Let’s say you’ve decided to buy a kayak. They can be a great source of both fun and exercise, so that’s great! The only problem is you’re not sure when might be the best time to buy a kayak. Certain sales seasons? Winter as opposed to summer?
This article will break down when exactly is the best time to buy a kayak, depending on whether you’re looking to buy online, in-person, new, or used. In addition, it will offer some super helpful tips to help you secure the absolute best price on your next (or first!) kayak.
Best Time To Buy a Kayak
Figuring out the best time to buy a kayak
When it comes to figuring out the best time to buy a kayak, you need to assess a few things. First of all, do you have time to wait, or are you looking to get one as soon as possible? Second, do you have a strong preference for buying new or used, in-person or online?
You need to keep these factors in mind as you read on to decide what works best for you. Additional concerns you can assess are the overall convenience in acquiring the kayak as well as the cost of a given method.
Online-End of season deals
Almost everyone nowadays does quite a bit of online shopping. We appreciate the convenience of both shopping at any given time of day from the comfort of our home (or wherever we might be), as well as the convenience of having the item arrive right to our door.
This option, however, may win in convenience, but may result in you paying more, especially considering potential shipping costs.
If you are dead set on ordering online anyway, keep your eye out for Memorial Day deals (the last Monday in May) as well as around Christmas (following Thanksgiving). Another good option is the end of summer/early fall, as online kayak dealers will try to make room for newer models by selling the older ones.
If you prefer seeing your kayak in person, there are two ways you can go: either from a store that sells kayaks, or through a site such as Craigslist.
If you are hoping to buy yours in-store, then the same times mentioned above also apply: Memorial Day, Christmastime, and end of summer/early fall.
If you go the route of Craigslist, then you might be able to find something any time of the year at a great discount. However, many people will try to sell their kayaks in late spring/early summer—perhaps deciding they won’t kayak that summer or because they’re getting a new one.
There will also be a fair number listed in late summer/early fall after the season is over and people decide they don’t need theirs for now (maybe planning on getting a new one before next season).
If you are looking to get one new, then online or in-store is your best bet. Keep the aforementioned times in mind.
If you want the cost savings that come with buying used, then your best bet will be Craigslist or a similar site. Look for the best deals leading up to summer or toward the end of it/beginning of fall, as more kayaks will be listed for sale at those times.
The worst time to buy a kayak
As with many goods, the worst time to buy a kayak is right in the middle of kayak season. For most people, this would mean avoiding summer altogether, essentially June through August.
Nonetheless, you may still manage to snag a deal here or there during this time. Some kayakers might sell off their older kayaks at this time, capitalizing on the high demand. It will likely be harder to get a good deal at this time, though.
Understanding kayak models and when they’re released
It’s important to understand how kayak manufacturers work in terms of the release of new models so you can best time your purchase.
Oftentimes, kayak manufacturers want to start delivering their new models at the beginning of the year so there’s plenty of time to get kayaks out to aficionados before the start of the busiest kayak season (that is, summer).
At the same time, many will focus the advertising and sales of their new models around the holiday season (November-December).
This means that you can often benefit from purchasing an older model around these times as vendors and kayakers want to part with their older models as they get themselves the newer ones.
Quick tips about securing the best price
Here are some helpful tips for making sure that you get the best deal you can on your next kayak.
Moving and garage sales
You never know when you might stumble across a moving or garage sale or find a neighbor who’s looking to part ways with their kayak. Oftentimes you can get a very lightly-used kayak for a great deal.
Although no one likes receiving even more emails, some kayak manufacturers have email lists and will occasionally send out discount codes and listings of deals. Try to find two or three trustworthy manufacturers and subscribe to their email lists so that you can take advantage of these discount opportunities.
Attend kayak expos/retail shows
If you make your way to a trade show or expo, you can get a better sense of the kayak that you’re interested in buying, which will help you narrow down the kayak (or type of kayak) that you’d like to find elsewhere.
Keep frequent tabs on the used market
Sometimes you can get lucky and find incredible deals on the used market. This can happen at any given time and might be snapped up quickly, so it may be worth taking five or ten minutes a day to quickly peruse Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for potential deals.
Compare prices online
With online shopping, it often pays to take a minute to compare prices, although our laziness or desire for a quick purchase often wins out. With buying a new kayak online, it’s definitely worth comparing between third-party vendors to see who has the best price.
Give your local seller a try
Finally, help support your local economy by giving your local kayak vendor a chance. You can bring in the online prices that you’ve found and see if they can do something similar. If not, at least you tried!
Finding the best kayak for you at the best price is a mission that has many factors and many possibilities. Ultimately, though, your best bet is to stick to certain times of the year: Memorial Day, the end-of-summer season, and around the winter holiday season.
Don’t forget to keep the above tips in mind and make sure that you also bear in mind all of the different factors, like used versus new and in-person versus online. Once you’ve settled on what works best for you, your kayak-hunting mission will go much more smoothly.
So, keep your ear to the ground (i.e. the used marketplace and/or kayak vendors’ email lists) to give yourself the best shot at getting the best deal!
And, no matter what kayak you get or how you get it, remember that kayaking is about having a great time while also helping keep your core and upper body strong. So, happy kayaking!