How Much Does a Good Paddle Board Cost? As a paddle board manufacturer, Wappa knows all about the costs that go into a paddle board, and why good paddle boards cost more.
To answer the question, the starting price for good paddle boards is about $1200 USD.
While the term “good” is subjective, let me explain what we at Wappa consider to be a good paddle board. This will enable you as a shopper to have greater insight to the qualities of a “good” SUP.
Good paddle boards cost more than cheap ones for several reasons.
The better the materials that go into a paddle board, the stronger and lighter the paddle board will be.
With rigid paddle boards, stringerless cores are stronger and superior to cores that use stringers. Unfortunately, you can’t tell if your board is stringerless by visual inspection.
Carbon fiber is more expensive and stronger than bamboo. Bamboo is more expensive and stronger than simple fiberglass. Stronger and lighter is more expensive. That’s why a carbon fiber paddle board will cost more than a bamboo board, and a real bamboo paddle board will cost more than a pressed composite board.
Quality of workmanship needs to be considered when purchasing a paddle board.
Some paddle board brands build their boards using inexperienced labor. Experience and talented people cost money. This means it costs more to manufacture a board with an experienced craftsperson, and there are also less quality control issues and happier customers. At Wappa, our average builder has 10.5 years experience building paddle boards. Experience costs more, but it’s worth it.
Some companies may also use machines more than people to build their boards. Machines increase manufacturing speed and decrease labor cost. Boards made by machines will cost less, but the brand is limited as to how their products can be manufactured.
Another major factor that determines a paddle boards cost is how it’s made.
One of the reasons why inflatable paddle boards are so cheap is due to how they are made. All inflatable boards are essentially sewn and glued together. An inflatable paddle board takes hours to build.
Rigid paddle boards can be made by a variety of techniques that can affect a paddle board’s cost and quality.
Rotomolded paddle boards have foam injected into a plastic shell. These rigid paddle boards are fairly inexpensive, but they are very heavy.
Foam boards are rigid and cheap, but they probably won’t last more than a couple of seasons.
Rotomolded and foam boards can be produced in an assembly line environment. Both of these boards are cheap paddle boards.
Layered paddle boards are much more expensive and much better quality. Brands like Wappa are made by the layering process. Starting with a foam core, layers of different materials such as bamboo or carbon fiber or fiberglass are applied to make the board stronger, stiffer, and lighter. Layered paddle boards take longer to build and are more labor intensive. For example, it takes 29 days to build a Wappa.
When purchasing a paddle board, it’s difficult to determine visually if a board is high quality and if you’re getting good value with your purchase. When looking at boards in the store or online, they all pretty much look the same. Graphics and color may make them look different, but ask yourself the following questions when making your purchase decision:
Once you have the answers to these questions, you will have a better idea if the sticker price on the board you’re thinking of buying is a good paddle board that’s worth the cost.
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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