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45 Best Kayaking Gift Ideas

45 Best Kayaking Gift Ideas

Whether the kayaker in your life is about to celebrate another lap around the sun or you just feel like surprising them, you’ll benefit from the best kayaking gift ideas. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion for you to help that special kayaker be more prepared for their time on the water.

Kayaking is kind of like that children’s book titled, If You Give a Moose a Muffin. When you get a kayak, you then need the right kind of kayak paddle, a kayaking life vest, kayaking sandals, and a host of other safety and rescue equipment that you might not even know how to use yet.

Still, being prepared is about more than just having the right tools at your disposal when the need arises. That is why we strongly encourage all beginners to take a few lessons or sign up for a guided kayaking tour with an educational component.

Taking lessons or an educational tour will teach you the basics of kayaking so that you can make good use of all your kayaking essentials. That way, you don’t just look like a seasoned, prepared kayaker, you actually are one.

No matter whether your kayaking partner has been complaining about wanting to upgrade their PFD or you just noticed that they don’t have a cup holder on their kayak, these kayaking gift ideas will give you a lot of inspiration to give them the right gift–whatever the occasion.

Photo by sergua via Shutterstock

Best Kayaking Gift Ideas

  1. A New Kayak
  2. A Lighter Paddle
  3. An Upgraded PFD
  4. Kayaking Gloves
  5. Kayaking Shoes
  6. A Performance Kayaking Shirt
  7. Dry Bags
  8. Deck Bags
  9. A Kayak Cooler
  10. A Kayak Tackle Crate
  11. An Insulated Water Bottle
  12. A Full Brimmed Hat
  13. A Kayak Rudder Kit
  14. A New Multi-tool
  15. A Kayak Spray Skirt
  16. A Drysuit for Cold Weather Kayaking
  17. A Wetsuit
  18. Kayaking Sandals
  19. A Bilge Pump
  20. A Sponge
  21. A Throw Rope
  22. A Tow Rope
  23. A Paddle Leash
  24. Mounting Tracks
  25. A Kayak GPS Unit
  26. A Portable Fish Finder
  27. Kayak Fishing Rod Holders
  28. Kayak Fishing Rods
  29. A Kayak Cart
  30. A Kayak Cart for Rough Terrain
  31. A Kayak Trailer
  32. Kayak Roof Racks
  33. New Heavy Duty Tie Down Straps
  34. A Kayak Cockpit Cover
  35. New Hatch Covers
  36. A Waterproof Phone Case
  37. An Action Camera
  38. An Action Camera Mount
  39. A New Kayak Seat
  40. Performance Paddle Pants
  41. A Performance Paddle Jacket
  42. A Kayak Light
  43. A Kayak Utility Knife
  44. A Waterproof First Aid Kit
  45. A Kayaking Vacation!
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BKC PK12 Angler 12-Foot Sit On Top Solo Fishing Kayak w Trolling Motor (GreyCamo)
Wilderness Systems Pungo Glass Recreation/Touring Kayak Paddle | Fiberglass Blade | Adjustable Carbon/Fiberglass Shaft (220-240cm)
Stohlquist Men's Drifter Lifejacket (PFD)-Pistachio-L/XL
NRS Men's Half-Finger Marine Blue Paddling & Rowing 50+ UPF Boater's Gloves, M
Body Glove mens 3t Cinch-m Water Shoe, Black/Yellow, 11 US
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BKC PK12 Angler 12-Foot Sit On Top Solo Fishing Kayak w Trolling Motor (GreyCamo)
Wilderness Systems Pungo Glass Recreation/Touring Kayak Paddle | Fiberglass Blade | Adjustable Carbon/Fiberglass Shaft (220-240cm)
Stohlquist Men's Drifter Lifejacket (PFD)-Pistachio-L/XL
NRS Men's Half-Finger Marine Blue Paddling & Rowing 50+ UPF Boater's Gloves, M
Body Glove mens 3t Cinch-m Water Shoe, Black/Yellow, 11 US
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BKC PK12 Angler 12-Foot Sit On Top Solo Fishing Kayak w Trolling Motor (GreyCamo)
Title
BKC PK12 Angler 12-Foot Sit On Top Solo Fishing Kayak w Trolling Motor (GreyCamo)
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Wilderness Systems Pungo Glass Recreation/Touring Kayak Paddle | Fiberglass Blade | Adjustable Carbon/Fiberglass Shaft (220-240cm)
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Wilderness Systems Pungo Glass Recreation/Touring Kayak Paddle | Fiberglass Blade | Adjustable Carbon/Fiberglass Shaft (220-240cm)
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Stohlquist Men's Drifter Lifejacket (PFD)-Pistachio-L/XL
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Stohlquist Men's Drifter Lifejacket (PFD)-Pistachio-L/XL
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NRS Men's Half-Finger Marine Blue Paddling & Rowing 50+ UPF Boater's Gloves, M
Title
NRS Men's Half-Finger Marine Blue Paddling & Rowing 50+ UPF Boater's Gloves, M
Star Rating
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Body Glove mens 3t Cinch-m Water Shoe, Black/Yellow, 11 US
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Body Glove mens 3t Cinch-m Water Shoe, Black/Yellow, 11 US
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45 Best Kayaking Gift Ideas

1. A New Kayak

BKC PK12 Angler 12-Foot Sit On Top Solo Fishing Kayak w Trolling Motor (GreyCamo)

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This is the obvious place to start, but if your special someone has been paddling around a kayak since the late-1970s, an upgrade might be just what the doctor ordered. It doesn’t have to be something special, but today’s kayaks are lighter, faster, and come with a lot more comfort and amenities than models of old.

Here are some links to help your research:

2. A Lighter Paddle

Wilderness Systems Pungo Glass Recreation/Touring Kayak Paddle | Fiberglass Blade | Adjustable Carbon/Fiberglass Shaft (220-240cm)

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Believe it or not, all kayak paddles are not created equal and, in this case, weight does matter. A lighter paddle will reduce paddler fatigue and allow the person you give this paddle to have longer days on the water with more comfort and less energy expenditure.

These resources might be helpful on this front:

3. An Upgraded PFD

Stohlquist Men's Drifter Lifejacket (PFD)-Pistachio-L/XL

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First of all, every responsible kayaker should be wearing a properly sized and properly fitted PFD while they are on the water. If your special someone doesn’t have a comfortable PFD to wear or theirs is just looking a little worse for the wear, this is an excellent kayaking gift idea.

Check out some of your options:

4. Kayaking Gloves

NRS Men's Half-Finger Marine Blue Paddling & Rowing 50+ UPF Boater's Gloves, M

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The best kayaking gloves are an excellent thing to have on long kayaking trips or even just on days when the sun is struggling to break through the clouds. Insulating and protecting your hands from rubbing on the plastic shaft of your kayak paddle will make anyone’s kayaking experience a lot more comfortable.

5. Kayaking Shoes

Body Glove Men's 3t Cinch-m Water Shoe, Black/Yellow, 11

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As tempting as it is to go barefoot when you’re kayaking on a hot summer day, you just never know when you might unexpectedly end up in the water. If there happens to be anything sharp in the water below you, the person you give kayaking shoes to will be glad their feet aren’t getting all cut up.

Check out these collections to see if you find anything you like:

6. A Performance Kayaking Shirt

Columbia Men's Terminal Tackle Long Sleeve Shirt, White Cap/White Logo, Large

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All kayakers should be wearing sunscreen and commit to reapplying on a regular basis if they are going to spend hours out in the sun. However, a performance kayaking shirt can save you from lathering your entire body in sunscreen and allow you to stay out longer before your skin looks like the shell of a cooked lobster.

7. Dry Bags

Frelaxy Waterproof Dry Sack 5 Pack (3L,5L,10L,15L,20L), Ultralight Dry Bags, Outdoor Sack Keeps Gear Dry for Hiking, Backpacking, Kayaking, Camping, Swimming, Boating

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Dry bags are an essential item in any seasoned kayaker’s arsenal because they allow you to keep a variety of water-sensitive gear safe and dry until it is needed. Whether you just need a small dry bag for a day trip or a larger one to pack for a kayak camping trip, they will always come in handy.

This resource might help you select the right size dry bags for your gift recipient:

8. Deck Bags

Attwood Deck Storage Bag, Yellow

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If the person you’re giving this gift to already has dry bags but they still don’t have enough space to keep all of their essentials protected from the elements, a kayak deck bag might be the perfect give to expand their kayak’s storage capability.

9. A Kayak Cooler

Yahacker Kayak Cooler, Waterproof Seat Back Cooler for Kayaks with Lawn-Chair Style Seats, Kayak Accessories Cooler Bag, Portable Ice Chest Cooler for Kayaking, Travel, Lunch, Beaches & Trips (Green)

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Nobody likes enjoying a warm beverage after they’ve been on the water for three hours on a 95-degree summer day. Give the gift of a cold, refreshing beverage by rewarding the kayaker in your life with an insulated cooler that’s made to fit right on the back of their kayak seat.

There are several types of kayak coolers, so these resources might help you narrow it down:

10. A Kayak Tackle Crate

Wilderness Systems Kayak Crate | 4 Rod Holders | Kayak Tackle Storage | Fits Most Kayaks, One Color

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A Kayak tackle crate is an excellent gift for the kayak angler in your life. Instead of constantly worrying about fishing tackle out of an awkward satchel that isn’t waterproof, they can keep all their lures, line, and other fishing essentials properly organized.

11. An Insulated Water Bottle

Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Water Bottle with Insulated Spout Lid, 24oz, Midnight

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Every kayaker has to think about hydration, but the only way to make sure the water you’re drinking out there stays cold is by putting it inside an insulated water bottle. As a bonus, make sure the bottle has a way to clip or secure it to your kayak so it doesn’t float away if you capsize (my favorite solution is a simple carabiner).

12. A Full Brimmed Hat

Quiksilver Men's Bushmaster Sun Protection Floppy Bucket Hat, Black3, Large/X - Large

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Keeping the sun off your face, neck, and shoulders while kayaking will seriously extend how long you can stay out comfortably. You don’t see many folks attempting feats of long-distance kayaking without a full-brimmed hat to protect themselves from UV exposure.

13. A Kayak Rudder Kit

Borogo Kayak Rudder, Fishing Watercraft Canoe Boat Rudder (Nylon Glass Fiber) Replacement Parts Foot Control Steering System Kayak Accessories with Control Line Kit

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If your special someone frequently kayaks in a location that is susceptible to winds or ocean currents, a rudder kit might be the perfect addition to help them with tracking. Just make sure to double-check that the rudder kit you choose is compatible with their kayak.

Check out these resources to help:

14. A New Multi-tool

LEATHERMAN, Wave Plus Multitool with Premium Replaceable Wire Cutters, Spring-Action Scissors and Nylon Sheath, Built in the USA, Black

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There are so many potential uses for a good multi-tool when you’re kayaking that it would take far too long to list them out here. I once employed one to fix a broken rudder on day three of a five-day kayak trip, which would’ve called for someone to go out of their way to pick me up almost a hundred miles away from my destination if I didn’t have my multi-tool.

15. A Kayak Spray Skirt

Perception Truefit Spray Skirt | Kayak Spray Skirt For Sit Inside Kayaks | Size P7 thru P12

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Kayaking in adverse conditions isn’t for everyone, but it gets a whole lot more comfortable with one of the best kayak spray skirts. Not only does it keep water out of the cockpit of your sit-in kayak, but it also helps to trap your natural body heat to keep the lower half of your body warmer.

16. A Drysuit For Cold Weather Kayaking

Mookta Drysuits Women's Sailing Standard Nylon Kayaking Drysuit, Blue, Large

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If the kayaker you are looking to reward with a gift is always whining that they can’t kayak year-round, this is the perfect gift for them. This drysuit will help them stay warm and comfortable while they head out and kayak and you stay home by the fire.

17. A Wetsuit

NRS Rescue Neoprene Kayak Wetsuit-Black/Yellow-S

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If the kayaker in your life doesn’t require a drysuit for cold weather, but still needs more insulation than they currently have, maybe a wetsuit is the right gift idea. It’s also great for kayakers that use their vessels out on the sea and like to hop off for some free diving.

18. Kayaking Sandals

Teva Men's XLT 2 Hurricane XLT2 Sport Sandal, Black, 8 Medium US

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As we mentioned above, kayaking barefoot always sounds better than it really is in practice. If you know the person you’re shopping for won’t go for kayaking shoes, then maybe kayaking sandals are the right alternative to let their feet breathe while still offering protection.

19. A Bilge Pump

Perception Bilge Pump for Kayaks - Expels Water From Your Boat

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This is a must-have kayaking accessory for any of your friends that have a sit-inside touring or sea kayak. If you get any water inside the cockpit on that kind of kayak, one of the best kayak bilge pumps is the most efficient way to get it out.

20. A Sponge

Harmony Sponge

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For the last little bit of water that a bilge pump can’t remove, your friend will also need a proper kayaking sponge. It might sound funny, but this accessory is the difference between a wet cockpit and a dry, comfortable kayaking experience.

21. A Throw Rope

Best Marine Water Rescue Throw Bag with 70ft Rope. Throwable Safety Device for Kayaking, Boating, Lifeguard & Ice Fishing Emergency Kit. Boat & Kayak Accessories. Search & Rescue Gear Equipment

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If your special kayaker is frequently teaching new people the basics of kayaking, a throw rope is a great gift. While this piece of kayak rescue equipment is more commonly used by whitewater kayakers, it can be employed in many scenarios to help bring a swimmer to a safer location.

22. A Tow Rope

Perixir Dock Bungee Lines for Boats, Dock Lines with Carabiner, Boat Ropes for Docking, Kayak Jet Ski Boat Accessories Marine (Green 2 Pack)

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As a kayak guide, I have needed a quality tow rope for the latter half of a trip one too many times (once is too many, FYI). That said, a tow rope is really helpful if you kayak with kids because it allows you to help with keeping their kayak straight or keeping them moving when they’re busy taking in the surrounding scenery.

23. A Paddle Leash

WONITAGO Stretchable Kayak Paddle Leash, Coiled Rod Leash Tool Lanyard for Kayak and SUP Paddles, Fishing Poles Rods,1 Pack

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Your favorite kayaker will never lose their paddle again with a quality paddle leash attached to their personal watercraft. The leash gets anchored to a hard point on your kayak and then wraps around the shaft of your kayak paddle to make sure your kayak and paddle stay together, no matter what happens out there.

24. Mounting Tracks

Scotty #440-BK-8 Low Profile Track (8-INCH)

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Mounting tracks are one of the coolest gifts you could give to a seasoned kayaker because they allow them to customize their setup. These tracks can be installed on a flat surface and allow you to attach an almost-unlimited number of kayak accessories and equipment once they’re installed.

25. A Kayak GPS Unit

Garmin Montana 700, Rugged GPS Handheld, Routable Mapping for Roads and Trails, Glove-Friendly 5" Color Touchscreen

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A kayak GPS unit is precisely the kind of equipment that attaches perfectly to the right set of mounting tracks. So you might help improve your kayaker’s organization and navigation ability with a pair of the best kayaking gift ideas.

26. A Portable Fish Finder

Garmin Striker Vivid 4cv, Easy-to-Use 4-inch Color Fishfinder and Sonar Transducer, Vivid Scanning Sonar Color Palettes (010-02550-00)

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If you really want to go over the top and the kayaker you were shopping for with the previous two choices likes to fish, then a portable fish finder is the way to go. It will put them on fish faster and more reliably than even their honed angling skills can.

27. Kayak Fishing Rod Holders

RAILBLAZA Rod Holder II and Starport HD Base

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For a great gift idea for kayakers that are really getting into fishing while they’re out there, rod holders allow them to bring more rod and reel combinations without them constantly getting in the way, which minimizes the time they’ll have to spend changing bait and tackle between casts.

Here are a few resources to help you shop for this kayaking gift:

28. Kayak Fishing Rods

Sougayilang Fishing Rod Reel Combos,Portable Telescopic Fishing Pole Spinning reels for Travel Saltwater Freshwater Fishing(Blue1.8m/5.89ft-2000)

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If you help your special kayaker add storage capacity with extra fishing rod holders, then he or she might also need a few new kayak fishing rods to put in those holders. Kayak fishing rods are available for many different types of fishing, so you may want to casually get a better idea of what they’re fishing for before you commit to buying a specific rod.

29. A Kayak Cart

Xproutdoor Wistar Universal Kayaks Cart, Canoe Carrier Trolley, 220LB Capacity Dolly for Kayak, Canoe, Float Mats, Jon Boat, Heavy Duty Aluminum

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Simply getting your kayak from your car to the water can be quite the chore sometimes, which is where one of the best kayak carts comes into play. These carts are great for paved walkways or maintained trails and they allow you to simply roll your kayak down to wherever you are launching.

If you’re creative, you might also be interested in how to build a DIY PVC kayak cart.

30. A Kayak Cart for Rough Terrain

Pelican - Universal Canoe, Kayak & Stand Up Paddle SUP Cart Carrier - Fold Together Trolley with Wide Removable Inflatable Tires

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If the kayaker you are shopping for loves to seek more remote or rugged destinations, they may not always have the easiest path to get their kayak from the car to the water. In that case, one of the best kayak carts for rough terrain will make life much easier when the path to the water isn’t so smooth.

31. A Kayak Trailer

Ironton Personal Watercraft and Boat Trailer Kit - 610-Lb. Load Capacity

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Let’s be honest: lifting your kayak on and off your roof isn’t always easy. If you are looking to make kayak transportation easier for your special someone, consider getting them one of the best kayak trailers that they can tow.

32. Kayak Roof Racks

Leader Accessories Kayak Rack 2 Pair J Bar for Canoe Surf Board SUP On Roof Top Mount Crossbar with 4 pcs Tie Down Straps

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For a slightly easier and cheaper solution to kayak transportation, roof racks might also be a great kayaking gift idea. There are many different styles, so here are a few resources that might be helpful:

33. New Heavy Duty Tie Down Straps

NRS 1.5" Heavy Duty Straps 15' Pair Iconic Blue

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Whether the person you are gifting straps their kayaks onto a roof rack or loads them into the bed of their truck, they are going to need a quality pair of heavy-duty tie-down straps to keep things secure.

34. A Kayak Cockpit Cover

Seals Kayak Cockpit, Black, 5.2

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When a sit-inside kayak needs to go into storage, the cockpit should be covered to keep out moisture, critters, and anything else that can cause it damage. The best way to do that is with one of the best kayak cockpit covers.

35. New Hatch Covers

Access Hatch Cover Deck Hatch Cover Hatch Deck Plate Kit Cover Waterproof Deck Inspection Plate for Marine Boat Kayak Canoe

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If you are looking for a gift for someone that has an older sit-inside kayak that has seen a little wear and tear, new kayak hatch covers might be the perfect gift to restore their kayak’s waterproof storage capacity.

36. A Waterproof Phone Case

Pelican 1040-027-100 1040 Micro Case (Yellow/Clear)

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Eliminate your favorite kayaker’s worries over whether or not they can bring their phone on their kayak by gifting them a waterproof phone case.

37. An Action Camera

GoPro HERO8 Black E-Commerce Packaging - Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos Live Streaming Stabilization

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A GoPro or really any other type of action camera can be a great gift to help your kayaker capture their time on the water, especially for whitewater kayakers.

38. An Action Camera Mount

RAILBLAZA Action Camera Adaptor

 

If you get your special kayaker an action camera, then an action camera mount is a great additional accessory for hands-free filming.

39. A New Kayak Seat

Valwix Inflatable Seat for Kayaks with Back Support, Adjustable Seat for Sit On Top Kayaks, Compatible for Stand Up Paddle Boards & Fishing Boats

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A lot of people overlook the importance of a good kayak seat, but rewarding your friend with one of the best kayak seats can really make their time on the water much more comfortable.

40. Performance Paddle Pants

NRS Rio Paddling Pants-Charcoal-L

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When the rain and wind would make the normal kayaker very uncomfortable, your friend will remember they have a rainproof and wind-resistant set of pants to keep them warm if you go for this gift.

41. A Performance Paddle Jacket

NRS Rio Paddling Jacket-Blue-M

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This one can easily be paired with the former selection for more all-around comfort when the weather isn’t great.

42. A Kayak Light

RAILBLAZA Visibility Kit II with MiniPort Track Mount Kayak Flag with Light

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One of the best kayak lights is a great gift for the paddler that seeks sunrise or sunset adventures.

43. A Kayak Utility Knife

NRS Co-Pilot Knife - Black

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Get your special someone a kayak utility knife so they have it close at hand in case of an emergency.

44. A Waterproof First Aid Kit

NRS Ultra Light Paddler Medical Kit

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It’s not a matter of if, but rather a question of when a waterproof first aid kit will come in handy for kayakers.

45. A Kayaking Vacation!

Photo by Kuznetcov_Konstantin via Shutterstock

Finally, there might be no better way to reward the special kayaker in your life than to give them the gift of a kayaking vacation in a destination they have always dreamed of paddling. Some top spots that come to mind for me include The Inside Passage from Seattle up towards Alaska, Isle Royale National Park in Michigan, and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

That said, you know the person you are giving this gift to the best. So feel free to exercise your creativity and go for a thrill-seeking kayak vacation or something more chill and relaxing with plenty of time to soak in the sun.

Final Thoughts

Photo by yevgeniy11 via Shutterstock

Now the only question is whether you are going to buy just one of the best kayaking gift ideas for that special someone, or multiple.

We hope you have enjoyed and benefited from this collection of kayaking gift ideas and we wish you the best of luck surprising the kayaker in your life with whichever gift you choose!

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Best Kayaking Gift Ideas

Author: Peter SalisburyPete is the Owner of KayakHelp.com. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When he’s not out on the water, you can find him skiing in the mountains, reading his favorite books, and spending time with his family.

Welcome! I’m so glad you are here :-) I’m Pete. I am the owner of KayakHelp.com. I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When I am not out on the water, you can find me skiing in the mountains, reading my favorite books, and spending time with my family.