A market full of paddle board options can leave even a pro wondering what to buy! How much does a paddle board cost can be so confusing. I mean, what can you expect from such a wide range of $200 to $3000? Is it even ‘that big of a deal’? You bet it is!
And here, I’ll explain exactly what you can expect based on the paddle board cost.
How Much Does a Good Paddle Board Cost?
Define good. What is it that you expect from your paddle board? Will you paddle 365 days a year, or will you paddle 18 days a year? Will go surf, do yoga, paddle long distances, or have picnics on the water? Or all of the above?
What you intend on doing and how often will largely determine what paddle board prices would work for you. But ultimately, it all comes down to your budget and what you’re willing to spend.
So, with that said, let’s get to the first categorization of paddle boards: the epoxy vs. the inflatable boards.
Epoxy paddle board cost
As I said, how much are paddle boards will depend on the type. The epoxy-made paddle boards tend to cost the most. They range from $700 to $3000 because they are the most demanding to make and ship.
Also, when owning one, you should think about storage and transportation of your board. You need to have enough space and a good paddle board rack that won’t damage your board and keep it safe.
Many people shy away from hard boards solely for this reason.
Epoxy boards have a core made of EPS foam layered with layers of fiberglass saturated with epoxy resin. This type of construction makes them the most rigid on the market, and thanks to that, they offer the best performance in all water conditions.
Epoxy Paddle Board Cost: $700 To $1,200
However, not all epoxies are made the same. The ones on the lower end of the price range are the most versatile, which means they offer the most varieties for a beginner. You can try paddle boarding, surfing, yoga, leisure paddling, fishing… the possibilities are endless.
Keep in mind that low-cost paddle boards aren’t necessarily lacking in quality or functional materials. They simply are an excellent baseline for all those just starting out and would like to try paddling and other activities without breaking their bank.
Then, as you feel experienced enough to bring your paddling up a notch, you will need to upgrade either your gear or replace your board altogether.
These boards offer high stability with their vast deck for any activity you want to try.
Epoxy Paddle Board Cost: $1,300 To $2000+
After you master one set of activities like surfing or paddling or yoga SUPing or fishing and you know what you’d like to do, but you would want more speed or better maneuver and overall higher performance, then this is the price range you should be looking at.
However, keep in mind that these more expensive boards will be specialized in just one thing. This means you cannot take your yoga board to surf or fish from it.
But what makes these boards more expensive?
The main reason why these boards cost more than the first group is that their body of material is enriched with carbon fiber. Plus, they have additional gear that makes surfing and paddling super easy, like rounded vee double concave or displacement hulls for a faster, smoother glide and so on.
So, no, it is not a rip off if you give $1700 or more for a board. If you choose the right one for your needs, it definitely is worth it in the long run in terms of stability, durability, and overall performance.
Inflatable paddle board cost
When it comes to paddle board prices, there is quite a difference whether we are talking about inflatable or epoxy, in terms of cost, performance, and durability.
Inflatable paddle boards, no matter the price range, usually come with a package included. They will always have a hand pump, a storage backpack, and a repair kit. You will find even an ankle leash in some, but you should always check first what that package contains.
Inflatable Paddle Board Prices: $500 or Below
These are the cheapest board you can find going as low as $300 and are suitable for beginners. Still, even then, they might not offer stability and definitely can’t offer the durability of some of the boards in the pricier categories. If you have children that like paddling alongside you, then maybe get them a board of this price range.
Otherwise, for a full-grown person that likes to try out paddling or surfing, these low-end boards aren’t really living up to the expectations.
Here really, the old cliche is true: “You get what you pay for.”
The material plays a huge role when it comes to performance. In these cheaper boards, manufacturers use only 1 to 2 (usually 1) layer of PVC that does not add enough rigidity in water. So, they might deflate or bend or are unstable.
Inflatable Paddle Board Prices: $600 To $800
Whenever I talk to people who ask me which board they should buy, I recommend going for this price range. First-time buyers who know they’ll paddle more regularly and would like to learn more about this fantastic sport don’t have to go for the expensive, professional ones immediately, but I wouldn’t suggest going for the low-range boards either.
This is why this mid-range price of $600 to $800 is ideal for newbies.
They will have reliable durability and good maneuvers and performance. What is quite important at this stage is to pick the right size for your height, weight, and activity.
This way, you will have an easier time learning balance and stability, as well as being able to control your board wherever you are paddling.
Inflatable Paddle Board Prices: $900 To $1,600
The paddle boards in this price range are considered high-end boards, and you usually won’t find anything about this limit.
If you choose to buy in this price range, then you know your board will be durable and can withstand many days spent in water throughout the year.
They can come with additional gear depending on the brand, and each board will be specialized for the type of activity you’ll be using it – just like with the high-end epoxy boards. And, just like the high-end epoxy boards, they offer the best performance and easy control in the water.
The main reason why they are at such a high price is the material, of course. These high-end boards are made of multiple layers of PVC like 3 or 4 that give rigidity and smoothness when in water. You won’t see them bending or flexing, and here the PVC material plays the main role because the inflatable board should look and perform like an epoxy one.
So, if you are wondering how much does a good paddle board cost based on the type of activity and who’s paddling, then let’s review a little differently. I’ve organized paddle boards by possible scenarios and types of activities. So, hopefully, this will give you a better idea about what you’re after.
Surely, if this is another sport you want to try and see how it goes, you probably won’t want to pay $2000 or more for one summer. To be honest, I guarantee paddle boarding will be a ‘love at first sight’ type of thing, but just to be sure, you might want to rent a board the first couple of times, just to see how it goes.
Then, when you’re madly in love with it, go with an epoxy one of $700-800 or an inflatable board of $600-700, and you won’t be wrong.
However, as I said, buying a paddle board depends mainly on what you’ll be using it for and how often. So, before going further, I suggest reading a recent piece I wrote on How to choose a paddle board to help you decide.
All-around paddle boards are the most versatile boards and a type that most people need. Based on the quality and features, you can find these from $600-$1500.
Great for beginners or those who just want to paddle away into the horizon leisurely without caring too much for extra gear or performance. They are wide and stable, so you won’t have to worry about balance or taking everything you want with you on board. Plus, being so versatile and stable, they can be used by the entire family.
Touring SUPs are great for paddling long distances and are pretty stable and rigid. You can find both epoxy and inflatable ones ranging from $700-$2000.
Racing SUPs are there to give you speed and easy maneuver over your board, but I wouldn’t recommend them to beginners. These boards are quite narrow, so to gain momentum, they compromise stability.
The most commonly found racing boards are hard/composite boards and will cost you anywhere from $1000 to $3000.
If you’re planning on surfing only, then for a surfing SUP, I would recommend a hard/composite board that will give you the most rigidity and smooth sail over the waves. If you want to use your board more for surfing and just sometimes for paddling, you can still use your surfing board, but it won’t be as good. You can also buy a surfing hybrid that performs mid-well in both situations.
These paddle board prices range from $1000-$2000.
Boards designed explicitly for yoga are somewhere between $500 and $1500.
However, they have larger, wider decks that allow for maximum stability, but aren’t so suitable for the occasional paddling session, so I would suggest just getting a regular board with a large deck that can be used for yoga plus recreational paddling.
Why limit yourself, after all?
If you’re serious about fishing, then specifically-designed fishing boards will be the right choice for you. However, you can fish off any paddle board that’s a little wider like the all-around or the yoga SUPs, so you don’t have to limit yourself to only fishing from your board.
The occasional paddling doesn’t hurt either!
The fishing boards can go from $700 to $3000, and they come with plenty of mounts for accessory tracks and additional gear that will make the fishing more comfortable. You can also add rod holders, a tackle box, coolers, and any other equipment that will make the fishing better.
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