a great source for used gear.
Other online used stores I really love are letgo.com and craigslist.org. They are a user to user interface where people can buy and sell used goods, like kayaks. You can search for things by location and price, and they are secure, so you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off. Most of the time you can meet with the seller in person but sometimes people will mail things to you for a fee. Kayaks like these on Craigslist sell for a great price and are in good shape.
Buying kayaks doesn’t have to be hard…
You can use this guide to take the stress out of buying a kayak. Now that you know where to look you can make an informed decision about the the kind of kayak you want at the price that is right for you. All you have to do is get that kayak and get out on the water. Happy paddling!