Why Are Paddle Boards So Expensive? Are SUP Board Worth It?

Why are paddle boards so expensive

Why are paddle boards so expensive? Paddleboarding is a great way to have a good time, but it may be costly. The benefit of a high-quality paddleboard is that you will have it for an extended period. An excellent paddleboard will set you back quite a bit of cash. Here are some of the factors why paddle boards are so expensive.

Why Are Paddle Boards So Expensive?

Paddle boarding seems enjoyable to everybody. However, the exorbitant expense of purchasing a paddle board prevents many people from participating. Paddle boards may cost anything from $300 and $3,500. Black Friday deals may be found all over the internet. Buying a secondhand paddle board can save you some money.

The Popularity of the Sport

Paddleboarding is an excellent way to spend your time. You’ll get some terrific workouts, but you’ll also see some beautiful landscapes. Paddleboards are incredibly popular since they are both fun and excellent for you. As with everything else, as a sport becomes more popular, the price will rise dramatically.

Paddleboarding is less costly than kayaking and is preferred by many individuals. Paddleboards have evolved from being extremely basic and straightforward to be more intricate and customizable. People began to learn that they could do more and more with their paddleboards, resulting in a rise in the number of features and accessories available.

Paddleboard Dimensions

Paddleboards are available in a range of sizes. The bigger the paddleboard, the more expensive it will be. Certain surfboards are less costly than paddleboards. When you look at a paddleboard’s structure, you’ll see that more material is employed.

The average length of a stand-up paddleboard is 10 to eleven feet. A normal paddleboard will be 33 to 34 inches broad. The board is more general to aid in creating stability for people who utilize it. The breadth of the board and the force and speed you can pull out of it are in a delicate balance.

High-End Boards with Wood Veneer

The high-end paddleboards are usually decorated with intricate designs, while the low-end boards are likely smaller and have more straightforward methods. Although the wood veneer is just a finishing layer on the board, it gives it a lovely, polished appearance. Bamboo or pine will be used to make the wood veneer.

Wood veneer is a fantastic option to explore if you’re serious about paddleboarding and want to keep going for years. Other less expensive variants resemble wood veneers, but they are essentially a sticker or a piece of paper that resembles wood. Most paddleboards with a Wood Veneer finish will cost well over $1000, if not closer to $1500. These two kinds of wood are both incredibly light and sturdy.

High Production Costs

The project’s cost is influenced by the quality of the construction and materials used. Some manufacturers may make shortcuts to save money, resulting in a less costly board but of worse quality. The difference between paddle boards and surfboards is that paddleboards are built of EPS foam, which is lighter and more robust.

Different processes are used to form EPS foam blanks. CNC machines employ computer programs to carve out a consistent form. These high-tech devices add tens of thousands of dollars to the price of aboard. Hand-shaping some blanks is a combination of science and art. While costly equipment isn’t required, this is a labor-intensive task.

Materials Used

A paddleboard has to remain above water while also gliding and moving quickly across the water. Paddleboards are produced from several materials, but Polystyrene is the most common. Of course, this material will be one-of-a-kind and rather costly.

The materials on a suitable paddleboard will last for many years if you do your homework and choose a good one. Expanded or Extruded Polystyrene is utilized for the higher-end boards. This enables the paddle boarder to carry more weight and be more versatile. A portion of the cost will be tied to the resources used to construct it.

Demand and Supply

Stand up paddleboarding was the sport with the most first-time participants in the United States in 2013. SUP-related Google searches have surged significantly, according to Channel Signal. Surprisingly, other watersports were not affected at the time of this study. Paddleboarding is a great full-body exercise with several health advantages.

There are several paddleboard manufacturers; just a handful are trustworthy. Few people want a SUP that may rupture if they leave it out in the sun. They’re ready to spend upwards of $800 for a quality paddleboard. More producers are, thankfully, joining the market. Prices will continue to rise as long as demand remains strong.

Expensive Fiberglass

Fiberglass is utilized to assist stiffen the paddleboard without making it overly heavy or stiff. Fiberglass is not very costly, but it does up the price of a paddleboard. The issue with fiberglass is that it isn’t usually the highest-quality material available for paddleboards.

The price of paddleboards will skyrocket once materials like carbon fiber and Kevlar are introduced. A board will be substantially more costly if it is made of wood. On the other hand, some individuals will claim that this is something they are willing to pay for. A high-quality wood paddleboard will be costly, but it will be the best you can find.

Paddle Board Design

A paddleboard’s design varies significantly from one firm to the next. Some paddleboards are designed for flat water, while others are constructed to withstand rougher conditions. The colors and appearance of the paddleboard are other factors for price increases. Although some boards are manufactured by hand, the bulk of the work is done on a bigger, more commercial scale.

They’ll need to collaborate with a designer and a computer to create a mold. Following the design, the mold must be assembled, which will cost tens of thousands of dollars. Larger boards need larger molds, which are more expensive for the maker.

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Accessories of Paddle Board

The paddle board isn’t complete without the necessary equipment. The quality of the accessories determines the price. A paddle board will not be pricey if the paddle is made of aluminum and the leash is simple. Carbon paddles, high-quality backpacks, and ultra-comfortable leashes, on the other hand, boost the price.


Paddleboards come in various shapes and sizes, which serves to drive up the price of the boards. You may have to spend a little extra if you want a certain kind of paddleboard. The following are the primary kinds of paddleboards that you can buy.


Racing paddleboards are designed to propel you through the water as quickly as possible. These boards are usually longer but thinner – they assist you to gain a lot of speed when crossing the sea.


An all-purpose paddleboard may be used for a range of activities. This may be used to go fishing, ride with a companion, explore, and more. The most popular paddleboard style is an all-around paddleboard, and it is one of the best to select if you are new to paddleboarding.


With a fishing paddleboard, you may leave the waters undisturbed while the fish don’t notice your fishing rod in the water. Most fishing paddleboards need to be bigger and more sturdy to accommodate all of your gear. A fishing paddleboard is designed for folks who want to spend time fishing on the water with minimal human interference.

Yoga Paddle Board

Yoga paddle boards are an excellent way to practice calm amid a lake or bay. Yoga on a paddleboard is about as good for your mind. They are available in various pricing ranges and come with their onboard yoga mat.


A touring paddleboard is designed to give you a good workout. Touring is a good option if you want to burn some calories while paddling. The touring paddleboards will also provide you with glide and efficiency. As you can see, there are a variety of models available, each with differing degrees of performance. You may be as particular as you want about how you want to utilize your stand up paddleboard.

Distribution and Marketing

The typical three-level retail-wholesale-factory distribution strategy is used to sell most paddle boards. A paddle board brand or distributor sells the board to the merchant. The brand/wholesaler adds 20-40% to their cost to generate a profit. The transportation expenses between the three processes also play a role in this distribution plan.

Thailand and China are home to many, but not all, paddle board manufacturers. To cut out the middleman, some shops purchase straight from the manufacturer. Some of these businesses are internet merchants. Because paddle boards are manufactured direct, you may frequently save money by purchasing them online. Prices are substantially cheaper, and the variety is much wider on the internet.


Paddleboards come with a variety of various characteristics. You may customize the paddleboard with numerous paddles, storage choices, and fishing accessories to make it whatever you want. Paddleboards might be pricey since they don’t necessarily have all the capabilities you’ll need. Check ahead of time for features you desire, and make sure your paddleboard has all you need.

Surf Shops as a Source of Supplies

Surf stores have a reputation for charging a lot of money for their goods. You’ll spend a lot for a surf store paddleboard after you factor in rent, fees, and experienced personnel. At the same time, buying from one of these businesses is a smart option if you’re serious about paddleboarding.

You will spend more at a surf store, but you will have a much better experience. The employees at the surf store will also be considerably more helpful in assisting you in selecting a paddleboard. You’ll be sure that you’ll end up with a product that will endure for many years. Consider where you’d want to get your paddleboard from.

SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboarding) is still a relatively expensive new sport

There aren’t as many paddleboards on the market in comparison to kayaks. Several manufacturers still do not build paddleboards in large quantities. You may save money by purchasing raw materials in bulk and automating some procedures. The majority of individuals are still having fun with their SUPs. They’re rare and hard to come by in decent condition.

Furthermore, as we dive into the world of paddleboarding, the foremost element that demands attention is the safety of its practitioners. The surge in SUP’s fame isn’t solely about the board’s prowess but about safeguarding its enthusiasts on the aquatic frontier. Consider, for instance, the role of a dependable SUP life vest, specifically the best SUP life jacket available.

Such a vest does more than keeping the paddler afloat; it’s a shield against the whims of ever-changing waters. Prioritizing top-notch safety equipment is parallel in importance to the board’s quality, which naturally elevates the sport’s financial threshold. This accent on protection, alongside other factors, justifies the premium pricing of paddleboarding.

Non-Inflatable vs. Inflatable Paddle Boards

Inflatable paddle boards are an excellent alternative if you are new to paddle boarding and want a basic and easy-to-use paddleboard. The issue with inflatables is that they don’t provide nearly as much performance as heavier versions. If you plan on making paddleboarding a long-term pastime, the noninflatatable paddleboard is the best option.

What Are Some Ways to Get The Better Paddle Boards Cost?

A good board is not cheap, but there is a way to save money if you are on a limited budget. Go directly to the manufacturer’s website and look for the board you’re looking for. You could be eligible for free delivery as well as a discount. During discounts, you may get fantastic paddleboards for half the price.

There are a few methods to get a paddleboard for less money. You will probably not have much say in how much you spend if your requirements are detailed. If you’re attempting to save money, it’s also a good idea to go for a shorter model. Used paddleboards are also available on the market, where you may discover a model that has only been used a few times and save a lot of money.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Construction of A Good Inflatable Paddle Board?

Drop stitch is used in the construction. Using numerous little threads, two Drop stitch fabric layers are joined. The threads’ function keeps the inflatable paddle board’s form and prevents it from bulging when inflated. When exposed to the sun for too long, some iSUPs stretch in the center or burst.

Inflatable paddle boards may have two layers of Dropstitch fabric on top and bottom or extra layers of PVC. The cost of manufacturing rises due to the additional materials, technology, and labor. Although high-quality inflatable paddle boards are costly, they are well worth the investment. For example, Bluefin boards have a five-year guarantee.

What Makes Hard Paddle Boards?

Paddle boards that are solid or stiff usually cost more than inflatable paddle boards. However, there are exceptions. A foam core is found in almost all rigid paddle boards. Carbon fiber, fiberglass, plastic, or heat-laminated polyethylene wrap around the foam. In terms of price, paddleboards manufactured with this material are among the most affordable.

A carbon-fiber paddle board will glide at incredible speeds and is quite responsive. Carbon fiber boards are unrivaled in terms of performance. These boards may cost anything from $1500 to $3000 or more. Fiberglass and wood paddleboards are also pricey, with some exceeding the cost of carbon fiber SUPs. Larger boards are more expensive than smaller ones since they need more materials.

Are Cheap Paddle Boards Worth The Money?

Cheap paddle boards may look appealing at first glance, but their low quality materials and design mean that they are not only less durable than their more costly counterparts, but they also perform poorly.

Final Thoughts

Paddleboarding is an excellent way to burn calories, relieve tension, and have fun on the water. There are many methods to save money on paddleboards, but you may need to be flexible in your final selections. You will spend a lot of time on your paddleboard if you learn to like it.

Read more: Do life jackets expire?

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