Why Are Kayaks So Expensive? – Just Read On

Kayaks come in diverse materials and one might wonder if it affects the prices. Some of them are made from plastics, while some are of fiberglass. Whatever the material is, one of the distinguishing factors is the design. So, why are kayaks so expensive?

The costs of kayaks are not relatively based on the material for its manufacture, though the fiberglass types are more expensive than the plastics. The major determinants of the cost and expensive nature of kayaks are the tooling and the design of these water vehicles.

In this article, we’ll explain why kayaks are so expensive. Also, we’ll deliberate on how much should you spend on a kayak and more. Just read on!

Why Are Kayaks So Expensive?

Kayaks are expensive as they are manufactured with materials of high cost. Their tooling and design are unique and of a high standard which is quite costly to achieve. Also, they have some special accessories that add up to the final value of the boats, making them so expensive.

Why Are Kayaks So Expensive

Many factors contribute to the cost of kayaks. Below are some of the reasons they’re so expensive.

1. Made to Last

Kayaks are special water boats that come with unique designs. Being used out on remote rivers and seas that could have dangerous flows, the strength of the boats is made to last. The manufacturing features of a kayak display its durability and longevity. A kayak can last for over 30 years and remain effectively runnable.

Furthermore, the designs of kayaks come to fit specific purposes in the functionality of the boat. Involved in the designs are great knowledge and talents which are costly to acquire. All these applications add to boost the quality of kayaks. Hence, entrusting your life in a boat in the middle of the sea must entail high-quality and expensive products.

So, the technology of kayak’s manufacture offers your safety and durability that comes with high cost.

2. Different Types of Plastic

Kayaks are made from different materials that ensure their durability and strength against different elements and objects in the water. Also, the materials ensure kayaks are puncture-resistant and less susceptible to most physical impacts and UV rays. However, the production material will determine the cost of the kayak.

Different Types of Plastic

Plastic is one of the common materials for the manufacture of kayaks. Most individuals place little value on items made with plastic. To them, plastic is cheap and has less quality. So, they think that plastic kayaks should be very cheap.

Though some kayaks are made from plastics, those plastic are not just cheap and inferior. Such plastics are treated to be suitable for the purpose. The most used type is polyethylene plastic and you can get a kayak made from it for below $1,000.

To create more durable and strong kayaks that last the test of time and other harsh conditions, the plastics undergo some technological modification. The processes involved treat the plastic by reinforcing its composition to be stronger but lightweight. However, the processes are expensive and impact the price of the kayak, making it so expensive.

Moreover, plastic kayaks are of different types. There are multi-layered or rotomolded plastic ones that are more durable than most plastic types. But, their costs are quite on the high side as well.

3. Manufacturing processes

The design of kayaks entails and involves outstanding technological processes. Hence, their features are more than just plastic construction. The processes demand the combination of some necessary skills, features, and precision to create balanced water vehicles.

Beyond the outward appearance of a kayak, the inner configuration inculcates other features such as:

  • Storage space
  • Comfortable seats
  • Dry space
  • Cup holders, etc.

4. Non-Plastic materials

Some kayaks are made from other materials that are not plastic. The higher quality types are designed with more durable and stronger materials besides plastics. Hence, they are so expensive.

Here are other types of kayaks based on the manufacturing material.

Fiberglass Kayaks

Kayaks made from fiberglass are stronger and last longer than plastic ones. Fiberglass is one of the trusted and high-quality materials that are suitable for different kayaking conditions. It’s lightweight but exhibits great strength through the technology used in its production.

Fiberglass Kayaks

The durability of a fiberglass kayak is a noted fact as the boat could withstand some impacts during kayaking. Though such kayaks are more expensive than the polyethylene ones, the former is lower longevity than the latter.

However, with the application of some special gelcoats, fiberglass could be ore scratch resistant and suitable for several water types. They are mostly used for recreational purposes as well as in commercial vessels.

Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatable kayaks are seemingly one of the best kayaks that provide more comfort and relaxation during any type of kayaking adventure. Their production comes with the combination of a fabric core and synthetic rubber layering.

Inflatable Kayaks

The inflatable kayak’s fabric core is very necessary as it maintains the convertible size and shape of the boat. Also, that forms part of the determinant factors that will influence the price of the kayak. The synthetic layering ensures airtightness and protection for the body of the kayak as it covers the fabric design. For inflatable kayaks, the major determinant of cost is the pattern of synthetic rubber layering that the manufacturers use.

Some of the materials used for the manufacturing of inflatable kayaks include:

  • Neoprene
  • Nitrylon
  • PVC
  • Hypalon
  • Textiles
  • Polyethylene

Kevlar Kayaks

Some kayaks are made from Kevlar and seem to be the most expensive type of kayaks. Kelvar is a soft material that is lightweight but very durable and heat-resistant. The uniqueness of this material makes it suitable for the manufacture of bulletproof wear as well as armored vehicles.

Kevlar Kayaks

Kevlar is very flexible and scatch-resistant. It doesn’t crack during heavy impacts. Hence, Kevlar kayaks ensure a high level of safety and protection against obstacles with the water while kayaking. Unlike most kayaks, the manufacturing of Kevlar kayaks is not through mass production. It undergoes a single production one at a time, which also makes it very expensive. You can get a new Kevlar kayak at about $3,500 to $6,000.

Wooden Kayaks

These are the less common types of kayaks that are usually found among individuals who engage in DIY for their boats. Making a wooden kayak means that you must possess outstanding skills in wood and carpentry.

Wooden Kayaks

With wooden kayaks, you get the opportunity of customizing the boat to suit your personality and preferences. Also, they are lightweight and display sturdiness in their uses. Moreover, you can easily repair them once the need arises.

However, you must bear in mind that designing a wooden kayak will be both time-intensive and very expensive. You can only cut down on the cost when you build the kayak by yourself. Otherwise, purchasing it from another builder will cost you an equivalence of getting other types like an inflatable or Kevlar kayak. A wooden kayak cost around $3,000 to $6,000. In some cases, it could even cost more.

5. Paddles Cost More, Too!

The cost of kayaks is not just limited to the kayak alone. Kayaking is possible with other necessary tools. So, besides the cost of getting a kayak, you must plan for the cost of the kayaking equipment.

Some of these other included items are the paddlers, safety accessories, and other kayaking equipment. You can get a set of fiberglass paddlers for $300 while a super lightweight carbon set maybe $600 to $700.

Where the paddles are not properly outfitted, you can do so. This will ensure the durability of the equipment. Also,  it will account for your safety through good and controllable paddling of your kayak.

6. The Site Of Production And Shipping

Before now, manufacturers of kayaks reside very close to most of the kayakers. These are basically in places with large seas and oceans where kayaks serve only for fishing purposes. This means that the cost of shipping or moving the kayak to the buyer will not impact significantly on the total price for the boat. Hence, those kayaks were not so expensive.

However, the increase in the purpose of using kayaks by more people all over the world has increased the popularity of the boat. Also, most modern manufacturing technologies have cut across the globe. So, more companies are now in the production making the shipping considerably far to the buyer.

As the place of manufacturing for most kayaks could be quite far from the location of the buyer the cost of shipping has its impact. So, the final price of a kayak also includes the cost of shipping.

How Much Should You Spend On A Kayak?

The amount to spend on a kayak depends on some factors such as its design, type, and use. Also, used kayaks have different prices from brand new ones.

Kayaks have different prices based on the material of their design, types, etc. While you can spend about $1,500 to $3,000 on a plastic kayak, a Kevlar kayak will be about $3,500 to $6,000. Also, brand new kayaks are more expensive than used ones. Prices for used kayaks revolve around 50% to 75% of the new ones.

Are Expensive Kayaks Worth It?

Despite how expensive a kayak could be, purchasing this water vehicle could be worth the price. Kayaks give you several useful and healthy benefits that could make you consider having one as a reasonable investment.

Are Expensive Kayaks Worth It

Here are some of the reasons having an expensive kayak could be worth the cost.

Long-term investment

Kayaks are worthy investments that don’t fade with time. Irrespective of its usage, a kayak is not an object that will become obsolete after one or two years. They remain one of the investments that will take you conveniently through many years. The high durability and longevity of this asset speak for it.

Physical activeness

It’s a known fact that physical activeness will help you to reduce stress and other related health issues. With the paddling activities during kayaking, you can relieve your body from more stress.

Also, kayaking serves as a great means of reducing or preventing obesity, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and others. It helps you with a method of averting depression and anxiety.

Interaction With Nature

Kayaks provide you with an excellent platform to relax and interact with nature. Most depressed individuals usually get faster healings through kayaking. Being exposed to nature calms the nerves and removes tension in the body system.


Though you may wonder why are kayaks so expensive, the reasons are not too far or so hidden anymore. Kayaks are so expensive as their designs involve some expensive technological processes and skilled that fortify their functionality. Also, they are made from different materials which could impact the cost.

Furthermore, the shipping distance for kayaks the manufacturer or salespoint to the buyer could be far. This means that the cost of the boat will include the shipping price making the kayak quite expensive. Irrespective of the cost, investing in an expensive kayak will give you great value for your money.