July 20, 2020 12 min read

Paddle boarding is becoming more and more popular. It is the new must-do sport this summer! There really isn’t anything better than gliding over the water, leaving all your worries behind with each stroke.

How much do new paddle boards cost to buy? What should you search for when buying a SUP?

Don’t worry. We have done the research and have got you covered. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know when you’re ready to buy your own board.

Why are paddle boards so expensive?

As water enthusiasts, we know that paddle boards typically can come with a hefty price tag, but you get what you pay for:

  • Quality of materials and board construction
  • Durability
  • Weight capacity
  • SUP accessories included
  • The size or performance of the board

Let’s take a look at each of these individually and see how they make up the stand up paddle board prices.

How much does paddle boarding cost?

A full paddle boarding set up with the board, leash, fin, and all the accessories you need to get started will typically cost $500 to $1,200.

This price depends on the size, quality, and construction of the board. All of these aspects play a part in the price.

Quality materials

Materials vary depending on which type of paddle board you go for. The two major types of paddle boards are fiberglass/epoxy and inflatable. Further down, we will give more insight into the difference between these.

Some materials that are used in making a hard paddle board are:

  • Fiberglass
  • Epoxy
  • Carbon Fiber
  • Foam

Inflatable paddle boards are constructed using:

  • Layered PVC: outer, core, rails
  • Drop stitch technology
  • EVA deck pads
  • Inflation valves and seals

inflatable sup construction

Durability

Regardless of the type of board you choose, the materials that are used must meet durability expectations. Stand up paddle boards are constantly going in and out of the water, as well as being transported from your home.

Stand up paddlers expect their boards to be tough. Therefore, the materials need to meet these expectations, which ultimately costs money.

Sizing of the SUP

The average paddle board size tends to be around 10 - 11 feet. That’s a lot of board! No matter the size and weight capacity, the price reflects the materials used and the craft that goes into manufacturing.

Further down we will discuss the different styles of paddle boards along with their sizes and prices in order to help you at home find the right board.

Extra accessories to add-on

When purchasing a paddle board, make sure you get a complete package that includes at least these accessories:

  • Paddle
  • Backpack and pump (for inflatable boards)
  • Leash
  • Fins

Alongside these included essentials is a whole range of extra accessories that you can add-on to improve your experience, like kayak seats, fishing rod stands, kayak anchors, and more. You can turn your SUP into a stand up paddle board fishing craft with the right additions!

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the different types of paddle boarding and the prices you can expect for each specialized board.

How Much do Paddle Boards Cost: Epoxy and Inflatable SUPs

So far we have looked at the cost of paddle boarding in general including the required and recommended accessories. We also know a little about construction of paddle boards and what drives their prices. Now, let's take a closer look at the range of costs for different types of SUPs based on construction (i.e. inflatable or epoxy) and specialized design (e.g. surfing, fishing, yoga, and all-rounders).

How much does a good inflatable paddle board cost?

inflatable paddle board travel

So let’s begin with the inflatable paddle board variety. What is the difference between a cheaper inflatable paddle board and a more expensive one? Do you really get what you pay for?

Generally speaking, inflatable paddle boards are cheaper than an epoxy equivalent. They are also great for traveling and saving space in storage at home.

Prices can range from as little as $350 up to around $1,700 for the best products. These top prices reflect the materials used, the durability of the board, and any sort of specialty that the board may have.

High-end inflatable paddle boards: $800 to $1,700

The more expensive inflatable paddle boards at the top end of the market tend to be more durable due to their higher quality. This high-end price bracket provides the most reliability, a longer lifespan, or specialized features.

If you are looking for a more performance based stand up paddle board for something along the lines of racing or endurance, this is the kind of price tag to expect at the top end of the market.

You can also expect to receive a premium accessory package with high end inflatable SUPs. The GILI Meno board is a fantastic example of this. Included in the package deal are some premium accessories that give you extra value like a carbon fiber travel paddle, 5-piece fin kit, 3-stage high flow pump, leash, and rolling travel backpack.

Mid-range inflatable paddle boards: $450 to $800

Mid-range inflatable paddle boards are the sweet spot in giving decent performance and durability at a great price for exceptional value.

The boards we stock fall within this price frame and come in some great bundles for even more value for money.

The GILI Air

Our GILI Air range is a great option for beginners looking for an all-round board. This is an excellent option that can go anywhere and do everything well in most conditions. If you’re looking for an entry into the world of SUPs, but want a top board that will last a long time then your search is over.

The GILI Adventure

The GILI Adventure board is perfect for exploration and outdoor enthusiasts. This is the ultimate expedition SUP with optimal shaping for speed and efficiency. I personally ride this SUP on most days and it works great for just about everything you want to do on the water.

The GILI Komodo

The GILI Komodo range provides excellent versatility for your paddle boarding adventures. Paddle board with your dog or the kids out with you for this adventure thanks to the width giving even more stability.

The GILI Meno

Our GILI Meno series is a great wide option that doesn’t compromise performance. Choose between the 10’6 or 11’6 models and glide over the water effortlessly.

Cheaper inflatable paddle boards: $300 to $450

And then we have the cheapest products. These super budget SUPs are not recommended as the quality will tend to be poor and the lifespan will not last the summer and you will end up needing to buy more than one SUP to support your paddling passion.

Super low budget paddle boards use less durable materials for construction which affects the performance. The accessory packages are also quite limited and lacking in comparison to the mid-range options.

Mid-range to top-mid-range options will be money well spent. The long lasting board will give you countless adventures making them the best choice in terms of value.

Why do epoxy (hard) paddle boards cost more?

Epoxy boards are more expensive than inflatable boards. But why?

  • The materials used are more expensive
  • They are more difficult to manufacture
  • The shipping fees are higher due to size and weight

Generally, hard stand up paddle boards can cost anywhere between $700 to $2,000 depending on what on board construction, design, and more.

High-end epoxy paddle board price: $1,300 to $2,000

These top-end expensive epoxy paddle boards are aimed towards more serious paddlers. They are normally highly specialized and target a specific niche, like racing, surfing, or even fishing.

The designs of these boards are more specific and utilize more expensive materials such as carbon fiber. High-end paddle boards even have carefully designed surfaces and, sometimes, extreme shaping, which involves much more labor. This is all reflected in the price for these top products.

As they are specifically designed, they do lose their versatility. You will struggle to have a pleasant leisure paddle across a lake on a surf SUP, likewise, it would be difficult to catch waves on a Racing SUP, and balancing is also more difficult on racing SUPs. A high price tag doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the right one for your needs.

epoxy paddle boards

Low range epoxy paddle board price: $700 to $1,295

The SUPs that fall under this category are affordable and will be able to do everything a recreational all around paddler would need. If you want to do-it-all board that’s great at cruising flatwater, look for an all around paddle board in this price range.

Just because these paddle boards are cheaper than others does not mean that they are lower quality. You may be surprised at how well constructed epoxy products can be.

Buying your first paddle board

If we lost you on that last section with custom shaping and carbon fiber board construction, perhaps you should look for something a little less specialized.

Buying your first paddle board is exciting but can also be a bit daunting at the same time! There are so many options available, how can you know which is best for you? You need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What style of riding am I going to do?
  • What size board do I need?
  • Do I want to travel a lot with my paddle board?
  • Do I have the storage space at home for a hardboard or do I need to save space with purchasing an inflatable SUP?
  • Do I prefer a versatile board that does everything, or a more purpose-built SUP?

After reading this article, you should have a good idea of the best type of board that is right for you, be it an inflatable SUP or epoxy.

What type of riding do you want to do?

Determining the type of riding you want to do is crucial. Do you want to catch waves and surf on your SUP? Or do you want to go for a gentle cruise with your dog or the family? The options are limitless! Do you want a versatile, all-around SUP or hybrid paddle board?

Once you figure out your style, then you can narrow down the list and find the best paddle board for you.

What size board do you need?

paddle board sizes

Your activity on the SUP and your body weight affect the size of the board required. You need enough volume, or float, for weight capacity and stability. That being said, the average paddle board is around 10 to 11 feet in length.

The length, thickness, and width of the all affect the volume and related weight capacity. Take everything above into consideration when shopping for your new paddle board.

As you improve your skills and gain more experience you will be able to play around with the size of the paddle board. And remember that the best paddle board for your friend may not be the best one for you!

Learn More: What size paddle board do I need?

Do you want to travel with your paddle board?

It’s no secret that SUPs are one large piece of equipment. Along with the paddle and other extra accessories, you may find it difficult to transport everything to and from your home.

Weighing up how much traveling you are going to do may help make the decision between getting an inflatable or epoxy stand up paddle board.

Generally, if this is your first SUP, we highly recommend an inflatable paddle board. They’re easier to store at home, better for transport, more durable, and perform almost as well as an All Around Epoxy/Hard SUP. As an added bonus, they also have friendlier price tags.

What is the best paddle board for beginners?

10’6 GILI Air

The 10’6 GILI Air iSUP is a fantastic option for beginners. This SUP is designed specifically for stability and portability, performing well in all water conditions which makes it perfect for first-timers. You won’t find a better performing all-around board.

It has a rigid design, 6” thickness, and a snap-in center fin. Paddlers of every ability can enjoy smooth, relaxing waters and comfortably handle a bit of ocean chop and waves.

A 6-point bungee system is already installed on the deck which allows for quick access to gear whilst out on the water. The extra-large traction pad means you can take a buddy out for the ride, or even your dog!

The military-grade PVC gives phenomenal stability when fully inflated. This is ideal for beginner paddlers to aid their balance and also give peace of mind with durability. Scratches, bumps, rocks, or drops, this board can take it all.

The bundle package includes everything you need to get you paddling right away.

What specialized SUPs are there and how much do they cost?

Some SUPs are specifically designed and purpose built for a niche like racing, expedition, fishing, yoga, surf, and more.

The price of these specialized SUPs tend to be in the high-end bracket due to the extra craft that goes into making them.

All-Round

All-Around paddle boards are the best for beginners or someone wanting to have a bit of everything in their board. Yoga, fishing, cruising, ocean paddles, and more - an All-Round board can handle it all.

The multi purpose design is one of the more entry-level paddle boards available which means the price is normally in the lower end of SUPs. You can expect to find an All-Round board from as cheap as $300 all the way up to $800 or even more.

This is an excellent choice for first time buyers and allows you to discover what style of stand up paddle boarding suits you. Perhaps after building up your experience on an All-Round board, you can then move on to a more specialized board.

Racing

sup racing

Streamline, efficient, perfectly designed. Racing SUPs are perfectly engineered pieces of equipment that provide speed above all else while cutting through the water.

Most racing paddle boards are crafted from carbon fiber to reduce weight, however, you can find decent inflatable SUP racers of equally high quality.

Racing boards have some of the biggest price tags to go with them. You will be looking at a price tag near the top of the range from $1,000 to $3,000 for one of these specialized SUPs.

Fishing

Are you dreaming of upping your fishing game? There is something truly magnificent about dropping a line while floating over the water.

With the right accessories, you can easily modify an all-around paddle board to provide all the necessary aides to help you enjoy an afternoon of fishing. Make use of bungee cords and D-rings to bring tackle boxes, ice chests, rods, and other gear along for the adventure.

However, for more serious anglers you may want to consider purchasing a fishing SUP that has been specifically designed for this activity. The price can range from $700 to $3,000 depending on the materials and accessories that are included.

The beauty of stand up paddle board fishing is that you can reach more spots that a boat simply cannot access. It’s a peaceful experience while also being a workout at the same time.

Surfing

sup surfing

SUP surfing is gaining more popularity. Get your adrenaline pumping and catch some waves with your paddle board. This requires an intermediate to advanced skill level as you need to be perfectly balanced while maneuvering on moving water.

The paddle boards for surfing have less volume and are often smaller which makes them more responsive in turning, making riding waves easier. However, the smaller the board means it is harder to paddle on still water.

Your SUP will need to have a bit more rocker to it and a planing hull which will help you catch the waves and rip it up. Hard boards will give better results, but you will also be surprised at how good inflatable sups can handle the waves.

Hybrid boards are a good option for something in between. These can handle the waves, giving you an exhilarating kick, and are also comfortable to paddle on the flat days.

Be prepared for the high price tag. On average a new surf SUP can set you back $1,000 or even $2,000.

Yoga

paddle board yoga

Free your mind and body by taking your practice to the next level with SUP Yoga. With a wide enough paddle board you will easily be able to balance in a downward facing dog or even a tree pose.

This could be the right challenge for you. By adding a watery element under your mat you will decrease stability and push your practice to achieve amazing results once you’re back on land or at home practicing.

We always recommend you choose an inflatable paddle board for practicing yoga on the water. An inflatable SUP supports your weight and sits high above the water. They are generally wider than an epoxy, giving you more space to explore this new combined activity.

Just like your yoga, the board price has flexibility. You can have a perfect board for your practice for as little as $500. We have a great range of high quality iSUPs that are perfect to get your yoga onto the water.

Touring

sup touring

Are you planning on paddling long distances? Touring paddle boards are products specially designed to provide speed and a straight tracking with a pointed nose and a displacement hull to slice through the water.

Touring paddle boards help increase your pace which is a blessing when paddling longer distances. But the show doesn’t stop there. Make use of this excellent performance design in long day explorations or even racing.

These stand up paddle boards range from $700 to $2,000, depending on the materials used to achieve even better performance.

Wrapping Up

Stand up paddle boards are not the cheapest gear to purchase. However, if you take the time to search for the right board for your needs, it can be an excellent investment in terms of value-for-money.

Paddle board prices vary depending on the materials used, the design and craft that has gone into making the paddle board, and shipping costs to send it.

Most stand up paddle boards include in their price all the bells and whistles you need to get straight onto the water. You may even be able to find free shipping to your home for your dream stand up paddle board.

Make sure you take time in your search for the right SUP. As the sport gains popularity, innovation and design are improving to give even better results. Now, inflatable SUP boards are of such a high quality that they can match the best epoxy counterparts.

So what are you waiting for? There is a paddle board out there for everybody, waiting to take you on some incredible outdoor adventures.

Warren Tsoi
Warren Tsoi

Editor - Warren is an avid waterman and conservationist who will take any chance to be outdoors. He believes the best way to protect our environment is to get people outside to appreciate nature.


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