Perhaps you are looking for a gift for a friend who is an avid kayaker. Or maybe you want to buy one as a family activity on the weekend. Whatever your reason, it can be difficult to know when is the best time of year to order a kayak.
Consider The Seasons
Summer or winter – which one is the perfect time to purchase a brand new kayak? Winter is the perfect time for skiing, so if you are looking to buy a kayak in wintertime, it will be difficult. Kayaks need to be stored outside and they require special care when not in use. For those reasons, many kayakers store their kayak during the off-season out of concern that they might get damaged.
In summer months though, kayaking can provide a welcome break from the heat at your favorite body of water:
- Riverside parks offer shady paths where people come together with friends and family
- Lakes allow for refreshing dips on hot days
- Open ocean waters can provide a much needed respite from intense heat.
Think about your budget and how much money you want to spend on a kayak. With a tight budgets, you might consider purchasing used kayaks. However, if you can afford to spend a few bucks more, it is often advised to buy new kayaks because they have better built-in quality and last longer compared to second hand kayaks.
Kayak companies offer different styles of boats with varying price ranges based on the size of boat and materials that it’s made out of. You can find small, inexpensive options online from reputable brands such as Dagger Kayaks or Wilderness Systems which offer great customer service and an active community forum where users share their experiences.
Different Kayak Types
Look at what type of kayak would be best for your needs.
- Sit on top kayaks are best for beginners because they’re easier to get in and out of, lighter weight and have a lower center of gravity which makes them more stable.
- Tandem kayaks are perfect if you plan on going with friends or family members that want to go together but don’t know how to paddle.
- Recreational sit inside kayaks work well for people who like the feeling of being inside their boat while paddling and enjoy fishing as an activity.
- Touring kayaks allow users to stay warm by having lots of storage space, padding along the hull, larger cockpits at higher prices points – this is your all around do it all type model.
Ask A Friend
Ask friends who have purchased a kayak before – what they recommend and why they like their choice. Ask him or her about the pros and cons of the kayak. Ask him/her about the stability of the kayak and whether or not he/she is enjoying kayaking.
Ask these following questions:
- Have you ever purchased a kayak before?
- What model did you purchase and why did you buy that one in particular?
- Do you recommend the kayak to others who are looking for new models or do they have any cons (i.e.: too bulky, not enough stability)
- How is your experience with the company that sold it to you? Are their customer service representatives good at answering questions related to how best maintain the product over time? If so, what were some of those answers like?
Ask More about Warranty
Make sure the store offers warranties on their products so that if something goes wrong with your purchase, they can fix it free of charge.
It is important to ask about the length of this warranty as well, since some retailers offer a lifetime warranty on their products while others only have one year.
Some stores also do not give warranties at all and you will need to purchase it separately for an additional charge.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.