One question we get here a lot at The Pedal Kayak is whether or not people should buy a new or used pedal kayak. While we love the idea of getting out on the water no matter what, we decided to put together a guide to help answer this question. Below, we outline the case for buying a new and for buying a used pedal kayak, along with sharing our opinion in the end!
Let's look at the benefits of purchasing a new or used pedal kayak.
The case for buying a new pedal kayak
Buying a new kayak is appealing for a lot of reasons. Let's start by looking at all of the benefits of buying a new kayak.
Higher guaranteed quality
When you buy a new kayak, you know that you get something of high quality. When purchasing a used kayak, it carries the risk that the prior owner did not take good care of it. When you buy from a reputable source, and it's brand new, you don't need to worry that the prior owner didn't take good care of it!
A new pedal kayak will have the latest in hull technology and drive technology. Surprisingly, the quality of these kayaks has increased dramatically over the past couple of years as the hulls and drives get better and better.
If you buy new, then you'll have the latest in technology for the best on-water experience.
Optimized for your objective
Not all of these kayaks are the same. Some Kayaks are better for different purposes. For example, the Bonafide Fishing Kayak is perfect for fishing, while the Native Watercraft kayak is much better for general fun on the water.
Buying new allows you to buy the perfect kayak for your specific goal. If you're looking for a kayak designed for fishing, but there are only general ones for sale, then it's a tough decision. You have to weigh the price with the specialized pedal kayay purpose.
Where should I buy a new pedal kayak?
A major benefit of buying new is that you can lean on established, reputable players to find and buy the perfect kayak. If you were to check out some of our reviews, we always recommend you buy from Amazon. Amazon will ship the new pedal kayak right to your front door.
Other strategies to buy new involve finding a local outdoor store, like Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops. We've seen kayaks at both stores, but their selection isn't as big as what you can find with Amazon.
The case for a used pedal kayak
Now, let's look into what some of the biggest benefits are to buying a used kayak. There are a couple of key ones to keep in mind that make used purchases a very attractive option.
The most significant benefit is absolutely the lower price point. Buying used gives you the ability to negotiate with the seller. Even better, you could end up getting a pretty substantial discount from buying new.
For example, we've seen used pedal kayaks go for $500-$800 when used and in good shape.
We've also seen some go for as low as $200 when for sale and used. While that may seem like a great deal, we've only seen one instance where it was a great deal. In that case, someone was moving and needed to sell quickly because their new home wasn't anywhere near the water.
Every other time, the super cheap sales (under $500) typically have something significantly wrong with the hull (like a hole) or the drive.
However, a used kayak at $750 is probably a good deal and still is cheaper than buying new.
Another benefit of buying used is that you can often take it home that day. For example, we knew someone who decided to buy one. They met with a seller from Craigslist that afternoon and were home that night with a kayak!
While our friend was lucky that a local seller had one available, the speed with which you can get a used kayak is definitely a significant benefit. Buying a new one online can require a few extra days for oversized shipping to send it directly to you.
Where should I buy a used pedal kayak?
So you've decided to buy used! Here are our best tips below on where you can look for one.
The best-case scenario is someone you know and trust is selling one. That way, you can know for sure whether or not this is a kayak that has been taken cared for. After all, a friend you know to be trustworthy will be your best bet.
If you don't know someone who is personally selling one, then your best strategy will be to look at online resources. For example, we've seen some kayaks available on Craigslist that seem to be pretty good quality. If you see any on your local Craigslist, then it could be worth looking into.
Make sure to thoroughly check the kayak to ensure you aren't buying someone's old one that doesn't work anymore. We recommend doing all of the following:
- Put the kayak into the water to ensure there are no holes or leaks in the hull
- Check that the pedals are connected to the drive-shaft and are well lubricated
- Look for any signs of rust on the drive shaft
- Make sure the driveshaft isn't dented. If it is dented, you'll have an extremely difficult time keeping the kayak straight when peddling
Our Verdict: Buying a new or used pedal kayak
Buy a new pedal kayak
After looking at the benefits of purchasing a new or used pedal kayak, it is important to look at your budget.
If you are looking to save money and get out on the water, it's hard to beat buying a used kayak. However, it's so difficult to find a high-quality used pedal kayak that's been well taken care of.
If you can find that, then absolutely buy it! In our experience, though, we have very rarely found that kayak to exist.
To answer the question of whether to purchase a new or used pedal kayak, we recommend buying a new pedal kayak.
If you look over at our review section, we review most of the pedal kayaks currently on the market and share our thoughts on which ones are the best.
Best of luck as you go shopping for a new or used pedal kayak!
We absolutely love being out on the water on our kayak and hope to see you out on the water soon!