Purchasing a kayak can be a fun and exciting time.
You may start thinking about all the opportunities this will open up in your life and all the places you can go and explore.
Kayaks are a great form of exercise, and they will help you to spend more time in nature as well.
A kayak is a great way to get active, and sometimes they can be purchased for a very fair price.
However, there are some kayaks that are very expensive.
Purchasing a kayak that is expensive can make sense for some enthusiasts, but it still makes you wonder why kayaks are so expensive.
Here are five reasons kayaks are so expensive.
Why Are Kayaks so Expensive?
Many people think kayaks are made out of plastic.
Although many are made from plastic, there are other materials, like fiberglass, that will make up some kayaks.
Kayaks made from certain materials like fiberglass will cost much more money.
These kayaks will also be lighter in weight and capable of handling different types of weather and sea conditions.
Not all plastic is created equal, which is an important fact to remember.
There can be a plastic kayak priced at $300 and one priced at $800, and much of the price difference could be related to the material the kayak is made of.
Depending on what you need your kayak for, you may want a better material.
For the average kayaker who will probably drag the kayak along some rocks to get it out to sea, the thicker, heavier plastic materials may do just fine.
For those who are going to end up traveling long distances or even racing their kayaks, the type of material is worth considering.
Always choose a material for your kayak which matches your purpose for the kayak.
If you plan to use your kayak once or twice a year, cheap plastic is not going to be a problem.
If you think you will use it every week, looking for something that is a bit more durable and high performing is likely a smart choice.
Kayaks come with quite a few different features.
Although you won’t quite have the same selection you do when choosing a boat, you may be overwhelmed by the number of features you can get with a new kayak.
Some kayaks are set up for fishing, and they will have rod holders in place.
Most kayakers want some kind of dry storage somewhere on the vessel.
Depending on the kayak you purchase, this could be a single cup holder, or it could be a large container for taking your kayak on a long-term trip.
Another feature could be how many seats the kayak has and what type of seat it has.
Some kayaks are better at staying on course than others, and they use different shaping and technology to help the kayak stay on track.
You will also notice that kayaks can have a front roll bar or a wheel to help you drag the kayak along on your way to the launch.
This is not standard on all kayaks, but it can make things much easier instead of carrying the entire kayak.
Another feature you may come across when looking for a kayak is a cup holder or a built-in paddle rack.
Depending on how much money you want to spend, you can find very high-end features on a kayak and get something that is essentially a luxury item.
These features are all very important to consider, and they are going to increase the price of the kayak.
Kayaks that are very basic and don’t have very many features will probably cost quite a bit less.
3. Type of Kayak
Some kayaks are made for lakes, and some are made for adventures out in the deep sea.
Some kayaks are made for beginners, and others are made for experts.
Kayaks can be made for one person or for two people.
There are also kayaks that allow you to sit on top and those that will have you sit inside the kayak.
There are more types of kayaks than you probably realize, and you won’t discover them all until you start looking deeper into this process.
Generally speaking, the lower priced kayaks will be the sit-on-top versions that carry one person.
When you start adding more people, more features and getting the kayak further out into the sea, the pricing is going to go up.
Deep sea kayaks need to be built in a much different way than a kayak that can go on a small lake.
Generally speaking, there won’t be much of a wake for people to deal with when they are out in the middle of a lake.
When out in the deep sea, kayaks are going to deal with many different conditions.
If the kayak is not built to withstand these conditions, then you will risk not only your kayak but your life.
You will have to think long and hard about how you want to use your kayak before you make any definite decisions.
If you are using it mostly near shore, you may be able to spend a bit less money than something built for the deep sea.
When you purchase a kayak, it may come with some accessories already in place.
A kayak that is loaded with accessories and sells for $900 may be a better deal than something for $800 with no accessories.
You should start to learn about the accessories which could potentially come with your kayak.
This will leave you better informed when you make your final purchase.
The kayaks that come with a paddle are generally priced higher.
It’s important to consider that a paddle could cost up to $200 when bought separately.
Price out paddles you like and then decide how much the extra cost would be to get the paddles in addition to the kayak.
Another thing to consider is the accessories you could add after the fact.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a kayak initially, you can buy a base model and add accessories as time goes on.
You may purchase something with a stock seat, and then when you can afford it down the road, add a high-end seat.
The reason kayaks can get so expensive is that there are so many different customizations and features you can add to them if you would like.
The important thing to remember is that most of these are not going to be necessary for you to have in place on day one.
Get yourself out on the water first, see how much you use your kayak, and then slowly add to it to make it a great fit.
This is the most economical way to get involved in kayaking.
5. Where the Kayak Is Made
Since kayaks are a rather large purchase, many people will go into a store to buy them.
They want to sit in the kayak, see how it feels, see the quality of the material, and maybe even try one out.
Although these things are important and should probably be done, buying from a local shop is probably going to increase the cost you spend on the kayak.
After all, that shop had to pay somebody to talk to you about the kayak, to put it together, receive the delivery, and more.
You will probably pay more for the kayak when you are in a store as opposed to buying it online.
Regardless of which avenue you decide use to purchase your kayak, you will also have to consider where your kayak originated.
Some high-end kayaks that are made out of the country will cost quite a bit because of shipping.
Eventually, the kayak needs to be shipped to the US and then directly to you, and that will end up costing some extra money.
You may want to see if you have any local kayak manufacturers near you.
Stop in and see if they have any closeout models or clearance they are willing to sell.
This could help you save some money.
Alternatives to a New Kayak
If kayaks end up being priced a little higher than you can afford, you do have two great alternatives.
The first alternative is to choose a used kayak to purchase.
Used kayaks are traditionally quite a bit cheaper than a new kayak.
The used kayaks don’t hold their value for all that long, and you can usually negotiate some really great deals.
Take a look for any problems with the kayak and see if you can test it before you buy it.
Most of the time, it is easy to see issues with the kayak, making a used kayak purchase a fairly easy one to make.
Another alternative is to rent a kayak.
Although this is not the same as purchasing, there are some things to consider which might make renting a great choice.
Let’s say, for instance, that a new kayak was going to cost you $800 total.
This includes the paddle and everything you would need.
You estimate you are going to use the kayak about four times a month for four months of the year, so that is 16 times.
At a local kayak rental facility, you can rent a kayak for $25.00 for a few hours.
If you calculate the $25 times the 16, you will end up at $400.
This is only about half the price of purchasing a kayak, and you won’t have to worry about storing it or transporting it.
Again, we won’t try to say that ownership and renting are going to be the same, but it is something to consider.
If you are borderline about how much you will use your kayak in a year, consider renting for a year to see how much use the kayak gets.
As you can see, there are quite a few reasons kayaks are expensive.
They offer quite a bit of enjoyment, but there is also a lot that goes into their manufacturing process.
Between the location where they were made and the features and accessories they offer, kayaks will have a wide range of pricing.
You can get some of the cheaper models for a few hundred dollars while some of the higher end models will be a few thousand dollars.
The higher end models are not necessarily better than the lower end models.
They just offer more specific and unique features.
If you can be flexible about where and how you use your kayak, chances are you can save quite a bit of money.
Don’t forget that used kayaks are always an option to consider.