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5 Things to Look Out For with Cheap Paddle Boards

Like any consumer product, there are a variety of price points that paddle boards are offered at. There are paddle boards that will cost upwards of $3,000 and cheap boards that you can get for as low as $200. From high end customized hard boards to cheap inflatable boards drop shipped from China, the quality spectrum is huge. And therefore, so is the pricing. As we have been in the paddle board business for 10+ years now, we have seen every level of quality from our competitors. Because of this, we have completely outlined a paddle board price guideline for you to understand exactly what the prices in the industry are. In general, we recommend potential SUP buyers to steer away from the uber cheap paddle boards. Basically anything under $400 will be of very low quality. Because paddle boards are relatively expensive if you are getting a quality board, it is important to do the research before you make your decision. You don’t want to spend a few hundred dollars on a board that will last you a few months to a year. It makes much more sense to spend a little more on a SUP board that will last you for years and one that you can get friendly customer service for if you need a replacement part or repair. That is exactly what we offer at Tower, a high quality iSUP at an affordable price with incredible customer service.

Additionally, we have a SUP buying guide that will help you pick out exactly what type of stand up paddle board is right for you. There are a variety of paddle boards on the market that curtail to specific uses for the board. For example, a surfing paddle board is going to be very different from a fishing paddle board. With each different type of paddle board there are different prices. A high performance racing paddle board is going to be much more expensive than a kids paddle board.

5 Things to Look Out For

Reputable Paddle Board Company

1. Reputable Brand

Buying from a reputable brand is a great way to ensure that you are getting a high quality board. When buying from a respectable and established brand you know what you are going to get. You can see the customer reviews and you can even call and talk to one of their customer service representatives that will help you understand which board will be best for you. This is the value in buying from an established brand. If you ever have a problem with your board or a question about anything paddle boarding, you can simply call and ask. Brands such as Isle, Bote, iRocker, and of course Tower, are all reputable brands that you can trust you will get a quality board for a good price. Tower was featured on Shark Tank in 2012 and received an investment from billionaire Mark Cuban. We are now Mark Cuban's best Shark Tank investment.

Chinese Paddle Boards

2. Cheap Knock-offs

With the explosion of the paddle board market in the last 10 years there have been a plethora of cheap knock offs that try to imitate high quality brands’ boards. Don’t fall for them! This originates mainly from Chinese factories that set up an account on amazon to dropship you inflatable paddle boards for insanely low prices. These boards are very low quality and will not last you long at all. We highly recommend staying away from these types of paddle boards. If you can only find the company on Amazon and they have no direct site then it is simply a Chinese factory drop shipping boards to you. 

3. Customer Reviews

Another great way to cut through the nonsense is to look at customer reviews on the company's actual website. While you can see reviews on Amazon, companies have figured out how to hack fake reviews to generate interest in their products. Always be sure to check their own website to see what the genuine reviews are from their customers. For example, below we have a few customer reviews from our top selling inflatable paddle board, the Adventure II.

4. Hardboard vs iSUP Pricing

Hardboards are naturally more expensive than inflatable paddle boards due to the materials needed to produce them. The foam, fiberglass, wood, and resin are all far more expensive than the PVC used to make iSUPs. Additionally, the cost to ship is far higher because of the massive size of the boxes. However, you can still get a hardboard at a reasonable price. While you can find customized hardboards for upwards of $3000, you can get a quality hardboard for under $1500 as well. For example, our 9’10 wood paddle board is made with quality material and is beautiful looking. 

5. Direct to Consumer vs. Retail Pricing

At Tower, we are a direct to consumer brand at our core. This means that we do not sell our boards to retailers that will then mark the price up so they can also make a profit, ultimately resulting in the consumer getting the board at a much higher price. We only sell directly from our website to the consumer. We even started a separate company, at, to aggregate a directory of all direct to consumer brands so consumers can find DTC brands from any space. The value in being a DTC brand is that we pass the savings right to the customer. Therefore, you can get a quality iSUP for a fraction of the price that you would at a retail location. Below you can see a graphic that portrays a traditional retail markup. At Tower, we ship directly from us to you without any markup.