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7 Best Cheap Paddle Boards of 2023 Gear Guide

Best cheap paddle boards

Stand up paddleboards or SUP’s have become one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world.  Inflatable SUP’s are a super convenient way to give paddleboarding a try without the large cost and storage space needs that a rigid SUP board requires. Owning an inflatable paddleboard doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can find good performing paddleboards for $200-$300. There are many good choices out there that fit any budget.  Let’s look at the best cheap paddle boards that you can buy now.

Below are our top pics. We considered price, options, on water performance, and customer reviews in our selections of the best cheap paddle boards. Keep reading reviews, specifications, and stand up paddleboard guide.

See our guide to the best inflatable paddleboards under $500 for the next step up in price and performance.



1 – iRocker Nautical

☆ TOP PICK
iRocker Nautical Product Image

Get a FREE KAYAK CONVERSION KIT with every SUP from iRocker for the month of December

What we liked:

  • Fiberglass paddle
  • Durable and stiff 2 layer construction
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Lots of D-Rings and carry handles

What we didn’t like:

  • Lower weight capacity than other iRocker boards
  • Not as stiff as the rest of the more expensive 3 Layer iRocker boards

Summary

The iRocker Nautical is the entry level board from well known iRocker. iRocker produces mid to high end boards under the iRocker and Blackfin names. The Nautical is the best value out there in paddleboards. The Nautical has a 2 layer PVC laminate construction and really nice fiberglass paddle. This board sells for the price of many single layer PVC boards with cheap aluminum paddles.

It has a durable backpack and double action pump. It is available in 2 sizes, 10’6″ and 11’6″. Anyone over 200 lbs should consider the 11’6″ version of the board. iRocker has done a very good job at producing a cheaper budget board that retains the quality and performance they are known for.

Paddling Nautical Stony Creek

Specifications

  • Size – 10′6″ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 240 lbs
  • Board Weight – 20 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer
  • Warranty – 2 years
  • D-Rings – 17
  • Paddle -3 piece fiberglass paddle
  • Pump – Double action pump

Get the iRocker Nautical at iRocker and at Amazon.


2 – Freein Stand Up Paddle Board Kayak SUP

☆ TOP PICK
Freein SUP Kayak product image

Get $30 off using coupon code FS30 at Freeinsup.com

What we liked:

  • Convertible paddle has drip rings
  • Low cost for a complete package
  • Carbon reinforced rails make board stiffer than most single layer PVC boards

What we didn’t like:

  • Seat could use a little more support
  • Not as stable as wider 32-34″ boards

Summary

The Freein Stand Up Paddle Board Kayak SUP is a great value complete package. It includes a seat and convertible paddle that actually has drip rings. You won’t get water all over yourself on every paddle stroke. The board is a single layer PVC board with carbon fiber reinforced rails. This makes it a little stiffer than the average single layer board. It won’t feel like it is flexing every time you move on it. The board is 10’6″ x 31″ x 6″. It’s not as stable while standing as a 33 or 34 board. It helps it glide through the water a little faster. The included seat works well but could use a little more back support.

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ 6″ x 31″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 286 lbs
  • Board Weight – 18 lbs
  • Construction – Single Layer PVC with carbon reinforced sides
  • Warranty – 2 year
  • D-Rings – 9
  • Paddle – 4 Piece aluminum convertible
  • Pump – Double Action

Get the Freein Kayak SUP at Freein and Amazon.


3 – FunWater Tiki Inflatable Paddle Board

☆ Best Value
Funwater Tiki Product Image

What we liked:

  • Low price package
  • 2L board with okay performance
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Lots of bang for the buck
  • Good cheap way to get started

What we didn’t like:

  • The single action pump is takes a long time to pump up the board and has no ability to deflate
  • The pump is not durable
  • It takes a lot of effort to load the deflated paddleboard into the top opening bag

Summary

The Funwater Tiki is one of the cheapest and most popular paddle boards on Amazon. It is one of the cheapest ways to get started with paddleboarding. It comes with very basic accessories such as a single action pump and basic draw string top bag. It performs okay on the water. It’s got a lot of bang for the buck factor. If you want to have fun but don’t want to spend a lot, Funwater paddleboards are a good way to go.

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ 6″ x 33″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 330 lbs
  • Board Weight – 17.6 lbs
  • Construction – 1 Layer
  • Warranty – 1 year
  • D-Rings – 5
  • Paddle – 3 piece aluminum
  • Pump – Single Action

Get the Funwater Tiki at Funwater and at Amazon.


4 – Freein Overall – 11

Freein Overall Product Image

What we liked:

  • Double layer PVC construction makes board stiff and not bouncy
  • Fun and easy to paddle board
  • Fiberglass paddle
  • Good double barrel triple action pump

What we didn’t like:

  • Difficult to get back into the bag
  • Not many handles or accessory mounts on board

Summary

The Freein Overall 11′ is a great value paddleboard with better than average construction, paddle and pump. Freein makes a popular line of cheap paddleboards available on Amazon. They also make second line of more upscale boards with double layer construction. They sell these directly through their website only.

The Overall is a good all around board that is fun to paddle and easy enough for beginners. At 11′ x 33″ it is long enough to have good glide and it’s wide enough to be stable for first time paddlers.

The board has double layer PVC construction and did well in our paddleboard stiffness test. It comes with a fiberglass paddle. It is one of the cheapest boards available with a double barrel triple action hand pump. The pump actually works well and inflates boards quickly. The only downside is that it’s difficult to get it back into it’s bag.

Review

Read Freein Overall 11 Full Review

Freein overall beginner paddler

Specifications

  • Size – 11″ x 33″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 265 lbs
  • Board Weight – 22.5 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer
  • Warranty – 2 years
  • D-Rings – 15
  • Paddle – Fiberglass
  • Pump – Triple Action

Get the Freein Overall 11 at Freein.


5 – Drift Inflatable SUP

Drift paddleboard product image

What we liked:

  • Stylish wood grain deck appearance
  • Very stable board that is easy to paddle for beginners
  • Better aluminum paddle than in a typical package
  • Made by BOTE brand known for high end high quality paddleboards
  • Very lightweight overall package good for hiking and travelling

What we didn’t like:

  • No D-Rings around middle of board for mounting a kayak seat
  • Not as stiff as higher cost paddleboards
  • No rear bungee

Summary

The Drift inflatable SUP is a low cost board from popular BOTE brand. It is aimed at giving you the best of BOTE at a cost competitive with cheap generic Amazon paddleboards. It has all the style and looks of a BOTE brand board in a lower tech simplified package. The Drift SUP is available in 2 sizes, 10’8″ and 11’6″. Larger paddlers over 200 lbs should get the 11’6″ version. The Drift boar uses single layer PVC construction with a wood grain deck. It uses a typical 3 fin arrangement. It comes with a better than average aluminum paddle and double action pump.

The Drift is a very stable beginner friendly board. It has overall good tracking and glide for it’s size. It would be a fun board to take to the lake or beach. It’s lightweight package makes it easy to travel with.

Specifications

  • Size – 10’8″ x 33″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 250 lbs
  • Board Weight – 19 lbs
  • Construction – 1 Layer
  • Warranty – 1 year
  • D-Rings – 7
  • Paddle – Aluminum 3 piece
  • Pump – Double action hand pump

Get the DRIFT Inflatable SUP at Amazon.


6 – SereneLife Inflatable SUP

Serenelife Thunder Product Image

What we liked:

  • Good value for a low cost complete paddleboard package
  • Easy to maneuver board shape
  • Good for first time paddle boarders who don’t want to invest too much to try out the sport

What we didn’t like:

  • Thin feeling materials throughout
  • Paddle is flexible with soft blade

Summary

The SereneLife paddleboard is the most popular paddleboard available on Amazon with 15,000 ratings. It is a basic cheap paddleboard with 2 layer construction and basic accessories. It comes with a double action pump and adjustable 3 piece paddle with basic carrying backpack. The board is 10′ with an all around shape that is easy to paddle and turn. This board will get you on the water with a board you can enjoy at a very reasonable price. Heavier paddlers above 200 lbs should look for a board that is at least 10’6″.

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 275 lbs
  • Board Weight – 19.6 lbs
  • Construction – 1 Layer
  • Warranty – 1 year
  • D-Rings – 11
  • Paddle – 3 piece aluminum paddle
  • Pump – double action

Get the SereneLife Paddle Board at Amazon.


7 – DAMA Inflatable SUP

DAMA Product Image

What we liked:

  • The board looks really good with the fake wood top and grooved deck pad
  • The board shape is easy to paddle with good glide. Would make a great beginner board
  • Good value overall package. This board feels like it should cost more.

What we didn’t like:

  • The manufacturing of the board is a little sloppy. D-Rings aren’t centered on the board.
  • Check new boards to make sure there aren’t any leaks. A few users have had leaks around the air valves or other areas of the board.
  • Board feels bouncy for heavier paddlers

Summary

The DAMA Paddleboard is one of the best looking cheap paddleboards available. The wood deck and deck pad give it a premium appearance that looks much more expensive than its $300 price. The board is available in 3 different lengths. Most paddlers will want the 10’6″ or 11′ versions. The accessories including the pump and backpack are basic and work. The fit and finish of the board are not what you would find on a $500 or more expensive board but on par for its price.

Review

Read DAMA Inflatable SUP Full Review

Standing with DAMA board

Specifications

  • Size – 11′ x 33″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 330 lbs
  • Board Weight – 19.8 lbs
  • Construction – 1 Layer
  • Warranty – 1 year
  • D-Rings – 8
  • Paddle -3 piece aluminum convertible
  • Pump – double action

Get the DAMA Inflatable Paddle Board at Amazon.


Cheap Paddle Board Guide – What to look for

Stand Up Paddle Boards are an excellent way to get around on the water. They are designed to be used anywhere from flat water calm lakes to out in the surf. They are incredibly versatile. Inflatable stand up paddle boards are a convenient solution for those who don’t want the hassle of transporting and storing a hard paddle boards. Who wants to bother with a roof rack every time they use their paddleboard?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the important features of paddleboards.

Materials

All inflatable SUP’s are made of PVC.  This is because PVC is a lightweight durable plastic material that is commonly used in marine inflatables.  PVC is a good choice for inflatable SUP construction because it can be easily thermobonded into the hull shape and the core.  The core of almost all SUP hulls are made from a drop stitch sandwich which is 2 layers of material with connecting threads that maintains a flat shape when inflated.  The drop stitch core is the key to creating the long flat thin board section.   

An inexpensive low budget board will use a single layer of PVC. Most boards made use 2 layers of PVC. Some boards use 3 layers. High end boards such as Red Paddle Co and Starboard use 2 layers but more advanced methods of joining the layers.

Many boards claim to use Military Grade PVC. This just means they are using thick PVC material. A 3 layer PVC laminate will be better than a single layer Miltary Grade PVC any day for stiffness and durability.

For more information on SUP materials click here.

Board Stiffness

One of the ways to measure how well an inflatable board is made and how well it will perform is how stiff it is. To measure this we set the board up on 2 stands 8 feet apart. We loaded the board up with 120 lbs of weight and measured how much the board deflected under load.

1 Layer boards are not as stiff and rigid as 2 Layer boards or boards using advanced construction. They are the cheapest paddleboards for those on a budget. People have a lot of fun on 1 layer boards.

SUP Board Board Size Construction Deflection (inches)
Nice C (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 1 Ply PVC 2.6
DAMA (15 psi) 11' x 33" x 6" 1 Ply PVC 3.0
Coolwave (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 1 Ply PVC 3.3
iRocker Nautical (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 2.8
Chasing Blue Orion (14.5 psi) 12'6" x 32" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 1.6
Chasing Blue Infinite (14.5 psi) 10'6" x 34" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 1.4
Freein Overall 11 (15 psi) 11'' x 33" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 1.4
iRocker All Around 11 (15 psi) 11' x 32" x 6" 3 Ply PVC 1.3
iRocker All Around 11 Ultra (15 psi) 11' x 32" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.1
iRocker Cruiser Ultra (15 psi) 10'6" x 33" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.1
Blackfin Ultra CX (15 psi) 10'6" x 32.5" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.0
Blackfin Model V (15 psi) 12'6" x 32" x 6" 3 Ply PVC 1.1
Nixy Newport G4 (15 psi) 10'6" x 33" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.1
Nixy Monterey G4 (15 psi) 11'6" x 34" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.0
Red 12'6" Sport w/RSS (20 psi) 12'6" x 30" x 5.9" MSL with Battens 1.2
deflection test setup annotated

Weight of SUP

Most inflatable SUP boards weigh between 17 and 25 lbs.  They are all made from PVC, which may be 1 to 3 layers thick. A board made from a 3 layer laminate will be heavier than a single layer board. Some boards have much larger traction pads than others which also adds to the weight.  A longer and wider board will weight more than a smaller size board.     

Length

Common inflatable SUP boards tend to be between 9 feet and 12 feet long.  The longer a board is, the better it will be at gliding across the water and the less you’ll have to work while paddling on flat water. A longer board will also get blown around by the wind more so there is a trade off.    Anyone over 200 lbs should look at boards that are at least 10′ 6″ long. A lighter paddler can get by with shorter boards.

Width

The wider a SUP board is, the more stable it will be.  A 33 inch board will feel much more stable to stand on than a 29 inch board.  The wider a board is, the more drag it will have going through the water so the slower it will feel.  As a beginner or if you plan on doing SUP Yoga on the board, you will want it to be as wide as possible. Beginners should look for a board at least 32 inches wide.

Weight Capacity And Volume

SUPs are available in a large range of sizes.  The board volume determines how much float an inflatable SUP will have.  Look at the weight ratings and volume of the board you plan on buying to see if it is big enough.  As a beginner paddler, you will want to error on the side of more volume.  A board with marginal flotation can be very unstable and hard to stand on. If you want a high volume, high stability board see my article on SUP boards for big guys. 

D-Rings

Most paddleboards have some number of D-Rings attached to them. D-Rings are used to attach accessories such as kayak seats. D-Rings with a bungee cord mounted to them makes a great place to store your PFD or other gear on a hot day. More D-Rings is better. More D-Rings can be glued on if your board doesn’t have one where you would like

Inflatable SUP Board Packages

Almost all inflatable SUP boards come as package that includes accessories such as a paddle, carrying bag, leash and pump.  Sometimes they include dry bags or waterproof phone cases as well. A more expensive board will have better accessories. As price goes up, they start including fiberglass or carbon paddles. Really cheap boards will come with single action pumps. Most boards have double action pumps. At higher price points, the carrying bag will get thicker straps and thicker, more durable materials.

My advice is to buy the board with the best materials and paddle that fits within your budget. A carbon or fiberglass paddle will be much more enjoyable to paddle with than a flexible aluminum paddle.

If you buy a board that comes with a single action pump such as Funwater or Nice C, I highly recommend you get an electric pump. You will buy one after the first time you inflate it with the single action pump. We use the Outdoor Master Shark 2. See my review of the Outdoor Master Shark 2 to learn more.


Outdoor Master Shark 2 Electric Pump

OM Shark Product Image

Use the Coupon Code ERO2022 for up to 20% off at OutdoorMaster.com


Eventually, you’ll want an electric pump for inflation, so the included pump will at most become a backup. See our guide to the best electric SUP pumps to learn more.

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Paddlling Author 2

Stacey Williams
Staff Writer | Paddling

Stacey moved to Michigan from Seattle. She loves to paddleboard, kayak, snowboard and is also an avid runner. She goes paddle boarding almost every weekend during the summer on the lakes and rivers in Michigan. She been known to abuse an Epic and Ikon Pass doing trips out west with her college friends. She is also an electric vehicle enthusiast and loves riding around on e-bikes, scooters, and electric cars.

stacey@endlessrushoutdoors.com