Now that you’ve decided you want your own paddle board, now comes the next logical question… how much are paddle boards? The answer to this question depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re on a budget, there’s a number of places online where you can score cheap paddle boards under $1,000 on an everyday basis. But, if money is no object for you, you can spend well beyond $1,000 and find a top notch board for about $1,500 – $2,500. Although, the average paddle board price ranges closer to $800 – $1,800.
So where do you start? The price of a board does reflect the quality to a degree. That doesn’t mean you can’t find an awesome board for less than $1,000, but you do tend to get what you pay for. That’s why I typically recommend spending at least $800 – $1,000 on your first SUP. There’s a number of well regarded boards in this price range, and some even come with a paddle, which sold individually tend to cost $100 or more. A number of sites also sell previous years models at a discounted price. Here are a few sites where I’d recommend looking for a discounted paddle board. I personally bought an older model Tahoe Alpine Explorer iSUP on Backcountry.com for about 40% off the original price, and couldn’t be happier.
What Type of Paddle Board do You Want?
The price of your paddle board depends somewhat on what type of board you’re looking for. There tend to be a lot of cheap inflatable paddle boards available out there, so they sometimes are popular options for beginners. Most local shops though tend to carry the traditional solid foam SUPs, that are often higher price points than iSUPs. But, if you shop around you can find comparable prices between both iSUPs and traditional solid SUPs. However, solid SUPs tend to have a larger price range, topping out at a higher cost. You’ll notice that all of the top of the line SUPs are solid construction. There’s tons of good inflatables out there, but if you’re looking for the very best, you’ll be looking at a solid board.
How Much is an Inflatable Paddle Board?
Inflatables tend to be popular because sites like Amazon carry a ton of them at a cheap price. A large number of them are available for less than $1,000 and some are even less than $500. Plus, a lot of these cheap iSUPs come in packages that include not only a pump, but a paddle as well.
In general, most inflatable boards range from about $600 – $1,295. Here are four inflatable SUPS from a few highly regarded brands, so you can compare and see what a difference in dollar gets you.
- Under $600: Tower 9’10” Adventurer iSUP
Tower’s adventurer is one of their entry level boards. At 9’10” it’s on the shorter side,
- About $1,000: Naish One 12’6″ iSUP
A perfect paddler for recereational touring or racing alike. High quality construction, and a cargo net up front.
- Under $1,500: Red Paddle 10’8″ Yoga iSUP
Looking to expand your Yoga practice? Try it on the water. Red paddle are know for making some of the best iSUPs available.
- Over $1,500: Red Paddle 13’2″ Explorer iSUP
The ultimate inflatable SUP for touring. Pump it up, pack up, and paddle away.
How Much is a Solid SUP Board?
As you’ll see from the listed examples below, the traditional solid SUPs cover a much wider price range, ranging from under $500, to $3,000 or above. One of the reasons for this broader range is that there is also a broader range of materials often used for solid SUPs. At the lower price points you’ll find the traditional epoxy boards, with a foam core. As you move up the range you’ll find natural renewanle bamboo boards. At the top range you’ll find your carbon slingshots – the paddle board sports cars.
- Under $500: Tower Classic 10’6″ SUP
Great entry level board and beyond. Composed of a foam core, wooden stringer, with an epoxy glass layer.
- Under $1,000: Tower 12’6″ Carbon Weekender SUP
A cut above the Tower Classic, this board features an epoxy glassed top, with a carbon cross-link bottom.
- Under $1,500: Bic Sport Classic-Wood SUP
A traditional longboard shape, with a classic bamboo vaneer for extra support and durability.
- Under $2,000: Surftech 11’6″ Margaritaville Bamboo SUP
Another bamboo beauty from one of the top paddle board manufacturers.
- Over $2,000: Surftech Bark 14’6″ Downwinder SUP
A serious board for serious paddlers. Set some time records or enjoy some heavy water trials.
- Over $3,000: Naish 12’6″ Javelin Carbon SUP
Here’s what a high performance board looks like. Designed for flat waters, and maximum speed & efficiency. The sports car of paddle boards.
Finding the Right Board at the Right Price
The choice of what paddle board is right for you ultimately comes down to your own preference, and where you desire to paddle. As you can see, both styles of boards are available at similar price points, but they serve different purposes. For me, one of the deciding factors in choosing a paddle board style was room. I simply didn’t have room in my house to store a 10-12 ft long solid foam paddle board. I tend to live a fairly nomadic existence as well, so I eventually went with an iSUP, being well aware of the trade offs. But, the choice between boards wasn’t one of price. I had a budget in mind (less than $1,000) and I then set myself on finding the right option for my style that fit that price limit.
Still unsure what paddle board style is right for you? Check out the following article on how to size your paddle board. This should give you an idea of what your options are, are what style of board will fit your adventure cravings. It’s important to pick the right board… but usually your first board doesn’t have to be perfect. I recommend buying a cheap paddle board to get you out on the water. Then, you’ll learn more about what you like and don’t like. So, when the following season comes around you can upgrade to a better board, but still have a cheapy hanging out to share with friends (inflatable’s are awesome for this).
Okay, best of luck choosing your new paddle board. Until next time… happy paddling.