Hi Seabreeze Community:
Does anyone know about the SUPs from Bay Sports? In particular the Cruise 9' 6". I live in the U.S. and am looking for an inexpensive decent quality inflatable. Looking for a very light shorter board as 5' 2". There are two in the US I could consider but they are both 6" thick so was intrigued with the Bay Sports cruiser which is only 5" thick & might be better. Has anyone used Bay Sports boards? Can't find any reviews by actual customers of Bay Sports nor can I find any reviews not affiliated with Amazon and there are no consumer amazon reviews either. So I'd be purchasing directly from across the world as though they are listed on amazon in U.S. and in Australia, they are not in stock and no reviews are posted. ~Eliza
Inflatables are only mass-produced, in factories in Asia. And thus it is a product where the economy of scale is important: the more a brand sells boards, the cheaper they are to make, and the more pressure the brand can put on the factories to use only premium materials for their boards.
So in buying unknown brands, or brands with a low sales volume, you are buying from people that have a higher manufacturing cost, and are often given the second choice materials. There is no free lunch, if they end up being cheaper, you are taking huge risks.
This is totally different from hard boards, where a lone shaper/glasser producing 10 boards a month can match or be better on quality and price than production boards, as the manual expertise can compensate for the economies of scale.