The most critical step to buying a new kayak is taking it for a spin on the water. Never buy a kayak without demoing it first; that’s like buying a new pair of pants after losing 10lbs without trying them on first! It’s impossible to know how a kayak will feel by looking at it on the rack in the showroom but a proper demo is sure to be enlightening!
Many small kayak shops offer on-site demos or rent-to-buy programs that will allow you to test out a few kayaks. However, it’s hard to beat a full-blown demo event in terms of both the number of kayaks available to try and the opportunity to interact with the many other paddlers in attendance. Here is a list of some of the primere kayak demo events across the country:
May 4-5: Demo weekend at The Kayak Centre of Rhode Island in North Kingstown, RI
***Alex and I plan to be in attendance at the Kayak Centre Demo Weekend in RI on Saturday May 4th. Keep a lookout for us in our bright blue KayakDave.com t-shirts!
May 18-20: Adirondack Paddlefest at Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company in Old Forge, NY
June 7-9: Paddle Fest at LL Bean in Freeport, ME
June 29-30: Demofest 2013 at Zoar Outdoors in Charlemont, MA
***If you know of a fun kayak demo event in your area then please leave the details in a comment and I’ll be sure to add it to the list***