Updated February 18th, 2023
The DAMA inflatable board is one of the best looking and most popular SUP boards on Amazon. It has a great looking wood grain deck that sets it apart. It comes with one of the most complete accessory packages out there. It is available for around $300. We picked up the 11′ version. Keep reading to get the full story on the DAMA paddle board.
See our guide to the best cheap inflatable paddle boards for other great options.
- Basic Specs
- Board Stiffness
- Deck Pad
- Handles, D-Rings and bungee cord
- Triple bottom panel fins
- Adjustable Paddle
- Hand Pump
- Carry bag
- Ankle leash
- Waterproof phone bag
- 5L waterproof bag
- Shoulder strap
- Repair kit
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.
- Convertible aluminum paddle that works as a SUP and kayak paddle
- Complete accessory package including dry bag, phone pouch and shoulder strap
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
Features of the DAMA paddle board
After seeing a lot of advertising on social media for the DAMA paddleboard we decided to pick one up. The woodgrain look gives it the look of a premium inflatable paddleboard and sets it apart from other cheap paddleboards. This explains its sudden popularity and thousands of good reviews on Amazon. We paid for our review board ourselves. We have no affiliation or contact with the company other than being their customer through Amazon.
We picked up the 11′ x 33″ version of the board as I’m a larger paddler.
The DAMA woodgrain paddleboard is available in 3 sizes. 9’6″ x 30″, 10’6″ x 32″, and 11′ x 33″. If you are an adult paddler you should choose either the 10’6″ or 11′ version of the board. The 9’6″ board will be more suitable for lightweight paddlers. It will not be as stable being only 30″ wide.
The 9′ 6″ board retails for $299. The 10’6″ retails for $309. The 11′ retails for $339. The boards are available through Amazon. DAMA has social media presence on Facebook and Instagram but no website of their own or any direct sales. No discount codes are available that I am aware of. If I find one I will post it here.
The DAMA board uses a double layer PVC top and single layer PVC bottom with an extra layer wrapped around the rails for reinforcement. This is typically referred to as a single layer board. It uses drop stitch PVC to achieve a hard board like rigid shape when inflated. The construction is typical for a $300 paddleboard. It is similar to what the SereneLife and ROC paddleboards use.
The board has noticeable amounts of excess adhesive around most of the seems. The D-Rings and front bungee are not centered on our review board. The manufacturing is a bit more sloppy than on other similar priced boards I have looked at. It won’t affect the durability of the board. You can tell this is one of the places where DAMA chose to save a bit of money to hit the price point that they do.
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.
The DAMA board deflected 3.0 inches. This was about average for a single layer PVC board. More expensive double layer boards and boards with advanced construction like MSL are stiffer and deflect much less.
|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|
The board uses a single long EVA deckpad that has a grooved tracton pattern to it. It uses a fake wood grain appearance similar to the deck. From a distance the deckpad looks like wood strips. It is thick enough to feel comfortable standing on it. It is similar to the deck pads we see on other paddleboards in the price range. Most other ones use a diamond pattern instead of a grooved pattern.
Handles, D-Rings and bungee cord
The board has 8 D-Rings on it. 4 at the front to hold the front bungee. 4 around the middle that can be used to mount a kayak seat. There are 2 handles on the board. One at the middle and one at the rear. You can use the rear handle to attach the safety leash. We prefer a dedicated D-Ring for the leash attachment rather than depending on the handle. There is a built in sport camera bracket mount at the front of the board.
Triple bottom panel fins
The board has 3 fins at the rear. A large center removable fin and 2 smaller outboard fins. All 3 fins are removable. They all use the normal slot with small plastic tabs for attachment. The 2 small fins are slightly larger than the normal permanently fixed fins that most 3 fin boards have. This system has proven itself to be good for tracking once the board gets moving while still being easy to turn.
DAMA inflatable paddleboards come with a more complete accessory package than most boards do. Let’s take a look at everything that comes with the board.
The paddle is a typical 3 piece aluminum floating paddle. It is identical to what almost every $250-$500 inflatable SUP package comes with. It works okay and gets the job done. It won’t perform as well as a more expensive carbon paddle. A carbon paddle will cost almost what you paid for this entire SUP board package. The board uses the typical plastic quick release lever for adjusting length. You will need to tighten it a few turns for the handle to stay in place when paddling.
The paddle does come with a second blade so it will work as a kayak paddle as well. Convertible paddles work okay for getting around. They don’t balance correctly because the SUP blades are both offset from the shaft. If you really want to use this as a kayak often I recommend getting a dedicated kayak paddle.
A double action pump is included that can be used to inflate and deflate the board. The gage reads pressure and has a green zone to indicate the correct inflated pressure. The pump works well for inflating the board.
The backpack is typical for this price point. It has a full zipper opening. The materials feel okay and are holding up so far. It has a handle on the top and side which help a lot for carrying the board around your house. The backstrap straps have enough padding to be comfortable for short walks.
The coil leash has a neoprene ankle cuff. It is comfortable and easy to take on and off.
Waterproof phone bag
A small waterproof phone pouch is included. It has clear sides so you can still see it while it’s in the bag.
5L waterproof bag
A 5 liter dry bag is included for keeping your gear and other items dry. It is big enough for small cameras, electronics or a change of clothes.
A shoulder strap is included that you can attach to 2 D-Rings. This makes carrying the board easier after inflating it. It’s small enough to be easily tucked under the front bungee cord while you are out on the water. I haven’t seen any other inflatable paddle board package come with this item so far. It’s a nice touch.
A small repair kit is included. This contains patches and a tool for tightening the air valve.
Setup and Inflation
The DAMA paddle board is quick and easy to setup. Bag to water will take most people about 10 minutes. The process is simple. Find a nice clean smooth spot to unroll the board. Unload the board from the bag and roll it out. Attach the board and pump it up to 12.5 to 14.5 psi. Attach the 3 fins. Attach the safety leash. Put the paddle together. Go have fun.
If this is your first inflatable stand up paddle board there are a few things to note.
You have to inflate the board fully for it to work well. That means 12.5 to 14.5 psi. If you give up pumping too soon you will have a flimsy board that won’t be stable and won’t paddle well. For an inflatable paddle board to feel like a hard board it must be fully inflated.
When you inflate the paddle board, it will look fully inflated at 1 psi pressure. The gage on the pump won’t start moving until around 1 psi. It can feel like you are pumping and pumping and getting nowhere with the pressure gage. Don’t give up. It will start moving eventually. 90% of the pumping effort is from 1 psi to 14.5 psi. The board will look fully inflated at 1 psi. It’s not.
Hand pumping is not fun. The best thing any paddle boarder can get if they have an inflatable paddleboard is an electric pump. They make your board so much more fun to use. I use the OutdoorMaster Pumps. They work great. The Dolphin is a great very affordable basic pump. See my Dolphin review to learn more.
On water performance
This board performs similarly to other all around boards. The 11 foot length helps it track and glide better than shorter 10’6″ or 10′ board. The 33 inch width gives it good stability. It doesn’t feel as sluggish as a 34 or 35 inch board. The board has enough flex that it feels bouncier than most other boards. The softness is noticeable when paddling into chop. The grooved deck pad feels pretty good to stand on and looks good.
It is an easy enough board to paddle for first time paddlers. A Beginner will have no trouble getting around on this board. It doesn’t turn quite as easily as a 10′ board. It turns a lot easier than a 14′ touring board.
The 3 fin system works well for tracking. You have to have water moving over the fins to get them to work. The first few paddle strokes will feel like the board goes all over the place. Once it is moving it will settle in and track very well. This is typical for 3 fin setups on inflatable paddle boards.
The board is one of the softer boards we have tested. It’s noticeable on the water. The board feels a bit bouncy compared to other boards. You won’t mistake this in any way for a rigid board. It gets the job done on the water.
The board is large enough and stable enough to do Yoga or fishing.
Heavy weight paddlers
The published max weight for the 11′ board is 350 lbs. We found the board to work well for up to 250 lb paddlers. At that weight you will notice the flex in the board. The board will work okay for a couple adults, or an adult with a dog or child. It is big and stable enough to load up for a day.
The board has 4 D-Rings around the middle that are in the right positions for attaching a seat. The package does not include a kayak seat. They are available and not that expensive if you want to add one. The convertible paddle that comes with the board works okay for kayaking. If you want to sit down and use it as a sit on top kayak I recommend getting a dedicated kayak paddle. They work much better than convertible paddles for kayaking. See our article on converting your inflatable SUP into a kayak to learn more.
See our guide to the best SUP Kayak hybrids for good paddleboard kayak combos.
Deflation and packing
It takes about 10 minutes to deflate and put away the board. I recommend letting the board dry out before rolling it up. Set it somewhere to dry while you change or have a snack. If you don’t have time to let it dry out before rolling it up, take it out at home and let it fully dry there. That will help keep you from having a nasty moldy paddle board.
I find it easier to use the pump to deflate the board. Remove the 3 fins. Open the air valve and let the air out. Lay down on the board to squeeze as much air out as you can. Hook the pump up with the hose on the deflate side. Pump the air out until you feel a vacuum in the board. I find this a lot easier than trying to roll and squeeze the air out.
Similar SUP Boards
The most popular boards in this price range are the Serenelife and ROC inflatable paddle boards. Both have thousands of reviews on Amazon. The Serenelife and ROC boards are both 10′ which won’t glide and track as well. They all have similar construction technique and accessories. The DAMA board comes with the convertible paddle and shoulder strap which the other 2 don’t have.
Another good option is the COOLWAVE paddle board. It has cleaner construction and a slightly better paddle (not convertible). It doesn’t have the more premium woodgrain look of the DAMA board. It’s not available in an 11′ size.
|Size||10’6″ x 32″ x 6″||10′ x 32″ x 6″||10’6″ x 32″ x 6″||10′ x 32″ x 6″|
|Weight Capacity||400 lbs||275 lbs||330 lbs||350 lbs|
|Construction||2 Layer top, 1 Layer bottom||2 Layer top, 1 Layer bottom||2 Layer top, 1 Layer bottom||2 Layer top, 1 Layer bottom|
|Use with kayak seat||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
The DAMA is a step up from the Funwater inflatable board which only has a single action pump and cheap carry bag. You get much better accessories and board for not much more money.
If you move up to a $500-$600 inflatable SUP board such as an iRocker, Isle Pioneer inflatable, or Chasing Blue board, you will get a board made with stiffer, more durable materials, padded backpacks with wheels, and better pumps.
The DAMA woodgrain inflatable paddleboard is a good looking board at a great price. It is one of the best looking $300 boards and most complete packages. The manufacturing could be a bit cleaner. Overall it is great deal. It would be a perfect first board for anyone looking to get into paddle boarding without spending a lot.
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Staff Writer | Water Sports
Steve spent his time growing up in South Carolina doing as much as possible on the water. He is an avid stand up paddleboarder and kayaker and loves hitting the lakes and rivers near home. He is a competitive sailor and has competed in sailing at the collegiate level as well as 7 Mackinac Island races.