If you have a taste for adventure, you probably want to go kayaking. Finding the right kayak may seem a bit intimidating because of all the different options to choose from, and you’re probably thinking about cost. Today, I’ll answer the question: how much does a kayak cost? I will also reveal some tips to save money.
Average Cost of Kayaks
Probably the first and most important thing that people consider when choosing a kayak is the price.
Generally, kayaks for lighter and more casual use are less expensive and can start between $200 and $300. Don’t confuse these with kayaks made of premium materials like fiberglass and kevlar that are lighter in weight. These high-end lightweight kayaks are usually higher on the price spectrum.
Kayak prices also vary depending on their steering and propeller systems.
Manual kayaks will be less expensive than motorized kayaks, which can range from $2,000 and up.
Overall, kayaks can vary in price, ranging from as low as $200 to as high as $3,400.
To get the right kayak, you have to know what features you need in order to get the best deal.
Price Range Comparison
As I talked about earlier, kayak pricing varies by type. To help give you a better idea of what to expect, I have put together this table comparing different kayak varieties and their price ranges.
|Type of Kayak
|Typical Price Range
|Pedal Drive Kayaks
Features and Pricing : How Different Features Affect Cost
Aside from the type of kayak, the watercraft’s specific features also affect price. This includes things like brand, size, material, and additional add-ons such as seats, storage, and steering mechanisms.
How Kayak Brand Affects Pricing
How much do brand names really matter? When it comes to kayaks, you may be surprised.
There are many different kayak brands on the market to choose from.
Looking for well-known and highly respected brands is a good approach. They’re popular for a reason.
The most prominent kayak brands have earned their reputations because of the durability and quality of their watercrafts, as well as their customer service and satisfaction guarantees.
Here are a few well-known brands and their different price ranges for measure:
Recreational Equipment Inc., also known as REI, is a household name when it comes to all types of camping gears and recreational equipment. They have a variety of kayaks available, such as inflatable kayaks starting at $400 to pedal system kayaks at $4,000.
REI offers different types of sporting equipment as well as educational resources you can take. It’s a top brand when it comes to variety and customer satisfaction.
Mountain Equipment Company is known for its sustainable manufacturing practices.
This company partners with acclaimed manufacturers known for ethical sourcing. Also, MEC has different types of kayaks available, ranging from children’s kayaks starting at $324 all the way up to lightweight fibreglass sea kayaks starting at $5,000.
If you are looking for a brand that values sustainability and durability, you may want to consider purchasing an MEC kayak.
Dagger kayaks are well known in the kayaking community and are best known for their higher quality, durable kayaks meant for adventuring.
At Dagger, you can find white water kayaks starting at $829 and touring kayaks starting at $1,679.
This is a brand geared to more experienced kayakers looking for high-quality and more sophisticated kayaks and willing to spend the extra money they cost.
This includes kayaks with high maneuverability that can do well across various terrains.
How Kayak Size Affects Pricing
When we talk about kayak sizing, this refers to the length, weight, and capacity the kayak can hold.
Kayaks that are longer in length and more slender are typically made for higher maneuverability through rougher courses and white water, bringing their price more up towards the $1,000 and above range.
Kayaks that are wider, on the other hand, are usually meant for more recreational use and can be found in the $500 range.
When we talk about weight, kayaks that are lighter in weight are generally more expensive due to the material, in comparison to bulkier kayaks.
When we talk about carrying capacity, it tells you the total amount of weight that the kayak can safely handle. This weight includes all the people who will be in the kayak, as well as all your gear.
Kayaks are available in both solo and tandem models. Tandem kayaks are made for two people, and they’re typically more expensive because they need more materials and features.
How Kayak Material Impacts Price
The materials used to make a kayak plays an important part in how it is priced.
As mentioned, lightweight kayaks are more expensive.
In most cases, more affordable kayaks are heavier. However, kayaks below the $500 mark are usually inflatable or made from heavier molded polythene.
Going higher to mid range pricing, you can find thermoform kayaks. And at the highest price points you can find kayaks made from durable composite materials, carbon fibers, and even Kevlar.
The general rule of thumb is the lighter the kayak, the heavier the price.
More Features = More Money
Brand, size, and material make the biggest difference in pricing but there are also other factors to weigh in such as storage, steering, and seating.
While these things don’t seem to make a big difference, the perfect combination of the three can make a huge difference in your overall comfort with the kayak of choice.
Storage makes a difference depending on what types of water and activities you will be taking on. This can also be where you want to consider sit in kayaks in comparison to sit on top kayaks which feature a closed deck, but less room to store your things.
Steering and propulsion are important and play a big role in the pricing scheme of kayaks.
If you have a kayak with manual steering and propulsion, you will have to use rudders and paddles to maneuver it. They’re much more affordable than motorized kayaks and kayaks with pedals, as those start at $2,000 and go for as high as $5,000.
If you’re planning to go kayaking by yourself, you should get a solo kayak. However, you’ll need a tandem kayak if you want to have a companion.
You’ll also want to think about the materials used for seating in kayaks. Some kayak seats are made from harder, molded materials, but you can find others that are made with padded, more flexible materials for comfort.
If you plan on long kayak trips, you will probably want to have a comfortable, padded seat.
Getting the Best Deal on a Kayak (my tips and tricks)
You can probably tell by now that kayaking isn’t the cheapest recreational activity. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things you can do to get a good deal on a great kayak.
Some tips and tricks include buying off season, buying last season, buying used kayaks, and even renting per day or per hour.
Buy Your Kayak in the Off Season
Kayaking season is typically in the spring, between March and May.
If you want to save money on your kayak, avoid buying it during this time of year. Instead, buy it at the end of peak season, such as during the winter.
Of course, you can also check out any deals available for seasonal sales, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Shop Last Season
Big brands come out with new kayaks every season, but you don’t have to buy the latest model. You’ll spend less if you buy a kayak from the last season.
One of the best ways to buy a kayak is to choose one of last year’s models when the current year’s models hit the market.
Buying Used Kayaks
Buying second hand is a great way to save money on almost anything. With kayaks, you should be extra cautious, as they have a high depreciation rate after the first few years.
In fact, a kayak will usually depreciate by 30% to 40% by the end of the first two years. This will vary based on the specific kayak’s condition.
When it comes to pricing for a second hand kayaks, the general rule of thumb is to expect to pay 50% of the retail price.
Of course, this will vary based on factors such as make, model, and how well the kayak has been maintained.
Renting vs Buying
If you’re still new to the world of kayaking and don’t know where to start, renting a kayak is a good first step. Kayak rentals typically go for about $24 per hour or $50 per day in some states.
The benefits of renting your kayak is not only for saving money and space, but also so that you can try a few different ones out and see which one suits your adventure the best before jumping for a brand new kayak of your own.
How Much Does a Kayak Cost? (it depends on the kayak)
Overall, kayaking is a great recreational sport with outstanding versatility. But you’ve got to have a kayak in order to go kayaking, so you have to think about cost.
Don’t rush when searching for the perfect kayak. Do your research and make sure that the model you choose will suit your needs.
Think about the type of kayak you want, the features that are important to you, and when and where to buy.
Then, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect watercraft for the next kayaking season.