Plastic VS Fiberglass Paddleboard Comparison Guide


Paddleboarding has taken the watersport world by storm. The idea of standing up on a board on the surface of the water and easily gliding to where you want to be is great recreational fun. Plus, there are some amazing benefits of stand up paddleboarding.

There is also an element of relaxation as this is not a fast sport. You will be at one with nature as you take in the beauty of all that surrounds you. If you have a camera, a stand-up paddle board can provide you with some excellent shots.

Many people are opting to get their own stand up paddleboards. A question that often arises is whether to buy a plastic vs fiberglass stand up paddleboard. Understanding all the parts of a stand up paddleboard will help greatly in making the right choice.

There are some advantages to plastic vs stand up paddleboard and the right one for you will depend on several different factors. And even better is that there are stand up paddleboards for kids as well so they do not need to be left out.

1. Price

Price is often a major difference between plastic vs fiberglass paddleboards. In fact, there is a huge margin as far as price is concerned with the most expensive plastic paddleboards being cheaper than the lowest-priced fiberglass paddleboards.

The plastic variety can range anywhere between $250 and $600. Fiberglass paddleboards, on the other hand, will range anywhere between $700 and have top prices that are in the thousands of dollars.

Many people think that plastic paddleboards are more advantageous. For one they can be customized much more easily with the addition of things like fishing rod holders or a seat.

However, the basic features of stand up paddleboards can be found in both plastic vs fiberglass paddleboards. For example, they both have fins, a place to attach a paddleboard leash as well as a built-in handle.

2. Length

Of course, both plastic and fiberglass paddleboards will come in different lengths. However, generally speaking, the fiberglass variety tends to be a bit longer.

The longer the paddleboard, the faster it is, and the better it is at tracking. Shorter paddleboards are slower.

Sometimes the longer the paddleboard, the more difficult it is to store away when not in use. Fiberglass paddleboards need special attention when storing them as the material construction is not as robust or rigid as the plastic paddleboards.

3. Width

As for how wide stand up paddleboards are, there is not much difference between plastic and fiberglass boards. Both come with similar width dimensions.

The wider the stand up paddleboard, the more stability it has. However, when choosing your SUP, keep certain factors in minds such as performance and speed. A narrow SUP is faster in the water.

If you are a beginner, you may want to stock to a wide SUP to get yourself acquainted with the sport. There are beginner paddle boards for first-timers. Once you feel proficient at it, you can move on to wider SUPs.

4. Stability

Plastic paddleboards are more stable than fiberglass paddleboards. This is because they have a much thicker build with larger sides.

Fiberglass paddleboards usually have a thin profile that results in less stability.

5. Weight

The fiberglass paddleboards are the clear winners as far as weight is concerned. They usually have a foam interior and an epoxy and fiberglass exterior. Plastic paddleboards, on the other hand, have a thick plastic build which adds to their sturdiness but also adds to the weight.

6. Durability


By now this should be a no-brainer. Plastic paddleboards are much more durable than fiberglass paddleboards. They also last considerably longer.

When it comes to storage, you don’t have to worry about plastic paddleboards as they can take a lot of punishment and still endure. That’s more than can be said about the fiberglass paddleboards.

When transporting the paddleboards with your car, both the plastic and fiberglass paddleboards can be hoisted on top of a paddleboard car roof rack. However, you will drive better knowing that the plastic variety can withstand a fall.

7. Paddling Style

Regardless of whether you are using plastic vs fiberglass stand up paddleboard, there are two main positions that you will use to paddle, the obvious standing up position and the kneeling position.

Remember that you will need proper SUP paddles and always have your SUP life jacket on.

Deck pads are important. If you plan on spending considerable time on the water, then standing or kneeling for extended periods can feel uncomfortable. A good deck pad will cushion your feet and knees and allow you to make the most of your time in the water.

However, plastic stand up paddleboards take things a level higher. Since they usually have a contoured deck, the user can sit and paddle while sitting down. Some may even come with seats. What’s more, as we saw earlier that it is easy to modify a plastic board, you can screw a seat on and tune it into a sit on top kayak. You can even modify the paddleboard to include some extra paddleboard accessories.

You might also be interested in: Fiberglass SUP VS Inflatable SUP: Learn to know which one is good?

8. Speed

There is no competition with speed as far as fiberglass paddleboard goes. They are faster and track better. This is thanks to the material construction as well as the fact that they are lighter and have more length.

9. Surfing

Surfing on a fiberglass paddleboard is different than with a plastic paddleboard. Fiberglass boards are lighter and faster. They are also more maneuverable.

Plastic paddleboards are heavier which makes them slower and less maneuverable when surfing. Always ensure to observe stand up paddleboard safety guide to remain safe when in the water.

Globo Surf Overview

If you are getting a stand-up paddleboard with performance being an overriding concern, then fiberglass paddleboards are superior in terms of speed, maneuverability, and efficiency. However, these come at a high price.

On the other hand, if you are on a budget and speed is not much of a concern of yours, then the plastic stand up paddleboard is much more affordable. It is also much more thickly built which makes it more durable.

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