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When Is The Best Time To Buy A Kayak?

Finding the right kayak for your needs can be a harrowing ordeal, mainly because these boats aren’t cheap products you should buy on a whim.

Before choosing which kayak to buy, it’s important to conduct extensive research on the various features, decide which ones are most suited to your preferences and budget, and find the best value you can afford.

Kayaks are available in almost every price range, but is there a way to get a better kayak model at a slightly lower price?

Figuring out the best time to buy a kayak depends on several factors: are you looking for a brand new kayak, the best kayak on the market, or a used kayak at a reasonable price?

Depending on the location and climate, some people may be selling their kayaks year-round, while in others, it may be best to look for a used boat just before the season begins when paddlers are looking for a new kayak. It’s also wise to search at the end of the season, when paddlers don’t have a place to store their boat.

Every year, kayak manufacturers release new models with somewhat varied or updated characteristics, based on the type of kayaking you want to do.

This type of boating falls into one of three categories: kayak racing, recreational kayaking, or kayak touring.

All of these are best suited for different kayak sizes and features, which results in a range of pricing for all the available kayaks in each category.

When To Buy A Used Kayak

Multiple used kayaks displayed on a rack

If you’re working within a limited budget, it’s important to be cautious when it comes to pricing.

There are a variety of options for purchasing decent kayaks and accessories at a more affordable price.

The first option is buying a used kayak, which may mean finding a seasoned kayaker who’s looking to upgrade to a newer model and is therefore selling their old one.

It’s relatively easy to find a secondhand kayak at any time of the year, especially if you live in a warmer climate where people tend to 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, in order to find a great deal.

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

Oftentimes, kayak owners often enjoy getting new accessories for the next season, and the only way to save space is by getting rid of their older ones.

Where Do I Find Used Kayaks?

To explore the best deals on used kayaks and accessories, you can visit local paddling clubs, garage sales, local stores, and flea markets.

The second option is to look for a used model on kayaking forums and various online marketplaces (like Facebook, eBay, and Craigslist.)

You may find lots of sellers hoping to get rid of older models.

If you take your time and browse through all of the available used kayaks that have the perfect combination of functionality and affordability, you’re likely to find a good deal and 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 also need to be careful not to get shortchanged.

Check out the kayak for weak spots, breakages, and cracks before making your purchase.

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

Before buying a used kayak, be sure to investigate how it was stored by the previous owner.

You also need to check the boat for fading or any other signs of exposure to harmful elements of weather.

In addition to examining the boat’s hull for any damage, if you can, take it for a test run before making your purchase.

The Best Time To Buy A New Kayak

Multiple brand new kayaks displayed inside a store

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 potentially find a deal on an older model – sometimes manufacturers can also offer you a good shipping discount.

Take Advantage Of The Seasonality

Like any other product, there are seasons and other occasions that offer the best times to find a kayak at a discounted price.

Oftentimes, you can find great deals that run seasonally during the spring and fall.

Manufacturers also tend to release newer models around the beginning of each kayaking season (in the spring), which is the sweet spot when it comes to excellent functionality and fair pricing.

Prices on newer models won’t be anywhere near as low as the cost of older, used kayaks – 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, which is when many retailers may be trying to get rid of older stock.

If you want to find 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.

Keep An Eye Out Around The Holidays

Retailers and online vendors often offer significant discounts during the holidays, so take advantage of these weeks.

While you can find sales all year round, the holiday season is definitely when you’re most likely to find the best deals.

For example, plan your kayak shopping around Black Friday or Memorial Day, when you can find deals at most stores.

Also, the month or two leading up to the Christmas season is also a good time to buy, as many stores offer sales and deals for gift-giving.

Participate In Demo Day Events

“Demo days” are a great way for potential kayak buyers to try out new boats on the market and find models that work best for their needs.

Additionally, sometimes sporting goods retailers offer kayakers a test drive for a small fee.

You can enjoy a fun day and get to go home with a kayak at a great sale price, plus accessories such as paddles, kayak carts, sandals, wet suits, and more!

When Should You Avoid Buying A Kayak?

Multiple people riding kayaks during peak paddling season

Now that we know the best times to buy a kayak, it’s also important to know the worst times to buy one. 

The answer is this: purchasing a kayak during the paddling season is an unfortunate decision.

In the U.S., the peak kayaking season runs from around mid-spring to the end of summer (which is roughly May–September).

There’s a basic rule of thumb that any product in-season will be in demand and therefore cost more, mainly because last-minute shoppers may be willing to spend top dollar.

That’s why it’s best to avoid peak season shopping if you can help it.

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

You also need to consider your budget before anything else.

Any high-quality kayak, whether new or used, will be an investment – so choose the best kayak according to your budget.

A high-quality, new kayak model can go for more than $1000, in addition to 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.

What Factors Should I Consider Before Buying A Kayak?

Since there are different types of kayaks that cater to varying forms of kayaking, the first things to consider is where you plan to kayak, how experienced you are, and what type of boat you’re looking for.

For example, there’s no need to buy a whitewater kayak if you’re an amateur paddler.

When in doubt, 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 making a huge investment.

The second factor should be your budget constraints.

Consider features such as the kayak’s length and what type of boat material you prefer.

Also consider things like how much legroom is available, the best accessories to go with your kayak, and where you’ll store your boat.

Where Should I Purchase A kayak?

You can choose to buy a kayak in person or online.

If you prefer to buy your kayak in-person, you can look at new kayaks during a demo day or at a retail store.

If you’re in the market for a used kayak, you can also try to connect with a local kayak owner.

There are numerous online platforms where you can find good deals and purchase your kayak (including common sites like eBay or Craigslist.)

You can also look for additional gear online – many kayakers who are selling used boats may even throw in a paddle, or other gear, for a better deal.


Kayaking is becoming increasingly popular, as people discover that this activity is a fun group activity and provides great exercise.

Buying your preferred kayak at the right time will not only save you money, but will also give you enough time to consider all of your options so that you make an informed decision.

If you’re looking for a fun hobby that you can do alone or with others, kayaking is a terrific option.

You can even mix kayaking with some of your favorite activities, such as fishing or meditating!

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