How much does a SUP board cost? The short answer is, it varies. Generally, paddle boards range in price from $250 - $5000. This answer won’t help you to make a purchase decision. So, lets dive a little deeper and understand why there is such a variation in costs.
Like almost all products with large price variations, you get what you pay for. More expensive paddle boards are constructed better, and use superior materials and manufacturing technology. All of these things cost money which directly affects the sales price.
Materials are the biggest factor that determines a paddle board’s cost. This is why inflatable boards are much less expensive then rigid paddle boards. Inflatables are built mainly from polypropylene and are filled with air. Rigid paddle boards are built from more expensive materials.
Because most inflatables are built with the same basic material, I will focus on rigid boards in this section. Rigid boards can vary greatly in price depending on materials used.
As a general rule, the lighter a rigid board is, the more expensive it will be. Paddle boards made from carbon fiber are extremely light and extremely expensive. Plastic shelled boards are a lot cheaper, but they may weigh up to 300% more than a carbon fiber board of the same size.
Composite boards made from several different materials will vary in price depending on the quality of materials used and manufacturing technology.
The technology used to manufacture a paddle board also contributes a large portion to a SUP board’s cost.
Inflatable paddle board costs vary depending on how the board is built. More expensive inflatables will have more air channels, and internal structures to help increase stiffness. The amount and type of stitching will also affect how much a SUP board costs.
Technology also plays a large role in the cost of rigid paddle boards. More expensive quality paddle boards will use sandwich construction and vacuum bagging techniques to make their boards stronger and lighter. Fin boxes and SUP handles may have high density inserts placed into the core. When you look at a paddle board at the store or online, you can’t tell that these technologies have been used. Visually, cheaper boards might look just as good. However, in the long run, they won’t perform as well.
Another aspect that is often overlooked when learning how much a SUP board coasts is the level of craftsmanship that went into its construction.
Inflatable paddle boards are simply sewn together like a piece of clothing. It doesn’t take long to build an inflatable, which helps explain the lower prices.
Hard boards on the other hand take much more time to make. For example, a Wappa paddle board takes 29-34 days to produce from start to finish. After our cores are machine shaped, our shapers fine tune every core by hand to seek perfection. After that, we start hand building every layer.
Not all rigid paddle boards take as long as a Wappa to manufacture. Depending on the type of technology and materials used, some boards may take as little as 3-7 days for manufacture. Simply put, the less craftmanship in a paddle board, the cheaper it is.
Another factor that affects the cost of a SUP board is the type of board you’re buying.
You will always be able to purchase an inflatable paddle board for less money than a rigid one. An unbranded inflatable can be purchased for as little as $250. However, there are a few inflatable brands that sell for as much as $1800 which is comparable in price to quality hard boards.
Board type affects a SUP boards cost another way; by size. Touring boards are often 12’-14’ long. This is 20-40% longer than the average All Around type of paddle board. Increased size means increased production cost. Increased production costs mean a greater retail sales price.
While you’re trying to figure out how much a SUP board costs, remember that you get what you pay for. Don’t expect a $250 inflatable to perform as well as a $1500 inflatable, and don’t expect it to perform anywhere close to a rigid board. Whether you get an inflatable or a rigid SUP, you need to spend some money. Quality inflatable paddle boards are available starting at $1000. Quality rigid paddle boards start at around $1200. You don’t buy a cheap car and expect it to perform like a Ferrari. Don’t expect different from your paddle board.
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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