Purchasing your first kayak can be a daunting and confusing process. There are so many types of kayaks for sale. Florida kayak dealers carry about all of the different makes and models available. And with numerous Florida kayak dealers, it's hard to know where to begin.
Which kayak is right for you?
I would suggest to first consider where and what kind of kayaking you intend to paddle. Do you want to paddle long and far, overnight, or possibly just a short trip to enjoy the water, friends or nature? Are you interested in gentle and relaxing times on the water or are you hoping for workout and/or being challenged? Perhaps you are looking to fish, surf, or dive from your kayak? There are a multitude of reasons to go kayaking and there exists a kayak that will suit one to many purposes.
Try a kayak before you buy
Whatever style of kayaking you intend to do, I encourage you to take at least a short demo of a new kayak before you decide on your kayak purchase. Better yet, a "try before you buy program" where you will rent a kayak for a half day or more and apply the rental price against your purchase of a new kayak. Spend lots of time in the kayak to really get to know the good and bad qualities of each boat. Also, try many different kayaks. With more time in a kayak, and paddling multiple kayaks, you will become aware of what you like and do not prefer about each one and start to narrow your attention to those designs and styles that work for you. Remember, there is no perfect kayak and you will be making some sort of compromise no matter which one you ultimately purchase.
Most Florida kayak dealers offer a broad spectrum of quality kayaks for sale to use for calm water touring, family outings, wave surfing and kayak fishing, with everything in between as well. If you need help in deciding which model is best for your type of kayaking, please contact your local Florida kayak dealer and they will be happy to assist you. Find a dealer that has extensive experience actually kayaking, not just selling kayaks, making kayak sales. Experienced kayakers offer professional advice in choosing and buying the right kayak for you.
The kayak paddle makes the most difference
One more thing. Buy a better quality paddle. Having been involved in the sport of kayaking for more than 30 years, I can tell you from experience that it may be the paddle that makes the most difference in your enjoyment on the water. After all, it really is the only moving part and a lightweight and well designed paddle makes a huge difference in how efficient your efforts are and how long you will last on the water. My advice is to buy more paddle that you really wanted to spend, or purchase the best paddle you can afford. Do not spend so much on your kayak that you have little left for a high quality paddle.
You can feel secure that when you purchase a quality kayak(s) (and gear) from a reputable Florida kayak dealer that you got real value for your money and you will have many years of paddling pleasure. All quality kayaks, like Cobra Kayaks for instance, come with a warranty of one kind of another. Shop around to find a dealer that listens to you and offers a number of makes and models from which to choose.
Whether you want to exercise, fish, dive, race, tour, surf, cruise or just play, there is a kayak with your name on it.
photo: Kayaks on Sandspur Beach, Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key, FL
credit: "Kayak Dave" Kaplan