If you’re keen to try out paddling, “Where to buy a kayak?” is likely your first question. Your options for places to buy kayaks is dependent on your location; and the best place for you to purchase will depend on your aspirations in paddling and how much you are willing to invest in the sport. From big box stores to specialty retailers and the used market, there are plenty of places to buy kayaks.
Here are some tips on where to buy a kayak.
Where to buy kayaks near me
If you’re wondering where to buy a kayak locally you’re on the right track to finding the right boat for you. Not only does buying local support the regional economy, it also saves on your travel expenses (put that money towards a cool paddling trip!) and, most importantly, allows you to get first hand experience with kayak options before you buy.
There are three general places to buy kayaks locally. Big box department stores, including Walmart, TSC, Canadian Tire and Costco, sell entry-level recreational kayaks from brands like Pelican and Sun Dolphin at discount prices. They offer a great selection of basic kayaks, however these models are often low on performance and comfort and best for casual use. What’s more, sales associates at these outlets often have no experience in kayaking.
Big box outdoors stores like Bass Pro, Cabela’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods are a bit of a step up, selling recreational kayaks (and often fishing kayaks) from brands like Old Town, Perception and Ascend that offer more refined comfort and paddling performance at a higher price. Still, these are kayaks designed for use on sheltered water; those wishing to progress their skills in kayaking will “grow out” of these boats quickly.
Finally, paddlesports specialty stores and outdoor chains like REI and MEC offer higher-end day touring and sea kayaks from brands like Wilderness Systems, Current Designs and Boreal Design. The prices at these stores are much higher but the kayaks they sell are a better investment for those looking to make a stronger commitment to paddling. Specialty stores provide a more comprehensive shopping experience with trained and knowledgeable staff and the option to “try before you buy,” all critical advantages if you want to take paddling seriously.
Our online Paddling Buyer’s Guide is a great place to start your research. This comprehensive digital resource will guide you to the right style of kayak for your needs and relevant brands. From there, you can pinpoint the best places to buy a kayak for your application. Searching the relevant brands online also helps you find local places to buy a kayak.
Where can I buy a kayak online?
Buying a kayak online is a more risky procedure since it eliminates the option of inspecting a new kayak, sitting in it and trying it out before you make a purchase. This scraps the critical benefits of “trying a kayak on for size” to make sure a boat feels comfortable for your body and—in the case of higher end kayaks—assessing its performance on the water with a test paddle.
However, if you live in a more remote location buying online might be your best option in terms of gaining access to a larger selection of options. Most big box department stores, including Walmart and Costco, sell a wide array of entry-level recreational and fishing kayaks online. The choices are often vast and the prices are quite affordable if you’re looking for a kayak for casual use on calm water, and plan to paddle close to shore.
Big box outdoors stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Cabela’s and Bass Pro also offer online sales, and sell more refined recreational kayaks with better performance and comfort features. Finally, some paddlesports specialty retailers will also offer online or phone-order sales and assist with arranging delivery of your new day touring or sea kayak.
Buying online also gives you the option of tracking down a particular kayak brand and model that you are interested in, a definite asset for more experienced paddlers who know what they’re looking for. Regardless of your level of expertise, our online Paddling Buyer’s Guide will help you narrow down the choices of kayaks that are best for you and find the online retailers to complete your purchase.
Where to buy used kayaks
Wondering where to buy a used kayak? There are an abundance of used kayaks available if you know where to look. Searching “where to buy used kayaks near me” or “where to buy used kayaks online” will undoubtedly turn up listings on Facebook Marketplace, which is a great option to find bargains on second-hand kayaks.
A better way to secure a good used kayak is to contact outfitters at the end of the season and inquire about purchasing a used kayak from their rental fleet. Some retailers will also sell used kayaks—both former rentals and on commission.
It’s always critical to do your research in advance to know what type of kayak you’re looking at and whether or not it will fit your needs. The online Paddling Buyer’s Guide is a great place to find more information about every kayak on the market and glean other essential deals, such as retail prices, to know if you’re truly getting a good deal.
Once you’ve found a used kayak you like be sure to do a detailed inspection and take it out for a test paddle before buying. We’ve assembled a how-to guide on steps to take in making a wise used kayak purchase.
Where to buy kayaks by price
Many first-time, casual padders wonder where to buy cheap kayaks. If you’re looking for rock-bottom prices you’re best to start shopping for a kayak at a big box department store, such as Canadian Tire, Walmart or Costco, which sell many kayaks for under $500. These retailers specialize in cheap, entry-level recreational kayaks and fishing kayaks that will get you out on the water (albeit calm, sheltered water, and only for those who will stick to paddling close to shore) without breaking the bank.
Visit your favorite big box outdoor store, such as Bass Pro, SAIL or Dick’s Sporting Goods, If you want a little more performance and you’re willing to spend between $500 and $1,500 on a recreational or fishing kayak. These outlets sell kayaks with a bit more performance and comfort features for those who wish to take paddling semi-seriously. Once again, it’s important to bear in mind that kayaks sold in these types of stores are meant for use on calm and sheltered water where the response to a capsize would be swimming to shore.
Finally, specialty paddlesports stores are the best spot to buy a serious kayak for open water use. Yes, you’ll spend more money—but that’s the tradeoff in investing in a kayak that will allow you to develop your paddling skills and venture into more challenging conditions on large lakes and ocean coastlines.
Day touring and sea kayaks also have important safety features that allow you to venture further offshore and perform self- and assisted rescues in the event of a capsize. The other huge benefit of buying at a specialty store is the expert advice you’ll receive from staff in choosing the right kayak for your needs.
Where to buy kayaks by type
Big box department stores sell recreational kayaks for casual paddlers, families, kids and kayak anglers. Here you’ll find cheap, short, low-performance kayaks at outlets like Walmart and Costco, including inflatable kayaks that are easy to store in between use and sit-on-top kayaks that offer easy entry and exit on the water.
Meanwhile, big box outdoor stores like Bass Pro and Cabela’s offer better quality recreational kayaks and fishing kayaks, perfect if you want something a little more comfortable and refined but wish to paddle on sheltered, calm water. You may also find a limited selection of day touring kayaks in these locations, including models that are suitable for overnight kayak camping trips in sheltered locations.
If you want a high-performance sea kayak, shop at a paddlesports or outdoors specialty retailer like The Complete Paddler, Rutabaga, Alder Creek or MEC. These locations sell kayaks for dedicated paddlers who wish to invest in the sport and have a desire to develop their skills, venture into more advanced conditions and embark on multi-day kayak trips.
Finally, you’ll find good and bad examples of every type of kayak on the used market—with plenty of recreational kayaks for casual use listed on buy and sell platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Search outdoor-specific used gear forums such as MEC Gear Swap for used sea kayaks. Outfitters often sell rental day touring and sea kayaks at the end of the paddling season in August and September.
Where can I buy a clear kayak
See-through kayaks are hard to come by, especially in the typical places to buy kayaks. Manufacturers such as the Crystal Kayak Company offer consumer-direct sales. To get notified of used clear kayaks you can set up an email alert on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Also consider outfitters who offer clear kayak rentals and may sell off used boats at the end of the season.
Where to buy a fishing kayak
Fishing kayaks are easy to find in a variety of brick-and-mortar and online stores. If you’re looking to buy a cheap fishing kayak, you’ll find plenty of selection in the outdoors aisles of big box department stores like Walmart (and online as well). For something a little more high performance and comfortable, check out outdoor box stores such as Bass Pro and Cabela’s.
Where to buy tandem kayaks
Most big box stores sell a few tandem recreational kayaks, though this style is far less numerous than one-person models. Tandem sea kayaks are especially popular amongst outfitters in coastal areas; you may be able to find a used one at a discount price at the end of the year by purchasing from an outfitter rental fleet.
Where to buy a sea kayak
Your best to buy a sea kayak at a specialty paddlesports store, such as The Complete Paddler in Toronto; Alder Creek in Portland, Oregon; or Rutabaga in Madison, Wisconsin. Sea kayaks are a larger investment than recreational kayaks and it pays to make an informed choice.
You’ll find a better selection of good quality kayaks and expert advice at a specialty store. You can also find good deals on sea kayaks at season’s end by purchasing a used rental from an outfitter. Once again, you’re more likely to get good advice buying from a reputable outfitter.
Where to buy an inflatable kayak
An inflatable kayak is a great way to experience paddling without making a serious investment and committing to a boat that requires space for storage. Cheap inflatable kayaks are available from big box retailers like Walmart. Bear in mind that an inflatable kayak will never match the performance of a hard shell kayak.
Where to buy sit-in kayak
You can buy sit-in kayaks at a variety of places; where you buy depends on what type of sit-inside kayak you desire and how much you want to spend. For a cheap recreational sit-inside kayak go to a big box department store.
For something with a little more performance and comfort shop at a general outdoors store like Dick’s Sports. If you want a higher performance sit-inside kayak, such as a day touring or sea kayak, visit a paddlesports specialty store for the best selection and advice.
Where to buy kayaks by brand
Each retail store will often sell a different range of kayak brands, so it’s important to do your research beforehand to find out where to buy the best kayak for you. Here are some popular brands of recreational, day touring and sea kayaks and where to buy them.
Where to buy Advanced Elements kayak
Advanced Elements is a popular brand of inflatable kayak, perfect for beginner paddlers who are looking for a fun boat for casual use on sheltered water and easy rivers. Advanced Elements kayaks are available directly from the manufacturer by ordering online. Other retailers include Amazon and Walmart. Some paddlesports specialty stores carry Advanced Elements as well, including Western Canoe and Kayak in Abbotsford, B.C. and Frontenac Outfitters, east of Toronto.
Where to buy Ascend kayaks
Bass Pro is your best bet to buy Ascend kayaks. This brand produces a limited range of quality sit-inside and sit-on-top kayaks for anglers and sportsmen, and you’ll find good advice and a wide range of accessories at Bass Pro locations.
Where to buy Brooklyn kayaks
The Brooklyn Kayak Company produces plastic recreational kayaks for anglers and casual paddlers, as well as an angler-specific 14.75-foot touring kayak. The company sells its kayaks directly from its website, often with the perk of free shipping.
Where to buy Crescent kayaks
Crescent Kayaks is an American-made brand of fishing kayaks headquartered in Georgia. Online orders are available directly from Austin Canoe and Kayak, or you can visit one of many Crescent Kayaks dealers in the U.S. Southeast.
Where to buy Eddyline kayaks
This well-established brand of recreational, day touring and sea kayaks has a long list of dealers across North America. Eddyline kayaks are a little more expensive than other brands and buying one can feel like an investment. Shopping at a specialty paddlesports retailer will help you find the right boat and feel confident in your choice. You can book a test paddle with a retailer through the Eddyline website.
Where to buy Future Beach kayaks
You’ll have to keep a close eye on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace if you’re looking to buy a Future Beach kayak. The brand was amalgamated with Sun Dolphin, another manufacturer of cheap recreational kayaks, so your only option to find one is the used market.
Where can I buy a Hobie kayak?
Hobie makes a unique array of recreational and fishing kayaks that offer the option of paddling or pedaling, available in hardshell and inflatable designs. Wondering where can I buy a Hobie kayak? Check out your local REI Co-op if you’re based in the United States for a good selection.
Where to buy Hurricane kayaks
Finding out where to buy Hurricane kayaks is surprisingly easy. This niche manufacturer of lightweight plastic recreational and day touring kayaks has a large array of dealers in eastern North America—from Riverside Kayak Connection, near Detroit, to Canoe Country Outfitters in St. Petersburg, Florida—all of which offer custom orders.
Where to buy Jackson kayaks
Jackson Kayaks got its start in whitewater kayaking and remains a leading brand for hard-core river paddlers. However, the brand has expanded to offer day touring and fishing kayaks, which represent its most popular models. Jackson kayaks are available at paddlesports specialty stores across North America, including Trailhead Paddle Shack in Ontario and Rutabaga in the U.S.
Where to buy Lifetime kayaks
Lifetime kayaks are easy to find at big box department stores including Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco. They’re also sold at Dick’s Sporting Goods locations across the U.S. This brand of cheap recreational and fishing kayaks also offers free shipping on online orders from its website.
Where to buy Pelican kayaks
This common brand of entry-level recreational kayaks makes a huge selection of models, including sit-on-top, sit-inside and fishing kayaks, which are widely available in big box department and outdoors stores. In particular, you can buy Pelican kayaks at stores like Dunham’s Sports, Meijer and Gander Mountain in the United States, and at Canadian Tire in Canada. Pelican kayaks are also available to order directly from the manufacturer online.
Where to buy Old Town kayaks
Old Town makes a wide range of quality recreational, fishing, day touring and sea kayaks with an attention to detail and design that makes them a step up from discount brands. Old Town kayaks are widely available throughout North America. You can buy Old Town kayaks at outdoor stores like SAIL and REI, as well as at Dunham’s Sports and Bass Pro—and many others.
Where to buy Sun Dolphin kayaks
You can buy Sun Dolphin kayaks at many big box stores, including Dunham’s Sports and Academy Sports, as well as at Walmart, Home Depot and Canadian Tire. You can also buy Sun Dolphin kayaks online at Amazon.
Where can I buy a Vibe kayak?
Where to buy kayaks by location
Where to buy a kayak UK
There’s a well-established kayaking scene in the U.K. If you’re wondering where to buy a kayak in the UK, look to the coast. For instance, you’ll find a good selection at Kayaks & Paddles in Plymouth, as well as Kent Canoes in Sevenoaks. It’s important to remember that kayaks are commonly referred to as “canoes” in England.
The British Isles have a rigorous and well-established paddlesports training regime delivered by the British Canoe Union. Taking a course first and asking your instructor for tips on where to buy a kayak in the U.K. is a great place to learn key safety skills and receive expert guidance on finding the right kayak for you.
Where to buy kayak in Philippines
You’ll find several options for buying a kayak in the Philippines, including Kayak Domain in Cagayan de Oro. Visit beach and resort communities to find kayak rental options, with the potential to buy a used kayak at the season’s end.
Where to buy kayaks in Ireland
As with England, it’s important to note that kayaks in Ireland are often referred to as “canoes.” Similarly, look for retailers in coastal cities if you want to buy kayaks in Ireland. Specifically, County Cork features a number of outfitters and retailers where it’s possible to try kayaks, take courses and purchase the right model for your needs.
Where to buy kayak in Singapore
Wondering where can you buy kayaks in Singapore? There are a number of established locations to buy a kayak in Singapore. Kayakasia offers rentals so you can try before you buy. Similarly, the Aloha Sea Sports Centre provides rentals and sales.
Where to buy kayaks in Edmonton
There’s a great variety of places where you can buy kayaks in Edmonton. Where you should shop depends on what you’re looking for in a kayak. If you’re looking for a casual kayak for use in sheltered water, there are many big-box stores to investigate. Want something a little more specific? Try Cabela’s for a fishing kayak or Sport Chek or Atmosphere for a recreational kayak. If you want to invest in kayaking more seriously, visit a specialty store like Aquabatics for the best selection and expert advice.
Where to buy a kayak in San Diego
Whatever type of kayak you’re looking for, you’ll find plenty of shopping options in San Diego. Besides the usual options for cheap, entry-level kayaks meant for casual use and sold at box stores, you’ll find specialty paddlesports stores in San Diego dealing in a variety of distinct kayaking styles, from ocean kayak fishing to surfing and sea kayaking. Visiting a specialty store is your best bet if you’re serious about kayaking.
Where to buy kayaks in Columbus, Ohio
You’ll find some good options to buy kayaks in Columbus, Ohio, especially if you’re looking for a recreational kayak for paddling on quiet inland lakes and rivers or getting out kayak fishing. Typical box stores in Columbus sell a wide array of beginner-friendly kayaks. Meanwhile, check out Field & Stream or Cabela’s if you want to buy a fishing kayak in Columbus, Ohio. REI is a good option for those looking for higher end enthusiast kayaks, including day touring kayaks.
Where to buy a kayak in Toronto
You’ll find several good places to buy a kayak in Toronto—no surprise, given the city’s waterfront location on Lake Ontario. The Complete Paddler in Etobicoke is Canada’s largest paddlesports specialty store and sells everything from beginner-friendly Wilderness Systems Pungos to advanced sea kayaks for serious paddlers.
The shop offers great advice and honest opinions. Looking for something more general purpose? Try MEC in downtown Toronto. Finally, Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak offers rentals so you can get a sense of what’s available and what kayak works best for you.
Where to buy kayaks in Calgary
If you are wondering “Where should I buy a kayak in Calgary?”, Aquabatics is Alberta’s largest paddlesports retailer and it got its start in Calgary. Located on the Bow River and in the foothills of the Rockies, kayakers in Calgary tend to favor river paddling and inland lakes. You’ll find everything from whitewater kayaks to recreational kayaks and day touring kayaks at Aquabatics’ downtown location.
Where to buy kayaks in Canada
Canadians embrace the outdoors and love to paddle, so it’s no surprise that the search term “where to buy kayaks in Canada” comes up with a long list of options. Just about every major city has a paddlesports specialty store where you can get great advice and find the best gear for the local environment, from sea kayaks in Vancouver and Halifax to river kayaks in Calgary and Ottawa, as well as the best kayaks for the cottage at shops in Toronto and Muskoka.
Nationwide, you’ll find a solid lineup of kayaks at MEC. Popular local specialty shops include Coast Mountain in North Vancouver, Aquabatics in Calgary and Edmonton, Paddle Shack and The Complete Paddler in Ontario, and Eastern Outdoors in the Maritimes. That’s just the beginning. Of course, if you’re looking for a cheap kayak for casual use you can also visit Canadian Tire, Walmart, Bass Pro or Sport Chek locations from coast to coast.
Where to buy kayaks in CT
The best places to buy kayaks in CT are located on Long Island Sound and in Connecticut’s larger urban centers. For example, Black Hall Outfitters in New Lyme, CT, provides the opportunity to try before you buy with rentals. You’ll also find a great selection of kayaks and expert advice at Collinsville Canoe & Kayak, a well-established specialty store on the outskirts of Hartford.
Where to buy kayaks in Michigan
There’s a well-established paddling tradition in Michigan, with reputable specialty stores located in all corners of the state, from Detroit to Lansing, Traverse City and Marquette in the Upper Peninsula. Sea kayaking is especially prominent in Michigan, so the Great Lakes state is a great spot to find a sea kayak or day touring kayak for use on larger, more exposed bodies of water.
Of course, you’ll find a large array of beginner-friendly kayaks for casual use at box stores like Walmart, Meijer, Cabela’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods. REI is a great place to shop if you’re looking for a cheaper price on a day touring kayak.
Where to buy kayaks in Ontario
Are you wondering where to buy kayaks in Ontario? Look to the shorelines of the Great Lakes for your best selection. Toronto is home to several paddlesports specialty stores. You’ll also find well-established, knowledgeable retailers with on-water test paddling in places like Kingston, Parry Sound and Thunder Bay.
There are also several great kayak stores in Ottawa (see below). Beginner kayaks are available at Canadian Tire stores across the province and you’ll find intermediate-level kayaks at several MEC locations.
Where to buy kayaks in Ottawa
Ottawa has a long-standing paddling tradition in canoeing and kayaking. Wondering where to buy kayaks in Ottawa? Check out Trailhead Paddle Shack for a good selection of recreational kayaks, whitewater kayaks, day touring kayaks and sea kayaks. SAIL, MEC and Cabela’s offer kayaks for recreational paddling, day touring and kayak fishing, respectively. Look outside of the city center for outfitters in places like Arnprior and Kemptville offering rentals—a great option to try before you buy.