Whether you are new to kayaking or are a seasoned kayaker, there is one thing you will need to do at some point – buy a new kayak. Now, you probably have some idea of what type of vessel you want. However, what most people forget to figure out is the best time to buy a kayak.
Yes, believe it or not, there is a right time to buy such a vessel and a wrong one. Knowing when to make this purchase is more than just about saving you money. Buying a kayak at just the right time may also ensure that you end up with a better vessel as well! So, here is what you need to know before you make your decision:
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When You Have a Larger Budget
Once you start your search for your kayak, you will realize that there are makes and models to suit all budgets. With a little bit of investigating, you should be able to find vessels that are available for as little as $60. Now, when you see this price tag, your first instinct may be to snatch it up – but, you shouldn’t.
It is important to remember that kayaks are priced according to their design, durability, and capabilities. Therefore, a kayak that is less than $100 is unlikely to afford you too much in the way of performance. Not to mention, there is no guarantee that it will last all that long either.
If you want a kayak that is capable of being taken out on the open water and that can stand up to various environments, then you need to be willing to spend more. If quality really is your main goal, then you may have to spend between $1000 and $3000.
Of course, there is a good chance that you don’t have this kind of budget just yet. As such, it is much better for you to wait, save up this amount, and then buy a kayak that is going to be truly worth it. This does mean that you will not be able to head out onto the water just yet. However, this tactic will work out well for you in the long run.
Splurging on a Paddle
It isn’t just your kayak that you have to budget for, though. You are also going to need to purchase a high-quality paddle. You may think that you can get away with making do with a cheaper paddle, but you would be wrong.
Keep in mind, even when you want to cover a short distance, you are still going to have to stroke a hundred times or more. So, if you have to do this with the wrong paddle, then you can just imagine how tired out you can get. Thus, you need the best that money can buy – to a certain extent.
As any expert will tell you, the lighter the paddle, the better. So, it is a good idea for you to buy either a fiberglass paddle or a carbon fiber one. A good fiberglass paddle will cost you at least $150 while a carbon fiber one will be upwards of $250.
If you imagine that you can’t afford these kinds of accessories right away, then it will be worth your while to wait just a little bit longer.
Optimal Time to Go Kayaking
As you can imagine, there is little use in buying a kayak either too far away or too close to the kayaking season. If you get a vessel too early on, you will be tasked with storing it until you are ready to use it again. Get one too late, though, and you will not have nearly enough time to prep it.
So, to figure out the best time to purchase a kayak, you will first have to identify when the kayak season really is. Most people prefer to go kayaking when the weather is mild. So, if you live in North America, the kayaking season will begin somewhere in May or April. It will come to an end around September or so, depending on the climate in your region.
Of course, there are lots of people who don’t mind braving the cold and going kayaking in the winter. This is fine and can be an incredible experience all on its own. If you decide to go kayaking during the off-season, though, make sure to get the right kayak for you.
Since you are going to need to avoid getting wet as much as possible, you will require a vessel that can be fitted with a spray skirt. It can also help to pick out a kayak that is quite stable as well. After all, the last thing that you want is to fall into the water when the water is icy cold.
Buying a Kayak in the Off Season vs. Peak Season
The section above showed that most people tend to go kayaking during a specific time of the year. So, this is when most shoppers are going to be looking for kayaks. As you can imagine, this is also when the prices go up to meet this demand.
Your other option is to wait until the off-season has set in. Since no one is in a hurry to buy kayaks during this period, most of the vessels will be on sale. So, this is a great time to swoop in and make use of the significant discounts.
However, there is a disadvantage to shopping during the off-season. See, at this point, all of the good makes and models will have already been bought up. Not to mention, stores will be transitioning to the newer models and so, will not be stocking up on the older ones that have been sold out. The result of this will be that you will have a limited choice to select from.
When you shop around just before the peak season, though, this isn’t as much of an issue. The stores will be freshly stocked so you will be spoilt for choice. There is the matter of having to pay a higher cost for this privilege, though.
Getting Great Deals on Kayaks
Fortunately for you, there is a way to manage the situation so that you have slightly better purchasing power. To start with, identify some of the top online stores to buy kayaks from. This includes major retailers like Amazon. Sign up with as many as you can and even download the shopping apps, if they are available.
Once you have your own account or are a part of the mailing list, then you can arrange various notifications to be sent to you. Then, should the price of kayaks drop, even for a brief period, you will automatically be notified. Deals such as these can really help to save you money.
It is clear that finding the right time to buy a kayak isn’t as easy as you might have initially assumed. However, if you stick with these guidelines, it should prove to be a lot simpler.
Furthermore, with the tips here, you just may end up with a great deal on your hands as well.