A used ski is potentially a cheap route into the sport. Sites such as Ebay are beginning to feature skis more often, as the number of paddlers grow and trade up to newer/faster boats. It is worth bearing in mind that some of the older designs are relatively less stable than more recent boats of similar speed. Doing some research on some of the sites listed in the links section should turn up reviews to many designs.
Another good site for used boats is the classifieds section of Reading Canoe Club, which functions as a central site for anyone looking to sell a racing kayak or canoe nationally. The majority of adverts are for flat water boats (not very good for the sea…), but again there are an increasing number of skis appearing on the list. The other port of call is to regularly check the ‘posts to page’ section of the GB Oceanski Facebook page.
Presently, buying new gives the greatest choice of boats, as the stock of second hand skis is still relatively small. A list of dealers and manufacturers is located on the links page.
As most manufacturers are located outside of the country, skis are shipped over in intermittent container loads. Therefore, finding out how soon the various dealers will receive new stock is a useful first step.
Trying as many boats as possible is a good idea as it provides a quick reality check as to whether the boat is suitable. Comfort and fit are important; different shaped paddlers fit different boats. Having pins and needles after half an hour is a good sign that a different shaped ‘bucket’ is required… Once you have found your ideal ski, take it home, learn to remount it and start having fun!