Why Are Paddle Boards So Expensive?

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Paddleboarding can be an incredibly rewarding hobby and one that you can start at any time. The only issue you might encounter during your paddleboard adventure is the price! The board, the gear, and everything in between can really add up over time so it is important to note the price before you start.

You don’t necessarily have to have a pricey board to enjoy paddleboarding as a hobby, but the hobby itself can be a bit expensive regardless. Especially if you’re starting young, there are plenty of things you’ll have to purchase before you get out on the water. So why are paddle boards so expensive in the first place?

How Expensive Can It Be?

Depending on your needs, your paddleboard and the gear might vary in price. This depends largely on your skill level, weight and height, size of the board, durability level, materials, and what accessories you want. Paddleboards like any sporting equipment are made to suit multiple body types, skills, and of course needs.

Bluefin Cruise Carbon SUP PackageIf you’re someone who needs a high-impact board, that might hike the price a little. While in comparison a touring board might be a bit cheaper. High-impact boards will be made of tougher material so they can be sturdy and durable so they can withstand whatever you may be using them for.

Buying a board brand new also means you might be subject to a higher price. If your board is state of the art and just came out you’ll likely get a bigger bill than you would with a board that’s been on the market for a little while. New boards can cost anywhere from under $200 to above $3200, so you need to be sure of a few things before you go ahead and spend.

  • Size: If you’re looking for a youth board you’ll be able to get away with getting something cheaper. Youth boards will be suitable for kids, teens, and may also suit you if you fall within the weight requirements. If you’re a bigger person or you’re looking for a board that will hold multiple people, the price will go up the larger the board gets. These larger boards are built larger and longer so the price for materials will grow as well.
  • Needs: A board you’re using for casual paddling, touring, yoga, or simple activities will typically be cheaper as you won’t need something too heavy-duty. If you’re planning on surfing or engaging in heavy sport with the board you’ll need something more durable to keep up with your needs. These high-impact boards are typically made of sturdier material which can get pricey.
  • Accessories: Some paddleboarders need bigger packs of accessories than others depending on what they’re using their boards for. This doesn’t necessarily mean more accessories, but the quality of the accessories as well. High-impact boards will have sturdier and more durable accessories included with them because of the needs of the boarders. It also depends on the brand you’re buying from as well. Click here to check out our recommended accessories.

Size and Materials

Inflatable paddleboards all have very similar construction. They have multiple drop stitch layers so the board stays level even when the board is entirely inflated, as well as PVC lining so the board won’t deflate. You can get a cheap inflatable SUP but you won’t get the kind of quality you need from the material and it’ll be more prone to warping or breaking if left to the elements for too long.

The durability of inflatable paddle boards is what really sells them. They are typically backed up by their manufacturers if they do end up getting damaged so you get your money’s worth. High-quality inflatable SUPs can be a bit pricey but the rigid ones tend to be more expensive.

Rigid paddleboards also vary in cost based on the materials they are made out of. There are of course paddle boards with foam or even hollow cores that will cost less but have a greater chance of breaking or collapsing over time. More durable boards are made up of carbon, fiberglass, and even wood, but the materials and the craftsmanship can be costly.

Size can also factor in as prices go up the more materials are used to construct the board.

Needs and Accessories

More skilled paddleboarders may be inclined to splash out on pricier boards and equipment depending on what they’re using them for. Casual boarders may actually spend less on boards and equipment as they won’t spend as much time on the water or need high-impact guarantees from their boards. Don’t let yourself be drawn in by random additions either, once you buy your initial board and equipment don’t upgrade unless you absolutely need to.

Your needs might change over time as well, so don’t buy everything expensive upfront. While you shouldn’t buy the cheapest board possible, you don’t need to lay out so much money initially if you’re not prepared for it. Do your research and assess your needs and you’ll be able to make a decision that’s more informed about your board and accessories.

If you’re still a novice or only an occasional paddleboarder you can also look into older models or even secondhand if you’re wanting to learn and grow into the hobby.


While paddle boarding can be expensive, it really comes down to what your needs and your desires are. If you’re looking to become a more accomplished paddleboarder or surfer, you can always buy accessories or upgrade your board as you improve. Just assess your needs and what you think you might need in the future before you make any purchases.

The most important thing to remember when you’re preparing to take up paddle boarding as a hobby is to budget. Don’t go overboard with things you don’t need until you’re sure you need them. Buy your equipment from reputable shops or retailers as well so you know you’re paying for quality.

Keeping within the confines of a hobby budget keeps you responsible and ensures you’re not duped into buying anything you don’t need.

Why Are Paddle Boards So Expensive?


Paddleboarding has been one of the few activities that's allowed me to take a mental break from life and just be in the moment. Whether you're looking for an outlet, a method for physical fitness, or even just a way to meet new people, paddle boarding can put you on a path to achieving all these goals. Every article I post on this site is made with the intention to spread sup love and get more people to stand up and paddle!

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