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What is the best way to show someone you care about them? Buying them a gift for their favorite water activities, of course! While a paddle and boat are the essentials for a paddling trip, there are tons of kayaking gifts that can enhance the experience. This guide has 20 awesome gifts for kayakers and canoers so they can be fully prepared for this paddle season!

Whether paddling is a new hobby or a favorite pastime, it is always generous to show support for your friends’ interests (in the form of gift-giving)! Below are our recommendations of clever yet affordable kayaking gifts.

Best Gifts for Canoe and Kayak Enthusiasts

Most Practical Gifts for Kayakers

Yakpad Gel Saddle Paddle

  • Cost: $54.95

We all know the uncomfortable feeling after sitting in a canoe or kayak seat for too long. Your back hurts, your bum is numb, and you have to cut short an amazing paddle.

All of these problems are solved with Yakpad’s Gel Saddle Paddle! This cushioned seat provides full lumbar support and relieves pressure points in the body while paddling. This insulated, gender-neutral seat cushion is adjustable for any boat size and is among the most useful kayaking gifts.

Canoe and kayak lovers will love this gift because it allows them to paddle comfortably and with ease.

You can order this item on Amazon.

Osprey Hydration Pack

  • Cost: $55

Even though you are surrounded by water when in a boat, being active out on the water is super dehydrating. Osprey’s Hydration Pack is one of the most practical, yet enjoyable, canoeing and kayaking gifts.

This water bladder and backpack are lightweight and durable. With this top of the line hydration pack, paddlers no longer have to worry about warm water bottles, carrying extra cargo, and being dehydrated out on the water.

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

UST Kayak Light

  • Cost: $10

When your friends who love to kayak want to start exploring after dark, you can make their day with UST’s Kayak Light. With up to 100 hours of bright LED light, this portable kayak light is perfect for late-night adventures.

Navigating dark waterways is made so much easier with this practical gift. In the professional paddling community, a kayak light like this is seen as an essential piece of gear for epic canoe and kayaking adventures.

You can order this item on Amazon or REI.

NRS Kayak Knife

  • Cost: $59.99

You never know what could happen out on the water – it’s always best to be prepared! A kayak knife is an important safety tool for any longer paddling excursion, and is one of the most practical gifts for kayakers out there.

Ideal for cutting rope, camping, and any other outdoor need, this NRS Knife is the perfect practical gift for anyone who is planning an outdoor adventure.

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

Neoprene Socks

  • Cost: $14.99

There is nothing worse than wet socks, but not when it comes to canoeing and kayaking. These “water socks” will transform any water experience! Paddlers who do not want to get their feet wet during a paddle or want an alternative to water shoes should definitely purchase a pair of Neoprene socks.

These super soft and stretchy socks have a great fit and are most often used for paddle boarding, kayaking, and sandy beach sports. Neoprene socks are a versatile product that will keep your feet dry and happy all day long!

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

Waterproof Dry Bag

  • Cost: $13.99

When you are going on a long paddle or camping trip, it is crucial to keep your clothes and supplies nice and dry! These waterproof dry bags are a practical gift for canoe and kayak lovers.

Waterproof dry bags can fit a surprisingly large amount of gear and have easy roll-down tops to block out any moisture. Needless to say, dry bags are a paddle essential.

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

Water Resistant Bluetooth Speaker

  • Cost: $49

A water resistant bluetooth speaker is the perfect gift to add a little party to any kayak trip. Whether you need motivation to paddle or just want to have fun, music is an awesome way to liven up long paddles.

As long as it is fully charged, this water resistant bluetooth speaker is up for any water adventure! Speakers range in price, but it is easy to find an affordable speaker to bring to any lakeside event.

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

Kayak Magazine Subscription

  • Cost: $18.95

A thoughtful and practical gift for canoe and kayak lovers is a subscription to an outdoors magazine. Not only does this show that you support their interests, but may inspire them to start planning their next outdoor adventure.

There are tons of outdoors magazines that offer monthly subscriptions. Canoe and kayak enthusiasts will definitely want to get their hands on some of this reading!

There are tons of kayaking and outdoors magazines. You can order REI’s outdoor magazine here.

Monocular Telescope

  • Cost: $23- $39.95

One of the best parts of canoeing and kayaking is spotting wildlife and seeing beautiful flora. With this monocular telescope, paddlers can get up close and personal with wildlife without disturbing them.

Best of all, this telescope is hand-held, waterproof, and is compatible with the latest iPhones so you can connect it to your phone! This is cool gadget for any outdoor lover that has a special interest in wildlife and nature.

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

YETI Roadie Cooler

  • Cost: $34.99-$249

No trip is complete without cool drinks and snacks! There are a variety of YETI coolers that can make paddling more enjoyable.

Price depends on the size of the cooler, but there are decent- size coolers that are the perfect size to bring along in a canoe! This practical gift is perfect for summer paddles or anytime you want to bring food or drinks for the journey.

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

Kayak Cart

  • Cost: $48-$110

Carrying kayaks to and fro can be quite exhausting. For safe and easy transport, canoe and kayak lovers should test out these kayak carts.

This cart folds up nice and small so you can just keep it in the trunk of your car. It has an adjustable strap and wheels so that you can drop your boats anywhere you please. This is a super practical gift if you know any avid paddlers!

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

Seattle Sports Kayak Compass

  • Cost: $44

Out on the water, directions can get a little confusing (especially when waterways are unlabeled on camping maps). Therefore, a waterproof compass is an awesome gift for any avid kayaker.

Adding a kayak compass to your outdoor equipment may be the final piece of gear needed to plan a brand new expedition. This gift is great for any canoe, kayak, or outdoor lover.

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

Inexpensive Kayaking Gifts

High UV Protection Buff

  • Cost: $14

While my knowledge about these buffs mostly comes from the show Survivor, there is no doubt that this accessory is a total game changer. Not only does it make one of the best gifts for kayakers and canoers, but it also works well for other activities such as hiking, biking, and skiing.

High UV Protection Buffs can be worn around your face, neck, torso, head, or arms to protect you from the sun during a long day of paddling. This is an awesome gift for your kayak friends because you can customize their look and get them something that is actually helpful for a pretty fair price. Who says a kayaking trip can’t also be a fashion show?

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

Paddle Keeper

  • Cost: $11

This inexpensive tool is one of the most perfect kayaking gifts for families with young paddlers or whitewater paddling trips! Believe me, once you drop your paddle you are out of luck- its not coming back.

These paddle leashes are great for novices and easily loop over your paddle to keep it connected to the boat. If your friend is just breaking into the paddle game, this is a great gift to support their new endeavor.

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

WITZ See it Safe Sport Case

  • Cost: $7.95

When you want to bring your phone, keys, or ID with you on a paddle, a protective waterproof case is one of the most affordable and useful kayaking gifts you can give.

This inexpensive gift is great for kayak and canoe lovers who want to explore the outdoors but keep their personal items safe.

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

UV Protectant Spray

  • Cost: $6.96

This UV Protectant Spray is like sunscreen for all of your outdoor gear. It’ll make your boats, paddles, and other gear last much longer so you can keep on exploring.

Canoe and kayak lovers will definitely appreciate this gift, especially if they have invested in quality gear. With this UV Protectant Spray, you won’t have to worry about worn gear for a very long time.

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

Kayak Decals and Stickers

  • Cost: $2-$7

If you or your friend has their own boat, stickers and decals are a great way to decorate! This is a very popular and inexpensive way to customize your boats and show off your personality.

Stickers and decals are easy to apply to any type of boat and usually last for a few years. The key is to make sure that they are water resistant! From sea creatures to breakfast foods, there are no shortage of designs that can add some flavor to your gear.

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

Croakies Bottle Opener Belt

  • Cost: $25

Croakies reigns supreme over the intersectionality of fashion and outdoor adventure. These bottle opener belts are useful and durable. With tons of patterns to choose from, these belts make great kayaking gifts!

With this belt in tow, you will always be prepared to open any bottle while camping. Specially made for the outdoors, this piece of gear is great for all types of outdoor activities.

You can order this item on Amazon.

Seattle Sports Paddle Grips

  • Cost: $6

We all know that gripping a paddle for hours on end can make fingers feel a little funky. Seattle Sports’ Paddle Grips are a squishy sheath that go over your paddle to make your journey much more comfortable.

This inexpensive gift is perfect for novice and experienced paddlers- we can all feel that pain! This is a simple product that totally changes the paddling experience. Any adventurer that enjoys long paddles would love this gift.

You can order this item on Amazon or from REI.

Portable Fish Finder

  • Cost: $16-$40

Fishing out of canoe or kayak has become an increasingly popular outdoor activity. Help your friend have an easier time hooking their line with a portable fish finder! This is one of the best gifts for kayakers who also enjoy fishing.

This hand held device will bring you to a nearby hub of fish. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and cast a line. This device is an awesome gift for kayak and canoe lovers who want to try fishing from right off their own boat.

You can order this item on Amazon.

Hopefully, these recommendations help you find the perfect gifts for kayakers and outdoor lovers. With all of this swanky gear, there are endless adventures out there waiting for you! Feel free to check out our destination guides to help plan your next outdoor adventure.

Additional Resources

What to Pack for Kayaking Trips

  • Swimsuit: Wearing a swimsuit is essential for being out on the water! When canoeing and kayaking, chances are you are going to get wet, so best to be prepared! Click here to compare styles and prices for our favorite swimsuits.
  • Sunglasses: Being out on the water is beautiful, but the water can really reflect light! Make sure to bring a pair of sunglasses and croakies to keep them from falling off.
  • Hat: It’s best to keep the sun of your head to keep you cool. Whether you prefer a nice bucket hat or a vintage baseball cap, keeping cool will ensure an awesome trip.
  • Water Bottle: Keeping hydrated is no joke! Paddling is a great way to exercise and relax, but that means it takes a lot of energy too! Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout your trip with these cool water bottles.
  • Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Don’t let the elements stop you from having an amazing paddle! I recommend bringing sunscreen and bug spray in the boat with ou to ward off any pests and sunburns.

For a more complete packing list, check out our ultimate kayaking packing list to help you prepare for all of your outdoor kayak adventures. These essentials will make your time kayaking and canoeing in San Diego an unforgettable experience!

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