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April 16, 2021 36 min read

What Are The Best Cheap Paddle Boards?

Cheap paddle boards are good

Being on a budget doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have fun. We’re here to help you find the best cheap paddle board to stretch your dollar while still finding a quality board. 

Everyone – no matter how fat their wallet – deserves to paddle board!

Are Cheap Paddle Boards Any Good?

Yes and no. Some cheap paddle boards are made with poor quality materials and rushed to market. Your money will quickly sink with your board when it punctures on its maiden voyage. 

But it’s definitely possible to find a GOOD cheap paddle board. The key is to look at how the paddle board is constructed and determine if the materials are durable. When investing in any big purchase, you want to ensure that your money is not flushed down the toilet on a piece of junk. Some boards might cost less, but if they don't last for more than one season, you’ll be spending more money next year!

We will break down the important factors to consider when searching for a great stand up paddle board - while on a budget.  

What Makes an Amazing Entry-Level/Cheap Stand Up Paddle Board?

Amazing SUP boards

Many people who are looking for an inexpensive SUP are new to the sport and want a cheap option to get started. Why spend a lot up front if you’ve never been on a paddle board? Other experienced boarders search for cheap paddle boards when they want an extra all around board on hand. Grabbing an inexpensive inflatable paddle board can mean more freedom to travel the world - with your board! 

The goal is to find a great all around board with a lower price tag. The way to make a SUP cheaper is to trim expenses in minor areas, without sacrificing its durability or design.

Instead of a carbon fiber paddle, a cheaper board may come with an aluminum paddle., or a single chamber hand pump instead of a dual chamber inflation pump. These are important accessories to consider when looking for a paddle board (and they might be non-negotiable items for many), but less expensive accessories are a simple way to trim the expense without sacrificing quality. 

Inflatable stand up paddle boards are a better option for a cheap entry-level paddle board than an epoxy SUP alternative. A quality beginner epoxy paddle board is quite pricey and would rarely fall in the “cheap” category. If an epoxy board is cheap, it’s likely outdated, poorly made, or used. A new inflatable SUP is an inexpensive option without sacrificing quality.

Why Consider an Inflatable Paddle Board for Budget, Entry-Level SUP over a Hard/Epoxy Paddle Board?

Amazing cheap inflatable stand up paddle boards

When looking for an entry-level SUP on a budget, there are many reasons to consider an inflatable SUP over a solid/epoxy paddle board. Knowing the differences between an inflatable and solid board will help you understand the reasons why. 

  • The key reason to consider an inflatable paddle board is the versatility. The ability to pack up your iSUP into the size of a sleeping bag makes it easy to travel the world with your board. With quick and easy setup, your inflatable paddle board provides the versatility to be used for many SUP activities such as SUP Yoga, fishing, touring, or surfing.
  • Inflatable paddle boards provide incredible stability and a high weight capacity compared to similar hardboards. Most cheap inflatable paddle boards will support you, a friend, or your dog with ease. 
  • Hardboards can potentially break or crack. They are easily damaged when dropped or banged on the rocks, and they make for a hard landing during a tumble. An inflatable paddle board is durable and provides a softer surface for falls. Inflatable SUPs are designed to endure with low risk of damage, and they are usually covered with warranty protection!
  • Inflatable paddle boards have a soft deck pad that cushions your feet and prevents slips or falls. It is more expensive to incorporate soft deck pads into an epoxy board. Deck pads are appreciated by your passengers or your dog and also provide a soft surface to balance in your downward dog yoga pose!
  • Inflatable paddle boards travel wellto any paddle destination. A lightweight inflatable SUP can tuck easily into a travel backpack and be tossed into your trunk. You can even fly around the world with your inflatable SUP to explore remote waters. A solid board is heavy and requires either a roof rack or truck to transport - which adds to your overall expense. 
  • Inflatable paddle boards typically come with all you need in a complete package. The iSUP, travel paddle, inflation pump, and ankle leash arrive with your purchase (whereas with many boards, the paddle and ankle leash needs to be purchased separately). With inflatable paddle boards, you simply unpack your board, inflate it in minutes, and jump onto the water.

Our List of the Best Cheap Paddle Boards

The winners for best cheap paddle board are below with important additional details about each board to follow in the SUP Buying Guide. Analyze, ponder, and decide which board best suits your needs.

Inflatable Paddle Boards Dimensions Weight Capacity Weight Price
GILI Air 10'6 GILI air blue best cheap SUP board 10’6x31”x6” 280 lbs 19 lbs Check Price
iRocker Nautical iRocker Nautical all around cheap board 10’6x32”x6” 240 lbs 20 lbs Check Price
Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10'8 Bluefin cruise carbon cheap boards 10’8x32”x6” 330 lbs 24.9 lbs Check Price
Peak Expedition Peak Expedition attractive cheap board 11’x32”x6” 275 lbs 19.5 lbs Check Price
ROC Explorer 10' ROC Explorer lightweight cheap board 10’x32”x6” 300 lbs 17.5 lbs Check Price
Thurso Surf 120 Thurso Surf 120 cheap boards 10’x30”x6” 150 lbs 22.5 lbs Check Price
GILI 11'/12' Adventure Gili adventure orange best cheap paddle boards

11’x32”x6”

12’x32”x6”

290 lbs

330 lbs

23 lbs

24 lbs

Check Price
GILI 10'6 Komodo GILI komodo best cheap paddle boards 10’6x33”x6” 340 lbs 21 lbs Check Price
Serene Life 10'6 Serene Life Inflatable SUP 10’5x30”x6” 275 lbs 19.6 lbs Check Price

Cheap SUP Buying Guide for Beginners

Let’s break down each individual board to highlight why we chose them as our top cheap paddle board picks. Look at the specifics for each board and find one that best matches the reasons you want a paddle board. Does it have a wide deck for yoga or multiple riders? Is there a nice deck pad for your dog to ride along? Is there enough cargo room to pack your tackle box or even your GoPro? 

Your perfect match is out there!

1. GILI Air 10’6

GILI air blue best cheap SUP board

The winner of best cheap paddle board is the GILI Air 10’6. The Air is an inflatable stand up paddle board that is a stable all around option for beginners. It also has the maneuverability to be enjoyed by advanced users to catch some waves on the surf. The Air is a great quality product that GILI stands behind with a 2 year warranty.

Stability

There’s no question that the GILI Air is a stable board. Measuring 10.6’ x 31” x 6”, it has a good width for a wide, stable stance and the 6” of thickness provides good rigidity. With two removable side fins and a snap-in 9” center fin, your stability is increased with the tri-fin design.

The GILI Air can maneuver a few waves and glide across flat waters, but it is also versatile enough to use for SUP yoga or to fish your favorite lake. It can manage a weight capacity of 280 lbs, so you can even bring your kids or your dog when you float.

Maneuverability

The GILI Air maneuvers well with its tri-fin design. The rounded nose and planing hull are built to rise upon the water’s surface for a smooth ride. The Air manages best on flat water and is not designed for speed. This makes it a great board for general recreational use, but it would not be ideal for long term tours or rough water.

Tracking

Attach your cooler filled with cold drinks and easily float across calm waters with the GILI Air. The 9” center fin and two detachable snap-in side fins keep you on course as you glide. A few big strokes with your paddle will have you cruising with ease

The light weight of the Air makes it easier to get blown off course by wind, or pushed around by big waves.It’s not an issue for general use, but beginners may struggle on a windy day.

Construction

The durable construction of the GILI Air means your investment will last for years. Crafted with Military Grade PVC, it will not puncture or tear easily. The drop stitch construction means an added layer of thickness and durability. 

The GILI Air is one of the lightest boards on the list. This means that even your kids can transport your inflatable paddle board with ease.

Design

The GILI Air has a stylish all around design with a tapered nose. With added stability under your feet, it is perfect for entry-level riders, but also great for experienced paddlers to ride the surf. The extra large EVA traction pad ensures comfort at your feet without the risk of slipping.

A large 6-point front bungee cord system with a detachable rear 4-bungee cord storage means you can load your dry bag, tackle box, and gear for a full day on the water. The 15 D-rings and three action mounts are an exciting feature of the GILI Air that provide multiple attachment points - a detail that puts this paddle board above and beyond many competitors.

The 9” center fin and two detachable side fins snap into place easily to help the Air maneuver. Carry handles  positioned in the front, center, and rear mean it’s easy to transport this lightweight board. 

The GILI Air is available in five eye-catching color patterns: teal, blue, coral, green, and camouflage. The attractive turtle logo on the board’s bottom encourages others to protect our ocean environment. 

Accessories

Here is where the GILI Air really shines. The 15 D-rings and three action mounts mean you can attach your fishing rod holder, cooler, cup holder, waterproof dry bag, or even attach your GoPro to record the entire day of fun. GILI offers a kayak conversion kit to transform your inflatable paddle board into a boat for a sit-down float.

GILI inflatable paddle boards come with a complete package containing everything you need to get started. You can unload your heavy duty nylon inflatable SUP backpack, inflate your board, and then quickly hop onto the water. A single chamber dual-action pump means quick inflation. Attach your included ankle leash to a D-ring and take off.

A 3 piece aluminum paddle with a nylon blade breaks down to easily transport in your backpack. The paddle adjusts from 64-86 inches to adapt perfectly to your height. A goal paddle length is to extend 8-10” above your head.

Overall Value

At only $500, the GILI Air crushes the competition in overall value. It is a durable, well-crafted inflatable paddle board that does not skimp in the areas needed for a long-lasting board. The included package means no additional purchases such as a roof rack or a paddle because you’re ready to roll (or float). 

An added bonus is that with the purchase of any GILI paddle board, a portion of the money goes toward ocean conservation efforts and preserving marine life. You can’t beat that!

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • A great all around stable board at a fantastic price
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Multiple attachment points to accessorize - 15 D-rings and 3 action mounts
  • Attractive board in many color options
  • Easy to use snap-in center and side fins
  • You help the environment with each purchase
  • Two-year warranty and 60-day trial period
  • The light weight may make is catch wind or drift easily
  • Aluminum paddle is heavier (but keeps cost low)
  • No paddle holder
  • Single chamber inflation pump

2. iRocker Nautical

iRocker Nautical all around cheap board

The iRocker Nautical is another all around cheap inflatable paddle board that is great for beginners and entry-level learners. It is a stable SUP that can be used for general recreation to float with your kids or dog, and it maneuvers well with a wide deck to also enjoy SUP fishing or yoga.

Stability

The iRocker Nautical measures 10’6 x 32” x 6” and this thickness and gives it a rigid base with plenty of room to move. The wide deck increases the stability and allows you to stretch you for yoga or to travel with a friend. At only 20 lbs, it is easy to transport to the water by young paddlers and this makes it easy to maneuver. 

The iRocker has a 240 lbs weight capacity which may limit its use by larger riders. The tri-fin design also increases the overall stability.

Maneuverability

The iRocker Nautical has a hybrid nose as well as tapered rear to slice through the water while still being able to make a few turns. The lightweight tri-fin design makes for easier turns (and eventually - a few tricks!)  

Tracking

The iRocker has good glide across flat waters. The hybrid displacement hull has a more pointed nose than a true displacement hull and this allows for more speed, but be warned - the light weight of the board tends to catch wind and you might drift more often than heavier models. Also, since the lightweight board has a lower weight capacity than others, larger riders will have less speed and maneuverability.

Construction

Quality materials and optimal overall design make the iRocker a great addition to the list of cheap inflatable paddle boards. Dual layer, military grade PVC with drop stitch construction increases the board’s strength and rigidity to make it last for years after your purchase. If you’re spending the money, you want your purchase to last.

Design

The iRocker Nautical is an attractive board that comes in three color options: white, blue, or aqua. It has a classic all around design with slightly tapered nose and tapered rear. It can get on top of the water and above waves with ease. 

An EVA grooved deck pad extends to the rear of the board for comfort and a non-slip grip. Three snap-in fins make assembly fast and efficient and then the fins are easily removed for safe storage. 

A carry handle located in the front, center, and rear make it easy to transport this lightweight board to the water. There are many attachment points with 13 D-rings. A large front 6-point bungee system means you can pack your tackle box or cooler with plenty of cargo space. With numerous D-rings, you can throw on your kayak conversion seat to change-up your ride.  

Accessories

The iRocker comes with a complete package to set you up for immediate use of your SUP. It includes a dual action inflation pump for fast and easy setup. 

A quality inflatable SUP backpack with cushioned support on the shoulder straps makes it easy to hike your iRocker to isolated streams. An ankle leash and repair kit are also included. 

A fiberglass adjustable travel paddle is a lightweight alternative to aluminum, and it adjusts from 72” to 86” to make it useful for most any height. 

Overall Value

At $500, the iRocker Nautical is a cheap inflatable paddle board without sacrificing quality. With durable construction and a complete package that includes everything you need to jump on the water - you can’t go wrong. The quality and durability of this inflatable SUP means you can enjoy your investment for years to come.

The company also backs the purchase with a 1 year warranty and 60 day guarantee. 

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Great durable all around board for beginners
  • Tapered, lightweight design for great maneuverability
  • Fiberglass travel paddle good quality and lightweight
  • Warranty and 60 day guarantee
  • An affordable quality board
  • Dual layer construction with drop stitch core
  • 13 D-rings for attachment points
  • No action mounts
  • Only 1 year warranty
  • Single chamber pump
  • No paddle holder

3. Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8

Bluefin cruise carbon cheap boards

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 is an all around inflatable paddle board with a unique design that involves inflating two separate chambers within the board to increase the overall rigidity. The Bluefin package includes a kayak conversion kit to transform your SUP adventures into a sit down float.

Stability

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon measures 10’8 x 32” x 6” and inflates to 28 psi. This makes for a rigid, stable board that is great for all around and entry-level use. There’s plenty of room to float with your dog or a friend on the wide 32” deck.

The tri-fin design increases the stability and means it can maneuver fairly well. The added carbon fiber rail also increases the rigidity for a stable ride. The Bluefin Cruise Carbon has a wide, stable deck; perfect for SUP yoga, fishing, or multiple riders. 

Maneuverability

The rigid and durable build of the Bluefin Cruise Carbon with its  tri-fin design, means it is able to turn and twist across waves with ease. You could even consider using your Bluefin to take up surfing when your skills advance.

The raised, textured kick pad on the rear allows a great spot to plant your foot for sharp turns across the waves  as you show off for your friends!

Tracking

The three fins will increase drag to slow your speed. The center fin will assist with tracking and glide if you want to enjoy longer tours, but this board is more suited for recreational or all around use. The pointed nose creates a displacement hull to slice through the water more easily than the planing hull SUP.

Construction

Bluefin uses ESL (Exo Surface Laminate) technology for a UV resistant deck. This is reinforced with drop stitch construction and layered military grade PVC to make for a durable, long-lasting iSUP.

Two chambers, a central loop and main chamber, are inflated separately to increase rigidity and allow for a high 28 psi. A carbon rail takes the stable build to yet another level.

Design

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon is an attractive board with multiple attachment points making it adaptable to many activities. Enjoy SUP Yoga, fishing, surfing, or pack a cooler for a relaxing day on the water. There are 14 D-rings with one action mount on the nose.

A bungee storage area in the front and in the back provide excellent cargo space for gear. Neoprene reinforced grab handles at the front, center, and rear make it easy to carry.

The tri fin set up has a US fin box system with a removable center fin. A crocodile deck pad provides padding and good grip to reduce your chances of slipping.

Accessories

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 comes with a complete package that includes a dual-chamber pump for fast inflation and a kayak conversion kit with 4-piece dual blade carbon fiber paddle. These accessories are upgrades compared to other cheap paddle boards packages.

A durable SUP backpack means easy transport to your location with rapid setup using your dual chamber pump. An ankle leash and detachable center fin are also included. The travel paddle is made from carbon fiber to make it lightweight and durable.

Overall Value

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon is priced at $799 which is higher than other boards included on our list. BUT - it is a great overall value given the upgraded accessories and included kayak conversion kit with your purchase. You receive an inflatable paddle board with quality construction that should last for years of use. Bluefin also offers a fantastic 5-year warranty and 60-day guarantee.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Durable board that is great for beginners
  • Included kayak conversion kit
  • 14 D-rings and one action mount for accessories
  • Carbon fiber paddle
  • Dual chamber inflation pump
  • Carbon fiber rail
  • Fixed side fins – interferes with storage and could be damaged in transport
  • No paddle holder

4. Peak Expedition

Peak Expedition attractive cheap board

The Peak Expedition is an attractive all around inflatable SUP that is perfect for beginners and for general recreational use. Load up your kids, go SUP fishing, or enjoy SUP Yoga on this stable board.

Stability

The Peak Expedition measures 11’ x 32” x 6” when fully inflated. The 11’ of length combined with a wide deck and 6” of thickness make for a rigid and stable board. It is lightweight and a great inflatable SUP for entry-level users and those wanting to paddle with a friend. The Expedition can support a maximum weight of 350 lbs.

Maneuverability

The tri fin set up makes maneuvering easier but the 11’ of length will slow down your turns. The hybrid nose makes the iSUP displace the water easily and therefore makes a decent touring option.

Weighing only 19.5 lbs, the Peak Expedition will turn more easily than a heavier board. 

Tracking

The pointed nose of the Peak Expedition with the length of 11’ makes this board track and glide better than shorter boards which have a rounded nose. The tri-fin set up will allow good tracking but the side fins will reduce your overall speed. 

Construction

Quality construction with military grade PVC and a drop stitch construction means a durable board that is still lightweight. 

The Expedition includes three fins with a removable center fin and fixed side fins.

Design

The Expedition is an inflatable SUP with an attractive design and logo that comes in two color combinations: coral and green.

Front and rear spacious bungee systems allow storage space for coolers, dry bags, or a tackle box. One additional D-ring in the rear is useful for attaching your ankle leash. There are no action mounts if you wanted to attach fishing rod holders or your GoPro. Three grab handles in the center, front, and rear mean easy transport of this lightweight board. 

The tri-fin design has a center fin that snaps in easily to make setup quick. The side fins are affixed to the board. A brushed EVA foam deck pad cushions the board under your feet or for your dog’s comfort.

Accessories

The PEAK package has everything you need to hop onto the water. You can easily transport your iSUP with your SUP backpack - a convenient way to paddle board on distant lakes or streams. A 3-piece travel aluminum paddle, ankle leash, and a waterproof phone case are also included. 

A dual action inflation hand pump contributes to a quick setup time. There is an easily removable center fin with fixed side fins. 

Overall Value

The PEAK Expedition is a great option for a cheap all around paddle board. At $695, it is crafted with durable materials with a complete package to let you quickly hop on the water. The PEAK is a great all around board with a decent price tag for a beginner, but has the space and versatility to adapt to many activities.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Stable all around board for beginner or multi-purpose use
  • Tri fin design for stability and maneuvering
  • Complete package included with all you need to start paddling.
  • 60 day guarantee and 1 year warranty
  • Includes waterproof phone case
  • Only the center fin can be removed - the affixed side fins make storage more difficult.
  • Includes single chamber pump so may want to upgrade to dual chamber for faster setup.
  • Aluminum paddle heavier than carbon alternatives
  • The lightweight board may drift more easily in the wind
  • No paddle holder
  • No action mounts

5. ROC Explorer 10’

ROC Explorer lightweight cheap board

The ROC Explorer 10’ is a lightweight inflatable paddle board perfect for all around use and it comes at a great low price. Stable enough for a beginner, but also a lightweight and maneuverable SUP for advanced paddlers to enjoy.

Stability

The ROC Explorer 10’ measures 10’ x 32” x 6” and has a 300 lbs weight capacity. The ROC has two side fins that are affixed to the board and a detachable center fin that slides into place. The tri-fin design contributes to the iSUP’s stability. 

The wide deck - at 32” - provides a stable platform for a wide stance, but the 10’ length may make stability less for larger paddlers. Enjoy your SUP fitness routine with plenty of room or simply let the kids sit at your feet for a casual float. 

Maneuverability

The ROC is lightweight at 17.5 lbs which makes it easy to carry to the water. The lightweight SUP maneuvers well and makes a sharp turn easy with its rounded nose and tri-fin design, so you can step back and turn the board with ease and twist in and out of the surf.

Tracking

The ROC performs best on calm waters with minimal surf. Wind and waves might cause the lightweight board to drift more easily than a heavier board, but the tracking is decent with the added stability of the three fins. 

Construction

Like most inflatable paddle boards, the ROC Explorer is built with multi-layered military grade PVC with drop stitch construction at its core. ROC uses DuraWeld technology to create a rigid and durable SUP. Even weighing only 17.5 lbs, it can support up to 300 lbs of weight.

Design

The planing hull of the ROC Explorer 10’ makes it a great beginner board for all around use. ROC’s mountain logo is an attractive design and the Explorer is available in black, green, blue, or pink.

A central grab handle makes the lightweight board easy to manage and a large front bungee cargo space has room to load your cooler or dry bag. One D-ring in the rear allows an attachment point for your ankle leash or additional accessories. 

A thermosealed non-slip deckpad means your feet grip the board to prevent falls, as the diamond-grooved texture keeps you planted on the board.

Accessories

The ROC Explorer comes with everything you need to unpack and hit the water in minutes. It includes an aluminum travel paddle, SUP backpack, ankle leash, inflation pump, and dry bag.

The inflation pump is a single chamber hand pump to inflate your iSUP. The aluminum travel paddle has flip-lock adjustment capability to adapt to your height. 

The center fin removes easily and slides into place when you’re ready to hit the water. The side fins cannot be removed. The front bungee cargo area uses four D-rings and one additional D-ring in the rear provides an additional attachment point for your ankle leash. 

Overall Value

The ROC Explorer 10’ is an inexpensive inflatable board of decent quality. It runs at $499.95 and comes with a durable paddle board and included package to let you get to the water without additional purchases. There’s no significant upgrades in accessories, but it’s a quality board at a low price.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Inexpensive all around board
  • Lightweight and great for beginners
  • Maneuvers well
  • Complete package to get you on the water without additional purchases
  • Includes waterproof dry bag with package - not seen with most other iSUPs
  • 1-year warranty
  • Fixed side fins - may get damaged in storage or transport
  • Aluminum paddle - heavier than carbon or fiberglass
  • Single chamber pump
  • Only five total D-rings and no action mounts
  • No rear bungee cargo system
  • No paddle holder

6. Thurso Surf 120

Thurso Surf 120 cheap boards

The Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 is a nimble all around inflatable paddle board. It is a great option for new paddlers wanting a stable board, but best for paddle boarders who are shorter and lighter.

Stability

The Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 measures 10’ x 30” x 6” and has good stability. It will feel solid under your feet in calm waters or light surf. The board’s narrow width at 30” with only 10’ length might be a bit tippy for some beginners or larger users, but it is an overall stable board for most. 

It weighs 22.5 lbs and this will make it sit lower in the water to add to its stability. The carbon rail increases its rigidity.

Maneuverability

The Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 is a great inflatable SUP option for turns and makes maneuvering look easy. The tri-fin design and rounded nose make this a great all around board. You can even surf a few waves if you’re a more experienced rider. The Waterwalker 120 is a shorter, lightweight board, so beginners will quickly learn to step back and turn the board easily.

Tracking

Being a narrower board at 30”, this increases the Thurso Waterwalker 120’s speed and glide. The tri-fin design with three quick-lock fins help maintain your tracking for short tours, but will slow the overall speed compared to using only one center fin.

Construction

Triple layer construction makes the Waterwalker 120 a durable board that will last for many seasons on the water. A drop stitch core is layered with Military grade PVC and a UV coating to provide the durability for years of paddle boarding. 

The addition of carbon rails increases the rigidity of the board and adds another layer of durability. 

Design

The Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 is designed for maneuvering. It has a rounded nose and is sized perfectly for turns or surfing. Three fins are easily removed and can be quickly locked into place, arranged as a single fin or a 2+1 setup. 

A front and rear bungee system provides fantastic cargo space to pack your dry bag or cooler. With 15 D-rings and an action mount on the nose, you can attach your ankle leash, pack a cooler of drinks, and an extra towel. The action mount on the nose means you can record your watery adventures with your GoPro.

A padded deck provides a comfortable ride with little chance of slipping. Three grab handles located in center, front, and rear to easily carry the iSUP to the water and paddle holders along the rail prevent your paddle from floating away.

Accessories

For a cheap iSUP package, the Thurso Surf Waterwalker shines by including high quality accessories. The SUP backpack is wheeled to easily roll your board to the water’s edge and a 10’ coiled ankle leash and three quick-lock fins are also included. 

The travel paddle is a carbon hybrid with a carbon shaft and nylon blade. This means a lightweight paddle that also travels well. 

The inflation pump is dual chamber which means faster filling with less time and effort. 

Overall Value

At $799, the Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 is a great deal. The board is stable and perfect for beginners, but also has the capability to maneuver which experienced riders will enjoy. The package includes upgraded components compared to other inexpensive boards. A rolling SUP backpack, paddle holder, and carbon hybrid paddle are higher quality accessories compared to most base packages.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Maneuvers well
  • Durable build with carbon rails
  • Dual chamber pump for fast inflation
  • Carbon hybrid paddle is lighter weight than the aluminum most inexpensive boards include
  • Rolling SUP backpack
  • Included paddle holder
  • Many D-rings and one action mount
  • The narrow board may be less stable for some beginners
  • Less stable for tall or heavy riders
  • Slightly heavier board

7. GILI 11’/12’ Adventure

Gili adventure orange best cheap paddle boards

The GILI Adventure 11’ or 12’ is designed for exploring uncharted waters. It is a high performance inflatable paddle board great for touring and for reaching out of the way locations - while it also boasts a great price tag. Although it’s not GILI’s cheapest board in the quiver, the package upgrades make it worth adding.

Stability

The GILI Adventure is available in two sizes: 11’ x 32” x 6” and 12’ x 32” x 6”. The additional 1-2 inches of length with a wide 32” deck makes the Adventure an incredibly stable board and perfect for beginner use. It is also a versatile iSUP for advanced riders to tour distant locales.

Maneuverability

The Adventure is lightweight at 23-24 lbs and can support a maximum weight of 290 - 330 lbs. Three easily detachable fins make for quick and easy turns. The added length makes turning more difficult than with a shorter board, but it would be great for short tours or catching a few waves in the surf.

Tracking

The design of the GILI Adventure is built for speed. The pointed nose and increased rocker create a displacement hull to slice through water for enhanced glide and tracking. The easily detached three-fins improve the stability and can be adapted to your journey. Remove the side fins and use only the center fin for longer tours with less drag. 

Construction

Durable materials ensure the GILI Adventure will last for years. Built with dual layer Fusion Technology, the multiple layers of durable PVC crafted over a drop stitched core makes it a rigid iSUP – while still being lightweight. 

The Adventure can support 290 lbs of weight, and up to 320 lbs for advanced paddlers. A 9” center fin and two side fins are easily removable and snap into place.

Design

The Adventure is built to travel. With 16 D-rings you can attach most any accessory to go fishing, tour long distances, or convert your iSUP to a kayak with a kayak conversion kit. The extra large EVA traction pad provides comfort to travel with a friend or your dog.

The board has sporty, attractive appearance and is available in four color options: blue, teal, yellow, and orange. The turtle and manta ray logo for GILI Sports reminds you of their mission to save our reefs

Front and rear bungees allow room for your dry bag, cooler, or tackle box. The Adventure is easy to transport with a front, center, and rear carry handles. Three easy to snap-in fins: center 9” fin and two side fins.

Accessories

A great inclusive package is included with the purchase of the GILI Adventure. It comes with a dual stage inflation pump, ankle leash, 9” snap-in center fin, removable side fins, SUP backpack, and carbon fiber travel paddle.

The high quality carbon fiber paddle is lightweight and it’s a nice upgrade from most inexpensive iSUP packages. It breaks down into three pieces for easy travel. 

Overall Value

For $665, the GILI Adventure is a steal. You get a high performance, durable inflatable paddle board decked out with numerous attachment points. The versatility of this iSUP makes it a great option to travel, tour long distances, or paddle with your dog. The complete package has everything you need to unpack, inflate your paddle board, and hop onto the water.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Great all around board for beginners
  • High performance board built for speed
  • 16 D-rings for multiple ways to add accessories
  • Durable and built to last
  • Carbon fiber paddle - lightweight and strong
  • 2 year warranty and 60 day guarantee
  • Portion of purchase supports ocean conservation
  • Single chamber inflation pump
  • Little pricier than other boards on this list

8. GILI 10’6 Komodo

GILI komodo best cheap paddle boards

The GILI 10’6 Komodo is one of the best all around inflatable stand up paddle boards, and it’s many upgrades and quality accessories make it an unbeatable value. It’s a perfect beginner board due to its stability and is easily enjoyed for SUP Yoga, fishing, touring, or general recreational use. Although not the cheapest board from GILI Sports, it is included here because it is a high quality iSUP package at a reasonable price.

Stability

The GILI 10’6 Komodo measures 10’6 x 33” x 6”. The wide 33” deck makes the Komodo stable with plenty of space to paddle with your kids, or to let your dog relax at your feet with the wind in his face. The inflated board is 6” thick for increased rigidity that adds to the stability. It can manage up to 340 lbs of weight meaning the Komodo can manage multiple riders or lots of cargo.  

Maneuverability

With a tri-fin design including a 9” detachable center fin and detachable side fins, the Komodo maneuvers well, and you can catch a few waves along the shoreline. The board is lightweight and makes a step back turn easy. 

Tracking

The GILI Komodo has a hybrid nose to combine the benefits of a planing hull to increase stability, while also having a slight point to displace the water for speed. It can slice through the water better than a pure planing hull. Tracking and glide are optimal for some touring down the ocean coast.

Construction

The GILI Komodo construction uses Triple Layer Fusion technology. Drop stitched layers are machine-bonded and then covered in a PVC coating - this makes it hard to damage or puncture. This SUP is extra rigid, durable, and puncture-resistant - it’ll last for years of fun on the water. 

Because of the triple layer fusion tech, this SUP is 20% lighter than competing dual-layered boards. 

Design

The Komodo design makes it the ideal iSUP for nearly every activity. The full-length EVA traction deck pad extends from nose to tail and ensures that you won’t lose your footing when reeling in a fish or enjoying SUP yoga. 

A 6-point detachable bungee system in front allows room for your waterproof dry bag, while the 4-point rear detachable bungee system provides even more cargo space to add a cooler or an anchor. 

Multiple attachment points provide the ability to accessorize your Komodo. With 18 total D-rings, you can attach a SUP to kayak conversion kit to change up your journey into a sit-down kayak float or bungee a tackle box. A built-in paddle holder secures your paddle so it doesn’t try to float away.

The Komodo sports three GILI Action mounts, used for mounting cup holders, fishing rod holders, action cameras and more.

Grab handles in the center, rear, and front are made of neoprene for easy transport. The Komodo has a slick, stylish design and comes in blue, teal, or a unique yoga-inspired pattern. The logo on the bottom tells the world that you support ocean conservation efforts. 

Accessories

The GILI Komodo comes as a complete package. In addition to the iSUP, you receive a 3-piece travel paddle, a snap-in 9” center fin, two detachable side fins, high-pressure dual-stage pump, ankle leash, repair kit, and travel SUP backpack. 

The travel paddle breaks down into three easy-to-pack pieces and is available in fiberglass or carbon fiber. The paddle adjusts to 67” to 86” in length. 

The SUP backpack is crafted from heavy-duty nylon and built to hold your SUP and all of your gear. It has padded shoulders and waist straps to comfortably trek your paddle board to distant mountain lakes. The bag has a special fin pocket, so you’ll never leave your fins behind.

GILI offers a 2 year warranty on every board, as well as a 60 day trial run.

Overall Value

At $675 the GILI Komodo is a fantastic value. You receive quality gear at an affordable price. The complete package gives you everything you need to jump onto the water immediately. The stability of this durable board makes it versatile for any SUP activity. Paddle with your dog, catch some waves at the beach, or accessorize your board for a day of fishing. 

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Durable design, great all around board
  • Full length EVA pad from nose to tail
  • Complete SUP package
  • 18 D-rings and 3 action mounts
  • 60-day guarantee and 2-year warranty
  • A portion of your purchase goes toward ocean conservation efforts
  • Single chamber pump

9. Serene Life 10’6

Serene Life Inflatable SUP

The Serene Life 10’5 inflatable paddle board has a nice low price, but also has fewer bells and whistles compared to other iSUP packages. The low price tag makes it an attractive option for beginning paddlers looking for a stable board.

Stability

The Serene Life 10’5 measures 10’5 x 30” x 6”. It is a rigid board that works well for beginner use but does not have a lot of deck space to add a second rider. While the tri-fin design increases the stability, larger and taller paddle boarders might fight harder to balance. 

For the average single rider, the Serene Life makes a great board for yoga and general recreational use.

Maneuverability

The Serene Life 10’5 is a lightweight board with three fins to make it easy to maneuver. You can skim the surf with ease and the rounded nose makes it easy to twist in and out of the waves. 

Tracking

The narrower board increases the overall speed, but the short length and three fins will slow it down for optimal touring. The side fins are fixed while the center fin can be removed for easier transport and storage. 

Construction

 This durable inflatable paddle board is made from reinforced PVC, which is designed to resist punctures and help your iSUP to last for many years of use. Two fixed side fins are paired with a removable center fin. 

Design

A rounded nose creates a great planing hull to get on top of the water. The deck pad is comfortable under your feet but only covers about half of the board. 

One central grab handle is used to carry the board which is easy when it weighs only 19.5 lbs. A front bungee area works for storage, and additional D-rings in the center and one in the rear allow for leash attachments or more accessories.  

Accessories

The iSUP package includes an ankle leash, travel paddle, detachable center fin, air pump, and SUP backpack. 

The manual pump has a single chamber to quickly inflate your board and the aluminum travel paddle breaks down for easy transport.

Overall Value

The Serene Life 10’5 is an inexpensive board that’s great for beginners. The lower price tag is possible because basic accessories (aluminum paddle and single chamber pump) are included, rather than premium ones. At such a cheap price, it would be a great beginner board, or a fun add-on board for experienced riders. 

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Great price tag
  • Maneuvers well and could catch a few waves to surf
  • Good all around board
  • Fixed side fins and center fin requires tool
  • Single chamber pump
  • Few D-rings for attachments
  • No action mounts
  • Aluminum paddle
  • No paddle holder

Other Cheap SUPs to Look At

We’ve picked our favorites, but there are a few other cheap paddle boards worth mentioning. 

10. Funwater SUP

The Funwater inflatable paddle board is extremely lightweight for easy transport with the stability perfect for beginners.

Funwater SUP extremely lightweight SUP
 Measurements Weight Weight Capacity Price
11'x33x6" 17.5 lbs 330 lbs Price

Stability

The FunWater iSUP measures 11’ x 33” 6” which gives a broad deck for a wide stable stance. It’s a perfect setup as an all around board to be enjoyed with friends, your dog, or for a little SUP yoga.

Maneuverability

The FunWater is a lightweight inflatable paddle board weighing only 20.4 lbs that makes it easy to maneuver. The tri-fin design combined with its light weight make turning easy so you can weave in and out of waves or obstacles.

Tracking

The three fins are removable and work well to maintain the glide of the iSUP. Three fins will cause some drag to slow down your speed, but it tracks well overall. The hybrid pointed nose improves the FunWater’s ability to cut through the water to improve its glide. 

Construction

Multi-layer PVC construction with the addition of PVC layered side rails improve the rigidity and durability this inflatable paddle boards. 

A center fin and two side fins are easily removed for safe storage of your board.

Design

The FunWater has different logos for each paddle board in their quiver. This “smiley face” version has simple blue and white coloring. The tri-fin setup increases the stability. 

A front cargo area with 4 D-rings and bungees provides storage space to pack a cooler or tackle box. One additional D-ring in the rear is perfect to attach your ankle leash, and  the center carry handle can be used to haul this lightweight board to the water with ease.

A non-slip EVA deck pad provides comfort for your feet and a safe space to perform your yoga pose. 

Accessories

As soon as you reach your destination, the FunWater inflatable stand up paddle board comes with all you need to hit the water. A single chamber pump, ankle leash, removable fins, and travel bag. Also included is a waterproof phone case.

The travel paddle is aluminum and heavier than carbon or fiberglass alternatives. The single chamber inflation pump prepares your board in minutes. 

Overall Value

For $289.95, the FunWater is a decent all around paddle board. It would be a great option for a beginner new to paddle boarding who wants a cheap inflatable paddle board to test out. While the FunWater has everything you need, the package is of lower quality; with an aluminum paddle, single chamber pump, and limited storage capacity. You will usually get what you pay for with any stand up paddle board. 

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Cheap!
  • Great for all around and beginner use
  • Complete package for easy setup
  • 1 year warranty
  • Aluminum paddle
  • Single chamber pump
  • Few D-rings will limit accessories
  • One grab handle
  • No action mounts
  • No paddle holder

11. Vilano Pathfinder

The Vilano Pathfinder is an inexpensive board that is designed to be narrower than the average all around board and it only has 5 inches of thickness. This improves its maneuverability, but might make it less desirable for entry-level users with overall less stability.

Vilano pathfinder cheap SUP

 Measurements Weight Weight Capacity Price
10'x31x5" 240 lbs uncertain Price

Stability

The Vilano Pathfinder is a cheap inflatable paddle board that measures 10’ x 31” x 5”. When compared to similar inflatable SUP, the Vilano is only 5” thick. A thinner board will sit lower in the water to potentially increase its stability. 

The deck width is 31,” so beginners can enjoy a wide stance. The short and thin board has one central fin without side fins. This may make it less stable and not an ideal starter SUP for beginners.

Maneuverability

The Vilano Pathfinder can tackle waves and surf as a lightweight, short board with a rounded nose. Advanced paddle boarders will enjoy the Pathfinders maneuverability. With only one center fin, the ability to turn is reduced compared to a tri-fin design, but allows for less drag and higher speed. 

Tracking

One central removable fin allows for good tracking, though touring speed will be reduced by short planing hull. The inflatable SUP is lightweight and the thinner width will make it sit lower in the water. This will reduce your overall speed and may make you drift more in high winds. 

Construction

Military grade PVC material is layered with drop stitch construction to create a durable board. It will resist puncture and provide for years of use. 

Design

The Vilano Pathfinder has a rounded nose and planing hull. One center fin can be removed for safe storage and transport. 

One central carry handle is enough to haul this lightweight board to the water.

Four front D-rings with bungees create adequate storage space for a cooler or dry bag, while one rear D-ring provides the attachment point for your ankle leash. A large comfortable deck pad creates a padded surface for SUP Yoga, and also a softer landing if you fall! 

Accessories

The Vilano Pathfinder comes with an aluminum travel paddle, ankle leash, manual pump, and removable fin.

The inflation pump has a single chamber. The travel paddle breaks down into three pieces for easy travel, but is crafted from aluminum and may be heavier than comparable paddles made from carbon or fiberglass. It does not come with a storage bag or backpack so this needs to be purchased separately. 

Overall Value

The Vilano Pathfinder is a cheap inflatable paddle board, but it lacks the higher quality package items that make other iSUPs preferred. It is a great board for all around use, and it would be a fun board for advanced boarders to surf. A backpack or bag is not included and puts your inflatable stand up paddle board at risk for damage during transport and storage if not protected. 

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Maneuvers well
  • Quality construction
  • Cheap!
  • Includes most items to get onto the water quickly
  • No backpack or storage bag included
  • Aluminum paddle
  • Single chamber pump
  • Limited storage space with 5 D-rings
  • No action mounts
  • No paddle holder
  • One center fin reduces stability for beginners

12. FB Sport Premium SUP

The FB Sport is a cheap inflatable paddle board that works well as an entry-level SUP. It is stable and durable, and comes with everything needed to hit the water as soon as you arrive at the shore. It’s design makes for a great additional board for experienced paddle boarders to surf.

FB Sport premium SUP
 Measurements Weight Weight Capacity Price
10'x30"x6" 22 lbs 280 lbs Price

Stability

The FB Sport measures 10’ x 30” x 6” and is stable enough for beginner use. The deck is slightly narrower than most all around boards, but the rigidity is improved with 6” of thickness. 

A center fin detaches and two fixed side fins add to the stability of the inflatable paddle board.

Maneuverability

At 10’, the short, lightweight design with a narrow 30” deck makes this board better able to maneuver turns and surf. The tri-fin set up assists with turns to make the FB Sport versatile for many SUP activities.

Tracking

A long central fin can be attached easily to improve its tracking ability. The fixed side fins assist with stability but will increase the drag to reduce your overall speed. The narrow deck will allow more speed than wider varieties.

Construction

Military grade PVC with drop stitch construction is used to craft a durable board. It is UV resistant to extend its use for years of paddling fun. 

An EVA deck pad makes for comfortable SUP yoga or a padded surface if you fall. One central handle means easy transport to the water. 

Design

The FB Sport inflatable stand up paddle board is available in four color options: mint green, green-yellow, purple, and blue. 

A 6-point front bungee system provides large space for cargo to secure a dry bag, tackle box, or extra towel. Your ankle leash attaches to an additional D-ring in the rear.

Accessories

The FB Sport inflatable stand up paddle board comes with everything you need: a single chamber manual pump, ankle leash, detachable center fin, and SUP backpack for easy transport to the water. 

The travel paddle is made of aluminum and can break down into three pieces for travel. The single chamber pump inflates your iSUP in minutes. 

Overall Value

The FBSport definitely qualifies when considering cheap inflatable paddle boards when priced at $359.90. It is a nice, durable all around board that is versatile for many uses like SUP Yoga, fishing, or all around recreational use. It comes with everything you need out of the box. 

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Stable all around board
  • Durable construction
  • Removable center fin
  • Maneuvers well for surfing
  • 30 day guarantee and 1 year warranty
  • Aluminum paddle
  • Single chamber hand pump
  • No paddle holder
  • One carry handle
  • Limited D-rings for accessories
  • Narrower deck and therefore less stable than other all arounds

FAQ’S

🏆 What is the cheapest paddle board?

The best cheap paddle board that we recommend is the GILI Air 10’6. When you factor in the overall quality, durability, and style of an all around inexpensive paddle board, the GILI Air has everything you need for $500. The overall value is evident with the complete package of SUP backpack, inflation pump, ankle leash, repair kit, and the aluminum paddle that’s included. No extra purchases are necessary and GILI stands by their quality with a 2 year warranty and 60 day guarantee period.

The GILI Air is the perfect stand up paddle board for beginners, yet can adapt to SUP yoga or fishing. The numerous D-rings and action mounts mean you can accessorize your inflatable paddle board with your fishing rod holder, a cooler, your dry bag, and more. 


👍 Is paddle boarding hard?

Paddle boarding is NOT hard. Anyone from your 8-year old child to your 80-year old grandmother can enjoy paddle boarding. An inflatable SUP provides a rigid, stable base for beginners and a softer surface if you happen to fall. For beginners, the best iSUP will have a wide deck over 31” to provide a wide stance. Look at the overall weight capacity of a paddle board to ensure it is rigid enough for a more stable ride.

After you choose the best SUP for you, find calm waters to start. Wade into the water to about knee-level and ease then ease onto your board in a kneeling position as you push off. Take time to find your balance. Continue to sit or kneel on the board until you’re comfortable, and over time, you’ll gain the confidence to stand. Next time, you could even bring your dog for a ride!


🏝️ What is the best paddle board for beginners?

Our pick for the best paddle board for beginners is the GILI Air 10’6. When looking for your first paddle board, consider the quality of the build and the stability it provides. A board more than 31 inches wide that is also 6 inches thick will give a rigid base under your feet to allow a wide stable stance. 

The benefits of an inflatable SUP are the light weight with grab handles so even the kids can carry you SUP to the water. With an inflatable paddle board, you can bring your paddle board on every water vacation! Throw your SUP back in the trunk or fly with it on an airplane. You’ll be able to float on clear blue ocean shores or serene mountain lakes. 


❓ Are cheap paddle boards any good?

They can be! When looking to buy a paddle board without having a lot of extra cash sitting around, take the time to determine the paddle boards quality. Typically, your money will go a lot further for a better quality SUP if you purchase a new inflatable paddle board as opposed to an epoxy/solid alternative.

When looking at paddle boards, look at the build and material to ensure it will not puncture on its first run. Look at what’s included with your iSUP. What kind of paddle? Is there a SUP backpack and inflation pump? Determine if the fins can be detached easily to prevent damage to your iSUP during transport or storage. 

There are many cheap boards out there, but it’s also important to consider WHO you are buying from. Look for a company that specializes in paddle boards who will answer the phone if you have an issue.


📦 What is a good price for a paddle board?

The price of a quality paddle board typically ranges from $500 - $1200. Can you find cheaper paddle boards on the market? Yes, but they are crafted with cheap materials and may not last for more than one season. 

The issues that factor into overall price are the construction materials, the included package, the weight capacity of the board, and its overall performance. An inflatable SUP is less expensive while still providing a rigid, stable base for all around use. 

When evaluating inflatable paddle boards, consider if it is crafted with military grade PVC and has a drop stitch core to protect it from puncture.  Then look to see what’s included with your purchase. Most reputable companies will include a paddle, inflation pump, ankle leash, repair kit, and a SUP backpack to safely store your investment.


🏝️ Where to buy a used paddle board?

If buying a new paddle board is not in your budget, consider buying a used paddle board. GILI stands by their used inflatable paddle boards with a manufacturers one-year warranty and each board is checked to ensure there are no functional defects to affect its performance. 

A used paddle board might only have a few blemishes and still provide many hours of floating fun. For hundreds of dollars less, you can still enjoy a quality paddle board when you purchase one used.


❓ Lifespan of an inflatable paddle board?

Inflatable paddle boards usually last at least 5 seasons, but this can be extended with proper care. Most paddle boards are built with durable layered PVC that can withstand being dropped and dragged on the sand and rocks. They are designed to last for many years of paddle boarding fun.


📦 Where to buy a paddle board near me?

Our favorite site to purchase and inflatable paddle board is GILI Sports. With a variety of different boards in their quiver, you’re sure to find that meets your needs. GILI Sports specializes in paddle boards and design SUPs to optimize your paddling experience. GILI also warranties their products with a 60-day guarantee. The icing on the cake – a portion of each purchase goes toward ocean conservation efforts to save our reefs and sea life.

When purchasing ANY paddle board, look to a company that specializes in paddle boards. A large sporting goods store might carry SUPs, but they’re not versed in finding the best board for you. Find a company with good customer service and who’ll answer when you call with a question.


📦 What are the benefits of SUP?

It’s hard to believe that paddle boarding is not as popular as baseball or basketball, when you consider the many health benefits of SUP. Paddle boarding provides a great workout that focuses your core, arms, and legs. It allows you to connect with nature, and your mental health also benefits from a serene float across glassy waters. Basketball can’t claim serenity...

Summary

When looking for a cheap board, don’t be afraid to splurge with a few more dollars to get a quality board and find out how the SUP is made to determine if it will last for many years. What’s the purpose of buying a dirt-cheap board if it only lasts for one season?

You now have the information needed to choose a cheap paddle board that suits your needs. Find the one that works for you, and head out onto the water!

Pat McCaw
Pat McCaw

Author, physician, mom and lover of all things outdoors. If there’s water or a hiking trail nearby, that's her happy place. Throw in family and a couple of dogs and it's paradise!


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