Shopping for a used Current Designs kayak?
Current Designs’ timeless designs and robust construction make shopping for a used Current Designs kayak a great option. But with outdoor recreation booming, and delays in supply chains impacting kayak availability, where can you find a used Current Designs kayak? Or any kayak, for that matter?
It may take a bit of patience and perseverance to find the right one, but through online classifieds like Kijiji or Craigslist, Current Designs kayaks can be found. Sea kayaks are a niche item, and looking on special-interest pages or Facebook groups, such as a regional paddling club, may quicken the search. These dedicated groups are frequented by avid paddlers, so the kayaks will likely be in better condition.
When looking for a Current Designs kayak, Kijiji searches will be most effective if you try various terms. Beyond the model you are looking for, try more generic ones like “sea kayak” or “Current Designs touring kayak”. Search in all categories, rather than specifically recreation, as sometimes kayaks are listed under “boats”.
Searching for retired demos or rentals is another way to get your hands on a used Current Designs kayak. If an outfitter near you rents Current Designs kayaks, chances are they will be replenishing their fleet as the kayaks get older—ask if they are planning to do so at the end of the season. Renting a boat is also a great way to test how it fits and performs.
With such a long history in the sea kayak world, many Current Designs models are no longer in production. If it is an older kayak or the decals have been removed, the owner may not know the model name. It may take a bit of Internet sleuthing to identify and get more information about the boat.
Happily, the company’s website contains archived pages with descriptions of every Current Designs kayak ever made. Contacting Current Designs with the registration number on the inside of the hull will also provide a definitive I.D. and age of the kayak.
Another benefit of buying an established brand like Current Designs is the ability to source replacement parts. If you find a used Current Designs kayak that needs replacement parts, contact the company. They may have the part in stock or recommend compatible parts to use in the damaged ones’ place.
There’s no real downside to buying an older kayak that has been well cared for. I’ve seen 20-year-old Current Designs kayaks that look brand new because they’ve been stored carefully and never dragged up a beach. Fiberglass boats seem to better stand the test of time, but plastic kayaks that are stored indoors can be an equally good buy.
Proper storage is crucial; UV rays cause devastating damage to kayaks. Garage or indoor storage is best, ideally climate-controlled to negate seasonal temperature fluctuations and prevent moisture. When looking at a used kayak, check inside the hatches and cockpit where moisture may have collected. A well-stored kayak will not have any mildew or dampness inside the hatches. This may not be a dealbreaker if you are considering buying a used kayak, but be prepared to use some elbow grease cleaning it.
When looking at a used plastic kayak, also check the bottom (hull) of the kayak for “oil-canning”—wavy dents that indicate a sun-damaged kayak; these deformities reduce the kayak’s paddling efficiency and performance.
Establishing a fair price for a used kayak is tricky. If stored correctly and well-cared for, a kayak will hold much of its value (this is especially true of hard-to-find, discontinued models). With the pandemic paddlesports boom putting used kayaks in such short supply, quality used kayaks are a rare find.
If you find a perfect fit, don’t hesitate or haggle hard to save a few bucks. This is a long-term investment, and the savings of buying used are likely already significant.
For more tips on what to look for when selecting a used kayak, read our article How To Buy A Used Kayak.