Should I Buy a Used SUP Board?

In Equipment, SUP Gear Recommendations by Daniel

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In case you haven't realized it by now - paddle boards tend to be a bit expensive.

Compared to more traditional sports, like baseball, football (US and European), basketball and even other board sports like skateboarding, SUP boards will cost you anywhere from $600 to over $1,000. And in most cases that's not even including a paddle!

Due to the high price of entry, beginners are faced with a tough choice - whether to save up for a brand-new board from a reputable company or purchase a used board from Craigslist or a SUP outfitter.

*We're not going to discuss the possibility of buying a board from Costco - our best advice - avoid these boards altogether. They're cheaply made and will cost you more money on either repairs or having to replace it altogether after a season or two!

Instead, this week, we're going to focus on the beginner's decision on whether to buy a new board or a used one...

With a list of pros and cons for each option.

Starting first with the...

Pros of a Used SUP Board

Quickly Get Into the Sport

The most obvious pro of purchasing a used SUP board is that they're going to be cheaper. And cheaper means you'll be able to purchase one sooner, get on the water faster, and start having fun.

Used boards tend to be heavily discounted and can provide a great board for the beginner to get started right away after a lesson or two or three.

Instead of waiting around until you've saved enough money, a used board is a great option to start enjoying SUP right away.

Can be Kept in Great Condition

Another pro when it comes to choosing a used SUP board is that they can be in just as great shape as a brand-new one...

If you choose the right seller.

This is where Craigslist might do you wrong. Most of the time, online sellers like to conceal the damage boards take over a season or two.

Instead of giving you a real look, they'll hide the blemishes to complete the sale.

Our recommendation - either avoid Craigslist altogether or at least see the board in person before committing to a purchase.

However, if you'd like to avoid this problem altogether, head to your nearest SUP outfitter at the end of their season and purchase one of their used boards from their rental or lesson fleet.

These boards are guaranteed to be kept in much better condition than a private owner as they are a direct investment for the company and need to be kept in working order for the duration of their season.

In addition, these are professional paddlers with substantial knowledge on how to keep paddle boards in great condition for long periods of time...

This includes washing them properly after every use, keeping them out of the sun for extended periods of time, and storing them in proper areas out of the elements.

If you need help trying to locate an outfitter near you, head to our Search section on Perfect Paddles and contact a paddling professional to snag one of their used boards!

No Need to Baby It

One of the best reasons to purchase a used SUP board is that you don't need to baby it when you begin paddling.

Let's face it...

Beginner's tend to the rough on their equipment. There is a learning curve when it comes to properly standing and staying upright on the water. During that process there tends to be a lot of falling off and on your board. Paddles are often hit on the rails or scraped along the edges...

And as a result, boards begin to show some ware and tear. This can be a disheartening feeling, especially when you purchase a brand-new board.

But with a used board, your new marks are often disguised by previous use and you're left not feeling so guilty about banging up your board!

Instead you're free to make as many mistakes as you need to in order to gain experience on the water and off it with carrying, transportation, and even storage.

Once you're an expert, you can always purchase a brand-new board down the road that you will be able to take care of through your lessons learned on your first used one.

Cons of a Used SUP Board

Durability Issues

The first con really depends on what we've already discussed...

Is the used SUP board you purchased already beat up? Worn down? Or have major places where it needed to be repaired?

If so, then you're looking at problems in the not-to-distant future.

These problems can be in the form of major repairs costing you a big chunk of money. To more annoying ones like a peeling foam pad that can't be tamped down with a little glue.

If you do decide to go with a used board, always make sure it is in decent working order. And be prepared for some minor or major repairs depending on the shape it is in.

Need to Replace It

Our second con is closely related to the first.

If you have a used SUP board that is lacking in durability...

And needs to be constantly repaired...

You're likely going to choose to replace it quicker than you first thought was necessary.

And as a result, you'll be paying for two boards instead of one.

Of course, this depends on the shape/condition of the board at purchase. As we've already stated, it's best to contact a paddling pro or outfitter near you if you want to go the used route.

No Warranty

Our last con is the lack of a warranty.

Most major SUP board brands these days will offer their customers a warranty. These will cover at least a year in regards to major problems with the board.

Especially if it is a manufacturer's error.

With a used SUP board, you get what you pay for...

And that can be a great board that will last you years on the water...

Or a hunk of junk that can break down, crack, and peel in a matter of days.

Just know, if you're buying used, you're on your own.


The answer to the question, "Should I buy a used SUP board?" is one that a beginner almost certainly always faces when they first start out.

And the answer is relatively simple...

Yes, you can buy a used board. But it always best to buy one from a qualified seller.  Someone who you know has taken good care of their boards because it is a direct investment into their company.

Where do you find such sellers?

Your local SUP outfitter is a great place to start. Head to our SUP Search section on Perfect Paddles, look for an outfitter near you, contact them, and see if they are selling any used boards!

By knowing the seller is a paddling professional you know you'll be getting a great deal on a used board that has been taken care of throughout the season.

About the Author


Daniel is a travelling author with a passion for exploring new waterways and sharing his experiences with the world.

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