Posted on October 16, 2019 by Doug Robichaud
In the last few years, the online marketplace for paddle boards has become oversaturated. With more options than ever, choosing the perfect stand up paddle board can be challenging, especially since there’s such a wide range in price points. Now, you can find a paddle board online for as little as $180 to as much as $2,000. This massive gap in prices begs the question: How much should you spend on a paddle board?
Below, we break down paddle board price in the simplest of terms. Whether you’re looking for an epoxy SUP or an inflatable SUP, we will give you all the information you need to find out how much you should spend on your next or first stand up paddleboard.
Epoxy SUPs are the most expensive type of stand up paddle board. They range in price from $700 to $2,000. Generally, they are more expensive because they cost the most to make and ship. To break it down real quick, epoxy paddle boards are constructed from an EPS foam core with multiple layers of fiberglass saturated with epoxy resin. As a result, epoxy SUPs are the most rigid paddle boards on the market and provide optimal performance in all water conditions.
Since there is such a wide range in price points for epoxy SUPs online, it can be confusing to figure out how much you should spend to get a high-quality epoxy paddle board that fits your lifestyle and needs.
Below, we'll discuss epoxy SUP pricing from the cheapest to the most expensive. Discover the differences between the price points and find out which SUP fits your lifestyle.
Epoxy SUPs that fall into the most affordable price range are for the recreational paddler who is looking to enjoy the simple pleasures of leisurely paddling. In other words, if you’re just looking to enjoy your local lake or beach during the warmer months, then an epoxy SUP in this price range will provide you with everything you want and more. Of course, if you want to pick it up a notch, epoxy SUPs in this price range, like a long-distance touring paddle board, can make a leisurely paddle more exhilarating and fast-paced.
Believe it or not, epoxy SUPs in the lower price range are surprisingly the most versatile. Not only will your epoxy SUP be great for relaxing flat water paddles, but their wide deck pads and extra stability allow you to try out popular SUP activities like SUP yoga, SUP fishing, and even SUP surfing. A great example of a versatile epoxy SUP in this price range is the Versa. Just because an epoxy paddle board is on the cheaper end of the spectrum does not necessarily mean it’s low-quality. Paddle boards like the Limited Edition Glider and Frontier are both in this price range and are constructed with high-quality materials, sport stylish designs, and come included with everything you need to hit the water the day your board arrives.
Epoxy SUPs that fall into the more expensive price range are for serious paddlers who are masters of one specific type of paddle boarding. In other words, these SUPs are for elite paddlers who enjoy SUP surfing in pumping waves, SUP racing in sponsored events, or SUP fishing in a destination that offers year-round escapades for the most dedicated and experienced anglers.
Keep in mind that these epoxy SUPs are usually specialized for just one type of paddle boarding, whether it’s for SUP surfing, SUP racing, or SUP fishing. This means that a high-end surf SUP will not work well if you want to take it on a leisure flatwater cruise. The same goes for top of the line racing SUPs and fishing SUPs.
The main reason these niche stand up paddle boards are more expensive is because their designs use innovative materials like carbon fiber. Furthermore, these high-end SUPs have heavily-refined and super technical shapes like displacement hulls. If a paddle board with a “rounded vee double concave” sounds too technical for you, then you absolutely do not need an epoxy SUP in this price range.
Inflatable paddle boards range in price from $180 to $1,300. For the most part, inflatable SUPs are less expensive than epoxy SUPs, making them a great option for first-timers or families. Inflatable paddle boards are the easiest type of SUP to transport and store at home in their carry bag. In addition, the higher-quality versions are super durable and will last you for many seasons of dependable use.
Surprisingly enough, when inflated, these paddle boards can be just as rigid as epoxy paddle boards if they’re constructed from multiple layers of military-grade PVC, drop-stitch technology, and precision machine-laminated seams and bonding layers. All you need to do is hand-pump your inflatable SUP to the suggested PSI and you’re ready to start paddle boarding.
The price range for inflatable SUPs begins as low as $180, solely because of the Amazon marketplace. Unfortunately, Amazon is currently flooded with low-quality, cheap inflatable SUPs made from low-grade materials. Therefore, be aware of these SUPs and make sure you do some research before making a purchase.
Below, learn about the differences between a cheap Amazon inflatable paddle board and an average priced inflatable SUP from a brand you can trust.
Inflatables SUPs selling for anywhere between $180 to $400 are most likely low-quality paddle boards. These boards will not perform up to the standards of the higher-priced inflatable SUPs and will not have a long lifespan. As mentioned earlier, these low-cost inflatable SUPs can be found all over the Amazon Marketplace, so beware.
Inflatable paddle boards that lack today’s innovative construction will not be able to properly hold your weight. Be warned that low-quality inflatable SUPs will only have a single layer of PVC and are often less than six inches thick, meaning they’re far less stable and far more susceptible to blown seams, especially at the higher weight capacity ranges. Consider this rule of thumb, if an inflatable paddle board price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure to always learn more about the paddle board’s construction and manufacturer's warranty.
If you’re considering a reliable inflatable SUP, this is the price range you should explore. The average price of a high-quality inflatable stand up paddle board is around $800, which is smack dab in the middle of this price range. A good example of an inflatable SUP at this price point is the Explorer. The Explorer inflatable paddle board has two layers of military-grade PVC and is six inches thick. It also has many bells and whistles like onboard bungee systems, grab-and-go handles, and a full accessory kit that will enhance your adventures on the water.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there is a wide selection of inflatable SUPs in this price range to match your skill level and lifestyle. There are inflatable SUPs for recreational paddling, yoga, fishing, and even paddling with your dogs or multiple people at the same time. Believe it or not, the majority of inflatable SUPs in this price range are versatile enough to perform all of the fun activities above. However, there are a handful of inflatable paddle boards that are designed specifically for SUP fishing, SUP yoga, or supporting 5-8 riders at once, like the epic Megalodon.
As you’ve just learned, there is a massive range of price points for stand up paddle boards. You can find inflatable SUPs for as cheap as $180 and high-end epoxy SUPs for as much as $2,000. If you’re simply looking for a reliable and durable recreational SUP for the summer months, you should expect to spend between $700 to $1,100 on an epoxy or inflatable SUP. Remember to watch out for those super-cheap “too good to be true” SUPs on Amazon and do your research on the manufacturer’s warranty! May the paddle board gods be ever in your favor.
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