Is a Second Hand Kayak Worth It?

When you decide to get started on kayaking as a hobby then it is clear that the cost of your kayak is going to be your biggest initial expense.

Therefore, it likely that the idea of buying a second hand kayak crosses your mind at some point. After all, this is sure to give you a way of saving money on this purchase.

However, you should definitely look to take a few minutes to consider the pros and cons of doing this. Would a second hand kayak give you terrific value for money or could it turn out to be an expensive mistake in the long run?

The Cost

Of course, the biggest reason for choosing a pre-owned kayak is to make your money go further. This means that it is a good idea to compare the cost to a new one, to see if the difference is worth it.

The truth is that there are many brand new inflatable kayaks with low prices these days. There is certainly no reason to think that you need to spend a fortune to get started on this hobby or that you simply can’t afford a new kayak.

However, getting a used model could give you a better craft for your budget, allowing you to choose a bigger or better kayak than you would otherwise be able to afford.

Are Accessories Included?

Seats and paddles are among the accessories that are needed for any kayak. Buying a craft that someone else has enjoyed can work to your advantage or disadvantage in this respect.

Maybe it will be a kayak enthusiast who is having to give up the sport for some reason and who is happy to include the likes of a life jacket, a cooler or a dry box in the deal. On the other hand, it could be that the person only has the basic kayak to sell.

Therefore, you will need to ask the question and find out what accessories you would be getting with it.

Get a Varied Collection of Kayaks

An interesting point to consider is that you might see this as being an effective way of building up a good collection of kayaks rather than just having one. This could be a very good idea if you plan on using them in different settings or just want to get a lot of variety in your hobby.

There are many different sorts of model around, from those that are sturdy enough for use in the sea to lighter models for recreational use and others that are perfect for fishing in. Don’t forget that this approach would also let you choose kayaks of different sizes, which is ideal if you plan to sometimes go out with friends and other times alone.

Safety and Guarantees

Perhaps the most important point of all is that you need to be completely sure that you are choosing a kayak that is safe to use. You will want to be certain that it has been well looked after and is in a good condition for you to use.

You can start on this by asking to see pictures of the craft if you are buying it online. Expect to see various pictures from every possible angle.

Faded colours and hairline cracks are clear signs that a kayak has suffered some damage or has seen better days. Many models come with a guarantee when bought brand new as well, so it is a good idea to see whether there is still some time left on the warranty and if it can be transferred to you.

The Environmental Factors

Finally, you might also want to take into account the fact that buying a pre-owned kayak can be a more environmentally friendly approach. This keeps an older kayak in use rather than being potentially thrown out, while it also removes the need for you to buy one.

Of course, once you get started you will realise quickly that this is a very environmentally friendly hobby anyway.

Therefore, it makes a good deal of sense to start out as you mean to go on.

Alternatively, if you buy a brand new kayak then you can simply make sure that you get years and years of use out of it, to off-set the damage done to the environment in the production process.


For some people, buying a second hand kayak can be the right move for a number of different reasons. By taking the previous points into account you can decide whether or not this is the way that you want to proceed.