How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Kayak? Explained

Shipping your kayak might be one of many things that come to mind when you’re eager to paddle in new waters. Many of us might wonder, “Isn’t it easier to just strap it to the roof of my car and hit the road?” While that’s one option, there are more convenient and cost-effective options.

Let’s break it down a bit – How much does it cost to ship a kayak? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. The cost of shipping a kayak can vary depending on several factors.

For domestic shipping within the United States, the cost of shipping a kayak typically ranges from $100 to $300. And for international shipping, costs can vary significantly depending on the destination country, customs regulations, shipping method, and more.

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about kayak shipping costs and provide tips to ensure your kayak arrives safely while keeping prices in check. So let’s dive in!

Explaining how much does it cost to ship a kayak.

Why You Might Want To Ship Your Kayak?

Are you dreaming of discovering hidden coves and experiencing the thrill of kayaking in distant places?

If you’ve got your eyes set on exciting paddling adventures far from home, then you might want to consider shipping your beloved kayak. Yes, that’s right – shipping your kayak can open up a world of possibilities and take your paddling game to a whole new level!

Let’s face it, shipping a kayak is only sometimes a walk in the park. Strapping it onto the roof of your car might work for short trips. But what if your journey takes you to places where road-tripping isn’t the best option? That’s where shipping comes to the rescue!

It offers a stress-free and convenient way to get your kayak wherever your heart desires.

Here are a few more reasons why you might want to ship your kayak:

Moved To A Different Place

Maybe you’ve recently moved to a different city or even a different country. You’ve settled into your new home, but there’s something missing – your beloved kayak!

You’ve explored your local waters, but the thrill of paddling in new and unfamiliar locations beckons you. Instead of leaving your kayak behind, shipping it to your new location becomes the perfect solution.

This way, you can continue your paddling adventures in your new surroundings and discover exciting waterways that were once beyond your reach.

Breaking Boundaries Of Your Local Waters

You know every nook and cranny of your local river or lake, but you’re itching to expand your horizons. Shipping your kayak allows you to venture beyond your comfort zone and discover breathtaking locations you’ve only seen in photos or heard about from fellow paddlers. From peaceful coastal lagoons to challenging white-water rapids, the possibilities are endless.

Just Sold Your Kayak

What if you’ve decided to part ways with your current kayak? You may be upgrading to a newer model, or circumstances have changed. It’s time to bid farewell to your trusty companion, but only by ensuring it goes to its new owners safe and sound. In such a case, shipping it to its new home is the best way to pass on the joy of paddling to someone else.

Sending a kayak somewhere else can be tricky because they’re big and easily damaged. But picking the right method can make it easier and won’t empty your piggy bank. 

Here are some common ways people send kayaks and what they might cost:

Truck Shipping: Cheap And Trustworthy

Truck shipping a kayak.

Truck shipping (also known as Ground Freight) is a popular way to send kayaks. It’s like moving your kayak on a big road trip using trucks or trailers but within your own country.

Here’s what you should know about truck shipping:

  • It’s usually the cheapest way to send a kayak and might cost between $50 to $200, depending on how far it’s going and how heavy it is.
  • It could take a little longer, but it’s a reliable way to send a kayak, especially if you’re not in a hurry.
  • Be sure to pack your kayak well with stuff like bubble wrap to keep it safe from any bumps on the road.

Air Shipping: Quick But Costly

Air shipping a kayak.

Airplane shipping (Air Freight) is a great choice if you need your kayak to get somewhere fast, but it can be quite expensive.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Airplane shipping gets your kayak where it needs to go super fast, so it’s perfect if you need it delivered quickly or if you’re sending it to another country.
  • This way can be pretty expensive, starting at about $300, and can go up into the thousands, depending on how far it’s going, how big your kayak is, and how much it weighs. Don’t forget – there might be extra costs like handling charges and additional fees.
  • Make sure to pack your kayak in strong packaging and consider getting insurance to keep it safe while it’s flying.

Special Kayak Carriers: Extra Services But More Expensive

If you’re looking for a service that’s really good at sending kayaks and can offer extra things like professional packing, insurance, and delivery right to your door, you can use a Specialized Carrier.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • These carriers know all about sending kayaks safely.
  • They cost a bit more, starting around $200, and could even go over $500, depending on what extra services you want and how far the kayak is going.
  • When picking a specialized carrier, think about their reputation, what other customers have said about them, and how good their insurance is.

In the end, how much it costs to send a kayak can change a lot based on how you’re sending it, how far it’s going, and how big and heavy the kayak is. Be sure to check prices from different places, think about what you need and what you can afford, and plan ahead to make it as cheap and safe as possible.

Factors Affecting The Cost Of Shipping A Kayak

The cost of shipping a kayak can vary depending on a bunch of factors. And trust me, you’ll want to be aware of these factors so you don’t end up paying an arm and a leg to get your beloved kayak from point A to point B.

Now, let’s dive right into it, shall we? Here are some key factors that can affect the cost of shipping your trusty kayak:

#1. Size And Weight

The size and weight of your kayak matter the cost most while shipping it. The bigger your kayak, the more it’s going to cost to ship. This is due to the fact that larger items take up more space in the transport vehicle and might require special handling.

Carriers often have specific weight limits for packages, so additional fees may apply if your kayak exceeds these limits. So it’s important to consider the dimensions and weight of your kayak when calculating the overall shipping expenses.

#2. Distance Makes The Heart (And Wallet) Grow Fonder

The longer the distance between the pickup and drop-off points, the more expensive the shipping will be. If you’re sending your kayak cross-country, prepare to shell out some extra dough. However, if you’re sending it across town, you might get off a bit cheaper.

#3. Shipping Method

The method you choose to ship your kayak can also impact the cost. There are various options out there, like ground shipping, freight shipping, or even air shipping, for those with a need for speed. Each method comes with its own price tag, so make sure you pick the one that suits your budget and timeline.

#4. Packaging And Protection

You’re not going to slap a shipping label on your kayak and call it a day, are you? Good packaging and protection cost money, but they’re essential to ensuring your kayak arrives safe and sound. So remember, skimping on the bubble wrap might save you a few bucks now, but it could ultimately cost you big time.

#5. Time Is Money

If you need your kayak delivered as soon as possible, be prepared to pay for expedited shipping. Speedy deliveries are a luxury that comes at a price. But if you’re in no rush, standard shipping is your budget-friendly buddy.

#6. Insurance Isn’t Just A Piece Of Paper

Insuring your kayak for its journey is smart, especially if it’s a high-end model. While insurance adds to the shipping cost, it gives you peace of mind knowing that you’re covered if anything goes south.

#7. The Time Of Year

Believe it or not, the time of year can affect shipping costs. During peak seasons, like the holidays, prices tend to spike. So if you can, it might be worth it to hold off on shipping your kayak until the rush has died down.

#8. The Shipping Company

Last but definitely not least, the shipping company you choose can greatly affect the cost. Some companies offer deals that others don’t. So, don’t be afraid to shop around and compare prices.

And there you have it, folks. These are the main factors that can either ramp up or reel in the cost of shipping your kayak. Just remember, while saving money is great, ensuring your kayak arrives safely should be your top priority.

So go forth, shop wisely, and happy kayaking!

How To Ship Your Kayak To Your Dream Destination (Hassle-Free) 

Shipping your kayak to your dream destination doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With careful planning and some know-how, you can make the process hassle-free and ensure your kayak arrives safe and sound, ready to take on new waters.

Let’s break it down step by step:

Step 1: Research Shipping Options

Start by researching different shipping companies or carriers that offer kayak shipping services. Look for reputable companies with experience in handling kayaks to ensure the best care for your beloved vessel. Compare prices, delivery times, and customer reviews to find the option that suits your needs and budget.

Step 2: Measure And Package Your Kayak

Measure the kayak to determine the final shipping cost.

Before booking your shipping service, measure your kayak’s dimensions carefully. Note the length, width, and height, including any protruding parts like rudders or handles. Once you have accurate measurements, find suitable packaging materials. Consider using bubble wrap, foam padding, or inflatable airbags to protect your kayak from damage during transit.

Step 3: Secure Proper Documentation

Secure documents with the kayak.

Depending on your destination, you might need to prepare some documentation for shipping. This could include a bill of sale (if you’re selling your kayak), a shipping label, or any required customs forms for international shipments. Make sure to research the specific requirements for your destination and prepare the necessary paperwork.

Step 4: Choose The Right Shipping Service

Select the shipping service that best meets your needs based on your research and kayak measurements. Consider factors like shipping time, cost, and level of service. If you want additional insurance coverage for your kayak, discuss this with the shipping company and arrange it before shipping.

Step 5: Schedule The Pickup

Contact the shipping company to schedule a pickup date and time that works for you. Ensure someone is present at the pickup location to hand over the packaged kayak to the carrier. Double-check all the documentation and information with the shipping company to avoid any misunderstandings.

Step 6: Prepare Your Kayak For Pickup

Make sure your kayak is securely and properly packaged on the day of pickup. Remove any loose accessories and detachable parts, such as seats or footrests. Label your kayak with your contact information and the destination address clearly. Be ready to provide the necessary documentation to the carrier.

Step 7: Tracking And Communication

Ask the shipping company for a tracking number and closely monitor your kayak’s journey. Stay in communication with the carrier to get updates on the shipping progress. This way, you can always have peace of mind knowing where your kayak is.

Step 8: Now Wait For The Arrival

Once your kayak arrives, inspect it carefully for any signs of damage. If there are any issues, take photos and report them to the shipping company immediately. Hopefully, your kayak will be in perfect condition, and you can start preparing for your next paddling adventure!

Comparison Of Kayak Shipping Costs: FedEx Vs. Forward Air Vs. Ups

When it comes to shipping your kayak, three top companies stand out: FedEx, Forward Air, and UPS. Each of them offers convenient options to transport your kayak to the places you want to go. The best part is they have unique strengths, so you can choose the one that suits your needs perfectly.


FedEx is a well-known shipping giant with many choices for shipping. If you want a more budget-friendly, reliable option, their ground shipping is a great choice. And if you need your kayak delivered faster, they have express options, though they may cost a bit more.

However, if you’re planning to kayak in far-off places, their international shipping service can easily get your kayak there.

Forward Air

Forward Air stands out as a specialized shipping company focusing on transporting larger items like kayaks. They offer an efficient air freight service that’s perfect for transporting bulkier kayaks.

While it might involve coordination for airport pickup and drop-off, it’s a great option for kayakers with bigger vessels.


UPS, much like FedEx, is a renowned shipping carrier providing a comprehensive array of shipping services. If you want a good balance between cost and reliability, their ground shipping option is great. For trips that need fast delivery, their express services ensure quick shipping.

And if you’re excited to explore waters in other countries, UPS can ship your kayak internationally, making it a fantastic option for global adventures.

Let’s compare them to find out which would suit you best for shipping your kayak.

FedExCost Estimate (Based on 10ft Kayak)Cost Estimate (Based on 14ft Kayak)
Ground Shipping$120 – $180$180 – $240
Express Shipping$200 – $280$280 – $360
Forward AirCost Estimate (Based on 10ft Kayak)Cost Estimate (Based on 14ft Kayak)
International Shipping$300 – $450$450 – $600
LTL Freight$100 – $150$150 – $200
UPSCost Estimate (Based on 10ft Kayak)Cost Estimate (Based on 14ft Kayak)
Ground Shipping$110 – $170$170 – $230
Express Shipping$190 – $260$260 – $340

Note: The costs provided may vary based on the specific kayak’s size, weight, and destination. It’s always best to request personalized quotes from each carrier for accurate pricing. 

Learn More

Can You Ship A Kayak Internationally?

Yes, many shipping companies, such as FedEx and UPS, offer international shipping services for kayaks. However, it’s essential to check with the specific carrier for their international shipping options and any additional requirements or restrictions that may apply.

Do You Need Extra Insurance When Shipping My Kayak?

While shipping companies typically provide primary insurance coverage for lost or damaged items, it’s a good idea to consider purchasing extra insurance for added protection, especially for valuable or cherished kayaks. Excess insurance can provide peace of mind during transit.

Are There Any Weight Restrictions For Shipping A Kayak?

Yes, there are usually weight restrictions for shipping a kayak. The maximum weight allowed may vary depending on the shipping company and the type of shipping service you choose. It’s essential to check with the carrier to ensure your kayak meets their weight requirements.

Can You Pack Other Items Inside The Kayak During Shipping?

In general, it’s not recommended to pack other items inside the kayak during shipping. Shipping companies typically require the kayak to be empty and adequately secured to ensure safe transportation. Packing items inside the kayak may lead to damage during transit and may not be allowed by the carrier.

How Long Does It Usually Take To Ship A Kayak?

The shipping time for a kayak can vary depending on the shipping distance, the carrier’s service level, and any potential delays. For domestic shipping within the United States, standard ground shipping may take anywhere from a few days to a week. Expedited or express shipping options are available for faster delivery, but the shipping time will depend on your specific service and the distance to the destination. For international shipping, the shipping time will vary based on the destination country and any customs processing. It’s best to check with the shipping company for more precise delivery estimates.

Final Words

In summary, you’ll first need to determine your needs to find the perfect transportation. Choosing a reliable option that fits your budget is essential, ensuring your kayak arrives safely and is ready for fun adventures.

As mentioned earlier, the shipping cost of a kayak depends on several factors. However, shipping a kayak within the US usually costs between $100 and $300. The price varies based on the kayak’s size, destination, and any special services you require.

Now armed with this information and helpful tips, you’re all set to embark on your kayaking journey!

About Ronin D. Sullivan

"Flow with the currents, embrace the adventure, and let the river be your guide."

- I am a kayak instructor and proud co-founder of PaddleWiggle. With a passion for paddling and a wealth of experience in the field, I've dedicated my life to sharing the joy and art of kayaking with others. Being a co-founder of PaddleWiggle is a dream come true. Together with my fellow founders, we've built a platform that serves as a premier destination for kayaking enthusiasts.

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