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Many people are surprised when hearing how much a paddleboard costs.

When shopping for a board in a local paddleboarding store, you’ll have to expect prices of about £700 to £1,000 for a basic entry-level board that will get you paddleboarding.

Ready to use complete sets of equipment normally sell online for around £500.

At these prices, you would expect the quality to be great. But what are the reasons for this high price tag?

This article will briefly introduce some of the key factors that contribute to a paddleboard being more expensive compared to other water sports equipment.

If you are looking for a decent model without spending too much money, check out our article about the best affordable paddleboards on the market.

#1 Manufacturing and Shipping Costs

Some people compare inflatable paddleboards with a swimming pool mattress.

On first sight, this comparison is might make sense. However, the manufacturing process for a good paddleboard is much more complex.

Swimming pool mattresses are very light, can be packed in small packages and are very inexpensive to produce.

Decent inflatable paddleboards can carry weights of up to 150 kilograms and weigh 7 to 20 kilograms. There is a lot of material needed to produce a paddleboard.

Due to the sheer size of a paddleboarding, producing one is often more expensive than to produce a kayak.

Nowadays, more paddleboards are double-layer PVC boards, where two layers of PVC are used to form one paddleboard. Stitched or fused double-layer boards are more robust, stiff and durable than single-layer models.

Also, shipping inflatable paddleboards is way more expense than most people assume. Most inflatable boards need a backpack, measuring 33.5 inches x 14 inches x 14 inches (85 cm x 35 cm x 35 cm).

Shipping such a large object with a weight of up to 20 kilograms (including gear) twice, first, from China (where almost all paddle boars are manufactured) to a logistics hub and then, out to individual costumers is very expensive.

We are no fans of the traditional four-step distribution system, as it leads to high prices and doesn’t benefit the individual paddlers.

But let’s take a step back.

In the past, there used to be four parties involved in selling a paddleboard:

  1. The manufacturer (an Asian company producing the paddleboards)
  2. The brand (coming up with the board design, branding and do marketing for the products)
  3. The distributor (who buys boards in bulk from the brand and imports them into the country)
  4. The individual shop or online store (purchasing a few or a few dozens of boards from the distributor)

With this system and every party participating in the purchase of a paddleboard, and adding 20 to 40% of whatever the previous link in the chain charged, prices are getting jacked up.

However, there is a new model.

We prefer the so-called direct-to-consumer (D2C) approach, where there just are the manufacturer and the brand left. All paddleboards and gear can be purchased online (and, often, nowhere else).

Paddleboards, which would have cost £800 and more with the traditional model, now, are available at £500.

Brands like Bluefin and Decathlon use this D2C approach and sell really affordable boards compared to what you would get with more traditional paddleboard brands.

#3 Paddleboards Are Larger Than Surfboards

Paddleboards are much larger than surfboards. With a length of 5 to 9 feet, surfboards are much shorter, also slimmer and built more narrow.

This means that much more labor and material is needed to manufacture a paddleboard, making the production process time-consuming and expensive, too.

#4 Paddleboards Come With Lots of Gear

This is the another important reason why paddle boards are more expensive than other sports equipment.

Many people underestimate how much gear you need to get started with stand up paddling.

Besides the actual board, you have to buy a leash for your ankle, a decent paddle (which easily costs you £50 or more when buying it alone), a backpack, an air pump and additional equipment like a dry bag, a waterproof phone case or a kayak seat.

Many beginner paddleboards come with lots of accessory products, while more professional boards are sold with very little.

How to Save Money on Purchasing a Paddleboard?

There are a few tricks to save some money, when buying a paddleboard:

  1. Use deals and gift codes: Check out our page with the best current paddleboard deals to find some gift codes for boards and accessory products.
  2. Wait for discounts: Especially, on Black Friday, eastern, Xmas and on Amazon Prime Day many brands offer discounts.
  3. End-of-season sales: Purchasing a board, when the demand is low, is another smart tactic. Some brands run end-of-season discounts to boost their sales before year-end.

Final Verdict

A decent paddleboard will cost you some money. There are good reasons why paddleboards are somewhat expensive.

However, considering that it’s an important sports equipment, it’s worth spending money on. Especially considering that you won’t have to buy a new one every year.

As you hopefully now know why paddleboards are expensive, the next step is to find out which are worth their price tag or not.

We recommend checking out this article of us showing you the very best affordable paddleboards to buy.

Hi, my name is Max. In 2016, on my first SUP trip, I was still a bit shaky on the SUP board. But quickly the ambition grabbed me and my passion for SUP was ignited. That’s why I founded stand-up-paddling.org the same year. Our mission is to help beginners discover this sport and bring more transparency into the market with our in-depth product reviews.

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