Should I buy an expensive paddle board?

paddle board child

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) has become a popular leisure activity in recent years, attracting a broad audience. It has become so big that some have also become inclined to take it up as a serious sport and invest in an expensive paddle board. Whether it’s an inflatable or hard paddle board, prices can go as high as £1000+.

But when it comes down to it, you need to also consider quality – a factor that you can get at a much lower price if you do the right research before making the purchase. 

Here some reasons to take note of on why you may or may not want to make that investment in an expensive paddle board:

You’d want an expensive paddle board if…

  • You are a real enthusiast who paddle boards too often to skimp on quality.
  • You have the cash to make that big spend and you don’t have the time to look for better deals.
  • You’ve owned multiple paddle boards and you’re looking to have more upscale equipment for your next excursion.

You won’t want an expensive paddle board if…

  • You don’t necessarily feel passionate enough about the activity to do it on a regular basis.
  • You’d like to stick to a budget and you don’t mind doing the research to find a better deal.
  • You are a beginner or it’s your first time to try SUP – you just want something you can practice on while you’re learning.
  • Paddle boarding is not really that big of a priority to you and you just want something for fun – something you, family, and friends can use when you’re in the mood for it.
paddle board child

 

 

Why are paddle boards so expensive, in a nutshell?

You can’t just pinpoint just one factor that influences a paddle board’s price but the reason why it can be expensive is due to the effort it takes to construct and design it to perform at its best. There needs to be an intensive amount of research and development to make sure a paddle board floats and can handle different water conditions.

But when you look online for options, you’ll see that there are low-priced paddle boards as well. The extremely cheap ones may seem sketchy but if you look further, you’ll find reasonably priced paddle boards that work just as well as the expensive ones.

In this article, we discuss some factors that can contribute to a paddle board’s price.

 

Construction and Design

When it comes to getting a paddle board, construction and design would be one of the most important things to consider. Durability and performance lies in the kind of material used, method of construction, and even the size. In general, there are two types of paddle boards – either inflatable or solid. The usual solid paddle board is basically made of foam enclosed in multiple layers of fiberglass along with other materials such as carbon or wood to make the outermost layer stronger.

For inflatable paddle boards, they’re usually made of extremely durable PVC stitched together and are basically hollow inside for air. If inflated properly, preferably with a hand pump, it becomes just as strong as a solid paddle board. Deciding the type of paddle board you’ll be purchasing depends more on your needs and preference. Solid paddle boards are ideal for “grab and go” situations where the water is readily available for you to jump in. Inflatable paddle boards are more compact. These are designed to be folded and packed along with your other belongings for your trip to the Stand Up Paddle boarding venue.

The EZ Board, from EZ Shopper is made from durable, super tough PVC and has a drop stitched construction for maximum strength and stability on the water. Pump it up and off you go!

Aside from that, variation in size, length and thickness of the board plays an important role in providing varying performance depending on preference. The board’s size and length has very intricate specifications to make it appropriate according to the activity. Also, the board has to be thick enough to be strong enough to support the user but having it thinner gives more stability. These details are crucial, making a board’s  construction and design a great contributing factor to pricing.

paddle board design

 

Durability

This is the most important contributing factor you’ll need to consider before you make that purchase. Cheap paddle boards might seem attractive but you’ll regret taking the bait when your paddle board suddenly malfunctions or breaks apart. Also, you’ll be risking your safety because if they suddenly incur damage while in use which may cause injury to the user. This is why manufacturers pay great attention to how their paddle boards are made. They would add in double layer side rails for protection against impact and more reliable paddle boards would be double-stitched for optimal strength and to make sure it can handle rough conditions without falling apart.

The EZ Board, from EZ Shopper, is made with durable PVC, double stitched construction and double side rails, designed to protect against bumps and scrapes in the water.

Regardless of type, you need to keep in mind the kind of damage that you don’t want to happen. You don’t want your solid paddle board to fall apart and you don’t want your inflatable paddle board to fill up with water mid-use. You’ll end up spending more on repairs or even on buying a new paddle board once you’ve had enough of the sub-par quality and performance. Although you also shouldn’t go overboard and buy a super expensive one that works just as well as a more affordable paddle board. There are many reasonably priced yet quality stand up paddleboards that you won’t regret buying even if you’re not the type to go paddle boarding every weekend.

Performance

A stand up paddle board performs well depending on the activity and the design. The hull or body of the paddle board varies in width. The slimmer hull  is usually used for SUP touring, fitness paddling, and racing. This type has a shape like a canoe or kayak, making it ideal for a faster and smoother ride. This does compromise stability so it would be best to use this for steady rides that doesn’t involve any extra motions.

On the other hand, you can find a paddle board that has a wider hull. This offers better stability and easier maneuvering. This type of paddle board is perfect for leisure SUP, especially for beginners who are still just learning to balance on the board. Aside from practice and fun, this is also good for whitewater where it’s a bit rougher. You’ll appreciate that extra stability when the water starts pushing against your board. This board is also perfect to try SUP yoga. It’s wider hull will give you more room to make extra movements.

Our EZ Board has been designed to give the best combination of stability and performance for a beginner or experienced paddle boarder. It’s sized for optimum stability and control.

paddle board performance

You can also try using the appropriate board for your body type. As a rule of thumb: go for a more narrow board if you have a small body type. If you have a bigger body type, you can opt for a wider board. Depending on the kind of performance you want out of your board, you can decide on buying one that is slimmer or wider and mind you, a reasonably priced board can work just as well as an expensive one.

 

Resale Value

One of the questions you need to ask is do you plan to resell your paddle board? If you’re not a die-hard fan who plans on really getting into SUP, then an expensive board may not be the best option for you. If you want to try it out just for the sake of it, you can always rent one out wherever it is available or you can buy a reasonably priced one then sell it at a similarly reasonable rate. But if that is the plan, you need to make sure that your paddleboard is usable and is still in good selling condition. 

Regardless of the initial price of your paddleboard when you bought it new, you need to consider that the resale price will definitely be determined by wear and tear, but paddleboards do tend to hold their value exceptionally well. This year for example, many people have sold their paddle boards second hand for more than they bought them for. This is thanks to the increasing popularity of the sport and demand for the boards emptying stores! 

 

Accessories

Purchasing some additional accessories to go with your stand up paddle board can help make your excursion safer and give you a much better experience. Some standard accessories that can go with your paddle boards are a paddle, a durable lifejacket for your safety, a leash to keep your paddle board close, a paddle board backpack, a dry bag, a paddle board seat, a repair kit, and even an anchor if ever you need to keep your board stationary. Inflatable paddle boards, including the EZ Board come with a pump to easily inflate it.

Not all of the accessories are required but will be helpful depending on the activity you plan on doing on your paddle board. So, if you buy a paddle board with accessories, it can get pricey. Nevertheless, if you are really just trying things out, it can be more practical to buy accessories separately, and just the ones that you actually need. Either way, accessories can add to resale price if ever you plan on doing so by making it a package deal.

paddle board accessories

How to choose between an inflatable paddle board or hard paddle board?

Now that you know a bit more about what factors can affect a paddle board’s price, you’ll have a better understanding of what kind you would prefer to buy. Although there are basically two types of paddle boards out there you can choose from based on construction and design –  an inflatable paddle board and a hard or solid paddle board. 

We have touched on their differences earlier but here’s some insight on why you may choose one or the other:

 

Storage

Stand up paddle boarding is a fun activity yet it can be a hassle to store and transport paddle boards. This is all based purely on preference. If you want a paddle board that you can easily grab and use, go for a hard paddle board. It requires no assembly and it’s pretty much ready to be used at all times. 

But if you want a paddle board that can be folded and stored, go for an inflatable one. It may be a bit more of a hassle as it requires to be pumped well enough before it’s ready to be used. If you don’t mind pumping air into your board before actually getting into the water, then choose the latter.

 

Location and environment

You need to consider the location and environment as well when choosing the right kind of paddle board. Aside from mobility, you also need to consider the kind of water you’ll be boarding in so that you can bring a board more appropriate to the water conditions and the users’ needs. 

If you will be boarding on flat water, it can be great to use a thinner board to get a smoother and faster cruise. Thicker boards will work best for rougher conditions such as whitewater. Also, the fin setup can be adjusted depending on the water conditions. 

On flatwater, a solid paddle board with a single fin set up can help lessen drag, a 3-fin set up can be great for better tracking and can also be good for keeping more control for surfing. As for inflatable paddle boards, they would usually have flexible rubber fins already attached or they can come with detachable fins as well.

 

Stability

Stability of solid boards hangs on the board’s specifications and the user’s body type. For smaller body types, it’s better to get a smaller board. This can also be a more manageable paddle board for kids as well. For those with bigger body types, a bigger board would be a better option to support the body weight.

 

For inflatable paddle boards, pounds per square inch or PSI can also impact stability. A higher PSI basically means the board has more air in it which can help it become more stable. The usual PSI for inflatable boards would be around 10-15 PSI but some boards, like the EZ board, can take up to 17 PSI, making it a good option for those who are looking for a board that has more room to increase stability. 

Thinner boards are usually more suited to beginners as they tend to have more stability because the centre of gravity is lower. The EZ board Inflatable SUP is available in two sizes, at 9’ x 30” x 4” and a larger 10.6’ x 32” x 6” version which is more fit for adults.

paddle board stability

Conclusion

Based on all the information provided, choosing the right paddle board depends on the activity, the user’s skill level, body type, water conditions, personal preference and of course your budget. If you’re not a pro paddle boarder and you don’t have really specific needs, then consider other options such as the inflatable EZ board range. It has two size variations: 320 x 81 x 15 cm / 10.6’ x 32” x 6” for users over 80 kg, and 270 x 76 x 10 cm / 9’ x 30” x 4” for lighter users under 80 kg. It’s super durable and comes with several accessories: a backpack, a leash, a repair kit, a pump, and a paddle. Best of all, it won’t break the bank!

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