Articles, Skills

Buying a Used Kayak

So, as you’re discovering buying a used kayak isn’t as easy as you thought, your first task will be to learn how each type of kayak is different from the other.

First of all, there’s the “recreational” kayak. This is probably what you picture in your mind when someone mentions the word kayak. Recreational kayaks are often made of different materials, but they’re made of plastic or fiberglass more often then not. In fact, a combination of fiberglass, and/or plastic is very common, as this increases the durability and decreases the weight of the kayak. Wood kayaks are the most beautiful but are rarer these days due to the availability of stronger materials however, they boast a rural charm!

If you want to know how to buy a used kayak, it might be because you’re interested in a fishing kayak — some of these are the heaviest and quite pricey to boot. Professional fishing kayaks are even more expensive, but this is because they come with more features compared to their non fishing counterparts. Kayaks made of a combination of these materials are the lightest but they also are on the high-end of the price range. So if you’re looking to buy one of these more serious kayaks — hard-shelled and ready for anything, promising to last a lifetime — then you’ll definitely trying to investigate how to buy a used kayak to save as much money as possible.


Used Recreational Kayak

pungo-120-angle– Often cheaper then a fishing kayak
– Large variance in pricing
– Wear and tear may be minimal dependent on who you purchase from


Used Fishing Kayak

malibu Outback

– Often more expensive since specialized for fishing
– Cheaper options available but usually on the high end
– Wear and tear is often higher since these kayaks are used by hobby fisherman that like to get the most out of their kayak


Used Inflatable Kayak

advanced elements convertible

– Much cheaper then anything available in other two categories
– Wear and tear is a huge concern since inflatables and their materials degrade quicker (you should put a year date of 5 years old max dependent on wear and tear)



Folding kayaks aren’t quiet as expensive. But the cheapest used kayak is usually the inflatable kayak! It may be worth it if your looking to save money with a used kayak to instead buy a brand-new inflatable kayak. Amateurs and experts alike love inflatable kayaks because of how easy they are to transport, store, and paddle around in. They are so versatile and while they aren’t quite as sturdy and long-lasting as other kayaks, they are simply the most convenient and easy to use. Make sure if you are purchasing one of these you take a look at all points of the hull since they are prone to tears and the previous owner might have just used a patch kit a bunch of times. Its essentially you try it out on the water to make sure there are no leaks and that it maintains its full inflation.


  • How old is the kayak being sold
  • What condition is it in upon first look (scratches all over are not a good sign)
  • Does the hull have any damage or the bottom of it from hits and rocks
  • What is the reason the current owner is selling?
  • Where has it been stored
  • If its inflatable does it have any sun damage, sun can dramatically decrease the lifespan of a inflatable boat
  • Is the owner trustworthy, can he provide you an ID photo just incase the kayak has been stolen
  • Can the owner provide you some contact details so you can contact in case that you find any problems in the future (its a possibility you later find a leak you didn’t see on first inspection)
  • Can you try the kayak out with the owners permission (this might be asking a bit much but you need to try it to make sure there is no leaks and the boat performs to its original standard

What do you want to use it for?

When you’re exploring your options for buying a used kayak, beyond just understanding the various types of kayaks, you’ll need to understand what they’re used for. A rigid kayak is ideal for certain sports while an inflatable kayak is better for others. Determine what your purposes are — do you want to go fishing or are you more of a recreational user? Whatever your answer is to that question, there’s a different kayak type for each user.

Online Knowledge

Moreover, if you want to learn how to buy a used kayak, the best place to begin is by looking at some of our kayak guides (Fishing Kayak Guide) (Inflatable Kayak Guide).  best-inflatable-kayak-ultimate-buyers-guideThe Internet is jam-packed with websites of various kayak manufacturers and dealers, most of which are based offline but that offer extensive photo catalogs and information online. We have compiled most of this information within our kayak guides through hours upon hours of extensive research. This is a great why to find out what exactly your options are. You can compare the different kinds of kayaks and their prices very easily with the web. There may even be online classifieds from individuals, not retailers, that have a kayak they’re ready to get off of their hands! You can save a lot of money by doing lots of price comparison online.

But if you’re still a little unsure of how to buy a used kayak, then here are some specific online resources for you.

Resources: can really help you in this area, as they list dozens upon dozens of used kayaks that are up for grabs. is just as useful. Just make sure that you get the right kayak for the right price. If you want to take to the rapids, don’t get a fishing kayak and vice versa! can sometimes have good deals for kayaks


Hopefully, buying a used kayak doesn’t seem like such an intimidating ordeal. So what are you waiting for? Now that you have an ide a of how to buy you can answer the call of the ocean!


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About Julian Thompson

cb787c59d2808e1f609076e790ca977e?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: Certified Kayaking Instructor (AKA)
Education: American Kayak Association
Lives In: Denver Colorado

I am a kayaking expert/instructor who has been fishing for over 15 years. Fishing is my passion, but kayaking keeps me on the water. I love to share my knowledge of techniques and tips with others. I live in Colorado with my wife and two kids and own a small kayak rental business On Grand Lake where I rent and instruct.