Stand-up paddleboarding is a fun water activity. If you’ve been spending more time on the beach because of this, then it makes a lot of sense to have your own paddleboard. After all, you don’t want to keep renting a paddleboard every weekend. Eventually, it’s going to be costly.
If you’re thinking of buying your own inflatable paddleboard, you’re in the right place. Know all about the costs of buying your own inflatable paddleboard.
How Much Does an Inflatable Paddle Board Cost?
Inflatable paddleboards cost around $180 to 1,300. What, $1,300? You’ve read that right. Some inflatable paddleboards, the high-end ones, can cost over a thousand dollars. There are many reasons for this, one being the materials used.
To give you an idea, inflatable paddleboards use PVC as their outer material. The inner material is just air, so you shouldn’t be paying for any of that except if you’re going to invest in an air pump to inflate your paddleboard. Anyway, inflatable paddleboards use PVC which is the common material found on inflatables.
In general, PVCs aren’t expensive, but what makes some paddleboards more expensive is the design, brand, and durability that comes with it. There’s a high chance that more affordable paddleboards have lower quality, but this isn’t a guarantee.
A lower-end inflatable paddleboard will cost around $180-400. Again, not all of them are bad. If you’re a beginner, you might want to try this option especially when you’re not sure if you’ll be committed to SUP for long.
The mid-range inflatable paddleboards range from $500-$900. Some go up to $1,000, but most people consider them as the high-end SUPs. For the high-end models, it can start from $1,000 up to 1,300. Sometimes, the high-end brands charge more than $1,300.
Are Inflatable Paddle Boards More Expensive than Hard Paddle Boards?
Most of the time, inflatable paddleboards are more affordable than hard paddleboards. For obvious reasons, the latter has more material than the former. Hard paddleboards use epoxy, fiberglass, and dense foam to form the whole board. On the other hand, inflatable paddleboards just use one material – PVC.
A hard paddleboard generally starts at $700 and can cost up to $2,000. For mid-range paddleboards, you want to buy something that is between $900-1,000. This way, there’s a slight guarantee that it isn’t made from cheap and low-quality materials.
Why Are Inflatable Paddle Boards So Expensive?
Now that you know how much inflatable paddleboards cost, you’re probably asking, “Why are paddleboards so expensive?” You’re not the only one who asked this. For a newbie, this cost is too high. In fact, it’s a huge investment considering that you’re only learning to do SUP.
Here are the reasons why an inflatable paddleboard costs so much.
For inflatable paddleboards, the design varies. Sure, the measurements and the appearance are standard but the stitching is what sets some paddleboards apart from their competitors.
The stitching, also known as drop stitching, is responsible for connecting the top and bottom parts of the inflatable paddleboard together. They’re the threads that make sure your paddleboard is intact. Moreover, the drop stitching makes sure that when you inflate the board, it won’t be shaped like a balloon and shouldn’t leak at all.
High-quality drop stitching can be expensive. This is because there are several layers of stitching that ensures that your board is durable. Good drop stitching also plays a huge part in the strength of your overall paddleboard.
There’s the manufacturing cost to think about, too. Creating a paddleboard is not easy in spite of having a standard shape. What makes the production costs high are the cost of labor, goods, and machinery. While there are companies that cut corners in their manufacturing cost, the result is almost always a low-quality paddleboard.
The distribution cost is another factor that affects the selling price of an inflatable paddleboard. Naturally, paddleboards that are imported to far countries will be more expensive. The additional costs are used to make up for the logistics and freight.
Do paddles come with the paddleboard? You’ll be surprised to know that it’s not always the case. Some brands have packages of both the board and the paddle. However, some just have the paddleboard.
When buying a paddleboard, be sure to ask if the package already includes the paddle. If it does, check the material of the paddle. Some paddles make up a big portion of the total price because they’re made of carbon fiber. For affordable alternatives, look for paddles made from fiberglass or aluminum.
Of course, the brand also affects the overall cost of a paddleboard. Whether it’s an inflatable or an epoxy paddleboard, the brand may increase or decrease its overall price.
For example, popular brands that are known for their quality and design may charge more. Add that to the branding that the company wants to show to people. If a brand is perceived to be high-end, the company might charge a premium for their products.
On the other hand, a company that has a branding of being affordable may just stick to lower pricing. Anything beyond $700 might be considered a premium to them.
Should You Buy an Inflatable Paddle Board?
So should you still buy an inflatable paddleboard or should you just stick to rentals? Here are some factors to consider.
The first is convenience. The biggest advantage of having your own paddleboard is the convenience. You can go paddleboarding wherever you like, whenever you want. If you have an inflatable paddleboard, then you can easily bring it everywhere since you can always deflate your board.
To add to that, it’s just a lot easier to not have to rent. When you rent, you have to look for a paddleboard that you’re comfortable with. However, sometimes you won’t get the chance to pick the board.
Speaking of picking paddleboards in a rental shop, you’ll realize that some rental shops will not have your preferred paddleboard. In fact, there will be times when the ideal board size for you is not available. This means that you will either go for the wrong size or not go paddleboarding at all.
You also have to take into account the places where you want to go paddleboarding. While there are lots of paddleboarding destinations in the country, the reality is that not all of them have SUP rentals. There’s a possibility that you won’t be able to paddle board when there isn’t a rental nearby.
Another factor to consider is your budget. Is buying a mid-range inflatable paddleboard within your budget? If not, then you might want to reconsider buying an inflatable paddleboard altogether.
Sure, you can always buy a low-end paddleboard but you are risking a lot of money if the SUP turns out to be of low-quality. If it breaks after 1-2 sessions, then it will be even more disappointing.
The best way to decide is to know if your budget allows for an investment in a paddleboard. If you have the financial resources, then it’s ideal to start with a mid-range model.
Commitment to SUP
Lastly, ask yourself, are you committed to SUP? This is a very important question, one that a lot of beginners forget to ask.
It’s important to know if you’ll consistently do SUP because buying an inflatable paddleboard is not a small investment. You don’t want to be wasting a few hundred dollars just so you can use it once. You might as well just rent a paddleboard if you’re unsure of liking SUP.
But if you’re that committed to SUP and you’ve been going for paddling sessions for the past weeks, then it makes sense for you to buy your own paddleboard. If you use your paddleboard enough, you’ll realize that you have saved in the long-term.
Is Buying an Inflatable Paddle Board Worth It?
Is having your own inflatable paddleboard a practical choice? Yes, if you are committed to SUP and you have the budget for it. Regardless of the sport, buying your own equipment is an investment. You don’t want to waste money on an activity that you might not like. It’s still wise to know if you really like paddleboarding before buying your own board.
On the other hand, it’s not worth buying one if you’re still testing out your love for SUP. It’s reasonable to stick to renting inflatable paddleboards for the next few weeks. If you find SUP fun and exciting, then that’s the time to buy your own inflatable paddleboard.
Inflatable paddleboards range from $180-1,300. It’s highly recommended that you buy at least a mid-range model to ensure good quality and durability for your paddleboard without putting a hole in your wallet. As a beginner, the price might seem to be too expensive, so be sure to read about the company you’re buying from. It’s always better to get a paddleboard that comes with a paddle if you don’t have your own.