which kayak to sell


i am a dealer in outdoor goods and i wish to start selling a good brand of kayaks for recreation and fishing.

which brand of kayaks would you suggest?

which is the bestselling kayak brand in the market?

there are other kayak dealers in this market so my brand needs to stand out.



Just to start…
for the safety of your potential customers, stay away from kayaks. Unless this post is way off from your actual knowledge, you shouldn’t be advising anyone about getting into a kayak (or canoe). Take the time to get some lessons and learn something yourself first.

This is also marketing - questionable for this site.

Sell Kayak Classes - Before Boats
Find an ACA instructor in your area,

figure out a way to get people educated on kayaks.


Just because a boat has a big ol’ flat bottom

doesn’t mean its stable all the time.


2nd Celia’s advice.
And try before you buy.

Think of it like cars
If there are already Ford and Chevy dealers in your market, you probably won’t have much of a chance gaining a foothold. And the existing dealers probably have protected territories, so you can’t get the franchise anyway.

So, your only possible viable option is a boutique brand, like BMW or Audi. In kayak terms, a niche brand might be Native or Jackson.

But product is more than the physical object. It includes pricing, available services, ancillary products, etc. To enhance your odds of success, you’ll want a very knowledegable staff, a willingness to allow demoing, accepting trade-ins, package deals and other things to differentiate your offerings.

In other words, you’d have to make a significant commitment of space, effort and capital. Do the math and make sure the market will yield enough return to support this. It’s tough to compete with the big box stores and online retailers in this segment. Good luck.

I echo the others-learn the sport first
I took up kakaking three years ago when moved to Connecticut. My first kayak was a basic rec model at a very affordable price. Even then, I relied on the dealer for advice on what type of PFD to buy, how it should fit, which paddles would be best, where to kayak.

If the dealer could not have answered these basic questions, I would have walked out the door. For some of my more complex questions about paddling, bad answers would have been dangerous to me (e.g. never kayak below the covered bridge due to dangerous conditions, the reservoirs are off-limits, etc.).

If you are serious about selling kayaks, you need a body of knowledge to sell from.

for fishing
I would say wilderness systems tarpons

While I agree with the comments about knowing what you sell (i.e., learn kayaking yourself first if you have not already started to do so), there are two very general things to keep in mind:

  1. A wide SOT will accommodate beginners and others who need extra primary stability, such as fisherman. There are many such models being made.

  2. If you are located in a hot climate with year-round warm water temperatures, the above is especially appealing to customers who want to keep things casual and minimize the learning required. And no need to decide about providing sprayskirts and wet-exit training.

    But if you are in a cold-water area, a SINK style would be more protective from wind and splashing on lower body. Unfortunately, then you will need to figure out how to convince people to take some basic instruction while not turning them off the notion of paddling.

    The above doesn’t answer your questions about brands and models, obviously. One source of info about SOTs is www.topkayaker.net, if that’s the style you decide on.

    Without knowing something about the population where you are, it’ll be hard to know where the bottom cut-off line is, price-wise. Are you willing to sell junk just because the price is lower? People see the utter crap sold in some department stores and expect that the decent stuff will be priced similarly.

Fishing and rec kayaks
I would think something like pelican for the budget minded customers and maybe wilderness systems because they seem to cater to the fishing and rec market and also make some decent sea kayaks as well if you ever wanted to get in that market .

Good luck,


What brands
It would be helpful to know what brands your competition carries. Can you list them?

thanks for the replies guys.

competition is selling malibu kayaks.

do you think the modular point65 kayaks would be a bestseller in a store ?


Depends on your market

– Last Updated: Nov-24-11 10:08 AM EST –

Point 65 is one of a number of sea kayaks that often intimidate new paddlers because of their initial stability - they feel much less solid on the water than a big barge of a rec boat does for a first timer.

If you don't know enough to understand how this works and can't help them get by that with a basic class etc, you will have a long term relationship with sea kayaks you order. There are individuals who will chase a particular boat and might drive to you for a if you are the closest dealer, but you can't build a business model on those folks unless you carry a variety of brands and boats.

You may also find it difficult to get say just one sea kayak in a line unless you buy on the secondary market. Manufacturers generally want someone to carry some real portion of their line.

You are steadfastly ignoring considerable advice above to find out more about kayaking before you try to get someone else on the water. This is not prudent for the sake of your own liability, let alone business success. Sea kayaking, the area served by boats like the Point 65, is a small world. If a few people realize that you are selling boats that you can't intelligently represent, word will travel far faster than you realize.

I believe the OP was actually
thinking of the Point 65 N range of recreational kayaks, specifically their 2 or 3 piece SOT and “sit-in” rec kayaks .

Here in Quebec I’ve seen quite a few stores stocking them this year (Point 65N lured Riot’s former owner over to running their N. American distribution - so these boats are turning up in the same places Riots were/are sold) but I’ve only seen one example on the water.

Point 65N obviously think there’s a market for these boats, but they don’t seem so exciting to me. Perhaps they are easier to store and transport, but you pay a premium for this feature.

But I’ll add that I agree
the intent of Celia’s post.

Oh - me wrong re boat
I was thinking the OPer might have tripped over a sectional form of a different brand of boat than this more rec’y one.

But changing the craft doesn’t change the knowledge and understanding…

WS and Native
Wilderness Systems and Native Watercraft

As others said, you should have some knowledge of what you are selling, but hopefully nothing is keeping you from hiring someone who knows his boats while you learn the ropes.

Some mentioned Wilderness Systems and that is a good choice. Their Pungo is a very popular rec kayak and the Tsunami line will satisfy many improving paddlers.

Old Town doesn’t make the greatest boats, but they have some decent rec boats and the company has name recognition. Anybody who has ever paddled a canoe or kayak has probably heard of Old Town.

You probably want some sit on top kayaks in your store. Since your competition already sells Malibu the you can stick with Wilderness System’s SOTs or perhaps the Perception line of rec SOTs.

PA area
In our area the Wilderness Systems brand of kayaks and the Emotion Kayaks are two of the biggest sellers in the area.

Seems like Wilderness Systems are more popular for fishing and the Emotion line of kayaks are the most popular recreation kayaks. All the places that do rental kayaks use Emotion Kayaks for their fleet of rental yaks.

Many of other great brand of kayaks out but around here Wilderness Systems and Emotion Kayaks are the biggest sellers at the full on kayak dealers and outfitters in my area.

Jackson Kayak is popular for white water kayaks and also have some pretty nice rec kayaks as well.