Best Cheap Inflatable Paddle Boards (2020)

You may want to explore SUP boarding but don’t know if you’ll like it, or maybe you don’t have the cash to throw at an expensive SUP board right now. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get out on an inflatable SUP without breaking the bank. We’ve put together a list of the best cheap inflatable paddle boards that’ll guide you to find the best board without breaking the bank.

The criteria for our board selection was primarily based on what boards we could get for under $500 dollars. Once you get too far below that price point, you’ll see that quality and construction begin to take a hit. But there’s still plenty of great options that you’ll be happy with!

**Please Read First**

How we rate the best cheap SUPs

Seeing as you have probably ended up here because you are looking for a cheap SUP that is still worth your money we have rated the following list in accordance to value for money. So while there are some boards that may have better qualities than the one higher on the list, we believe the value for what you pay is better with the highest listing boards. This is the overall rating (Out of 10 for the boards and out of 5 for the various accessories).

Best Cheap Inflatable Paddle Boards: Quick Answer

  • Bluefin Cruise
  • BaySports BASIX All-Around
  • iRocker All-Around
  • Gili Air
  • ThursoSurf WaterWalker
  • Peak Expedition
  • SereneLife Inflatable SUP
  • ROC Inflatable SUP
  • Ten Toes Retrospec Weekender
  • Ancheer Inflatable SUP
  • Aqua Planet

#1 – Bluefin Cruise (10/10)

Bluefin Cruise 10'8" SUP on the lake

Length10’8″
Width32”
Thickness6”
Weight Capacity290 lbs
Weight25 lbs

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What You Get

– Double action single-chamber hand pump
– Click-in fin
– Kayak Conversion Kit
– Nylon blade/fiberglass shaft paddle
– Coiled SUP leash
– Repair Kit

Board Design (Materials, construction, and aesthetics)

Bluefin makes an amazing iSUP at an even better price. They use premium materials and offer a fantastic 5-year warranty. It comes standard with a high-quality kayak kit that includes the kayak seat and an additional paddle blade to convert the paddle as well.
The Bluefin Cruise has a dual-layer mil-spec PVC design with one of the best deckpads we’ve. It is made using Bluefin’s durable Exo Surface Laminate technology with a dense drop stitch, making it possible to inflate it to 28 PSI.
It comes in a single color, which is a blue and white color scheme with a rugged looking worn logo. It’s a nice looking board.
Complete Bluefin Cruise 10'8" package on SUPboardguide.com

Performance

The Cruise is one very rigid budget and a very stable board. It is a great contender within this price range, even though it exceeds the cap by 50 USD. It has good tracking and great glide. It has a squared tail and a pointed nose design, which give this board a planing-esque hull that cuts through waves and chop.

Blufin Accessories Review

Pump

The provided pump is single-chamber and dual-action with a built-in pressure gauge. The pump action is very smooth, and it feels very well constructed. It handles inflating the Cruise with ease. The single chamber design makes it lightweight and easy to pack.

Paddle

The Cruise’s paddle is fiberglass with a nylon blade. This paddle does not wobble or creak. It isn’t too have either. It feels like it’ll last a long time.

Fin

The Bluefin includes a blue fin (aptly named). The fin is a click-in design and is quick and easy to use. The fin is made from heavy-duty nylon that doesn’t break or scratch easily. If the fin bends, you can just put it in the sun for a bit, and it’ll return back to its original shape.

Backpack

The backpack is tough and well made. It has very comfy padded shoulder pads as well as wheels built into them so you can drag it.

Ankle Leash

The Bluefin Cruise comes with a matching coiled ankle leash with robust velcro and a neoprene cuff.

What We Do Like

  • Excellent bang for your buck
  • Squared tail and pointed nose give a good performing all-around board
  • Excellent construction
  • The bag has a lot of features, including wheels.

What We Don’t Like

  • The board is a little heavy

Check Out The Full Review

#2 – Baysports BASIX All-Around (10/10)

Review SEEK 10'6"

Length10’8″
Width34”
Thickness6”
Weight Capacity280 lbs
Weight19.8 lbs

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What You Get

– Double-action hand pump
– FCS Connect II fin
– Nylon blade/fiberglass shaft paddle
– Coiled SUP leash
– Repair Kit

Board Design (Materials, construction, and aesthetics)

The BASIX is a dual-layer PVC over a drop stitch core. BaySports using fusion in their process with eliminates weight but keeps the board remaining extremely rigid. If you’d like to understand more about what goes into the fusion process, you can read up about it in the full review.

You have a choice of 5 colors, so there’s no problem finding one that will suit everyone! The design is quite simple, and the deck pads are where most of the color is located, which I love for that fact; they don’t show up dirt so easily.

Performance

Paddle All-Around

It’s an extremely stable SUP but still moves quite elegantly. The slightly pulled in tail and the slimmer area around the nose makes this board extremely maneuverable. The performance of all the Baysports boards has definitely stood out to me. The board cuts throw water easily for an easy, smooth, and speedy ride, but you can easily take this for a spin in some waves.

This is the kind of board that can grow with you, as a budget board, that’s a pretty amazing thing! It’s not so challenging that beginners will be disheartened but definitely offers up enough performance in several areas for the intermediate and above.

BaySports Accessories Review

Pump

The pump is a dual-action high pressure, much like the Thurso, Gili and some of the boards lower on the list. They can easily get the job done and are easier to store than the double chamber like iRocker, and NIXY have, but I still prefer to take up a little more space for an easier and quicker pump!

Paddle

I found the Baysports paddles to be very sturdy in both the shaft and the blade. The paddle you receive with iRocker is probably about the same quality at the Baysports also. I’ve yet to damage the blade on either paddle when pushing off things and also the joins where the 3 pieces come together have held together well, and the pins don’t jam. All signs of a well-made paddle!

Old And New SUP Paddles

Fin

This is the real beauty of the package. An FCS connect II fin, from what I’ve seen, no one else is including this. There are US fin box on boards in which you could use one of these fins, but no one includes one. They aren’t cheap the FCS Connect II, and so it’s a real treat to have one included. They track really well but also very responsive. The best part, of course, is the fact you simply click it into place!

Backpack

While the backpack is strong, well made, and spacious. Many other boards in this price range include wheels for their bags. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t. The portability of your SUP is important! One thing I will say is that the BASIX is very light at 19.8 lbs, so probably one of the easier boards to carry.

Ankle Leash

The coiled leash can stretch out to 11′ and is well padded with a key stash spot also. Though one thing to note is that it’s not the best kind of leash if you want to take the BASIX into the surf. The recoil can be harsh, so you’re better off with a straight leash or hybrid of the two.

What We Do Like

  • The FCS Connect II fin
  • A range of colours to choose from
  • Fusion tech lightweight materials
  • Easy shape for beginners but still fun for intermediates

What We Don’t Like

  • Would love to see and upgrade in the bag

Check Out The Full Review

#3 – iRocker All-Around 10′ iSUP (9/10)

Inflatable SUP package

Length10′
Width32”
Thickness6”
Weight Capacity370 lbs
Weight24 lbs

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What You Get

– Full Throttle triple action, dual-chamber pump
– 3 Removable fins
– Adjustable 3-piece fiberglass shaft/nylon blade paddle
– Backpack
– Color-coded ankle leash
– Repair Kit

Board Design (Materials, construction, and aesthetics)

iRocker has been continuously improving its designs year in and year out. Not only the design though, but you can also see some great improvements in accessories too. The best part is their prices are still super fair!

Let’s start with the materials. They quad-layer super-tough PVC over a drop-stitch core, which results in some of the most rigid and durable boards available. When questioned why not fusion much like many of their competitors, we were told that their research showed higher return rates with fusion, so opted to go a slightly heavier model for better consumer satisfaction. They are a good team!

Inflation valve and deck area iSUP

There are two choices of color. The dark blue and black design is simple and sporty, and it’s also convenient for keeping it looking clean. While I love the color and design of the seam foam with sun print on the bottom, the all-white deck pad gets dirty very quickly!

Performance

The 10′ All-Around is an extremely versatile ride. It has a weight capacity of 370 lbs, which should be enough for most people. Where it can come undone is for people who want to take dogs/kids along, not so much weight capacity but room on board, so it’s more stable. If that’s you, you should check out the 11′ All-Around. It’s a little over the $650 mark, which is why it’s not listed here! For an 11′ board, it’s still a bargain!

The tracking on the 10′ can be improved by just riding it as a single fin, but otherwise, the tri-fin setup is great for turning and maneuvering. The 10′ can handle small waves and light rapids if you are experienced enough to be paddling in them. Otherwise, it’s also a great cruiser for beginners and experts alike. Onboard you can find extra D-rings for the extra purchase of a kayak bundle as well as the action mount that hosts a variety of fun extras too.

iRocker Accessories Review

**Check out all iRocker accessories**

Pump

The Full Throttle pump is as good as it gets. On par with Red Paddle Co famous titan pump, in my books anyway. It pumps your board up in minutes and is super light and compact to fit easily in your bag. Using 3 different actions makes it much easier to blow up than conventional dual action pumps. NIXY is the only other board listed here that supplies a dual-chamber too!

Paddle

One of the key features I like about iRockers paddles is that they color code them to your board. The small touches are what make the difference! It’s a great included paddle that has never failed me in the few years I’ve been playing with them. The blade is strong for both pushing off objects but also not fluttering on powerful strokes, and the shaft secures nicely. Thurso does offer a carbon shaft with their boards now, which does leave the question if iRocker will also look to in the future!

Fin

Being able to remove all fins has a couple of bonuses. Number one is that it allows you to shake up your paddle a little, you will notice just the center fin in that your tracking will improve slightly. The other bonus is that it’s way easier to roll the boards up and stow them neatly. They use the click in fin system, which is also convenient, but I do like how Baysports uses a US fin box for full versatility of fin options.

Backpack

Keeping all the SUP gear together is necessary! With lots of bits to lose like fins and leashes, you want to be sure they are all kept in one place. The bag has plenty of space inside for the chunkier things like the board, pump, and paddle, while the pocket on the front is a great spot to put fins and leashes. Here I do believe iRocker could make some improvements like adding wheels. Only suggest it because of both NIXY and Thurso included wheeled bags. For most of it, I wheel my bags (even outdoors), so I’ve come to notice how convenient it is!

Ankle Leash

iRocker leashes are all color-coded like their paddles, which I like! They also are very comfortable to wear and have a little velcro pouch to stash keys.

What We Do Like

  • Most durable SUP on the list
  • Incredible pump
  • Good quality accessories
  • All fins are removable
  • Great versatility
  • D-rings for kayak conversion

What We Don’t Like

  • Would like to see an upgrade in the bag &/or paddle

Check Out Full Review

#4 – Gili Air Full Review (10/10)

Gili SUP Review

Length10’6″
Width31”
Thickness6”
Weight Capacity280 lbs
Weight19 lbs

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What You Get

– Pump
– 1 Removable fin, fixed side fins
– Adjustable 3-piece Aluminum Paddle
– Carry Bag
– Ankle leash

Board Design (Materials, construction, and aesthetics)

You still get a single layer board when going with the Gili Air except there is something about this board that feels different. Perhaps the quality of construction. The single-layer PVC does also make it extremely lightweight, which is great for carrying and maneuvering but not so great for durability.

However, upon inspecting the seams and how well the features (including deck pad) are glued onto the board, it would seem it’s well put together. As a result, we felt like the board would survive the usual amount of bounce and knocks you’ll have on a casual paddle.

Gili Air Inflatable

The deck pad is extended over the rails just slightly, which makes for a huge amount of room to move about as well lay about in comfort. If you are choosing to do yoga or just have a relaxing lie-down, the handle folded out flat to make it even more enjoyable. We were surprised to see this small feature! Budget boards tend not to pay attention to these finer details.

Brilliantly blue and bold, the color scheme is a standout. My favorite color is blue, so perhaps I’m slightly biased. With a bit of black trimming around the grey deck pad, it makes for a striking appearance.

Performance

Aside from the fact it’s ridiculously stable, it can move. Stability is always a huge point for people starting out, so it needs to be highlighted how ridiculously stable this board was to paddle. The squared-off tail is a huge agent in regards to stability. You see the same design with Red Paddle Co Sport and iRocker’s Cruiser.

Gili SUP

In our opinion, we think All-Arounds should always have tri-fin setups, either fixed or more desirably removable. The Gili has a tri-fin setup with two fixed side fins and a removable center fin. This allows for both great controlled turns but also stability.
Because of the stability throughout the tail and how light it is, doing back foot turns was incredibly easy. Now the Gili is quite chunky, but it outperforms many other boards around the $500 mark (We tested this back a couple of years ago when we focused purely on boards around the $500 mark). It’s not far off from the other slightly better boards here like the iRocker!

Gili Air Accessories Review

Pump

The pump you’ll receive is also a Bravo dual-action, which for this price is a win. You really consider yourself lucky to receive this kind of equipment in this price range. You know the company is really considering the consumer by including it. Pumping up your SUP is the most time consuming and finicky part of owning an inflatable. So a good quality pump makes a HUGE difference in the long run. On top, there’s an integrated pressure reader, and the bright red dual-action plug is easily spotted to be used.

Adjustable 3-piece Aluminium Paddle

ts shaft is aluminum, which is the heaviest of materials, so some room for improvement there. While the blade has a pronounced dihedral shape for propulsion and feels as durable and tough as a pair of Italian leather hiking boots. It did move around a little, which we suggest could impact your paddle performance. What this board offers outside of the paddle, it’s worth either buying a half-decent paddle or using one from the huge SUP quiver you’re going to build.

Gili Board ValueFin

The 2019 Gili Air now features a tri-fin setup. The center fin is removable and with a snap-in nylon construction, much like 90% of the boards on this list. It’s a durable fin and does the job. We love the updated tri-fin setup!

Backpack

The design on the Gili Air backpack is super cool. We wanted to steal the bag for our own personal purposes! It’s also got an incredible amount of support and thick straps, much like the iRocker bags. Compared to some other bags we’ve seen in boards under the $500 mark, it’s lush.

Repair Kit

Including a repair kit is such a simple but much appreciated gesture. All repair kits are a standard couple of patches, glue, and wrench. While other listings here include one, most brands below the $500 don’t! So, that makes Gili special!

Ankle Leash

What pretty color-coded one too! Not that you’ll be wanting to take a single-layer PVC board into harsh conditions where a leash is vital. But, it’s a security measure that is not a bad idea for kids or people that aren’t strong swimmers. I’ve fallen off a few times awkwardly and the board is pushed away with the force of my fall, requiring me to swim after it.

What We Do Like

  • Squared off tail for stability
  • The 4 D-rings with bungee cord on the nose
  • A supportive and comfortable bag
  • Good manufacturing
  • Removable center fin

What We Don’t Like

  • Its lightweight nature makes it not suitable in windy conditions
  • Heavy and loose paddle

Check Out Full Review

#5 – ThursoSurf Waterwalker 10′ (9/10)

All accessories and Waterwalker SUP

Length10′
Width30”
Thickness6”
Weight Capacity260 lbs
Weight24 lbs

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What You Get

– Dual-action high-pressure pump
– 3 removable fins – two sides, and one large center
– Adjustable 3-piece carbon fiber shaft/nylon blade paddle
– SUP bag that can be wheeled or be used as a backpack
– Coiled ankle leash
– Repair Kit + Manual

Board Design (Materials, construction, and aesthetics)

Thursosurf boards are made with a triple-layer PVC over a drop-stitch core but then an additional quad-layer along the rails. The idea is to keep the board’s weight down but still provide a durable board. Seeing as the rails are the most commonly hit area, it makes sense to put the protection there!

Inflatable SUP materials

Thurso’s designs are unique and well produced. They have their trademark wooden grain effect with slight variations through their range. I love the look of them, the graphic is well printed and really does look like wood from afar! The bright orange and tan stripes are a really nice contrast to the wooden look also.

Performance

Thurso has some great engineering behind their boards because, despite the fact they are a little heavier than most models, they move better. I was extremely surprised by the responsiveness and the speed across the whole 2019 range. The 10′ is a great little mover for the right rider. Beginners through to experienced riders will be able to enjoy this board, though the capacity and smaller size of the board may not be suitable to bigger riders, especially if you are a beginner. Not to worry, though, because there is also a 10’6″ and 11′ in the Waterwalker range.

Pivot turning SUP

ThursoSurf Accessories Review

Pump

Thurso’s double-action hand pump is much like Baysports BASIX. It gets the job done in not too much longer than the double chamber ones, though it does require a little more effort. You could do a bit better, but you also could do a lot worse!

Adjustable 3-piece Carbon shaft/Nylon blade paddle

Thurso upgraded their paddles in 2019 to carbon shaft paddle, which makes them the only company in this price range to do so. The paddles are nice and light, and the blades deliver strong propulsion in the water. However, the grips are not too uncomfortable. For this price range, they are a treat!

Fin

Thurso fin setup is the exact same as iRocker’s. They use a tri-fin setup with nylon click-in fins. All three fins are removable, which is great for improving tracking by using only the center fin and also makes it easier to roll the board up.

Leash

The leashes in the cheap to mid-range boards don’t differ much, just to let you know! The Thurso leash, much like the rest of the boards, is comfortable to wear and has the key stash spot.

Backpack

I really like Thurso bags. They look super smart with the grey and easy to keep clean. While inside, there’s loads of room and some cinching strap to help secure gear. The pocket on the front is ideal for keeping fins/leash etc. in and the little plastic window ideal for displaying an ID. Of course, the best part is the fact it can be wheeled or carried on your back.

What We Do Like

  • The aesthetic design
  • Carbon shaft paddle (Only one of the list)
  • The bag
  • The velcro paddle holder on the side
  • D-rings for kayak conversion

What We Don’t Like

  • Would love to see an improvement in the pump

Check Out Full Review

#6 – Peak Expedition (8/10)

Peak Expedition iSUP

Length10’6″ / 11′
Width32” / 11′
Thickness6” / 6″
Weight Capacity240 lbs / 270 lbs
Weight18 lbs / 19.5 lbs

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What You Get

-Dual action pump
-Nylon Removable fin
– Adjustable 3-piece Aluminum Paddle
– Carry Bag
– Ankle Leash
– Waterproof phone case

Board Design (Materials, construction, and aesthetics)

Peak boards are made with a dual-layer PVC using a military-grade PVC over a drop stitch core. The construction is very similar to the Gili. One thing it outdoes the Gili with is board features, though.

The Expedition is shaped like a touring board, made to cut through the water for maximum glide. Another part of a touring board is having ease of handling and storage space for any longer trips. Which the peak has bungee space up the front and behind the paddler plus a handle on the nose for the handling.

You can get the Peak in two different colors, both look great! It’s a simple design, and sometimes that’s best! In this case, it definitely is.

Performance

As I mentioned in the design, by just looking at the Expedition, you can tell it’s a touring SUP. It has a squared tail for easy maneuvering and extra stability. Up the front, there’s the tapered nose to better trim the water.

The dual-layering can be hindering for bigger riders or if you have heavy gear. With the gear especially, as it can make the weight distribution uneven. Dual-layered SUPs aren’t as rigid as the triple-layer, and we’ve had a few experiences of flex in the dual-layer boards as a result.

The Peak Expedition is going to be best suited for the average weight beginner rider who’s looking to get into some longer distance paddling. While it may handle a little chop, it isn’t something you’d look to get for anything more than that.

Peak Accessories Review

Pump

The dual action pump is much like the Thurso above and a few others on this list. It takes a bit of effort in the last few minutes, but it gets your board inflated and ready to go! Most people look towards buying a compressor anyway. If you can’t get one just yet, then the Peak dual-action will still be good, just maybe do a few pushups to warm up 😉

Adjustable 3-piece Aluminium Paddle

The aluminum paddle is much like the Gili paddle. A couple of years ago, I would have said it was what you could expect in a package at this price, but there a few others like Bay sports, Thurso, and iRocker who aren’t too different in price and supplying fiberglass paddles. Aluminum is a bit heavy and clunky, but for something to just get started, the Peak paddle is fine.

Fin

If you look closely, you’ll see iRocker, Thurso, and many other SUP companies use this same click-in Nylon fin. It’s a strong, durable fin and easily secured. Outside of being spoiled with Baysports FCS Connect II fin, this fin is my next favorite.

Backpack

SUP bags don’t vary too much either, and you can see the Peak and the Gili bags are almost identical. Both made well and have a fair amount of support for a cheaper board. While they are no wheely-Thurso-bag, they are better than a lot of other bags we’ve seen in the price range.

What We Do Like

    • Bungee storage upfront and behind the paddler
    • Nice design
    • Comes with all accessories
    • What We Don’t Like

    • Dual-layer isn’t great for bigger riders/heavier loads
    • Aluminum paddle is clunky/heavy

#7 – SereneLife 10’5” Inflatable SUP (8/10)

Serene Life Review

Length10’5″
Width30”
Thickness6”
Weight Capacity275 lbs
Weight19.6 lbs

Check Prices

What You Get

– Dual-action pump
– 1 Removable fin
– Adjustable 3-piece Aluminum Paddle
– Carry Bag
– Repair Kit
– Coiled ankle leash

Board Design (Materials, construction, and aesthetics)

The Serene Life board is made with dual-layer PVC over a drop stitch core. Dual-layered SUP’s are still a good choice for some paddlers. Heavier riders or more experienced riders have reported they feel the flex in some dual-layered boards, so good to keep in mind when comparing boards. As a beginner or a lighter rider, then you’ll find the board to feel still as stiff as some triple-layered. Of course, fewer layers of PVC do make a lightweight board, but it also leaves a SUP more susceptible to damage.

In comparison to other dual-layered boards, the Serenelife has the best customer reviews on construction, which is another good thing to note! The 4 D-rings for a kayak conversion is great to see while the design I think is a little outdated and could do with a revamp, but you do get 4 color choices. Also, the deck pads are all colored, which is great for hiding dirt.

Performance

I would suggest this board as a good introduction SUP board, whether for yourself or a present to your teen. That or as a second board, boat tender, etc. It’s a general cruiser with a stable tail for practicing some back foot pivot turns. Its advertising suggests it as a surfing SUP too. While the dimensions are right for surfing, you definitely would only want small waves and be experienced. This would be a hard SUP to learn to surf with as it’s not going to be as stiff in the water and is super buoyant.

If you stick to calmer waters and looking to just get out and have some fun, then you’ll enjoy yourself, especially as the SereneLife comes with all the accessories you need!

Accessories Quality

Pump

This dual-action pump will get you there in about 10-15 mins. I do highly suggest picking up an electric pump for any of these cheap SUPs, as you can be pretty sure they won’t come with the best pumps.

Adjustable 3-piece Aluminium Paddle

When you are around this price range, you can’t expect to see much more than the aluminum paddle. It’s not one you want to have for the long term if you plan on paddling often, but it’s a worthwhile inclusion. Just keep an eye on it as pretty sure it doesn’t float!

Fin

SereneLife’s fin is only removable fin, unlike the Ten Toes. I feel like this wasn’t the best way to go. I feel they went with pretty instead of practical.

Backpack

A simple backpack to store your things. It stores everything reasonably easy and makes transporting way easier compared to not having anything! I prefer this over the mesh duffel bags as it’s easier to get the board in and out. The mesh sides of the duffels are great for if you store a board damp, so with these backpacks, you do need to make sure you’ve wiped down your SUP. Also, the backpack is designed for short-distance carrying only.

What We Do Like

      • You get the full set of accessories
      • It has 4 D-rings for a kayak conversion
      • Unique design on the center fin
      • Good reviews on manufacturing quality

What We Don’t Like

      • Outdated board design
      • Dual-layering isn’t suitable for advertised “surfing”
      • Accessories are basic

#8 – ROC Inflatable SUP (8/10) ($350)

Length10’5″
Width32”
Thickness6”
Weight Capacity275 lbs
Weight17 lbs

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What You Get

– Dual-action pump
– 1 Removable fin
– Adjustable 3-piece Aluminum Paddle
– Carry Bag
– Dry Bag
– Coiled ankle leash

Board Design (Materials, construction, and aesthetics)

It’s been a little difficult to get the construction details for the ROC, but I believe it’s also a dual-layer board judging by a diagram and its weight/weight capacity. The ROC SUP is new to the scene, and so far, it’s got mostly thumbs up. It should be interesting to see where they go with these boards with a promising start like this.

I like their logo a lot but definitely prefer the blue and green boards over the black and white. The black and white looks a bit cheap to me. The deck pad also takes up a considerate amount of deck space and pair that with the nice and wide 32” deck, this makes for a perfect beginners board.

Performance

The ROC is made for stability and cruising. It’s not going to the most maneuverable or speediest board, but it’s a great starter board. The fact you get everything you need to start off in a board under $400 is pretty incredible!

It’s slightly squared tail, and tri-fin setup provides stability for you to give a go at pivot turns. The nose is quite flat and round, which is nice for gliding but may stunt you in chop. If you are planning for gentle paddles out on lakes and rivers, then the ROC could be a choice for you!

Pump

Dual-action pump that gets you there in about 10 mins. Be prepared for a little bit of oomph to get there! I always 100% recommend checking out compressors.

Adjustable 3-piece Aluminium Paddle

For a board under $400 that includes ALL accessories, I think it’s reasonable that the paddle is aluminum. It does seem to move a little at the joint, so I would suggest upgrading it to at least a fiberglass at some point.

Fin

While the fin itself is good, it’s the fact it’s only got one removable center fin that lets the ROC down a bit. As you will see, if you are researching, nearly every SUP that’s budget either uses the click-in fin system or the one here with the extra slider. I prefer the click-in as it feels more secure.

Backpack

The bag is one of the better ones for a super budget board. It won’t be something you’d want to carry far, but it seems to be made well enough for transporting to and from the car without ripping. Also, it’s accessibility is great for getting the board in and out.

Leash

For a board under $400 it’s impressive you even get one!

What We Do Like

      • You get the full set of accessories (Amazing for under $400)
      • Waterproof dry bag included too
      • Nice logo
      • Wide, stable deck area

What We Don’t Like

      • Accessories are basic, sometimes it’s better to not include something to put money towards a better main accessory
      • Dual-layer PVC not ideal for bigger riders

#9 – Ten Toes Retrospec Weekender (7/10) $500

Length10′
Width30”
Thickness6”
Weight Capacity275 lbs
Weight29 lbs

Check Prices

What You Get

– Single-action pump
– 3 Removable fins
– Adjustable 3-piece Aluminum Paddle
– Carry duffel bag
– Waterproof phone case

Board Design (Materials, construction, and aesthetics)

As we move down this list, you can expect to see some of the quality in construction drop. This doesn’t mean it’s not worth buying; you’re just taking a bit more of a risk. The dual-layer PVC on the Ten Toes is still durable and won’t pop if you run into something, but it’s more susceptible to damage and won’t feel as rigid as the boards like the iRocker.

The design on top is great, and I love the simplicity in both colors and their logo. There’s a generous amount of storage space with the 6 D-rings, but it doesn’t interfere with the deck pad area too much either. There’s also a huge amount of choice with 14 different colors and designs.

Performance

The Ten Toes 10’ is a great beginner all-around board. That or an excellent tender, spare board for guests, or as an occasional paddler. Seeing as the price of something that is more durable and performs better is not much of a jump up from the Ten Toes, it pays to save up that bit more. Saying that, if you are someone who only needs it for occasional use or isn’t too concerned about performance and just wants something stable and fun, then the Ten Toes could still be a good buy.

The rounded nose and tail provide a very level surface area, which is great for stability. It’s 3 fin system being all removable mean you could also switch it up and see how you go with just a center single fin, on most boards you can feel the difference in tracking straight away.

It’s also a great SUP for taking your kids and pets on with the weight capacity of 275 lbs, but just keep in mind, it’s not the biggest board nor has the largest deck area, so depending on the size of your extra it could be a bit wobbly.

Ten Toes Accessories Review

Pump

The main issue customers seem to have with the Ten Toes is the pump. It’s single-action, so it takes quite a while and is tough once you reach about 7 PSI. The valve on the Ten Toes isn’t easy to fit with electric pumps; it would seem either. Your best bet is to invest in at least a dual-action, say as the one Gili has.

Adjustable 3-piece Aluminium Paddle

Aluminum paddles are a bit clunky and don’t always fit at the joins as nice as the fiberglass. Though again, if you are just getting out for a casual paddle, this paddle will do the job, no problem!!

Fin

It’s great that all 3 fins are removable. In the case of the Ten Toes, it makes rolling the board up way easier and tighter, which helps with getting into the duffel bag included. I think they could include the click in fins like iRocker, Thurso, etc. though as they feel more secure. We love that they’re all removable.

Backpack

The bag included is a duffel bag that cinches and has a zipper pocket on the front. The mesh sides are practical for breathability; however, these bags do make getting the board in a bit tricky at times. You need to make sure you roll your board up tight, so it fits easily.

** No leash or repair kit included – both are a good idea to have on hand. I would encourage you to invest in both, most SUP companies you can buy them separately from and if you find a board that is similar in color to your Ten Toes then the patches in the repair kit should kind of match **

What We Do Like

All fins are removable
The deck design
Lots of color choice
Super stable for beginners
You receive a waterproof phone case

What We Don’t Like

The pump makes for hard work
Dual-layering can flex under a big weight
No leash or repair kit

#10 – Ancheer Inflatable SUP
(8/10)

Length10’6″
Width30”
Thickness6”
Weight Capacity240 lbs
Weight18 lbs

Check Prices

What You Get

– Bravo 4 Pump
– Removable fin
– Adjustable 3-piece Aluminum Paddle
– Carry Bag
– Ankle leash

Board Design (Materials, construction, and aesthetics)

The Ancheer is made using a 0.9mm military-grade single layer of PVC. It isn’t as rigid or thick as other SUPs listed here, and it does face issues with flex and rigidity.

Though having a tri-fin setup does help with the balance and stability of this board. You are losing out a little on speed, but then again, compared to the other SUPs, you’d still probably come out on top thanks to the shape of the Ancheer.

Ancheer 10' Deck Features

While many budget SUPs are pumped out in a generic SUP matter, the Ancheer does have a little more performance throughout its body. We also love it’s included a handle on the nose and tail as an extra small feature.

Talking about more small features is the storage area. All other SUP’s we have reviewed only have 4 D-rings for storage, but the Ancheer has 6. That tiny bit of extra room can make a huge difference! As far as aesthetics, you have a relaxed blue or green color scheme from which to choose.

Performance

Getting out on the water with the Ancheer will be a better experience than most of the other boards though there is a big BUT with this one.

The capacity is low and materials thin, so if you are a bigger rider, you definitely want to look at other options. For females or kids, on the other hand, the Ancheer could be an interesting option since it’s super light-weight and easy to handle. We weighed the board, and it’s just 17.5lbs.

Now, if you are a light rider, the Ancheer will hold you and guide you through the water. The speed of that glide will be subject to your paddle and technique, though.

Ancheer Pump, Paddle And SUP

Ancheer Accessories Review

Pump

Ancheer includes a Bravo 4 pump. It’s dual-action and has the built-in pressure gauge to watch for your optimum 15 PSI and the inflate/deflate option.

Adjustable 3-piece Aluminium/Plastic Paddle

Again, not the best paddle on the market but a decent paddle to be included in this price range. It adjusts, breaks down, and seems to be reasonable quality. It’s heavy (2.1lbs), but you can’t expect much more in a budget SUP package.

Fin

You’ll find three fins on the Ancheer. The two side fins are fixed; however, the center fin is removable. The fin does a great job at tracking and is made of durable plastic.

Backpack

By no means will you want to go hiking with it but it will transport your goods easily. We have seen this same bag before. We got one with our Scott Burke SUP, and it, unfortunately, ripped after the first use. While this was probably the exception, don’t expect to use the backpack forever.

Coiled Leash

Seeing as it’s a vital addition for your safety and relatively inexpensive to produce, we’re surprised other boards don’t include one.

What We Do Like

      • Okay pump and a decent bag
      • The extra storage area
      • Having multiple handles
      • Stability
      • Comes with a leash

What We Don’t Like

      • Single-layer PVC – not durable and flexes easily
      • Not a good paddle

Read Our Full Review

#10 – Aqua Planet Review (8/10)

Length10’6″
Width30”
Thickness6”
Weight Capacity350 lbs
Weight24 lbs

Check Prices

What You Get

– Dual-action Pump
– Removable fin
– Adjustable 3-piece Aluminum Paddle
– Carry Bag
– Ankle leash
– Repair Kit
– Dry bag
– Carry Strap

Board Design (Materials, construction, and aesthetics)

The Aqua planet is a single layer PVC board with an extra layer of PVC around the rails over a drop stitch core. While the extra layer around the rails is a great idea for durability, the single-layer will still flex in certain conditions. If you are a bigger rider or in choppier conditions etc.

There are some D-rings on board for a kayak conversion, which is a plus! But also the general shape of the board is a nice touring shape, made for glide. However, the materials of this board let that down a little. I’m not a huge fan of the blue and red color, but each to their own!

Performance

As I mentioned, this board has a nice touring shape; however, single layer PVC does tend to flex and move, so it may not provide a rigid ride, which hinders glide. For a board that is less than $300, though, I must say it still has some solid customer reviews for its performance.

It will be a good beginner’s board, not something you can grow with but just as a low-cost entry option. I would suggest to only paddle these calm conditions or if you are experienced perhaps moderate conditions.

Aqua Planet Accessories Review

Pump

For a $300 board, a double-action pump is a pretty good deal! However, multiple reports suggest this pump isn’t made with great care. It doesn’t seem to pump easily, nor the valve attaches – whether that’s the valve or pump, it’s not too clear though.

Adjustable 3-piece Aluminium Paddle

This particular aluminum paddle floats, which are better than that of the Serene board! Again, I can’t say I’d expect more in a $300 board buuuut then again – if this elusive DCS board is for real – budget boards may just have their competition really cut out for them!

Fin

There are two fixed fins, while the center fin is much the same as the last few SUPS on this list. It’s a slide-in fin with a locking mechanism which is attached by a string so you can’t lose it.

Backpack

It’s a simple bag and does fit everything in it. Again, half-decent for a $300 board but not something I would want to carry for long distances

Coiled Leash

Very much a generic coiled SUP leash, but still, it’s better than not including one like many other budget SUPs.

What We Do Like

      • All the accessories
      • Dry bag and carry strap included
      • VERY cheap
      • D-rings for kayak conversion

What We Don’t Like

      • Single-layer PVC – not durable and flexes easily
      • Pump has problems
      • Not the nicest design

Honorable Mention – DCS 10’6” SUP

Length10′
Width32”
Thickness6”
Weight Capacity500 lbs *
Weight21 lbs

* Yet to be tested

Check Prices

What You Get

– Bravo 4 pump
– Removable center fin
– Adjustable 3-piece full carbon fiber paddle
– Carry bag
– Ankle leash
– Dry bag

Board Design (Materials, construction, and aesthetics)

Well, this is an interesting budget SUP to make an appearance. It’s a triple-layered PVC board made with an X shaped drop stitching rather than the conventional straight up and down. The difference? I wouldn’t be able to 100% honestly say, but it only makes sense for it to provide a more rigid core. They state that they’ve used some high-quality PVC as well as perhaps fusion? IF that’s the case for $400, that’s a pretty amazing deal.

We haven’t tested this SUP yet, but by looking at it’s listing and reading the reviews, it certainly is curious. Why is it so curious? Because it’s a $400 board with all accessories and some special features like the carbon fiber paddle and a decent bag.

Performance

If it is what it says it is, judging it off its info and from the years of riding many different inflatables, I would predict this board to be quite a nice ride. It’s got the nice round all-around shape that is super stable, but also the squared-off tail like touring/cruiser boards tends to feature.

That and it would seem to be a very rigid board that can support more than one rider. Experienced riders would be able to tackle some choppy/trickier conditions, but I think it’d be best suited to calm conditions for leisurely paddles.

Accessories Quality

Pump

Literally, everything is impressive. A dual-action Bravo pump! Bravo is renowned for supplying inflatable SUPs with quality gear.

Full Carbon Fibre Paddle

A full carbon fiber paddle. The world has gone crazy. Super lightweight, floats and they feel nice to paddle.

Fin

I do always prefer to click in fins, but the fin supplied is sturdy, and I’ve never had issues with this particular fitting.

Backpack

A bag that actually has padding and support! A lot of budget SUPs bags are just for convenience to carry your board; however, the DCS bag seems to be quite padded and well put together. Much like the Gili.

Coiled Leash

Can’t really fault a leash when they are included. You can get fancy swivels and all that jazz, but for a budget SUP, the fact it’s included is a perk.

What We Do Like

      • Extremely good value
      • Carbon fiber paddle
      • Triple-layer PVC – maybe fusion?
      • Can attach a kayak seat
      • Supportive bag

What We Don’t Like

      • That it’s too good to be true and having a hard time believing it
      • The Difference Between A Cheap SUP and a More Expensive Paddle Board

Honorable Mention #2 Tower SUP

Check Prices

Tower SUPs have been around for ages. They are well known (featured in Forbes) and well made. Though they haven’t upgraded their designs in years and the accessories are very bare. Depending on when you look you can grab a Tower SUP for a steal.

What Is The Difference Between More Expensive and Budget SUPs?

Materials

Cheaper boards use single or double layer PVC. Higher range boards will always be triple to quad-layer. More recently, fusion laminating has been introduced. Why does the layering matter? Because it’s what distinguishes your SUP from the pool toys and the real thing. Quality reinforced materials are what keep your iSUP tough, durable, and stable.

Accessories

For most of it below, the accessories are not something you want for the long term. Low-grade paddles are hard to use, which makes paddling no fun. Budget pumps take forever to inflate – again, no fun. Higher range SUP’s make sure their accessories also complement their boards’ quality.

Performance

When combining the two factors above, you get the performance of the board. Remember, this is the board’s performance, not yours. So the performance level differs between the rider. When we talk about performance here, we are mainly referring to beginners as we wouldn’t expect seasoned SUP riders to explore the low-range range for a performance board.

How We Rate Stand Up Paddle Boards

There are specific criteria that we test every board against to ensure you get a better idea of each board.

Performance

Just because a board is considered inexpensive doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t perform well. Poor performance can make or break a board no matter the price range. That’s why we’ve made it a priority to test the performance of each board and report back.

Stability

Stable boards are forgiving, and both experts and beginners alike would prefer to have an iSUP that can keep them upright in the water. This is one of those areas that isn’t too hard to test. We put our team on these boards to see how different experiences and body types worked with each board.

Tracking/Glide

Tracking is the board’s ability to stay straight as you paddle. An inflatable paddle board with poor tracking will move like a snake through the water, zig-zagging with every paddle stroke. On the other end of the spectrum, an inflatable board that tracks well will remain relatively straight when you paddle, and you’ll find yourself switching paddling sides left ofter.

Maneuverability

Your ability to turn and move through the water of your own account is what you’re looking for in a maneuverable board. You’ll know if a board is maneuverable or not if it goes where you want it. If you find yourself continually going in an unintended direction or if you have a hard time turning, then your board is not maneuverable. We’re here to help you avoid those situations.

Construction Quality/Materials

Another couple of areas that are important to look into are the construction quality and materials. Construction quality is closely related to craftsmanship and good craftsmanship requires good materials. Its all interconnected. We look extremely closely at these inflatable paddle boards to determine if they’re worth putting on this page. What we look at the closest are the materials, seam type, PSI range, and weight.

Materials

Many companies have different tactics and philosophies when it comes to what material is best. Most will use multiple layers of military-grade PVC. Some will use fewer layers with special construction techniques that make them stronger. It all depends on the company and board. A good rule of thumb is that the dual-layer board is better than a single-layer. Tri-layer is better than dual-layer, and quad-layer PVC construction is best.

Seam type

There are a few different seam types out there. Some seams are glued while others are fused with heat or through ultrasonic methods. The best seam is going to those that are fused. Many of the extremely cheap no-name boards that you find on Amazon will most likely have glued seams and won’t last as long as the boards on this page.

PSI range

The higher the rated PSI on an inflatable SUP board, the better. By designing boards above normal use standards, you are essentially future-proofing the board. What I mean is if you have a board that’s maximum rating is 20 PSI, but the recommended PSI is between 14-16 PSI, you are avoiding the upper limit of the board. By keeping the stress down below its design, it’ll last longer. That’s one thing we look for.

Weight

Just because a board is a little on the heavy side doesn’t mean its a bad board. It usually boils down to the materials used and if any special fusion processes are used. But if a board does end up being extraordinarily heavy for no reason, then we will tell you.

Overall Value

One of my least favorite things in the world is when I buy something, and I get buyer’s remorse because the product doesn’t have value. It is possible for a SUP board to be expensive but not have any value. We look for boards that demonstrate value to their customers. Whether its through quality accessories or better performance and features that aren’t included in the same price bracket.

What to Consider When Choosing/Buying an iSUP

Not all iSUPs are created equal. In fact, there are some pretty stark differences. A good iSUP experience depends on a variety of factors.
Usage
The very first thing to know when looking at an iSUP is what you’ll be using it for. There are many types of SUP boarding:

  • All-around
  • Touring
  • Racing
  • Surfing
  • Fishing
  • Yoga

If you don’t have a clue what type of stand up paddle boarding you’ll be doing, I would go with an all-around board. These iSUPs are specifically designed for multiple use cases. So you don’t have to decide on what you do with your board right now, and you don’t run the risk of liking something your board cant accommodate.

Board Type

Board type is something else to be mindful of when shopping for an iSUP. Length, width, and shape affect the way the board performs in the water.

Length

The longer your board, the better it will glide. But, longer boards are also harder to turn and maneuver. Many touring boards will be longer and thinner so you can glide better with less effort for longer distances.

Width

The wider a SUP board, the more stable it becomes. Most commonly, a board will be between 30 and 36″. Boards thinner than that will maneuver a little better but will be less stable.

Shape

By “shape” of the board, we’re talking about the shape of the nose, tail, and if it has a rocker or not. Pointed noses better cut through the water and are found a lot on touring and some racing boards. Rounded noses increase the stability of the board and are seen a lot on all around varients.

A rounded or squared tail will also increase the board’s stability.

Rockers are a rounded bend on the nose of the board that keeps the tip of the board out of the water. This prevents submersion of the board when in chop and waves. It is commonly found on surfing and all-around boards.

Cheap vs. Expensive SUP boards

In regards to the boards that we list, a cheap board often utilizes older technologies and fewer bells and whistles than their more expensive counterparts. You’ll find fewer D-rings, cheaper paddles, smaller pumps, and less robust backpacks. We don’t see a lot of companies pass the buck by dinging the quality and craftsmanship of the board. Those boards wouldn’t sell if they did that. You’ll mostly see the exclusion of features and cheaper easily replaced secondary items.

Most popular iSUP accessories

Below is a list of the most common/popular iSUP accessories.

Paddle

There’s usually one of three types of paddles included in your iSUP purchase. It will either be aluminum, fiberglass, or carbon fiber. The most common paddle-type included in the cheaper class of iSUPs is a fiberglass paddle with a nylon blade. This isn’t too shabby because these paddles are tough and durable. One thing to check is if they float or not. Some don’t.

The other popular and more premium paddle are those with a carbon fiber shaft and a nylon blade. They’re just as tough as the fiberglass paddles but are lighter. I have recently been seeing that some of the cheaper paddle board models are now including carbon fiber paddles. It’s a little more rare of a find, but it’s possible.

Electric Pump
Electric pumps are worth their weight in gold. They take all of the effort out of inflating your iSUP and get you out on the lake quickly. These pumps are not like the typical air mattress pumps. Instead, they’re a lot beefier and can inflate an inflatable SUP up to 20 PSI. To compare, many car tires are inflated to around 32 PSI. That’s a lot of pressure.

PFD
Also called a lifevest. These are something to consider if you’re buying any sort of water toy for the first time. There are different types to look at. Our favorite is the CO2 self-inflating vest because they’re less bulky and cumbersome. There are others that fit around your waist like a fanny-pack.

Mat
For a while, we just put our boards on top of towels when inflating and deflating them. That’s usually not an issue until you start bringing multiple boards the lake you end up bringing a few towels per board and that can get difficult to do. A setup mat is made of tough material that goes between the ground and your board. They generally are bigger than the board at around 12′ in length. These were a lifesaver for us, and we think you would really like it too.

FAQs – Cheap Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards

Q: Are cheap paddle boards any good?
A: Yes! If you buy the right one. Generally, it’s good to stay away for the sub $300 models that you find on Amazon. Check on the ones listed on this page because we do think that they are worthy options.

Q: Are cheap paddle boards worth it?
A: There are a lot of cheap paddle boards out there. Many of them are not worth it in that they have sub-par construction, and we wouldn’t consider them durable models. Check out the best cheap paddle boards on this page.

Q: Why are iSUPs so expensive?
A: There’s a lot that goes into making an iSUP. Many of the materials are military-grade and durable enough to drive a jeep over. There are also certain technologies that make a board more expensive, such as PVC ultrasonic seam joining is a much more costly process than using glue.

Q: What is the best paddle board for a beginner?
A: The best paddle board for a beginner is an all-around board that fits their body type. If the rider is above 6′ tall and/or they weigh over 260 lbs, then a board of 11′ or longer with a width of 33-36″. As long as the rider is under the weight capacity of the board, most all-around iSUPs would be great.

Q: Is it hard to learn how to SUP board?
A: Learning to SUP board can be a lot of fun as long as you have the right board. It’s important that you get an iSUP that fits you. See the above question on how to choose a board.

Q: Is it easy to fall off a paddle board?
A: If you’re not used to paddle boarding then you are bound to fall in. But the more experienced you get, the less often that happens to you. It also depends on the condition of the water. If there’s a lot of waves or chop, it can be harder to balance, especially if those waves are coming at you from the side. The best advice I can give is to stare straight ahead and keep moving.

That’s about it
That’s it, guys. We hope you found this review helpful in your search for the best cheap SUP. Let us know which board you bought and how you like it in the comments!

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SupBoardGuide

Hey there and welcome to SUPBoardGuide. We're a small team of paddleboard enthusiasts living in Australia, Germany, the US and the Philippines! We really hope you enjoy our content and feel free to comment or reach out to us with ideas or questions 🙂

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