As far as outdoor sports go, stand-up paddleboarding is relatively inexpensive. Unless you plan to race or you surf extensively, you don’t have to buy much after your initial investment. If that still feels steep or you want to get out on the water without investing as much, here are some ideas for paddleboarding on the cheap.
Consider Renting a Paddleboard First
If you haven’t been out on a board and you’re not sure you’ll like it, try renting a board for your first couple of trips. There are usually rentals available at larger lakes and reservoirs, in mountain towns, and near the ocean. You can rent for anywhere from a few hours to a few days, so you’ll have plenty of time to find out what’s it like.
While renting is cheaper than buying a board, you may not get a high-quality board. This can hamper your experience and make you wonder if paddleboarding is for you. It can also mean that you end up with a board that isn’t suited for you. If your board feels too small or unwieldy, keep in mind that you may want to try again with a different board.
It can also be hard to store your stuff on a rental board, so come with a plan for carrying water and other gear. Rental boards may come with specific parameters on their use. For instance, you may have to say within a certain area or come it at the first sign of wind. Make sure you know the rules before you rent so you don’t incur extra charges!
Buy a Used Paddleboard
Speaking of renting, many rental companies hold “end of season” sales where they sell off the boards they are retiring from the rental pool that year. Sure, these boards may not be in top condition, but you can usually purchase them at a significant discount. If you have found a rental company that has a board you love, ask them to notify you if any become available for sale.
You can also contact SUP stores in your area to find out about scratch and dent sales or meetup sales they might know of. If you buy a scratch and dent board, make sure that the damage is cosmetic and will not hamper the board’s performance.
Meetup sales occur when a group of SUP enthusiasts gets together to sell off their old gear. Most of these sales require some sort of guarantee that boards, paddles, and more are in good condition before they can be sold.
You can also search in local sales groups and boards for paddleboard gear. Craigslist, Nextdoor, and VarageSale are a few sites and apps where people regularly post gear for sale.
Keep in mind that you may have to wait a while to find the right board and accessories at the right prices for you. Persistence pays off, though, and you should eventually be able to find what you’re looking for, often at a steep discount.
Get a Board that Includes Accessories
You probably won’t SUP for very long before you decide that you want some accessories out on the water. These include an inflatable flotation device, a cooler for food and drinks, a dry bag, booties for colder water, a leash, water bottles that stay cold, an anchor, an automatic pump for inflatable boards, and more. In the end, you can spend more on accessories than you spend on your board!
Many times, you can find board packages that come with some or all of the accessories you would like to own. These usually offer a discount over buying everything separately. Do make sure that you think you will use everything that the package includes.
If possible, see if you can make some swaps so you get exactly what you need and want to make your paddleboarding experience successful.
Purchase a Park Pass
Do you have a favorite lake or reservoir where you like to paddleboard? Many of these require entrance fees every time you want to go to the lake. However, most of these places also offer annual passes. You may have to ask about these as some locations won’t post their prices.
In addition, some cities offer passes that give you access to several local lakes, or you can buy a state park pass that allows you even more options. If you’re going to be visiting the same lakes quite a bit, or you’re going on a trip and you plan to hit several, see if you can reduce your costs by buying an annual, extended, or multi-use pass.
Paddleboarding doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are inexpensive ways to try out this sport to see if it is right for you. If it is, there are ways to save on your gear so you can enjoy it without financial stress. Take your time to make sure you’re getting a great deal, then buy confidently, knowing your board and accessories can last for a long, long time.
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