If you’re an outdoorsy person, chances are, you may have already considered kayaking to be your next great adventure.
It’s one of those recreational activities that just screams, “I’m an adventurer!” And I agree.
Kayaking is one of the most versatile outdoor activities you can do. You can do it in a way that is relaxing, or you can do an extreme version of it. It depends on how adventurous you’re feeling.
Kayaking does come with some major KAS (Kayak Acquisition Syndrome), though.
Once you fall in love with kayaking, it may be hard to resist the temptation to get new gears and accessories for your kayak. To be fair, proper kayaking gears would improve your kayaking experience exponentially.
So, where do you buy kayaking gear anyway?
Do Kayaking Stores Offer Online Shopping?
Yes. But some don’t.
Since kayaks and kayaking accessories are pricier than most online items, many stores don’t push their online stores. However, that is quickly changing because of the change in the e-commerce sector.
Another reason stores prefer in-store shopping is the size of the items. Even the smallest of kayaks are huge. In turn, the shipping fee is a lot more expensive than your normal shipping.
If you don’t mind the premium, then online shopping for kayaks is super easy. It is just like ordering any item online.
Most people don’t recommend buying a boat without seeing it in person, and I’m inclined to agree. Nothing beats the convenience of online shopping, but seeing the item in person before a purchase puts your mind at ease.
The Best Kayaking Stores That Offer Online Shopping
Whatever your mode of shopping is, one thing is for sure: kayak shopping is fun. Here’s a list of the best kayaking stores.
1. Outdoor Play
Outdoor Play is one of the top kayak stores online.
It provides a great selection of kayaking tools and accessories along with free shipping. Yes, you read that right—free shipping.
This comes as a surprise since the shipping fee is usually the biggest deal-breaker when purchasing a kayak online. Fortunately, Outdoor Play rids that problem by offering free shipping for items over $49.
What’s more is they offer 24/7 chat and customer support for all their customers.
2. GetOutdoors Pedal & Paddle
Another great online kayak store is GetOutdoors Pedal & Paddle.
This store has been around for quite some time. It started out as a small paddle sports shop in Raleigh, North Carolina during the 1980s and has since grown into one of the biggest kayak and canoe retailers in the Southeast.
One cool thing that separates this store from others is their ‘Demo on Demand’ feature. You can select two items to try anytime you want (as long as you schedule, of course).
They offer shipping and local delivery of most of their stocks, too.
3. Austin Kayak
Austin Kayak is another online kayak store that offers ‘Demo Days.’ Allowing for demos is a great business model since it shows they care for their customers’ needs.
Far too many companies don’t want their products getting tested by buyers. That won’t cut it in the kayaking world where the prices of items are a thousand dollars and up.
Austin Kayak has 8 locations in the US, 4 in Michigan, and 4 in Texas. If you want a demo, definitely schedule one on their website.
As for online transactions, they do provide it. The shipping fees are quite substantial, though. Big items usually go for a $150+ shipping fee. You can get a discount by entering a promo code.
4. Zet Kayak
Zet Kayak offers a more modern approach to online kayak shopping.
They offer a wide selection of kayaks like any other store out there. What separates them is their focus on customization. If you have a design you want for your kayak or canoe, they can make that happen.
Just shoot them an email on their website detailing the design you want. Of course, this would cost you more money, but you can say that the design of the kayak is entirely your own.
5. California Canoe & Kayak
California Canoe & Kayak is an online kayak store that offers a lot more than selling boats.
At California Canoe & Kayak, you can also rent a kayak. This is a great option if you are just looking for a kayak for your short vacation.
This store sits near the Brooklyn Basin, which makes it a perfect spot to buy, test, or rent a kayak. No wonder it provides all those.
They also have a huge selection of kayaking apparel. It’s a great all-around kayaking store.
6. Dick’s Sporting Goods
Dick’s Sporting Goods is the largest sporting goods retailer in the United States.
If you are in doubt, you can never go wrong with Dick’s Sporting Goods. It’s the biggest sporting goods retailer for a reason.
The only main downside is the items available. Sure, you can find most of what you need here, but for specialized items, you may need to look elsewhere.
Overall, Dick’s Sporting Goods is the store you visit when you’re just starting out in this hobby.
Additionally, this store offers in-store pickup, which should cut down on shipping fees by a lot.
Considering that the average shipping fee for an average kayak is $150, store pickup will save you a lot of money.
7. Kayak Fishing Supplies
Kayak Fishing Supplies offers quite a selection of fishing kayaks for their customers. They have one of the biggest libraries of kayak selections on this list.
They also boast free installations of any add-ons before it gets shipped to your address. As for their shipping fee, they don’t seem to charge that much, only around $100, which is a lot less than other stores.
The reason for their cheaper shipping fee is they send the items out into a central hub. Hub stations are normally located within a 15-mile radius of an airport.
Kayak Fishing Supplies also provide international shipping.
8. Oak Orchard Canoe Kayak Experts
Oak Orchard is probably the oldest kayak specialty store on this list.
They’ve been in business for 40 years. They won’t include ‘experts’ on their name for nothing, and I’m inclined to agree.
Their website, which looks dated, by the way, is filled with items that you won’t see elsewhere. They even have a clearance section for older-model kayaks. If you want a bargain, you can start there.
But by far, my most favorite part of this website is their ‘Used’ section. Rarely would you see a shop offering secondhand kayaks, and this shop is one of them.
Another cool thing is their ‘Rental & Lessons’ services. If you do not have an idea of how to operate a kayak, just book a rental and lesson and they’ll teach you the ropes.
9. Amazon Store
Amazon, being the biggest online marketplace in the USA, it’s safe to assume that there will be kayaks available there.
You can get away with just using Amazon for your kayaking needs, truth be told. However, the quality of the items is sketchy at best. Many of the products will be shipped from abroad. As such, there’s just no way of knowing the actual quality of the item until you receive them.
One good thing is most local stores will have their own Amazon store. The trouble is finding these stores.
If you are serious about your kayaking, I’d advise going to your local kayaking store first before browsing Amazon. As for the accessories, Amazon seems to offer a good selection.
10. Kayak City
Kayak City is a relatively new kayak online store that has all the modern touches you expect from a new company.
Their website design is sleek and easy to follow. This makes shopping a breeze. A mouse-over on their navigator and you will be given a list of all the items that are available.
Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, many of their items are listed as ‘out of stock.’ They claim that this is due to the global shortage and will be back in stock before you know it.
11. Ozark Mountain Trading Company (Physical Store Only)
When you read Ozark, two things come to mind: the Lake of the Ozarks and the Netflix show ‘Ozark,’ which happens to be set in the Lake of the Ozarks.
And with a great lake comes the great outdoors. It’s pretty obvious why kayaking is a great business down here. There’s just so much to do.
Here comes Ozark Mountain Trading Company, a company that specializes in outdoor equipment like kayaks, tents, canoes, and plenty more.
Unfortunately, Ozark Mountain Trading Company does not allow for online shopping. They do not offer shipping at the moment and only operate in 4 of their stores nationwide.