Dicks Kayak Selection

I’d call this guy:

Another perspective . . .
Dicks doesn’t just sell low-end kayaks. We got our first kayak from Dicks: an Old Town 138 Twin Loon, which is a fine boat for smaller people. I watched that boat all season, waiting until it finally went on sale that fall, then bought it.

Don’t forget to include the essentials in your budget, as we did: paddles, PFDs, bilge pump, first aid kit and appropriate clothing and footwear.

We enjoyed that boat for for 4 seasons, until I realized my best option for our limited budget was to go the kit route and I built the Terns.

We still have the twin Loon - available to enjoy for fishing, taking our grand daughter out someday, paddling in rocky areas - where we don’t want to put an epoxy finish, and to introduce kayaking to friends and family. Our lesson has been to buy a good boat somewhere - at Dicks, on sale, if your budget requires it - and get out on the water!

look at Craigs and bounce what you find
off of us.

I wish I’d done that, which would have saved me The Large Orange Embarrassment in January of 08.

I got the Large Orange Embarrassment on sale at West Marine for 325.00. It was a Mainstream Patriot that had sat outside for a season.

I’d paddled better boats belonging to friends for years, but this was MY BOAT.

I had it out in the Augusta Georgia canals several times and when I was passed by a older person in a solo canoe as I struggled with my too short paddle I realized I was missing something serious. Especially since it was as wide as it was long.

Needless to say, I replaced in last February with a series of better boats.

In the meantime I found really great boats on Craigs. None of them were what I was looking for, but someone got a good deal on something seriously more high end then my Large Orange Embarrassment.

There is a happy end to Large Orange Embarrassment - it too went on Craigs with the too short paddle, which found a newbie in the Target parking lot. She is happy and my husband had to let me buy the Romany : )

there other cheapies here


Nothing wrong with Dick’s
They have boats for all but the very serious paddlers.

My son bought me an Islander Swifty 9.5 from there for Christmas 2007. He didn’t have a lot to spend and I appreciated every penny he spent.

Is it the greatest boat in the world… of course not, but it was MINE, and it got me out of the house and on the water.

I learned to live/put up with it’s limitations. Having a wide short boat that doesn’t glide a lot can build up your arms pretty fast.

During the summer of 2008, I traded an old canoe for an RTM Tango SOT so I could get my wife to join me. That didn’t work, but I was able to take my 3 year old granddaughter out with me on a couple of trips. It was faster, easier to paddle and a whole different experience.

This led to my latest (but first I spent $$ on) purchase, an Old Town Dirigo 140 with a jump seat for my granddaughter to sit on. To me it’s a great boat, and I just got my first win (3rd place) in a race with it.

I’m sure purists will stick their nose up at each of these, but I’ve enjoyed all of them.

In fact, I took out the old Swifty on Memorial Day because it was the easiest to toss in the bed of the pick up. I was in a time crunch to get in some river time between the rain.

So take each persons advice with a grain of salt.

Do check Craigslist for bargains, but also know what you’re looking for.

Take into consideration on how you’re going to transport the yak, and figure in the cost of racks, trailers, etc.

I’m one of the lucky ones and have a pick up. makes life a lot simpler.

Misses the point
You have $x to spend and you can get a cheap, new, low quality boat from Dicks or you can get a much better boat used on Craig’s List. Why would you choose the boat at Dick’s???

Don’t limit your choices
> would be using the kayak once a week in the chicago river and possibly beach on lake michigan

There has to be a lot of good kayaking up that way, you could be doing overnight trips in a 12-14 footer easily in some areas. Rather than buy new, you can get something a little larger used that will let you do more and keep you interested.

And if you fall out of love with the sport, you’ll have an easier time selling that used kayak for less of a loss.

Used is an option but
I’m not sure its as great for everybody as touted here. I personally haven’t found great deals and you are limited by what’s for sale.

Dicks, Craigslist, stores and livery used boats…check them all and buy what seems best for you whether at Dicks or not.

Used kayaks
That’s true. In many areas there are no good kayak shops and the only boats that come up for sale are clunkers from the big box stores. Don’t buy someones mistake. It can take years to find a good used kayak in the local area.

has a HUGE ever churning selection of used boats from the simplest rec boat to the very top of the food chain in seakayaks, both commercial models and some excellent strip built and SOFs.

The more people in the paddling world (vs. the retail landscape) you come to know, the more opportunities. Lots of multiboat owners here, club members, loosely affiliated paddling groups and great independent paddleshops w. demos, floor models and warehouse queens.

You have to be up for doing more homework on boat features and how to evaluate a used boat instead of subjecting your wallet to a salesperson at Dick’s or Cabela’s (or even REI and Moosejaw, depending on the location) who may or may not be informed. You have to be willing, maybe, to drive to see and test a boat, but that might be the case w. a big box store as well.

IMO, unless you want something so specific that it is rare or no longer made, or you have been kayaking for years and want that custom “last boat” the used market is the way to go - not only but esp. if you are starting out.