Why Not To Buy A Cheap Paddle Board
Due to the rise in popularity of paddle boarding, we have seen an increase in boards available on the market as well as a variation of prices. A question we always get asked is what's the difference between cheap and expensive paddle boards? There are plenty of reasons why it is worth spending a little bit more on your board.
In this blog, we will give you 5 reasons as to why cheap inflatable SUPs aren't worth it.
Now, if you didn't know, inside every paddleboard thousands of threads connect the top of the board to the bottom; this is called Drop Stitching. The purpose of drop stitching is to help with the stiffness of your paddle board. In the lower end, cheaper boards; the drop stitching is made with a cheaper material which means after a couple of times of inflating and deflating our board, these threads will snap.
You will see people who have the cheaper boards, that their board is dipped in the middle when they're using it. This is due to the drop stitching snapping and causing the board to boa a bit like a banana. When this happens it makes paddling more difficult and will provide the glide that you'd get on a stiff, flat inflatable paddle board.
The most common form of drop stitching used in paddle boards is single or double drop stitching.
Single-layered drop stitching is a lot less stiff but lightweight. The boards with single-layered drop stitching can't be inflated to high pressures causing them to be flimsy.
Double-layered drop stitching is more durable and stiffer, but they tend to be heavier, more difficult to roll up, and prone to cosmetic blemishes.
Whereas, if you look at the drop stitching construction that Jobe uses - 'X Stitching' is lightweight and durable. This technique means that the threads of the drop stitching are crossed over.
The durability of your paddle board is important, especially when it's inflatable. Once a cheap board starts to break down, it tends to be more than just a simple issue and more than likely isn't worth the effort of fixing so you'll end up going and buying a new one.
The cheaper paddle boards in the market tend to be constructed with glued seams which over time and constant inflating, deflating, folding up, and unfolding tend to loosen and cause punctures. This is dangerous. There's nothing worse than being out on the water and realising that your board is deflating! Many boards last year were having issues with this and many had to be recalled causing people to be waiting around till they solves the issue... like the saying goes 'buy cheap, buy twice'.
With lower-end paddle boards, as well as poor construction and materials customer service can also be poor. You tend to have a very minimal warranty, if any, and lack of communication with any issues that you do encounter. Whereas, with the higher-end boards, like Jobe you get a reassuring amount of warranty and guaranteed customer service. Jobe now offers 5 years warranty on their SUPs.
When purchasing a cheap paddle board expect to also get low-level accessories. To keep the price as low as possible these companies provide you with the lowest quality paddle, bag, and even pump.
Like the board, low-quality paddles, bags, and pumps won't last with the test of time and you will find yourself needing to replace these sooner or later. With pumps that the board with come with (if it does come with one), is typically a single, wide chamber. Although this makes inflating a bit easier, it doesn't allow the board to be inflated to a high PSI, assuming that the board's construction can cope with that.
Unlike the inflatable paddle boards that you spend a bit more money on like Jobe, O'Shea, and others, the cheap boards don't have a great second-hand market. It will still hold value if you take care of your expensive SUP. This doesn't tend to apply to the cheaper boards so when you come to upgrading your board, you'll be starting from scratch again.