One option outfitters hear often: “’I live in a loft in New York City or a studio apartment and I don’t have space to store a paddleboard,’” said Jason Smith of ADK Lake and Trails, a paddling outfitter.
If space is high on your priority on your list when picking out a board, an inflatable paddleboard might be for you. They pack into a small backpack and can be stored in the corner. Inflatable paddle boards come with a pump, storage container and sometimes a foldable paddle.
Smith suggests investing when getting an inflatable paddleboard. The main difference between a $500 paddleboard vs. a $1,000 one is the materials and construction of the board. A $500 board most likely has a lesser material making it less durable and ridged. While a more expensive board with better inflatable material will be rigid and durable; Meaning it will last longer and take more wear and tear.
“I’m like 200 pounds. If I got on a $500 paddleboard it would bend, I would flex it a lot. If I got on a $1,200 paddleboard and stood on it, it would be rigid and feel pretty great,” said Smith.
— Sierra McGivney
Alex Smith says
I would agree you generally get what you pay for. However, if you’re just looking for a recreational paddle board and have a tight budget, there are some good ones in the sub $500 range. There are plenty that will hold 200+ pounds, you just need to make sure they are rated for that. You’ll give up a few things for that price point, but I’d rather see someone getting into the sport and enjoying it than wishing they could afford a more expensive board.
If you are going to be using your SUP a lot, I would recommend going with a better brand that will usually run you in the $500-1000 range. These will last longer, and will be built better. You can check out my comparison chart at https://paddlelove.com/chart/
Don’t forget the paddle. Many boards will come with a package, but some don’t. So don’t forget to include the price of a paddle (and a PDF of course) in your budget when shopping.