Buying kayaks online

I keep hearing about buying online as opposed to local stores and outfitters. What are some stores online that will ship, the closest place that I can purchase kayaks in person is Dick’s sporting goods and they don’t have anything I am interested in, the next closest place is a couple of hours drive. I have been renting a kayak for my son on the weekends and think I am going to buy him one for his birthday. Chris

Kayak Dealers…
Don’t know where you’re located in Eastern North Carolina but have you looked into Great Outdoor Provision Company in Greenville or Raleigh/Durham? Check out Paddle Creek at Falls Lake near Durham. Bicycle Post in Greenville and Steves Bicycles in Rocky Mount sell Kayaks as well as canoes. Suggest you visit some of the Manufacturers web sites and search for Dealers near you.

NOC is a 6 hour drive

– Last Updated: May-23-06 10:30 AM EST –

and great outdoor provisional does not carry all the yaks I am interested in. I bought one of my canoes from them and it is about a 2 hour drive. I understand about supporting your local dealer and I do, I try to buy something everytime I go to an outfitter, keeping that store front up costs money. But I also know it is impossible for the local stores to stock 100s of different styles of kayaks hence my question. Didn't know about Paddle Creek I will check it out. Chris

There is Saltmarsh kayaks in Wrightsville Beach, Herrings in Surf City, and another location for Great Outdoors in Wilmington. I don’t remember the names but there is an outfitter in New Bern and one in Jax.


watch shipping charges
The biggest deal killer in shopping online for boats is usually shipping. offers free shipping, & no sales tax, and they have a pretty decent selection, depending on just what exactly it is that you’re looking for.

However, I will say that I’m not sure I’d buy a boat sight unseen. A few weeks ago, I was deadset on getting a specific kayak. I was positive it was the one for me, based on reading about it online. Then, after having seen a few of them in person, and after paddling one, I knew it was definitely NOT what I was looking for. So it goes.

If your son is happy with the one(s) he’s renting, you might consider getting that exact model, if possible. Just a thought. Good luck.

Buying a kayak or canoe
is a nerve wracking experience, buying something that is as good as you can get for your money and something you can use and be satisfied with for more than a season is a tough job. I read on here about all these people that paddle before they buy, I can’t find anything like that here, I have rented a perception Arcadia for him a couple of times and he loves it, go figure, it’s the only kayak he has ever paddled. The reviews I read on here really don’t do much good, they all pretty much start out “This is my first kayak and it is great, really perfect for me” blah, blah.

We do a lot of fishing as well as exploring, the OT loon 138 and the necky manitou get some good reviews so I might try to trace one of these down to actually look at in person. What I want for him is something that doesn’t have too steep a learning curve and will keep him interested for a while. Chris

I completely agree
I’m used to doing significant research before major purchases, and I’ve bought enough toys over the years to usually feel like I pretty much know what I’m doing. But, buying a canoe or kayak is really a lot harder than it needs to be. Or, I should say getting the RIGHT one is tougher than it needs to be. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a dealer that does a pretty decent demo session, the larger demos are usually only once a year, and the selection can be very spotty.

I’m fortunate in living in the middle of the state that there are over a dozen places that sell canoes and kayaks within a fairly easy drive. However, of those, there’s only a couple that I’d bother to do business with, and it took me many trips and much asking of questions to even get to the point where I pretty much know which salespeople are worth listening to, and which ones are just blowing smoke, (or smoking blow).

Currently, my working model is to buy used, and then to sell on the local classifieds if it displeases me. That’s a rough way to try boats, but it seems to work so long as you don’t get anything so exotic that few would want to buy it from you.

– Last Updated: May-23-06 3:11 PM EST –

Wildwasser shipped my 17 foot sea kayak with no sales tax (unless you live in CO) and split the shipping with me at only $60 for me. Lovely people to work with.

Prijon Capri is one thought for you and your son.
My 11, soon 12, year old loves his. (that is the correct web addrss, not the one in mu subject line).

If you want a sit on top, is a good on-line dealer. For Old Town, there’s always Cabela’s, Bass Pro, and L.L. Bean. As I recall, Bean’s shipping charges are pretty light. Think may ship “free”…always skeptical about that, I’m willing to bet the shipping is in the charges, so compare if dealing with a free shipper.

I bought mine
from I’m sure the brand/model has something to do with shipping costs. I bought a Hobie Adventure, had a few things added, and had it delivered to my door. The yak was packed OK, and even with delivery time was at my door in less than a week. The folks there specialize in fishing SOT’s and are very knowledgable. Best part was that they called me, asked and answered questions, and got me on the water faster than the local Hobie would have for a better price (saved on sales tax) Customer service above and beyond!

The do offer “paddling perks discount” and advertise on this site.

QCC kayaks
Free shipping, and free return shipping if you do not like it. American engineering and craftsmanship at its best! Very competitive pricing too, they only sell online so that reduces their costs. And yes I do own one.

KFS was best deal
I shopped quite a few online dealers after not being able to find a local one. I calculated price, tax, shipping, deals, etc and came out ahead. I ordered a yak and had a rudder and rod holders installed right away, they called the next day to confirm the order and mounting locations. After they called to tell me it shipped I figured 2 days but I got it the next day, go figure. Definitely not a BigBox store, those guys know their stuff and saved me a lot of time with their knowledge and experience. The only glitch was that the Paddling Perks coupon code would not take when you checked out, this was addressed and rectified with both an email and a phone call, what a great experience.
I just finished a deal for a kayak, PFD, paddle, skirt and cockpit cover from and am completely satisfied with the product, price, service and shipping. The shipping was free, on time and the boat (Perception Sundance 12) is great. They had online tracking of the shipment and answered all the niggling questions I had as I waited for the boat to get here. The only downside is that my local dealer is only a part time operation is a little miffed because he could not beat or match the price. (and all he had was last years model)…

Impossible to say anything bad about the experience.


(BTW I had the boat out today and had a wonderful time. It tracks so much better than my old Dagger Bayou I almost feel guilty about selling to my pal tommorow, but I will… hehehe)

My favorite places to buy online:

Both of the above give excellent service (did for me, anyway).

This assumes you know exactly what you want and that you’ve test paddled the boat in question, or that you are confident enough in your research to take a chance.

Shipping used to be around $90-$100 but now is running more like $175 because of fuel prices. Still, I’ve found some really good deals where I’ve paid less (even including shipping) than I would have paid locally.

I’ll chime in with a good experience dealing with L.L.Bean. We ordered 2 kayaks for my wife and I. Shipping was $40 each, less than the sales tax we would have paid buying locally. And Bean’s return policy is legend. We had a problem with my wife’s boat. They shipped us a new one, and arranged for pickup of the other one at the time of delivery of the replacement. If they have the boat you want, they’re great to deal with.

depends on

– Last Updated: May-24-06 12:06 PM EST –

what you'll be using the yak for. if it's whitewater your after go to a local yak shop(check the yellow pages)and ask them, try out as many as you can before buying. if it's a rec yak, ll bean,outdoor play as stated before has some great packages. if it's a fishing yak you want or just a sot(sit on top) call kayakfishingstuff they are by far the most knowledgeable, but regardless of which you'd choose, do the homework read product reviews, check the dimentions, etc..

hope this helps

tight lines to all

Lone Star Kayaks
I just got my Cobra Navigator XF from LSK in Austin, TX…two holes in it. The shipping company is giving me the run-around…I will have to let you know how it all works out. Needless to say, I haven’t paddled it yet.