Are you in the market for a paddle board?
If so, the first question you need to ask yourself is whether you should opt for a new board or a used board.
There are pros and cons to both of these options, so which one is right for you?
Pros of Buying a New vs Used Stand Up Paddle Board
The biggest benefit of buying new is that you have more recourse for action if anything goes wrong.
Most boards come with a warranty and if there are any defects, you can get it repaired, replaced, or refunded.
You also have more choice than you do with used paddle boards.
It’s easier to find the brand, shape, and color that you want because you have the entire market at your disposal.
Used paddle boards that are in demand will sell quickly.
New paddle boards that are just as sought-after will be produced in their thousands and sold by dozens of retailers.
Last but not least, you don’t need to deal with classified listings or annoying sellers.
You can go straight to a retailer, see what’s available, and even ask their advice if you need it.
There is more accountability.
Not only are they being paid to help you, but if anything goes wrong, they know that you’ll be banging on their door.
With used sellers, there is no accountability.
They just want to sell the board and they know they won’t see you again afterward.
A brand new board should last longer and depending on the age, it may even handle better.
What Should I Look for When Buying a New Paddle Board?
When buying a brand new paddle board, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Quality: Is the board durable? Is it made from quality materials? If it’s an expensive board, ask yourself if you’re paying for a quality product or one that has been marked up due to a premium brand or retailer.
- Warranty: What is the warranty/returns policy? It will be limited, but it should still exist and it will cover you for defects that occur before or after purchase.
- Does The Retailer Have Good Customer Service? What is the retailer’s reputation when it comes to customer service? A warranty is only worthwhile if you’re buying from a brand that will actually honor it.
- Don’t Shop by Graphics: Far too many first-time paddle boards, surfboards, and skateboards are purchased based on their graphics. It’s important to get a board that looks nice, but that should never be the first thing on your list.
Cons of Buying a New vs Used Stand Up Paddle Board
Price is the most obvious reason to choose a used stand up paddle board over a new one.
The price difference can be substantial, and if you shop smartly, you can get a board that was only ridden a few times.
As with all activities and sports, there are a lot of aspiring paddle boarders who get obsessed, buy a board and other gear, paddle once or twice, and then give up.
The board ends up stuffed in a garage or attic before being listed on Craigslist several months later.
Of course, that doesn’t apply to all used boards, but it accounts for a large chunk of the market.
What Should I Look for When Buying a Used Paddle Board?
Shopping for a used paddle board is a little more complicated than shopping for a new one.
More things can go wrong, more mistakes can be made, and if you’re not careful, you could still waste a lot of money on a worthless board.
Before buying a used paddle board, make sure you:
- Stay Safe: Craigslist and Facebook are good platforms for buying a used stand up paddle board, but there are a lot of scams on these sites. Before you shop, read up on these scams, be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true, and if you sense that something is a scam or you don’t like the buyer’s tone, back away. There will also be another board.
- Check the Quality of the Board: Appearances can be deceptive. The board might look okay, but it could have been damaged and then hastily repaired. Pick it up, weigh it, and see if it has taken on water. You should also check for dings and scratches—anything that suggests it’s in a poor state.
- Ask Questions: Ask the seller questions about the board. It’s not uncommon for sellers to offload used boards after damaging them. If you ask about their intentions and quiz them on the history and state of the board, you may discover that they were trying to hide something from you.
Is a Paddle Board a Good Investment?
A stand up paddle board will last you for years if it is treated properly.
It’s great fun, great exercise, and with proper maintenance, you shouldn’t have any issues.
It’s definitely not going to increase in value, and in that sense, it’s a terrible investment.
But in terms of a hobby/activity, it’s definitely a good investment.
Summary: Should You Buy Used or New?
Now that we’ve looked at the pros and cons of buying used vs buying new, that begs one question: Which is best?
Well, it really all depends on your budget and whether or not you have the patience and knowledge needed to trial used boards and sellers.
If money is tight and you don’t mind scouring marketplaces, go for it.
If you want a quick and easy solution, and you have a little more cash, buy new.