Closing of Jersey paddler

with the closing of jersey paddler here in NJ is there any place to go that has as much inventory or is as helpful as JP was?
the kayak shows were great. bought 2 kayaks there over the years. now there’s a bit of a void.

If you are looking for sea kayaks I would strongly recommend The River Connection in Hyde Park, NY. It’s run by a guy named Marshall and he is helpful in the extreme. I’ve purchased my last six boats from him.

I think inventory is down every where in the paddling business just like the marine business for boat sales. It cost money to stock stuff and then you sit on it and it cuts into your profit which seems to be on the low end for everything now anyway. Marshall is always a great help here for advice. Although I have not bought a kayak of River Connection I have purchased some other items and received prompt service and delivery. If they are going some where he always tells you or post and doesn’t leave you hanging and wondering. Prices are good too not that is the end all for me. Rather support a business with a personal touch that is there with the right advice when I need it. Always wanted to demo a surf ski but it’s to late now as JP is gone. To much inventory you can’t sell can pull you under like many people selling new power boats has.

I’ll enthusiastically ditto tvcrider’s endorsement of Marshall and The River Connection.

Haven’t purchased a kayak from him because he’s 800 miles away and that’s a bit far to drive for a demo, but I go to him for every other item of important gear because I trust him, he’s been extraordinarily helpful (and patient with some of my questions), and he’s very, very good at what he does.

Indeed, Jersey Paddler closing down has left a huge hole.

Campmor up in Paramus has more kayak stuff than you might think, and much more than the very little they show on their website, and is worth a visit. AFAIK they don’t offer demos or classes though and their inventory is only a dozen or so boats. They are a Current Designs dealer and were very helpful in sorting out an issue with a CD boat I had last summer.

Still, this year my wife and I will probably take a drive up to Hyde Park to see what Marshall has.

You can try Blue Mountain Outfitters in Marysville PA… Quite an interesting and large shop. The Kayak Centre in Rhode Island
Collinsville Canoe and Kayak in Connecticut

I have a 1991 Dagger Impulse canoe that still has its Jersey Paddler sticker.


Bought it from a guy in the NY/NJ AMC, so I assume he purchased it there. Sad to see another boat shop go away.

I’ll off another endorsement of Marshall and the River Connection. Great store, inventory, service and advice. I feel lucky to have met Marshall on P’Net years ago. I posted about learning to roll, and he offered advice and eventual training. I was 90 minutes away, but the drive was worth it. I now own much nicer kayaks and can roll.

Ditto Marshall and the River Connection . Check out the CIA Culinary Institute of America while you are in Hyde Park, reservations suggested.
Another option is , I attended their Spring event in Old Forge on Fourth Lake a couple of times in the past. There was a reasonable fee, considering one could try different boats all day, and it would count toward a purchase.

The one and only time I went to the JP (25 years ago), I thought I died and went to heaven. Tested a Sawyer Summersong, Autumn mist, Mohawk Challenger and a Curtis Dragonfly. Ended up with the Mohawk, still have it. Recently got a second hand Wenonah that was originally purchased from JP.

You can also check out the Dinghy Shop in Amityville on Long Island, NY. They usually have a big stock of kayaks year round with a demo weekend in the Spring. They carry a lot of the same stuff that Jersey Paddler did plus other companies like Impex Kayaks and Mitchell Paddles. If you’re in the area they’re worth checking out.

I think even the Ding Shop has cut back on some lines like Current Designs.

I think they did cut back on Current Designs but they do still have a selection of fiberglass Solstice GTS’s and a GTS HV last time I checked. They were all on clearance too if anyone is interested. They have the new Abitibi & Co. Impex line which look great.

Thanks for all the info. I’m not that far from Hyde Park so that’s an option. I bought 2 kayaks over the years at the Jersey Paddler show. A Hurricane excursion and an Epic V6. if it wasn’t for the show i would have never seen an Epic kayak up close. my first kayak actually came from mountainman outdoors. they’re about 5 hrs away from me. i ordered it online and they delivered it to my house. not sure what i would have done it there was a problem with the boat. but all worked out.

No ice on the Hudson. Have drysuit, will paddle. Give a call before stopping by to ensure we’re on land.

See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
9 W. Market St., Hyde Park, NY

Also Lake George Kayak is a great shop. Beautiful boathouse and pretty extensive inventory.

Well, the writing was on the wall for Jersey Paddler. The staff was unfriendly, the inventory was getting old and it was a hassle to test paddle. By contrast, Route 96 Power and Paddle in Owego, NY has their own test pond with a cabin and the staff will do just about anything for you.

I purchased a Prijon Cruiser crossover kayak from The River Connection. They bent over backward to see that I had a good experience.

Personally, I never had any issues with Jersey Paddler. Their inventory consisted of hundreds of boats from dozens of manufacturers, the staff were always helpful, and the 5-minute drive over to Forge Pond to demo a kayak was no big deal. They helped me enormously with getting full refunds on two kayaks I purchased 18 months earlier that had manufacturers defects and the classes I took with them were very well run.

The inventory was getting old because not enough were buying kayaks. Then sitting on hundreds of boats cost a ton of money. To bad I never made it there. Did go to the Paddle Sport Show twice. Second time was mostly fishing kayaks so I wasn’t that interested.