Paddle boarding is a wonderful sport for anyone who loves the water and it can be enjoyed by everyone. Starting out in any new sport will require some financial outlay, and an SUP is no exception. Prices vary greatly so that experienced paddlers can invest in the best quality boards, while beginners can purchase something a little cheaper to find out if paddle boarding is right for them.
There will be a board for every price range, and beginners will not want to pay a huge amount for a top of the range SUP.
Before you invest in your first SUP and consider the option of how much are paddle boards, you first need to decide which type of board you want. When calculating your budget, remember that there are also accessories which you will need to buy and these will need to be added to the overall cost.
Types of paddle board
If you are a seasoned paddle boarder, you may well have invested in a choice of boards: one for surfing, one for touring, one for racing or even a larger board for travelling with the family.
The cost of a board is also dependent on the size you need. If you’re looking to buy an SUP on a budget, don’t be tempted to get a smaller board than you need simply because it costs less. This will be a false economy as you won’t be able to use the board properly.
Although there are different types of paddle board, they all come in either inflatable form or a hard board. Inflatable boards are very popular with beginners as well as established paddlers, as they are at the cheaper end of the market. Hard boards are at the higher end of the price range so tend to be bought my experienced paddle boarders.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of each to help decide which will be the best board.
Inflatable paddle boards, as the name suggests, are filled with air, so they are lightweight but will need to be pumped up before use. The construction, however makes them strong and sturdy so they can be used for all paddle boarding activities.
- They are popular with all paddlers but particularly with beginners as they are the cheaper type of board.
- They are easy to transport as when they are rolled up they can be carried in a backpack. If you are looking to travel with your SUP, then this is the best option.
- When not in use they are easy to store.
- They do need to be inflated before use so if you’re keen to get on to the water, you will have to wait until the board has been pumped up.
If you shop around you can get an inflatable SUP for around $200. Some stores will even offer you a package for $250, and these can include a board, paddle, bag, leash, and maybe a few other things to help you on your way.
It’s always possible to get bargains off shopping sites, or reconditioned boards, but if you’re just starting out, it’s best to go to a store and get advice so you know you are getting a good board for your needs. If you want to spend a little more on a better quality board, then you can spend between $400 and $800.
These SUPs usually have a foam core, and this is then laminated with layers of fiber glass or carbon. This adds strength and rigidity and helps the board glide smoothly through the water. Hard boards move faster so they are generally more appropriate for more experienced paddlers.
- You don’t need to wait until it is inflated – you can get straight on the water.
- These are a great choice for surfing as they are fast, although inflatable boards still work well.
- They are more popular with more experienced paddlers as they provide better agility and speed.
- This board is harder to transport as it requires a car rack or van. It’s a good choice if you don’t want to travel with it or if you only use it locally.
- The board takes up more storage space when not in use.
- This board is not for those on a budget as they cost more than an inflatable board.
Hard boards are more expensive to buy, and these can range for $800 for a good quality board. It’s not unusual for experienced paddlers to pay up to $2000 to get the best board. If you shop around, you can often find a board package which will include some accessories in with the price.
Once you have your board, you then need your paddle and the cost of this must be included when you’re working out how much are paddle boards.
As with your board, you need to ensure that you have the right size paddle, and it’s worth trying them out in a store, as there are two different grips. While the grip won’t affect the price of the paddle, the type of paddle you want will.
If you are only going to use your SUP for one activity, then you will only need a fixed height paddle. If you intend to carry out various paddling activities, an adjustable paddle will be a good investment. This allows you to alter the length of the paddle for any activity you do.
If you can’t get a good SUP package to include a paddle, then this is what you can expect to pay.
- Fixed paddle. A good quality fixed paddle will cost $150 upwards.
- Adjustable paddle. A good quality adjustable paddle will cost $200 upwards.
If you have bought an inflatable SUP, then you must remember to include the cost of a pump when you’re working out how much are paddle boards. If you already own a pump which you use on other inflatables, then you may be able to use it on your SUP, so check this first before you buy a new one.
As long as you purchase a pump with the right connector, it doesn’t matter which type of pump you purchase, as long as you are happy with it.
From $15 upwards.
If you already take part in water sports, then you should already have a life vest. Some paddle boarders choose not to wear one, but it is always recommended for any water activity. Ideally you need something lightweight and effective as something heavier could slow you down.
From $10 upwards
Some paddlers like to wear a leash when they paddle, while others prefer not to. There is no right or wrong and whether or not you wear one is purely your choice. They can be an easy way to keep track of your board if you fall off.
If you’re out on your SUP it can be difficult to find somewhere to keep your phone, a map, or even food and drink and if you fall off, then it all gets wet. Even the spray you produce when you’re paddling can make everything else wet. This is where a waterproof bag will come in very handy.
The size you need will largely depend on how much you will be taking with you and you can choose from a number of designs. Shoulder bags are popular, as are wallet bags. You can also get deck bags which can be easily and safely attached to your SUP. These are popular as you don’t have to carry any additional wait on your shoulder while you are trying to paddle.
Before you buy a bag, make sure it really is waterproof.
From $10 upwards
If you’re planning on racing or surfing, you’ll need a fin. If you’re new to SUP surfing or racing, then take advice about the best fin for your needs. You need to consider the shape of it (the template), the cross section (the foil) and how responsive it will be (flex). The deciding factor will be where and how you intend to use the fin.
From $15 upwards
One of the best things about paddle boarding is its versatility, and if you get the right board, you can turn it in to a kayak. To do this you need a kayak seat, as long as you have purchased the right sort of SUP.
Kayak seats are attached with adjustable straps so you can get the right tension, and they will sit securely on top of the SUP.
The size and shape of the seat are your choice, but you must be properly supported and comfortable.
If you shop around you will usually find a store which has a sale on, or a good SUP package for a good price. The packages are generally good value, and if you’re starting out they will have everything you need to get you out paddling.