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Buying a used Kayak
by K.L. Amadio
Kayaking as a sport is increasing in popularity.
The opportunity to get some healthy
exercise in the beautiful outdoors is often too attractive to pass up.
There are very few recreational sports that allow for a great upper body
workout, so kayaking is on the rise.
Compared to other types of water sports, kayaking is an intimate
experience. You and the water in a symbiotic relationship that can
become spiritual, or the water can be a worthy opponent that you
must conquer. Either way, the popularity of kayaking cannot be denied.
If you've already been bitten by the kayaking bug, you may be in the
market for a boat that meets your needs and style. Kayaks can be
expensive. Good equipment is most certainly expensive when
purchased new. But like a good car, a good kayak can be bought
on the secondary market at a good savings, still giving you the quality
First, you must decide what style of kayak you want. There are five
classifications of kayak: general recreation, day touring, expedition, whitewater and surf.
In each classification you may find rigid models, folding and inflatable versions.
A rigid kayak is usually made of fiberglass, plastic, wood or even Kevlar. Plastic kayaks are durable,
less expensive and heavy. Wooden kayaks are often hand made from kits and can be beautiful but
require regular maintenance. Fiberglass kayaks are the lightest and therefore most expensive.
They are damaged more easily but are also easier to repair.
It is important to determine the classification of kayak you are looking for. This will affect the on
board storage potential and overall shape and size of the kayak. If you will be handling the boat
alone, weight will be an issue to consider. If storage and transportation space for your kayak is a
problem, the folding or inflatable type might be your style.
When purchasing a used kayak make sure to inspect it thoroughly. Check for any damage that
would make it unsuitable for purchase. Plastic boats are the toughest but are difficult to repair.
Look for patches and/or repairs already made. This is especially critical in the inflatable style of kayak.
You should look for touched up paint, uneven areas or divots in the surface. Careful inspection is
important for your safety.
Don't be afraid to look at the big name high quality used kayaks.
You may find a real bargain that is well worth the investment.
Unless you are planning to compete, race or learn some tricks, a used kayak can be a
better investment than a new one.