Custom Paddle Boards: Are They Worth Your Time & Money?

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Have you ever seen really unique custom paddle boards and thought – “I really want one”? If that’s the case then I have good news for you because in this article I’m going to be talking about if they are worth doing, and most importantly, where to get one made.

Let’s get into it.

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What are Custom Paddle Boards?

A custom paddle board is a SUP that was designed specifically to fit your style and needs. The entire premise is to give you a unique experience compared to standard production paddle boards.

You can personalize pretty much everything if you want to – including size, shape, color and the materials used.

Here are some examples of custom paddle boards that I found so that you can get an idea:

Image taken from: 99designs

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Custom Paddle Boards?

Custom paddle boards can be a really exciting option for and paddle boarder because it’s your opportunity to make something that you love and is truly unique. Here are some pros and cons to consider if you’re thinking about investing in a custom paddle board:

Pros:

Perfect Fit:Custom paddle boards can be designed to match your height, weight, and paddling style, which can greatly improve handling and stability. This makes them ideal for maximizing performance whether you’re racing, surfing, or cruising.
Unique Design:You can choose your own designs, colors, and graphics. This means your board can reflect your personal style or be easily identifiable among other boards.
Adapted to Specific Needs:Whether you need a board that is better for waves, flat water, long distances, or yoga, a custom board can be crafted to best suit the specific activities you enjoy most.
Quality Materials:Custom boards often use higher-quality materials that can offer better durability and performance. You also have the option to choose eco-friendly materials.

So those are the pros, but what are the drawbacks?

Cons:

Higher Cost:Custom paddle boards are typically more expensive than off-the-rack models due to the labor and materials required to tailor them to individual specifications.
Longer Wait Times:Since the board is built to order, it can take longer to receive than buying a stock board from a store. Depending on the complexity of the design and the backlog of the manufacturer, this could mean waiting several weeks to months.
Resale Value:Custom paddle boards might not hold their value as well as standard models because they are designed for your specific needs and tastes, which might not appeal to the general market.
Overwhelming Options:The process of choosing all the elements of a custom board—size, shape, materials, design—can be overwhelming, especially for new paddlers who might not know exactly what they need.
Less Versatility:If the board is highly specialized, it might not perform well in all conditions or activities beyond those for which it was specifically designed.

So now that we know what the pros and cons are, let’s get into where to get one made.

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Where Is The Easiest Place To Get Custom Paddle Boards Made?

Inflatable Paddle Boards

The best place that I’ve found to get custom inflatable paddle boards has to be Goosehill.

Goosehill inflatable custom paddle boards for sale

Not only are they a really nice company, but they are also the most well regarded SUP manufacturer that actually allows for custom paddle boards. You can get a nice price and exactly what you want.

Here are the details:

  • It takes about 15-30 days to create the design and manufacture the board
  • Then they deliver it to you within 15 days.

What’s Included:

  • 3-piece adjustable aluminum paddle.
  • Double-action hand pump.
  • Paddle board backpack.
  • SUP leash.
  • Detachable center fin.
  • repair kit.

High-End Custom Racing Paddle Boards

If you’re someone that’s more serious about your SUP and you want a really good custom prone paddle board made for yourself, maybe with something like a sponsor included then I really like Indigo

Indigo custom prone paddle boards

It’s more expensive than Goosehill but you’re going to get something really good out of it.

How Do You Design A Custom SUP Step-By-Step?

Designing a custom paddle board is a super fun and creative process, and it lets you get a board that’s just perfect for you. Here’s how you can go about it:

  1. Choose Your Base Paddle Board: First up, you’ve got to decide what type of board you want. This choice really depends on what you plan to do with it. If you’re into a bit of everything, go for an all-around board—they’re super versatile. If you’re thinking about covering longer distances or want something that cuts through water like a knife, a touring board is your best bet. And if you’re all about speed and competition, then a racing board will be right up your alley.

  2. Create the Design: Here’s where you can really let your personality shine. You’ve got a few options on how to tackle the design:
    • DIY: If you’re artistic, you might want to design it yourself. Grab some paper and colors, or use digital tools to sketch out what you’re imagining.
    • Work with the Company: Most custom board companies have designers who can help translate your vision into reality. You’ll tell them your ideas, the colors you love, maybe even send them some sketches or images, and they’ll handle the rest.
    • Use a Design Service: Platforms like 99designs allow you to post your project and have professional designers pitch their ideas. You choose the one you like best!

  3. The Board is Made and Delivered to You: After you nail down the design, the company takes over to craft your board. This part takes a bit of patience because building a quality custom board takes time. But once it’s done, they’ll ship it directly to you. When it arrives, it’s all ready for you to hit the water with a paddle board that’s totally one-of-a-kind!
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What Should You Optimize On Your SUP?

When you’re designing a custom paddle board, you’ll want to optimize a few key things to make sure you end up with a board that’s just right for you.

Here’s what to focus on:

  1. Size and Shape: The length, width, and thickness of your board will have a big impact on how it performs in the water. Think about what you need it for. If you’re into leisure paddling and stability, you might want a wider and thicker board. If speed and maneuverability are your jam, go for something longer and narrower.

  2. Weight Capacity: Make sure the board can handle your weight plus any gear you plan to bring along. This will help you stay afloat and maintain good control.

  3. Materials: What your board is made out of will affect not just its performance but also its durability. Common materials are foam, fiberglass, and carbon fiber—each with its own pros and cons in terms of weight, stiffness, and how they handle bumps and scratches.

  4. Deck Pad: This is where you stand, so you want it to be comfortable and provide good grip. Look for something that won’t get too slippery when wet.

  5. Fin Setup: Fins help with stability and tracking (keeping the board straight). Some boards have just one fin, while others have three or more. Consider where you’ll be paddling—calm lakes, rivers with currents, or the open ocean—and choose a fin setup that’s suitable for those conditions.

  6. Aesthetics: Last but not least, think about how you want your board to look. The color, graphics, and overall style are all up to you, so have fun with it!
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By focusing on these areas, you can make sure your custom paddle board is not only a blast to look at but also a blast to ride on whatever water adventures you have in mind!

Conclusion:

Whether custom paddle boards are worth it really boils down to what you’re looking for. If you value having a board that fits your style and paddling needs to a tee, and you’re okay with a bit of a wait and a higher price tag, then yes, going custom is totally worth it. You get a board that not only looks awesome but feels great to use because it’s made just for you.

For those looking into where to get one, whether it’s a high-end racing board or a more versatile inflatable one, companies like Goosehill and Indigo have got you covered. Just pick your base type, dive into designing it, and then gear up for some exciting paddleboarding with a board that’s as unique as your adventures.

2 girls with custom paddle boards

Remember, the key to a great custom paddle board is ensuring it matches your specific needs in terms of size, material, and design. So, take your time to design something special that you’ll be proud to paddle. Happy boarding!

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FAQs

Can I make my own paddle board?

Yes – you can use companies like Indigo or Goosehill to make your own paddle board. The process is really easy and fun so it’s definitely worth looking into.

What makes custom paddle boards different from regular ones?

Custom paddle boards are designed to meet your specific needs and preferences, such as size, shape, and design. Plus – they are really striking when done right so you get a lot of attention for them.

Can I choose my own design for a custom paddle board?

Yes, you can choose your own design, including colors and patterns, for a custom paddle board. If you’re not someone that’s “artsy” like me, then you can use something like 99designs to get designs made for you by top designers on an auction basis.

Are custom paddle boards more expensive than standard ones?

Custom paddle boards typically cost more due to the personalized work involved in their creation. They also typically have better materials so that also stacks onto the price.

How long does it take to make a custom paddle board?

The time it takes to make a custom paddle board varies but usually ranges from several weeks to months.

Is getting a custom paddle board worth the extra money?

Getting a custom paddle board can be worth the extra money if you are looking for something tailored specifically to your paddling style and aesthetic preferences. I personally really like them, but they aren’t 100% necessary if you’re looking to be more budget conscious.

custom paddle boards
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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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