How Much are Paddle Boards?
The short answer is SUPs can cost between $250 and $3000. However, there are many factors we will cover later in this article that will go into the cost of your particular board. If you are new to paddle boarding, you can generally get away with spending less on your SUP, but if you need a specialized board, you can expect to pay more for it.
Often, you can find paddle boarding kits which include your SUP, oar and additional accessories for sale together. Purchasing your SUP as a kit can help to save money since oars alone can cost up to $500. For now, let’s figure out what the right SUP for your needs will cost you.
Types of SUPs
There are two main SUP designs: inflatable and rigid. Like their names suggest, one is inflatable and the other is made of rigid material that does not bend. Inflatable SUPs usually come with a backpack they fold neatly into for transportation, while rigid SUPs require ample storage space and accommodations for transporting.
Consider purchasing an inflatable SUP if:
- you do not own a truck, car roof rack, or a vehicle at all
- you are new to paddle boarding and not sure you will love it
- you have very little storage space
- you are looking for an affordable all-around board
On the other hand, you might consider purchasing a rigid SUP if:
- you live close to the water
- you prefer a board specialized for racing or surfing
- you have the means to transport it and store it
In general, inflatable SUPs can be less expensive than their rigid counterparts. They are usually made of multiple layers of PVC, are available in multiple lengths and widths, and often come with a pump, oar, and backpack.
Rigid SUPs tend to be more expensive, but they are often designed for very specific purposes like speed. These are also available in a range of lengths and widths—all the more reason to be certain you have ample storage space.
SUP Costs by Activity
A large sub-type of SUPs exists for a variety of activities including the following.
All-Around Paddle Board
This SUP is designed for use on many different types of water and for different activities. You can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $1000 for a decent all-around. They are great beginner boards and offer a good combination of stability and moderate speed. These are often the most popular types of paddle boards due to their versatility. This ROC Inflatable SUP is a great example of a decent all-around SUP, and it includes an adjustable oar, backpack and pump.
Touring Paddle Board
Touring SUPs are designed to cover great distances without exerting extra effort. They are typically longer and skinnier than your all-around SUP. Ideal for multi-day trips and camping, the touring SUP is a good combination of the all-around SUP and racing SUP. You can find them starting around $700 like this THURSO SURF Expedition.
Racing Paddle Board
Racing SUPs are the longest and skinniest of all boards, and most have a very distinct point at the nose. Designed to skim across the water with the ultimate maneuverability, racing boards are usually rigid SUPs and can run you anywhere from $1000 to $3000. This Starboard SUP is a prime example of a decent racing board.
Surfing Paddle Board
A decent surfing SUP will have the same shape as the racing SUP, but it is shorter for greater maneuverability over the breaking waves. Because of the unpredictable conditions of the surf, a rigid board will offer the most stability. You can find surfing SUPs like this Peak Navigator for around $700 to $2500.
Fishing Paddle Board
Fishing SUPs are increasing in popularity among solo anglers because they are way easier to get on the water than boats. These SUPs usually have a wide deck and ample hooks and netting for storage. Sometimes you can even find them with chairs and gear racks included in the package. A fishing SUP like this one by California Board Company can cost anywhere from $700 to $2000.
Yoga Paddle Board
Yoga SUPs are designed for advanced stability for obvious reasons. The last thing you want is to end up in the water in the middle of a pose. Thankfully, you can find decent yoga SUPs from $350 to $1200. This Pro 6 Yoga SUP has all the qualities of a yoga board with its wide base, rounded nose and tail and thick traction pad.
Paddle Board Buyer’s Guide
Now that we’ve covered the cost and types of paddle boards, its time to narrow down your choices. Knowing what you need to look for in your SUP requires asking yourself a few questions. We’ve already covered a few activities you can do with your SUP, so we will begin there.
Type of SUP Riding
Whatever you plan to do most with your paddle board is the type you should look for. Therefore, if you’re hip to multi-day camping expeditions, you probably want to look for a decent touring SUP. Likewise, if you’re an avid fisherman, a fishing SUP with all its nooks and crannies is the best for you.
All-around SUPs tend to be a good choice for multiple activities including workouts, yoga, downwind riding, and make a great beginner board. A touring SUP can be a great alternative to the all-around SUP if you’re looking for a little more speed or longer duration.
The Right-Sized SUP
In general, your activity will determine the size of your SUP. The longer and wider your board, the more stability it will have. On the other hand, a shorter and skinnier board is better suited for an intermediate rider or specialized sport. The following are general guidelines for SUP length and widths.
- 10-feet and under: children, surfing
- 10- to 12-feet: yoga, fishing, cruising
- 12-feet and longer: distance touring
- Under 32-inches: speed, racing, surf
- 32-inches and wider: stability, beginners, yoga, fishing
Prior to purchasing your SUP you will want to make sure the maximum weight capacity is sufficient for both your body weight and any intended cargo. If the total weight on your board is more than its capacity, you will float lower, and it will be harder to paddle through the water. Consider what you will bring with you before purchasing your SUP. This can include:
- your child(ren) or pet(s)
- loaded cooler
- sporting gear
Storage and Transportation
Should you choose a rigid SUP, do you have a way to transport it to the water? A truck or a vehicle with a roof rack to attach it to is ideal. Additionally, you will need ample indoor storage space to ensure it is protected from the elements.
Inflatable SUPs fold up into a neat backpack requiring less effort in storing and transporting. You can even take them along on your bicycle, on flights, or in the tiniest of cars.
Believe it or not, an inflatable SUP is more durable than a rigid SUP. Rigid SUPs are prone to nicks and dents that cannot easily be fixed. Inflatable SUPs are naturally more flexible and can withstand a minor poke here and there.
Most people find that rigid SUPs perform better than inflatables. This will only be an issue if you plan to race or surf. You will find that most other inflatable SUPs perform as well as rigid ones for activities like fishing, yoga, touring and cruising.
If you are looking for a decent, low-cost board, you will find the lowest prices on inflatable SUPs. Rigid SUPs of the same standards are generally more expensive.
The Bottom Line on Paddle Board Cost
All in all, you can find a range of paddle boards for as little as $300. Inflatable SUPs are generally less expensive, easy to store and transport, and come with all needed accessories. On the other hand, rigid SUPs tend to have better maneuverability but are pricier.
In the end, the cost of the right SUP for you depends on your use, expertise level and available storage. Now that you’ve read our buyer’s guide, finding an affordable SUP should be a piece of cake. See you on the water!