How much should I spend on a SUP?

ok I am getting a lot of questions about inflatable SUP’s as prices now vary from £150 to £1000, and in a picture on the net they all look the same. Ok firstly yes the designs are very similar, but the manufacturers do make claims about the weight of paddler that worry me, they tend to use a surf figure , not flat water and there is a difference. The big thing to look for is how thick the SUP is, a 6 inch thick board will generally be a lot stiffer than a 4 inch and have 50% more buoyancy. Most of the cheaper boards are 4 inch as reduces amount of material required. Now the materials, the way it was explained to me was assuming you used the same high pressure valve system and similar quality of non slip deck , the biggest saving was in the fabric. The thickness and durability of the fabric will go up as you pay more. Also the cheapest materials are not as air tight and prone to cracking quicker. What this means is that if you inflate a £200 board ,a £400 board and a £700 board and leave up for a few days, expect the expensive board to still be at same pressure.  The better the materials the higher the pressure you can pump to and this reflects again in stiffness. The stiffer a board the less effort required to paddle , design does come into the equation as well now as there are more specific touring models available. Generally these are obvious from their pointy designs. So we have decided we don’t want to get involved with the really cheap boards as from experience with inflatable kayaks people expect too much from them and it is a false economy. Also there is not enough profit in them to cover returns, warranty etc.  At the £400 level we are more confident in the product, can send out without worrying about coming straight back, expect the manufacturer to stand behind the warranty and we know the product works. Also we can offer 6 inch products that most of our male customers need to carry their weight. Even parent and child. If you want more specialist designs, then you will be looking towards the £700 level, as it is expensive to offer choice and as these variations are for more experienced paddlers who will use the product harder and expect more in performance there is no point cutting corners with the materials.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *