As you look into buying a new stand up paddle board you may find yourself asking, “how much ‘should’ I spend to get a good board?” The reality is there are three main price categories and all of which fit one user or another. You’ll find it depends on how much you want to spend and how you’ll use the board.
We’ve found that most users we’ve interacted with have been happier with the mid-range boards. They offer excellent craftsmanship, are made with premium military-grade materials, and include quality accessories.
The other tiers listed below all have their place and use. It all depends on what fits you best.
Cheap SUPs fall within the $300 – $600 USD range. There are many out there that will perform well. While the actual boards are generally very good, you will notice a decrease in accessory quality.
Generally, these are good quality boards with dual-layer PVC construction and some sort of mechanically fused seams. They also come with a decent fiberglass paddle and a no-bells-and-whistles bag.
For some great options, check out our best cheap board guide.
Sub $300 boards
We have used and reviewed a lot of SUP boards. With all that experience, we’ve found that there’s one type of stand up paddle board to avoid. The ones we tend to avoid are those sub $300 boards that are commonly found on Amazon or even at Costco. Not only do these boards have consistent struggles with quality, but they also lack customer support. After the initial warranty ends, you’re on your own.
Having tested many of these boards, we can tell you from personal experience that you would be much happier, safer, and better off on a mid-range board than you would on a cheap or sub-par board.
Mid-range SUP Boards
Mid-range boards fall between $600 and $900 USD. You’ll find a lot of these boards will have the same or similar features to the high-end boards like: tri/quad-layer PVC, carbon fiber rails, and carbon fiber paddles. You’ll also see a significant jump in regards to stability and overall performance. In our opinion, this is the sweet spot in terms of SUP board purchase because you can get an excellent board for an excellent price.
You’ll also find great customer support from all the major brands of this price range. We’ve been in contact with many of them and have seen how they put their customers first. Most of the changes made to their boards every year come from suggestions given by the thousands of users who communicate with the company. So just know you’ll be in good hands.
I’ve been happy with the majority of boards found within this category. You may not find the newest tech, but you will be satisfied with its performance and comfort. Check out our best inflatable SUP guide!
High-end SUP Boards
At the top are the high-end boards. One thing that you’ll always find with this price range is that the boards are built using the newest technologies and often geared for more experienced riders. This is especially true in the surfing and touring subcategories of SUPing. These boards can cost anywhere from $900 to $2000 USD.
With the board, you’re getting top-notch customer service with longer-than-usual warranties. Some even go as high as 5 years. You’ll also find that the accessories are excellent and are made from some of the most advanced materials in SUP boarding. They’re great boards, but you do pay for that level of quality.
The cheap, mid-range, and high-end boards all offer different tiers of quality and usage. You have the high-end racing boards which are expensive and won’t be the best fit for most people. You also find the mid-range all-around boards which we’ve seen most people happy with. Then there are the cheap boards, which have their place but may not be the best option since its a small price jump to mid-range quality.
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