*The information below is our company’s opinion
Here at Topsport we know multisport kayaking inside and out. We are the best people around to help guide and advise you through purchasing your kayak. Getting the right kayak for your ability is crucial in making sure your multisport paddling is successful. Every year we work with paddlers who have chosen a boat that isn’t suitable so let’s hope that isn’t you.
We have put together this information to save you all a bit of time and make you aware that finding a second hand boat may not be as simple as it sounds. We have had a few things change over the past couple of years in terms of boat availability, which has made it increasingly difficult for those new to the sport to purchase kayaks. The demand for second hand boats has steadily increased over the last few years.
JKK Racing Kayaks
As you get into kayaking you will notice a dominance of a brand of boat manufactured by JKK Racing Kayaks. JKK makes a couple of excellent novice boats, which will come highly recommend by anyone who has ever owned one. The down side is JKK is not currently manufacturing kayaks. If you want a JKK boat you will have to find one second-hand. The two boats from the JKK range we recommend are the JKK Eclipse 5.2 and the JKK Eclipse 5.7 (The 5.2 and 5.7 refer to the length of the kayak) He does also make a boat called the Total Eclipse. If you are looking at one of these please get in touch with us prior to purchasing, as they don’t suit everyone. It is a long boat and fits into the intermediate category rather than novice. If you want to go ahead with a Total Eclipse please be aware you many be required to do additional work to achieve your Grade II Certificate.
The home of the Ruahine Shadow. This is our boat of choice and we cannot recommend them enough. They are again hard to find second hand but you might get lucky. You can however purchase these boats new. They are $3299 plus freight $150 to get to Christchurch for a fibreglass one or $3899 plus freight for a composite one. There is about a 6-8 week manufacturing time on these. We own 8 of these boats and all our instructors will tell you they are the best boat on the river with the perfect mix of speed and stability.
Order a Shadow from Topsport today and get your new boat on the manufacturing list.
This is the other brand of boat you can buy new. The model is the Flow Aspire. This is great boat if you are a bigger sized person. There is lots of room in the cockpit to fit tall athletes long legs into. The boat is a good choice if you are a confident novice paddler. They are not as stable as a Shadow or Eclipse 5.7. Aspire’s can be purchased directly from Flow Kayaks which is based in Christchurch.
These sea kayaks are a great choice if you are looking for a boat with more stability than the composite kayaks. They are made from a lightweight plastic and whilst they are a little slower than the multisport kayaks you will be nicely looked after in one of these.
Finding a second hand boat
Finding a second hand boat
There are two good places to look for boats second hand. One is trademe under the Kayak section – Multisport and the other is the Multisport Buy Sell and Exchange Page on Facebook.
If you are going to be purchasing a boat that is different to the one of these we have listed as our recommendations please get in touch prior to purchasing it so we can best advise you. There are some really great second-hand boats out there and there are some that have the potential to put you off kayaking for good.
To sum up our top recommendations are:
• Ruahine Shadow • JKK Eclipse 5.7 • JKK Eclipse 5.2 • Flow Aspire • Barracuda Beachcomber