Dads can be hard to shop for, but if you have one who is happiest on the water with his two blades your gift search this year is going to be easy. Celebrate your kayaking dad and make his paddling season the best ever with our selection of kayak gifts and essential gear for Father’s Day.
11 best kayak gifts for dad
1. The perfect paddle
If your dad is fueling his kayak adventures with a paddle that isn’t in great shape, buy him an upgrade suited to the kind of paddling he does most. From high-end carbon paddles for performance touring to budget-friendly recreational ones, our Paddling Buyer’s Guide has options for everyone.
2. PFDs to stay safe and comfortable
No matter what kind of paddling your dad likes, having a safe and good quality PFD is a must. Look for one that fits the style of kayaking he likes most. A PFD with lots of room for storage cases, tools and extra spool is a great gift for the kayak-fishing dad. For kayak touring, look for a PFD with more torso coverage and pockets for flares, spot devices, VHF radios and any other on-the-water essentials. If you are buying for the casual day paddler, a good bet is a PFD that maximizes comfort and has a small pocket for sunscreen and snacks. Some recreational and sit-on-top kayaks will have high seat backs, so if your dad paddles one consider a PFD with a thin or half-length back panel to make sure he is comfortable.
3. Happy feet mean a happy dad
Having warm, happy feet snuggled into high quality socks is a serious luxury while kayaking. Paddling socks are made from neoprene and are well insulated to keep feet warm, often provide more cushioning than regular socks and can even be thin enough to fit inside shoes. Is your dad paddling in chilly Pacific Northwest waters or in balmy Florida waves? Choose sock thickness based on the climate of his usual kayaking destinations.
4. Dry-tops and suits to stay warm
If you live in a cold water location or your dad just can’t put down the paddle come winter, a drytop or drysuit will completely change his kayaking experience, making him more comfortable and far safer. Made of waterproof fabrics, drysuits and dry tops are worn over insulating layers. Snug gaskets at the wrists and neck keep water out in the case of a swim and can greatly extend the amount of time having fun on the water in colder conditions. They can be pricey, but are a necessary piece of gear for the cold water paddler. And discover exciting places for dad to wear his warm paddling clothes in our Paddling Trip Guide.
5. A top-notch storage system
Help your dad show his kayak some love or just keep the garage uncluttered with a specialized kayak storage system. It doesn’t matter if he has just one kayak or a whole fleet, proper storage will greatly extend the life of his boat. Our Paddling Buyer’s Guide has everything from small systems for a single kayak to a six-piece rack.
6. Kayak carts for easy transportation
A cart for hauling his kayak from point A to B is a great gift for dad, allowing him to spend more time on the water and less dealing with transportation logistics. Kayak carts can even be rigged up to attach to bikes if he wishes to cycle to the water with his boat in tow.
7. Keep the adventurous dad safe with kayak‑touring gadgets
Want to help your dad stay safe or in touch on his kayak touring trip? There are a range of electronics he can take with him that can do everything from text messaging to sending a GPS location to emergency responders.
8. Waterproof bags for sensitive gear
Waterproof bags are necessary additions to a kayak trip, whether it’s a three-hour afternoon paddle or a three-week sea kayak expedition. Small dry bags can be used to pack a book, a lunch and basic first aid or emergency kits for day trips. On longer trips they are a convenient way to keep daily essentials close at hand and tents and other camping gear dry while packed within the kayak. For photographers, they provide a worry-free to way to bring expensive camera bodies and lenses on the water. Waterproof cases also allow you to safely bring along phones, tablets and other electronic devices.
9. Avoid chilly hands with paddling gloves
Whether you are a first-timer or a salty, seasoned kayaker, having insulated gloves can be a luxury. Gloves help prevent cold digits, blisters and chapping, and your dad will be grateful in windy, wet and wavy conditions to have cozy paws.
10. A dream paddling destination for dad
No kayak gift for dad is better than taking him on an epic kayaking adventure. Check out our Paddling Trip Guide and explore prime kayaking destinations all over the world.
11. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine
Now for a bit of self-promotion. Paddling Magazine is filled with inspiring adventure stories, insightful boat and gear reviews and gorgeous photos that will make you want to grab your paddle and get on the water right now. Give your dad a kayak gift that will last and subscribe here today.