Are Foam Sup Boards Good? (The Pros and Cons of Using a SUP Board)

If you’re looking for a fun, new way to get out on the water, you may be considering purchasing a SUP board. SUP boards, or stand-up paddle boards, are becoming more and more popular each year, and it’s easy to see why.

They’re a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the beauty of nature. But before you buy a SUP board, you should ask yourself: are foam sup boards good?

Are Foam Sup Boards Good

Are foam sup boards good?

When it comes to paddleboards, there is a lot of debate over which material is the best. Some people prefer the traditional plastic boards, while others prefer the newer foam boards.

There are pros and cons to both materials, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

Foam boards are often seen as the best option for beginners because they are lighter and more durable than plastic boards. They are also less likely to be damaged by rocks or other obstacles in the water. However, they are not as rigid as plastic boards, so they may not perform as well in choppy waters.

Plastic boards are generally more affordable than foam boards, but they are also heavier and more difficult to transport. They are also more prone to damage from sun exposure and scratches.

Ultimately, the decision of which paddleboard to buy depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you are just starting, a foam board may be the best option for you. But if you are an experienced paddler who wants a board that can handle rough waters, a plastic board may be the better choice.

Pros of foam paddleboards

Let’s take a look at some of the pros of using a foam paddleboard:

They are waterproof

When people think of paddleboards, they often think of the traditional boards made of wood or fiberglass. However, foam paddleboards are quickly becoming a popular choice for both beginner and experienced paddlers alike.

One of the main reasons for this is that foam boards are entirely waterproof. This means that they are much less likely to be damaged by water or sun exposure. Additionally, foam boards are typically very lightweight and easy to transport.

They also tend to be more affordable than other types of paddleboards, making them a great option for those new to the sport. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re looking for a board that is easy to care for, a foam paddleboard may be the perfect choice for you.

High durability

Foam paddleboards are incredibly durable, making them ideal for both beginners and experienced boarders alike. The foam helps to absorb impact, and the construction prevents dents and scratches from damaging the board.

As a result, foam paddle boards are less likely to take on water, even when used in rough conditions. In addition, the foam also provides excellent vessel stability, making it easier to stay balanced on the board.

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Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned pro, a foam paddleboard is a great option for your next adventure.

Increased speed

When it comes to speed, foam paddleboards have a definite advantage over their inflatable and plastic counterparts. Foam SUP are generally much lighter than other types of boards, which makes them easier to propel through the water.

In addition, the rigid construction of foam boards provides a more efficient cutting edge, resulting in less drag and higher average speeds. And while inflatable boards have made great strides in recent years, they still can’t match the speed and performance of a good foam SUP.

So if you’re looking for the fastest possible ride, a foam paddleboard is the way to go.

Lower price

While foam boards and epoxy paddleboards may both be used for fishing and paddle boarding, some key differences between the two may make one a better choice for you than the other.

Foam boards are typically less expensive than epoxy paddleboards, making them a great option for families who want to get into the sport without breaking the bank. Epoxy paddleboards, on the other hand, are typically more durable and offer better performance in rougher conditions.

As a result, they may be a better choice for experienced paddlers who are looking to take on more challenging waters. Ultimately, the best board for you will depend on your budget and your level of experience.

Deck traction

While stand-up paddle boarding, having deck traction is important so you don’t slip and fall while paddling. Most foam boards come equipped with deck traction, but if yours doesn’t, you can add surf wax to the area where you’ll be standing.

Surf wax comes in different colors and sometimes has a tropical scent. It’s sticky when warm and hardens as it cools. You can find it at most surf shops or online.

To apply it, rub the wax onto the deck of the board in small circles until the entire area is covered. Be sure to put enough on so that your feet will have traction but don’t overdo it or you’ll have a hard time moving your feet around.

They are quality and safe

Foam boards are an essential part of many construction and packaging projects. They are lightweight, versatile, and easy to work with, making them a popular choice for a variety of applications.

However, before foam boards can be sold to retailers, they must first undergo a series of quality and safety tests. These tests ensure that the boards meet all applicable safety standards and that they will perform as expected in their intended use.

Only foam boards that pass all of these tests can be distributed to retailers for sale. This rigorous testing process helps to ensure that only the highest quality foam boards make it into the hands of consumers.

Cons of foam paddleboards

So, now you know some of the pros of owning a foam paddleboard. But what about the cons?

They are heavy

While foam boards may appear to be softer and more forgiving than their hardboard counterparts, it’s important to remember that they are still classified as hardboards.

This means that if you take a fall on one, it’s going to hurt just as much as if you fell on a board made of epoxy or plastic. The key to avoiding this is to know how to fall correctly. When you feel yourself losing balance, tuck your chin into your chest and roll into the fall. This will help to dissipate the impact and prevent injury.

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So, while foam boards may seem like a safer option, it’s still important to exercise caution and avoid falls whenever possible.

Heavier than fiberglass

A foam board is typically heavier than a fiberglass paddleboard, weighing in at 25 pounds compared to the 15-pound average of an epoxy board. The extra weight is due to the materials used to construct the foam board.

While fiberglass is a strong and lightweight material, it is not as durable as foam. As a result, foam boards are often made with a thicker layer of material, which adds to the overall weight of the board. In addition, foam boards may also include additional features, such as built-in fins or reinforced rails, which can also add to the board’s weight.

Despite being heavier than a fiberglass board, a foam board is still relatively easy to carry and transport thanks to its buoyancy.

They are best for beginners

Foam paddle boards are often seen as the best option for beginners, and there are several reasons for this.

  1. Firstly, foam boards are much more forgiving than their epoxy or fiberglass counterparts. If you fall off or make a mistake, you’re much less likely to damage the board.
  2. Secondly, foam boards are significantly lighter than other types of paddle boards, making them much easier to carry and transport.
  3. Finally, foam boards tend to be significantly cheaper than other types of paddle boards, making them a great option for those on a budget.

What foam is used in paddle boards?

Most paddle boards are made from polystyrene foam, which is also known as EPS foam. This type of foam is light and durable, making it an ideal material for paddle boards.

EPS foam is also relatively inexpensive, which makes it a good choice for budget-conscious shoppers. In addition, EPS foam is easy to work with, so it can be shaped into a variety of different paddle board designs.

However, some riders prefer a softer, more flexible paddle board, and for those riders, a SUP made from polyurethane foam might be a better option. Polyurethane foam is more expensive than EPS foam, but it offers a more comfortable ride and superior impact absorption.

Is foam or inflatable paddle board better?

Anyone who has ever tried to stand up on a paddle board can attest to the fact that it is not an easy task. Even those with the best balance will find themselves toppling into the water at some point.

This is where foam and inflatable paddle boards come in. Both types of boards offer a stable platform for beginners to learn on, but they have their unique advantages. Foam boards are slower than epoxy paddle boards, but faster than most inflatables. They are also much faster, lighter, and more durable than plastic.

As a result, they are a great option for those who want to paddleBoarding race or take on rougher waters. Inflatable paddle boards, on the other hand, offer a more versatile experience. They can be inflated to different levels of hardness, making them ideal for both beginners and experienced paddlers.

Plus, they are much easier to transport and store than foam boards. So, whether you are just getting started or looking for a board that can keep up with your adventurous lifestyle, an inflatable paddle board may be the right choice for you.

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What material is best for paddle boards?

When it comes to paddle boards, there are a variety of materials that can be used in their construction.

  • The most common material is fiberglass, which offers a good balance of strength and flexibility. However, it is also relatively heavy, which can make it difficult to maneuver in the water.
  • For this reason, many paddle boards also have a foam core, which makes them lighter and easier to handle.
  • Some high-end paddle boards are made entirely of carbon fiber, which is lightweight and extremely durable. However, carbon fiber paddle boards are also quite expensive.

What are hard SUP boards made of?

Hard SUP boards are most commonly built from different materials like foam, fiberglass, Kevlar, plastics, and wood, and protected with coats of epoxy resin. Each material has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

  • For example, foam is lightweight and durable, making it a great choice for beginners or those who want an all-purpose board.
  • Fiberglass is more rigid and responsive, making it a good choice for racing or surfing.
  • Kevlar is even more rigid and responsive, but also very lightweight, making it ideal for those who want a high-performance board.
  • Plastics are very durable and resistant to impact, making them a good choice for those who need a board that can take a beating.
  • And finally, wood is very strong and provides excellent rigidity, but is also very heavy, making it better suited for larger boards or those who don’t mind carrying a little extra weight.

How to choose a good foam paddle board

When choosing a stand-up paddle board, the first thing you need to think about is how you’re going to use it.

If you’re looking for a board that’s good for all-around paddling, then you’ll want something stable and easy to maneuver. For racing or surfing, you’ll want something narrower and sleeker.

Once you’ve decided on the type of board, the next step is to choose the right size. The length, width, and thickness of the board will all affect how it handles the water. To find the right volume and capacity for your body, consult a sizing chart or talk to an expert at your local shop.

With so many different boards on the market, it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re choosing the right one for you. By taking the time to find the perfect paddle board, you’ll be able to enjoy years of fun out on the water.


So, are foam SUP boards good? The answer to that question is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no. There are pros and cons to using these boards, and it ultimately depends on what you’re looking for in a SUP board.

If you want something lightweight and easy to transport, then a foam SUP board is probably the right choice for you.

But if you’re looking for something that provides more stability and durability, then you may want to consider opting for a traditional hardboard SUP instead.

Last updated on July 4, 2022 by Duncan Barrett

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