Clear Paddle Board Review: Is It Worth Trying Or Buying One?

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Have you ever seen a clear paddle board? They are these translucent paddle boards that allow you to look into the water as you paddle so that you can see the fish and coral below.

But do they work? And more importantly – are they actually fun?

Read the article to find out.

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Overall Thoughts

This is one of the better reviews that I’ve done in a while, because recently I had the chance to try out a clear paddle board and overall I enjoyed the experience a lot!

It was fun to use and interesting to see the coral and fish below the board. The board isn’t comfortable and the deck pad is really small (so that you can see through the board). But for a light paddle to experience the water, it’s great. It’s stable, easy to use and overall a fun experience.

Would I buy one?

I think if I lived somewhere with really clear water and I loved snorkeling and looking at marine life then I would yes. It’s not a performance SUP and they are pretty expensive, but overall it was a fun experience.

If you’re looking for a SUP that you can use for the rest of the time:
12 Incredible Paddleboards On Amazon For People On A Budget (2024)

We used this clear paddle board:

clear paddle board for sale

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– 10.2″ L x 36″ W

– Weight of 50.7 lbs (23 kg)

– Weight capacity of 440 lbs (200 kg)

This paddle board is short at 10.2″ and very wide (36″) so it will be easy to use and balance on. It’s made of a clear polycarbonate which makes it very buoyant and transparent (1). Just note that it doesn’t come with a paddle so you’ll need to grab one separately, but in my opinion this is the best clear paddle board.

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Let’s go through more of the specifics of what it’s like to paddle one of these so you have more information.

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What is a Clear Paddle Board?

A clear paddle board is pretty much what it sounds like—a paddle board that’s made from transparent material, usually some type of durable, clear plastic or acrylic. Most of the time it’s polycarbonate, and this design allows you to see right through the board into the water below, which can be super cool, especially if you’re paddling over a beautiful lake or a clear ocean area where you can see fish and other sea creatures swimming under you.

beautiful girl on acrylic paddle board

It’s like having a window into the underwater world while you’re floating on top! They’re especially popular in places with clear water and scenic underwater views.

What Are The Pros & Cons Of A Clear Paddle Board?

Like everything there are pros and cons to them. Let’s quickly go through them.

Pros

See-Through View:The biggest perk is the view. You get a clear window to the world beneath you. Imagine gliding over crystal clear waters and watching marine life right under your feet. It’s like snorkeling without getting wet!
Enhanced Experience:It adds an extra layer of excitement to your paddling adventure. Whether it’s spotting fish, coral, or just the ripples of sand beneath the waves, it feels like you’re part of the underwater scene.
Great for Photos:If you’re into photography or just want some amazing shots for your Instagram, a clear paddle board can help capture stunning visuals with the underwater scenery clearly visible beneath you.

So those are all the benefits that you’ll experience when using a crystal sup. But what are the downsides?

Cons

Durability:Clear paddle boards can be less durable than traditional ones. They’re typically made from materials like acrylic or polycarbonate, which can scratch easily. Once scratched, the clear view can become clouded, which detracts from the experience
Price:They often come with a higher price tag. The unique materials and manufacturing processes can make them more expensive than standard paddle boards.
Maintenance:These boards require more careful handling and maintenance. You need to be mindful of where you’re paddling (avoiding rocky areas, for instance) and how you store and transport the board to prevent scratches or damage.
Limited Use:The appeal of a clear board is best realized in clear water. If you frequently paddle in murky or dark waters, you won’t get the full benefit of the clear view, which could make the extra cost and care less worthwhile.

Now that you know the pros and cons, let’s talk about the experience that you will get.

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What Is It Like To Use A Clear Paddle Board?

A few months back I went to Greece with my wife and I had the chance to use a clear paddle board and overall it was a fun experience. Here are my thoughts.

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What I Liked:

Overall it was an interesting experience having a clear paddle board because you can see into the water. When I first used it I expected it to be really clear (like a snorkel), but the ripples of the water do obstruct your vision. You CAN see the fish, but obviously it’s not like looking through glasses like the pictures tell you it will be like.

Because the board I used was polycarbonate, it was very buoyant and easy to float on which was nice. The paddle board was quite big, so it wasn’t fast or maneuverable. It’s more like a touring board that is designed to go slowly and be easy to use. So for beginners this is a great thing.

clear paddle board for sale

What I Didn’t Like:

If I’m completely honest, there were a few things that I wasn’t a fan of. Firstly the board is HARD. It’s made of polycarbonate instead of inflatable (or epoxy). And it only has a small deck pad because the whole point is to be see-through. This means that you’re not really going to be going on your knees if you get tired on the board.

Along with that, the polycarbonate gets really slippery, so you’re going to want to stay on the section of deck pad that they do give you.

Other than that, the board isn’t built for performance – it’s pretty heavy and big.

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Is It Worth Trying or Buying One?

Is a clear paddle board worth trying or buying? Consider the pros and cons to make an informed decision. Factors like portability, durability, and versatility are important considerations before making a purchase.

But in my opinion yes I would 100% try one. If you love it then you can still buy it.

Considerations Before Purchasing

transparent paddle board where to buy

Before purchasing a clear paddle board, it’s important to consider the following:

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Determine the Purpose: Assess your intended use for the clear paddle board, such as recreational paddling, yoga, fishing, or touring.

Weight Capacity: Check the weight limit of the board to ensure it can accommodate your weight along with any additional gear or accessories you plan to bring along.

Stability and Maneuverability: Consider the width and length of the board based on your skill level and the water conditions you’ll be encountering.

Storage and Transportation: Evaluate whether you have adequate storage space for the board when not in use and assess how you will transport it to and from your chosen water body.

Material Durability: Look into the durability of materials used to construct the clear paddle board and consider factors such as UV resistance, impact strength, and overall longevity.

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Conclusion:

In conclusion, trying out a clear paddle board can definitely be a fun and unique experience, especially if you’re paddling in places with clear water and plenty to see underneath. It’s not just about paddling; it’s about enjoying a view that’s not typical from a boat or while swimming. If you’re curious about marine life or just want a cool new way to enjoy the water, it’s worth giving it a shot.

However, if you’re thinking about buying one, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. They’re pretty cool for leisurely adventures and photography, but they require careful handling and aren’t the most versatile or performance-oriented SUPs out there. Plus, they can be a bit on the pricey side. So, if your main goal is to explore clear waters and enjoy the underwater scenery without diving in, a clear paddle board might just be the perfect addition to your water sports gear. Just make sure it fits your specific needs and budget before you dive into a purchase.

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FAQ

Are plastic paddle boards good?

Absolutely, plastic paddle boards have their place! They’re usually quite durable and can handle bumps and knocks without too much damage. They’re a good choice if you’re new to paddle boarding or if you’re going to be paddling in rocky or rough areas where you might hit a few things. Just keep in mind that they might be heavier and less responsive than boards made from other materials.

Can you use a magic eraser on a paddleboard?

Yes, you can use a magic eraser on a paddleboard, but gently. It’s great for removing scuffs and marks. However, be careful not to scrub too hard, especially on a board with a glossy finish or graphics, as the abrasive might damage the surface. Always try a small spot first to make sure you don’t accidentally roughen up the finish.

Are inflatable paddle boards better than plastic?

“Inflatable vs. plastic” really depends on what you’re looking for. Inflatable paddle boards are super convenient because they’re easy to store and transport (you can just deflate and roll them up). They’re also surprisingly sturdy and stable. Plastic boards, on the other hand, are very durable and often cheaper, but they can be bulky and harder to transport. If you have limited space or travel often, an inflatable might be better for you. If durability and cost are your main concerns, plastic might be the way to go.

How much do clear paddle boards cost?

Clear paddle boards tend to be on the pricier side due to their unique construction and materials. Typically, you might find them ranging from around $1,000 to $2,000. The cost varies based on the size, material quality, and brand. They’re definitely an investment, so it’s a good idea to try one out or rent it if possible before buying.

Can you get inflatable clear paddle boards?

While most clear paddle boards are made from solid materials like polycarbonate or acrylic to ensure transparency, there are a few inflatable models designed with clear sections or windows. These won’t give you the full see-through experience like a completely clear hard board, but they do offer a glimpse into the water below, combining the convenience of an inflatable with the novelty of a clear view.

clear paddle board

References:
1 – Polycarbonate, taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarbonate

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Jason Watson

My initial goal was to document my paddleboarding experiences with friends and family, but that has evolved into a commitment to share this sport with as many people as possible because of the health benefits & peace of mind it has given me. This sport is not only a great way to see the world, but it also helps us come closer to ourselves. Information gives us strength!


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