Plastic and Fiberglass Standup Paddleboard Differences


As standup paddleboarding increases in popularity, more people are considering purchasing their own SUP and paddle. This, of course, leads to the question of what type of paddleboard to buy and how much to spend. Like any of these types of decisions, there are many factors that will lead to the final choice of the ​SUP equipment that is purchased. Here is a review of some of the factors that will play into the decision on whether to buy a plastic paddleboard or the traditional fiberglass paddleboards.

Price Advantage: Plastic SUPs are Cheaper

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Plastic standup paddleboards are much more inexpensive than their fiberglass counterparts. The top price of a plastic SUP is actually cheaper than the cheapest fiberglass SUP. On average, a plastic standup paddleboard costs between $250-$600. Fiberglass boards start at around $700 and can go into the thousands. There are many package deals available that offer competitive prices and the ability to get all the equipment you need at one time.

Features and Modifications Advantage: Plastic SUPs

Whether plastic or fiberglass, the basic features can be found on both. Almost all paddleboards have a carry handle built into the center of the board. There is a place to attach a leash. There are fins. Plastic paddleboards frequently have storage compartments in them. Fiberglass paddleboards have to pad for your feet on the deck. However, plastic paddleboards are at an advantage when it comes to the possible features that can be added. Plastic SUPs have the ability to customize and attach things to the deck as needed, including fishing rod holders and a backrest.

SUP Dimensions – Tie

Length: Fiberglass SUPs are Longer

Of course, both plastic and fiberglass paddleboards can be purchased in various lengths. On average fiberglass, paddleboards are a few feet longer than plastic ones. Longer paddleboards are generally tracked better and are faster. Shorter ones are slower. The main concern regarding the length of paddleboards is how to store them. A 14-foot fiberglass stands up paddleboard takes up a lot of space. Due to the delicate nature of a fiberglass board, you can’t just throw it off to the side of a garage and pile stuff on it like you can a plastic board or kayak.

Width: Tie

There is no real difference here as there are narrow and wide SUPs made of both plastic and fiberglass.

Weight: Fiberglass Paddleboards are Lighter

Plastic paddleboards use a lot of plastic to provide rigidity to the already thin profile of the board as compared to a kayak. This makes plastic paddleboards heavier. Fiberglass paddleboards usually have foam as their core with fiberglass and epoxy providing the rigidity. This makes fiberglass paddleboards lighter.

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