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Best Cheap Inflatable Paddle Boards (2024)

Best Cheap Paddle Boards 2024

If you’re new to stand up paddling, it’s common to go through a bit of sticker shock when shopping for your first board. With hard SUPs and even some inflatables costing upwards of $1000, it’s no surprise that people start to look specifically for ‘cheap’ boards, which is likely what led you here.

So, take a deep breath, shake some of that sticker shock, and we’ll guide you through our list of the Best Cheap Paddle Boards of 2024.

In full transparency, we don’t like to use the word cheap to describe any of these boards because it implies lackluster quality. However, we’ll use that language here because ‘cheap’ is the term frequently used when our readers ask us for suggestions on budget-friendly paddle boards.

We prefer to use the words “value,” “inexpensive,” “affordable,” and “budget.”

With that said, the SUPs below excelled in all of our tests, and we can fully attest to their quality.

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

Before we dive headfirst into our list, I wanted to provide some background about how we decide a ‘cheap’ SUP belongs on this list.

While we aim to keep the boards on this list below a certain price point, we’re also looking beyond that to recommend boards that are durable, fun to paddle on, and backed by solid companies that care about the SUP community and their customers.

The boards below go above and beyond to fit these criteria, and we work personally with the CEOs and product developers of each SUP company, so we can attest that they are doing their best to better serve their customers and our readers.

What we love most about each of these companies is that they carefully listen to our and our readers’ feedback and incorporate it into changes to the next model. With that in mind, if you have questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to send them our way to pass along to these brands.

We hope to contribute to growing and advancing this sport in a way that is accessible to all.

Having said that, below you’ll find our list of the Best Cheap, affordable, budget-level, quality SUPs of 2024!

Best Affordable Inflatable SUPs

  • iRocker Cruiser
  • Gili Adventure 11′
  • Bluefin Cruise 10’8’’
  • Thurso Surf 120 Waterwalker
  • Weekender Plus Hybrid 10’6
  • Weekender Tour 11’6
  • Gili Air 10’6”/11’6”
  • BOTE Wulf Aero 10’4

  • As you go through this list, you’ll notice that several of these SUPs are still in the mid-range price tier and rarely drop in price to the under $400/$500 iSUP category you see on Amazon.

    Generally, the quality of the cheap Amazon boards is not up to the standard we feel comfortable recommending to our readers.

    We argue that it is better and cheaper to buy a quality SUP once than buy a cheap, crappy paddleboard twice.

    We also want to keep inflatable paddle boards out of our landfills as best as possible, and one way to do that is by buying a durable board that will last season after season.

    iROCKER Cruiser 10’6

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    iROCKER Cruiser 10’6

    • High-quality cruiser style SUP that usually costs $700+
    • Rigid construction
    • Stable, high-weight capacity SUP
    • Backed by one of the industries top brands – iRocker
    • Great SUP package that has everything you need to get out on the water
    • Similar to the Isle Pioneer 2.0 – at under $500, there isn’t much to complain about the iRocker Cruiser

    Check Prices

    The 10’6 Cruiser by iRocker is another board that doesn’t usually belong on this list because it’s usually too expensive.

    We don’t know how long the Cruiser is going to be on sale, but it might be the best paddle board under $500 right now (and we’re crossing our fingers that it stays under $500 for the rest of the summer).

    Specs-wise, the iRocker Cruiser is a very rigid, durable SUP. It’s built using iRockers traditional construction methods: dual layer PVC (they technically say triple layers but are counting the side rails) paired with a high-density drop stitch inner core.

    Typically, you won’t get a dual-layer board for under $500. That price has traditionally led to single-layer boards only. So again, this is a lot of value and quality for the price.

    Performance-wise, we have always loved how stable the iRocker Cruiser is on the water. This is a great SUP for beginners and for people looking to load up the board with gear or even a child or larger pet.

    Brand-wise, we have trusted iRocker for many years. They are one of the top-selling brands in the USA, and they have always taken care of our readers. If you decide to buy an iRocker and have a problem, you can even contact us with the details, and we can text the CEO to make sure it’s taken care of. I can’t say that about too many brands.

    Gili Adventure 11’

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    Gili Adventure 11' Inflatable Paddleboard Review - Accessories

    • Typically costs around $600
    • Good performance as a touring board or an all-around
    • Stable, yet light-weight
    • Great value with good features and accessories
    • Great for SUP adventures
    • Decent weight capacity – good for bringing a small kid and or pet
    • Traction could be improved on the deckpad by logo-stamping the EVA foam.

    Check Prices

    The Gili 11’ Adventure is yet another budget SUP that usually isn’t on this list because of its cost and may not be on this list for very long.

    Priced at under $400, we think the 11’ Adventure is a great value if you are looking for a quality SUP that is a little faster than some of the all-around SUPs on this list.

    For the past few years, the Adventure series has been one of our favorites from Gili. The board is fairly rigid, has great glide on the water, and is a great option for paddlers who want more of a touring-style board but don’t want to sacrifice stability. We love that combination, along with the various color and design options.

    It’s also a feature and accessory-packed board. Dual bungees, paddle holder, raised kick pad, front and rear safety handles, three action mounts, and two Scotty mounts are some highlights. Overall, this is a very versatile inflatable SUP that many of our readers love.

    Bluefin Cruise 10’8″

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    Bluefin Cruise 10'8 SUP Review

    • Triple layers, dual chamber, carbon rail enhanced construction for added stiffness under weight
    • Great kit value; includes more than enough to get you on the water
    • High quality backpack with multiple compartments to store all the accessories
    • Raised kick pad= effortless foot placement for step-back turns
    • 5 year warranty
    • Heavier SUP

    Check Prices

    The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 will take the next spot on our list because of its high-quality construction and comprehensive list of included accessories at a budget-friendly price.

    Getting into the specs, the Cruise Carbon sits at a sweet spot between an all around board and a touring board at 10’8” long, 32” wide, and 6.3” thick. It has a great balance between stability and speed and gives you the option to bring along extra gear, a passenger, or a pet with a weight capacity of 330lbs, or a recommended rider weight of 187 lbs.

    While it is a heavier SUP, the Bluefin Cruise is also well-constructed. This board uses a triple layer of PVC to cover its drop stitch core, as well as a UV-resistant coating on the exterior to minimize any sun-related wear and tear.

    The Bluefin Cruise 10’8 is also feature-rich. We loved the diamond grip deckpad and the raised kick-pad that helps tremendously with step-back turns. This board also has a total of 10 d-rings, including a front bungee cargo area and kayak conversion attachments.

    Perhaps our favorite aspect of the Bluefin Cruise 10’8 is that it comes with one of the most comprehensive SUP kits we’ve ever seen. Included with this board are a kayak seat and kayak blade that attaches to your fiberglass paddle shaft, three removable snap-lock fins, a coiled leash, a double chamber pump, and a SUP backpack. Essentially, the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 is a 2-in-1 SUP and kayak for a great price.

    Thurso Surf 120 Waterwalker

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    Thurso Waterwalker 120 Accessories

    • Nimble and fast board, great for smaller paddlers
    • So much room for gear storage
    • Carbon fiber rails and reinforced seams add to rigidity and durability
    • High quality, lightweight, carbon fiber paddle
    • Roller bag
    • 2 year Warranty and financing options
    • May be too small for larger paddlers, though there are larger options

    Check Prices

    The Thurso Surf 120 Waterwalker is usually too expensive to be on this list. Once again, the overstock of paddle boards is giving us an opportunity to get some fantastic deals on SUPs.

    At 10’ long, 30” wide, and 6” thick, the 120 Waterwalker is a fast and nimble little SUP. However, due to its quality construction the Thurso Surf 120 still has a weight capacity of 260 lbs, which is pretty high for a board this size.

    Diving deeper into construction, the Thurso Surf 120 Waterwalker is built with durable dual-layer construction and additional carbon rails to increase rigidity and, consequently, weight capacity. Thurso also states that they use reinforced seams to help their boards over continuous use, though this type of construction adds weight, as the Thurso 120 is 25 lbs despite its smaller size. We liked that Thurso opted for a 2+1 fully removable snap-lock fin setup, which we think contributes to the board’s exceptional performance.

    Thurso Surf included a range of features on the 120 Waterwalker, including a front and rear bungee cargo area and four additional d-rings for more gear storage or a kayak seat. We loved the addition of a paddle holder and the comfy EVA deck pad that keeps our feet comfortable and stable on the board.

    Thurso Surf includes some of the highest-quality accessories out of the pack. Included with your 120 Waterwalker, you receive a double chamber, triple action pump, 3 snap-lock fins, a 10’ coil leash, a roller SUP bag and a carbon fiber paddle (my personal favorite on this list).

    As I’ve said, each of these accessories is high quality and contributes to the overall great value of this board.

    The Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 is a fantastic value package for a small but mighty all-around SUP. This board is also covered by a 30 day guarantee and a 2 year warranty. If the 10’ option is too small for you, Thurso Surf also offers the Waterwalker line in a 10’6” or 11’ option.

    Weekender Plus Hybrid 10’6

    Review Coming Soon | Check Price
    Weekender Plus Hybrid 10'6

    • Quality board, with a target (not sale) price under $400
    • Designed by paddlers, from a brand that has been around the industry for a while
    • Kayak conversion kit included in the price
    • Nicely shaped board, with good tracking and speed
    • The best slide-in fins we’ve tested to date
    • Lightweight
    • Kayak kit could use a foot pad to press against while kayaking

    Check Prices

    The Weekender Plus is the higher level SUP from Retrospec, a brand well-known for manufacturing budget SUPs. In fact, Retrospec doesn’t have a single-person SUP on their site that costs more than $400.

    To be honest, we don’t agree to test and review most paddle boards under $400 (non-sale priced). We don’t bring those in very often, especially when so many mid-level ($500 – $700) boards are discounted to below $400 – $500.

    Usually, these ‘Amazon brand’ boards aren’t high quality SUPs. They are from ‘manufacturers’ who are buying cheap boards from China and then turning around and marking them up for profit. These companies don’t have product designers with SUP experience. They really are just out to make a quick buck.

    Not retrospec. Retrospec has been around for quite a long time, and they have experienced paddlers designing their boards. You see this design knowledge in the shape of their boards, the functionality of their accessories, and the overall performance.

    We like the Weekender Plus Hybrid for anyone with less than $400 to spend but wants a good-quality, lightweight paddle board with great accessories.

    Retrospec Weekender Tour 11’6

    Review Coming Soon | Check Price
    Retrospec Weekender Tour 11’6

    • Lightweight
    • Nice design
    • Regular price under $400
    • Front and rear bungees
    • Touring board shape is fast
    • Raised kick pad for step-back turns
    • A little bit flexy, but feels good on the water

    Check Prices

    The Retrospec Weekender Tour is a great entry-level touring board that is still stable enough for beginner paddlers. Regularly priced at under $400, the Tour is a great value buy from a good company that has been around for a while.

    Our favorite part about the Weekender Tour is that it’s a cheaper board that will also grow with you as you advance as a paddler. At 11’6 x 32″, it has a classic touring board shape, which makes it faster on the water.

    There is also a surprising lack of cons to this board. We typically find 4-5 areas we think a board can be improved on with sub-$400 paddle boards. Common issues are the board shape is off a bit, the paddle is horrible, and the fins don’t work well.

    The Retrospec Weekender Tour has none of those problems. Yes, the paddle is a beginner-level paddle. However, it’s surprisingly well-designed (especially the blade shape). Retrospec nailed the board shape, and the slide-in fins are the best slide-in fins we’ve seen on a board.

    If you’re looking for an affordable paddle board with more of a touring shape, then the Retrospec Tour is our current top pick.

    Gili Air 10’6”/11’6”

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    Gili Air Review - 2024

    • Lightweight/ easy to carry
    • Versatile with loads of d-rings and kayak seat attachments
    • 2 year warranty
    • Donations to Ocean preservation charities
    • Single layer construction could lead to performance or durability issues
    • We don’t love aluminum paddles, though they do have the option to upgrade to fiberglass for a small additional cost.

    Check Prices

    The Gili Air has long been a staple on our ‘best cheap SUPs’ list. In fact, it held the coveted number one spot before SUP brands had an overstock of inventory and started discounting their boards.

    The Gili Air boards have the classic all-around rounded nose and are stable at 6″ thick and 31″ wide for the 10’6 and 32″ for the 11’6.

    The 11’6 would be more suitable for either a large rider or some extra gear, with its weight capacity of 295lbs, while the 10’6 has a weight capacity of 295lbs.

    Gili has been able to keep these boards ultra-light with single-layer PVC construction. Though this does detract from the overall durability of the board, this is one the easiest to carry boards on our list, with the 10’6 weighing just 19 lbs and the 11’6 coming in at 21 lbs. Whether you prefer some extra durability over carrying ease comes down to personal preference, though we’ve yet to have any issues with the Gili Air’s construction.

    Both the 10’6 and 11’6 Air have a surplus of features to keep you comfortable on the water. Both have a total of 14 d-rings, including a 6-point bungee cargo area at the nose, a 4-point cargo area at the tail, and kayak seat attachments, along with three carry handles, four action mounts, and a paddle holder. We also enjoyed the soft, deeply grooved deck pad on the Gili Air, which provides traction and comfort and is a way for water to drain away from your feet. The diamond pattern deck pad at the tail was a great touch as well since it helps with some extra grip during a stepback turn.

    At an affordable price, Gili also includes a classic starter set of accessories to help you get started. With the purchase of either the 10’6 or 11’6 Air, you will receive a double action single chamber pump, 3 snap lock fins, a 10′ coiled leash, an aluminum 3-piece paddle (with the optional to switch to fiberglass for a small additional price), and a great backpack with plenty of cushioning and organizational pockets.

    One last thing that we love about the Gili Air 10’6 and 11’6 is that Gili donates to several charities that focus on protecting our ocean habitats and creatures. While a beautiful touch, the turtle logo on the Gili boards and backpacks carries some serious meaning. Gili also aims to provide support for their customers and offers a 60 day money back guarantee and a 2 year warranty, making your board purchase worry-free.

    Bottom line: If you’re looking for a lightweight, quality, affordable board, the Gili Air 10′ or 11’6 is your way to go.

    BOTE Wulf Aero 10’4

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    BOTE Wulf Aero 2024

    • Beautiful design. The board may not be expensive, but it looks expensive.
    • Nice deckpad
    • Wide, stable shape that’s great for beginners
    • Front bungees for carrying cargo
    • Comes with a leash, which is vital for SUP safety (not all BŌTE boards come with one)
    • Flexi side fins get bent out of shape easily
    • Aluminum paddle

    Check Prices

    Next up on our list of the Best Cheap SUPs for 2024 is the BŌTE Wulf Aero 10’4. Like many of the other boards on this list, the Wulf Aero is 10’4x34x6, which is wider than the standard all-around size. Its shape is egg-like, tapering only slightly at the nose and coming together as a square in the tail for increased stability.

    In sum, this is a great introductory board that will impress newer paddlers with its stability. You’ll be able to stand up and stay balanced without much effort.

    When looking at the board, you’ll notice that it’s aesthetically pleasing and has some color and style.

    We love this, mainly because it takes on a more minimalistic approach when it comes to the features; there is bungee cargo space, but not a ton of it, and it’s not a board loaded up with attachment points. However, it does have Wulf’s unique magnetic cup holder!

    On their website, you can purchase the ‘Magnepod Tumbler,’ which magnetically attaches to the board so you can drink up without adding more liquid to the body of water you’re paddling on.

    This board performs pretty well in all of our testing, especially maneuverability. Shorter boards tend to be better in this area, so we aren’t surprised at its skill level here. In terms of tracking and speed, it’s right in line with where it should be, and we think that anybody who takes this board out to have fun will find that they thoroughly enjoy what it has to offer.

    Other Cheap SUPs That Almost Made Our List:

    1. MOAI 10’6”

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    MOAI 10’6

    • Stable, lightweight board for beginners
    • Plenty of standing room with less cluttered deckpad
    • Roller backpack included with the kit
    • Not a lot of options for gear storage
    • Would like to see all 3 removable fins

    The MOAI 10’6″ is a perfectly decent paddle board. Unfortunately for MOAI, there are so many sub-$ $500 paddle boards for sale right now that this one just doesn’t quite make the cut.

    However, if you are local to MOAI (Netherlands), then we have no problem recommending this board at around €400.

    At just 19 lbs, the board claims a 287 lb weight capacity (we would probably lower that to 250 lbs, FYI). It’s easy to balance and get up to speed while also being agile around turns.

    We don’t love the molded flexi side fins, but we do love the standard US fin box for the center fin.

    Finally, we like the clean, uncluttered deck pad and front bungee area.

    SereneLife Inflatable SUP

    SereneLife Infaltable SUP

    • Affordable price tag
    • lightweight/easy to move around
    • Lots of reviews on Amazon
    • Not the best performing board
    • Less features than similarly priced boards
    • Most people paddling these are sitting down, not standing up

    The SereneLife iSUP is super popular on Amazon. This is a smaller SUP at 10’6 long, 32″ wide, and just 19.6 lbs, with a weight capacity of 275 lbs.

    It’s important to note that Serene Life has not sent us a board for full testing and review. However, we have paddled them out at the lake and were not super impressed.

    Our main concerns with this board are two-fold:

    • 1. Most people we see paddling these SUPs are not stand-up paddling but paddling while sitting down
    • 2. The super entry-level construction, board shape, and accessories don’t allow you to grow with the board

    We are pretty particular about the sport and don’t love seeing people unable to stand up on their SUPs. If you can’t stand up and paddle, that is the fault of the board, not you as the paddler. The Serene life is purchased by a lot of beginner paddlers who are trying to save money but who then can’t fully enjoy the sport of stand-up paddle boarding.

    With so many other options (see all the boards listed above), we don’t see much of a reason to purchase the Serene Life SUP. However, it will work just fine for kids, smaller paddlers, and those who want to lounge at the lake.

    3. ROC Inflatable SUP

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    ROC Inflatable SUP

    • Kit includes kayak seat and paddle and dry bag
    • Better than standard ‘amazon brand’ construction (possibly)
    • Fake, photoshopped photos on their Amazon listing (if a paddle board company can’t even get photos of someone paddling on their board, I won’t trust them for one second)
    • False, misleading information on their Amazon listing (see below)
    • Smaller board than most beginners need (10’ x 6”) if they are going with a sub-20 lbs SUP

    The ROC Inflatable SUP is another paddle board that looks to be very popular on Amazon. They also claim to have decent board construction, stating that it’s a triple-layer construction board with three supporting sidewalls.

    The problem is that they also claim the board is under 19 lbs.

    In testing well over 200 boards from the most respected brands across the globe, we have never seen a triple-layer SUP weigh anything close to 19 lbs.

    Sadly, that’s just the start of their problems.

    ROC also claims that their SUP has an ‘industry-leading’ 350 lb weight capacity and is “50% stronger than competitors boards”. They also claim an ‘extra wide design’ for improved stability, and ‘premium accessories that are better than other board packs’.

    It’s all marketing BS and straight-up lies. We don’t have a problem with marketing language. But please, don’t lie. This board is not 50% stronger than the boards listed above. Their accessories are sub-par, not premium, and we also question where they got their 350 lb weight limit (not to mention that 350 lbs is not industry-leading).

    I’m sure the ROC is an ok board. And maybe I’m just cranky now that I’ve spend the last two days writing up our list of best affordable paddle boards. However, that doesn’t change the fact that this board is not what it claims to be – and that’s enough for me to not recommend it.

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

    • Stability: Inflatable paddle boards have higher weight capacities and stability than a similarly sized hardboard.
    • Durability: Inflatables are more durable and less prone to breaking than hardboards.
    • Safety for beginners: Inflatables are softer and much more forgiving when you fall than a hard board would be..
    • Transportation/Storage: Inflatable paddle boards are much easier to transport, and don’t require a roof rack or board rack to transport or store.
    • Included Accessories: Most inflatable paddle boards will have everything you need for the water out of the box. Hardboards typically require you to buy your leash and paddle separately.
    • Price: High quality inflatable paddle boards are usually in the same price range as mid-tier hard SUPs.

    Beginner SUP Buying Guide

    Though we have heavily tested and are confident in recommending each board on this list, we realize that circumstances may lead you to a board that we have yet to physically review and test.

    Maybe a retailer is having a killer sale, or someone is offering you a used board, or a board caught your eye at a local surf shop, and you’re trying to determine if it’s the right fit for you. Regardless of the board you’re buying, we want you to be confident in your decision, so below, you’ll find the factors that we consider when adding a board to our list and that you’ll want to consider before making your purchase.

    • Stability: Stability is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a paddleboard. The more stable you feel on a paddleboard, the less likely you are to fall in. Most of a board’s stability depends on its width, so typically, boards 30” and wider will be stable enough for beginners.
    • Maneuverability: Maneuverability refers to how easy it is to turn/change direction in the water. Because cheaper, entry-level paddle boards tend to be shorter and not as bulky as premium paddleboards, they already offer better maneuverability. However, add-ons such as diamond grooved tail deckpads or raised kick pads help with this as well.
    • Tracking: Tracking refers to how straight of a path a SUP can keep in the water without having to switch sides as often. Touring SUPs in the 11’6-12’6 size range usually have better tracking than entry-level boards. However, tracking depends more on your paddle technique than on the board itself.
    • Construction: Better construction not only makes a paddleboard more durable, but it also tends to help it perform better. Good construction does not always have to break the bank, either. Most of the boards on the list above are dual PVC layer boards and high-quality drop stitch.
    • Features/ Accessories: Just as we talked about with each board on this list, features are an important thing to consider when SUP shopping, but much of it comes down to personal preference. As an example, if you like to bring a lot of gear, look for a SUP with cargo areas. Similarly, you’ll also want to consider if a board comes with quality accessories, such as a quality paddle and bag. It’s more expensive to replace all of your accessories within the first couple of months of having your board than to invest some extra money in a board that includes better accessories.
    • 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.

    Why We recommend Starting With All-around Shaped SUPs

    Best Cheap Inflatable Paddle Boards

    Looking at our list of the best cheap SUPs, you probably noticed that we almost exclusively recommend boards in the all-around category. In this section, we’ll lay out why we suggest an all-around SUP for beginner riders.

    • Versatile Performance: All-around SUPs are jack-of-all-trade paddleboards, meaning that they do nearly everything well but don’t excel in one specific trait. Buying an all-around gives exceptional 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 beginners still trying to find their niche.
    • Affordability: Compared to specialized performance SUPs, all-around SUPs tend to have a more manageable price tag.
    • Beginner skill-level friendly: All-around SUPs will typically be shorter, wider, and more rounded than specialized performance SUPs. As a result, they’re more stable on the water and are ideal for beginners still learning how to balance and paddle correctly.
    • Included gear kits: All-around boards will often, if not always, include all the necessary gear you need to get out on the water. This is especially beneficial for beginners that don’t have an arsenal of paddles, leashes, fins, and pumps as someone moving onto a performance of specialized SUP would.

    Important Tips for Buying and Enjoying the Best Cheap SUPs:

    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. This is especially important for ‘cheap’ paddle boards. Having quality accessories that perform well can make or break your SUP experience. This means keeping an eye out for kits that include a double chamber hand pump, and a carbon fiber or carbon fiber blend paddle, as well as a great backpack (even better if it has wheels).
    • Experience leads to better performance: Let’s face it, nothing is fun when you’re struggling to learn. Look for a SUP that won’t work against you when it comes to stability or maneuverability. Look for SUPs that are wide enough (30”-34”) to help you stay on your feet while you’re learning to paddle. As you improve, you’ll be able to make your board perform better in terms of tracking and speed. Patience is key; don’t make extreme judgement on your board’s performance until you get more comfortable in your skills.
    • Check the weather and know your environment: If you’re a beginner paddler, a common mistake is to underestimate how much wind can affect your performance. What feels like a mild breeze on land can put a huge damper on your paddling experience. As a general rule of thumb ten mph winds are usually the cut-off between safe and unsafe paddling conditions, but seven mph is typically when it becomes more difficult to paddle board. Also, keep in mind that inflatables and lightweight boards tend to get pushed around more in the wind than heavier, hard SUPs.
    • Wear the leash, and bring a PFD too: Nearly every SUP we’ve recommended comes with a leash, and we highly recommend wearing it to keep your board from floating out of reach if you fall off. 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 if you fall off. In order to stay safe, bring a PFD with you, or better yet, wear it, even in shallow or calm water.
    • Get wet and have fun: Eventually, you’re going to fall off your paddleboard. That’s fine; in fact, that’s part of the paddleboarding experience! Try not to take yourself too seriously, especially while learning. Our favorite thing about ‘cheap’ paddle boards is that they make this sport accessible to more people, and with that comes more good times on the water.

    Conclusion: ‘Cheap’ is not synonymous with poor quality or performance

    As we said at the start of this post, we don’t like to use the word “cheap” to describe any of the boards on this list. Each of these boards is constructed to last and perform well in the water, even when compared to some premium boards on the market.

    While the initial sticker shock of shopping for stand-up paddleboards can be overwhelming, our best advice is to give one of the above boards on our list a shot or look for used boards with the help of our buyer guide. However, if your budget is a bit higher or you need a bit more performance than entry-level boards can offer, head over to our list of the best inflatable stand up paddleboards.

    As always, thanks for sticking with us through our list of the best cheap SUPs of 2024. Be safe, have fun, and happy paddling!

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    SupBoardGuide Editorial Team

    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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    65 thoughts on “Best Cheap Inflatable Paddle Boards (2024)”

    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. 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!

    18. 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!

    19. 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!

    20. 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.

    21. 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.

    22. Thanks for your reviews, it is really helpful! I am about to buy an all-around sup to go on river, I think I would like speed. I am 5’1″ 123lbs, begginer (did only one time on a solid sup and I got a good balance). I plan to take my son as a passenger with me sometimes, he is 4’4″ 68lbs. I am looking for something that gonna be a good price/quality. So, after some research I am hesitating between the iRocker All-around 10′, Gili Air 10,6, SereineLife 10,6″ and Fun water 10′. I also consider the Gili Meno 10,6 and Blackfin X if they really worth the money for a begginer. Note that I am located in Canada, so if I order Gili I will have to pay duties fee. So all that said, I would like which one do you recommand me between those. Thank 🙂

      • Hi Alexandra,

        Out of your list, I’d go with the Gili 10’6 Air. The new shape for the Air models will let you go a bit faster but are still plenty stable for someone your size and smaller passenger; it’s actually a really similar shape to the Gili 10’6 Meno, but the Meno is a little wider/slower (though with that comes more stability). The 10’6 Air is also at a phenomenal price right now, considering the duties fee for Canada. Hope that helps!

    23. Ah man. Just when you think you’ve decided I find your review of the iRocker Sport. I was set on the Bluefin Cruise 10″8 but now I can’t decide. I’m an advanced beginner I’d say. Might take the kids out now again but mostly me on rivers with a bit of flow and small rapids. Any thoughts greatly appreciated!! Both are at a great price in the UK right now

      • Hi James,

        I actually don’t have a ton of experience river/rapids paddling (more of an ocean/ lake paddler myself), but one of our reviewers is white water certified and here are his thoughts: “Between those two, the Cruise 10’8″ is a better choice. better stability from the extra width and wider tail. Most larger all-arounds and cruisers will work fine on up to Class II rivers, but beyond that a more specialized board is way, way better. If you are looking at iRocker and Bluefin, the iRocker Cruiser would be a better choice than the sport, for sure. Either way, you will also greatly benefit from a shallow fin (<5") or just running the side fins for better maneuverability and shallower draft."

        We'd also encourage you to always wear a PFD and invest in a quick-release, torso mounted leash (if you haven't already), as ankle and calf leashes can be extremely dangerous in rivers; it's better to not wear one at all if an ankle or calf leash is the only available option. Additionally, we'd advise wearing a whitewater helmet in rapids/whitewater environments, as bike helmets unfortunately won't work and crack on first impact.

        ^I'm sure you're already familiar with all the safety talk, but it gives us a bit of peace of mind to cover it anyway.

    24. How does the Body Glove Performer compare to these ($400 at Costco, includes electric pump)? My wife is a beginner, and wants a board to go out with her dog (she’s 5’2″; dog is medium sized, ~50#). Would she be better off with one of these other models you’ve reviewed above? If so, which one(s)?

      Thanks — great reviews!

      • Hi John,

        Honestly, the Body Glove performer has never impressed us, especially at its price. The Nautical 10’6 would be a better choice and the performance is much better. You can also bundle iROCKER’s electric pump (one of our favorites) with your board, which brings your total to just about $50 more than it would be for the Body Glove.


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