Used Paddle Boards Buyers Guide

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Inflatable paddle boards can be a tricky thing to buy. Sure it could be easier to just hop on Craigslist and find something ½ to ¼ as cheap but is this the best way?

Below we will inform you about all the ins and outs of buying used paddle boards that are inflatable.

We also inform you what to look for when purchasing a used SUP as well as recommend some reputable brands from which you can purchase them to minimize risk on your end. 

Let’s take a look!

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Is a Used Inflatable Paddle Board for You? 

If you are looking to purchase a used inflatable paddle board there is no doubt that the main reason you are looking at used is to get a break on the price. But is it truly worth it? 

Buying from Craigslist or Online Marketplaces

These are some of the places that you need to be most careful buying from. Sure, most paddlers have a good heart and won’t sell you a dud on purpose. But sometimes with inflatable boards, there’s more than what meets the eye. Below are some things to do:

  • Ask them How Often they paddle
  • Ask How old the board is
  • Ask if there’s any damage 
  • Ask How and where it has been stored
  • Ask Where they Paddle and the boards purpose
  • Ask why they want to sell it

Make sure that the person you talk to has been the primary owner of the board and that the board is not too out of date. I usually look at used boards within the 1 to max 3-year lifespan stage. 

Once you are happy with the owner’s answers you will want to meet in person and see the board yourself.  Some things to look at when inspecting the inflatable board are:

  • Ask the owner to inflate the board prior to meeting to ensure it holds air
  • Check the fin is Straight and that the Fin Box does not have any damage
  • Inspect the seams and welds, particularly on the sides 
  • Inspect accessories that come with the board, particularly the paddle

Sometimes the advantage to getting a used board is that you may get more premium accessories than the original package came with. But this is usually when the owner is getting out of paddle boarding. 

Where Is the Best Place to Buy Used Paddle Boards For Sale? 

The best place to purchase used paddle boards in my opinion is from the brands themselves! Not only do you greatly minimize the risk of buying a faulty board, but the brands will have also inspected the board to make sure it’s safe to buy for the general public. 

Some brands will also have warranties on some of the floor models which put an extra layer of protection in the buying process. 

Below are brands that Sell Used Paddle Boards

Gili Sports

Gili Sports usually has a section on their websites on used models as well as closeouts. Gili adds SUPs to their page at different times throughout the year and checks them all in person. 

Their Closeouts pricing starts at $350 while pricing on their used SUPs start at $299.95. Gili offers a one-year warranty on all of their used SUPs.

Hala Boards

Hala has a section on its website that offers floor model boards for a few hundred dollars off the original price. Sometimes even more if the board is a few years older. All of their 2021 and older inflatable SUPs offer a 5-year warranty on defects while later SUPs offer a 3-year warranty. 

As of now most of the models on this page are 2022 models.

Nixy Sports

Nixy features significant savings on open-box SUPs which have most likely been returned by customers. According to Nixy, an open box means never used. The boards may have just been returned for personal customer reasons rather than anything cosmetic.  You can find the deals on their outlet page. 

These open-box models come with a 2-year warranty that Nixy normally has for all of its SUPs

Tower Paddle Boards

Tower paddle boards sell two types of tiered paddle boards on its site. Option 1 paddle boards mean they are boards that have been used a handful of times and are almost new. They have mainly been tested to function. Option 2 is there are more noticeable cosmetic blemishes on the board. Interestingly enough Tower even sells boards that have small leaks as part of the option 2 plan. 

It’s best to call their number to get the full details on a board you are looking for. Towers’ phone number is (866) 622-4477.

Sea Eagle

Fishing Paddle Board

While they may not be primarily an inflatable paddle board company they do offer some respectable SUPs. All Sea Eagles Inflatables have never been damaged, punctured or patched and have been test inflated for 48 hours straight. They are covered by a 120-day money-back guarantee and feature a 3-year warranty on their boards.

This is also a good place to look if you are looking for used inflatable kayaks or boats to add to your fleet. 

What to Look For When Buying a Used Paddle Board?

You will notice that some of the criteria will be similar to a new SUP. However, there are other things that you need to be aware of. Below we drop some knowledge on the most important things to look for when purchasing a used SUP. 

Know The Type of Board You Want

A paddle board is not just a paddle board and this is doubly true for inflatable SUPs. If you choose a lesser-known board as I did in the beginning you will find your learning curve for stand-up paddle boarding that much more difficult. 

If you are a beginner, get a wider board or an All-Around SUP. If you want to get a board that’s faster you can look into touring models, just know that the learning curve will be more difficult 

Understand SUP Sizing

Another thing you need to understand is what size paddle board is right for you! A lot of this will depend on your size, weight, and frame. As a very basic frame reference is to usually get a SUP that is 10’ and at least 31” if you are a beginner. If you are taller or weigh more then you want to look at 10’6 minimum to 11’6 boards that are between 32” and 34” in width. 

This is a pretty deep topic in itself, but luckily I wrote a What Size Inflatable Paddle Board Should I Get?  guide on it that you can read here.

Look at the Boards Age and How Often It’s Been Used

Whether buying from a manufacturer or buying a used board on craigslist you need to find out. How old the board is, and more importantly, how often it’s been used. If you are buying from a manufacturer try calling in and talking to a representative. 

This brings us to our next point…

Check for Damage

The most important areas to look at on an inflatable paddle board are:

  1. The Rails
  2. The Deck pad 
  3. The Finbox

You want to be looking to ensure that the seams and welds are not falling apart. To do this you will need to see lots of pictures of the board, especially in the areas above.

But the best way to make sure that you are not being scammed is to see the board in person. Make sure the seller inflated the board a few hours before you visit as well to ensure that the board can hold air. 

Things to look for include:

  • The Seams/ Welds: Nothing is coming apart there’s no leaks
  • The Deck pad: Make sure that there are no parts getting undone. The worst is when the deck pad starts peeling off the surface of the board, this is harder to fix
  • Scratches, Scuffs Dents: Make sure there are no dents that are too deep
  • Fin Box: Look for cracks in the plastic, and make sure the fin goes in smoothly

Look At Brand Evolution

I personally would not buy an inflatable paddle board that is older than 3 years at this point. Technology moves quickly, especially with inflatable paddle board materials being used. 

To know if the brand is reputable, look at its boards over time and how many changes they have gone through over the years. Inflatable paddle board drop stitching, welding, and PVC is much better now than it is a few years ago. 

Educate yourself on What Inflatable Paddle Boards are made of to understand the terms being used and what they mean. 

Buying a Used paddle Board from a Reputable Brand is Ideal

The best place to get a used paddle board is from a reputable manufacturer. This is because reputable manufacturers:

  • Know How the Products is Made and is Knowledgeable
  • Good Reputable Brands Do Not Want to Sell Faulty Products to Customers
  • Many Used SUPs come with warranties
  • The Quality Control/ Damage checks have been done are thoroughly Tested

If you are looking to buy used SUPs check out the below manufacturers:

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Hey, My name is Derek Lenze and I'm the owner of Inflatable SUP Authority. I've had over 20 years experience with watersports and over 10 years of various paddle boarding experience. My new-found passion is bringing my stand up paddle boaring knowledge in an explainable and actionable way all the while giving you my unbiased takes.