NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) ─ If you’re in the market for a kayak, you may have some trouble finding one.
Matt Bosgraaf, the manager at The Kayak Centre in Wickford, tells Eyewitness News that kayaks have been hard to come by.
“If somebody wants to stay very recreational and wants to go on flat, calm water – rivers, ponds, harbors,” Bosgraaf said. “Those kayaks are much harder to come by because that’s what the majority of the market is looking for.”
Bosgraaf said usually around this time of year he’d have plenty of kayaks in stock to offer customers, but due to a combination of impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, they’ve been flying off of the shelves.
“It’s an increased demand, the demand that we have is probably five times, six times the amount that we would normally see in a given summer,” Bosgraaf said.
While Bosgraaf is continuously receiving shipments, he said they’re not arriving as fast as he’d like them to, and many of those kayaks are usually claimed before they even come in.
“It’s coupled with supply chain issues. Manufacturers were closed for a long period of time,” he said.
“That threw them back because we normally get our product in March and April, when a lot of businesses were closed in March and April, so by the time the manufacturers opened back up, they still had to fulfill all those first, and then the general population started buying all the kayaks. That lead to a lot of delays.”
Bosgraaf said stand up paddle boards are also in high demand. While it’s not impossible to purchase a new kayak or paddle board, it can be difficult.
He said the best course of action is to call the store ahead of time to see if any are in stock. Renting a kayak is also an option.