Topkayaker - you may want to avoid

Topkayaker is a parts source recommended by Wilderness Systems. Topkayaker won’t even respond to emails. Both companies are one’s to avoid. There are better kayaks and suppliers. fyi

I think top kayaker has shut down
The used to be the webiste There hasn’t been a lot of activity there on the site for some time. Did you actually place an order?

The guy who runs the site ( or did run the site ) is a good guy, I wonder if they have had some kind of problems.

Tom at Topkayaker, is a small shop, and most likely doesn’t have time to answer emails all the time, why don’t you pick up the phone and call him, instead of giving bad advice about him. I have bought a lot of things from him in the past and always enjoyed talking to him. I don’t like email all the time, i’m 70 and old fashion, rather talk to someone than relying on a computer


– Last Updated: Jul-12-16 9:02 PM EST –

I have bought lots of parts, leashes, etc from Tom, he's not exactly Amazon but I've never had a problem. I looked and it does say to call now on his webpage.

Topkayaker / Wilderness Systems
Topkayaker, according to Wilderness Systems is the go-to person for your parts and needs. If he can’t handle the job he should get out of the business.

Au contraire
Over the years, I’ve had very good support from Topkayaker … including quite recently (like a month ago). So I am surprised.

Oh really? And what do YOU know?

– Last Updated: Jul-12-16 10:55 PM EST –

You sound to me like a spoiled youngster who has no experience operating or working for a really small business - a person who can't even imagine why someone running a shop like that by himself might need to save time by doing his customer interactions by phone. I could give you a number of likely reasons this guy is having a hard time keeping up during the busy part of the year, and just as many reasons why it might not be practical or cost-effective to hire part-time help, but I doubt it would influence what you think you "know". You've been advised to follow the directions on the website (who'd a thunk it?) and just pick up the phone, and you've heard from others that he's a standup guy to do business with, yet rather than second guess yourself, you just make another harsh, judgmental comment. Sometimes when doing business it pays to be half as flexible as you wish the other guy was, which isn't such a horrible thing if you are capable of imagining what it might be like to walk in the other guy's shoes.

Same problem…
I have the same problem trying to get parts for my Yugos…

Never A Problem
I’ve used Topkayaker for a couple of years now, last time about a month ago. My orders came in quickly! Bashing the business over no email response seems hasty.

you have a few other people saying

– Last Updated: Jul-13-16 9:07 AM EST –

they get good service and that it just requires a phone call.

The kayaking business is not a mainstream industry. Many of these people put their time into it without the ability to manage flashy websites and instant email help. It's not Amazon or Best Buy. So you can pick up the phone, or find another option that may not offer a better response.

Consider what you're asking for: a repair part for a decade-old boat. Is your repeated posting of disappointment over a lack of instant email response getting you that part?

Pick up the phone or move on to another supplier (you've said there are plenty of them). Best of luck.

Email not always an indicator
I’ve bought some things from them over the last few months. They arrived quickly & correctly. The non-response, as others have said, can be due to a number of factors. It doesn’t necessarily in and of itself mean it’s a bad company, although frustrating. Ono comes to mind, or try getting an email response from Valley.

Always have had good service
I’ve bought lots of stuff from Tom over the years. He has the hard to find parts!

great service
Fantastic service for me, even when I screwed up a return.

I was trying to come up with an appropriate analogy, but I think you’ve got it.

just an observation:
Is it just me, or do people increasingly seem to go to great lengths to avoid person-to-person contact? Personally I prefer phone contact over email regarding something specific like this.

Benefit of Owning Your Own Business
One of the very few benefits of owning my own company is that if I find a client is jerk, AH, or can’t be trusted to pay, I just don’t do any business with them. Send me an email, call me up … nope don’t have to answer.

You reminded me of an encounter I overheard while in a small kayaking shop (kayak corral in Saline, MI). I thought, “boy would I like to have that sort of control”.

In My Job
doing IT if someone is a jerk well their request goes to the back of the line. Some of them get others don’t. I was always told in the school environment the 4 depts you don’t want to piss off is the custodians, maintenance, kitchen staff and IT.

And Tom has ALWAYS…
Been INCREDIBLY helpful and PATIENT with questions on the phone, and generous with advice on how to repair items even though he and his company won’t make a dime. But…even Tom can’t please everyone.

he can’t email you back right now

– Last Updated: Jul-13-16 5:56 PM EST –

he's too busy helping the new customers that this complaint has inadvertently brought him!