What would be a good paddleboard for my lake house?

Being located in northern RI we have our share of lakes. Some are barely bigger than puddles, and some are a couple of miles long. My family has had a house on a lake for my entire life. I learned to swim right around the time I learned to walk. So I know how this works. Yours is the house that everyone gathers at. You have multiple kayaks, a paddleboat, maybe a rowboat or a canoe, and possibly even a motorboat. Even with all of these toys, there’s always a quest for something new and fun that everyone can enjoy on the water. Standup paddleboards are the answer.



There are so many great things about standup paddleboarding,

  • Anyone can do it because the learning curve is small.
  • It’s easy to make the board go, turn, and stop (being good at it is a whole different story but not necessarily essential to having a good time)
  • There is little equipment involved…a board, paddle, leash, and life vest
  • It’s very versatile, you can stand, sit, lie down, use it as a diving platform, you can race each other, float along, practice tricks, and walk on water
  • For exercise, you can work as hard, or not, as you want, and it’s a great workout
  • It’s also great cross training for other endeavors



What you need to look for in a paddleboard for your lakehouse will vary based on your paddling goals. If you are looking for a board for training, you will probably want to invest in a quality board, keep that one locked up, and get another one that can be knocked around a little more for everyone else. Performance and durability are usually at different ends of the paddleboard spectrum, but if you can count on the board being taken care of, there are plenty of options that will give you enough of both to be enjoyable.


Things to keep in mind

  • Who will be using it? If it’s mostly adults who take care of their toys, then you are pretty open with your options. If you have a bunch of kids around all of the time, you will want something bombproof.
    • plastic board will hold up to all of the knocks but will be heavy and cumbersome. Plastic creates a lot of drag, so they are slow and difficult to maneuver- especially for kids. Think about trying to paddle around a floating dock and that’s about what you should expect from most plastic boards. Give it a long think before you spend $400+ of your money on one of these. Rarely have I heard a customer who was happy with that choice.
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    • Inflatables. Again…going cheap here is not a great idea. A cheap inflatable will not inflate enough and will bend around you when you stand on it. It will feel bouncy on the water. And if you try to inflate it more than you should, it will bulge around the seams and could very well fail. Oh and the act of inflating it is a deterrent in and of itself. Good quality inflatables are a different story, but they are not inexpensive. You will get what you pay for here. You might find one of these for $400 too, but you are better off crumpling up your money and throwing it in the lake. Trust us on this one. Quality inflatables are going to be in the $1000+ price range. Be very wary of an inflatable deal that looks too good to be true. It is.
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      • Soft Top Foam boards…these are basically like giant boogie boards. They are comfortable underfoot and soft if you fall on them. They are usually very stable (depends on size, but typically they are built for beginners where stability is very important). They will take a beating but are not indestructible. It’s probably a good idea to teach some basics about taking care of your stuff with these…then you can upgrade to a nicer board for yourself and the foam board will still be around for the kids.   You can expect to pay at least $500 for one of these.
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      • New construction methods are making regular, all around boards much more durable. These will provide the best balance of performance and durability. Some are even moderately priced. But boards for less than $900 usually involves some sacrifices- they are heavy, not super durable, don’t paddle well, aren’t stable, or a variety of other potential downsides.
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  •  Storage- do you have a place to store your board indoors? If it is going to be spending the season on a rack with your kayaks, you will want to look for something light colored, at least on the bottom if you intend to store it upside down in the rack. Most paddleboards have foam cores and when the cores heat up, pressure builds. That pressure needs somewhere to go. Most epoxy boards have a vent plug on them. These release some pressure, but cannot always keep up if the board is holding a lot of heat. You will want to store it in the shade or undercover if at all possible to prevent bubbling, melting, or delaminating.


If you are looking for an inexpensive way to add to the lake house fun, we get it. If you haven’t tried paddleboarding before you head out to buy one, you might want to slow down, take a lesson, and try it out first. When you realize how enjoyable it is, you might want to make the investment to get better equipment. It will be well worth it in the long run.



There tends to be a great temptation to save money on the paddle too. Again, what are your goals? If it’s an activity that you will be spending any measurable amount of time doing, don’t let your paddle be an afterthought. People are often shocked at the cost of paddles, but this is your tool. This is the piece of equipment that will put the wear and tear on your body. And once you own the board, paddle, leash, and life vest, you are all set…there are no recurring costs, there are little to no maintenance costs, and if you take care of your gear, you are set for years to come.


When you live on a lake, you tend to spend all of your time there. But there are so many places you can go with your paddleboard that you might not want to limit yourself. It’s easy to find water access for paddleboaring.  Standup paddleboards are easy to transport with a roof rack or in the back of a truck, so keep that in mind too. RI has so many wonderful spots to explore, and there’s no better way to see them than walking on water. There is a huge difference between cheapest price and best value when it comes to paddleboarding. Talk to your local shop about what options are best for you.



Tags: inflatable sup, inflatable sups, how to transport your stand up paddleboard, cheap paddleboards, cheap paddleboard, inexpensive paddleboards, water access for paddleboarding,water access for paddleboarding in rhode island, lakehouse paddleboard, paddleboard for my lake house

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