Buying Used Paddle Boards

Used Paddle Boards
Photo Cred: RobertCross1[email protected]/

Buying a used paddle board is an excellent way to save yourself a little bit of scratch while still getting a high end board. The process to buying a used paddle board is very similar to picking out your very first new board, there are a few things that complicate the process which is what we’re going to discuss. Our goal is to eventually provide a city by city breakdown of all the locations you can purchase a used SUP.

Things To Consider When Buying a Used Paddle Board

1. Width & Volume

2. Type

3. Price

4. Fin Setup

5. Inflatable or Solid

6. Board Length

7. Overall Condition

Volume & Width

The volume is a measurement which helps determine how well a given board floats. For example the 11’0″ BIC Wing ACE-TEC SUP has a volume of 220L. The rule of thumb for beginner paddler’s is take the volume should be at least X2 your weight (in kg). As you get better you can start to knock that number down to 1.5X your weight. This will allow you to ride smaller boards which provide more control. Width is directly related to volume but it also is important in determining stability. The wider a board the more stable it’ll be (all other things equal). If you’re a beginner go for a bigger board, simple as that.


I spend a lot of time talking about the types of paddle boards that are available on the paddle board review section. Basically there are three types of boards; surf, touring or racing and all-around. Figuring out what you’re planning on using the board for is the most important element in choosing a SUP. If you’re buying a used SUP make sure you don’t accidentally end up with a race board when you’re a complete novice.


If you’re looking for used boards, you’re concerned with saving some dough. Nothing wrong with that. A lot of the boards on the used market are high end boards. Most casual paddlers aren’t looking to sell their Tower Adventurer to upgrade to a Tower Xplorer. It’s usually the guys (and gals) who’re heavy paddlers and are looking to upgrade their equipment that are selling these types of boards. Keep in mind, buying used won’t always get you the lowest price on a SUP. It will get you the lowest price on a particular model, but often times picking up a cheap inflatable is more cost effective then picking up a used solid board.

Fin Condition and Setup

The fin setup is determined by the type of board. A surf SUP will have a much different fin arrangement then a flat water. Keep in mind, for a used board often times it’s the fins that’ll get shredded long before the board will show any wear.   Make sure you inquire about the condition and the setup. Fins are easy enough to replace but they’re not cheap. If there isn’t a picture showing the fin(s) ask for one.

Inflatable or Solid Construction?

A question I frequently get is should I buy an inflatable or solid construction board?

Most people assume inflatables won’t last as long. This couldn’t be further from the truth – inflatables can easily last as long, if not longer!

So what’s the downside to the inflatables?

They’re not going to perform as well as a solid construction. You’d never want to surf on one or take one for a long ass tour. Anytime you can’t afford to sacrifice any performance pick up a solid construction. If you’re looking for a casual paddle board or one to take traveling with you inflatable is obviously the way go.

Board Length

Unlike width, longer doesn’t always mean more stable. Most race boards are long and narrow and extremely difficult to get used to.

However, short boards are normally used for surf SUPin’ so what gives? Basically the longer an all-around board the more stable it will be. However once you dive into touring/racing it’s a different story. 10″-11′ is a great place to start for beginners.

Overall Condition

Obviously this one is mighty important for buying a used paddle board. When you buy a new board from a reputable company you know that if anything is wrong with it you can return it. Obviously when you’re dealing with a selling his board over the internet or a small shop it can get a bit hairy.

If you can’t see it in person ask for picture. Pay special attention to the rails and the fins – these will usually give you a great indication of the board condition. Seeing the top of the board is a terrible indicator. Why would the top of a board be damaged unless you did something extremely careless with it.

Looking for a cheap new paddle board?