My Kayak-Buying Adventure at Tractor Supply

Finding the Perfect Kayak for Beginners on a Budget

As a beginner kayaker on a budget, I never expected to find quality kayaks at affordable prices until I walked into my local Tractor Supply store. With an entire aisle dedicated to kayaks and accessories, I was excited to start browsing their selection hands-on to find the perfect boat to get me started in my new hobby.

After doing some initial online research on kayak types and features, I headed to Tractor Supply knowing they carry major brands like Pelican, Lifetime, Sun Dolphin, and Future Beach. I was mainly interested in a recreational sit-on-top kayak as a total beginner, but I wanted to keep an open mind and compare all my options before deciding.

The first thing I noticed was the variety of materials available – fiberglass, polyethylene, inflatable PVC. Fiberglass kayaks offer a lighter weight and potentially faster hull, but the rigid polyethylene is more durable and affordable. As expected, Tractor Supply has a wide range of prices for both materials.

The polyethylene kayaks start around $200 for basic 8-10 foot models from Sun Dolphin and go up to $500-600 for larger, higher-end brands. I saw a few in the $300-400 range from Pelican that looked like great starter options.

The inflatable PVC kayaks start at around $100 for smaller, portable models which could be nice for travel. But I wanted something more rigid and durable for regular use.

After browsing all the options, I narrowed my focus to a few sit-on-top kayaks in my price range. The open cockpit and higher seat made them seem ideal for a beginner versus the enclosed sit-inside models.

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 caught my eye first. At just $220 with a 275 lb capacity, it would be easy to transport and store. But I worried 10 feet might limit my space and speed compared to a 12 footer.

I also liked the look of the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 – a 10 foot sit-on-top with plenty of stability and a capacity of 275-300 lbs. The $300 price tag fit my budget, and the molded seat looked comfy. Though marketed as an angler kayak, it would work fine for casual paddling too.

But the Pelican Maxim 100X really jumped out at me with its larger size at 10’6″ and 325 lb capacity. For $350, the polyethylene hull looked sleek and durable with a wide standing platform and padded seat. The adjustable footrests and storage hatch were also nice bonuses.

After debating the merits of each model for probably 30 minutes, I finally dragged the Pelican Maxim off the shelf and into an open area. At only 42 lbs, I could manage it fine on my own. I tried sitting in the cockpit and was impressed with the comfort and leg room.

The sales associate saw me testing it out and offered some helpful tips on transporting, storing, and loading the kayak. He also suggested some accessories like the $40 Intex kayak paddle and $25 rolled foam cushion for the seat.

I didn’t see any tandem kayaks at Tractor Supply, but there were plenty of solo recreational and fishing models to choose from. The associate explained that all kayaks and accessories have a 30 day return policy if anything is defective or damaged.

With my mind made up on the Maxim 100X, I wheeled the whole package – kayak, paddle, seat cushion – up to register. The associate helped me securely tie it onto my roof rack for the drive home.

The total came to $465 after adding some default registrations and basic gear. A small price to pay for years of enjoyment on the water! I never would have found this perfect starter kayak if I hadn’t stopped into Tractor Supply to check out their options in person.

Now I can’t wait for warmer weather and calm waters. My new Pelican kayak will be christened soon! As a beginner on a budget, I highly recommend browsing Tractor Supply’s aisle of kayaks and speaking with a sales associate. With major brands, reasonable prices, and knowledgeable staff – you’re sure to paddle out with a great boat like I did.

Kayak Types at Tractor Supply

As an outdoor ranch store, it makes sense that Tractor Supply would carry recreational kayaks for all needs and skill levels. During my visit, I spotted several varieties that would work well for beginners like myself or more advanced paddlers.

The most prominent category was sit-on-top kayaks with open cockpits. The high, molded seats make it easy to get in and out. And they self-drain quickly if any water splashes in, unlike sit-inside models. I saw basic sit-on-top kayaks starting around $200 from Sun Dolphin, all the way up to a $550 Pelican SOT with more features.

There were also plenty of sit-inside kayaks with enclosed cockpits for 1-2 paddlers. The hard plastic shells add protection from splashes and spray. I noticed a $350 Lifetime sit-inside kayak that would be perfect for recreational touring. Prices ranged from budget models around $250 up to high-end $600 options.

In addition to hard-shell plastic kayaks, Tractor Supply has a variety of inflatable kayaks made of durable PVC. These start at around $100 for smaller solo inflatables, and $150+ for tandem models. Definitely a budget option if storage space is limited!

Angler kayaks with built-in rod holders were in no short supply. From $350 fishing kayaks designed to be stable and maneuverable, up to $500 models with plenty of accessory mounts. Tractor Supply definitely caters to the fishing crowd with their lineup.

I was thrilled to see they carry major brands across all categories like Sun Dolphin, Pelican, Future Beach, and Lifetime. Shoppers can choose between budget and high-end models from these trusted kayak manufacturers.

With solo and tandem options, sit-inside and sit-on-top styles, inflatable and hard shell models – Tractor Supply offers kayaks suitable for all skill levels. Beginners like myself will appreciate the recreational kayak selection, while more advanced paddlers have plenty of performance designs to browse through.

Are Kayaks at Tractor Supply Beginner-Friendly?

As a total beginner wanting to buy my very first kayak, I was initially skeptical that Tractor Supply would have options suitable for me. I pictured fishing kayaks and recreational boats made for experienced paddlers with the skills and strength to handle them.

But I was wrong – Tractor Supply’s kayak selection is extremely beginner-friendly! Their lineup from trusted brands like Sun Dolphin, Future Beach, Pelican, and Lifetime caters nicely to first-time kayakers.

Many models are even marketed specifically as “starter” or “recreational” kayaks for new paddlers. Here are some of the key beginner-friendly features I noticed:

  • Wide and stable hulls – Wider kayaks like the Lifetime Tamarack provide increased stability for beginners who aren’t comfortable leaning and balancing yet.
  • Lightweight material – Many kayaks at Tractor Supply made of polyethylene weigh under 50 lbs for easy carrying and transport by novices.
  • ** Molded seats and footrests** – The ergonomic seats and adjustable foot braces on brands like Pelican help beginners find a comfortable position.
  • Large cockpits – Sit-on-top kayaks with open cockpits from Sun Dolphin have plenty of space for easy entry.
  • High weight capacity – Many options have 275+ lb capacity which provides a wider range of beginner-friendly sizing.
  • Budget prices – With kayaks starting around $200, new paddlers can get started without a huge investment.
  • Recreational design – Wider, stable kayaks with storage space appeal to the casual beginner versus a performance design.

I found several sit-on-top kayaks with the above features that made me, as a total novice, feel comfortable getting started. With Tractor Supply’s selection of recreational kayaks from top brands, beginners can shop with confidence and paddle away in stability.

Price Ranges for Tractor Supply Kayaks

One major advantage of shopping at Tractor Supply for a kayak is the wide variety of price points available. As an outdoor ranch store, they offer budget-friendly options for beginners along with high-end performance models for experienced paddlers.

The most affordable kayaks at Tractor Supply are inflatable PVC models starting around $100. These are best suited for very casual recreation and don’t perform or last as well as hard shell kayaks. But they offer major portability at a very low cost.

In the hard plastic category, basic sit-on-top models from Sun Dolphin start at $200-250. These 10 foot kayaks with open cockpits are popular for beginners. Step up to $300-350 models from Pelican or Lifetime for increased durability and features.

Mid-range kayaks at Tractor Supply run $350-450. Here you’ll find fishing kayaks with rod holders, recreational sit-insides with more storage space, and lightweight sit-on-tops from top brands. Great for intermediate paddlers.

High-performance designs start at $500 for brands like Wilderness Systems and Perception. Lighter materials like fiberglass, rudder systems, and custom outfitting allow for longer, faster touring.

The most expensive hard shell kayak I saw was a Wilderness Systems Tempest for $950. High-end models like this cater to advanced kayakers who paddle regularly.

Across the 100+ kayaks available, the price range spans:

  • Budget: $100-250
  • Mid Range: $300-450
  • High End: $500-950

With options across low, medium, and high price points, it’s easy to find a Tractor Supply kayak suited for your needs and budget, whether you’re a total beginner or seasoned paddling pro.

The Inflatable Kayak Selection

One of the first things I noticed browsing the kayak aisle at Tractor Supply was the variety of inflatable PVC kayaks available. As a beginner on a budget, I was immediately drawn to these for their affordability and portability compared to hard shell models.

The most basic inflatable kayak they carry is the Intex Challenger K1 for around $100-150. At just 108 lbs capacity, it’s designed for smaller paddlers and very light recreation. The budget price and ease of inflation are nice perks.

Stepping up to the $175 range, I saw the Intex Explorer K2 tandem inflatable kayak with a 400 lb capacity. Perfect for two smaller paddlers plus gear. The sporty yellow design stood out.

For solo paddlers wanting more space and durability, the $250 Sea Eagle SE370 caught my eye, constructed of thicker 38 mil PVC. The 650 lb capacity reflects its rugged build.

At the high end, the Advanced Elements Convertible AE1007-R for $599 converts from solo to tandem. The aluminum frame and layered material construction make it feel almost rigid.

Other top inflatable brands at Tractor Supply include Airhead, Sevylor, and Saturn. There are solo and tandem models suited for recreational paddling or casual fishing.

While inflatables aren’t as rigid or durable long-term, the low prices starting at $100 and ease of transport/storage make them appealing options for beginners and anyone short on space. Tractor Supply’s selection has models suited for all needs.

Major Kayak Brands at Tractor Supply

With so many kayak brands and models to choose from these days, shopping can feel overwhelming for a beginner. But Tractor Supply makes it easy by carrying boats from the most trusted manufacturers in multiple categories and price points.

The biggest name I saw across fishing, recreational, sit-inside, and sit-on-top designs was Pelican. This classic brand offers high-quality polyethylene kayaks from 10-18 feet for all skill levels, starting at $350. Their trademark yellow boats are widely respected.

Future Beach is another prominent brand at Tractor Supply, known for stability and comfort in recreational and angler kayaks. I saw sit-inside and sit-on-top models starting around $250, great for beginners and casual paddlers.

Sun Dolphin offers the most budget-friendly hard shell kayaks at Tractor Supply. Their 10 foot sit-on-tops start at just $220 – perfect for new paddlers. Sun Dolphin provides basic but durable designs.

For sit-inside kayaks and inflatables, Intex is a major name providing affordable recreational models. The Intex Challenger K1 inflatable is just $100. And their $175 Explorer K2 tandem is family-friendly.

Lifetime kayaks are also common at Tractor Supply with a range of recreational and angler sit-insides starting around $300. Stable, durable, and made in the USA, Lifetime caters nicely to beginners on a budget.

With all the top brands in one place, Tractor Supply makes it easy to compare boats and find the perfect fit based on price, features, and paddling style. The major manufacturers offer something for every kayaker.

Browsing Sit-On-Top Options

As a total beginner, I knew my safest bet would likely be a wide, stable sit-on-top kayak. The open cockpit would allow me to get in and out easily. And the high seat would keep me confidently above water level.

Tractor Supply had a huge selection of sit-on-tops (or SOTs) from top brands like Sun Dolphin, Pelican, Future Beach, and Perception. Prices ranged from $200 to $600+ depending on size, material, features, and performance level.

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 at just $220 was the most affordable option. At only 10 feet long and 30 inches wide, it would be easy to maneuver. Though it might lack some stability and speed for longer trips.

In the $300-400 range, I saw several SOTs that looked ideal for beginners like the Pelican Maxim, Future Beach Fusion, and Lifetime Tamarack. All around 10 feet with wider hulls and comfy seats.

Once I got over $500, performance SOTs appeared like the Wilderness Pungo and Perception Pescador. These 12+ foot kayaks with composite hulls and custom outfitting catered to experienced paddlers wanting speed.

After sitting in a few different SOT demo models in the aisle, I found even the wider “beginner” kayaks felt a bit wobbly. But the sales clerk assured me they would feel much more balanced and stable on the water.

Overall, Tractor Supply provided the perfect SOT options for any skill level. While pricier doesn’t always mean better, some key upgrades like hull material, outfitting, and weight capacity point to a quality investment. Those wider 10 foot models around $300-400 seemed like the ideal fit for most recreational beginners.

Comparing Sit-Inside Designs

In addition to the wide selection of sit-on-top kayaks, Tractor Supply also carries traditional sit-inside kayaks with enclosed cockpits. These offer increased protection from splashes and spray at the cost of easier access.

I saw recreational sit-inside kayaks starting around $250 from Sun Dolphin and Pelican. These 10 foot models provide good stability but less cargo room than pricier options. Still great for beginners on calm water.

The Perception Swifty for $350 caught my eye with a sleek design for recreational paddling or exercise. The enclosed cockpit and smaller rear storage area give it a smoother glide.

For fishing, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler sit-inside model includes rod holders, flush mount tracks, and a stable standing platform for $400. A great value for avid anglers.

The top-end sit-inside kayak was the Wilderness Systems Tempest for $950 – a 17 foot sea kayak built for speed, tracking, and longer touring. High-end features include adjustable footrests, knee pads, and comfortable LumbarTM seating system.

Some key differences I noticed between sit-inside models:

  • Number of cockpit openings – recreational has one vs. tandem touring has two
  • Amount of enclosed storage space
  • Fixed vs. adjustable foot braces
  • Padding and ergonomics of the seat

With a range spanning recreational, angling, touring, and performance designs, Tractor Supply makes sit-inside kayaks accessible for all paddling needs and budgets.

Finding the Right Inflatable Kayak

While browsing the kayak selection at my local Tractor Supply store, the inexpensive inflatable models definitely caught my eye as a beginner. But with so many sizes and designs available, how do you choose the right one? Here are some key factors I would consider:

Capacity – Consider your weight plus any gear you’ll carry. Look for a higher lb. capacity and make sure to stay under the limit.

Number of passengers – Will you paddle solo, tandem, or take kids? Choose a 1, 2, or 3-person inflatable kayak.

Construction – Thicker PVC, layered material, insulation and an aluminum frame add durability. Cheaper vinyl models puncture easier.

Accessories – Models with seats, storage bags, pumps and aluminum oars add convenience and comfort.

Portability – Make sure the folded size and deflated weight work for your vehicle and storage space.

Water conditions – Lakes and calm rivers are best for inflatables. Avoid offshore use where punctures from rocks or rough waves are likely.

Price – Inflatable kayaks start around $100 but more durable materials and accessories will increase the cost. Consider how much use it will get.

Brand – Trusted names like Intex, Sea Eagle, Saturn and Advanced Elements are known for quality.

Considering the above will help match you with the ideal inflatable kayak from Tractor Supply for your needs. And test different models in the aisle – the comfort and stability can vary greatly!

Finding the Perfect Paddle

When purchasing my first kayak from Tractor Supply, I quickly realized I’d need to invest in a quality paddle as well. But with so many types, materials, sizes and price points, choosing one seemed daunting for a beginner like myself. Here are the main factors I considered:

Material – Fiberglass and carbon fiber are lightweight but expensive. For recreational use, plastic or aluminum is affordable and durable. Wood looks nice but requires more care.

Blade shape/size – Wider blades provide more control and stability for beginners. Narrower shapes are faster in the water but may catch more wind.

Adjustable or fixed length – Adjustable kayak paddles can save costs while you determine the ideal size. But fixed lengths provide a more customized fit.

2 or 3 piece – Two piece paddles are convenient for storage and transport. Multi-piece models pack smaller but may feel less sturdy.

Feathered or unfeathered – Feathered paddle blades offset wind resistance but require twisting hands. Unfeathered are easier for beginners.

Grip – Contoured or foam handles offer comfort on longer trips. Cheaper plastic handles can chafe hands.

Price range – Budget kayak paddles start around $30 but I’d invest $75+ for recreational use. High-end paddles reach $150-$200.

With the above criteria in mind, I selected an adjustable aluminum paddle with plastic asymetrical blades for $40. The perfect combination of stability, durability and value as I gain experience. Tractor Supply had a huge selection of paddles to match any kayak and paddling style!

Kayaking With Kids

As a parent and beginner kayaker, I wondered if Tractor Supply offered any kayaks suitable and safe for paddling with young children. I was thrilled to find they carry several family-friendly tandem models perfect for getting kids out on the water.

The most budget-friendly option I saw was the Intex Explorer K2 inflatable kayak for around $175. At 10 feet long and 35 inches wide, there’s plenty of space for a child upfront and adult in the rear. And it has a max capacity of 400 pounds.

For longer trips, the Lifetime Lotus Tandem Kayak offers great stability at $600. The tunnel hull design and padded backrests keep kids comfy while learning. 500 lb. capacity.

The Pelican Maxim Tandem for $650 is another great choice for families with a kid and adult seating area. At almost 15 feet long, it tracks well but still maneuvers nicely.

Some key things to look for in a tandem kayak for kids include:

  • Stable, wide hull design (at least 34-36” wide)
  • High weight capacity (at least 400-500 lbs)
  • Padded seats and backrests
  • Footrests suited for different sizes
  • Storage space for snacks/toys

With Tractor Supply’s selection of recreational tandem kayaks in a range of prices, moms and dads can pick the perfect model to start their child paddling. Getting the kids involved made picking out my first kayak even more fun!

Choosing Kayak Life Jackets

Safety is my top concern as a beginner kayaker. So along with choosing the right boat, I knew I’d need quality life jackets for myself and my kids suited specifically for kayaking. Here are the key factors I looked for at Tractor Supply:

Type I vs. Type III – Type I offers the most buoyancy but can impede movement. Type III balances safety and comfort best for kayaking.

snug fit – An adjustable straps and wraps prevent the life jacket from slipping or riding up while paddling.

flexibility – Neoprene or flexible materials allow full arm and torso motion. Avoid boxy, rigid vests.

lightweight – Nylon or polyester construction won’t weigh you down unnecessarily. Look for mesh panels.

reflective accents – Strips and straps enhance visibility if an emergency arises.

cargo pockets – Zippered closures keep snacks and valuables secure but accessible.

colors/prints – For kids, bright colors or fun character prints keep them excited to wear it.

With so many options for all ages, the kayak life jacket selection at Tractor Supply made finding the perfect fit easy and affordable. I’d recommend prioritizing safety, comfort, and flexibility when choosing the right model. Proper fit can literally save lives!

Transporting and Storing Kayaks

Once I invested in my first kayak, I soon realized transporting it would take some extra planning as a beginner. Thankfully, Tractor Supply has all the accessories and equipment needed to safely move kayaks by vehicle or carry them from the shore.

Foam blocks or pads are essential for protecting your kayak on a car roof rack. I found some basic $20 pads that cushion and prevent scratching. Or upgrade to a full J-cradle system for $150.

Cam straps starting around $20 securely fasten the kayak to crossbars without shifting. Ratchet tie-downs for $25+ make tightening and tensioning easy. Always tie down the bow and stern.

Carry handles are useful for solo lifting, allowing you to distribute weight at both ends. Handles attach to the kayak or you can opt for a shoulder strap to wear. Prices start around $25-50.

2-wheel dollies for $60+ allow one person to move a loaded kayak by rolling it to the water’s edge. Cheaper foam cradles for $35 provide basic dragging.

Wall mounts or storage hooks allow you to get the kayak off the floor. This protects it from moisture and makes space for other gear. Just $25-50.

With the right accessories, transporting and storing a kayak without damage or injuries is easy. Tractor Supply has the paddling commuter covered for getting their boat where it needs to go!

Choosing the Right PFD for Kayaking

personal flotation device (PFD), or life jacket, is an absolute must for safe kayaking. At Tractor Supply, I found PFDs tailored specifically for kayakers across a range of prices and styles. Here are key features to look for:

  • Type III USCG rating – Provides flotation without impeding movement, ideal for paddlers.
  • Snug fit – Key straps and adjustment points prevent riding up. Secure around chest and waists.
  • Flexibility – Stretch panels allow full arm and torso motion for paddling stroke.
  • Mesh ventilation – Breathable materials and drainage prevent overheating.
  • Reflective accents – Add visibility in case of emergencies on the water.
  • Pockets – Zippered closures keep small items secure while paddling.
  • Colors – Bright colors attract rescue attention. Fun graphics appeal to kids.

Starting around $50, the Stohlquist Edge PFD caught my eye with its mesh inner airway for breathability. For ultimate comfort I’d invest $150+ in the Astral YTV vest designed just for kayakers.

Don’t forget the kiddos – Tractor Supply has PFDs with kid-friendly designs and strap adjustments for growing bodies. Safety starts with choosing the right life jacket before hitting the water!

Stand Up Paddleboards at Tractor Supply

In addition to kayaks, I noticed Tractor Supply also carries stand up paddleboards (SUPs) – a sport combining surfing and paddling. These long, buoyant boards allow you to paddle from a standing position using a long single-blade paddle.

Tractor Supply’s lineup comes from top SUP brands like South Bay, Surftech, and Bote. There are inflatable boards starting at $250 for portability, along with more durable fiberglass models from $800-1000+.

Here are some beginner tips for choosing a SUP at Tractor Supply:

  • Consider inflatable for portability/storage vs fiberglass for performance
  • Wider boards 32″+ are more stable for beginners
  • Look for grip pads to prevent slipping
  • Get an adjustable paddle suited for your height
  • Find your size – boards support riders from 100-350+ lbs
  • Attach an ankle leash to stay connected if you fall

With a huge range of shapes, sizes and materials, Tractor Supply makes it easy to get started with SUP. And their knowledgeable staff can guide beginners like me in finding a board to match my skill level and goals. Definitely an exciting new water sport I want to try this summer!

Finding the Right Kayak Seat

While testing kayaks at Tractor Supply, it quickly became apparent that the seat would be key for long-term comfort. But with so many options, materials, and price points, how do you choose the right one? Here are my top considerations:

Cutout vs. full seat – Full seats provide better cushioning and back support. A cutout allows more freedom of movement at the cost of stability.

Cushioning – Multiple layers of foam and padding prevent soreness on extended trips. Avoid thin cushions.

Adjustability – Can the seat move forward/backward or tilt? Allows custom alignment for your body.

Material – Nylon or mesh stays cool and dries quickly. Neoprene adds stretch. Avoid leather/vinyl which gets slippery.

Backrest – Taller back rests around 18-20″ support the spine better for comfort.

Mounting – Does it strap in securely? Quick release clips allow easy removal.

Price – I’d budget $50-100 for a supportive seat as an investment. High-end seats reach $200+.

With my back health in mind, I tried out a few options before choosing the $85 Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat. Finding the right kayak seat can truly enhance every paddling trip!

Choosing a Roof Rack System

I quickly learned that safely transporting my kayak would require a roof rack system – but with so many types and installation methods, choosing one was a bit overwhelming as a beginner. Here are the key considerations that helped me select at Tractor Supply:

Vehicle type – The rack has to properly fit your car, truck, or SUV with specific attachments. Provide the year, make and model.

Weight limit – Make sure the system can handle your fully loaded kayak, typically over 100 lbs. Look for a higher lb rating.

Mount style – Fixed mounts bolt permanently in place. Temporary strap or clamp styles are quicker to install.

Mount points – More attachment points add stability. 4-6 is ideal for most kayaks 12 feet and under.

Rack bars – Aluminum, steel, or plastic crossbars hold the kayak. Brands like Yakima and Thule make trusted bars.

Tie-down points – Look for multiple points to securely strap the hull and protect the kayak. Padding prevents scratches.

Locking – See if the system includes or can add combination locks to deter theft. Keys can get lost.

Price – Basic rack kits start around $100 but I’d recommend spending $200-300 for optimal safety and stability when transporting a kayak.

For my SUV, I chose the Yakima Round Bars with JetStream bars and TimberLine towers. A bit pricey at $350 installed, but well worth it for securely transporting my Pelican Maxim 100X kayak!

Kayak Maintenance Tips

As a new kayak owner, I wanted to learn how to care for my boat properly after each use. The staff at Tractor Supply gave me some great maintenance tips to prevent damage and keep my kayak gliding smoothly.

Rinse with fresh water – This prevents salt, debris, and dirt from sticking. Pay extra attention around the footrests and seat.

UV protection – Keep your kayak out of direct sunlight when not in use. A storage cover prevents fading.

Proper drying– Stand the kayak upright to allow water to drain out completely. Storing wet can breed mold.

Regular cleaning – Wipe down the hull with a kayak-safe cleaner and use a stiff brush on the footrests.

Scuff repair – For light scratches, use a wax filling compound. Deep gouges may require sanding and filler.

Check storage straps – Make sure these are snug but not denting the hull over time.

New seat/gripper pads – Replace these as needed so they stay punction-free and supportive.

Inspect for cracks – Look for cracking along the hull, skeg, rudder, or scupper holes which can spread.

Just like a car, taking care of your kayak will keep it performing smoothly for many seasons. Tractor Supply has all the soaps, brushes, pads and repair kits needed to maintain your boat.

Kayak Cart for Transport

I quickly learned that carrying my 12 foot kayak from the car to the water would be back-breaking without help. Looking through kayak cart options at Tractor Supply, I found they make transporting boats much easier.

Wheeled carriages like the Bonafide Kayak Trolley for $150 allow one person to move a heavy kayak. The large inflatable tires roll easily over sand or dirt to the water.

2-wheel hand carts around $60-80 function similarly but without inflatable tires. These basic plastic wheels still get the job done at a lower cost.

Simple foam cradles with straps for $30-50 allow you to drag a kayak upside-down. Less control than wheeled options but extremely affordable.

Pickup truck saddles fit over the truck bed, allowing easy kayak loading/unloading without lifting. Prices start at $50.

Car door saddles use straps to protect the kayak when loading it sideways across sedan rear doors. Also about $50.

Whatever transport method you choose, using a kayak cart prevents back strain and damage from dropping. Moving a 12 foot boat is nearly impossible alone without wheels or sliding assistance!

Selecting Kayak Paddling Gloves

As a beginner prone to blisters, I wanted paddling gloves from Tractor Supply that would protect my hands without restricting motion. Trying on a few options, I found these features are key:

Snug fit – Avoid bulky gloves that impede grip and wrist movement. Light neoprene offers stretch.

Reinforced palm – Extra grip padding reduces hand fatigue and blistering during strokes.

Breathable fabric – Mesh panels on the back prevent moisture build-up. Neoprene can get hot.

Fingerless or full – Personal preference, but full fingers protect more from sun and blisters.

Easy adjustments – Good wrist closures keep the gloves secure, while allowing quick on/off.

UV protection – UPF fabrics prevent sun damage on the tops of hands over time.

Bright colors – For safety, avoid solid black or dark gloves that blend into the water.

Trying multiple pairs for fit, I chose Burke Neoprene Paddling Gloves for $25 – an affordable option with breathable panels and reinforced palms to protect my blister-prone hands.

Choosing the Right Skeg for Tracking

As an emerging paddler still working to keep my kayak moving straight, I noticed Tractor Supply offers skegs to assist with tracking and directional stability in windy conditions. But how do you choose the right skeg system?

Fixed vs. Retractable – Retractable skegs deploy into the water when needed for wind resistance. Fixed skegs remain in place permanently.

Location – Stern skegs attach near the kayak’s rear. Bow skegs are less common and aid maneuverability.

Blade shape – Long, curved skeg blades provide the most directional stability. Short, wide shapes offer less resistance.

Material – Plastic skegs are affordable but prone to breaking. Metal skegs are more durable under force.

Weight – Consider how the skeg will impact your kayak’s weight distribution when installed.

Universal or custom fit – Universal skegs require DIY mounting. Custom skegs are made to seamlessly fit your boat.

For my Pelican, I chose the SternMate universal skeg for $35 – an easy do-it-yourself installation that will help keep me tracking straight as I build paddling skills.

Signs it’s Time for a New Kayak

While browsing the selection at Tractor Supply, I wondered – when do you know it’s time to retire your old kayak and upgrade to a new model? Here are some key signs of aging I learned:

Fading/yellowing – If sun exposure has caused the hull to lose its color and luster, a fresh boat will look much nicer.

Dragging – A noticeable increase in on-water drag can mean it’s time to upgrade to a faster, smoother glide.

Denting/cracking – External damage that compromises the hull’s integrity indicates replacement time.

Frequent puncturing – If an inflatable kayak needs constant patching, a new one with thicker material can solve leaks.

Peeling accessories – Grips, footrests, and seat cushions that are wearing out make every outing less comfortable.

Waterlogging – Sit-inside kayaks that take on water often need replacement due to compromised hatches.

Hello, everyone! I'm David Henry, a dedicated customer and enthusiastic reviewer of Tractor Supply Company. As a farmer and agriculture enthusiast, I frequently visit Tractor Supply Company to explore and purchase a wide range of agricultural supplies, tools, and equipment. Over the years, I have accumulated extensive experience and knowledge in shopping at Tractor Supply Company, and I aim to help others make wiser choices through my sharing. I understand the importance of selecting the right products for farmers, ranchers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. That's why I enjoy sharing my insights and recommendations to assist individuals in finding the best-suited products for their needs. Join me as we embark on a journey of discovering quality products and making informed decisions at Tractor Supply Company. Together, let's enhance our farming and outdoor experiences through valuable insights and practical advice.