Are cheap paddle boards any good? No, cheap paddle boards are not any good.
QUALITY ISN’T CHEAP
Simply put, a quality product can’t be built cheaply. A product’s retail price is based upon all the costs involved into getting it to the consumer. Everything from research and development, to manufacturing, marketing, distribution and profit are included in any product’s MSRP. Often, the largest aspect that affects MSRP is the manufacturing cost.
Considering that the cheapest of cheap paddle boards sell for approximately $300, how good were the materials and craftsmanship that went into that board? As a manufacturer, I know that to make a profit at that sales price, not much money was spent on building a quality product.
BETTER QUALITY MATERIALS COST MORE
The simple fact is more expensive brands charge more because they have spent more to produce their products.
Components such as cores and epoxies for hard boards or stitching levels and number of baffles for inflatables will affect a paddle board’s cost. As will the technology that is involved in making the board. Cheaper paddle boards don’t use the superior sandwich technology or vacuum bagging. While the cheaper boards may look similar, they will not be as strong or as light as the more expensive board made with advanced technology.
Wappa could reduce it’s manufacturing costs by almost 50% if we followed some of the manufacturing practices and used the same materials to build our boards that cheaper brands use. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t be able to maintain 100% customer satisfaction and have our owners repeatedly tell us how great their board looks, and how much they love it.
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
While the previous paragraph sounds like a marketing spiel, it isn’t. At Wappa, we’ve realized, that you get what you pay for. We’ve tried the cheaper materials and production methods. They just don’t look as good or perform as well over time. After building cheap prototypes, and letting our testers use them day in and out for two years, it was clear that over time, the cheaper boards didn’t perform as well as the better quality Wappas.
At the end of the day, any paddle board is better than no paddle board. If all you can afford is a cheap paddle board, do it! However, if you can save a little longer spend the money and get a quality board. It will be worth the wait.
The Wappa Blog
Written by Wappa's founder Layne Pennell, the blog's aim is to educate and share his love of stand up paddle boarding with anyone interested in SUP.
board performance explained
SUP for women
want a deal?