How To Use Costco Kayaks Without Getting Into Trouble?

board and kayak

board and kayak

Abigail Scott

Abigail Scott
Mother, Professional Kayaker, and Software Engineer

Updated on 12/6/2022

It is well known that Costco is a one-stop shop for purchasing anything and everything, including kayaks. All the kayaks available at Costco are designed for novice paddlers. These kayaks have open decks, sit-on-top designs that are secure and simple to enter and depart, and fishing kayaks with features tailored to the anglers' needs. In addition, Costco sells inflatable kayaks, which are ideal for people who are interested in recreational kayaking but do not have sufficient space to store a traditional kayak.

There is a distinction between the kayaks sold in the United States and Canada concerning the brands and models available at Costco in each respective country. Compared to sporting goods stores and other large box stores like Walmart, the selection of kayaks available for purchase at Costco is typically more limited than in other retail outlets. Kayaks sold at Costco are typically only suitable for use in situations suitable for beginners, such as flat water with a low degree of wind and wave exposure. This makes them less expensive than kayaks sold in specialty paddling shops. You must be aware of this restriction if you intend to purchase a kayak from Costco in the near future.

Examine The Current Conditions

  • Make preparations for the possibility of the weather changing. Get ready for the worst possible outcome.
  • Checking the tide, the currents, or the river levels should not be forgotten.

board and kayak

board and kayak

Like those sold elsewhere at low prices, the kayaks sold at Costco represent a compromise between excellent value and satisfactory paddling characteristics and comfort. You can not anticipate having a polished paddling experience with kayaks purchased from Costco in terms of the paddling speed of the kayak, the kayak's maneuverability, the kayak handling, and safety features as well as comfort components like seating. On the other hand, you shouldn't expect the sales personnel at Costco to have any sort of knowledge regarding answering questions and providing directions about purchasing a kayak.

Shop elsewhere if you want to make an investment in canoeing or kayaking. However, Costco is an excellent option if you are searching for a kayak that is suitable for non-professional use and is simple on the wallet. Our analysis of the kayaks sold at Costco will give you the knowledge you need to select the craft that is ideally suited to your preferences as a paddler.

Top Kayaks Available At Costco In 2023

Because Costco only carries a select number of kayak models, locating a reliable kayak for recreational paddling is considerably more straightforward. We will assist you in reducing the number of available choices even further. Continue reading to learn more about our recommendations for the best types of kayaks and brands sold at Costco in 2023.

Kayaks Can Be Purchased From Costco

board and kayak

board and kayak

There are a confined number of kayaks available at Costco, depending on where you are located. This is especially true compared to the selections available at other box store stores, such as Walmart. The bright side is that this makes making a decision much simpler for you, and you won't be as overwhelmed by the selection of recreational kayaks since they all essentially perform the same functions.

Three primary types of kayaks are available for purchase at Costco: inflatable kayaks (which can be deflated and stored in a relatively small space), tandem kayaks that can be shared with a partner, child, or friend, and fishing kayaks that come equipped with features that are tailored to the needs of anglers, such as rod holders and storage areas for fishing tackle.

Consider all your options carefully: The links provided below will take you to our extensive Paddling Buyer's Guide. This guide will find information on each Costco kayak currently for sales, such as prices, specifications, and customer reviews. This provides an unbiased view of what is available from this retailer.

Are You Interested In Purchasing A Used Kayak From Costco?

costo kayak

costo kayak

Are you looking for a pre-owned kayak on the internet, specifically on websites such as Craigslist, Kijiji, and Facebook Marketplace? There is a possibility that you will find a used kayak being sold at Costco. Researching the precise characteristics of the make and model of the Costco kayak you are thinking about purchasing is the first step in making a successful investment. Our Paddling Buyer's Guide is the perfect place to start with your study. If it seems as though you've found a potential challenger, the following piece of advice can help you make a wise purchase:

Overall Condition

board and kayak

board and kayak

Perform a thorough inspection of the Costco kayak, paying particular attention to any fading that may have occurred as a result of prolonged exposure to the sun. To determine whether or not the kayak is stiff, you should apply hard pressure all over it (it should not have a spongy feel). Inspect the deck (the top) and the hull (the bottom) of the kayak for damage such as deep gouges (more than 3 millimeters or 1/8th of an inch deep), evident abrasion (particularly if the worn parts are a different color from the rest of the kayak), and abnormalities (which will make the kayak paddle less efficiently). Kayaks sold at Costco are constructed out of tough plastic designed to endure a significant amount of abuse; it is acceptable for the kayak to have some damage as long as its overall form is preserved.

Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak Blue, 8'7" x 3'
Summary
Easy to inflate9
Easy to inflate
Stability8.2
Stability
Maneuverability7.8
Maneuverability

Things we like

  • A Quick setup
  • It can be carried around with ease, and it weighs less than 20 pounds.
  • The bottom, which is made of 21-gauge PVC tarpaulin, is resistant to punctures.
  • The backrest makes your riding incredibly pleasant.

Things we don't like

  • The accompanying paddle is not very long-lasting.

When it comes to the valves of the inflatable kayaks supplied at Costco, you should take a good look at their condition to ensure that they function properly and can retain air. Check the kayak's fabric exterior for worn spots and check for air leaks by touching and listening to the kayak.

Outfitting

board and kayak

board and kayak

Consider the kayak's comfort elements, such as the seat; is it padded, and does it provide adequate support for your body type? Paddlers and their boats have a vitally important connection via the outfitting process. The seat, the back support, the thigh rests, and the footrests are all included. Check out each of these components on its own to determine whether or not it functions as intended and whether or not it has any grit or sand stuck in it. The next thing to think about is how well the components of the outfit function together as a whole. Sitting down in the boat (and ideally paddling it) to test whether or not it is pleasant to be in is the simplest and most effective way to attain this goal. Not only does having the right size make paddling more pleasant, but it also helps you paddle more effectively.

costo kayak

costo kayak

When it comes to getting decked out, it often comes down to personal style; there is no one size that fits all. The inferior quality of the gear included with cheaper, mass-produced kayaks sold at Costco is one of the disadvantages of purchasing these kayaks. If you intend to paddle with more intensity, you should carefully examine your options and consider purchasing a more expensive kayak. Consider any potential upgrades you could create yourself to save money and achieve a more personalized fit. All it takes is some glue, foam, and a little effort.

A Float On The Water

board and kayak

board and kayak

Before making a decision to buy a kayak, you should rent one first, so you can get a better feel for how comfortable it is and how well it performs. Make arrangements with the vendor to meet at a location that gives you the opportunity to spend some time on the water. Bring along your typical paddle, and dress in the clothes you intend to wear while you're on the water. If you want to paddle a sit-inside kayak, you should carefully evaluate how simple it is to get in and out of the boat.

Always Have A Waterproof VHF Radio On You, And Only Use Your Phone As A Backup.

You can communicate with the Coast Guard and other boat traffic if you have a handheld radio that operates on the VHF marine band. Only hailing and other urgent communications should use Channel 16. Because there is an excellent chance that water will come into contact with the radio, it ought to be watertight.

Do not count on a cell phone as the primary method of communication in an emergency since it may not function, even if it is protected by a waterproof case or a sealed bag.

Strike A Bargain

board and kayak

board and kayak

In general (that is before Covid-19 put a premium on outdoor equipment), the starting point for a used Costco kayak in reasonable condition was often around half of its retail price. This was the case before Covid-19 put a premium on outdoor equipment. In light of the fact that the epidemic has caused a shortage of boats, all of that has altered, but you may still use it as a starting point in your negotiations for a fair price.

Include Some Extras In The Mix.

costo kayak

costo kayak

Kayaks designed for fishing often come with various specialized accessories; if you're interested in kayak fishing, it's essential to look for features like rod holders and live wells.

If you buy a used kayak and it comes with a life jacket, check that it is in good condition, that it fits you properly, and that the Coast Guard approves it for the waters in which you will be paddling.

Read our piece titled "How to Buy a Used Kayak" for more information on what aspects to consider while looking for a used kayak.

Costco Kayak Buying Guide

board and kayak

board and kayak

Try before you buy the best piece of guidance that we can give to anyone who is considering purchasing a kayak. Unfortunately, it will be challenging to put this recommendation into practice if you are looking to get a kayak from Costco because these enormous stores are often situated in urban areas, which are a significant distance from the lake. Instead, you should inquire with your pals whether they own any kayaks from Costco that you may use for a paddle. Not only will this give you an idea of what's out there, but time spent paddling will also give you a better understanding of how the various components of a kayak's design interact with your body and how they function.

When you buy a kayak at Costco, the most important thing to remember is that you won't find any high-end performance kayaks at this store. However, this may be just what you need for your recreational paddling and kayak fishing needs, so don't let this deter you from making your purchase. Kayaks sold at Costco are often a good option for paddlers who only occasionally get out on the water and are searching for an affordable solution. However, sales staff working at big box stores like Costco will never be able to provide the same level of experience as the knowledgeable specialists working at a paddlesports specialty store.

Valwix 2 Person Inflatable Kayak for Adults w/ Sun Canopy , Paddles, Seats & Pump, Blow Up Kayak for Recreational Touring, Portable Tandem Kayak 600lbs Capacity…
Summary
Value for money9.4
Value for money
Maneuverability9.2
Maneuverability
Comfort9
Comfort
Easy to inflate9
Easy to inflate
Sturdiness8.4
Sturdiness
Leg room8.4
Leg room

Suppose you are serious about paddling and want to develop your skills. It is highly recommended that you avoid Costco in favor of a smaller paddling or outdoor shop and that you make a more substantial investment in a specialized day touring or sea kayak. Avoiding Costco will help you get the most out of your paddling experience. Still, have questions? The following are some of the most often asked questions about Costco kayaks, along with the knowledgeable answers to those queries.

Are Costco Kayaks Any Good?

board and kayak

board and kayak

Kayaks sold at Costco are recommended for novice paddlers looking for an affordable craft suitable for sporadic use in relatively peaceful and protected waters. The performance of Costco kayaks is limited, just like the performance of any other inexpensive kayak, and using them in open water settings, such as on huge lakes or exposed beaches, can be dangerous.

However, if you are searching for a new toy for the cabin or if you want to try paddling with your family at the beach, Costco kayaks are a fantastic option for you to consider. There isn't a huge variety of kayaks to choose from at Costco, but the available ones all have comparable paddling, handling, and comfort features. This makes the choosing process somewhat less intimidating than it would be at some other box stores.

Costco's Prices For Kayaks

Intex Excursion Inflatable Boat Series
Summary
Easy to inflate8.6
Easy to inflate
Sturdiness8.6
Sturdiness
Stability8.4
Stability
Maneuverability8.2
Maneuverability
Value for money8.2
Value for money
Durability8
Durability

You're definitely curious about the prices of kayaks at Costco if you're in the market for a recreational kayak and you found yourself here. A wide selection of kayaks, including inflatable kayaks, fishing kayaks, sit-on-top hybrid SUP kayaks, and kayaks designed for single and tandem use, may be purchased at Costco warehouses in the United States for a price ranging from $219.99 to $579.99. Kayaks can be purchased at Canadian Costco locations for between $259.99 and $759.99, but the selection is not as extensive as it is in the United States.

When Do Kayaks Go On Sale At Costco?

board and kayak

board and kayak

Due to the fact that Costco markets itself as a wholesaler, the prices of its products are rarely reduced. You shouldn't expect to find kayaks on sale at Costco; however, if you're lucky, you might discover overstock kayaks at discounted prices. This is especially likely to happen as the paddling season winds down in late summer and early autumn, and Costco warehouses start replacing kayaks with other seasonal items. We advise you to proceed without a sale but instead purchase a kayak from Costco as soon as it becomes available and start paddling as quickly as possible.

Put On A Flotation Device

When around water, it is imperative that everyone, including proficient swimmers, always wear a life jacket. Putting on a life jacket is incredibly challenging when you are already submerged in water. Even a tiny breeze has the potential to blow any paddle craft away from you at a rate that is greater than the rate at which you can swim.

Invest in a well-fitting life jacket of type 3 or S, built exclusively for paddle sports, and make sure you wear it.

Reviews On Kayaks Sold At Costco

board and kayak

board and kayak

You haven't been able to locate a kayak at Costco that you can test paddle before you go to the store to make your purchase? Your next best bet is to study evaluations of these kayaks to determine which one is most suited for the activities you intend to engage in while paddling. You may discover the reviews written by our experts down below.

Frequently Asked Questions