Why Are Kayaks So Expensive? All You Need To Know

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: October 17, 2021
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Kayas are expensive because they are made from unique materials that are capital intensive. They also come with features and accessories that are not cheap, thus adding to the cost of these vessels. Some kayak brands cost more because they are reputable for specific activities.

If you’ve been looking for a kayak to buy as a first-timer, you must have come across different price tags on kayaks that surprised you. Some kayaks are so expensive, but that’s not without reason. So, why are kayaks so pricey? This article takes you through the nitty-gritty of kayak pricing to help you understand what you are paying for. We also have some tips that come in handy for paddlers on a budget. Let’s dive in already!

Top 10 Most Expensive Kayaks

Below is a table showing some of the most expensive kayak brands, their price, and their best use.

Kayak name Price Best use
Hobie mirage tandem kayak$7,449 MSRPRecreational kayaking and fishing
Jackson Coosa FD$ 3,399Fishing 
Old town loon 120 $ 1,049 Recreational kayakiing
BKC PK 14$2157.30Angling 
Ocean kayak Malibu pedal $2,099Touring and fishing
Advanced elements airvolution2$1,599Recreational kayaking 
Oru kayak coast XT$1,999Touring 
Dagger kayaks stratos$1,509 Touring 
Wilderness systems Polaris$2,659 Touring 
Aire sper lynx$ 1,999Recreational kayaking

Five Reasons Why Kayaks Are Expensive

Five Reasons Why Kayaks Are Expensive

So, you’ve already decided to take up kayaking as a hobby to help you enjoy the outdoors as you keep your muscles active; but looking at the price of kayaks, you wonder if this hobby is viable. 

Not all kayaks are pricey, as you can find kayaks costing less than $150 that also perform well on the water. So, what makes other kayaks cost $1000 and even more? Are these expensive high-end models worth buying? Below are some reasons why kayaks are costly:

1. Material 

Kayaks are made from rugged material to make them durable and withstand the elements and obstacles in the water. These materials are mostly reinforced to make kayaks resistant to puncture, impact, and UV damage.

The type of materials used to make a kayak significantly impacts its price. Canoes made from fiberglass are the costliest. Some kayaks are made from plastic(polyethylene), which must be treated and reinforced to make them durable yet lightweight. The technology used to strengthen these materials is expensive, and this cost adds up to the kayak’s final price.

Most plastic kayaks in the higher price range are made from rotomolded plastic or multi-layered material to make them more durable. 

Your kayaking needs and schedule should guide the material you end up choosing for your kayak. If you want a kayak that you will use every week for many years, you should invest in a durable material such as fiberglass, which will cost more. If you only need a recreational kayak for getting on the water a few times in the summer, the cheaper materials won’t be a problem. If you are kayaking in choppy waters with many obstacles, you need to get a rugged kayak with thick and durable material.

Whether you want a hard-shell or inflatable boat, the material of your vessel is vital, and you shouldn’t compromise. Get a strong material that can withstand your type of kayaking activity.

2. Features And Accessories

Another key contributor to the price of a kayak is the features and accessories it comes with. The difference between a kayak costing $100 and one costing $800 can be seen in the features. The more features a kayak has, the pricier it is.

 The cheap models will do if you want a simple kayak for just chilling on the water. However, if you want an ergonomic kayak with rod holders, paddle holders, waterproof storage, mounting accessories, trolling motors, and such, you will have to pay more.

These additional features on a kayak are meant to make paddlers more comfortable and make your vessel more like a luxury kayak. If you want a quality kayak without having to pay a hefty price, consider one with the features you need. If you aren’t fishing from your kayak, you don’t need rod holders and fish finders on a kayak. 

The accessories that come with your kayak also add to its price. Sometimes, research and find out whether buying accessories, such as paddles, separately cost less. You could end up saving some dollars by purchasing the accessories you need separately.

3. Type Of Kayak 

Different kayaks are designed for specific user segments, and each of them has a unique hull design. The price of the kayak is impacted by what activity it is intended to perform. If you want a kayak designed for specific water activity, be ready to part with more money. The following are some of the types of kayaks in the market:

a) Fishing Kayaks

 These kayaks are designed to meet the needs of kayak anglers with features customized for fishing. Some of the features of such kayaks include ample storage, large weight capacity, and accessories such as fish finders and rod holders. Fishing kayaks are also designed with remarkable stability to enable anglers to cast and retrieve their catch while standing. A good quality fishing kayak costs anywhere between $400- $1200

b) Recreational Kayaks

These are the perfect kayaks for those looking to explore calm waters. They are great for paddlers of all skill levels and are designed for maximum comfort and stability. Recreational kayaks are available in simple designs and sophisticated ones, which are slightly expensive. A recreational kayak is an affordable way to start kayaking before choosing what activity you want to specialize in.

c) Whitewater Kayaks

Whitewater kayaks are meant for kayaking on rivers and other fast-moving waters. They are designed to handle rapids up to class III and IV without giving in. For whitewater kayaks, user safety is the main focus, and most of the features that make these vessels pricey are geared towards guaranteeing safety

d) Sea Kayaks 

Sea kayaks are designed for ocean touring and deep-sea adventures. These kayaks are meant to withstand waves and other obstacles found on seas and oceans. Sea kayaks have a distinctive design that sets them apart from other vessels. Their hulls are streamlined and relatively longer, and more durable.

4. Where The Kayak Is Made

Another critical factor that impacts the price of kayaks and is greatly overlooked is the country of origin or manufacture.  Most kayak manufacturers are based near areas with lots of lakes and oceans where demand for their product is high.

If you want a kayak manufactured miles away from your country, be prepared to pay more to buy and ship the vessel. Even if you buy the kayak in a store near you, the cost of getting it to you has already been included in its final price. An excellent way to save on such expenses is to look around for kayak manufacturers in your locality. It will cost less to buy a high-end kayak from them compared to importing one.

Are Expensive Kayaks Worth The Money?

Are Expensive Kayaks Worth The Money

Yes, they are. For most kayak models, you get what you pay for. And, price is directly proportional to the quality of the kayak. Before buying an expensive kayak, be sure you know what features you need in a vessel, including details such as the material and capacity. Once you know what you need, you can narrow down your options and find a kayak within your budget.

Tips For Getting A Good Kayak On A Budget

1. Consider renting instead of buying, especially if you only kayak occasionally.

2. List down the features you need so that you don’t pay a high price for things you don’t need

3. Buy locally manufactured vessels

4. Consider buying a second-hand kayak

5. Go for inflatable models since they are more affordable and easy to transport and store

Conclusion

Kayaking is an excellent hobby that allows you to interact with nature, get social and improve your physical fitness. It is known to calm and stimulate the brain, thus increasing your overall performance and quality of life. Finding a good kayak that will keep you safe on the water is critical. Investing in an expensive kayak is a decision that most kayakers never regret since they offer value for money. As a beginner, find a simple kayak that is within your budget then you can upgrade to an expensive model once you know what features you want in a vessel. We hope that this article helps you understand why kayaks are costly and you are in a better position to choose a suitable kayak for your needs. Happy kayaking!s

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