Kayaks dubbed the new toilet paper

Posted at 11:22 PM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 23:22:35-04

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. — Kayaks are currently next to impossible to find with some stores low on inventory or totally out of product.

The demand has increased dramatically this year as a result of COVID-19. With people being tired of being cooped up inside, kayaks are an activity where you can easily socially distance.

Gull Lake Marine in Coopersville typically has about 30-40 kayaks still in stock during this time of the summer. This year, there are only four left. One sold just this afternoon.

"In the last couple months, I’ve had people driving up from Indiana two and half hours away," said salesman Nick Farris. "I’ve been shipping them to Texas, California, all over the country."

The kayaks Gull Lake Marine carries are high-end, containing foot peddles to paddle and some have sails attached. Regardless of the high-ticket price, the products are still flying off the shelves.

"Pretty much anything that’s for your everyday family is gone," said Farris, adding that boats and other types of watercraft are also in high demand. Gull Lake Marine has a waiting list, with nearly two dozen names on it for pontoons and tritoons.

Some families have turned to online shopping to find kayaks, such as the Hattenbergers.

"My wife was looking online and well, we looked in stores and we couldn’t find anything," said Ed Hattenberger, who fishes near Yankee Springs often with his son Emery. "So (my wife) started poking around online and found these at Tractor Supply Company."

Hattenberger says in the past month they've already used their kayaks about five times. "It gets us out of the house, especially during these times and you know, gives us a chance to be in nature."

Had they waited much longer, they may have not been able to get their hands on the kayaks.

If you are still in the market for a kayak, you could still find them, but it may take some digging. Online may also be an option.