What Kayak to Buy: Research the Options

When looking at what kayak to buy there are a variety of must-ask questions that need to be answered.

What Kayak to Buy

For instance, what is the intention of buying the paddle craft? What is the preferred type of paddling? What are the long-term goals of this activity? What do you hope to get from paddling? Are you in need of a solo or tandem kayak? Do you prefer a sit-in or sit-on-top kayak? What is the typical length of a paddling session? Plus, other considerations include the size (height and weight) of the paddler.

What kayak to buy?

Here are three things to consider in the process of determining the best kayak for you:


Make sure to invest time and effort into researching the different types of kayaks to avoid making an expensive mistake. Use print media or online resources to read up on the different kayak types and models, which can outline or compare the features and specifications.

Plus, the official sites of the kayak manufactures can be visited to get brochures or similar detailed information. Search for the kayak types that most matches the needs and compare the most preferred features and specs.


Use the service of the professional kayak outfitters to give advice and guidance on the wide-ranging choices related to kayaks. Plus, by visiting the stores in person you get to see the actual kayak close up as well as the different accessories in stock.

Most of the established outdoor world stores have experienced staff who can give first hand knowledge of the different choices.

Other reliable sources for information include the internet forums which give the option to ask a question and get back useful feedback and advice from others involved in this low-impact activity.

The information sourced from the websites and magazines can give a great start to identifying the preferred kayak, but this advice given is of course subjective and it is necessary to invest personal time to determine the best kayaking option.

Brand new Vs Pre-owned

While the brand new kayak is more expensive, it does come with the manufacturer’s guarantee and has the shiny-new look. But, for those in search of the more budget-friendly option, a pre-owned kayak is certain to be a practical option and there are many great bargains in the market.

Also, when looking at the second-hand kayak, don’t just be attracted by the low-price – the kayak still needs to match the specific needs to be a worthwhile investment.

Most of the kayaking online stores have a section for new or second-hand kayaks. Also, the auction and classified sites have plenty of options to find a potentially good investment at a great price. But, the inability to actually see in kayak in person when shopping online can present a variety of issues.

If possible, inspect the kayak in person. Minor scratches or marks shouldn’t be too off putting, although a thorough inspection of the bow and stern areas, under the cockpit, and under the seat is worthwhile. Plus, look for signs of wear or damage near the bolts or outfitting.