You may even need more than one type of paddle board if you are going to do different paddle boarding activities. Although some activities may overlap, you may be able to use the same board for it. Using the right paddle board will ultimately be better if you are in it for the long term. So find out the best type of paddle board for you.
What Equipment Do You Need for Paddle Boarding?
You are going to need a few things to go paddle boarding aside from the paddle board itself. Regardless of the type of paddle board, you will use, you will need a paddle to propel yourself in the water.
In addition, you are going to need a leash to attach the board to you in case you fall off. There’s nothing worse than falling off your board and having you chase after it if it’s not tethered to you.
You will also need basic life-saving stuff as well. For example, a personal flotation device (PFD) is a must-have piece of equipment.
The vest-type PFD is more reliable, although it may restrict your movement somewhat. The inflatable belt-type PFD allows you more movement, but you should always keep tabs on it and make sure that the CO2 cartridge does not expire on you. Otherwise, it will not inflate when you need it.
What Is Else Needed for Paddle Boarding?
A few accessories will also come in handy. You will need a car rack when transporting the paddle board for a distance. Or a bike trailer if the beach is nearby. A shoulder strap will also make handling your board easier if you have to walk for a bit to the water.
A storage rack in your house will keep your paddle board out of the way during the off-season, and a board bag will keep it safe from insects or vermin.
Finally, you will definitely need a paddle board pump if you have an inflatable paddle board.
You might want to invest in a wetsuit if you are in a cooler climate to keep warm and comfy. A kayak kit (a kayak-type seat) will transform your paddle board into a kayak if you get tired of standing.
If you plan on fishing or doing yoga, an anchor will keep your paddle board in place and keep it from moving around.
A dry bag will keep your valuables (cellphone, car keys, camera, a change of clothing, etc.) from getting drenched. A cooler to keep your food and drinks if you are planning on an all-day activity.
These and other accessories will make your paddle boarding life more enjoyable.
What Is the Difference Between Paddle Boards?
Paddle boards can be broadly classified into two by different criteria, by materials of construction and by what type of activity it is intended for. Here’s a run-through of boards based on what materials they are made of:
- Epoxy or composite paddle board: This is made from a base material of foam overlaid with fiberglass cloth. Then the epoxy resin is poured over it. A wood veneer may be added as a final touch.
- Foam paddle board: It is made by injecting expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam into a mold. Wooden stringers are usually placed inside the foam to strengthen it. Foam of higher density is then heat-laminated to seal the core.
- Inflatable paddle board: The best inflatable paddle boards are made from thick military-grade PVC. The top and bottom are stitched together with thousands and thousands of drop stitches to keep it from expanding when inflated.
- Plastic paddle board: Another type is the plastic paddle board which needs no further explanation.
- Polystyrene board: This is the humblest type of material used for a paddle board. Not so popular, but good enough for a summer’s worth of paddle boarding for the kids.
Now, the classification of paddle boards by activity:
- All-around paddle board: As the name suggests, is a multipurpose paddle board. Its versatility is its stock-in-trade. It can be an inflatable, a foamie, or a composite board. Beginners can start learning paddle boarding on an all-around, fishermen can make use of this as well as those who want to do yoga on paddle boards. This is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none, type of board.
- Paddle board specifically designed for yoga: By necessity, very wide and very stable. Their large, soft deck is perfect for doing your yoga exercises. Its width slows it down considerably, but it is not really for touring or racing.
- Touring paddle board: Like the name, it is for long-distance paddling excursions. This is a hybrid board in terms of paddling profile, not quite as fast as a racing board but not as stable as an all-around. This is the best board for camping or exploring outings as it has the extra float to carry all your extra gear.
- Specially-designed fishing paddle board: This has attachment points for all the fishing gear you need. They are wide, stable boards and therefore are on the slower variety. They can be a hard composite board or an inflatable.
- Paddle board for whitewater running: It is short and compact, so they can be agile enough to avoid rocks, logs, and other obstacles. They should be wide and must be very stable. They are invariably inflatables since they have to be flexible enough when running rivers and durable enough to withstand those inevitable bumps and scrapes when whitewater running.
- Racing paddle board: It is always a hard composite board so they can glide effortlessly through the water. They are built extremely narrow to be able to do this, so they offer the least resistance through the water.
- Surfing paddle board: Can be hard or inflatable, although the composites still have the edge over the inflatable in performance. This is because they are shorter than most boards and are built to perform like surfboards.
What Kind of Paddle Board Should I Get?
The best paddle board for you at the moment will depend on what your paddle boarding goals are. If you are a beginner, the best kind for you at this time is an all-rounder. This type gives you a stable board to practice on and develop your skills. This also offers you a chance to find out what type of paddling you may want to get into later.
As your skills progress, you may feel like switching to a more advanced board like a touring board. It could either be an inflatable or a hard composite, depending on your inclination and, of course, your budget. There is no right or wrong board, but it is all about your preferred activity.
What Should I Look for When Buying a Paddle Board?
It goes without saying that what type of paddling you would mostly be doing is the main factor when buying a paddle board. However, there are a few things to be aware of that might help you decide what kind of board to buy aside from its cost.
First, you may want to check out some online reviews of the brand’s reputation. The reviews can give you an indication of the board’s quality and the manufacturer’s reputation.
Then, you need to pick the appropriate size according to your weight and height.
Next, you have to consider how you are going to transport your paddle board. You will need a car rack if you go for a hard board, while an inflatable can be easily transported in the trunk of your car.
Do you plan on traveling long distances with your board? If so, an inflatable may seem to be the obvious choice. Do you have sufficient space at home to store your board, or do you have limited space? All these will be a factor when you choose the board for you.
How Much Does a Paddle Board Cost?
Beginners’ and kids’ paddle boards can cost less than a hundred US dollars, while high-end racing boards can cost up to three thousand US dollars.
A $5,000 board is not unheard of when racing boards are customized. And then there is the specially built paddle board that was sold off at an auction for a whopping US$ 27,500 for the Everglades Foundation! It was admittedly a one-off, but it speaks to the sport’s popularity.
Polystyrene boards will cost less than a hundred dollars but don’t expect too much from them. Nor will it last long. Plastic boards will cost more than the polystyrene ones.
Generally, the inflatables are a little cheaper than the epoxy boards for the same class. For example, a touring inflatable will be more affordable than a touring hard paddle board. There may be variations in the cost, but this is the typical price structure.
What Is the Average Cost of a Paddle Board?
The “average” cost of paddle board prices varies greatly. There’s also a lot of stuff to consider when you look at the cost of a paddle board. One is the manufacturer’s track record. Is it one that has been in the market for some time, or is it an unproven one? Are you buying online directly from the manufacturer? Or from distributors and shops which can easily double or even triple the price?
Since you are looking at the “average” cost, here’s the data to dive into anyway. Note that these prices are for off-the-rack boards, not the customized ones.
- Composite paddle board, low-range, $650 and below.
- Composite paddle board, midrange, $700 to $1,300.
- Composite paddle board, high-end, $1,300 up to $3,000.
- Inflatable paddle board, $350 to 450 for the low range
- Inflatable paddle board, midrange costs $450 to 800
- High-end inflatables, costs from $800 to $1,700.
- Plastic boards, between $250 to $500.
- Polystyrene boards, less than $100.
Why Are Paddle Boards So Expensive?
Hard composite paddle boards are more expensive than inflatables. Materials like foam, resin, fiberglass, fins, traction pad, and accessories like handles and leash plugs are expensive. The labor to assemble these into a working paddle board is significant.
Enthusiasts that need their boards customized with carbon fiber materials, wood laminate finishes, and high-density foam sandwich construction pays even more for their boards.
Shipping a hard paddle board also adds to its cost. Unlike the inflatable, which can be deflated and shipped with a smaller volume, a hard board obviously has to be shipped in its finished shape.
Inflatable paddle boards are also expensive as it is labor-intensive to produce. For example, the quality of drop stitching (connecting the upper and lower part of the paddle board by stitches) cannot be compromised, or the board will inflate like a balloon when filled with high-pressure air.
Good quality inflatables use reinforced, woven, or linear drop stitch technologies, not the inferior single- or double-layer drop stitch method. High-quality inflatables also use expensive materials like military-grade PVC.
What Is the Cheapest Paddle Board?
The cheapest paddle board is made from polystyrene. This is the material you find in your new fridge’s packaging when it gets delivered. You know, the white stuff to keep your fridge snug and keep it from bouncing around in its box.
This type basically is a kid’s starter paddle board. Buoyancy is fair enough for a beginner to learn the basics of paddle boarding, but water resistance is not particularly good, and durability is minimal. However, this will cost you less than $100, a good value for keeping the kids busy and out of your hair for a summer.
Are Cheap Paddle Boards Any Good?
The rule that “you get what you pay for” applies to paddle boards, all things being equal. “All things being equal” is the operative phrase here. Performance-wise, they will definitely be different (worse) from a more expensive board. They may also not take well to some hard bumps and scrapes.
However, there’s something to be said for a cheap paddle board. Beginners would do well to go with a more affordable type first before moving up to a more expensive one. If you find paddle boarding is not for you after trying it for some time, then you’re out with the cost of only a cheap board and not stuck with a more expensive one.
How Much Is a Decent Paddle Board?
A fairly decent paddle board falls in the intermediate range. For composites, this would be in the $700 to $1,300 range. For inflatable SUPs, this is around $450 to 800. Not too cheap to lack performance and not too expensive to turn off somebody who wants to get a decent performance from a paddle board.
When buying a new board, you have to consider not only the initial cost. For example, a cheap board might be useful only for a few months, while a higher-priced, better-quality board will provide years of enjoyment.
What Is the Best Paddle Board for the Money?
The all-around SUP will be the best buy. You get a versatile paddle board that can serve you in more ways than one. This is a stable board you can use for fishing, yoga, or just cruising. With a few tweaks here and there, you can transform your all-around paddle board into a kayak.
An inflatable would be the best choice. It’s easy to transport since it fits into a car’s trunk, unlike a hard board which will need a car rack which adds to the cost. In addition, storing the inflatable will be easier than storing a composite board.
The inflatable paddle board is also more durable than a hard-shell paddle board. Ultimately, you will decide what paddle board is best for your money since you know what you are looking for in a paddle board.
How Much Is a Used Paddle Board?
Depending on its condition, a used paddle board can cost 20% to 80% of a brand-new board. Some used boards may have been used by the first owner only a few times, while others have seen heavy use. As a result, some dealers will sell demo boards for a fraction of the retail cost.
For example, something brand-new that sells for around $1,100 retail can go for as low as $200 or as high as $700. But, again, this depends on how much use the paddle board has seen or how much the buyer is willing to pay for a used board. Again, this comes down to how much you think the board is worth to you.
What Should I Look for When Buying a Used Paddle Board?
When buying a used board, it’s buyers beware! So the first question you should ask is, why is it being sold? The reasons may be many. One, they didn’t like paddle boarding after all. Two, they have upgraded, and they will no longer use this board. Three, it was the wrong board for them. Four, they need the money. All valid reasons, but you don’t have to take their word for it.
There are some questions that you need to ask about the board, but you may not receive an honest answer. For example, was it damaged and repaired? Has the core taken on water? Do the specs fit your needs? Is it a current model or something fit for the SUP museum?
So, when is it okay to buy a used paddle board? One option is to buy it from dealers rather than a private individual. The dealer will have an interest in giving you a fair shake or risk losing you as a repeat customer. Or worse, get a bad rep if they sell you a lemon.
Better yet, buy your paddle boards during clearance sales when stuff is heavily discounted. The boards may be an older model but are still brand new. Maybe this has been overstocked, and they have to make way for a newer model. You still get the benefit of a warranty, perhaps some freebies. Most importantly, you get the right paddle board from those who know about paddle boards. You may pay a little more, but you don’t have to worry about getting it wrong.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent Paddle Boards?
Paddle board rentals depend a lot on the when and where. For example, paddle boards can be rented for $25 per hour or up to $75 for a full day in Hawaii, depending on the location and time of year. Other places with a lot less demand offer rentals for as low as $10 per hour.
Rentals will rise during peak seasons, whether it’s in Europe, Australia, North America, or wherever there’s a demand for it. Economics 101, the law of supply and demand applies to paddle board rentals as well.
Of course, you can always call ahead and confirm what’s the going rate for the time you are planning your vacation. If not, the figures above can serve as a baseline.
Are Paddle Boards Worth the Money?
Paddle boards are definitely worth it. You can’t put a price on the enjoyment you get from an outdoor activity like it. You get the benefit of outdoor exercise, an ocean or lake’s calming effect, and camaraderie with similar-minded friends.
Participating in any sport will lower your stress level, especially a sport like paddle boarding, which is performed on the water. A day spent paddle boarding is definitely a day well spent. So, don’t count the cost but count the benefits you get paddle boarding.
How Much Should I Spend on a Paddle Board?
Spend as much as you can comfortably afford. You will enjoy the sport more if you have the right paddle board. Nothing is worse than having the wrong paddle board when you are supposed to be enjoying yourself out on the water.
The median range for paddle boards is around $500 to $1,200. So you get a fairly decent board at this price, not too cheap and not too expensive. However, if you are going for a high-performance board, be prepared to spend more.
What Material Are Paddle Boards Made of?
The two major types of paddle boards, the inflatable and composite boards, are made of different materials. The inflatables are basically made of high-quality PVC. High tensile-strength drop stitch “threads” keep the two halves together when inflated.
Composite paddle boards are made from several materials, foam, wooden frame, fiberglass or carbon fiber cloth, epoxy resin, and wood veneer in any combination of these materials. Plastic is also used to build a paddle board on its own or in combination with other materials mentioned.
What Are Bote Paddle Boards Made of?
Inflatable AeroBote paddle boards are made from military-grade PVC, much like other inflatables. They use the same drop stitch fibers to connect the top and bottom layers. Their AeroUltra boards are constructed from the same military-grade PVC as the AeroBOTE, but these are made with a single layer making it a lightweight board without a drop in performance.
The outer shell of Bote’s hard paddle board is made from a new proprietary technology they call Gatorshell, a lightweight and durable material. This is an advanced plastic they claim makes their boards more buoyant than the traditional epoxy shell. It is also abrasion and impact resistant.
In addition, the raw material for Gatorshell is from partially recycled materials, and the excess material from building a paddle board can likewise be recycled. A win for the planet.
What Are Hard Paddle Boards Made of?
Solid or hard paddle boards are made of several materials; hence the term composite paddle board is frequently used to describe it. Some of the hard paddle boards have an EPS (Expanded Polystyrene Foam) core overlaid with fiberglass and epoxy resin.
Other materials like wood or PVC veneer can be applied as additional layers as well. High-end paddle boards have carbon fiber layers instead of fiberglass.
Other hard paddle boards have cores made of a hollow wooden frame. Strips of wood are added to the frame to strengthen it and create the top and bottom of the board. The wooden frame is then enclosed in layers of fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin, making it waterproof.
Polyethylene plastic (PE) is also used as the shell of foam- or hollow-core boards. A rotomolded plastic board is made from a solid block of PE shaped into a paddle board.
Are Bamboo Paddle Boards Good?
Bamboo paddle boards are not just good. They are great. Great for the environment and are very eco-friendly. Bamboo has a very high strength-to-weight ratio which makes it perfect for SUP construction. Not to mention that the natural bamboo aesthetics will look great on your paddle board.
When buying a bamboo paddle board, you have to make sure you are buying the best quality you can find. Your local dealer hopefully should be able to steer you in the right direction. Some manufacturers use a very thin bamboo veneer which could easily come off. Some even use paper with a bamboo pattern!
Bamboo boards are relatively expensive, so it pays to be aware of the common pitfalls when buying one.
Are Foam Paddle Boards Good?
Foamies or soft tops are great for kids and beginners. They are relatively cheap, have a soft deck to stand on, and most probably fall on. However, advanced and intermediates will find this too slow for them. This type works best for a leisurely day on the water for beginners, yoga-ing, and cruising with your friend or dog.
Good foam paddle boards have wood stringers at their core to strengthen them. A higher density foam is then heat laminated around the core. Foam paddle boards are durable, sturdy, and lighter than plastic boards. So yes, foam paddle boards are good enough for the right surfer.
Are Plastic Paddle Boards Good?
Plastic paddle boards will be okay for those interested in trying out paddle boarding. This is why paddle board rental companies are okay with plastic boards. It has a low investment cost and good durability, so they get maximum value out of it. However, a plastic board is a no-go for those who want a better performance from their paddle board.
A plastic paddle board is heavy and, therefore, slow. That makes them harder to paddle with and awkward to turn. They also don’t glide well. So, if you are a beginner, you might find paddle boarding with a plastic board to be challenging and turn you off with the sport. You are better off learning on an all-around SUP.
Having said all that, a plastic board has its uses but not for those looking for high-performance paddle boards.
What Is Epoxy Paddle Board?
An epoxy paddle board is a board with a solid- or hollow-foam core. A fiberglass or carbon fiber cloth is then wrapped around it, and epoxy resin is poured over it. A second or even a third layer may be applied if wanted.
This type is a rigid paddle board as opposed to an inflatable paddle board. This type is a performance-oriented board. Epoxy paddle boards are very popular in long-distance touring as they are easy to paddle. SUPs for racing are hard composite boards as it is the fastest paddle board.
How Long Do Epoxy Paddle Boards Last?
Epoxy paddle boards are among the longest-lasting boards there are. A well-constructed one should last you anywhere from 15 to 20 years. But this comes with several caveats. With proper maintenance, your epoxy board should last this long.
Fixing your board as soon as it gets dinged will prevent the damage from getting worse as well as not using it when it has unrepaired damage. In addition, washing it with fresh water after using in salt water and storing it properly will prolong its life.
How often you use your board will also affect how long it will last. Of course, you bought your board with the intention of using it as much as you can, so not using it to extend its life obviously is not what you want.
In addition, the type of waves that you surf, as well as the conditions of your favorite surfing spots, will contribute to your board’s life. Moderate waves will be more friendly to your board than those thrill-inducing waves. A sandy beach will likewise be kinder than a rocky one.
What Is a Soft Top Paddle Board?
Soft top paddle boards have a front deck that is made of a soft, durable material. The core material is usually EPS strengthened with wood that serves as the backbone of the paddle board. The board is then wrapped in a finishing material that provides the soft top of the board. It also serves as the canvas for its aesthetics or design.
The soft top paddle board is basically constructed in the same way as a hard board. The major difference being the soft layer of material at the front of the soft top paddle board.
Soft tops are normally wider than other models giving you a more stable platform. As a result, you have more space to carry your stuff as well as space for your dog when he’s up for some paddle boarding time.
Are Soft Top Paddle Boards Good?
What are the benefits of soft top paddle boards? Here they are in no particular order.
- The most affordable type of SUP on the market.
- Have similar features to a hard board, except it’s soft and easy on your feet and knees.
- The most kid-friendly.
- The most dog-friendly.
- Best for yoga and fishing.
- Very beginner-friendly as the soft top will not hurt so much should you fall down on it, which will inevitably happen.
- Although not as performance-oriented as the hard or inflatable board, it is more stable and user-friendly.
Are Paddle Boards Hollow?
Not all but a large percentage are hollow. A hollow core wooden paddle board is basically a wooden frame with strips of wood glued together to form the top and bottom of the board. It is then covered in layers of fiberglass or carbon fiber cloth. An epoxy resin layer is then added to strengthen it further and make it waterproof.
Inflatable paddle boards are definitely hollow so that they can be inflated.
Some SUPs are made of a solid block of foam. The foam core can be wrapped with different materials like PVC, fiberglass, wood veneer, and epoxy. Plastic SUPs are made either from one solid piece of plastic shaped into a paddle board, or it can be a foam core with plastic as the final layer.
What Is Inside a Paddle Board?
In a nutshell, air! Some “solid” paddle boards are not actually solid. The proper term for them should be hard shell paddle boards. They have hollow cores, as discussed above. An inflatable also has air in its core.
However, the actual solid boards have foam as their core. Other types have molded plastic as the base material for the paddle board.
Finally, finishing materials like veneer, PVC, fiberglass cloth, and epoxy complete the different layers of the paddle board.
Are Paddle Boards Heavy?
No, not really. Paddle boards can be carried by one reasonably fit person. It may need two kids to carry a paddle board. However, an adult can easily carry one all by themselves. However, another pair of hands comes in handy, especially when loading a hard board on your car rack.
Weights vary according to the type of paddle board. Plastic paddle boards are the heaviest, while the inflatables are the lightest. Everything else falls in between these two ends. Among the hard-shell boards, the carbon fiber composite board is the lightest.
How Much Do Paddle Boards Weigh?
On average, a hard paddle board weighs around 11 to 14 kilos (24 to 30 pounds). The most popular boards fall in this weight category. However, depending on the materials of construction, some hard-shell boards may even weigh up to 18 kilos (40 pounds).
An inflatable’s weight can be as low as 8 kilos (+/-18 pounds). The heavier ones may weigh up to 10 kilos (22 pounds), still lighter than the lightest hard-shell. This makes them the easiest and least costly to transport.
What Is the Lightest Weight Paddle Board?
The Honu Byron inflatable SUP is the lightest inflatable paddle board available at the moment. It weighs around 7.5 kilos (17 pounds).
Next on the weight scale are inflatable SUPs with a very negligible increase in weight, 8 kilos (about 18 pounds) and 9 kilos (slightly less than 20 pounds). Not to knock the low-weight SUP, but remember that it can carry a lower weight also. This model’s recommended carrying capacity is only up to 113 kilos (250 pounds).
The Isle Cruiser is the lightest among the hard-shell paddle boards. It is a soft-top board with an epoxy core. It weighs less than 11 kilos (24 pounds). It can carry a load of up to 106 kilos (235 pounds).
How Thick Should a Paddle Board Be?
Depending on the type, paddle boards’ thickness range from 100 to 150mm (4 to 6 inches). A 200mm (8 inches) thick paddle board is also available, used mostly to carry multiple persons, and so is not very common. Below are the pros and cons of the thinner and thicker board, with 100mm (4 inches) being considered thin and 150mm (6 inches) considered thick.
Pros of a thick board:
- A thick inflatable is stiffer at the same or even lower air pressure than a thinner board due to it having more volume.
- A thicker board can carry more weight.
- It sits up higher in the water, so you get a drier ride.
- A thick paddle board is better for a heavier rider.
Cons of a thick board:
- You need more air to fill up an inflatable. Therefore, it will take longer to bring it to the recommended air pressure
- It will be harder to carry as it is bigger and bulkier.
- It is not so maneuverable in the surf.
- Due to it sitting higher in the water, you don’t get more “feel” when riding it.
Pros of a thin board:
- Easier and faster to inflate due to the lower air volume needed (for inflatables).
- Better performance in the surf.
- Good for a lighter rider.
- Easier to carry and transport.
Cons of a thin board:
- Not as stiff as a thick board.
As you can see, both boards have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s a matter of what type of surfing you will do so you can determine what board thickness is best for you. You also have to consider your weight since a thicker (and more expensive) board will be wasted on you when a thin board will be adequate enough.
Are Paddle Boards Different Sizes?
Yes, paddle boards come in different sizes depending on the different activities they may perform. The standard paddle board length ranges from about 2.5 to 4.3 meters (8 to 14 feet). The width varies from 63.5 to 91.5 cm (25 to 36 inches). Thicknesses are anywhere from 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 inches).
Anything under 3 meters (10 feet) in length is considered a short board and can be maneuvered better than longer boards. This type is ideal for smaller kids. They are great for ocean waves surfing.
Paddle boards 3 to 3.5 meters (10 to 12 feet) are the most common type. This type is perfect for beginners, children, rivers, lakes, yoga, and fishing.
Boards longer than 3.5 meters (12 feet) are for long-distance touring and racing. This is for advanced paddle boarders who prefer faster boards and hard-core paddling.
Is a Bigger Paddle Board Better?
A bigger paddle board does not necessarily mean better. A bigger paddle board is less maneuverable than a smaller one. It can also be sluggish compared to a small paddle board. It all depends on what type of paddling you plan on doing.
So, when is a bigger paddle board the better choice? Are you a big guy or gal? If so, choose a paddle board appropriate for your height and weight.
Are you planning to go on overnight trips and carrying a lot of stuff, tent, food, and camping gear? Get a board with the extra carrying capacity.
If you’re going fishing or will do yoga, get a bigger board for more stability.
Are you and your friends riding together on a single board? Then you have to get one of those bigger boards designed to carry multiple persons.
Why Are Paddle Boards So Long?
A paddle board’s length partly determines the buoyancy of the paddle board. The buoyancy dictates what paddle board size is best for your weight. In addition, the buoyancy is governed by the volume displaced by the paddle board, so the length of the board factors into its design.
As a general rule, a person weighing less than 70 kilos (150 lbs.) will be just fine on a board that’s shorter than 3 meters (10 feet), perfect for kids and petite beginners. Reputable dealers and manufacturers will be able to recommend the right-sized board for your weight and paddling style, so you get the most out of your board.
Is a Longer Paddle Board Better?
A longer board will be fine as long as it fits your weight and paddle boarding activity. However, it is essential to note that other factors aside from the length have to be considered when choosing a paddle board. A longer length alone does not make a paddle board better.
So, when is a longer paddle board better? The long boards at around 4.3 meters (14 feet) are touring or racing boards. It is worth noting that these boards are narrower than usual, but the volume is enough to support the rider’s weight. It might be a bit unstable for the nonexpert, but it’s a trade-off, speed for stability.
What Is a Good Size Paddle Board?
For the money, the best size of paddle board falls in the medium range, 3 to 3.5 meters long (10 to 12 feet). This falls between the short boards for kids and beginners and the longer boards for touring and racing. The boards in the median range can be classified as multipurpose boards.
They are usually considered wide boards, at least 78 centimeters (31 inches) wide or more. The width provides more stability and balance. Though not as fast as the narrow ones, they give a smoother ride. They can be used as a platform for yoga or fishing.
What Is the Best Size Paddle Board for Beginners?
Beginners, especially kids, would do well with the shorter boards when starting out, something less than 3 meters (10 feet) long. Adult beginners should get something in the medium range, 3 to 3.5 meters long (10 to 12 feet).
It should be a bit on the wider side for better stability, around 810 to 860 cm (32 to 34 inches). The thickness should be 150mm (6 inches) for the inflatable and 100 to 125mm (4 to 5 inches) for the rigid board to ensure stiffness.
It’s best to start with a board that’s easy to balance in both calm waters and the surf. A touring paddle board would also be a good choice for the athletic beginner as it can be beginner-friendly, and you can go further on it.
How Do You Pick the Right Size Paddle Board?
The right size of paddle board depends on the type of paddling you will do. It is also determined by your skill level. Generally, the medium boards in terms of length are more stable and can be used for more than one activity. Therefore, these are the most popular sizes.
If you are into racing and touring, then the longer and narrower boards are the ones for you. These are high-performance boards and are for advanced and expert paddle boarders. In all cases, the common thing here is that the paddle board must be able to support your weight.
What Size Paddle Board Should I Get for My Height?
As a rule of thumb, you should add about 25 cm (10 inches) to the paddler’s height to get the paddle board size. However, the paddler’s height is just one factor when choosing a paddle board. The better question would be what the best board for the rider’s weight is.
It is the rider’s weight that dictates the volume that the paddle board should have. The board’s buoyancy is dependent on its volume. A paddle boarder’s height matters but not as much as their weight.
Is There a Weight Limit for Paddle Boarding?
There is no weight limit for paddle boarding. The rider’s weight determines which size of the board is appropriate for them. The board has to be buoyant enough to support the rider and their weight. So, no, there is no weight limit, and there will be a board for all sizes of riders.
Some boards can even carry several people. This type of paddle board was specifically designed for this group activity.
Theoretically, a bigger paddle board can be manufactured to carry multiple persons. However, it’s only a production issue that can put limits on how big one can be manufactured. There is also a safety issue that needs to be considered when putting a big paddle board on the water with numerous people on board.
How Much Weight Can a Paddle Board Hold?
One of the biggest paddle boards can transport up to 650 kilos (1,430 lbs.). This is carrying seven people with an average weight of 95 kilos (210 lbs.) each! This is admittedly an outsized paddle board. The average board can carry a weight of anywhere from 90 to 320 kilos (200 to 700 lbs.).
It is important to note that the maximum weight a paddle board can carry does not mean it is safe to do so. When the manufacturers state the weight a board can carry, they are referring to its practical weight capacity. This means it’s the weight the board can carry without sacrificing performance.
What Happens if You Exceed the Weight Limit on a Paddle Board?
No worries there; you won’t sink with your board. But the paddle board will get too low in the water that it becomes practically useless. It will be negatively affected, and its performance will suffer. It will be slow-moving, turning will be difficult, and maneuvering it will be challenging.
If it’s an inflatable, it will be less rigid, and you may feel your feet sink into the board. You may find it more unstable, and you may have difficulty keeping your balance. When this starts to happen, you might need to start thinking of getting a board more suited to your weight.
What Size Paddle Board Do I Need for My Weight?
Below is a rough guide to finding the length of your board based on your weight. Remember that not only your weight matters but also the type of paddling you want to do. You still need to consider the type of board you want, its width, and thickness.
|Rider’s Weight, kg. (lbs.)||Length of Paddle Board, m (ft-in)|
|23 to 55 (50 to 125)||2.75 to 3.5m (9ft to 10ft-6in)|
|55 to 68 (125 to 150)||3.2 to 3.5m (10ft-6in to 11ft-6in)|
|68 to 80 (150 to 175)||3.2 to 3.8m (10ft-6in to 11ft-6in)|
|80 to 90 (175 to 200)||3.5m to 3.8m (11ft-6in to 12ft-6in)|
|90 to 102 (200 to 225)||3.5m to 3.8m+ (11ft-6in to 12ft-6in)|
|102 to 113 (225 to 250)||3.8m+ (12ft-6in+)|
|113 to 125 (250 to 275)||3.8m+ (12ft-6in+)|
What Size of Paddle Board Do I Need?
The size of your paddle board will be influenced by several factors. First, the paddle board must be buoyant enough to float with stability, meaning it must remain rigid when fully loaded. This is a function of its length, width, and thickness. Your weight will determine the physical dimensions of the board.
The second factor will be the activity you are going to use it and your skill level. Beginner kids will need a smaller board, while beginner adults can use the medium-sized boards.
Intermediate paddlers will usually go with the medium boards for various activities like yoga, touring, and fishing. This can be done in flat water, rivers, or the ocean.
The advanced paddlers who will use their boards to race will use the longer and narrower boards.
What Is a Good Brand of Paddle Boards?
With so many paddle board manufacturers, it is a daunting task sorting out the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. A list of the most reputable brands is presented below, with some commentary on their best features. In no particular order, presenting the best paddle board brands of 2021.
- Tower: They have an impressive array of paddle boards, so there is a board for all skill levels and tastes. What’s more, they sell directly to customers, thereby keeping their prices down. When Mark Cuban invests in a company, you know there’s something special in it.
- BIC: No, it’s not a pen but a high-quality paddle board. BIC boasts of the most durable and competitively-priced paddle boards available. Their selection is huge and varied, running from soft-tops, inflatables, and EPS boards.
- Vilano: Focuses on inflatables, but their boards are stiff and have the feel of a rigid board. You can’t go wrong if you decide to go with a Vilano inflatable.
- California Board Co.: Obviously a California-based company, they have first-hand experience when it comes to what makes a paddle board great with the ocean practically in their backyard. They have soft-tops, EPS-based composites, and iSUPs.
- South Bay Board Co.: Another California-based SUP and solid board manufacturer who has expertise in various types of boards for various conditions.
- Atoll: Also, from California, it is one of the best inflatable paddle board manufacturers out there. Their 3.35m long inflatable (11 ft.) model is a great fit for almost all activities. Their boards are suited for whatever skill level you may be and adaptable enough for any activity.
- Pathfinder: A minimalist’s paddle board, no-frills, no bells and whistles, just a paddle board that does what you ask of it. It has all the necessities you need and nothing you won’t miss. The different colors are one concession to the riders’ personal styles and preferences.
- ISLE: Produced in San Diego, CA, they are one of the top manufacturers and have one of the biggest selections of paddle boards. Inflatables, soft-tops, epoxy, wood-finished, you name it, ISLE has it. They have specialized paddle boards as well as multipurpose ones. And they have the quality and the looks to back it up.
- SereneLife: One of the best choices for inflatables for beginners. Seeing as they’re focused on this segment, no wonder they have done a great job delivering on that niche. But don’t be misled into thinking that their boards are only for beginners. It’s a great option for other skilled paddlers as well.
- Thurso Surf: A Hawaiian inflatable paddle board brand with worldwide distribution. They use only the best materials and provide the best service possible in striving to give their customers the best experience. They have boards for all-around paddling, touring, yoga, and for kids.
- iROCKER: Whereas Pathfinder went minimalist, iROCKER goes the other way. Do you want speakers with your board? Seats? Fishing mount? You got it with the iROCKER inflatables. In addition, their boards are designed to hold all your gear and anything extra you may care to add. All these features and the workmanship have this brand ranked as one of the best iSUPs in the market.
- ROC: Uses recycled materials in their inflatable paddle boards on top of tree-friendly packaging. They specialize in inflatables, and that focus is displayed in their lightweight and easy-to-balance boards, making it one of the top inflatable paddle board brands.
- PEAK: The PEAK line of Isle Surf & SUP has very good rigid and inflatable paddle boards. Their Escape Aqua rigid SUP has a soft exterior for a more comfy ride. Their touring inflatable is designed with river, ocean, or flatwater paddling in mind, while their all-around boards are known as one of the best iSUP boards for learners. The multi-rider Titan can comfortably hold up to five people. This makes paddle boarding a group or family fun time.
- GoPlus: Their focus on inflatables makes them one of the top paddle board brands. With their modest selection of paddle boards, you can make simpler and easier choices without all the chatter about different board features getting in your head. Their boards are user-friendly and great for beginners as well as for the more advanced paddlers.
- Wavestorm: This brand focuses on foam-based paddle boards, and it is the secret to their success. They have light, buoyant, and maneuverable sturdy boards. They are famous for their soft tops with their Rasta-colored 8′ (2.4 meters) soft top surfboards, probably the most well-known among them.
Are Isle Paddle Boards Good?
Isle is one of the best paddle board manufacturers. Their wide variety, reasonable pricing, and durability make them a leading brand. For the money, they are a solid investment if you are looking for a board that you can count on in different paddle boarding activities.
You can always find a board with Isle Surf & SUP suited to your preferred paddling interest. So whether it is yoga, fishing, touring, or leisurely paddling, you can be assured an Isle paddle board will be available.
Are Body Glove Paddle Boards Good?
Getting a Gear of the Year award for 2019 means Body Glove is a good paddle board, right? Their boards are durable and built to withstand rough treatment and inevitable bumps and scrapes. It’s suitable for all kinds of water, ocean, river or lake. Paddlers from beginner to advanced will find this suited to the level they’re at.
It is affordable as well. Stability is a strong suit, and that makes it perfect for beginners, yoga performers, fishermen, and families. Their all-around board handles well, is easy to maneuver, and remains rigid.
Are Red Paddle Boards Good?
Red Paddle Co. paddle boards are some of the best-constructed boards in the industry. Their most popular iSUP is a multi-awarded paddle board. The Ride 10’6” is perfect for both touring and relaxation paddling. It is suitable not only for beginners but for intermediates as well.
Their paddle boards inflate to 20 to 25 psi, ten psi more than the typical inflatable. This makes it super stiff that you would be forgiven for thinking you’re on a hard-shell board.
It tracks well in the water and remains stable even in choppy waves. Red Paddle Co. has one of the best performers in the crowded inflatable market. It has nice graphics and is probably the best bag ever.
Are Bestway Hydro-Force Paddle Boards Good?
The Bestway Hydro-Force paddle board has mixed reviews. However, the one thing that everybody can agree on is its price tag is just right for this product. This is priced in the low-to-mid range, and that should tell you enough about what to expect.
A child or smaller adult would do well on this board, but its thin construction would cause it to flex when a heavier adult rides it.
This is an okay board within its limits, with lightweight riders, calmer waters, and just for gliding along. However, advanced paddlers would find its performance inadequate.
Some customer issues that you need to be aware of are leaks if it’s loaded too much, air valves can be problematic over time. The air pump provided needs to be replaced with a better one.
Are Lifetime Paddle Boards Good?
Lifetime paddle boards are geared more for beginners rather than for those who are a bit more advanced. However, its chunky shape makes it a stable and spacious board making it perfect for newbies. You might also be able to fit an extra passenger who is on the smallish side.
However, the board is quite bulky, so you might find it a bit awkward to carry it on your own comfortably. Maneuvering this board is hard work. And you can forget about using this to race your friend. Some cases of their board having leaks have also been known.
Are Roc Paddle Boards Good?
Not only is the ROC one of the best iSUPs out there, but the company is also one of the most socially responsible ones there is. They use only recycled materials on their boards. They maintain a green manufacturing facility and follow sustainable production practices.
Great value, good construction, lightweight at 8 kilos (18 pounds) but carries up to 160 kilos (353 pounds), sturdy and stable—a really solid buy.
The ROC all-around paddle board can be regarded as the best in its class. It is very stable in flat water and small waves. It can handle moderately choppy waves but not rougher waters. It is designed to suit a variety of skill levels.
The 3-meter (10 feet) roc inflatable is one of the shortest and lightest boards available. It’s not the fastest model, but this will suit the beginner perfectly. The advanced paddler will find this great for surfing and for more adventurous maneuvers.
Are Zray Paddle Boards Any Good?
Zray paddle boards are basically for beginners and casual paddlers. The board is easy to use and is responsive to steering. However, it is nothing special and does not claim to be. It is average at best but good enough for a leisurely day out on the water.
Long-term stability can be an issue, but it is a solid unspectacular board. The board is lightweight, easy to set up, good for all-around paddling, and comes with nice accessories.
So if you’re in the market for some seasonal paddling, this is not a bad choice. Just don’t expect too much from it.
Are Bluefin Paddle Boards Any Good?
Bluefin paddle boards are among the stiffest inflatable paddle boards on the market. As such, it is respected among the paddle boarding community. Their industry-best 5-year warranty doesn’t hurt either. In addition, they keep their prices affordable by selling directly to their clients.
Performance-wise, Bluefin paddle boards are great for all skill levels. They have a wide selection, including all-arounds, touring, yoga, and the Mammoth SUP, which can carry up to 10 people. Fins, leash, pump, paddle, and waterproof cell phone case are standard accessories with each board.
Are Decathlon Paddle Boards Any Good?
The Decathlon boards are not bad but are still a work in progress. Accessories that are standard for other brands are not included with their paddle boards. In addition, their construction technology is a step or two behind the latest know-how.
Finally, you might be attracted to the price you pay for the Decathlon board alone, but you are better off buying a complete package. With better quality for almost the same price, you would pay to complete your set piece by piece.
Be that as it may, Decathlon boards have some redeeming qualities. Stability for little money, suitable for calm and slightly choppy water, and a lightweight board. Accessories like a paddle, pump D-rings, kick pads, or coiled leash must be purchased separately from the board. The carrying capacity of their board seems to be overestimated.
Are Jobe Paddle Boards Any Good?
The Jobe Yarra 10.6 paddle board is an all-around getting some good reviews. Beginners and more experienced SUP paddlers have found it satisfies their demands for a SUP. Also, their new construction methods have given their inflatables improved performance and durability. The Yarra is a good example of these new techniques.
The other paddle boards of the Jobe line also have positive reviews. Their touring boards are appreciated for their performance. Their kids’ boards are super lightweight at 6 kilos (13 pounds). The other all-around board can comfortably carry up to 120 kilos (265 pounds).
Are Bote Paddle Boards Worth It?
How do you assess if anything of value is worth it? The Bote paddle board may be worth something to you but may be overpriced or underpriced for somebody else. It’s a matter of personal taste and preference. Reviews of the Bote paddle board and its after-sales service range from the dissatisfied as the minority to the totally satisfied as the majority.
Those who were happy with their Bote boards liked their good-quality construction and great designs. The boards were stable and effortless to paddle. They were also delighted with the quality of the accessories.
Negative comments were for some minor issues like an ankle leash was not included. Some issues with the pressure gauge on the pump, or the board received by the customer had the wrong pattern. But, overall, the positives outweighed the negative comments.
Does Costco Have Paddle Boards?
Yes, Costco has paddle boards. However, most of their paddle boards are in the beginner to the medium-range boards. Keeping in mind that this is a general merchandise shop and not a sports specialty one, the selection is limited and leans towards the middle-of-the-pack variety.
They also have various accessories to go with the boards they sell, as well as some nonstandard items. For example, you can find in Costco items like personal flotation devices (PFD), which are not a standard accessory with the board.
Are Costco Paddle Boards Any Good?
Costco has some boards from name manufacturers as well as some from not-so-well-known brands. They have some excellent models, but they have a narrow range to choose from. So it’s still best to go with the recognizable brands rather than taking a chance on the cheaper but dubious brands.
Do your research about the brands Costco is offering. Being a chain retailer, they can sell a lot of items cheaper than a specialty shop, so you may be able to find a good deal here on your paddle board.
How Much Are Paddle Boards at Costco?
Paddle boards at Costco may sell anywhere from $400 to $2,000, depending on the type and model. Normally, you can purchase a paddle board at a lower price in Costco than in some shops. However, due to their clout as a huge retail chain, they get major discounts from suppliers and can pass this on to their customers.
It is worth checking out Costco’s prices when making a purchase. Additionally, you may find that paddle board you have set your heart on available at a store near you.
Do Costco Paddle Boards Go on Sale?
Yes, paddle boards in Costco go on sale. The time to shop for on-sale paddle boards in Costco is during the off-season. When new models are coming to replace the old stock and during the end-of-season sale. Freebies and extras may or may not be offered when paddle boards go on sale.
The thing is, you may not know when a sale is coming unless you’re a member of Costco. Their members get informed of upcoming sales, while others will only find out on the day the items go on sale. They will announce it on their website, but then again, all items on sale may not be listed there, so you have to check in-store if paddle boards are on sale.
Does Walmart Sell Paddle Boards?
Yes, Walmart sells paddle boards. In fact, they have a vast collection from various manufacturers. Walmart’s selection includes iSUPs, fiberglass, epoxy, foam, etc. They also sell accessories and replacement parts to go with the paddle board of your choice, leashes, fins, paddles, straps, etc.
As with Costco, Walmart can sell at prices below the standard price level, being another chain retailer. On sale, paddle boards can go for as low as $200. Quality ranges from so-so to high, depending on your taste and budget.
Does Target Sell Paddle Boards?
Yes, Target also sells paddle boards. Their selection is predominantly inflatables with EPS-core boards thrown in. Note that you may not find their paddle board collection displayed in their stores. However, they are a third-party seller so check out their website to see what is available.
Their prices are very competitive. Much like Walmart and Costco, they have the advantage of being a chain retailer that can buy and sell at huge discounts. It’s worth checking their website if you’re in the market for a new board.
How Do I Choose My First Paddle Board?
That is a question all aspiring paddle boarders ask for which there is no one correct answer. Your first consideration should be your expectations and the activities you intend to pursue. Your skill level is also a factor when choosing your first paddle board.
If you intend to do some yoga and leisurely paddling, then an all-around would be best for you. However, if what you want to do eventually is some long-distance paddling, then a touring board might be better. So, it’s all a matter of finding the right fit for the style of paddling you prefer.
What Should I Look for in a Beginner Paddle Board?
A beginner paddle board should, first of all, be stable. It must be wide enough so you can easily find your footing and balance on it. An inflatable or a soft paddle board would also be best as you could fall off a few times, and its soft top would help cushion your fall if it happens.
It doesn’t have to be fast since you are just using it to learn the basics. But, it has to be reasonably maneuverable so you can learn how to turn and how to keep it on track. Then it has to be versatile enough so you can do a variety of activities with it so you can enjoy paddle boarding to the fullest.
What Is the Best Paddle Board for Beginners?
The best paddle board for beginners would be a good-quality all-around inflatable. It has stability, affordability, and is easy to transport, and doesn’t take too much space to store. Most inflatables are sold as a package complete with a paddle, leash, air pump, and personal flotation device.
If a child will be using it, a paddle board with a length of 2.5 to 3m (8 to 10 feet) would be ideal. For adults, a 3.2 to 3.6m (10 to 12 feet) board would be perfect, assuming the board can carry the rider’s weight comfortably.
Can I Use a Windsurf Board as a Paddle Board?
Before you can use your windsurfing board as a paddle board, there are a couple of things you need to confirm first. First, check if your windsurf board has enough volume to carry you because not all windsurf boards are suitable for paddle boarding. The volume is an indication of its buoyancy and its ability to carry you.
If it turns out okay, then you need to do a bit of tinkering to convert it to a SUP.
First, you need to remove the sail and the mast. Then you need to plug the hole where the mast goes through with some polyurethane foam. Next, measure the windsurf board’s surface area and cover it entirely with an EVA mat. Finally, adjust the rocker, and you’re all done converting your windsurfing board into a paddle board.
Can You Use a Wakeboard as a Paddle Board?
Wakeboarding and paddle boarding are two entirely different watersports, so you can’t use a wakeboard as a paddle board. A wakeboard has to be towed behind a boat while a paddle board is propelled by its rider.
The boards are very different and cannot be interchanged. You also need special footwear to wakeboard while you go barefoot when paddle boarding.
Aside from that, a wakeboard does not have the buoyancy to support the rider’s weight on the water. In addition, it is too small and too thin to float on its own with a rider on board. So, no, a wakeboard cannot double as a paddle board.
Where Are Paddle Boards Made?
Paddle boards are made all over the world. Major manufacturers are located in Florida and California, USA, aside from other states like Hawaii. BIC is based in Clichy, France. Canada also has some paddle board manufacturing facilities. Asia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan also have paddle board factories.
Factories in China manufacture for companies selling paddle boards all over the world. These companies slap on their brand on these Chinese-made boards and sell them under their own name. Transparency is an issue for some of these sellers. If in doubt, it’s better to go with name brands rather than risk your hard-earned money on some questionable brands.
Where Are Atoll Paddle Boards Made?
Atoll Board Co. prides itself on being an American company with manufacturing facilities in California. With headquarters in Huntington Beach, Atoll’s developers have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to make a great paddle board. As a result, their paddle boards are high-quality, have great performance, and are very durable.
Atoll has developed a very versatile inflatable paddle board that is as close as to a one-size-fits-all board. It’s dimensions of 3.35m x 810cm x 15cm (11′ x 32″ x 6″) makes this suitable for both children and adults. Being an all-around, this can be used in rivers, lakes, and oceans for yoga, fishing, and just general paddling.
Where Are Antidote Paddle Boards Made?
Antidote claims to manufacture some of their paddle boards in the US, although they did not specify where the factory is located. However, they were upfront in saying they have it manufactured in other countries aside from the US. One country they get it from is Egypt.
Another country where they have it manufactured is Indonesia. This makes sense as Indonesia has amazing beaches where paddle boards would be in high demand. It’s a safe assumption that most of their paddle boards are made in Indonesia and Egypt.
Where Are Red Paddle Boards Made?
Red Paddle Co. has its design and head office in South Devon, UK. However, actual manufacturing was first done in South Korea. The factory was eventually moved to China, close to Hong Kong.
Red Paddle Co. makes outstanding inflatables. You can hardly find a negative review about their boards. This is evidence of rigorous quality control systems in place. In North America, they have dealers in the US and Canada. In Europe, they can be found in Spain, France, Germany and of course in the UK. In addition, they have an Australian distributor in Chile, South America.
Where Are Bic Paddle Boards Made?
BIC Sport has recently merged with TAHE Outdoors to form a company simply called TAHE. Their manufacturing facility in Vannes (Brittany), France, continues to produce the paddle boards. They pride themselves on using locally sourced materials to produce the paddle boards.
The polystyrene blanks and polymer slabs are all produced in-house. Other accessories like fins are supplied by French companies. Plastics and EVA foam pads are supplied by other partners from Eastern Europe.
Are Kahuna Paddle Boards Made?
Kahuna Paddle boards Inc. is a Canadian company based in Whistler, British Columbia. It is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, paddle board manufacturers in Canada. However, at present, Kahuna delivers only within the Canadian territory.
Their product line of around 50 different boards uses natural materials like bamboo, koa wood, and silk. In addition, modern materials like Kevlar, carbon, and fiberglass cloth are incorporated for superior strength and performance. All Kahuna paddle boards are backed with a one-year warranty against factory defects.
Where Are Isle Paddle Boards Manufactured?
ISLE paddle boards were first manufactured in San Diego, California, in 2004. It started as a two-person operation that has now grown into one of the biggest paddle manufacturers.
They ship throughout the US mainland and islands. International customers can get them through authorized international distributors.
Where Are Bote Paddle Boards Manufactured?
Bote was founded by a husband-and-wife team who are so much into watersports. They started a company when they were dissatisfied with the paddle boards they were getting. So, they started to design their own boards in Florida.
Bote is silent about where the actual manufacturing is taking place nowadays. Suffice it to say that Bote maintains a quality control system to monitor its product.
How Are Paddle Boards Made?
Paddle boards fall into four broad categories, each with its distinctive construction method and materials.
For example, the epoxy fiberglass paddle boards have a core of EPS foam that is usually strengthened by a wooden spine and then encased in epoxy and fiberglass.
Another type of rigid paddle board is the soft top. As its name implies, it has a soft top covering the foam core. This type is popular, especially among beginners, since its softness makes falling on the board not hurt so much.
The third type is the plastic-based board that is either made from a solid plastic or hollow foam core with a plastic layer on top.
The fourth type is the inflatable paddle board which is made from military-grade PVC. Using a drop-stitch technology to form the board, all it takes is the air to inflate it, and it is ready to go.
Of course, it is not really that simple, but those are the basic processes of producing the different types of paddle boards.
Can I Make My Own Paddle Board?
A lot of paddle boarders have built their own paddle boards from scratch, and so can you. All it takes is time, the right tools and materials, and the determination to see it through. Obviously, you can build only a wood-based paddle board as you won’t have the equipment to build the other types. Unless you’re filthy rich, that is.
Nowadays, it’s easy to build your own paddle board. You can order kits, instructions, plans, and materials to build your dream paddle board. There are all kinds of options depending on your budget. Furthermore, you can customize the design and aesthetics of the board. Lastly, you have the satisfaction of using the coolest board ever!
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Paddle Board?
The most budget-friendly DIY paddle board will cost you around $600. This is basically a bare-bones paddle board. Typically, a nicely built one with bells and whistles will cost as much as $1,200.
Standard accessories like a paddle, air pump, personal flotation device, leash, and day bag could cost you as much as $400 to $500, depending on the quality.
Other nice-to-have accessories are a kayak conversion kit, anchor, camera with camera holder, cooler, fishing rod holder, spare fins, and waterproof cellphone case. Be prepared to spend a couple of hundred dollars on these.
What Else Should I Know About Paddle Boards?
Nothing much to discuss now. Just a recap of all the things discussed here regarding paddle boards seems to be in order.
- You choose your paddle board on the type of activity you will perform.
- A longer and narrower board will be faster than a shorter and wider one.
- A wider board is more stable than a narrow board.
- You will need a bigger car and more storage space if you go with a rigid board.
- An inflatable will be easier to transport and store.
What Is the Best Paddle Board to Buy?
A medium all-around inflatable paddle board would typically be the best buy. You can perform varied activities on an all-around. An inflatable will suit all skill levels as well. It is stable enough for beginners and has the performance desired by the more adventurous paddlers.
An inflatable is easy to transport since it will fit into a backpack when deflated. Storage space is not an issue for the same reason. A good quality inflatable is tough and durable. Bumps and scrapes are not a concern with an inflatable paddle board.