The choice to own or rent a kayak is determined by several factors, such as how often you intend to kayak and what you are looking for in a good kayak. If you often kayak, buying your kayak will make more sense, whereas renting is the best option if you only kayak occasionally.
Both renting and buying a kayak have costs to be incurred, and you will have to choose the pocket-friendly and more practical option. Before you decide whether you will purchase or rent a kayak, you need to consider several factors. Let us help you break down whether you should buy or rent a kayak by breaking down what to consider and the pros and cons of each option. Keep reading!
What To Consider When Deciding Whether To Rent Or Purchase Your Kayak
If you are torn between renting and buying a kayak, here are some things you should think about to make the right decision:
1. How Often Do You Kayak?
You have to ask yourself how often you will be kayaking? If you are going to kayak several times a week, you may have to consider purchasing a kayak. Owning a kayak will help you avoid the hassles of renting, including the need to make arrangements for pick-up, taking responsibility in case it gets damaged, and ensuring that you drop it off on the agreed time and date. Renting the kayak can be a great deal to you if you have one or two trips per month.
2. How Easily Can It Be Stored?
Do you have a place to store your kayak? It will be essential to consider your space before deciding whether to buy or rent the kayak. If your house or apartment is tight on space, it will make it difficult for you to store the kayak because it requires plenty of space. You may decide to keep it with your friends, but this is not the best idea, as they will want to use it for free as compensation. You can also choose to go for an inflatable kayak if you have limited storage space and are an avid kayaker.
With renting, you don’t need to have a storage space to store it after use. When you want it, just call the outfitter, pick it up and drop it off, or the outfitter can pick it up after you’re done with your trip.
3. How Will You Transport It?
Another vital aspect to consider before deciding whether to own or rent the kayak is how to transport it to and from the water. It will be required you have a vehicle for easy transportation and get a foam tie-down system or roof racks that will help you in this. If you can access all this, then owning a kayak will be a good option for you. But if you live in a city where it’s challenging to own a car or where you’re living is stressful to access with a vehicle, renting will be nice to you whenever and you want and as long as you need.
4. Do You Want A Quality Kayak?
To get a quality kayak that will satisfy you to the maximum, then consider buying it. Because in the purchase process, you’ll look for the one that is of high quality, fits your size, and meets your expectations. You have an option of buying one that is worth every coin you will spend, and you won’t have regrets. Most rental kayaks are cheap and of low quality. If you’re going to use them in whitewater or wilderness tripping, be ready to be frustrated. The safety gears may not fit you because rental kayak gears are big, so every person who’s renting can use them.
Pros Of Owning a kayak
1. It is easy to know the condition of your kayak since you’re the only one in charge of using and taking care of it.
2. You will be able to kayak any time you want without worrying about the rental store’s hours. You have the freedom to explore in any location, at any time, when having your gear.
3. The kayak and gears will fit you the way you wish, given that buying it will help you choose the best size for you.
4. Generally, it is cheap to buy your kayak, then keep paying rental fees continuously every time you want to go out on the water.
Cons Of Owning A Kayak
1. You’re responsible for your kayak and its condition; in case of any damage or breakdown, you’re the only one to incur repair and maintenance costs.
2. When you want to try new gear, you will be required to buy it instead of exchanging and getting another one.
3. Owning a kayak needs more investments as you will have to purchase all the accessories, compared to renting, which has these accessories that include; oars and a life vest.
4. To own a kayak and its accessories, you need to have a vehicle for transportation to and from water bodies and have sufficient space and required tools for storage. This may pose a challenge to you, especially when the kayak is long and large.
Pros Of Renting A Kayak
1. A rental kayak won’t stress you on how you’ll store or maintain it, as the owner does it. Renting eliminates hassles that are associated with keeping and taking care of the kayak.
2. Rental kayaks always have additional accessories that are essential when kayaking. They include paddles and life vests; therefore, you won’t buy them.
3. If your kayaking is short-term, or a few times in a year, renting will be cheaper than buying.
4. Renting a Kayak will give you a chance to try different kayaks and multiple brands. This will help you to avoid committing to only one kayak or brand.
5. Kayak depreciates just like cars, and the more it’s used, the more it loses value. If you decide to resell, it will give you a loss since you won’t sell it even at the price you bought it. This is not the case with renting because you will return it after use. Hence depreciating value won’t worry you.
Cons Of Renting A Kayak
1. You have to pay a rental fee any time you rent a kayak, the money that you could have used to purchase your own. If you are frequently kayaking, renting will be very expensive, and it will drain your pocket.
2. Rental kayak is rented by various people, including beginners or those with little experience in kayaking. This leads to tear and wear as they try to learn new skills in water sports. As a result, the kayak may be in poor condition, which will make it dangerous to use and even ruin your experience.
3. It is challenging to get a rental kayak that will fit you well because it is bought to be used by as many different people with different sizes as possible. This will make your trip end in frustration caused by the inappropriate size of the kayak you rented. This may also cause injuries and discomfort.
4. Rental kayak can be unreliable. It may be unavailable at the time you want, as someone else may have rented.
5. Renting a kayak will not allow you to outfit it the way you want instead of when you own yours.
We hope that this article has helped you make up your mind about the better option for you. Every kayaker has unique needs that only they can understand. If you are a beginner in kayaking, we recommend renting a kayak to experience different models and designs to know what features you would love on your boat when it’s time to buy one.
NUS is a kayaking enthusiast who has been kayaking with a local group for the last five years. He loves using kayaks while out on outings on the water or camping when the friends want to have a BBQ party somewhere on the bank of a local lake.
Based on his experiences with the different types of kayaks, he is sharing his opinion about kayaking tricks and required gears so that a beginner can get started right away.
Find his team on Twitter here. Happy reading!