Why Are Paddle Boards More Expensive Than Kayaks?

by Kyle
Why Are Paddle Boards More Expensive Than Kayaks?

If you put a standard kayak and the standard paddle board side by side and ask people which was more expensive, the vast majority would look at the kayak and assume it costs more. 

On the outside paddle boards don’t look like much, the fact that they’re a complex piece of equipment especially when you compare it to a kayak.

In reality, the inside of a Kayak and a Paddle board are very different. When you look at the materials used and how high-end paddle boards are manufactured you begin to see a very different picture.

The reason that paddle boards are more expensive than kayaks is simply that the materials used in paddle boards are more expensive.

A typical kayak is made almost entirely from plastic, compared to a paddle board which is made from expensive materials such as a foam core, epoxy resin, and fiberglass.

In this article we are going into some greater detail as to why paddle boards are more expensive than kayaks.

How Are Paddle Boards Priced?

Despite the fact that they are more expensive, Paddle boards are still available in a wide range of price points you can spend over $2,000 or as little as $200. Paddle board is priced very broadly, most based on category. 

When purchasing a paddle board you usually end up buying either an inflatable board or an epoxy board and there are clear pricing disparities between each. With the more expensive being Epoxy SUP(stand up paddle boards) which cost anything from $600 to $5,000. 

These tend to be more expensive because of the manufacturing process as well as the cost of shipping. However, when you’re looking at a premium level SUP you’re getting a better designed board, that’s more rigid and will perform in a variety of different water conditions.

If you purchase an inflatable SUP These, can cost you anything from $150 to $1,400 depending on the size and quantity of the board you purchase. 

Why Are Paddle Boards So Expensive?

As we mentioned previously if you’re in the market for a decent quality SUP expect to spend around $800. You can if you shop around and get a paddle board much cheaper than that, but as you spend less the quality and design will be inferior

Cost of Manufacturing And Design

Paddle boards are manufactured in two different ways; they’re either made by hand or are produced in a factory. Obviously handmade SUPs are going to be more expensive due to the effort involved in the manufacture. You need to pay for the time and effort that the artisan puts into assembling the board

When you’re purchasing a factory made sap most are manufactured using machines and computers. These both shape and cut the boards based on specific blueprints that are fed into a CNC (computer numerical controlled) machines. .

Depending on the brand board that you purchase many will work with specific molds. These initial moles cost manufacturers tens of thousands of dollars, which directly impacts the retail price of SUPs. 

Because of the costs associated with manufacturing stand-up paddle boards more and more of them are being manufactured in countries with low labor costs as businesses look to dramatically reduce the cost of manufacturing to increase their profits. However, despite the fact that these companies are benefiting from inexpensive labor, shipping costs are more expensive. 

Material Costs

The materials used in the manufacture of paddle boards vary greatly from model to model. Itchy recipe designed for beginners but most likely made from polystyrene. Why is this durable material not biodegradable. You can also get more high-end polystyrene boards made from expanded polystyrene or extruded polystyrene. 

These costs increase even further if the board infuses epoxy resin or is fiberglass. This when you should double the cost of any board that’s just finished the polyester resin. Finishing a board with epoxy residence expensive and exponentially increases the cost of your SUP. But if you’re looking for a high-quality board buying one with an epoxy resin and fiberglass finish is important. 

How Your Board Is Layered

Paddle boards are neither a unibody bill nor a one piece construction. They use multiple layers in the manufacturing process. Most high-quality boards will include a variety of different fiberglass layers that have been wrapped around the base are primary material. As you might guess, these materials are expensive and the more that are used in the manufacturer of your SUP, the more the price for your SUP will increase.

Your SUPs Finish

Many of the premium paddle boards on the market are priced at near $2,000 due to their finish. For example, if you want a high quality premium wood veneer they’re going to have to pay for it.

In the vast majority of cases this wood veneer is only made from bamboo or pine, especially if the paddle board is less than $1,000. So be careful until your research before you end up spending excessively for what on the surface appears like a high-end wood veneer finish but in reality isn’t

Paddle Board Type

The vast majority of paddle boards can be categorized by their usage type. Their size and shape will change dramatically depending on what they’re intended for.

Paddle boards could also be categorized based on their use types. The shapes and sizes change accordingly. For instance, the hull could be displacement or planing.

Paddle boards may also have water known as stringers this a thin strip of material could be made from PVC, carbon, balsa or Kevlar and are there to increase the structural integrity of the board

Supply And Demand For Paddle Boards

Another factor that impacts the price of paddle boards, is one that’s largely overlooked. When you’re in the market for a paddle board, the vast majority of people tend to buy new ones and keep them. Often they buy them in pairs as they don’t want to paddle on their own. Because these manufacturers have little competition and don’t need to drop their prices as people are happy to pay premium prices for these products. 

Paddle boarding has become increasingly popular, which isn’t helped by the fact people tend to keep their boards for longer. This makes the second hand market very limited, because of this sourcing a high quality second-hand SUPs is hard. This also drives up the prices and is when you’re trying to get into paddle boarding more often than not you’re forced to buy a new board.

How To Choose The Right Paddle Board

The first decision you need to make when deciding on the right SCP for you is whether or not you want to buy an epoxy or inflatable board. This decision was largely being based upon your preferences and budget.

Inflatable Board 

If you’re starting out or you’re looking to buy an SUP for your family an inflatable board will certainly have a lower price point. They’re much easier to stow and carry and can even be reduced to the size of a rucksack. Despite what you might think most of these inflatables are super durable. Inflatables on the higher end are nearly as durable as epoxy SUPs this is down to the use of multi-grade PVC layers. These boards are precision machined ensuring that the use of drop stitch technology and laminated bonding, protects the integrity and seams of your board.

Epoxy Paddle Boards

If you intend to become a more serious peddler, you may want to invest in an epoxy SUP especially if you’re considering long distance touring. A decent quality starter board will cost you around $800. 

You will be surprised by the quality and versatility of these mid-range SUPs. Most have excellent stability due to the addition of broad tech pads which make them very versatile and suitable for a wide range of different activities including SUP fishing and SUP surfing. 

As you move up the price range you’ll be looking at epoxy SUPs that are far more specialist boards that have been designed specifically for activities such as SUP surfing and SUP racing. These boards are designed for a purpose and that’s a consequence are priced this way too

Final thoughts

If you have an interest in paddle boarding best advice is to avoid the more expensive sups starting out start by looking at our list of the Best Paddle Boards Under $400. Quick search online will review many budget-friendly options.

But be aware once you get hooked on this sport these inexpensive boards will no longer be fit for purpose as they lack the design, stability, build and longevity you will need. This will suit you for the purpose of testing the waters, but I should become more skilled. You’ll want to invest in a higher quality board. We hope this article proves helpful in understanding Why are paddle boards more expensive than kayaks?. 

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