What are paddle boards made of?

Posted on September 24th, 2023 by Dave in categoty Featured

There has been a huge growth of interest in paddle boards. Paddleboarding was already on the rise as an activity, but there was an even greater spike in popularity of the sport as Covid loomed over the world and people were unable to workout inside or do team sports such as football due to the need for social distancing. 

If you have thought about buying a paddleboard, you might be wondering what they are actually made of? 

There are a variety of materials used to construct paddleboards, whether they are inflatable or rigid boards. Each of these materials provide their boards different qualities. 

PVC Inflatable Paddle Boards

Polyvinyl chloride, most commonly known as PVC, is an affordable and malleable material which means it is a popular material for the construction of inflatable paddle boards which need to be inflated and deflated repeatedly. This is the material that is also used in other products like an air bed. A durable and flexible material, a PVC paddle board is a good option to choose when you are looking at which sort of board you want to buy. 

Foam Paddle Boards

These paddle boards are similar to epoxy resin paddleboards, but are covered in a soft ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) shell. This creates a spongy but resilient surface for you to stand on. Then on the bottom of the board there is a rigid ABS base which is resistant to any physical impact your paddleboard might take. If you are looking for a comfortable board but don’t want an inflatable board, this is an option that is available.

Wooden Paddle Boards

The original paddleboards from Polynesia were made from wood, and this style of board is making a comeback. These are now made with a complex fishbone framework that creates a hollow frame, which allows the wooden board to float above the waves whilst still holding your weight. On top of this fishbone frame, there is a plywood or other lightweight wood which is used to cover the board. To protect it from the water, the wood is then covered by a resin. 

This is most definitely a premium option. They are also generally unwieldy to transport due to their weight, and cost a pretty penny; but if you do invest in one they can last for many years and are especially brilliant at dealing with more extreme waves or currents.

Resin-Infused Paddle Boards

Finally there are paddle boards made of resin. These are created from a mould and a vacuum sealing process. The two main types of resin infused boards are fibreglass resin, which you will have often seen used in rigid kayaks and also used to repair boats, and epoxy resin.

The making of a paddle board is a complex process, no matter which material is used to create it. Each style of production has their benefits and drawbacks. The right material for you depends on what you are looking to get out of your paddle board, and which challenges you are willing to put up with. Hopefully this explanation of the materials used to make paddle boards has been interesting, and helped you decide which type of paddle board is right for you.