The world of paddle boarding is a world in which you’re free to traverse the ocean’s surface and ride waves no other surfer can catch.
It’s both a mentally and physically beneficial sport that gives you the heart and soul of the surf mentality.
All you need is the physical board, a paddle, and a leash and you’re all set to go.
So the question arises, where do you buy a paddle board? It’s a great question that depends on a few different factors like skill level and location.
But whether you’re a beginner looking for a good stable board or a pro looking for a shredder, there are many different resources at your disposal.
We’ve compiled a list for you of the 5 best places to find a new or used paddle board.
1) Your local surf shop
Driving around any beach town, you’ll see a ton of these pop-up board shops. It’s a great way to get all the information you need on any board you want to ride because these shops are owned and run by longtime surfers. Plus, the people who hang out at the shops are surfers too, so you’re sure to find great resources here.
On top of this, it’s always important to support the local economy. Especially with something as particular a niche as surfing. The local surf shops are supported by their community, and to lose them is to lose a great addition to the local atmosphere.
With any physical shop, the problem is it generally can’t keep up with the stock of online retailers. However, at surf shops, the options and choices they offer are all going to be certified quality boards. This takes the fear of buying a janky board out of the equation. Combining the knowledge of the boards with the quality and you’re sure to walk out of there with a great board you can take right to the water. If you ask, they’ll also show you some tips and tricks to get you started!
Oh, Amazon, how easy to manage you are. If you’re just looking to sit behind your computer and have a board delivered with next day shipping, there’s nothing better out there than Amazon. Here you’ll have unlimited choices so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Just be sure not to get bogged down by how many options you have. Before you just start scrolling through Amazon, it might be better to learn what size and weight and what are options are out there so you don’t get lost in the infinite.
Another great feature of Amazon is the review section. Here you can see customer testimonials on the paddle boards you’re looking to buy. If everybody’s saying that the board cracks in half the second ride, you can be sure to avoid that one!
Most of our favorite paddle boards are available on Amazon. Make sure to check out the main page when you're ready to start looking for real!
3) Retail shops
Retail shops like REI, Costco, and even places like Walmart sell paddle boards. Costco, in particular, is actually known in the surfing world for its quality foam boards and other beginner boards. Plus they have a great return policy so if it turns out that the board is not what you’re looking for you can take it back in, no problem. Although the same can be said about Walmart and other retail stores, it’s best to be sure by calling ahead of time.
The limiting factors here are choice and quality. The higher quality boards are probably going to be found either at a dedicated surf shop or through a direct online surfboard retailer. Also at a retail shop, they are only going to have so many choices and these choices are usually catered towards beginners and not the full scope of paddle boarders.
4) Buy-and-Sell sites
Craigslist, Ebay, even Facebook groups. These are all good resources when it comes to purchasing a board. This is especially true for beginners buying their first board. You can generally find a used board for a very low cost that someone is really just trying to get rid of. Don’t be afraid if a board is sun-drenched and yellow, the main thing you’re looking for is no major dings or cracks in the board that let water in. Talk to the seller and see what he or she thought of the board and listen to what their reason for selling is. If it’s the case that they don’t use it anymore or they upgraded recently and are getting rid of their board, then that’s usually a good sign that they’re offering you a good board. If they’re suspicious and don’t want to let you come see the board that’s a major red flag! Be smart about who you buy from when it comes to online buy and sell shops.
5) Friends, family, and other surfers
This is one that oddly nobody thinks about when they’re getting ready to purchase a surfboard. In fact, we often forget about our friends and family whenever we purchase any big ticket item. That tried and true idiom applies here, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Think about all the people just like you who were getting ready to buy their first paddle board a few months ago and now rarely use it. Why not put out a facebook request or talk to your neighbors? You’ll never know before you ask.
Also the surfers at the local spot might be a good resource. When you’ve been surfing for a long time, you’ll often build up a little stash of boards that you rarely use. If somebody comes up to you and offers cash for that board, it’s hard to say no since you can use that money to upgrade your own equipment. Not only that, but surfers generally have friends who also surf. And those friends have other friends. Asking one person could be equivalent to asking ten surfers if they have an extra paddle board lying around they want to get rid of.
In the end it doesn’t really matter where you purchase your paddle board as long as you do! Oftentimes it’s easy to get bogged down with all the information out there that you forget what the purpose of the whole thing was. If that’s the case, let me remind you. It’s to get out in the water and enjoy all the benefits of paddle boarding. There’s so much it can offer you and all that’s needed to get started is a board, a paddle, and a leash.