Finding Used SUP Boards

I get several calls a week from students and others seeking used paddle boards.  Not only does it show the sport is popular but that retail priced boards are also expensive.  While most epoxy and inflatable boards are expensive to make, most are over priced.  The market is hot, so manufacturers can get away with it.  My 17' carbon sea kayak with 3 storage hatches, deck hardware is still a better buy than most carbon race boards which are just fiberglass or carbon wrapped over foam.  The downside is that most folks can't afford new boards.

Folks regularly ask me if I have a 'beater board' 'super cheap' 'cosmetic blem' 'less than $500'.  They are out there.  I'm not a retailer so don't sell my gear.  But foam and rotomolded plastic boards are cheaper, usually less than $600.  Some make a go of making it themselves but foam, epoxy and glass will cost you about the same price of a new board, unless you're really crafty at building things.

But even used epoxy or inflatable boards still aren't cheap.  Sellers want to re coop what they paid or have a nostalgic bond to the board thus won't let it go for less.  $600 is standard for a used board.

One local outdoor second use mountaineering shop has an idea of selling used boards because they see the market. I thought about an extension page off my site to connect buyers with sellers but realized it could get messy with the transactions.  Go for it if you find a smart way of making it work.

A few tips for finding 'affordable' boards:
- Get to know the industry reps.  They'll dump their 2014 boards in the fall.

- Pay attention to local paddling/surf shops.  As above, they'll sell their current year's stock in the fall for less. One local shops does sell beater boards for $300 in the fall.  They do need ding repair though.

- CraigsList - Watch for sellers desperate to sell maybe due to a last minute move.  But also beware of those selling stolen boards.

- Bring your wallet to paddling festivals, races, etc.  Many will try to sell gear at events.  Often you'll get 'show deals'.

- Do you really need that epoxy or carbon board? Keep it simple for your first board.  My first sea kayak was a $600 plastic beast but it got me started until I learned what type of boat I really wanted.  In a year I instead bought a surf kayak instead of a sea kayak.  Glad I waited.

Note: Try before you buy.  It may be cheap but is it stable, sea worthy, and light to carry?  

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