Buying a New Kayak


I’ve recently stumbled into enough disposable income to buy a kayak, something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I used to go often in my youth, but haven’t had much opportunity for several years.

I am looking for a tandem, probably a sit on top, but one that’s small enough that I can still go solo. I will be taking my dog with me (50 lbs.) often, and maybe doing some fishing. Most of my experience was with the Ocean Kayak brand, which I liked a lot.

I am primarily a recreational paddler, and don’t intend on going in anything too rough. I am 6’ tall, just under 200 lbs, and of average build.

My limit is $1000, paddles and accessories included, but it would be nice to keep it under if I can. Any suggestions for brands, models, and where I might get the best price?


where are you located?

Originally Kansas, but I at present I work in East Texas.

I don’t know much about SOTs, but…
…I would recommend the following:

Try as many different boats as you can, so that you will discover your own likes, dislikes, and specific preferences. Once you know what you really want, look for a used one. You’ll always get “more boat for the money” when you buy used, so you can get a good one and still save money. Then, if you can’t find a decent used paddle, spend what you can on a really good one, as you’ll want something that does a good job, and one that you can use for hours on end and still feel comfortable. You might love your boat, but if your paddle is not-so-great (too heavy, clumsy in the water, etc.), you may lose your inspiration to get out on the water anyway.

A couple of sites that you might find useful:


I started kayaking last year. I bought a SOT Native Manta Ray 14.6. My brother and I took a couple of beginners lessons and each time it was in a sit in kayak. I don’t care how open the cockpit is I still don’t like the closed in feeling of a sit in. I’ve had the Native on a couple of lakes and two different rivers. Neither river had over a class I or II rapid on the part I floated. The Native tracks and manuervers well, easy to get in and out of. I’m told these yaks are great for fishing and I think the weight limit is 300lbs. The only drawback I’ve found is the weight…69lbs. Native makes a tandem that can be used solo. I saw a couple with one and asked how they liked it. They said it was great.

Here’s the link

When I started looking for my first kayak I checked craigslist every day. I have found great deals on kayaks and now have three for less than the price of one new one. I used the review section on here to help with information kayaks I was not familiar with. The best deals go quick so you have to check often. I still check daily just in case something good comes along. A demo program at a local outfitter is a great place to try out different kayaks if you do not have an idea what you want. Craigslist is also a great place to sell your kayak if you it was not exactly what you wanted. The more you enjoy the sport the more you will learn exactly what you want. You may not find the perfect boat on your first purchase. Another great thing about a used boat is that first bump or scratch. Does not hurt as much knowing that you paid less money for the boat.

Ocean Kayak or Perception maybe?
Hey, thanks for the help!

I will keep an eye out on ebay and craigslist, though at the moment there doesn’t seem to be any good options.

I was wondering about the Ocean Kayak malibu two XL and the perception Tribe 13.5; both look very similar, but there’s a price difference of about $100. Is the Malibu really superior?

I have used the malibu before and liked it a great deal, I just wondering if the perception would be a cheaper way to go without sacrificing quality.