As a manufacturer, Wappa regularly receives the question “How much do paddle boards weigh”. We’re always glad to answer this question, because a paddle board’s weight is a good indicator of the technology, manufacturing techniques and materials that went into the construction of the product.
Depending on the board’s size and materials, a paddle board could weigh as little as 10.5 lbs or as much as 60 lbs. Simply put, a paddle board’s weight is almost directly connected to its price. The lighter and stronger the board, the more expensive it will be.
So why the weight discrepancy? How a paddle board is made, its size and the materials that go into it are primary factors in a SUP’s weight.
Ideally, a shopper wants to purchase the lightest, stiffest paddle board he or she can afford. If money is no object, a pure carbon fiber SUP is the way to go. Carbon fiber is super strong and super light. It’s a great technology for paddle boards, as long as you can afford the $3K price tag that come with it. A 7’ long all carbon fiber surf style paddle board can weigh as little as 10.5 lbs.
On the other end of the weight scale is injection molded shapes that are filled with foam. Often these paddle boards are often manufactured by kayak or boat companies. These boards are very durable and they only cost a few hundred dollars. However, these types of paddle boards weigh in around the 50 lb range for a 10’6” long SUP.
Look for paddle boards that are made using sandwich construction technology AND vacuum bagging. Sandwich construction is the layering and compressing of different layers of materials around the core. Vacuum bagging removes all excess epoxy applied during the sandwiching processing. This enables the board to lose excess weight without losing strength.
Just because a brand uses sandwich technology, don’t assume that the board has also been vacuum bagged. Cheaper products are often not vacuum bagged, which causes excess epoxy to set in the fiberglass layers, and increases board weight.
If you’re going to purchase a carbon fiber board, feel free to skip ahead. Carbon fiber replaces the layers of fiberglass, and most epoxy resulting in a lighter SUP.
Examine the layers of fiberglass your prospective paddle board may have. Cheap board may only have one or two layers of fiberglass. More expensive paddle boards will have more than 2 layers. Manufacturers use multiple layers of fiberglass and other materials to improve board stiffness and strength. However, don’t be fooled by a board that has 4+ layers of fiberglass. While stronger, each layer of fiberglass adds weight from the amount of epoxy needed for application.
That’s the key, finding a paddle board brand that is strong, light and affordable. It’s for this reason that Wappa manufactures exclusively in bamboo. Bamboo eliminates a layer of fiber glass and it’s accompanying weight without sacrificing the structural integrity of the paddle board.
Paddle Board Size
It should go without saying that with all other factors being equal, the longer and wider a paddle board is, the heavier it will be compared to a smaller board made the same way. Weight may vary by less than one pound for every foot in length depending on the manufacturing style.
The simple answer to the question “How much do paddle boards weigh?”, is that it varies. Weight is a good comparison factor. As stated earlier, a buyer should want the lightest, stiffest paddle board one can afford. However, I will say this, do not purchase a paddle board solely on price while ignoring its weight. Would you rather get exhausted pushing some heavy tug boat through the water or day, or would you prefer to be zooming along having a great time with a board that is half its weight but twice the price? Ultimately, it’s up to you.
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.
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