How to Buy Canoeing Equipment on eBay

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How to Buy Canoeing Equipment on eBay

Whether pursued as an afternoon activity, basking in the sun on a calm lake, or racing down river rapids, canoeing can be exhilarating and very effective exercise. It may be undertaken solo or in tandem depending on the size, shape, and purpose of the canoe and specific activity.

A canoeist can begin their hobby with just a canoe and a paddle, but in order to be safe, the canoeist needs a considerable amount of gear to be prepared for any potential situation. Preparing for a canoeing holiday or weekend means stocking up on equipment that may or may not be used. Of course, this can quickly become expensive. An effective way to economise on buying canoeing equipment is to try eBay, where virtually all the necessary gear is available at lower rates than retail prices. A single canoeist does not need all the types of canoeing equipment, but a canoeist does need to understand the type and purpose for their canoeing activity to determine what equipment they need to buy.

Regulatory and Recommended Equipment

Canoeing equipment includes all the main items, such as paddles, personal floatation devices (PFD), and waterproof clothing. The type and amount of equipment depends on the type of canoeing in question and how far from shore the vessel is taken. There are essentially three types of canoeing: recreational, racing, and white water, each with recommended and sometimes legally required equipment.

Recreational Canoeing

The recommended equipment for recreational canoeing is minimal although some basics are required by law in certain jurisdictions. These requirements may vary from place to place, so this guide should be followed as a general guideline. A recreational canoe is often made of wood although it may also be made of fibreglass, Kevlar, royalex, aluminium, or a mix of wood and canvas. The following section lists equipment that should be used for all recreational equipment.

Personal Floatation Device

A PFD clearly falls into necessary equipment for all canoeists, and it is legally required in many places. They are not bulky and allow for lots of movement; this is why canoeists and kayakers prefer them to life jackets. On the other hand, most PFDs do not have the buoyancy of a lifejacket and are generally recommended for those with good swimming skills. It is also most effective in calm waters where a lifejacket is more beneficial in rough water due to its extra buoyancy. However, PFDs do vary in their buoyancy weights, ranging from 6 to 11 kilogrammes.

Bilge Pump

In the event of a capsize or inundation, a bilge pump is a mandatory aid in removing water from the inside of a canoe. This pump is especially designed to handle all sorts of water and protects against any chance of ignition. They are typically 12-volt DC units and submersible. Alternatively, a bailing jug can also be used to bail water from the bottom of the canoe, but it is not as thorough.

Waterproof Torch

A waterproof torch is not always necessary but always handy. They can conveniently be kept inside a compartment in the canoe. A torch is invaluable in the event that a canoeist is still on the water after dark.

Orange Flairs

Although these are only compulsory for the ocean or places where a canoeist is remote from the shore, flares are nevertheless a good idea in case a canoeist becomes stranded, or it gets dark whilst on the water. This is especially possible if inexperienced people use the canoe for recreational purposes in unknown locations.

Dry Bags

A dry bag provides dry storage for personal belongings. If a canoeist takes their watch, wallet, keys or other personal items out on the water, a securely stowed dry bag can safeguard water-sensitive items.

White-Water Canoeing

White-water canoeing is a more fast-paced and high risk activity than recreational canoeing. The design features of a white-water canoe are heavily performance based, determining the boat's size, shape, and building materials. They are commonly made from polyethylene or royalex and designed to withstand impact. All of the above listed equipment should be utilised when white-water canoeing, along with the following additions.


Modern canoeing and kayaking helmets are waterproof and extremely resistant to impact, much of the helmet being constructed from carbon fibre. These helmets vary between head only and head and face protection. Many are also designed to protect the ears from water fill, and most have air vents.

Float Bags

Float bags aid the floatation of the canoe and improve its manoeuvrability. These bags are best placed on each end of the canoe. Float bags are also helpful in the event of a capsize, as the floatation increases the occupants safety and makes self-rescue easier to achieve.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit should be kept secure and dry in a compartment of a white-water canoe. The kit should include all basic amenities, facilitate the treatment of impact injuries, and also have a rescue breathing mask in the event of any CPR being necessary.

Throw Bags

A throw bag is an important piece of rescue equipment to retrieve an overboard person. The successful operation of a throw bag rescue requires skill and practice. This is a drill procedure for any white-water canoeing crew to be carried out regularly.

Waterproof Footwear

Aquatic shoes or paddling booties should be worn whilst white-water canoeing for some protection against rocks or other debris that may be encountered whilst canoeing. Open-toed sandals and thongs are to be avoided.

Paddling Gloves

Paddling gloves are essential to protect hands against blisters and callouses. They come in both full glove and half finger varieties.


As dehydration is a constant threat in white-water canoeing activities, ample water supplies for the whole crew should always be carried when white-water canoeing. This is especially crucial in warm or hot weather.

Spare Paddle

A spare paddle is an essential item, especially when canoeing alone. Even with a crew on-board, however, it is a good idea to pack one in a convenient and accessible location.

Thigh Straps

The thigh strap is essential for white-water conditions as they help secure the occupants in the boat. These straps are secured to the sides of the vessel and fastened to the thighs and ankles and are fully adjustable.


A bailing jug or container may at times be more practical than a bilge pump, especially in emergencies. Although not as thorough, several people bailing water at once is more efficient than using a pump, which takes time to set up.

Dry Suit

In the event of a person falling out of the vessel in cold water conditions, a dry suit may be of great importance in preventing hypothermia. These suits are thermally insulated, waterproof, and provide complete body coverage. At the very least, failing the provision of a dry suit, a warm, dry top should be kept on hand, which may prevent as much heat loss as possible until a medical assessment can be undertaken.


Depending on available space and seating arrangements of a given canoe, a backrest may not always be possible, but it does provide valuable support in relieving lower back strain.

Painter Lines

Colourful, floating rope known as painter lines should be kept at the stern or bow of the canoe. These are valuable for securing or tying down the canoe to the bank in rough conditions.

Canoes for Racing

The racing canoe is typically a long, thin vessel with a narrow hull. The narrowness of the hull cuts through the water with maximum efficiency to enable fast and straight tracking; however, the racing canoe is far less manoeuvrable than other canoe types that are shorter with a raised keel.

Some racing canoes employ a lateral support float on the port side of the boat, and others have one on both sides. This configuration creates what is commonly called an outrigger. The more essential items previously listed should be employed for canoe racing, such as a PFD, a bilge pump, and dry bags, but most of the equipment listed as important for white-water canoeing is not necessary for canoe racing.

Different Canoe Characteristics

The below chart outlines some of the main differences in the three primary canoe types. These distinctions are not absolute and only give a general indication.


Recreational Canoes

White-Water Canoes

Racing Canoes


Short to long body, wide hull

Robust body and sturdy shape

Very long, narrow body


Medium keel, moderate manoeuvrability

No keel, high manoeuvrability

Low keel, low manoeuvrability


Medium to heavy weight

Light to medium weight



Ample storage space

Adequate but tight storage space

Little storage space

Taking note of these structural differences clarifies for the customer which type of canoe is most suited to them. Once the type of canoe is determined, a customer must ensure they are fully informed of what they can expect before making a purchase.

How to Buy Canoeing Equipment on eBay

If you know exactly what you are looking for, finding the right gear is straightforward on eBay. Simply enter the desired search criteria into the search box and scroll the listings. For example, you could search for "dry suit" and check all the available types until you find the one you are looking for.

Locating the perfect gear may take some time, so be patient to avoid a purchasing mistake. It is a good idea to find several options of the one item that you wish to buy. This is helpful for making comparisons in the specifications, but also in assessing which seller you would prefer to buy from.

Many sellers have eBay stores, which can open up your options much further. Always spend a moment looking into your designated seller's reputation before settling on a purchase. You need to feel confident that your transaction is handled professionally and that returns are possible should you make a judgement error. To be certain of this, check if returns are possible with your chosen seller and ask any necessary questions.


eBay has a comprehensive range of both essential and optional gear and accessories that can make the canoeing experience more complete. A customer requiring more detailed information pertaining to the various types of equipment should direct their queries to specialist providers who can offer more comprehensive instruction.

Canoeing is a fantastic way to stay fit and build upper body strength. It may be a social or solitary activity, fast and challenging or calm and relaxing. With so many ways to enjoy this sporting hobby, it is easy to see why it is so popular. Choosing the necessary equipment is determined by first choosing the appropriate canoe, as this decides the type and amount of gear and accessories needed. Gearing up adequately for the sport enables the enthusiast to get the most from their favourite pastime and ensures they remain safe and well-prepared in the event of the unexpected.

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