How much is a paddle board? Great question, and one that is often asked by people shopping for their first one.
The short answer to that question is that paddle board costs vary. You can purchase paddle boards for as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as several thousand, and everything in between.
Like so much else in life, when you buy a paddle board, you get what you pay for. Don’t expect a quality board that is light and durable for a few hundred dollars. They simply don’t exist. If you want to spend as little as possible on a paddle board, don’t be surprised that the board is wrecked by the end of its first summer.
Now, lets answer the question with a little more detail and take a look at what’s available at different price points. Please note that these prices are in USD.
$300-$500 Paddle Boards
At this price point, pretty much the only paddle boards available are cheap inflatables from brands that no one has ever heard of, and they can only be purchased online. Typically, these paddle boards are made with cheap PVC, lower levels of stitching, etc.…
Rigid board are rarely available at this price.
$500-$750 Paddle Boards
This price point is still dominated by inflatable paddle boards. However, rigid paddle boards are now available.
Most rigid paddle boards in this price range are cheaply made. At the lower end of the prices, you can purchase rigid paddle boards that are essentially a piece of foam with a couple of layers of fiberglass wrapped around it. It may have a stiff plastic base to help the board become stiffer. Unfortunately, the foam is easily punctured as I learned when I accidently pressed my thumb into one such board while at a prospective dealer (I ended up buying the board and gained a new dealer).
Other types of paddle boards at the lower end of this spectrum have hard plastic shells like a kayak which are filled with foam. While these boards are very durable, they are very heavy. Some weigh as much as 60 lbs. Not only are these boards tough to carry, you have to push all that extra weight through the water while paddling.
$750-$1000 Paddle Boards
Once you exceed the $750 threshold the quality of paddle boards starts to improve. Inflatable brands no one has ever heard of start to disappear. The inflatables in this price range are made with a better grade of PVC and has better stitching. These boards still puncture easy, so care must be taken when riding.
The number of rigid paddle boards available at this price point increases greatly. However, it’s this price point that shoppers for rigid paddle boards need to be the wariest. For many new shoppers, one paddle board looks like the next. A $750 SUP may look very similar and even be more visually appealing than a $1500 or $2000 paddle board. The difference will be in how they are made. Ask the salesperson about core densities, core stringers, materials, construction techniques and technology that went into the manufacture of each paddle board.
$1000-$2000 Paddle Boards
This price point is the segment of the market where Wappa Paddle Boards competes. SUPs in this price range are all quality products. Significant effort has gone into the production of these boards. They are not cheaply made, and they tend to be produced by companies that have a passion for paddle boarding or water sports in general.
There are still some inflatable paddle boards available in this price range. In fact, the best inflatables on the market are closer to the $2K end of this spectrum.
The vast majority of the boards in this price class are rigid boards. Rigid paddle boards are what all inflatables inspire to be. Why? Rigidity translates to balance, speed and power. If you love paddle boarding and plan on doing it for the foreseeable future. You should consider a rigid board in this price range.
$2000+ Paddle Boards
Once you hit $2K and more for a paddle board, the inflatable market disappears. Boards in this price segment are oriented for high performance. Carbon fiber is a dominant feature at this price point. If stronger lighter faster is what you need, then these are the boards for you. Competitive racers and paddle surfers are drawn to this end of the market, as is anyone who loves the best of the best. If you are the typical paddle boarder, this is probably more board than you’ll ever need.
Paddle board prices vary greatly. You can be on the water and paddling your own SUP for less than $300. However, you probably won’t want to be paddling that board for a couple of years. Cheap boards are slow, unstable and not very durable. So, if you plan on owning and using a paddle board for several years, you’ll probably be happier spending more on a better-quality product. Find something that will meet your current and future needs without breaking the bank. And remember, you always get what you paid for.
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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