Top 5 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a New Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)
Price might be the bottom line, but it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to buying a SUP. With so many paddle boards available online, purchasing that new SUP might be a bit unnerving, but with a little research you can be confident in your investment. Ask any seller these five questions before making your next purchase to be certain you are getting your moneyʼs worth.
Question One: What materials are used to make the board? A good SUP starts with quality materials. Does the manufacturer use high quality Resin Research Epoxy manufactured in the USA or an inexpensive overseas version? Do they use American made Hexcel Fiberglass? Are their boards made with 1.65LB molded EPS foam or extruded overseas foam? Inexpensive, overseas resins, fiberglass, and foam have a negative effect on the strength, weight and finish of the board. Often times, paddleboards will be painted on the outside of the fiberglass to hide blemishes and cheap materials, adding unnecessary weight, and undesirable chipping. Always insist on top quality materials.
Question Two: Does the SUP come with a 100% carbon fiber paddle? Many sellers might advertise a carbon fiber paddle, but more often than not, the paddle features a carbon fiber blade with a fiberglass, or aluminum shaft; sometimes painted black to look like carbon. This is not only misleading, but it has a dramatic effect on the flex, weight and durability of the paddle. Always insist that your SUP paddle be 100% carbon fiber.
Question Three: Does the paddleboard come fully equipped with a pad and handle? Aftermarket SUP pads can cost up to $120 and can be very difficult to apply correctly. Moreover, not all pads are created equal. New deck pads, featuring EVA memory foam and mylar 3M adhesive, can prevent deck dents and delamination. Inexpensive adhesive can lead to a bubbling pad or worse. If the board doesnʼt have a handle forget it! Unless you play professional basketball, getting the new SUP to the water may be more cumbersome than it is worth without a handle.
Question Four: Do you have to pay extra for delivery and how is the board shipped? Shipping is not only a hassle, it is expensive! Furthermore, if the board is not packaged properly it could be damaged or destroyed before you even receive it. A standup board should be shipped in an extra heavy box with EPS foam packing for extra protection. Most importantly, make sure any shipping damage is covered by the sellerʼs warranty. Having to deal with these claims on your own can be an absolute nightmare.
Question Five: Does the seller have a solid track record for providing quality products and customer service? How many boards have they sold? Do they have a history of warranty claims and customer service issues? Customer testimonials can speak volumes when it comes to determining the quality of service provided. Donʼt be afraid to ask the seller questions directly. When in doubt, contact the seller to get a good feeling for whom you are dealing with. Do they stand behind their product? How do they deal with returns, damage claims, and warranties? If they want your business they will do their best to answer your questions and address any issue prior to your purchase.