It is never a bad time to give the kayaker in your life a great gift. Like many sports, kayaking requires a lot of safety equipment and accessories that many kayakers take years to acquire all on their own.
In fact, building out your collection of kayaking gear is a lifetime endeavor for many passionate kayakers. This is especially true if you like several different types of kayaking because they all require different gear.
Whitewater paddlers use different paddles and safety equipment than your casual touring kayaker for example. Not to mention, your friend’s kayaking preferences are likely to change throughout their lifetime.
So that full-brimmed kayaking hat could get swapped out for a kayaking helmet next year if one is overtaken by the thrill of running big whitewater rapids. All that said, it helps to have a lot of ideas when you are shopping for a kayaker.
To that end, we have put together a collection of the 40 best gifts for kayakers. We hope this list gives you plenty of ideas to surprise the kayaker in your life with an awesome gift whenever you plan to give it!
Photo by Dudarev Mikhail via Shutterstock
Table of Contents
- 1 40 Best Gifts for Kayakers
- 1.1 1. A Paddle Saddle
- 1.2 2. Waterproof Speaker
- 1.3 3. Paddle Pants
- 1.4 4. An Upgraded PFD
- 1.5 5. Neoprene Socks
- 1.6 6. A Dry Bag Backpack
- 1.7 7. A Comfortable Headlamp
- 1.8 8. Paddling Gloves
- 1.9 9. Floating Sunglasses
- 1.10 10. The World’s Best Sunscreen
- 1.11 11. A Lighter Paddle
- 1.12 12. NRS Knife
- 1.13 13. A More Rugged Kayak Cart
- 1.14 14. Binoculars
- 1.15 15. Cockpit Cover
- 1.16 16. Kayak Compass
- 1.17 17. A Waterproof Phone Case
- 1.18 18. Paddle Grips
- 1.19 19. A Handheld GPS
- 1.20 19. Portable Fishfinder
- 1.21 21. Paddle Leash
- 1.22 22. Hydration Pack
- 1.23 23. A New Cooler
- 1.24 24. A Breathable Kayaking Shirt
- 1.25 25. A Paddle Jacket
- 1.26 26. A Spray Skirt
- 1.27 27. A Waterproof Power Bank
- 1.28 28. Kayak Light
- 1.29 29. GoPro Camera
- 1.30 30. A Deck Bag
- 1.31 31. Fishing Rod Holders
- 1.32 32. A Multi-Tool
- 1.33 33. Electric Kayak Pump
- 1.34 34. Easy-Load Kayak Roof Rack
- 1.35 35. Paddle Float
- 1.36 36. Water Shoes
- 1.37 37. Adventure Sandals
- 1.38 38. A Kayak Storage Cover
- 1.39 39. A Guided Kayaking Trip
- 1.40 40. An Actual Kayak!
- 2 Final Thoughts
- 3 Enjoyed 40 Best Gifts For Kayakers? Share it with your friends so they too can follow the Kayakhelp journey.
1. A Paddle Saddle
This saddle from Yakpads provides insulation against heat and cold. It also offers easy installation and exceptional adjustability so that the kayaker in your life can enjoy more comfortable lumbar support than he or she has ever experienced before.
There’s no right or wrong choice, but if you know your friend or a family member falls into the latter category, make sure he or she can jam out on their kayak without worrying about water splashing onto their speaker.
3. Paddle Pants
Paddle pants will not keep you 100% dry if you fall in, but they do a great job at keeping out splashing water and rain. They also provide great insulation against the wind on cold days.
That being said, many long-time kayakers fall in love with the snug comfort of their old PFD, even if it’s worn out to the point of being ineffective for its intended use. If you know an old kayaker with a PFD they bought back in the 90s, it might be time for an upgrade.
Neoprene socks are a great gift for the kayaker in your life that just seems to keep getting cold feet. These kinds of socks are available in varying thicknesses, so the colder the temps in your region, the thicker the socks you’ll need to find.
This gift is also great for days out on an expensive fishing boat or your friend’s ski boat. It carries just like a regular backpack but will keep your gear dry if it starts to rain or the bag accidentally gets dropped overboard.
Check out the Bilby headlamp made by a company called Knog. It provides so many different lighting modes that you’ll almost lose track of them and the silicone headband cleans up so easily that it doesn’t take much to keep it looking brand spanking new.
Other advantages to paddling gloves include improved grip on your kayak paddle and decreased finger and hand fatigue. If you’ve never experienced hand fatigue when kayaking, it just means you haven’t paddled long enough…yet!
Rheos Gear has nearly defied the laws of physics (actually they’ve just used them to their advantage) to create sunglasses that are literally lighter than the amount of water they displace. In plain terms, that means they float if you accidentally drop them in the drink!
11. A Lighter Paddle
Having a lighter paddle means having to exert less effort to propel your kayak forward. As you might imagine, having to exert less effort with each paddle stroke means the ability to explore more before you wear out!
12. NRS Knife
There are so many uses for this kind of knife when you’re a kayaker. Hopefully, your friend just uses it to cut the occasional apple, but it might become a life-saving device in a critical moment of need.
Kayak carts for rough terrain offer larger, never-flat tires and the ability to make it over larger rocks, tree roots, and even through deep sand. They’ll make it much easier for your lucky gift recipient to roll their kayak down to harder-to-reach boat ramps too!
15. Cockpit Cover
This gift is only for kayaks with a defined cockpit (aka it won’t work for sit-on-top kayaks). It goes around the rim of the kayak’s cockpit to seal it from dust, rain, falling leaves, critters, and anything else that tries to make a temporary home inside there.
16. Kayak Compass
The cool part about these compasses is that they can attach temporarily to your kayak so that you don’t lose them if you flip over. Plus, they’re waterproof and can be easily removed if you need to use them for overland navigation.
17. A Waterproof Phone Case
This is one gift that is worth spending a little more to get quality. There are lots of “waterproof” phone cases out there, but we trust Pelican’s line of Micro Phone Cases as the best in the business.
18. Paddle Grips
19. A Handheld GPS
21. Paddle Leash
22. Hydration Pack
There are a lot of brands out there that make quality hydration packs, but we’re big fans of Osprey. Even if your kayak friend or family member doesn’t want to wear it the whole time, it’s a better way to store water than a clunky Nalgene.
23. A New Cooler
We all have our favorite beverages of choice when we’re preparing for a long day of paddling. Whatever yours is, you probably want it to remain cold until you’re ready to drink it, so consider gifting the kayaker in your life an upgraded cooler that will fit in a storage compartment or open hatch.
25. A Paddle Jacket
26. A Spray Skirt
It plays a major role in extending the comfortable kayak season into the late spring and early fall in colder destinations. In some places, it may even allow for more comfortable winter paddling, which is why you’ll find it on our cold weather kayak gear list.
27. A Waterproof Power Bank
28. Kayak Light
29. GoPro Camera
30. A Deck Bag
32. A Multi-Tool
35. Paddle Float
36. Water Shoes
38. A Kayak Storage Cover
39. A Guided Kayaking Trip
Photo by Gabor Sieto via Shutterstock
If the kayaker in your life is already laden down with gear, then consider gifting him or her a trip to a new kayaking destination. There are so many places that kayakers love to explore, so do your homework and find a place that the kayaker in your life hasn’t explored yet!
40. An Actual Kayak!
The winter is a great time of year to find deals on new and used kayaks because it’s the offseason (in most places) and companies are more likely to be offering special promotions.
Photo by Me_Studio via Shutterstock
There is something for every kayaker in this list of the best gifts for kayakers. It doesn’t have to be expensive to make that kayaker feel special and give them a new toy to play with.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this gift guide for kayakers and found inspiration for your holiday shopping. As always, we wish you the happiest of paddling adventures to come!