I understand that a lot of you will think I am crazy when i say this, you will look outside your window and probably yell at me through your computer screen… but its true. Spring is right around the corner! And now is the time to get yourself into the paddling “game”
You see now is the time that your local paddle shop is working hard on all of their “Pre-Season” orders, for all of their boat lines. They are working hard to make sure that they bring you the boat that YOU want. Asking, “What boats work for our area?” “What do my customers want?” and “what will make me stand out in my area?” These are all extremely important questions, ones that make or break any business out there really.
There are two times really when a paddler can get a great deal on their boat. The first is at the end of the season, the shop will want to sell off the boats that they couldn’t move through the summer season, this is a great way to get a boat if you don’t care what color it is, are open minded on the style, and don’t mind some bumps and bruises (sometimes they can be demo boats). However, if you want to get a brand new boat, at a great price, and have it be EXACTLY what you want, there is another time to buy… NOW.
Now is the perfect time to reach out to your local paddle shop, ask them about the new lines coming out, tell them what you are looking for in a boat, where you would like to paddle, what style paddling you like to do… and they can fit you with a few awesome incoming lines for you to look at. Take that information and do some homework, look them up on line, read reviews, check out kayaking forums on those specific boats (http://www.kayak-anglers.com/forum/) is a great one! And learn all you can about the boats they pointed you in. NOTE: I will always be the first one to advocate “TRY and BUY” when it comes to kayaks… the local shops are awesome at letting you test out boats before you buy them, this makes a huge a big difference if you can do it locally..
That being said, if you know what you want, this is the best time you will have all year to make your purchase! Since companies are making their orders now anyway, you will be able to order exactly the boat you want: Make, Model, Color, Accessories… everything! And because of this, shops might offer you great deals on shipping, accessories, custom colors and add ons, and even special package deals with paddles and or vests (Things that over the season, you might pay a big premium for.)
Also, always remember to talk to your local shop about services they offer. A lot of local shops stand apart from the big box stores because of their customer service, and their “extras”. Some might offer free installation on accessories, or a percentage off mounts or gear with your boat purchase. I know my local shop always gives you shop swag when you purchase a boat (www.fuzzyguppies.com)
Get on the phone (or email) your shop today, remember those points and get a conversation going with them. You might be surprised with the deal you come out with… but you won’t be surprised when you get exactly what you want… before the season starts!
NOTE: I stole the winter photo above from Fuzzy Guppies webpage. I know I need my own photos, and I will get them up here, as soon as I get out of this winter snow globe I seem to be living in.