Planning on getting someone a kayak or kayak accessory as a gift? If so, I have a few suggestions. Make sure you buy them something they’ll like. In other words, you might not want to make it a total surprise. A little research goes a long way and you’ll be glad when your gift is welcomed with open arms rather than a confused facial expression.
In the case of avid kayakers, you should be familiar with what they are paddling now and whether your gift will fit their preferences. Kayaks are kind of like shoes. One size or type doesn’t “fit” all. Ask their friends, fellow paddlers or significant others for advice. A portable (inflatable or folding kayak) may not be the perfect choice for someone who’s used to paddling a hard shell kayak. However, if they’re tired of storing or car carrying the hard shell, a portable kayak might be the perfect gift. Accessories, especially paddles, can also be very user specific. Find out what they have, then buy them what they’d like to have.
If you’re buying for a newby it’s even more important to research your choice. I’ve seen a few situations where a wife or husband has purchased a tandem (two person) kayak without consulting (or even hinting to) the other person only to be disappointed when they experienced that “confused facial expression”. The hassle and expense of returning the kayak could be easily avoided if you could have discovered in advance that the “giftee’s” idea of water sports is lounging on a Caribbean Cruise or maybe they have an aversion to paddles or … you get the idea.
If you need a few gift suggestions, maybe these will help you out. A Sea Eagle 330 or 370 is a great gift for a beginner who wants to start out paddling. Sea Eagle Explorer Kayaks (340, 380 or 420), Fast Track Kayaks (385ft or 465ft) or any of the Innova inflatable kayaks are terrific for someone who wants to upgrade from a beginner level kayak. PakBoat’s Puffins, XT's or Quest folding kayaks are nice for a hard shell kayaker who’s tired of carting around and storing that hard shell kayak. PakBoats track very much like a hard shell, too. And, of course the TRAK adjustable kayak is perfect for the kayaker who has everything and wants more. All of the above also travel very well on planes or in car trunks or the back of a minivan. Some kayak accessories you might look at include these items that can all be used by any type of kayaker, traditional hard shell or portable. You could buy someone a new, lighter fiberglass or carbon Cannon paddle, a PakPod Deck Bag/Paddle Float or one of the WindPaddle sails that fit most any type of small boat, kayak or canoe.
There’s some great gift ideas here, made even better by a little advance ‘gift giving’ research.