How to buy a used kayak under $1,000
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t hard to find a premium kayak reselling for under $1,000. But nowadays, just like the used car market, used kayaks are holding their value more than ever before and reselling at higher prices. However, $1,000 can get you a high-quality kayak, and buying used can be a great way to maximize the value of your money.
When it comes to buying a used kayak under $1,000, here are some things to watch out for:
- Set reasonable expectations: Research before meeting with a seller so you know what this kayak model typically sells for used, what it sold for new and how long the model has been on the market. Keep that information in mind when inspecting the used kayak. Depending on the kayak’s condition and how recently it was purchased, it might sell for anywhere between 25 to 95 percent of its original price. A carbon touring kayak selling for less than $1,000 might be just 25 percent of its original price and is likely to be pretty banged up. Whereas a rotomolded polyethylene recreational kayak costing $1,000 could be in pristine condition and selling close to its retail price.
- Condition: Check the kayak’s condition, looking for signs of damage like cracks and dents and other signs of wear, including on the outfitting. Some damage is repairable and doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, but any damage should be factored into the purchase price.
- Storage: Ask where the kayak was stored. UV light can degrade materials over time. A kayak that was stored indoors may be in better condition.
- Previous usage: While some wear and tear will be evident, ask the seller what kind of previous use the kayak has seen. Freshwater or saltwater? Lakewater paddling or river running? How frequently was it used? How long have they owned it? Is the seller the original owner?
- Negotiating: Don’t hesitate to negotiate the price if you spot damage or discover other concerns that weren’t disclosed before the inspection. But also keep in mind that the paddling community is small, and try not to lowball or waste the seller’s time.
- Demo: Whenever possible, try to get the kayak on the water and go for a paddle to ensure it’s the right fit for you.
For more tips on what to look for when selecting a used kayak, read our article How To Buy A Used Kayak.
Budget kayak reviews
Read our in-depth reviews on kayaks under $1,000 to discover the best match for you.
- Inflatable Kayak Review: Tobin Wavebreak
- Kayak Review: Sun Dolphin Excursion 10
- Recreational Kayak Review: Perception Tribe 9.5
- Fishing Kayak Review: SeaStream Angler 120 PD
- Recreational Kayak Review: Perception Swifty Deluxe 9.5
- Inflatable Recreational Kayak Review: Intex Challenger K1
- Fishing Kayak Review: Sun Dolphin Journey 10
- Recreational Kayak Review: Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT
- Fishing Kayak Review: Sun Dolphin Boss 12 SS
- Inflatable Kayak Review: Sevylor Colorado
- Recreational Kayak Review: Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
- Fishing Kayak Review: Pelican Mustang 100x
- Fishing Kayak Review: Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
- Fishing Kayak Review: Perception Pescador 12
- Fishing Kayak Review: Sun Dolphin Journey 12 SS
- Recreational Kayak Review: Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS
- Inflatable Recreational Kayak Review: Intex Challenger K2
- Inflatable Recreational Kayak Review: Intex Explorer K2
- Recreational Kayak Review: Lifetime Wave Youth
- Recreational Kayak Review: Pelican Bandit NXT 100
- Inflatable Kayak Review: Sea Eagle 370