Buying Used Kayaks

You might want to buy a used kayak for different reasons. Maybe you are new to Buying Used Kayaks and don’t want to waste money on a new boat. Maybe you have some kayaks already and want to try a different kind for cheap.

Whatever your reason, be careful when you look for a used kayak. You should still know what you are doing even if you are not buying a new kayak. You should learn what to check before you buy a used kayak. Read our guide on how to find a good used kayak and start looking for the right boat.

Related Article: How to Kayak: Ultimate Beginners Guide

Should I Buy A Used Kayak?

  • Buying a Used Kayaks is a good idea for many reasons. You can save money, find a kayak that suits your needs, and have fun on the water.
  • Buying a Used Kayaks is not hard, but it is different from buying a new one. You have to check the kayak carefully for any damage, wear, or problems. You also have to make sure the kayak is safe and comfortable for you.
  • There are many reasons why you might want to buy a used kayak instead of a new one. Here are some of them:
  • You want to try kayaking for the first time and you don’t want to spend a lot of money.
  • You like a kayak that is not made anymore and you want to find one that is still in good condition.
  • You want a kayak that has many features and kayak accessories, but you don’t want to pay extra for them.
  • You are unsure if you will like kayaking for a long time and don’t want to waste money on something you might not use.
  • You are buying a kayak for a child who is growing fast and you don’t want to buy a new kayak every year.
  • You want to learn a new type of kayaking, like touring, and you want to do it cheaply.

Best Place To Buy A Used Kayak – Online & In-Person


  • Check sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or paddling forums. You can search by location and find deals.
  • Read the details and ask the seller questions before buying. Make sure to inspect it carefully when you go to pick it up.
  • Watch for scams or stolen boats being sold online. Check the kayak for identifying marks.

In Person:

  • Visit local outdoor or sporting goods stores. They often sell or Buying Used Kayaks rental kayaks. Test the paddle if you can.
  • Go to paddling clubs and community boards. Members sometimes sell their old kayaks.
  • Attend kayak swap events. You can find lots of Buying Used Kayaks for sale in one place to compare.
  • Drive around on trash day. You can find kayaks being given away for free sometimes.
  • Ask friends and family if they have an old kayak to get rid of.

The best deals take some hunting. Be patient and check multiple places to find your perfect Buying Used Kayaks! Let me know if you need any other tips.

Buying Used Kayaks Online

I know shopping online can feel risky, but it opens up more options without spending weekends driving around to garage sales. The key is using the right online resources:

  • Check popular marketplaces like Facebook, Craigslist, and eBay. Use their search and filter tools to find kayaks in your area.
  • Join kayaking forums and communities. Post that you’re looking to Buying Used Kayaks. Fellow paddlers may have leads or be selling.
  • Check paddling club classifieds. Members often sell gear secondhand.
  • Search Google for “used kayaks [your city]” and look through the results.
  • Don’t limit yourself to local listings. Some sellers ship kayaks.
  • Vet sellers thoroughly. Ask lots of questions and request photos of any wear and tear.
  • Inspect kayaks in person before purchasing when possible.

With some diligence, you can find quality Buying Used Kayaks online. The community connections lead to great deals not listed publicly. And take your time to ensure the kayak meets your needs.

BUYING A USED KAYAK – Don’t Get Ripped Off!

How Much Should I Pay For Buying Used Kayaks?

Rather than setting a fixed budget, focus first on finding a Buying Used Kayak in good condition that suits your needs. The right kayak is worth paying a little extra for.

As a general guideline, expect to pay 50-75% of the original retail price of the kayak when new. The exact percentage depends on factors like:

  • Age of the kayak – older models will be less
  • Overall condition – significant wear and tear reduces value
  • Any repairs or replacements needed – subtract their costs
  • The popularity of the model – higher demand can increase the resale value

Do some research to find out the original MSRP for the specific make and model when it was first released. This gives you a baseline. Then inspect the Buying Used Kayaks closely in person if possible. Check for any damage, sun fading, cracks, etc. Test for leaks too.

Considering its condition, age, and impression after inspection, determine if the asking price seems fair compared to the original MSRP. Being flexible on a budget helps find the right used kayak for you. Focus on value based on quality and condition rather than just the lowest price.

Locate the Serial Number on Buying Used Kayaks

  • The serial number is a code on the back of the kayak, usually on the right. The last two numbers tell you when the kayak was made.
  • If you can’t see or read the serial number, don’t buy the kayak. Someone might have stolen it and sold it to you. If the police find out, they will take the kayak and your money.
  • If you find a kayak with a good price and a clear serial number, and you like it, you should try it on the water.

Buy the Right Kayak For your paddling preference

Kayaks are different from each other. They look different and are made of different things. They are made for different kinds of kayaking. In our guide, we put kayaks into three groups: kayaks for fun, kayaks for racing, and kayaks for long trips.

Recreational kayaks

Recreational kayaks are big, steady, and easy to use. They are good for new people, kids, and people who are scared of water. Some have a hole to sit in, some don’t. The ones without a hole are called sit-on-top kayaks. Recreational kayaks are good for calm water and short trips.

Touring kayaks

Touring kayaks are long, thin, and can hold a lot of things. They are made for big trips and have places to keep food and stuff. They also have covers that you can take off. You will probably sit inside your touring kayak. They are made to go straight in the water and some have a thing to steer.

Racing and training

Racing and training kayaks are very thin and very light. They are made to go fast and do well, but they are not very steady and can’t hold much.

Give the kayak a once-over

If you want to buy a used kayak, you need to check it carefully. Look at the kayak and see if it is clean and not damaged. If the person who sells it is gentle with it, that means they took good care of it.

Touch the kayak and feel if there are any bumps, holes, or weak parts. Sit inside it and see if everything works well. Use a light to see inside the kayak and check if it is dry and not bent. The shape of the kayak affects how it moves on the water. If the kayak is not in good shape, it will not work well.

Some kayaks are Buying Used Kayaks a lot, but still good. Some kayaks are used badly, and not good. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. You need to look for things that are broken or just worn out.

Potential damage on different kinds of Buying Used Kayaks

If a used kayak has some problems, it does not mean you cannot buy it. You need to know what the problems are, how they affect the price, and talk to the seller about it.

a picture of people with different kayaks and clothes near the water What Is Good And Bad About Different Kayak Materials Some problems can be fixed by yourself if you spend some time and learn how to do it. This can make your kayak last longer. For example, if you find a kayak that is good but has a bad seat, you can buy a new seat for about $100 and make it better.

Polyethylene kayaks

Polyethylene kayaks are cheap and heavy. They can get scratched and damaged more easily than other kayak materials. Major damage like big holes and deep gashes can affect how well the kayak moves through the water. The soft plastic can bend and warp over time too. This can make the kayak slower and less stable.

To fix scratches, you can use a hot tool to melt the plastic smooth again. To remove fuzzy plastic bits, you can carefully use a razor blade. The plastic is not as stiff as other materials, so it shows wear and damage more easily. However, polyethylene kayaks are affordable and durable for casual paddling. Minor repairs can keep them going strong.

Composite: Aramid, fiberglass and carbon kayaks

Composite kayaks are made from layers of different materials like fiberglass, aramid, and carbon fiber. This makes them lighter and stiffer than polyethylene kayaks, but also more expensive.

Carbon fiber kayaks are the lightest, while fiberglass ones are usually the heaviest. The exact weight depends on the manufacturer though. Composites can also be easier to damage than polyethylene. 

They may chip, crack, or separate between layers. Cracks are worse than scratches since they go deeper. Scratches are shallow and won’t let water inside the kayak.

To fix scratches, you can sand them down, polish the kayak, and add more gel coating on top. Cracks need more repair work.

Overall, composite kayaks are high-performance but require more care than polyethylene. Going with carbon fiber gives you the lightest option, while fiberglass is the most affordable. Paying attention to cracks and getting scratches repaired will help keep your composite kayak in good shape.

Thermoform kayaks

Thermoform kayaks are not very light or very expensive. They do not break easily when they hit something, but they are not as strong as composites. People who like thermoform kayaks like that they are cheaper than composite boats but not as heavy as polyethylene. They also move faster and are harder.

Like the other two types of kayaks, scratches are okay, but holes or big cuts and other bad signs of damage can make the kayak not safe. The plastic on these kayaks can get old and weak over time, especially if they are in the sun a lot.

Wooden kayaks

Not many people buy used wooden kayaks, but some people like to keep them clean and nice. Wooden kayaks can get bad like wooden canoes if they get wet. You need to know how the kayak was kept.

Be careful of a wooden kayak that was left outside on the dirt all winter. You may not see the wood rot. Sometimes you can see spots or different colors on the wood, but sometimes the wood rot is inside and the outside looks good. You should also look for chips, cracks, or big cuts on the wood.

How much does a used kayak cost?

You should buy a used kayak that feels good and suits your needs, not the cheapest one. Showler and Davis say you should not look for a kayak by price. They say it is important to find the right kayak and make sure you like it and it fits you well.

Kayaks do not lose their value fast if they are well-kept. When you think about the price, find the same model of the kayak you want (you can look at our Paddling Buyer’s Guide) and see how much it costs.

Elliot says that the price of a used kayak changes a lot, but they lose about half of their value in five years after they are bought new.

a picture of two people with Evoke kayaks near a big rock How Much Is A Kayak? Think about how old the used kayak is and what problems it has. At the end, make sure you choose the kayak that is comfortable and good for your paddling needs. $200 more than your budget will not matter when you have a kayak that fits you well and works how you want it to for a long time.


Be upfront in your listing. Mention the make, model, size, condition, and reason for selling. Disclose any damage or issues. Transparency builds trust with buyers. Include clear photos showing the overall kayak and any wear and tear. List the location and whether delivery is available. Provide your contact info for questions.


State the price and if it’s negotiable. Consider linking to the product page so buyers can learn more. Post on paddling forums in addition to main sites. You’ll reach people more interested in kayaks.

Respond to inquiries promptly and completely. Be ready to provide more details or photos.

Once there is interest, discuss delivery/pickup logistics. Accept payment only once the buyer has seen the kayak in person.

Patience and good communication are key. The right buyer will appreciate a seller who provides details upfront and is responsive during the sale process. Being open builds trust and makes it more likely your kayak will sell.


For Buyers:

  • Talk to the seller to learn more about the boat. Don’t just buy anonymously online.
  • Inspect the boat carefully yourself. Check for cracks, holes, and warping. Make sure all parts are there.
  • Ask the seller how old it is and how much it’s been used. More use means more wear.
  • Try paddling the boat if you can, to see how it handles.
  • Be wary of deals that seem too good – could be a stolen boat.
  • Negotiate a fair price – don’t lowball or overpay.

For Sellers:

  • Advertise on forums for paddling enthusiasts. They’ll know the value.
  • Disclose everything up front in your ad – age, condition, etc. Show you’re trustworthy.
  • Answer buyer questions honestly.
  • Clean and make repairs to get the best price.
  • Consider letting serious buyers test paddle the boat.
  • Be open to fair offers, but don’t undervalue a good boat.


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