Some people look at boating from an outsider’s perspective and immediately write it off as a hobby for only the well-heeled among us. Of course, boating has become more affordable than ever, but if we’re being honest, it is still out of reach for some. It’s not just the expensive of buying and operating a boat, it’s also the added costs of storage and owning a vehicle stout enough to tow one. Those factors can increase the price beyond the reach of some families. However, there is another great way for people to get out and enjoy the water, and it’s probably one of the most affordable ways to do so—and likely the most peaceful. We’re talking about stand up paddle boards (SUP), and for good reason.
With an average price of around $1,100, paddle boards are a cost-effective way for people to get out and enjoy being “on the water.” For the record, a man named Rick Thomas is credited with bring stand up paddleboarding from Hawaii to California in 2004. Since that time, more than three million people have tried stand up paddleboarding, according to Business Wire, a Web-based marketing information company. ChannelSignal.com says some 43 percent of those participants were women. Paddle boards are for everyone.
Their appeal is understandable. They’re effortless to own and you can carry them with any kind of car or SUV. The learning curve is short. They’re fun to ride and offer low-impact core exercise. Just strap them to the roof and go. You can’t do that with a boat.
In a little more than a decade, the paddle board market has evolved. It offers stand up paddle boards for surfing and cruising to fishing and adventure seeking. You can literally shop for a board based on what you like to do. Here at boats.com, we’ve looked around and found our favorite paddle boards. Have a look—one of them might be right for you.
It’s hard to pick a favorite from BOTE’s model line because it’s so extensive, but for those looking to get into a good “all around” board, then the Flood model is a great place to start. Available in 12-foot or 10-foot, 6-inch lengths, the Flood board is good for open water or riding waves at the beach. It has bungees at the front and the rear—or is that bow and stern—to hold down all your gear.
BOTE also remedied paddle storage issue with an integrated paddle strap on the side of the board. With a full-length deck pad, the Flood also comes in four different graphics packages and is fitted with what BOTE calls Rac Receivers to add accessories and specialized carrying capacity.
BOTE’s product line is so diverse, we had to go in for another model: the HD, which also comes in 12-foot and 10-foot, 6-inch lengths. The HD model also is available with BOTE’s new “Gatorshell” technology, a seamless outer shell that resists dings even better than epoxy. What’s more, the design features a sharp bow entry for cutting through chop and offering the ability to silently stalk fish in that far-away spot. The HD also comes with Rac Receivers for mounting accessories, bungee straps fore and aft, and BOTE’s unique Travelink system, which allows users to connect a should strap to make carrying the board much easier.
Price: $1,449 to $1,749
For more information on both these paddle boards, visit BOTE Board.
SUP Sports WD Series
Those who are interested in a stand up paddle board for riding waves should look into the WD series from SUP Sports. Available in five factory lengths, from 7-feet, 11-inches to 9-feet, 2-inches, and with custom options available, the WD series is designed with fast rocker lines to allow users to generate more speed on the wave face. They’re wide for their length, which creates more stability and maneuverability.
Price: $1,300 to $1,800
For more information, visit SUP Sports.
Megalodon sounds like the conceptual name for a bad, dinosaur-based sci-fi movie, but in reality it’s the name of an inflatable SUP from ISLE. What sets the Megalodon apart from other SUPs is not that it’s inflatable, but that it’s made to carry more than one person, or several people. Available in 12- and 15-foot lengths, Megalodon holds up to 450 and 1,050 lbs. respectively. The 12-footer weighs 34 lbs. and the 15-foot model weighs just 50 lbs. Appropriately spaced neoprene grab handles make easier to carry than you might think and the military-grade outer skin resists scuffs, scrapes and dings.
For more information, visit ISLE Surf and SUP.
Body Glove Angler ISUP
This new board from Body Glove is so new it’s not even out yet and we didn’t find a price on it, but it’s worth looking at for those who want an inflatable SUP geared toward fishing. The Angler ISUP comes with a backpack and a hand pump with a pressure gauge mounted gauge in the handle. You also get an adjustable floating paddle an ankle leash and a dry bag for your cell phone. There are multiple attachment points on top for rod holders and a tie-down system for a cooler up to 12 gallons. Permanently attached fins are unbreakable, so you won’t have to worry about misplacing or replacing them.
Price: In terms of price, we don’t want to speculate, but Body Glove’s most expensive comparable inflatable SUP runs right around $1,200.
For more information, visit Body Glove.
Read more on stand up paddle boards:
- How to Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)
- How to Choose the Right Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)
- How to Transport Paddle Boards (SUPs)