Whether this is your first time buying a fishing kayak or your tenth, shopping around is invaluable to finding the right boat at the right price. Below, we go over some options for where to buy a fishing kayak, both new and used. You can shop online or in-person—try a combination until you find just what you’re looking for.
A fishing kayak has a long life. Built of nearly indestructible materials with a variety of rigging options, a fishing kayak can serve the unique fishing needs of more than one owner. As long as you’re willing to sacrifice some scratches and faded colors, you can get a great used boat at a great price.
Purchasing a premium boat for the cost of a bargain kayak will get you the most advanced features for a better experience on the water. But don’t buy a kayak without kicking the tires first. Look for splits in the seams, especially inside the scuppers. Check the keel isn’t warped, indicating the boat was left in the sun.
Be sure all the through-hull rigging is sealed tight and verify accessories were installed correctly. Test pedal systems on the water to make sure they operate smoothly. Look for bent crank arms, loose fitting parts, and grinding or skipping in the drive system. Any ripped or broken seat parts could be expensive to repair or replace. Inspect the seat’s frame, upholstery and fit for any irregularities.
A fishing kayak can take abuse and come out shining. Fading, scratches and stains are normal. On a rotomolded plastic kayak, small dings, gouges and holes in the plastic are easy to fix, so slight damage shouldn’t be a deal breaker. To settle on a fair price, look at the cost of a new model and then research similar used boats, subtract for wear and tear, and add dollars for included accessories. Be prepared to haggle on the price, be wary of a “good deal” and never walk away from your dream fishing kayak.
Wondering where to buy a used fishing kayak? Following are some great places where you can find used fishing kayaks for sale.
Kijiji is a Canadian online classified site where users can offer goods and services on a platform that encourages diversity and community. In the search bar, enter “Fishing Kayak” and your location to see dozens of local results. Use the filters to limit the results to the best matches.
The folks behind Kijiji work to promote new businesses and support buyers and sellers with detailed and engaging tutorials. Advertisements on the site offer new models of similar fishing kayaks, so you can compare prices and features.
Craigslist was one of the first classified sites to hit the Internet. Committed to creating an easy community of buyers and sellers on a simple platform that’s intentionally anti-corporate, Craigslist users are endeared to the site’s blocky and clunky format and function. Craigslist makes it easy to post, edit and manage items for sale. Users contact each other through email, so communication is simple.
When you’re shopping for a boat on Craigslist, look for entries that use the maximum number of photos and a detailed description. We like that Craigslist makes it easy to search for used kayaks in other parts of the country. Reviewing search results for similar kayaks allows you to determine availability and compare prices. Craigslist users are mostly serious buyers and sellers who are experienced with the online platform.
Navigating Craigslist may not be as pleasant as other online platforms, but millions of dedicated users love this classified site with a conscience.
The fastest growing online classified marketplace is connected to the largest social media network. Facebook Marketplace is an easy and reliable platform for buying and selling a kayak. Facebook Marketplace allows you to search kayaks for sale in your area. You can also use the filters to narrow the search to boats that fit your needs.
After several sessions searching for kayaks, Facebook Marketplace will automatically notify you of boats that fit your search criteria. Buyers and sellers contact each other on Facebook Messenger, so you have instant access to the other person’s profile and seller reviews. The format and function of Marketplace make it easy to browse related items and contact the owner. Given the power of the world’s most popular social network, Facebook is the quickest way to buy or sell a kayak.
To bypass Facebook Marketplace and focus on kayaks and gear for fishing, consider searching local and national Facebook Groups. Since Groups are organized and managed by serious enthusiasts, the items posted for sale and the users posting them are more reliable. For example, anyone can post a kayak for sale on Marketplace. However, a boat posted on a kayak fishing group is more likely to be a rigged fishing kayak offered by an actual kayak angler.
By shopping through groups, you have a better chance of finding a fishing kayak for the fishing you do. You will also get the benefit of your fellow group members’ experiences, as group members will often add comments about the boat to the post. Joining a Facebook Group will put you in touch with other area anglers who may prove to be a great resource on local fishing.
One of the best places to find a used kayak is at your local paddle shop. Not only do customers trade-in their old kayaks for new models, but local enthusiasts will post boats for sale on the shop’s message board and website. Stopping in at the local shop will allow you to check out the boat, compare it to other models, and take a candidate out for a test paddle.
You’ll also have access to the shop staff—experts in the features and background of the boat. Before selling a used kayak, the in-house pros will vet it for damage or missing parts. And, the shop staff will set you up with accessories and gear to match the boat and your fishing needs.
Nothing smells better than a new kayak. The aroma of fresh plastic, clean upholstery and shiny, new accessories makes your heart race with the potential of a new kayak. Kayaks take a lot of abuse, and the materials and accessories are built tough, but every trip will add a few more scratches and a little looser operation, not to mention the fact that parts and pieces wear with age. With a new kayak, there is no mystery about the boat’s previous life.
Many anglers make the mistake of purchasing a bargain kayak as a “starter boat.” While you don’t need a high-dollar kayak to have fun on the water, buying a boat because of its low price will often lead to disappointment with the function and the features. Instead, find a mid-priced kayak from a reputable company that will meet your needs and serve as a safe and comfortable learning platform.
Just like buying a new car, fishing kayaks come in different models with different packages at various price ranges. For example, many kayak companies will offer a premium model with a more comfortable seat and better accessories, and a similar “economy” model with fewer bells and whistles. Adding your own accessories or sacrificing a little comfort could save you hundreds of dollars. If you go with a pedal-powered kayak, choose a reliable system that fits solidly in the boat and operates smoothly. Purchasing a new kayak is filled with possibilities—just make sure to get a boat that will meet your needs.
Wondering where to buy a new fishing kayak? Following are the best places find new fishing kayaks for sale.
Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide
If you’re looking to compare models, the best place to go is the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide. You’ll be able to look at specs, read reviews and view pictures of more than 400 models from 40+ top brands like Old Town, Hobie and Sea Eagle. Filter between inflatable and rigid, sit-on-top and sit-inside, recreational and touring, solo and tandem, and more to easily narrow down your search to the type of kayak you’re interested in. Then, you’ll find more resources for outfitting and rigging your new kayak for the type of fishing you do.
When you’ve found what you’re looking for, you can buy directly from the company and your new kayak will be shipped right to your door. If you’re still unsure, you can also use the site to locate a local dealer so you can test the boats you’re interested in before you make a purchase.
Your local paddle shop is an invaluable resource. The opportunity to test kayaks and handle accessories before buying is the best way to find the perfect boat and best rigging. Most shops put on a demo day where the most popular boats will be on the water for a test drive. Your local paddle shop will have bargain buys and premium boats as well as gear, with expert advice on how to use it.
If hanging around the paddle shop isn’t enough, most local kayak shops host events and meet-ups to take customer service to the water.
When you shop REI, you tap into a massive online and brick-and-mortar resource offering premium brands and their own line of quality outdoor gear. Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI) calls itself a Co-Op. Customers who sign up (and pay for) a member program get extra benefits including free shipping, easy returns and special deals.
REI also hosts classes and events, and offers expert advice. If you want to try kayak fishing without selling the farm, try renting equipment from REI’s stable of high-end gear.
Unsurprisingly, the Amazon online shopping universe includes kayaks and fishing gear. The world’s largest online retailer carries a variety of boats and gear at hard-to-beat prices. However, the offerings at Amazon are limited to brands and models the site promotes. Still, the list of boats and gear is long and diverse and the prices are always low. You’ll see entry-level boats from Lifetime, mid-range models from Perception and high-end rides from Old Town.
Amazon also offers a huge network of customer reviews and expert articles and videos on each product. If you are a Prime member, shipping is free. Best of all, Amazon makes returns easy with free shipping and drop-off centers.
For many anglers, the path to kayak fishing starts in the sporting goods section of Walmart. Now, first-timers are getting into the sport on Walmart.com. In fact, Walmart has a variety of boats and rigging for any-level kayak angler. Once you’ve picked out a kayak, use the “Customers Also Bought” feature to find the best rod holders, paddles, PFD and other gear you’ll need to get on the water.
Offering some of the best entry-level kayaks and accessories, whether online or in your local store, Walmart is a great place to start kayak fishing.