Is Kayaking an Expensive Hobby? (Costs & Expenses)

Kayaking is a popular summertime hobby for people around the country. It’s a great way to get in touch with nature or get some much-needed vitamin D. While it may sound fantastic, everything has a cost. 

Kayaking can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s always the option of renting equipment, which is typically less expensive than buying. However, if you plan to kayak regularly, there are affordable options for owning kayaks and all the gear needed.

If kayaking sounds like a hobby you’d be interested in picking up, but you’re nervous about its cost, you’re in the right place. This article will look at the necessary expenses that come with picking up kayaking as a hobby. 

Is Kayaking an Expensive Hobby? (Costs & Expenses)

Prices of Kayaking Equipment and Accessories

Although transportation can be costly, buying the kayaking equipment itself will typically be the most expensive aspect of this hobby. While renting kayak equipment is a good idea for those who want to go every once in a while, buying the equipment outright is recommended for those who want to pursue kayaking as a regular hobby.

Below, I’ll dive into the average prices of kayak equipment and the essential information to consider.

Cost of Buying a Kayak

One of the most critical pieces of equipment for a kayaking hobby is the kayak itself. The price of a kayak can range anywhere from $60 for a used model on Craigslist to $2500 or more for a new top-of-the-line model. 

The main factors that influence the cost of a kayak are the 

  • The type of kayak
  • The brand of the kayak
  • The space inside the kayak
  • The material used to make the kayak
  • The storage options within the kayak
  • The propulsion/steering systems if you choose to use one

Therefore, the more decked out the vessel is, the higher the price tag.

Purchasing a Kayak Paddle

After choosing the kayak you want, it’s time to purchase the paddle. These can also range in price based on what they’re made of. 

The most expensive type of paddle is made of carbon fiber and is used for high-performance kayaking. These typically cost $80 to $300 per paddle. The most cost-effective paddles are made from aluminum and are perfect for hobbyists. Their price tag typically falls between $25 and $80. 

Renting Storage or Buying Kayak Storage Racks

Storage may be something that you need to consider when budgeting for kayaking as a hobby. Storing a kayak in a boat storage facility or a storage unit is an excellent option for anybody that doesn’t have room in their home. The cost associated with this varies by location.

Home storage racks can also be purchased for a price between $40 and $300. It’s recommended that you keep your kayak off the ground to prevent any critters from making their home inside, and out of the sun to avoid any damage. 

Buying a Dry Box or Dry Bag For Kayaking

Though being on the water is fun, not everything you’ll want to take with you can get wet. Purchasing a dry box or dry bag is another essential step because it’ll give you a place to store snacks, freshwater, your phone, and anything else you might need while on the water.

Depending on the size, dry bags or boxes can cost as little as $7 or as much as $25. 

Understand Any Kayaking Licensing Requirements

Be sure to check your state for any licensing requirements or other vital information regarding boats of any kind. Some states require kayaks to be registered and their captains to have a license.

Doing this step in advance will keep you from having to put even more money towards fines or other monetary consequences. 

Buying a Kayaking Flotation Device

Finally, and arguably most importantly, you must purchase a personal flotation device or a life jacket. It’s absolutely imperative that you always wear a life vest when on the water. 

In fact, some states will legally require you to do so. Regardless of legal consideration, life jackets are essential because they can be the difference between life and death. Not wearing a life jacket is not cool and can have devastating consequences. 

Most deaths that occur in the water could be prevented with a life jacket. In fact, according to WTKR, a news outlet in Northeast North Carolina, the U.S. Coast Guard reported a total of 125 deaths from kayaking.

These life-saving garments are relatively inexpensive and typically cost $40 to $150 each. 

Essential Considerations Before Picking Up Kayaking

One of the most important things to consider before picking up kayaking as a hobby is your location. If you’re not located in an area close to water, then be sure that you include your transportation cost in your budget for the hobby. 

Prices of Kayaking Equipment

With transportation in mind, it’s also a good idea to ensure that your mode of transportation can accommodate a kayak. If you own a car and plan to drive it, be sure your kayak fits in the back or can be securely attached to the roof with bungee cords or straps. 

If you have to travel to water, another idea would be to rent a space at a storage facility, as mentioned before. Most boat storage facilities will store kayaks, but a regular storage unit should suffice if that’s not an option. 

Now, whenever you want to get some time on the water, you don’t have to worry about lugging your vessel on the road. Storage units are also helpful if you don’t have the space to store the kayak in your home

Though kayaking might seem simple, starting with a lesson or two is not a bad idea. Without a lesson, you might find yourself paddling in circles and exhausting yourself. 

Another benefit of kayaking lessons is the opportunity to learn the critical safety measures that you should be taking when on the water. If you don’t understand how to kayak efficiently and safely, your interest in the hobby could come to an end quickly. 

Once you’ve learned your way around a kayak, find a buddy to go tag along. Kayaking with a buddy is more fun and a lot safer than going solo. Having another person with you can be helpful if anything goes wrong, as they’ll be able to assist you if your equipment fails, your kayak flips, or if any other issues arise. 

After you’ve learned how to kayak safely and find a friend to tag along with, you’re ready to start your new hobby!

Is Kayaking an Expensive Hobby – Conclusion

Kayaking is an enjoyable hobby. It gives you an excuse to get out in nature while also providing some good exercise. Though it can seem daunting and expensive, kayaking isn’t a costly hobby overall.

Once you have all of the necessary gear and knowledge, you’ll be able to use it for years to come.

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