Making critical drops into waves, exploring the coast, practicing yoga on the water, and traveling between tropical islands are all activities that can be enjoyed on stand-up paddle boards (SUPs). SUPs help people get active through having fun on the water. However, how much should you expect to spend on a paddle board? Paddles board prices vary almost as much as the different activities you can do on them. In this article, we break down the different paddle boards you can get for different prices.
Before buying a paddle board, decide the best length and style for what you want to do on your paddle board. Not sure what the best board for you will be, find our resources for choosing a paddle board here.
Paddle Boards $500 and Below
A common misconception is that you must spend lots of money in order to get a paddle board. This is not the case! There are many great paddle boards for those on a budget. If you are looking to buy a paddle board that is $500 or below, there are many types of boards you can get.
Many inflatable paddle boards are less than $500. These boards are less expensive because of improved manufacturing process. Many people like inflatable paddle boards because they are easy to store and transport. All you have to do is deflate the board, roll it up, and put it in a carrying bag- no need for a roof rack! Inflatable paddle boards also tend to be more stable than their hardboard counterparts due to their thickness and width.
You can have all these benefits for under $500. SurfStar SUP has all-around boards for beginners that are well below $500 with extra width(where you will need as a beginner to balance). Though these boards are a great deal, they build solidly—they are durable and can be used on lakes, rivers, or the ocean.
Foam paddle boards are also often below $500. These boards are a great beginner board and can be used for all types of water conditions. They are also very stable and easy to stand on. They are more not collapsible like inflatable boards are, so keep in mind they take up more storage room and are more difficult to transport.
Most boards in this price range will be a stock size, so there is little room for customization. However, if you can find a good size for you, boards under $500 are a solid choice for anyone looking to use a paddle board for recreation.
Paddle Boards $500-$1000
If you have a little more money to spend, you can get a higher-quality paddle board that is more specialized to your needs. With a higher price range, you can get larger sizes and longer designs.
One type of board you can get for this price is a touring paddle board. Touring paddle boards are designed for those who want to paddle long distances and cover lots of ground. They have storage room on the front and back of the board so that you can bring gear with you on your paddle.
Touring boards are more expensive because they are larger and use more material to make. They are also more difficult to make. Creators of these boards must find the balance between making a board thin, long, fast, and also stable.
Other boards in this category include some racing and pro paddler boards. The SurfStar Ocean&Blue 12’ 6” is our favorite choice for a racing/pro board in this category. There will also be higher end boards coming out soon with more functional features.
Boards in these price ranges include larger, inflatable boards or some hard boards made of materials like epoxy.
Epoxy is a kind of resin that is used to cover foam after it's shaped into a paddle board. Eventually, the epoxy hardens and creates a rigid board. These boards are better for performance but less forgiving than inflatable paddle boards.
With this price range, you have more flexibility to find the perfect board for you. You can find boards that are more specialized than those in the lower price ranges.
Paddle Boards $1000-$2000
This is the next price range for those looking to buy a paddle board. If you have this much money to spend, you have even more options in both inflatable boards and hard boards.
Many of the boards in this category are hard boards made of either epoxy or fiberglass. These hard-top boards are very durable and can last for years with proper care.
The downside to these boards is that they are often more fragile than inflatable paddle boards and can be damaged if not stored or transported properly.
Though these boards are so expensive, they are fragile and can cost an owner in repair fees.
These hard boards are good for activities like surfing. The harder edges of the board help surfers cut into and turn in the wave, allowing them to have more control.
$2000+ Paddle Boards
In this price range there are many expensive, specialty paddle boards. The flexibility a budget of $2000 and above provides is the ability to customize your paddle board to fit your exact specifications.
These boards are handcrafted to fit a paddlers height, weight, and paddle boarding abilities. There are many customization options when it comes to these expensive boards.
For example, one popular option is to get a paddle board with a custom paint job. You can choose the colors and designs you want to make your board stand out from the rest.
Many of these expensive boards are for professional paddlers who compete in paddle board races like Da Hui Paddle Race in Hawaii. Others use them for surfing massive waves where they need to have the board exactly how they like it, so they feel comfortable and confident in the waves.
Paddle boards that are $2000 and above offer exciting, unique combinations and more variety than any other paddle board price range. But that is if you are keen to professional races.
More Expensive Does Not Always Mean Better
Just because a board is more expensive does not mean it is better. If you are paddling or touring for fun a $300 board is just as good as a more expensive board. However, for highly specialized activities like surfing big waves and competing in races, more expensive boards are better suited.
It is important to think about what you will be using your paddle board for and find the right board that fits those activities.
If you need help getting started, SurfStar SUP has everything you need to get set up with a paddle board that is just as ready for adventure as you are.