Is Kayaking Expensive?

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Before you start kayaking, cost is one thing that you will probably be concerned with. The one question that you are probably asking yourself is, “Is kayaking expensive?”

Although kayaking may seem like the type of activity that would cost a lot of money to start, it can be relatively affordable if you do your research.

Don’t let that price tag deter you from getting into the sport of kayaking!

So.. How much does it cost to start kayaking?

The price of kayaking boils down these three questions you should ask yourself before starting:

  1. What kind of kayak do I need?
  2. How nice of a kayak do I need?
  3. How do I maintain my kayak?

What kind of kayak do I need?

The type of kayaking you plan on doing will impact what gear you need and will therefor affect the overall price. For example, if you plan on fishing in your kayak then you’re probably going to end up spending on fishing gear specifically for your kayak.

As you continue your research on the cost of kayaking be sure to include the cost of supplemental gear that you might need.

These things can add up over time depending on what you plan on doing.

Ask yourself what gear you actually need vs. what gear you want.

While there are also a lot of other items that you could buy for your kayak, ask yourself whether or not you’ll actually use it before you buy.

If the answer is no, then you can save some extra money by not buying that particular thing. For instance, if you are not going to be going kayaking out at sea for long periods of time, or if you don’t think that you’ll be going on long kayak tours, then you probably will not need to get a GPS system for your kayak

Note: You should always make sure that you have all the necessary safety gear. Every kayak should have a first aid kit in the hatch, and you should always wear a personal flotation device for your own safety.

Also – ask yourself whether or not you need to get the best supplies. While it would be nice to have the best of everything be sure to look at what would be sufficient first.

Lastly, read up on types of kayaking and the kind of gear associated with kayaking if you haven’t already!

How nice of a kayak do I need?

The most expensive thing that you will buy is your kayak. As you look online you’re probably asking yourself,

“What is the difference between a $300 kayak and a $1500 dollar kayak? They both float right??”

Well that’s true. Hopefully.

In addition to its ability to float the comfort, material, and shape of the kayak will affect its price.

  1. Comfort – If you are planning on touring with your kayak then you probably want to spend a little extra on a comfortable seat that supports your back.
  2. Material – Material affects the longevity and durability of your kayak as well as the overall weight of your kayak.
  3. Shape – This will affect the speed of your kayak as well as the balance of your kayak.

As you become more experienced in kayaking you’ll realize there are other factors as well but for beginners these three are the most impactful.

As your kayak gets comfier, has nice material, and has a better shape the price will go up.

To find an affordable quality kayak try to find a balance of these three qualities that suits your needs!

If you want to read more about how to buy a kayak check out our buying guide or our how to buy a used kayak article. In addition, check out this article on what makes a quality from Great Outdoors lab.

How do I maintain my kayak?

Another way that you can make sure that you don’t spend too much money on kayaking is by maintaining your kayak. The better you maintain your kayak the less money you’ll have to spend on repairs and it will last much longer.

Considering the types of repairs that might be needed on a badly cared for kayak – it could start to get expensive.

How to maintain your Kayak

Regardless of what kayak you buy you should always make the effort to maintain your kayak regularly.

Anything else?

The final thing I would add is – Do your research. It will only benefit you in the long run!


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