While Stand Up Paddleboarding is a relatively new sport, the construction of these boards is not. Similar to surfboard construction, these techniques have been in use for decades. To help you choose what board is the best for you, we will look at the basics of the most popular SUP board construction today.
There are thousands of boards built every year that have little to no quality control.
Beware of brands that do not have an established name in the business. Even the biggest companies struggle with quality control issues. Any company can order overseas boards with their logo on it, but few can have them made right. Watch the Blue Planet Video Tour to learn more. Watch a short documentary on Vancouver Island Hand Made Paddleboards
Factory Made EPS Foam Core, Fibreglass Cloth & Epoxy Resin
This is the most common construction method used for low cost boards. Retailing in the $700-$1000 range, nearly all stock (non-custom) boards are built in overseas factories. Some SUP board manufacturers use high quality materials, and have quality control staff in place to ensure the boards are top quality. This is often reflected with a higher price. The materials used are all sourced from Asian suppliers. The quality of material can vary and often would be considered low grade (by North American standards). Most major brands have high and low end versions of all their boards. Quality, appearance and price vary greatly within most brand’s products. Some epoxy resins used may have a yellowish hue to it, so the boards are painted on the outside to cover this up. Many of these boards look great on the shelf, but easily show paint chips and scratches after short use.
Hand Lay Up with EPS Foam Core, Fibreglass Cloth & Epoxy Resin
This hand made process has been used for decades in the construction of surfboards. In this method, the builder has the option to use the highest quality materials when requested, resulting in a more flexible and durable board. The boards are hand shaped to suit an individual’s size, ability and personal preference. Hand made boards can vary greatly in price because of the wide range of material available and the level of custom work put into it.
PVC Sandwich Construction
Often referred to as Pop Out boards, this type of construction is usually factory built in molds. The core materials are similar to the EPS foam core, Fibreglass and Epoxy boards, but with another layer of PVC material. PVC is a thin layer of dense foam that creates a very hard outer shell when molded together with the fibreglass and epoxy resin. The PVC gives the board extra strength, so a lighter EPS core can be used in it’s construction. Normally light is a good thing, but when combined with the hard outer shell, some say these durable boards tend to feel too stiff. A PVC sandwich board price can range from $1400-$1900.