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10 Best Cheap Paddle Boards of 2024 – Budget Paddle Board Guide

Updated December 1st, 2023

Best cheap paddle boards

Stand up paddleboards or SUP’s have become one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world.  Inflatable SUP’s are a super convenient way to give paddleboarding a try without the large cost and storage space needs that a rigid SUP board requires. Owning an inflatable paddleboard doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are some cheap boards that are soft and have very low quality accessories and others that are a great value.

See our top picks below and our paddleboard guide to help you find the best board for you.

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



1 – iRocker Nautical

☆ Best Overall
iRocker Nautical Product Image

Overall Score

75
Stiffness7.0


Stability7.0


Speed Performance7.0


Tracking8.0


Accessories7.0


Portability9.0

What we liked:

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

What we didn’t like:

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

Summary

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

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

Review

See our review of the iRocker Nautical to learn more.

Paddling Nautical Stony Creek

Specifications

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

2 – Outdoor Master Swordfish

☆ TOP PICK
Outdoor Master Swordfish Paddleboard Product Image

Overall Score

75
Stiffness7.0


Stability7.0


Speed Performance7.0


Tracking8.0


Accessories7.0


Portability9.0

What we liked:

  • Low cost
  • Lightweight overall package that is easy to carry around
  • Board feels light and nimble on the water. It is stable enough for beginners
  • Choice of hand pump or electric pump
  • Bag has rollers and a pocket for storing an electric pump
  • Improved fit and finish compared to older Outdoor Master paddleboards

What we didn’t like:

  • The aluminum paddle feels cheap and wobbly at the joints
  • Dolphin electric pump needed a replacement H3 fitting to work with the Swordfish
  • The 2 small fins were bent from shipping and needed to be straightened out before using the board.
  • No repair kit included

Summary

The Outdoor Master Swordfish is the new inflatable paddleboard from Outdoor Master. It brings with it a lot of bang for the buck and the option to get it with an electric pump. It is a 10’6″ x 32″ all around shaped board that is good for beginners or experienced paddlers. It’s lightweight design and overall package make it easy to carry around or travel with. It is very stable for beginners in calm waters. It feels light under your feet. It’s easy to turn. It glides well in flat water.

The Swordfish comes with a roller backpack that is made from heavy feeling material. It has a side pocket sized for carrying an electric pump. The board is available with either a double action handpump or an electric pump for $50 more. I hate hand pumping so I like seeing the option to get it with an electric pump.

Review

See our review of the Outdoor Master Swordfish to learn more.

OM Swordfish gliding on canal

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ 6″ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
  • Board Weight – 20 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC
  • Warranty – 2 years
  • D-Rings – 18 D-Rings
  • Paddle – 3 Piece Aluminum
  • Pump – Electric Pump or Double Action Hand Pump

Get 10-20% OFF with code ERO2022 at OUTDOOR MASTER


3 – FunWater Tiki Inflatable Paddle Board

☆ Best Value
Funwater Tiki Product Image

What we liked:

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

What we didn’t like:

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

Summary

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

Specifications

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

4 – Bluefin Cruise Lite

Bluefin Cruise LIte product image

What we liked:

  • Good board stiffness for a small portable board
  • Low profile twin fins don’t need anymore water depth
  • Small overall package
  • Carbon fiber paddle in a low cost package
  • Has the same shape and stability as the original Bluefin Cruise

What we didn’t like:

  • Mini hand pump takes a ton of effort to inflate board up to 15 psi
  • No D-Rings for attaching a kayak seat

Summary

The Bluefin Cruise Lite retains almost everything good about the original Bluefin Cruise in lighter weight and smaller package. The board has the same shape and dimensions as the Cruise 10’8″ which means you get a good performing board that is stable enough for beginners.

They used softer material for the Cruise Lite. This makes the board lighter weight and more compact when folded. The original Cruise uses high density drop stitch that was one of the stiffest boards available. It was also one of the heaviest boards as well. This is a good change.

The Cruise Lite comes with a carbon paddle, mini-hand pump and compact sized bag. The bag is about half the height of the normal Bluefin Cruise bag that makes it easier to store and travel with.

The Bluefin Cruise Lite performs very much like the original Bluefin Cruise 10’8″. The Cruise Lite has closer to average stiffness for an inflatable SUP where the original Cruise was very stiff. There isn’t much compromise with the Cruise Lite. It is a very stable board that any beginner can handle. It still works okay for heavier paddlers.

Specifications

  • Size – 10’8″ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 240 lbs
  • Board Weight – 21 lbs
  • Bag Size – none included
  • Bag Weight – 29 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC
  • Paddle – 5 piece carbon
  • Pump – Mini double action hand pump


5 – Freein Stand Up Paddle Board Kayak SUP

Freein SUP Kayak product image

What we liked:

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

What we didn’t like:

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

Summary

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

Specifications

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

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


6 – iRocker Nautical GO

iRocker Nautical Go product image

What we liked:

  • Available in 2 board shapes
  • Cruiser 34 inch width is good for beginners
  • Very low cost even with package item add ons
  • Good board to throw in your bags for trips
  • Has enough D-Rings to attach a seat
  • Available kayak conversion

What we didn’t like:

  • No available bag
  • 5 piece paddle has more clunk than a 3 piece paddle
  • Board has some flex. More noticable for heavier paddlers near the weight limit
  • Doesn’t come with any accessories or package when ordered from Amazon

Summary

The Nautical Go boards are the latest entry level portable boards from iRocker. They take the low cost and value that the Nautical is known for and make it available in a smaller, easier to travel with package. The Go is available in the Go Ten Six which is the same shape as the traditional Nautical 10’6″. There is also the Go Cruiser which increase the width to 34 inches and has a shape similar to the iRocker Cruiser.

The Nautical Go’s use the same 2 layer PVC construction as the traditional Nautical. They use the split deck pad similar to the iRocker Ultra boards to allow the board to fold in half. They use the twin fin setup from the Ultra boards as well.

The Nautical Go behaves very similar to the original Nautical 10’6″. It is a softer board that likes smooth water and lighter weight paddlers. It has good tracking and glide on flat water. When the breeze picks up and you get some chop you can feel the flex in the board.

The Go Cruiser is 2 inches wider and is a more stable board. It is a great beginner board for people that want more stability. It has a shape similar to the popular iRocker Cruiser in a much less expensive package.

Specifications

  • Size – 10’6″ x 32″ x 6″ Go Ten Six, 10’6″ x 34″ x 6″ Go Cruiser
  • Weight Capacity – 240 lbs
  • Board Weight – 20 lbs
  • Bag Size – none included
  • Bag Weight – n/a
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC
  • Paddle – Optional 5 piece Fiberglass
  • Pump – Optional electric or mini hand pump

7 – Freein Overall – 11

Freein Overall Product Image

Overall Score

80
Stiffness9.0


Stability9.0


Speed Performance7.0


Tracking8.0


Accessories8.0


Portability7.0

What we liked:

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

What we didn’t like:

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

Summary

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

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

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

Review

Read Freein Overall 11 Full Review

Freein overall beginner paddler

Specifications

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

8 – Drift Inflatable SUP

Drift paddleboard product image

What we liked:

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

What we didn’t like:

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

Summary

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

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

Specifications

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

9 – SereneLife Inflatable SUP

Serenelife Thunder Product Image

What we liked:

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

What we didn’t like:

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

Summary

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

Specifications

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

10 – DAMA Inflatable SUP

DAMA Product Image

Overall Score

76
Stiffness6.0


Stability7.0


Speed Performance8.0


Tracking8.0


Accessories7.5


Portability9.0

What we liked:

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

What we didn’t like:

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

Summary

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

Review

Read DAMA Inflatable SUP Full Review

Standing with DAMA board

Specifications

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

Cheap Paddle Board Guide – What to look for

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

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

Materials

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

For more information on SUP materials click here.

Board Stiffness

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

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

Length

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

Width

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

Cheap Paddle Board FAQ

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Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Doug Ryan
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.

doug@adventuregearinsider.com