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How to Buy a Canoe, Kayak or Paddleboard


Article by Cate Marian

Photography by Stock Images

Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are all great ways to get out and explore. They're also similar in that they require no motor, are straightforward to learn and maneuver, and come in many different designs and styles depending on your needs, experience and location.

It can be a bit overwhelming trying to decide which is right for you. Even after you pick a type of vessel to purchase, there are countless factors to consider for each. This guide breaks down the important features of each vessel for an easy-to-digest look at which watercraft is the right one for you.

How to Pick a Canoe That's Right for You

Whether you're paddling peacefully across a pristine lake or maneuvering around rocks and rapids, nothing beats a day out on the water. When it comes to purchasing a canoe, the first step is to determine what you're buying it for, and then hone it on the different design elements that fit your purpose.

From the hull material to the bow flare, let's explore each feature of the boat, and what to look for based on your needs.

What to Consider When Buying a Kayak

Glide deep through the winding waterways of the everglades and narrow passages of caves to experience the beauty of nature from a new perspective. You can open up so many unique opportunities when exploring the world from the seat of a kayak. Of course, you also have to decide whether you'll be doing so from a a sit-on-top kayak, or one with an enclosed cockpit.

From fishing to tandem to touring — take a look at the wide range of construction options. Before you pick up a paddle, you can be sure the kayak you purchase is right for you.

Tips for Picking the Perfect Paddleboard

Paddleboards are arguably one of the easiest and most versatile ways to get out there on the water. They come in inflatable versions for the person always on the go, are small enough to angle into smaller, off-the-beaten-path waterways, and lend themselves to other types of wellness activities such as yoga — where you can really work on your balance.

For anyone interested in buying a stand up paddleboard (no judgment if you're more into kneeling), here's a guide to four important features to consider before purchasing.