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Best Cheap Inflatable Paddle Boards (2022)

If you’re on a budget but want to get into paddle boarding, you’ll probably be looking for the best cheap paddle board you can get. To be honest, we don’t like to use the word ‘cheap’, but for some reason most readers always ask us “what is the best cheap stand up paddle board”, so we are using that language in this post. However, that doesn’t mean that the boards listed below are ‘cheap’ in terms of quality. Each SUP below is a great value, which is why it’s included on this list. Also, we do try to update this post often to reflect changing prices, but if you have any questions please leave them below in the comments!

Best Cheap Paddle Boards 2022

As you go through this list, keep in mind that each board below has been thoroughly tested by our team. We have taken these boards out with a wide range of paddlers: from kids and 5’2 | 110 lb adults, to 6’5 and 220 lb+ adults who have never paddle boarded before. We have speed tested and bend tested each of these boards. We have even let our kids throw them around (like kids will do) to mimic as much real-world use as possible. In other words – this best cheap sup list is not just a list of inflatable SUPs we think we can sell you on. They are the ones we recommend our friends and family to buy if they are on a budget and need a cheaper paddle board.

What Makes The Best Cheap Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)?

Ideally, a cheap stand up paddle board is one that is well-suited for recreational paddle boarding. You can take it out to the lake or lazy river and you, your friends, and your kids will have a fun time paddling around. No, these are not high performance SUPs (if you are looking for something higher performance, check our list of of best stand up paddles boards). However, they should be fun to paddle on and should also last. We don’t like recommending paddle boards that work for 1-2 years and then need to be replaced. We don’t want a bunch of inflatable SUPs littering our landfills.

And they should be backed by solid companies who care about the industry and their customers. Warranties are nice, but a warranty that isn’t backed by a company who gives a damn doesn’t mean much. We have spoken with the founders of each of the companies listed below. They are solid people who are doing their best to better serve our readers, and they also listen to our feedback as we review their boards. If you have been following our site for the past few years, you will see a trend in that the ‘cons’ we give each board tend to be improved by the manufacturers the following year. That is what has happened a lot with the Gili Air and the Nautical SUPs, and we expect that to continue. So, if you have any questions or suggestions – let us know, because we can then pass those along to the brands.

Current Deals On Our Best Cheap SUPs of 2022

**iRocker is having a killer black friday sale on their Nautical lineup. Click here to save up to 40% off + 40% off accessories, while supplies last!**

**Bluefin is also offering up to $200 of their Cruise SUP for Black Friday. Click here to get the deal!**

Best Affordable Inflatable SUPS

  1. Nautical 10’6’’/11’6’’
  2. Gili Air 10’6’’
  3. Bluefin Cruise 10’8’’
  4. Thurso Surf 120
  5. Newport G4 10’6’’
  6. iROCKER All Around 10’
  7. Bay Sports BASIX 10’8’’

You’ll notice on this list that many of these ‘cheap’ SUPs are in the mid-range price tier. That is simply because we have a hard time standing behind most of the super cheap, sub-$400/$500 inflatable SUPs that are sold on Amazon. The quality just isn’t there, and we think the cheapest option is to buy quality and only buy once, vs buying cheap twice.

Again, if you have any questions on which board would be best for you, be sure to drop those questions in the comments section below.

Nautical by iRocker

(comes in both 10’6 and 11’6 versions)
*Read our Nautical 10’6 Review
*Read our Nautical 11’6 Review
Nautical 10'6 iSUP Review - 2022

Nautical 10'6"See Best Price & Customer Reviews

A brand new SUP lineup released just this year by iROCKER, the 2020 Nautical SUPs are stellar paddleboards well worth considering for those on a budget. The 10’6’’ is a true all-around option and the less expensive of the two, but the 11’6’’ is our personal favorite if you are willing to spend the extra money. Whichever of the two you go with, they are both 32’’ wide, 6’’ thick paddleboards with enough stability to help even those going out for the first time to feel comfortable on the water.

We fell in love with the Nautical SUPs earlier this year due to the impressive list of features included with an entry level SUP. The Nautical paddle boards have 17 D-rings set up for accessory customization along with 2 large bungee cargo areas for other gear. The soft deck pad is definitely cozy to stand on, but also sports real grooves that help the deck pad drain water better besides helping you with feet placement without ever looking down. The three neoprene carry handles make it real easy to lift this lightweight SUP around, and makes it very easy even for kids to launch the board. While not a SUP feature, iROCKER also offers zero percent financing up to eighteen months on their paddleboards, making it extremely easy to afford the Nautical paddleboards at less than $30 dollars a month.

The two 2020 Nautical SUPs are both very well made, with impressive dual-layer military grade PVC composite protection, more than able to resist most common drops and dings. The 10’6’’ version weighs 20 lbs and has a beginner recommended weight capacity of 240 lbs. Alternatively, the larger 11’6’’ version of the Nautical weighs 22 lbs and has a recommended beginner weight capacity of 265 lbs. All Nautical SUPs have a snap-lock tri-fin setup, with great looking white fins that stand out from more common black fin setups. Additionally, your paddleboard will also come with a single-chamber pump, 10’ coiled leash, fiberglass paddle, and the simple but effective Nautical SUP bag.

For those who are interested in a truly sturdy, well made SUP kit with above average accessories, definitely consider one of the two 2022 Nautical SUPs by iROCKER! Again, if you ask us we will typically recommend buying the 11’6 version if budget allows. That extra foot of length just gives you more stability and improved speed (longer boards travel on the water faster). Possibly most importantly, the extra foot gives you a higher weight capacity and makes it an even better board for multiple riders and families with kids. However, the best deal by far right now is with the 10’6 Nautical, so go with what suits you best.

  • Two great SUP options that are among our favorite paddleboards for beginners.
  • 10’6’’ SUP is a true all-around, while the 11’6’’ is an all around with the feel of a touring board. Both offer great performance for an entry-level SUP.
  • 10’6’’ SUP weighs 20 lbs and supports around 240 lbs. 11’6’’ SUP weighs 22 lbs and supports around 265 lbs.
  • Dual-layer military grade PVC construction. Not common in entry-level SUPs.
  • 17 D-rings for extensive add-ons and accessories customization. We’ll be impressed if you make use of all thirteen!
  • Soft, fuzzy EVA foam deck pad. Real grooves improves how water drains while also guiding feet placement.
  • Snap-lock tri-fin setup. White fins look great as well and match the board’s two color options.
  • Fiberglass paddle and nylon blade. Lighter than nearly every other paddle included with boards on this list.
  • Three carry handles. Neoprene covers are used with each handle as well!
  • Simple, but very adjustable SUP backpack. Both 10’6’’ and 11’6’’ SUP fit into the backpack well.
  • 1-Year Warranty. 60-day guarantee. Shorter coverage, but iROCKER is one of the most trusted board manufacturers out there; they go out of their way to help.
  • 0% financing up to 18 months. One of the best financing options out there for a SUP. Pay as little as $30 dollars a month to purchase a 2020 Nautical SUP!
  • While not as high performance as the iRocker or Blackfin lineups, it’s hard to knock the Nautical for anything given how inexpensive the boards are. Just keep in mind that it is an entry-level, more recreational paddle board like all the others on this list

GILI Air 10’6

(Read Full Review)
Gili Air Review - 2022

Gili Air 10'6See Best Price & Customer Reviews

The Gili Air 10’6’’ is once again one of our favorite cheap/entry-level paddleboards for 2022. The 10’6 long iSUP offers a great balance of beginner friendly stability, along with good tracking and easy maneuverability. With a 31’’ wide deck and 6’’ thickness, this is a SUP that stays nimble in the water while also offering a solid, firm base so that even larger, heavier adult paddlers can feel comfortable on it. GILI SUPs are known for being lightweight as well, and at just 19 lbs this the 2022 Gili Air 10’6’’ one of the lightest, easiest to carry SUPs on our list.

There are a number of other features that make this SUP an even better value. 16 D-rings are located on the deck of the board, offering a wide range of accessory and add-on compatibility, including with the GILI kayak conversion kit for those who would like to be able to both kayak and SUP. The center neoprene carry handle is very cushy and Gili added front and rear handles this year – making it extremely easy to lift the board, even for kids. We like how soft the deck pad is, including how well it matches the design of each of the unique color options.

Possibly best of all, GILI is committed to helping various ocean charities like Save our Turtles, Coral Reef Alliance, Project Aware, Oceana, and other ocean preservation organizations. With the purchase of every AIR, you not only get the awesome turtle logo on the belly of the SUP, but will help GILI in making a donation to ocean preservation efforts. Save our oceans and have a blast paddling at the same time!

The GILI Air 10’6’’ is built with a high quality single layer of military grade PVC composite protecting a tight drop-stitch core. We love how lightweight the SUP is at just 19 lbs, the 10’6’’ Air featuring a 275 lbs beginner recommended weight capacity. The Air has a single snap-lock center fin and two permanent molded side fins. Everything you need for the water is included with the GILI Air 10’6’’ kit, including a single-chamber pump, a aluminum paddle, a 10’ coiled leash, and a nifty travel bag that has more than enough space to fit everything in.

If you’re interested in buying a very solid entry-level SUP while also supporting efforts to improve and protect our oceans, definitely consider going with the 2022 GILI Air 10’6’’ SUP!

  • Stable, lightweight SUP able to support most adults. Great package that includes everything you need to get out and SUP.
  • Good balance of tracking, maneuverability, glide, and speed. A true jack-of-all-trades SUP.
  • Stable for most beginners (we recommend below 6’2 and under 200 lbs), but weighs just 19 lbs
  • 16 D-rings for versatile accessory customization. Compatible with GILI’s kayak conversion kit.
  • Nice deck pad with grippy rear section and more comfort oriented front section
  • Removable center fin and side fins for improved tracking.
  • 2-Year Warranty. 60-day guarantee. Up to 12 month financing options.
  • Donation to ocean preservation and wildlife charities with every purchase!
  • Lightweight build makes the SUP very easy to carry. Does suffer performance issues in heavier chop and wind. Heavier paddlers may also struggle the first couple of times out on it.
  • We love that a paddle is included, but we’d love to see them move to a fiberglass paddle vs aluminum

Bluefin Cruise 10’8

(Read Full Review)
Bluefin Cruise 10'8 SUP Review

Bluefin Cruise 10’8"See Best Price & Customer Reviews

The Bluefin Cruise 10’8 iSUP is one of our top affordable boards for 2022 due to the fact that it is a very well-built board that provides additional accessories not commonly found in kits in this price range (kayak conversion kit, for example). It’s also one of the higher weight capacity boards on this list, and if you are a taller, heavier paddler, then you should strongly consider the Bluefin Cruise (we’d recommend the 12′ version if you are above 6’4 and 220 lbs). Frankly, this has been our top rated ‘best cheap SUP’ until Bluefin had to raise the price of the board. It’s got tons of great features, and I think the challenges of COVID on the supply chain + the crazy increase in shipping costs (those have gone up 7x since last year) have made it harder for Bluefin to keep this board cheaper than the Nautical or Gili Air.

However, you can’t go wrong with the Bluefin Cruise, and it is the most feature-rich board on this best cheap list. These features/accessories include a very nice deck pad that is both comfortable, grippy, and includes a raised stomp pad for improved maneuverability/stability. There are 10 d-rings to attach a ton of gear, a great kayak conversion kit (included at no additional cost), 2 safety handles for your kids to hold onto, and 3 other handles for carrying/launching the SUP.

It’s also the heaviest board on the list – which is not a bad thing in our opinion. Bluefin uses a triple layer PVC with UV resistant coating and high density drop-stitch to create the stiffest board on this list. Stiffness + a lot of materials gives this board a higher weight capacity and would be our recommendation for taller, heavier paddlers.

If you want a high weight capacity all-around inflatable SUP but are also interested in trying out kayaking as well, we suggest considering the 2022 Bluefin Cruise 10’8’’ inflatable paddleboard!

  • Great, rigid SUP that has an awesome, stable feel in the water.
  • Solid tracking and maneuverability.
  • 330 lbs total recommended weight capacity.
  • 11200 m2 drop stitch construction. Very well made, far and above what we’ve come to expect in cheap, entry level SUPs.
  • 10 D-rings and an action mount for extensive add-on customization. Kayak conversion kit included with the paddleboard!
  • Crocodile skin textured, diamond grooved SUP. Awesome balance of being comfortable to stand on while improving overall grip support.
  • Raised heel kick pad for more comfortable, guided step-back turns.
  • Snap-lock tri-fin setup. Easy to install, while boosting performance in almost every regard.
  • Four piece, dual bladed paddle. Use a single blade for SUPing, or both paddle blades for kayaking!
  • Three carry handles. All three carry handles have neoprene covers as well.
  • Multi-compartment kit backpack. Allows you to store your paddle parts without repacking your bag.
  • 5-Year Warranty. 60-day guarantee. Almost global shipping, but no financing options offered directly by Bluefin.
  • This is the heaviest SUP on our cheap, entry-level paddleboard list. Younger, weaker paddlers may require assistance to get it into the water.

4. Thurso Surf 120 Waterwalker(Read Full Review)

SUP Board Guide Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120min

Thurso Surf WaterWalker 120See Best Price & Customer Reviews

At $700 dollars, the Thurso Surf 120 Waterwalker barely makes the cut off of being a so-called ‘cheap’ paddleboard. However, for the money you’re paying, you are getting a paddleboard that is of tremendous value. At 10’ long, this is on the shorter end for all-around boards, making it very easy to maneuver with as you navigate the water. The 30’’ wide deck though keeps it lean, helping you paddle faster combined with Thurso Surf’s unique design that focuses on reducing drag. Lastly, the 6’’ thickness combined with the impressive triple/quad PVC coatings provide great weight capacity, with the 260 beginner recommended weight limit easily exceeded with just a couple sessions of practice.

So what other cool features make this a great paddleboard to consider? To start with, it is one of the few SUPs on our cheap/entry-level paddleboard list to have carbon fiber reinforced rails. Carbon fiber rails help a paddleboard feel more rigid like a epoxy SUP, improving overall feel and performance, without significantly increasing the weight of the inflatable paddleboard. The fifteen D-rings is an impressive setup, along with the dual bungee cargo areas for those who want to bring even more gear out with them, and an action mount. The textured EVA foam deck pad offers a good balance between protecting your feet while providing the traction support you need to stay on top of your board. A neat paddle holder system is also located on the Waterwalker 120’s deckpad, giving you a place to put your paddle down without having to take up the middle of your SUP. Lastly, can we highlight how awesome the wood grain design is, which truly helps you stand out when you’re paddling in the water?

While using a so-called ‘dual-layer’ construction, Thurso Surf actually has a thoughtful construction that has triple/quad PVC coatings to protect the deck and seams of the SUP respectively. The 2020 Thurso Surf 120 weighs 25 lbs, one of the heavier SUPs on this list, but has a beginner recommended weight capacity of 260 lbs that we’ve greatly exceeded during testing. The 120 Waterwalker relies on a tri-fin snap-lock setup that are built to last. You will also receive a 33 ounce carbon fiber shaft paddle, a great dual-chamber pump, a 10’ coiled leash, and an impressive roller backpack with your SUP as well.

It is one of the more expensive paddleboards on our list, but you are still getting a fantastic valued package by going with the 2020 Thurso Surf 120 Waterwalker.

  • Very stable, well-made, and beginner friendly paddleboard.
  • 10’ length offers great maneuverability, while also still providing good tracking thanks to its overall design.
  • 25 lbs weight is heavy but feels fantastic in the water. 260 lbs weight capacity recommendation is just for beginners, can be greatly exceeded.
  • ‘Dual-layer’ construction actually has triple/quad level protection of PVC composite coatings.
  • Carbon fiber rails further improve rigidity and performance of the SUP. Bridges the gap between inflatable and epoxy SUP.
  • 15 D-rings, action mount, and dual bungee cargo areas. A ton of different options for bringing along accessories and add-ons!
  • Textured deck pad improves traction and grip support. Easy to maintain balance even as the chop and wind picks up.
  • Side paddle holder! Strap your paddle down to the SUP so you can take a break without worrying about it floating away.
  • Snap-lock tri-fin setup. Fit well and are simple to manage and take care of.
  • 33-ounce carbon fiber shaft paddle. Floats in the water too!
  • Dual-chamber pump. Inflates much faster than a single-chamber pump.
  • Three carry handles. Very easy to hold due to neoprene covers as well.
  • Roller, rugged backpack. Especially helpful for going through airports and long distance traveling.
  • 2-Year Warranty. 30-day guarantee. Up to 18 month financing options.
  • $700 dollar price tag is on the cusp of what we would consider a ‘cheap’ SUP option. Given what the board comes with and its performance, it’s well worth the cost though!
  • 25 lbs is a bit heavier to carry, but you don’t really feel it except for in the tail. Be careful you don’t scrape the ground while transporting the 120 Waterwalker!

5. NIXY Newport G3 10’6’’(Read Full Review)

Nixy Venice 106 Overall Review

The NIXY Newport G3 all-around SUP is another paddleboard that is pricier overall, but is not only worth the money spent but is also very light despite its premium contents. At 10’6’’ long, this is the optimal length for a true balance between tracking and maneuverability, with its overall performance well suited for trying out all sorts of SUP activities. This is one of the larger SUPs at 33’’ wide and 6’’’ thick, yet its lower 23 lbs weight keeps it competitive with other SUPs on our list as well. Lake, river, ocean, and other forms of paddling are all fun with the 2020 Newport G3 10’6’’ SUP!

With that higher price, you are getting a number of other great features as well. We love that NIXY made sure to include carbon fiber reinforced rails, providing rigid performance despite its lower weight. Fourteen D-rings and dual bungee cargo areas make it real easy to attach and store stuff on the Newport G3 as well. The stamped logo pattern traction pad improves the overall traction, while also keeping it plush so that it’s softer to sit and fall on. While we normally don’t highlight inflation valves, we love how NIXY put it on the nose so that it’s easier to deflate the SUP. With triple carry handles, you won’t have any problem lugging around the Newport G3 10’6’’ either.

The 2020 NIXY Newport G3 10’6’’ is built with dual-layer fusion tech, helping it have excellent durability while maintaining a lower than expected SUP weight. The Newport G3 features a unique screw-in tri-fin setup, which tightens the fins more than snap-lock fins without having to rely on a screw and plate like US standard fin boxes. Weighing 23 lbs, the Newport G3 has a recommended beginner weight capacity of 350 lbs. Outside of the fins, you will also receive a 33 ounce fiberglass shaft paddle, a dual-chamber pump, a 10’ coiled leash, and a three wheeled roller backpack.

If you are willing to spend a bit more money but want to stick with a lightweight paddleboard, it’s definitely worth checking out the 2020 NIXY Newport G3 10’6’’ SUP!

  • Stable yet lightweight beginner friendly SUP. Good value for the higher price tag.
  • 10’6’’ length is ideal as an all-around SUP. 33’’ wide deck offers greater stability and more space to spread out on.
  • 23 lbs weight and impressive 350 lbs recommended weight capacity. Definitely a SUP to consider for larger, heavier paddlers.
  • Dual-layer fusion tech allows for a very durable paddleboard while keeping cost and weight down.
  • Carbon fiber rails add seam protection and make the SUP more rigid. The more rigid and firm a SUP is, the better performance and feel it will have in the water.
  • Fourteen D-rings and dual-bungee cargo area. Provides great support for SUP accessories, including the NIXY kayak conversion kit.
  • Stamped logo traction pad is plush and cushy while still improving overall traction support.
  • Tri-fin screw-in setup. More secure than snap-lock fins but not as difficult to put in as US standard fins.
  • 33-ounce fiberglass shaft paddle. Very comfortable to hold.
  • Dual-chamber pump. Far more efficient than single-chamber pumps.
  • Three carry handles. Center carry handle has a neoprene cover, the other two handles have boxes to prevent fraying and act as good places to tie ropes to.
  • Triple-wheeled roller backpack. Very well made, and works well when pulled on solid ground.
  • 2-Year Warranty. 30-day guarantee.
  • Well worth the price given the overall kit quality, but definitely a more expensive SUP option. Consider it if you know you already love paddleboarding.
  • Odd D-ring placement and limited nose bungee cargo area can cause some traditional, popular SUP accessories to tangle up or not fit well on the NIXY Newport G3.

6. iROCKER 10’(Read Full Review)

iRocker AllAround 10 TopDown min

iRocker All-Around 10'See Best Price & Customer Reviews

One of our favorite all-around SUPs for 2020, the iROCKER 10’ is another fun, versatile, and impressive SUP if you are willing to spend a bit more for your paddleboard. This is one you’ll want to use for years though, with the 10’ long SUP offering great maneuverability and tracking along despite its shorter total length. The paddleboard is complimented by its 32’’ wide deck and 6’’ board thickness, which help it be among the most stable paddleboards on our list. With a 370 lbs beginner recommended weight capacity, this is truly a paddleboard worth considering if you want to save a bit of money but get something that will help you learn how to paddle quickly.

When it comes to features, the iROCKER 10’ is among the most feature heavy SUPs on our best 2020 list as well. There are an overwhelming seventen D-rings which you can attach accessories like dry bags and other cases to, or you can fit your stuff beneath one of the two bungee cargo areas. Four action mounts are also thrown in for GoPro cameras, speakers, cell phone mounts, and other popular electronic devices you want to bring with you out on the water. The logo stamped deck pad feels great to stand on, while also helping you maintain a great grip as the SUP gets wet or when you hit a bit of chop. There are also three great color options to choose from, letting you stand out from your friends even if you all buy the same SUP!

iROCKER offers such great stability and weight capacity with their triple-layered PVC composite build, making this one of the most resilient paddleboards on our list. Even with the well crafted shell though, the iROCKER 10’ weighs just 24 lbs, and those who practice with it will definitely be able to exceed the 370 lbs recommended weight capacity. iROCKER has chosen to use snap-lock fins in this year’s model, keeping it simple while improving SUP performance. Outside of the fins, you will also have an excellent carbon blend paddle, dual-chamber pump, 10’ coiled leash, and very comfortable, adjustable travel backpack as well.

Backed by one of our favorite paddleboard manufacturers on the market, the 2020 iROCKER 10’ all-around SUP is definitely worth keeping an eye on if you want a SUP that will last you for years!

  • Very stable and well built paddleboard. One of our favorite all-around SUPs for 2020
  • 10’ length offers great maneuverability, yet still remains highly maneuverable as well. The board is fantastic for those who are 5’10’’ and shorter.
  • 24 lbs weight and massive 370 lbs beginner recommended weight capacity. Heavier paddlers will definitely want to consider this SUP.
  • Triple-layer PVC construction makes this among the most durable SUPs on our top 2020 cheap paddleboard list. Very, very, very hard to damage
  • Outstanding seventeen D-rings, four action mounts, and dual-bungee cargo area. This best board on our list for accessory junkies.
  • Stamped logo traction pad offers great grip support while still being comfortable to stand on. Blends in well with all three iROCKER 10’ color options.
  • Snap-lock tri-fin setup. Quicker and easier to install than previous US fin boxes.
  • Carbon blend shaft paddle is both very smooth to hold and lightweight as well.
  • Dual-chamber pump. By using the three action modes, you’ll inflate the SUP in less than ten minutes.
  • Three carry handles. All with neoprene covers too, which prevents skin irritation when held with cold or wet hands.
  • Comfy, adjustable, multi-compartment SUP backpack. Fits tall and short paddlers alike.
  • 2-Year Warranty. 60-day guarantee. 0% finance options available up to 18 months. Fantastic coverage and payment plans.
  • This is often either the most expensive or tied as the most expensive SUP on our cheap paddleboard list. STill more affordable than epoxy SUPs, and the finance plans help a lot!
  • Be careful with the rear action mounts when performing a step-back turn. Can occasionally trip paddlers up if they aren’t paying attention or are still getting used to the SUP.

7. Bay Sports BASIX 10’8’’(Read Full Review)

Bay Sports 10'8 Seek Review

Bay Sport BASIX 10'8"See Best Price & Customer Reviews

For those who truly need a stable, wide platform without having to spend more than $500 dollars, there is the Bay Sports Seek BASIX SUP. This paddleboard is 10’8’’ long, but is the largest SUP on our list with a 34’’ wide deck and 6’’ thick build. The beginner recommended weight capacity for the BASIX 10’8’’ is 400 lbs, making it a great SUP not just for solo paddlers but those wanting to go out with their kids, pet, or another adult as well. So, if stability is your number one priority in a paddleboard, the BASIX 10’8’’ is the paddleboard for you.

In terms of overall features, the BASIX is a bit more basic, if you can pardon the pun. Still, there are definitely great things about the SUP, including the ultra-grippy diamond grooved textured paddleboard. This paddleboard is a bit cleaner as well, for those who don’t care too much about accessories, with just a single cargo area and five D-rings across the whole SUP. There are two carry handles, but given how light the SUP only the youngest paddlers out there will need help carrying it. Finally, we quite enjoy the rigidity enhancements that come with the triple taped reinforced rails, though it’s not quite as great of an improvement as carbon fiber rails.

Bay Sports has incorporated their stellar Fusion-Tec design into the BASIX 10’8’’, making it among the lighter boards on our list while providing durability comparable to other dual-layer SUPs. The BASIX weighs 20 lbs, yet manages to stably support a 400 lbs recommended paddler weight capacity. The fin setup consists of two permanent side fins, along with a US standard center fin box and a FCS II Connect fin, which is one of our favorite fins on the market. Additionally, the BASIX also comes with a 30 ounce fiberglass paddle shaft, single chamber pump, 10’ coiled leash, and the roomy, multi-pouch Bay Sports backpack.

For those who are on a budget and want some great accessories with an ultra-stable SUP, check out the 2020 Bay Sports BASIX 10’8’’ SUP!

  • Among the most stable paddle boards on our list due to its large size. Impressively affordable as well at less than $500 dollars.
  • 10’8’’ length makes this SUP have good tracking. A bit harder to maneuver with this board due to its large size, but manageable.
  • 20 lbs weight and 400 lbs beginner recommended weight capacity. 34’’ wide deck and 6’’ thickness really allow this SUP to support multiple paddlers at once.
  • FusionTec by Bay Sports keeps the overall weight down but offers durability comparable to other dual-layered SUPs. Reinforced tape rails help protect seams as well.
  • Clean SUP deck with just 5 D-rings and a single nose cargo bungee area.
  • Diamond grooved deck pad offers great traction support. Easy to maintain grip on the SUP even when soaking wet.
  • Permanent side fins and center US fin box. Includes one of our favorite fins, the FCS II Connect!
  • 30 ounce fiberglass shaft paddle. Fits into the included backpack well.
  • Single-chamber pump.
  • Two carry handles. Very easy to lift board due to the lightweight build, so a third handle isn’t very necessary.
  • Very adjustable SUP backpack, with several different compartments. One of the most organized backpacks on our list.
  • 3-Year Warranty. 30-day guarantee. 0% finance options available up to 6 months. Great coverage and payment plans, especially given the low price of their paddleboard.
  • Durable and lightweight SUP, but it struggles more than other paddleboards in chop and wind. You will want to stick to calm, flat water with the BASIX 10’8’’.
  • Large size and wide deck makes maneuverability a bit more difficult. New paddlers will need to get a few sessions in before feeling totally comfortable paddling the BASIX.

These are our top seven favorite cheap entry-level SUPs for 2020. However, we also want to share our thoughts on a few other popular paddleboards as well. For us personally, we believe that the above seven SUPs are better than the inflatable paddleboards we are about to list above. However, these SUPs have either been on our top list in times past or are some of the most popular paddleboards on the market, so they are good boards to keep in mind if you get a special deal on them. You may even see these paddleboards on our top 2020 cheap SUP list again with certain improvements or price cuts in the future!

Other Cheap SUPs to Consider:

1. Peak Expedition

Peak Expedition SUP

The Peak Expedition is a longer SUP, making it a good but somewhat pricey all-around board given its overall performance and construction. This is a 11’ long SUP, with a 32’’ wide deck and 6’’ overall board thickness, being largely stable and a good beginner friendly SUP option. We would recommend this SUP when it goes on sale, but at its current price of $700 dollars it’s hard to justify spending so much given you’ll get more for less with other paddleboards.

There are a few features that do make it worth considering there. There are eleven D-rings on the 2020 Peak Expedition, spaced out rather well for accessory compatibility without every tripping you up. The soft textured deck pad is very comfy to sit and stand on, while also drying very quickly as to prevent slipping while pedaling or moving around the paddleboard. There are three carry handles to help lift and transport the SUP, with the center handle having a boxed casing to guard against fraying and water damage. The SUP is also available in two distinct colors, so you do have a couple options when it comes to finding a paddleboard that looks and feels good to paddle.

The Peak Expedition relies on military grade PVC construction, which helps keep the larger SUP very light while still also protecting it against dings and scratches. The 2020 Expedition 11’ weighs a very light 19.5 lbs while having a 275 lbs beginner recommended weight capacity. The expedition uses a tri-fin setup, with a removable center snap-lock fin and two permanent side fins. Also included as part of the SUP kit is a three piece aluminum paddle, a 10’ coiled leash, a single-chamber pump, a waterproof phone case, and a roomy, thick, and well made travel backpack.

If you do need something longer that is still very light and easy to transport, it is worth taking a look at the 2020 Peak Expedition 11’ inflatable SUP.

  • Stable, beginner friendly, lightweight SUP.
  • 11’ length makes it a good touring/all-around SUP hybrid. Still easy to maneuver despite it’s longer length.
  • 19.5 lbs SUP weight, 275 lbs recommended beginner weight capacity.
  • Military-grade PVC composite construction keeps things light but sturdy to guard against most common SUP accidents.
  • 11 D-rings and dual bungee cargo areas for accessory and add-on support.
  • Soft EVA foam deck. Textured build keeps your feet gripped to the board while keeping it dry and slick free.
  • Permanent side fins and center snap-lock fin box. Very easy fin setup to manage.
  • Three piece aluminum paddle.
  • Single-chamber pump.
  • Three carry handles. Center carry handle has a casing that protects against fraying and water damage.
  • Waterproof phone case.
  • Rugged SUP backpack. More than enough room to fit all of the contents of the kit in it.
  • 1-Year Warranty. 30-day guarantee. Finance options up to 12 months as well.
  • $700 dollar price tag. There are better performing SUPs, with better accessories, than this one at the high price. We recommend waiting for a sale.
  • Lightweight, minimal PVC build makes it very easy to carry, but causes it to struggle a lot more when used in choppy or windy water environments.

2. SereneLife Inflatable SUP(Read Full Review)

SereneLife Infaltable SUP

The SereneLife inflatable SUP is one of the most popular paddleboards on the market, being a best selling SUP at Amazon, Costco, and many other online and brick and mortar retailers. This paddleboard is a shorter all-around, with a 10’ length, 30’’ wide deck, and 6’’ thickness. Available for less than $400 dollars, it is a cheaper option for those interested in paddleboards, though due to its light feature list and lesser performance, we recommend other SUPs.

While having less features than other paddleboards, there are a few noteworthy things to point out about the SereneLife 10’ SUP. There are nine D-rings for accessories, and a nose bungee cargo area if you want to bring a cooler or lunch box along. The deck pad is very well made, with a diamond grooved pattern that offers great traction support. The only other feature to point out though is the single center handle, though you won’t really need extra handles due to how light the board is.

The SereneLife inflatable SUP relies on military grade PVC construction, and will be able to resist most drops, crashes, and other SUP accidents on and off the water. The 10’ paddleboard weighs 19.6 lbs, and has a beginner recommended weight capacity of 275 lbs. The SereneLife iSUP features two permanent side fins, and a single clip-in center fin. Also included with the SereneLife kit is a three piece aluminum paddle, a single chamber pump, a 10’ coiled leash, and a multi-compartment travel backpack.

If money is the most important factor for you and you don’t mind using beginner only gear, the 2020 Serenelife Inflatable 10’ SUP is available now for less than $400 dollars.

  • Mostly stable SUP that is available for less than $400 dollars. Heavy paddlers, or paddlers 6’ and taller will not be able to use this paddleboard well.
  • 10’ makes this a more maneuverable all-around SUP. Tracking is only okay, so make sure to work on your paddling form.
  • 19.6 lbs SUP weight, 275 lbs recommended beginner weight capacity.
  • Military-grade PVC composite construction helps the paddleboard stay light but durable enough to withstand the common damage and accidents that happen on and off the water.
  • 9 D-rings and nose bungee cargo area. Basic setup, but it’s enough for most paddlers.
  • Diamond grooved EVA foam deck pad. Great feeling, and great traction support as well.
  • Permanent side fins and center clip-in fin box. Be careful about the center fin, as clip-in aren’t as secure as many other fin setups.
  • Three piece aluminum paddle.
  • Single-chamber pump.
  • Single carry handle. Enough to carry the paddleboard to the water as the 10’ SUP is light, but can be annoying to tug around once you’re on it.
  • Multi-compartment SUP backpack. Rather well made despite the low purchase price.
  • 1-Year Warranty. 30-day guarantee.
  • This is not a long term paddleboard. While the $400 dollar price is appetizing, even beginners will want to use something with better performance after a year or two of use.
  • Some of the most basic, entry-level accessories on the market. We quite like the bag, but the fin, paddle, and pump are all as barebones as they can be. Extreme budget kit.

3. ROC Inflatable SUP(Read Full Review)

ROC Inflatable SUP

The ROC inflatable SUP is another extremely popular paddleboard, and also among the lightest on our list for those interested in something their kids could also use. This paddleboard is also 10’ long, with a 32’’ wide deck and 6’’ overall thickness, but thanks to its overall build actually supports a bit more weight than other entry level SUPs. In the past, the ROC inflatable SUP has been available for $400 dollars, but at its current price of $600 is much harder to recommend due to the low average quality of both the board and accessories.

If you are still interested in the ROC Inflatable 10’ SUP, there are a number of features that you should be aware of. The deck pad is built with grip and traction support in mind, having a diamond groove pattern for a soft but firm deck feel. There are just seven D-rings and a single bungee cargo area, which is ideal for those who don’t want add-on support and prefer a clean board. That also extends to the single carry handle in the center of the deck, the lack of other handles keeping the price lower while also further keeping the deck litter free.

ROC relies on military grade PVC constructed with DuraWeld technology for a tougher, more resilient, and stable SUP despite its extremely low SUP weight. Weighing just 17.5 lbs but having a recommended weight capacity of 300 lbs, the board does have what it takes to support most adult paddlers despite how light it is. The paddleboard includes a clip-in center fin and permanent side fins for its tri-fin setup. With this board, you will also receive a 10’ coiled leash, a three-piece aluminum paddle, a single-chamber pump, and a bulky travel backpack.

If you want a very light SUP, especially one your younger kids would feel more comfortable paddling, the 2020 ROC 10’ inflatable SUP is another paddleboard option to consider.

  • Surprisingly stable SUP given how lightweight the board is. Very beginner friendly, a good option for children too.
  • 10’ length focuses on maneuverability, but it does have solid tracking. Make sure to practice your paddling form to make up for the shorter length.
  • 17.5 lbs SUP weight, 300 lbs recommended weight capacity. One of the lightest SUPs on our list.
  • DuraWeld military grade PVC composite construction. Helps the board stay light while providing a larger than expected weight capacity.
  • Very clean SUP deck. Just 7 D-rings and nose bungee cargo area for those who don’t care about unnecessary add-ons.
  • Diamond grooved EVA foam deck pad. Great traction support that helps beginners stay on their paddleboards.
  • Permanent side fins and center clip-in fin box. Clip-in fins do tend to fall out more often than other fins, so make sure you’ve installed it properly before going out.
  • Three piece aluminum paddle.
  • Single-chamber pump.
  • Single carry handle. We doubt you’ll ever need help carrying your SUP given how light it is. Lack of other handles does make it difficult to tug on the water.
  • Duffle bag style travel backpack. Easy to wear, is an option to consider if you are a long distance hiker who wants a paddleboard.
  • 1-Year Warranty. 30-day guarantee.
  • We liked this paddleboard when it was priced at $400 dollars, but it’s not a good value at its current $600 dollar price. Recommend waiting for a sale or considering other SUPs.
  • Lack of accessory compatibility is a pro for some, but a con for many others. If you have extra gear you like to bring out, consider other paddleboard options.

Lastly, we have a few more paddleboard options that we have reviewed in the past, but would not make our top ten list for cheap paddle boards in 2020. If you would like to know more about these SUPs, we welcome you to click on our links below to read our full reviews on these cheap, entry-level SUPs.

Past Recommended Cheap/Entry-Level SUP Reviews:

Ten Toes Retrospec Weekender Review
Ancheer Inflatable SUP Review

When it comes to a cheap, entry-level paddleboard, we also recommend starting off with an inflatable. The biggest reason is that unless it’s used, out of date, or is very poorly made, there is no such thing as an inexpensive epoxy hard SUP. Most of the beginner, entry-level epoxy SUPs we would feel comfortable recommending are in the $900+ range, which significantly more than what you have to pay for an entry-level inflatable SUP.

Most paddlers looking for a cheap paddleboard are purchasing it because they are new to the sport or are looking for a secondary SUP. As such, here are a few other reasons why we suggest going with an entry-level inflatable SUP over an epoxy one.

Reasons to consider a inflatable, entry-level SUP over a hardboard:

  • Inflatable paddleboards have much greater weight support and stability than a similarly sized hardboard. This allows you to still get something stable, even if it’s a smaller, more cheaply made paddleboard.
  • Inflatables are overall more durable and less prone to breaking than hardboards, with greater warranty protection as well. With free shipping for many board purchases, inflatables ensure you’re not spending as much if something does go wrong.
  • Inflatables are softer and much more forgiving when you fall than a hard boards would be.
  • Inflatable paddleboards are much easier to transport, ensuring that you don’t have to waste additional money upgrading your car with racks or straps compared to epoxy SUPs.
  • Most inflatable paddleboards will have everything you need for the water out of the box. Hardboards typically require you to buy your leash and paddle separately.

Beginner SUP Buying Guide

SUP Board Guide Nautical All Around

While our above recommended paddleboards are some of our favorites for 2020, there might be other cheap paddleboards you’ll want to consider as well. Your favorite retailer might have a sale going on, or you have a friend that might be making you a special offer. You might be really into epoxy paddleboards and are hoping to avoid inflatables, or maybe you just want to try something new and unique that we haven’t reviewed yet. No matter the reason, here are the factors that we used when developing our top 2020 SUP list, factors that you should consider as well when looking for a solid, cheap entry-level paddleboard.

  • Stability. Stability is going to be among the most important factors to consider when looking at a paddleboard. The more stable you feel on a paddleboard, the less likely you are to fall in, which is important if you are a beginner trying to learn how to SUP. Furthermore, more stable paddleboards typically equates to a more comfortable and satisfying paddling feel, improving your overall paddling experience. Size matters most when it comes to stability, but construction and other key features will impact it as well. We recommend sticking with inflatables for a cheap, entry-level SUP as they provide greater stability even when cheaper materials and thinner designs are used.
  • Maneuverability. Maneuverability refers to the overall handling of a SUP, including how easy it is to turn it in the water. Because cheaper, entry-level paddleboards tend to be shorter and not as bulky as premium paddleboards, they already tend to offer superior maneuverability. However, for those interested in learning how to become a more advanced paddleboarder, having a SUP that assists in performing a step-back turn is important as well. We specifically like paddleboards that have any sort of maneuverability enhancements incorporated into their design.
  • Tracking. Tracking typically refers to how narrow of a path a SUP can keep in the water, which is measured in part by how often you have to switch which side you paddle on. Longer SUPs tend to have better tracking, so there aren’t many SUPs with great tracking on a cheap/entry-level SUP list. However, a board with less than ideal tracking will help you improve your form more quickly, making shorter SUPs a good option for those new to paddleboarding.
  • Construction. While inflatable paddleboards are typically hard to damage in general, some SUPs are more difficult to damage than others. The less expensive a SUP is, the less durable it tends to be, though there are some exceptions to the rule with premium-level SUP protection in an otherwise entry-level board. Better construction doesn’t just make a paddleboard more durable though, but also tends to help it perform better when the wind and waves pick up as well. Saving money, but also buying a well-made paddleboard that will last for years to come, is another important balance to consider.
  • Key Features. Is the paddleboard available in multiple colors? What kind of D-ring setup does it have, and does it come with an action mount? Are there one or two bungee cord cargo areas? Does the paddleboard have a rail performance enhancement system? Looking at the key features is another great way to evaluate the overall performance and viability of the SUP you are considering, so don’t just rely on specs alone before making a purchase.

SUP Board Guide Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 Accessories min

  • Accessories. The included fins, paddle, pump, leash, and backpack are just a few ways that some companies will either further cut down on the price of a SUP kit or make it stand out. US standard fins are better than snap-lock fins in terms of performance and overall customization, but cost more. Fiberglass and carbon blend paddles are lighter and superior to aluminum paddles, but cost more. Dual-chamber pumps are quicker than single-chamber pumps, but cost more. So, be sure to keep an eye out on less expensive SUP kits that have a above-average accessory inclusion, as those will save you more money down the road as you won’t have to upgrade your gear.
  • Overall value. There is no simple formula for calculating the overall value of your kit, as whether something is worth the price tag is dependent on your needs. What we suggest is starting off with your budget cap, and then prioritizing the various factors that matter to you the most from our list. Do you need a SUP that is very stable, or do you prefer focusing on overall tracking? Is having a bunch of accessory attachment points important to you, or do you just care about the extra gear that comes in a SUP kit? Does the paddleboard come with a finance option, allowing you to pay it off over time? With your budget in mind, we’re sure you’ll be able to make an informed decision based upon the specs and contents of a SUP. However, if you would like additional help, be sure to leave a comment below or send us an email with any questions you may have about a particular SUP you’re looking at.

Why we recommend starting with cheap all-around shaped SUPs.
SUP Board Reviews Gili Air 10'6

If you’ve looked at our top recommended list of cheap, entry-level SUPs, you may have noticed we’ve largely recommended only all-around paddle boards. There are several reasons for this, reasons that will help you better understand what kind of SUP you need as you shop around for yourself.

  • All-arounds have solid performance in every major factor. All-around SUPs are jack of all trade paddleboards, meaning that they do nearly everything well without excelling in anything. As such, buying an all-around allows you to get solid stability, tracking, maneuverability, and overall performance without having to spend too much money on a dedicated or performance SUP. Having an all-around is especially great for those who are new or inexperienced water sports, as it can help newcomers figure out their favorite paddlers and prepare them to buy a dedicated SUP down the line.
  • All-arounds aren’t as difficult or expensive to make as dedicated SUPs. When you start looking at the truly dedicated, performance SUPs, they are made with more peculiar and precise designs in mind. Dedicated paddleboards might not have the same volume as all-arounds, but their longer, more strenuous construction and reliance on advanced parts make them most expensive. If you’re trying to save money, you will have a very hard time trying to buy a cheap touring, racing, yoga, surfing, or other type of dedicated paddleboard.
  • All-arounds typically have full gear kits. Due to the precise performance focus of dedicated paddleboards, their kits often include the most expensive accessories required for optimal performance, or no extra gear at all. There are dedicated SUPs out there that cost over $800 dollars that sometimes lack paddles, pumps, leashes, and other major accessories. By going with an all-around SUP, you will almost always receive a kit that has everything you need for the water out of the box, helping you save even more money compared to some paddleboard kits out there.

A note on the performance/functional lifespan of cheap paddle boards.
SUP Board Guide Nautical All Around

If you are trying to get the most value out of your paddleboard, buying a premium SUP may in some ways be the better option depending on how interested you are in the sport. While well-made entry-level SUPs, like those on our list, will have a similar functional lifespan as a premium SUP, they won’t have the same overall performance lifespan. Premium paddleboards are typically SUPs that you grow into and can continue to enjoy using at an advanced and even expert level. Entry-level and cheap SUPs, conversely, tend to be more enjoyable for beginners but feel lackluster once an intermediate to advanced level is achieved. However, entry-level boards are cheaper so that, if you do try it for a while and find yourself not having as much fun or going out as often as you intended, a cheaper SUP feels more appropriate than an expensive, premium SUP.

However, something else we would recommend considering are finance options. Many of the major paddleboard manufacturers, including almost every company on our 2020 list, comes with finance options that make even expensive, premium SUPs far more affordable. With plans that typically range in three, nine, twelve, eighteen, and twenty four month options, you can turn a premium $1000 dollar plus SUP into something you’re paying off for as little as $50 dollars a month. As such, if price is your biggest constraint but you want something that offers higher performance, we definitely recommend checking out the finance options offered by the SUP company.

Important Tips for Buying the Best Cheap SUPs:

SUP Board Guide Bay Sports Seek

When it comes to a cheap/entry-level SUP, there are a few other major factors or tips to consider that will help you make the most out of your paddleboard. Whether you go with one of the SUPs on our list or buy one on your own, consider the following factors:

  • Good accessories go a long way. Some paddlers make the mistake of focusing only on their paddleboard, to the point that they will settle for subpar accessories to save money. This can be a mistake, as good accessories can do a lot in turning an average paddleboarding experience into a great one. A lighter paddle will save you energy, besides helping you maintain your balance better out on the water. A good backpack, especially with wheels, will help your gear stay organized and last longer as it protects it against the elements. A dual-chamber pump will often cut down the inflation time between 33% to 50% compared to a single-chamber pump. So, if you are looking to upgrade but want to save money, sometimes just upgrading a few accessories is more important than having to completely replace the paddleboard itself.
  • Experience leads to better performance. The more experienced you are, the more you’ll be able to do with a paddleboard. For example, recommended weight capacities are typically listed for beginners, and can be exceeded with the proper skill and familiarity. A board that doesn’t offer good tracking inherently can still maintain a straight and steady course with the proper paddling technique. Whereas a wider, larger SUP might be maneuverable to some, those who can perform a step-back turn properly can make even long touring boards maneuverable. While expert paddlers prefer premium boards due to the performance help they provide, getting practice on a SUP and getting used to the water will help minimize the performance differences between boards.
  • Check the weather and know your environment. The biggest difference between cheap, entry-level SUPs and premium paddleboards is going to be how they perform in rougher waters. In still, calm waters like your typical lake, bay, or marina, the performance between a cheap and premium SUP is going to be closer than you might expect. However, when the wind picks up and the water gets choppy, a premium SUP will typically perform much better than a cheap, entry-level SUP. For the most part, we suggest just sticking to calm, flat water if you are going to be relying on an entry-level SUP. Get to know your favorite watering spot and check your local weather report out before going paddling in order to have the best performance and SUPing experience.
  • Wear the leash, and bring a PFD too. Nearly every SUP we’ve recommended comes with a leash, and we highly recommend wearing it, especially for entry-level SUPs. Cheap, entry-level SUPs tend to be a bit more squirrely and can float several feet away in seconds in fast moving waters, making them tricky to climb on if you fall off. In order to keep them from floating out of reach, make sure to put on the leash before heading out into the water. Always remember to bring a PFD out when you’re paddling as well! Wearing the leash will keep your SUP close, but it won’t help you float any better if you fall off. In order to stay safe, always bring a PFD with you, even in slow and shallow water.
  • Get wet and have fun! Eventually, you’re going to fall off your paddleboard, especially as cheap SUPs tend not to be as stable as larger, premium SUPs. That’s fine; in fact, that’s part of the paddleboarding experience! Remember to have fun when you are going out, and enjoy the times where you make a mistake and fall off, or just decide to cool down by taking a swim. Cheap paddleboards are great as it gives more people the opportunity to enjoy nature and discover the thrills of SUPing, so be sure to make the most of it everytime you go out!

Conclusion: In searching for the Best Cheap Paddle Board, buy what you can afford, or consider waiting for a sale.

One of the final pieces of advice is that as new models of paddleboards are released, old inventory is often heavily discounted in order to make room for the new variants. If you want a higher performance paddleboard, but are hoping to save money, you could wait and buy last year’s model if any remain in inventory. For this reason, we here at make sure to not only write up new reviews as stand up paddleboards are released, but also leave reviews up of previous models in order for you to get a good sense of their performance. Whatever you go with though, remember to stay safe, have fun, and enjoy paddleboarding!

Thank you so much for reading our guide! If you have any lingering questions or would like our advice on a SUP you are looking at purchasing, be sure to leave a comment or send us an email with your thoughts! We try to keep our guides up to date as well, so be sure to check on our guide again as new models come out or if other special deals are available for these paddleboards. We also update our reviews and guides based upon the experiences that paddlers have with the boards we test, so send us an email to help our reviews be even more accurate.

Enjoy the sun, enjoy the water, and enjoy SUPing!

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Justin Taylor, Head Paddler

At we are a team who love the water, the outdoors, and are more than grateful that our full-time job allows us to review stand up paddle boards. We paddle year round (it helps that we are just about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas), and we bring in a wide range of paddlers with the goal of providing our readers with the best, most in-depth, and accurate stand up paddle board reviews.

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56 thoughts on “Best Cheap Inflatable Paddle Boards (2022)”

  1. Hi, I’m thinking on buying a iSUP, I’m between the Thurso surf and the Irocker all around, I would use it mostly in salt water and eventually surf small waves, I’m a beginner to intermediate rider and also a heavy one I’m around 230 pounds at 6.2′ , which would you recommend me?

    • Hi.
      The Thurso Waterwalker is the more touring-oriented board. The All-Around is slightly more on the all-rounder side of things. Both can be used in small waves and salt water is not an issue for either one. I’d say the All-Around is a little better for small waves, the Thurso is a bit faster. It really depends on what you prefer.

  2. Hi, I’m looking for my first sup and Tower seems to have good prices and good quality. The mermaid at 600 was my favorite but now I just discovered that some are even less expensive. Does the mermaid worth the price more then those cheap one?
    Thank you

    • Hi,

      the Tower Mermaid is a pretty decent beginner SUP. Unfortunately, Tower hasn’t really changed it since it was first released (except for new colors). It’s definitely better than the low-budget boards you can find online. The only one we can really recommend is the Gili Air which is currently sold out.

      If you do buy the Tower Mermaid, I’d recommend buying the board only and getting a separate pump and paddle. The pump and paddle they include in their board package are not great and you can find better options for less money. The board only is currently $465, the board including pump and paddle is $599. Also, keep in mind that you will need to buy a separate backpack.

      Hope that helps 🙂

    • The last price I saw was $450. I’m not sure when it’s back in stock though. They are a brand new company and ran out really quickly. It’s their first season so it was pretty hard to estimate the demand. If you still want to use your new board this summer I’d probably not wait.

      Also make sure you check out the iRocker All-Around. The 10′ version would be just right and is priced at $619. It comes with a nice bag, a fantastic pump and a very solid paddle though. We reviewed the 11′ here. You can check out the 10′ version here. It’s a better deal than the Mermaid for sure and is available in the same color.

      • The problem is… the irocker is expensive to ship to Canada (140$). With the change rate CAD/USD 980$Cad Wow!
        But I think even with the shipping the iRocker is a better deal: iRocker at 759$ or Mermaid at 524+pump and paddle??!!
        Thanks again

  3. Helpful article. Worth noting that the Gili board now (11/27/18) seems to have a 3 fin setup instead of single. Seems to remedy the main knock you had against it.

    • Interesting! Looks like they’ve changed the fin setup. Thanks for the heads up! We will make sure we change the article and rating.

  4. First, timer here! Definitely on a budget! The Gili Air is $369 right now on Amazon. Is the Gili Adventure worth the extra $100? I am looking to use in GA lakes and take to the Gulf Coast (bay and calm surf) this summer. I am 5’5 170lbs. Help me make the right choice!

    • Andrew – thanks for the comment and question! At 5’5 and 170 you should be fine on the Gili Air in the bay and calm surf. It’s a great iSUP for beginners on a budget.

      That being said, upgrading to the 11′ Adventure will give you more stability, better tracking (due to longer board and more touring shape), and also gives you a dual-layered fusion model. Those are pretty good upgrades for $100, the dual fusion vs single layer PVC being the biggest. So…yes we’d say it’s worth the $100 if you can swing it, but you won’t be sad with the Gili Air by any means (it’s a TON better than what you get at Costco or other discount boards for sale).

      Here’s the link to the Gili Air –, and here’ the link to the Gili Adventure –

      Let us know if you have any other questions!

  5. Thank you for the info! I will make the jump to the Adventure! One other question…. They have two paddle options, Carbon Fiber is about $50 more… Carbon Fiber with Nylon Blade or Aluminum with Nylon Blade?

    • That’s great – you’re going to have a ton of fun! With paddles, we do recommend the carbon fiber paddle vs the aluminum paddle. It’s lighter and more efficient, and you do notice it after paddling for a while. That being said, the aluminum paddle is still a great paddle, so it is ultimately a budget question for you. One thing – if you use this link here you will get the carbon fiber paddle in that package – (sorry I didn’t put the link in correctly when I replied to your first question).

  6. Great info, thanks. I want to get a board for my 11 year old daughter, she’s under 5′ tall and weighs 80lbs, for now. She’s paddled around flat water a few times and loves it.

    DDM offers a 7’6″ youth board. Is that a legit option or too small?

    Thanks again.

    • Hey John!

      I think you should look at the Thurso Prodigy board, it’s affordable and going to be a better option as far as value goes! Also, don’t know if your girl is a pink girl, but if she is, the pink Thurso junior board would be pretty cool for her!

  7. Hi, your reviews are so helpful. I am trying to be budget friendly but am really torn. My husband and I live on a lake and I do ladies paddle board nights. We don’t use our current boards much because they are huge and cumbersome. I’m torn between ordering us two Gilis both 10’6” or a 10’ all around for me and a 10’6” cruiser for him. I’m about 140 and he’s about 220. Is there a big enough difference int he two brands to justify the difference in price. Of note, we will use the boards for about 3-4 months out of the year in Michigan and live on a smaller lake off of Lake Michigan that can get windy and choppy.

    • Hey Ashley

      Glad we can help!

      The iRocker boards are definitely worth the extra money. Easily. Saying that, if you really can’t swing it, the Gili is still a great buy. The differences come in performance, so it’ll still be fun even as you advance. That and the accessories make for a nicer experience overall, quicker pump, lighter paddle etc. The durability of an iRocker all-around is also above that of a Gili. Again, I really like the Gili board and still a reasonable buy, as in, it’ll last more than a season haha so it depends really on how tight the budget is atm. One thing is your husband may feel a bit of flex on the Gili, I believe you’d be fine though.
      Hope this helps some more!

      • Thank you so much. We sold the older larger boards and used the cash to buy the irockers! A 10 all around for me and a 10’6” cruiser for him. I am sure the Gilis Are great but I’m so glad we splurged. These boards are awesome!

  8. Hi, I’m considering getting an iSup for both me and my wife to use while our dog rides along. We’re both under 160, and our dog is about 60 lbs. I’m torn between the performance of the Gili and the robustness of the DDM. What would you recommend?

    • Hey Ryan

      I believe the GiliGili is the better option! I believe it’s actually made better than the DDM. Very impressed with the quality of Gili boards, a part of the proceeds go to turtle conservation if you buy the teal-colored board too!

  9. Hi!
    Thank you for all the great information.
    I am pretty much a beginner, but am a very athletic person familiar with board sports. I am also a small female, and I am wondering if the THURSO SURF 7’6″ Prodigy Junior Kids Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard would be a reasonable purchase as it’s for weights 165 lb/75 kg. I weigh about 130lb. Would it likely be of similar quality to their other lower-priced boards? Would I be sacrificing quality going with a kids board?

    • Bobby,

      Great question! You won’t be sacrificing quality going with a kids board. Your main issue is going to be weight capacity. Thurso lists the Prodigy max capacity at 165 lbs. Given you are 35 lbs under that capacity, I think you would be OK – but it won’t be ideal. Instead, I would recommend their Waterwalker 120. It’s a bit longer – 10′ than the Prodigy, and will give you a lot more weight capacity, but it’s still a fun board to paddle on for someone with past board sport experience.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  10. I’m trying to decide which model to buy and making myself crazy with all the choices! I had decided on the Irocker close out 2019 10’ all around but my friend tells me that’s way too short. I’m 5’7” 135lbs but my husband is 5’10” 240 and he might occasionally use it and I might occasionally have a kid with me. It’s my first board, but I have extremely good balance. I really don’t want to pay more than $500. I’m thinking the Gili might be a good option for me. I’ll be mainly using it in calm lakes. Thanks!!

    • Amanda,

      I would not say that the 10′ All-Around is too short for you, but it is getting close. iRocker typically recommends going to the 11′ board if you are over 5’8″. I’m 5’11”, and while I’m fine on the 10′ I do prefer the 11′ All-Around. Also, given your husbands height and weight then the 11′ would be a better board – especially for when you bring a kid with you.

      Your challenge is finding a board under $500 that checks all those boxes – good for you, your husband, and then you + a child. Does your husband have good balance? If he does, then the Gili Air would be a decent option, but I’d still recommend the 2019 iRocker 10′ more than the Gili given the extra weight you’ll be able to put on the iRocker.

      If your husband doesn’t have great balance, and you want a longer board, then I’d recommend spending just a little more than the $500 and going with the Gili 11′ Adventure. The Adventure is a solid SUP that is currently priced just over $500.

      Hope that helps!

  11. Hello!

    My husband and I are looking for inflatable SUP boards for under $500/each. We have been reading a lot of reviews and are leaning towards either the GILI Air or the iRocker Nautical. We would be using it on lakes/rivers. We are both fairly new to SUP but are fairly athletic. My husband is quite tall (6 ft 5 inches) and around 200lbs but has good balance. Would you recommend one board over the other? Thank you for such thorough reviews – it has been so helpful!

    • Bre,

      Glad that the reviews have been helpful! I think you would be great with either the iRocker Nautical or Gili Air, to be honest. I’d recommend the Gili Air slightly more than the Nautical simply because the Gili Air has a little higher weight rating (280 lbs vs 240 lbs), so your husband might be a little more comfortable on it. I say ‘might’, because the boards really are similar. The Gili is a little bit more stable, while the Nautical is going to be a little more sporty.

      $$$ wise, if you purchase 2 Nautical’s then you save $80, so you do end up saving a bit with the iRockers.2 Nautical’s then you save $80.

      Please let me know if you have other questions, and I’d love to hear what you decide to do!

  12. Hello,

    I’m looking for a paddle board around the $400 price point. I’m 5’7”, 150 lb. I’ve done some recreational paddle boarding on vacations, but am still beginner/intermediate. I’ll probably take it out several times a year during nice weekends over the summer, mostly on a nearby lake that can sometimes get a bit choppy. I’m looking for something that’s pretty stable, easy to set up, and wide enough to do SUP yoga. I’d also like it to last for several years. I was looking at the iRocker nautical and the Roc. The Gili and some of the other iRocker models are a little more expensive than I was planning on, but I could potentially spring for it if it’s worth the extra value. What would you recommend? Or are there other boards that you think I should check out?


    • Allison,

      I’d recommend the iRocker Nautical vs the ROC. It’s a really good board for the money, and you are backed by a fantastic company with their guarantee and service. My only concern with either board would be stability wise for yoga. I am fine doing yoga on the Nautical, but it is less stable than the iRocker Cruiser, or one of the higher-end Gili boards.

      Durability wise, you will be fine for several years with the Nautical. It’s iRocker’s first sub $400 board, but they’ve been making boards forever and their quality is top-notch.

      I hope that helps, please let me know what other questions you have!

  13. Would you get the Gili Air or Bluefin Cruise if the extra $50 was no issue? Or would you recommend something else over those two?

    • Bonjei,

      Such a tough question! They are both great SUPs, so you can’t really go wrong with either. I would say that the Gili leans more towards the stability side of things, while the Bluefin Cruise leans towards more maneuverability. I also really do like the extras that come with the Bluefin (kayak seat, better deck pad, etc.). If you are looking to save $50, then you will be more than happy with the Gili. If you want a little stiffer board that is a little more maneuverable then go with the Bluefin.

      I hope that helps and doesn’t make it harder! Let me know if you have other questions!

  14. You guys are great!! I just bought my bluefin cruise, and I can’t wait to try it out! I’m so grateful for these reviews and recommendations! I really feel like I got the best paddle board for me. Keep up the good work!

  15. Thank you for these great reviews and your expertise! I keep going back and forth on what would be best for us. I’m looking for a beginner inflatable board for a family. We will be going mostly to reservoirs and lakes to paddle around for fun, and wanting to get a kayak seat attachment. Hoping to be able to have my dog or a few kids ride with me. Please let me know what you would recommend for us! Thank you!

    • Melanie,

      Given you are wanting to take a few kids or a dog, I’d recommend something that is super stable and has a high weight capacity. Ideally, I would recommend looking at the Blackfin Model X or the iRocker Cruiser. However, if budget is a concern and your looking for something less expensive then check out the Bluefin Cruise.

      Hope that helps! Please let me know if you have further questions!

  16. Thanks for the great reviews. I want to purchase an inexpensive SUP. I am 5’0 and 120 pounds. Would you get the Gili Air, Bluefin Cruise or DCS 10’6” SUP? I was wondering if you were able to try out the DCS. Based on the review it may be too good to be true.

    • Janaya,

      I would recommend either the Gili Air, Bluefin Cruise, or the Nautical by iRocker. I haven’t personally tested the DCS 10’6 SUP, and I’m always leery to recommend boards that I don’t know much about the brand and are sold primarily/solely on Amazon. It’s not necessarily hard to have a manufacturer in China build a board for you, but it is hard to service customers – and I know that Gili, Bluefin, and iRocker will take care of you.

  17. I am looking to purchase a board for a 54 year old beginner. He is 5’11” tall and 170 lbs. It will be used recreationally 5-10 times a year so I don’t want to spend a fortune but I definitely want it to be as enjoyable as his abilities allow. Can you give me a few recommendations?

    • Angela,

      Sorry for the delay in response – hope I’m not too late! For someone that height/weight, and given what is in stock right now, I’d recommend the 11’6 iRocker Nautical. It’s a killer deal right now, and you even get a free electric pump. Nautical is also made by a great company, iRocker, and they stand behind their boards 100%.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  18. Hi! I’m considering the purchase of an SUP as a gift for a family member and for extended family to use as well. Mostly women, the one male didn’t seem to do well on a sup this summer 🙂 . We’re in our 50’s and 60’s but slim and tallest is around 5’7″. We used a friends fiberglass (or some hard material) sup on Lake Michigan, just outside of Chicago, but found it to be heavy and clunky and frankly were nervous about falling on top of it. A client recommended the inflatable versions and in particular the iRocker All Around 11. I read your complete article with reviews and thought the Bluefin and Gili looked like possible options as well but rather spend a couple hundred dollars more for a better one that’s better quality, more accessories, etc. I like the idea of something not too heavy, so it could be carried by one person, and not too heavy paddles but good stability, comfort and grip on the board. Don’t want it to feel too small or narrow. We are all beginners and the Lake can get a bit wavy. Would greatly appreciate your thoughts and recommendations. Thanks!!

      • Lynn,

        Given what you are looking for, I would recommend spending a little bit more and going with the iRocker All-Around 11. It will be more stable than the Gili or Nautical and you do have more accessory options. It’s a few lbs heavier than those models, but you still can carry it with just one person, and the quality is for sure worth the extra $$.

        I hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  19. Hi, I was wondering which you would recommend between the Nautical, PEAK and there was a BOTE Drift I saw not on this list. I found an Atoll as well on clearance for $590 but not sure I want to stretch my budget that far at a local store by me. I’m in the 450price range. I’m a beginner 46yr old 5’6 and thin. Suggestions please 🙂

    • Cyndi,

      Great question, and stoked you are looking for a SUP!

      I’d recommend the Nautical over the PEAK. From our tests, the Nautical is a little better from a construction quality standpoint, and also performs a little better on the water.

      We do like the Atoll a lot, but if you are trying to stay under a budget then you’ll be happy with the Nautical. It’s a great price that’s within your budget and backed by iRocker (who take really good care of their customers).

      I hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  20. Hi! I’m looking to buy a SUP and I think I’ve decided on iRocker (thank you for all of your reviews! They’ve been really helpful). I’ve used my friend’s board a few times but am a beginner. I’m 5’1 and 160 but have good balance and am athletic. We camp and would be mostly using it on lakes. My husband and boys have kayaks so I need to keep up with them. I’ll be the primary user but my husband would use it on occasion (6’ 225)…also would like to take the kids out too. Would you recommend the 10’ or 11’ all around? I’m torn

    • Beth,

      Thanks for the question! Given your husband’s height and weight I would go with the 11′ All-Around. We have found that those over 5’7 don’t do quite as well on the 10′ as they do on the 11′ All-Around. For you, the 11′ board will also be a little faster as the glide on the 11′ is better than the 10′, and it’s not any wider.

      I hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  21. Hello!

    Thanks so much for your in-depth reviews — it’s been very helpful. I’m really torn between the ROC 10′ Explorer and the iRocker Nautical 10′. It is obvious from your reviews that the iRocker is a better product, however, I love the aesthetic of the ROC. The visual appearance and colour of a SUP shouldn’t be a deciding factor, but I also don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on something I don’t find visually pleasing. Also, since I’m shopping from Canada, the iRocker will end up being ~ $100 cheaper than the ROC. I’m a beginner but feel very at ease with both inflatable and solid SUPs that I’ve tried. I am 5’6″ and 140lbs and will be using the board on calm lakes and maybe lazy rivers and won’t be carrying any significant cargo.

    Do you think the ROC would be a poor choice for my situation? Would there be a significant difference between the two for casual recreation use?

    Thanks for your advice 🙂


    • Leo,

      For casual recreational use I do prefer the iRocker. You have better customer service and the board does feel better to me. However, it does matter that you like the looks of the SUP.

      Have you check out the Gili Air or BlueFin Cruise models by chance? Those are 2 other brands that offer a lot of value for the price, and a lot of people tell me how much they love the look of the Gili Air.

  22. Hello!

    I work at a retreat center and we are looking at getting some paddle boards for guests to use in our cove area. So we will have a good mixture of beginners and intermediate folks using the boards. I am looking at the bluefin cruise and iROCKER Nautical. We are hoping to get a mixture of sizes for the different guests that come. My budget is around $550 per board.
    What would be your recommendation?

    • Kristen,

      I’d recommend looking at the Bluefin Cruise. It comes with the kayak conversion kit, which I have a feeling some of your guests would appreciate – and is a really great buy. You’d be happy with the Nautical as well, but for your situation I think the full Bluefin kit is a great option.


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