Reading Time: 26 minutes(Last Updated On: August 24, 2021)

AFFORDABLE INFLATABLE SUP BETWEEN $300 – $400

Quality inflatable paddleboards in this price range are hard to found, and if yes, they will let you do one which is stand-up paddleboarding.

iSUPs between $300 and $400 will be fast to tire your body because they are made with heavy materials.

AFFORDABLE INFLATABLE SUP BETWEEN $400 – $500

This is the price range where most beginners buy their first inflatable paddleboards. $400 to $500 can get you a nice all-around inflatable that can last you years.

AFFORDABLE INFLATABLE SUP BETWEEN $500 – $700

This is the price range where companies start to offer some of their latest constructions, lightweight materials, and advanced accessories.

This is the least amount of money that can get you an activity-specific paddleboard like surf SUPs, touring SUPs, racing SUPs, etc.

AFFORDABLE INFLATABLE SUP BOARDS COMPARISON

PRODUCT SPECS PROS CONS PRICE
 FunWater Tiki

BEST: Inflatable SUP Most Affordable
Inflatable
10’6 × 33″ × 6″
17.6 lbs
330 lbs 
Perfect for beginners
Great Bang for Your Buck!
Rigid and sturdy
Can be inflated in about five minutes with moderate effort
Very firm when fully inflated and does not flex
Held its pressure for days
Decent paddle and easily adjustable
Does not track really well
Great graphics, deck pad, and tie downs
Lightweight making it easy to carry 
Super easy to deflate and store
Quite stable on the ocean chop
Huge and durable backpack that can fit two boards
Can carry 250 lbs paddlers comfortably
Quickly deflates for pack up
The customer service send a new buyer a replacement fin at no charge
One owner received the carry bag completely missing one of the straps, and the replacement bag was smaller and had only one opening on the top … long story short, bad customer service for her case when another purchaser was happy with the customer service.
Hand pumping is hard for some, making them purchasing an electric pump
A bit too high to climb on (get on it from the back is much easier)
Fins completely broke off after a few minutes in the water for a new owner even he is not heavy and knows how to ride a SUP.
Pump broke quickly for three owners
Emailing customer service took forever to respond for an owner that encountered a hole shortly after the return date expired
Plastic fins are just awful quality
The cheap plastic paddle does not lock in place for the correct height
One owner complained that the valve leaks after using 3 times
A buyer was sent a board that looks like it’s been patched and a non-working pump
Another buyer said that the pump outlet doesn’t fit with the inlet of the board
Check Price
on
Amazon.com
SereneLife Free-Flow

BEST: Best and affordable inflatable paddle board
Inflatable
10’6 × 32″ × 6″
19.6 lbs
275 lbs
Great for the price
Takes about 15 minutes to manually inflate by a 62-year-old and 9 minutes by another person
Enough room to take your dog with you
Materials do not feel cheap
All seams are well sealed.
Lightweight and easy to adjust paddle
Very stable for a woman and a girl on board
Super easy to carry when inflated
Double action pump is pretty good
Intake port to completely deflate it
Deck is very comfortable on my feet 
Inflating is a workout in itself
Very difficult to ride by 5 years experienced solid SUP paddler
One buyer received a non-working pump
Paint peels after 2 months
Two owners lost their paddle. One of them said that it sinks like a brick.
The bag buckle broke and sliced the hand of its owner
One user received a used board with a hairball stuck in the velcro
A buyer received a broken paddle
Fins can be broken with lake rocks
One buyer received it with seams not glued down 
Check Price
on
Amazon.com
 Roc Explorer

BEST: Best Affordable Inflatable SUP
Inflatable
10’ × 32″ × 6″
17.5 lbs
300 lbs
 – Lightweight and super easy to fill and carry down to the lake
– Material is thick and sturdy
– Easy to turn
– Reasonable price
– Comfortable even for large paddlers
– Stable and cuts through the water fairly quick in somewhat choppy water with a strong current
– Felt sturdy but not as much as a hardboard
– Backpacks with lots of straps and padding
– A floating paddle that fits long arms
– Deflating and storing is super easy
– Very easy to secure fins
– Good gripping, no feelings of slipping at all
– Come with everything right out of the box
– Easier on your feet/knees for long trips
– The bag is big enough to the board and all your goodies
– Can hold an adult and two little kids or two teenagers
– The paddle adjusts easily and fit over 6′ tall paddlers
 – One user received a used SUP
– The included hand pump can be a workout for some
– The white gets dirty quick but is also easy to clean
– The pump is not two way like with the SereneLife
– One buyer received a used SUP as a replacement
– Poor customer service experience with more than one buyer
– The paddleboard was leaking air from the seal around the plug just after its third use
– Another buyer complained that its board leaks air around the valve just after one use
– Multiple users complained about the air leaking valve
Check Price
on
Amazon.com
 Bote Drift

BEST: Easy to Control Budget SUP for a Petite Adult
Inflatable
10’8″ × 33″ × 6″
19 lbs
250 lbs
– Reasonably priced
– Super stable, making it good for beginners
– Very rigid
– Easy to maneuver
– Tracks well even against the current
– Dog nails resistant
– Pretty cool design
– Roomy and very well made bag
– Sturdy enough to support TWO adults with TWO small dogs
– Very easy to get back into the bag
– Customer service was top-notch 
 – Paddle is probably the weakest part, many buyers said that they have problems tightening it
– Take a little time to air this up using the included pump
– Does not come with a repair kit
-The pressure gauge was not working for some buyers
Check Price
on
Amazon.com
 Thurso Surf Prodigy Junior

BEST: Budget Paddle Board for kids
Inflatable
7’6 × 30’’ × 4’’
19 lbs
165 lbs
Great for tweens
Stable even in chop
Excellent quality
Pretty design
Sturdy and solid
Light carbon fiber paddle to not tire out your kid
Beautiful design
Great customer service
Does not come with a pump Check Price
on
ThursoSurf.com
 Nautical (by iRocker)

BEST: Very Stable and Easy to Maneuver Affordable SUP
Inflatable
10’6 × 32” × 6″
20 lbs
240 lbs
Very stable
Easy to maneuver
Feels very sturdy
Lightweight for carrying
Rock-solid on the water
Convenient transport
Rides very smoothly
Easy setup
Nice for the money
Lots of loops to attach things to
Takes about 10 minutes to inflate it manually
Multiple owners said they will get a second Nautical 10’6
Amazing customer service
One user complained that the seam tape started peeling up on both boards after the first day out
Another used complained that glue is showing on the handle and two places on deck
Check Price
on
iRockerSUP.com
 Bluefin Cruise

BEST: Affordable SUP with a 5-years warranty
Inflatable
10’8 × 32’’ × 6’’
24.9 lbs
330 lbs
Very stable
Reliable
Great value for the price
Super tough and rigid
Comes with a kayak seat
Grippy deck pad with a kick-tail for quick turns
Ergonomic shaft
Great customer service
A little bit heavier, making it harder to carry to the water
Carry bag has no wheels
Fin box is not universal
Check Price
on
BluefinSUPboards.com
 Gili Air

BEST: Stable and Lightweight Affordable SUP
Inflatable
10’6 × 31″ × 6″
19 lbs
280 lbs
Price is right
Sturdy
Lightweight
Stable
Great quality
Easy to pump
Rides smoothly
Super easy to transport
Cool looking
Durable enough to handle dog nails
Versatile and easy to use and set up
So many rings to hook accessories to and bungees to hold everything on
Great customer service
Pumping with the hand pump may be difficult for some
One buyer received a pump with a top that “held” in place with two screws that do not secure into anything
Customer service was not at the top with some buyers
Check Price
on
GiliSports.com
 iRocker All-Around

BEST: Very Stable and Well Built Affordable Paddle Board
Inflatable
10′ × 32″ × 6″
24 lbs
370 lbs
Tracks nicely
Very stable even if it is windy
Easy to setup
Tracks nicely
Maneuverable
Enough room for gear
Materials are very durable
Can handle a bit of choppy water and slightly windy conditions
Comes with everything you need to get on the water except the life jacket
Does everything very well while still be functional for beginners
Easy to carry even for a 4’11 paddler
Comes with the best available hand pump
Very easy to inflate and deflate
All 3 fins are detachable, which makes packing much easier
Great customer service
Pumping it up is a bit of a workout but very doable
Not the absolute fastest or most maneuverable out there, and it’s not supposed to be
White pad is a little hard to keep clean
One user has air leaking seems just after the first use
Another user said there is excess glue around a bunch of the padding
Check Price
on
iRockerSUP.com
 Nixy Newport All-Around G4

BEST: Quality Board that Track Well in Flat Water
Inflatable
10’6 × 33” × 6”
21 lbs
300 lbs
Good value for the money
Stable
Solid feeling
Sturdy
Lightweight enough to be carried by a 61yo
Easy to steer
Track well in flat water
Easy to assemble
Can carry 2 people and a dog all around the lake
Excellent craftsmanship
Takes about 5-6 min to pump up with the included pump
Backpack is top-notch
Great customer service
Pumping it up is a workout in itself
A buyer on Amazon received a used one to check it as soon as you receive it
Check Price
on
NixySports.com
 Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120

BEST: Stable and Maneuverable even for Beginners
Inflatable
10’ × 30” × 6”
22.5 lbs
150 lbs
Felt reasonably stable for a beginner
Build quality/materials are top-notch
Sturdy
Tracks well if you know how to paddle correctly
Quite stable and maneuver well
Carrying bag can fit extra gear
All the fins are removable
Roomy for a second person, dog, or lots of gear
Very little to no flex with 175 lbs paddler
The included hand pump makes it quite easy to inflate
More than one buyer said that they will get a second one
Great customer service
No action mount on the rear
Quick start guide and instructions could have been more clear
Not ideal for beginner paddlers taller than 5’8’’
Check Price
on
ThursoSurf.com

BEST AFFORDABLE INFLATABLE SUPs REVIEWS

FunWater Tiki 10’6 ($249.95)

BEST: Inflatable SUP Most Affordable

PROS:
– Perfect for beginners
– Great Bang for Your Buck!
– Rigid and sturdy
– Can be inflated in about five minutes with moderate effort
– Very firm when fully inflated and does not flex
– Held its pressure for days
– Decent paddle and easily adjustable
– Does not track really well
–  Great graphics, deck pad, and tie downs
– Lightweight making it easy to carry 
– Super easy to deflate and store
– Quite stable on the ocean chop
– Huge and durable backpack that can fit two boards
– Can carry 250 lbs paddlers comfortably
– Quickly deflates for pack up
– The customer service send a new buyer a replacement fin at no charge
CONS:
– One owner received the carry bag completely missing one of the straps, and the replacement bag was smaller and had only one opening on the top … long story short, bad customer service for her case when another purchaser was happy with the customer service.
– Hand pumping is hard for some, making them purchasing an electric pump
– A bit too high to climb on (get on it from the back is much easier)
– Fins completely broke off after a few minutes in the water for a new owner even he is not heavy and knows how to ride a SUP.
–  Pump broke quickly for three owners
– Emailing customer service took forever to respond for an owner that encountered a hole shortly after the return date expired
– Plastic fins are just awful quality
– The cheap plastic paddle does not lock in place for the correct height
– One owner complained that the valve leaks after using 3 times
– A buyer was sent a board that looks like it’s been patched and a non-working pump
– Another buyer said that the pump outlet doesn’t fit with the inlet of the board

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Dual layer PVC
  • Length: 10’6
  • Width: 33″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 17.6 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 330 lbs 
  • Return: No risk returns within 30 days. Learn more.
  • Warranty: 1 year manufacturer warranty. Learn more.

TODAY’S PRICE

SereneLife Free-Flow 10’6 ($338.59)

BEST: Best and affordable inflatable paddle board

PROS:
– Great for the price
– Takes about 15 minutes to manually inflate by a 62-year-old and 9 minutes by another person
– Enough room to take your dog with you
– Materials do not feel cheap
– All seams are well sealed.
– Lightweight and easy to adjust paddle
– Very stable for a woman and a girl on board
– Super easy to carry when inflated
– Double action pump is pretty good
– Intake port to completely deflate it
– Deck is very comfortable on my feet
CONS:
– Inflating is a workout in itself
– Very difficult to ride by 5 years experienced solid SUP paddler
– One buyer received a non-working pump
– Paint peels after 2 months
– Two owners lost their paddle. One of them said that it sinks like a brick.
– The bag buckle broke and sliced the hand of its owner
– One user received a used board with a hairball stuck in the velcro
– A buyer received a broken paddle
– Fins can be broken with lake rocks
– One buyer received it with seams not glued down

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Reinforced Engineered PVC
  • Length: 10’6
  • Width: 32″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 19.6 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 275 lbs

TODAY’S PRICE

Roc Explorer 10′ ($349.95)

BEST: Best Affordable Inflatable SUP

PROS:
– Lightweight and super easy to fill and carry down to the lake
– Material is thick and sturdy
– Easy to turn
– Reasonable price
– Comfortable even for large paddlers
– Stable and cuts through the water fairly quick in somewhat choppy water with a strong current
– Felt sturdy but not as much as a hardboard
– Backpacks with lots of straps and padding
– A floating paddle that fits long arms
– Deflating and storing is super easy
– Very easy to secure fins
– Good gripping, no feelings of slipping at all
– Come with everything right out of the box
– Easier on your feet/knees for long trips
– The bag is big enough to the board and all your goodies
– Can hold an adult and two little kids or two teenagers
– The paddle adjusts easily and fit over 6′ tall paddlers
CONS:
– One user received a used SUP
– The included hand pump can be a workout for some
– The white gets dirty quick but is also easy to clean
– The pump is not two way like with the SereneLife
– One buyer received a used SUP as a replacement
– Poor customer service experience with more than one buyer
– The paddleboard was leaking air from the seal around the plug just after its third use
– Another buyer complained that its board leaks air around the valve just after one use
– Multiple users complained about the air leaking valve

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Military grade PVC with DuraWeld Technology
  • Length: 10’
  • Width: 32″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 17.5 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Return: 30 days – Refunds greater than $1,000 may be subject to a 3% restocking fee. Learn more.
  • Warranty: 1 year manufacturer’s warranty. Learn more.

TODAY’S PRICE

Bote Drift 10’8 ($448):

BEST: Easy to Control Budget SUP for a Petite Adult

PROS:
– Reasonably priced
– Super stable, making it good for beginners
– Very rigid
– Easy to maneuver
– Tracks well even against the current
– Dog nails resistant
– Pretty cool design
– Roomy and very well made bag
– Sturdy enough to support TWO adults with TWO small dogs
– Very easy to get back into the bag
– Customer service was top-notch
CONS:
– Paddle is probably the weakest part, many buyers said that they have problems tightening it
– Take a little time to air this up using the included pump
– Does not come with a repair kit
-The pressure gauge was not working for some buyers

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Military-grade PVC
  • Length: 10’8″
  • Width: 33″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Return: Returnable for a refund or replacement. Learn more.
  • Warranty: 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. Learn more.

TODAY’S PRICE

Thurso Surf Prodigy Junior ($449)

BEST: Budget Paddle Board for kids

PROS:
– Great for tweens
– Stable even in chop
– Excellent quality
– Pretty design
– Sturdy and solid
– Light carbon fiber paddle to not tire out your kid
– Beautiful design
– Great customer service
CONS:
– Does not come with a pump

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Triple Layer Coating PVC – Woven Drop-stitching
  • Length: 7’6
  • Width: 30’’
  • Thickness: 4’’
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 165 lbs
  • Return: 30-day guarantee
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty

Nautical (by iRocker) 10’6 ($469)

BEST: Very Stable and Easy to Maneuver Affordable SUP

PROS:
– Very stable
– Easy to maneuver
– Feels very sturdy
– Lightweight for carrying
– Rock-solid on the water
– Convenient transport
– Rides very smoothly
– Easy setup
– Nice for the money
– Lots of loops to attach things to
– Takes about 10 minutes to inflate it manually
– Multiple owners said they will get a second Nautical 10’6
– Amazing customer service
CONS:
– One user complained that the seam tape started peeling up on both boards after the first day out
– Another used complained that glue is showing on the handle and two places on deck

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Dual-Layer Military-Grade PVC – Drop-stitch core
  • Length: 10’6
  • Width: 32”
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 240 lbs
  • Return: 60-day guarantee
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

Bluefin Cruise 10’8 ($499)

BEST: Affordable SUP with a 5-years warranty

PROS:
– Very stable
– Reliable
– Great value for the price
– Super tough and rigid
– Comes with a kayak seat
– Grippy deck pad with a kick-tail for quick turns
– Ergonomic shaft
– Great customer service
CONS:
– A little bit heavier, making it harder to carry to the water
– Carry bag has no wheels
– Fin box is not universal

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: ESL Military Grade PVC – Drop-stitch core
  • Length: 10’8
  • Width: 32’’
  • Thickness: 6’’
  • Weight: 24.9 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 330 lbs
  • Return: 60 days
  • Warranty: 5 year warranty

Gili Air 10’6 ($515)

BEST: Stable and Lightweight Affordable SUP

PROS:
– Price is right
– Sturdy
– Lightweight
– Stable
– Great quality
– Easy to pump
– Rides smoothly
– Super easy to transport
– Cool looking
– Durable enough to handle dog nails
– Versatile and easy to use and set up
– So many rings to hook accessories to and bungees to hold everything on
– Great customer service
CONS:
– Pumping with the hand pump may be difficult for some
– One buyer received a pump with a top that “held” in place with two screws that do not secure into anything
– Customer service was not at the top with some buyers

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: Dual layer military grade PVC – Drop stitch
  • Length: 10’6
  • Width: 31″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 280 lbs
  • Return: 60 days money back
  • Warranty: 2-year manufacturer warranty

iRocker All-Around 10’ ($639)

BEST: Very Stable and Well Built Affordable Paddle Board

PROS:
– Tracks nicely
– Very stable even if it is windy
– Easy to setup
– Tracks nicely
– Maneuverable
– Enough room for gear
– Materials are very durable
– Can handle a bit of choppy water and slightly windy conditions
– Comes with everything you need to get on the water except the life jacket
– Does everything very well while still be functional for beginners
– Easy to carry even for a 4’11 paddler
– Comes with the best available hand pump
– Very easy to inflate and deflate
– All 3 fins are detachable, which makes packing much easier
– Great customer service
CONS:
– Pumping it up is a bit of a workout but very doable
– Not the absolute fastest or most maneuverable out there, and it’s not supposed to be
– White pad is a little hard to keep clean
– One user has air leaking seems just after the first use
– Another user said there is excess glue around a bunch of the padding

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction:
  • Length: 10′
  • Width: 32″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 24 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 370 lbs
  • Return:
  • 60 days guarantee
  • Warranty: 2 years

Nixy Newport All-Around G4 10’6 ($695)

BEST: Quality Board that Track Well in Flat Water

PROS:
– Good value for the money
– Stable
– Solid feeling
– Sturdy
– Lightweight enough to be carried by a 61yo
– Easy to steer
– Track well in flat water
– Easy to assemble
– Can carry 2 people and a dog all around the lake
– Excellent craftsmanship
– Takes about 5-6 min to pump up with the included pump
– Backpack is top-notch
– Great customer service
CONS:
– Pumping it up is a workout in itself
– A buyer on Amazon received a used one to check it as soon as you receive it

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction: dual layer advanced fusion laminated woven drop stitch technology
  • Length: 10’6
  • Width: 33”
  • Thickness: 6”
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Return: Risk Free Returns within 30 Days
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty covering everything outside of normal wear & tear

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 10’ ($699)

BEST: Stable and Maneuverable even for Beginners

PROS:
– Felt reasonably stable for a beginner
– Build quality/materials are top-notch
– Sturdy
– Tracks well if you know how to paddle correctly
– Quite stable and maneuver well
– Carrying bag can fit extra gear
– All the fins are removable
– Roomy for a second person, dog, or lots of gear
– Very little to no flex with 175 lbs paddler
– The included hand pump makes it quite easy to inflate
– More than one buyer said that they will get a second one
– Great customer service
CONS:
– No action mount on the rear
– Quick start guide and instructions could have been more clear
– Not ideal for beginner paddlers taller than 5’8’’

QUICK SPECS

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Construction:
  • Length: 10’
  • Width: 30”
  • Thickness: 6”
  • Weight: 22.5 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 150 lbs
  • Return: 30-days for a full refund
  • Warranty: 2-year manufacturer’s limited warranty

HOW MUCH IS ”AFFORDABLE”

Since affordable for me is different from affordable for others, it is better to explain what affordable will mean in this article.

In this article, affordable means any paddleboard under $500.

SUPs in this article are affordable quality standup paddleboards and not the cheapest ones in the market.

During my research, I always focused on the best value-for-money affordable SUP boards.

WHAT MAKES AN AFFORDABLE INFLATABLE PADDLE BOARD AFFORDABLE?

An affordable standup paddleboard means a product with sacrifices.

The places that manufacturers touch in order to make an affordable SUP are:

  • Heavy aluminum paddle instead of lightweight fiberglass or a super lightweight carbon one.
  • Slow and tiring single-action single-chamber pump, instead of a fast triple-action dual-chamber pump.
  • Snap-lock or fixed fins instead of US fin boxes that let you fine-tune your board performance.
  • Backpack with less durable materials and no wheels or pockets.
  • Single-layer PVC instead of a dual or triple-layer PVC construction, making the iSUP less rigid and don’t last long.

Be careful with deceiving marketing that sells dual-layer PVC at the rails as dual-layer PVC around the entire SUP.

Don’t let these sacrifices scare you because even with them, the paddle board will remain safe and do fine for once in a while use.

In the end, I recommend inflatable paddle boards because first, they offer comparable performance, second, the starting price of an entry-level hard SUP board is $900.

WHAT ABOUT AFFORDABLE INFLATABLE SUP LIFESPAN

It is very hard to determine the lifespan of an affordable inflatable SUP because it depends largely on you. But in general, an affordable inflatable SUP may last for around 1-2 years, after that, it loses a lot of its performance and becomes hard to use.

For me, the functional lifespan is more important than the product lifespan, because if something starts to lose its performance, it’s already dead for me.

For most beginners, this is less of a problem because all they want is something to stand-up on and that’s it.

Affordable inflatable SUPs will have a longer functional lifespan if the paddler never went to an advanced level.

Other factors to make an affordable iSUP last longer are how you take care of it, how often it is used, and where you mainly paddle with it.

  • Rinse it with clean water after paddling with it in saltwater, avoid exposing it to direct UV-rays to not damage the PVC shell, and keeping it dry when not in use are things that will improve the lifespan of your affordable inflatable SUP.
  • Similar to cars, more mileage means less of a lifespan. So use it only when you need it to make it last longer.
  • Where you paddle with it and how are also important, because surfing with a SUP or paddling whitewater put more damage to the board than lakes paddling which are often calm and flat.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST AFFORDABLE INFLATABLE PADDLE BOARD

DEFINE YOUR NEEDS FIRST

Because there is more than one type of paddleboard, it’s better to first determine your needs to get the best inflatable paddle board for you.

  • What activity do you want to practice with your SUP? Surf, fishing, touring, or a little bit of everything.
  • What are the water conditions you will be on? Calm water, white water, or waves.
  • What is your level of experience? Beginner, intermediate or advanced?
  • Do you want something that is more on the stable side or something speedy?
  • How you will transport it and where you will store it?
  • Are you urgent or do you prefer to wait for a deal?

WHAT TYPE OF THE SUP DO YOU WANT

  • ALL-AROUND SUP

These boards are jacks of all trades, master of none because they can be used in a variety of conditions without specializing in any activity. They are versatile, stable, and easy to use, this is why it’s what I recommend for beginners.

All-around SUPs have rounded noses and can be 9’ to 12’ long and between 30” and 38” in width, making them able to paddle in all conditions from flat water, to chop, to small surf.

The versatility of all-around standup paddleboards gives you room to try and experience different paddling activities as you get experience.

All-around SUPs are bigger than surfing SUPs and slightly smaller than touring boards, some all-around lets you even take a kid or a pet when you are out paddling.

When you are on a budget, it’s hard to find affordable surfing, touring, racing inflatable SUP compared to an all-around because dedicated SUPs are made with performance in mind which requires advanced and high-cost parts.

The majority of all-around SUPs on the market come with all the accessories that you will need like the paddle, the pump, leash, backpack, and repair kit. Dedicated SUPs comes sometimes with no accessories in order to be available for $800 for example.

  • TOURING SUP

Touring stand-up paddleboards are longer than all-around SUP (ranging between 11’ and 14’ in length) and narrower (ranging between 30” and 32” in width) and are identified by their pointy nose that maintains a bit of a rocker (pointing upward).

This shape prioritizes efficient gliding over stability and maneuverability.

They are good only for experienced paddlers that want faster long-distance paddling.

For the water conditions, touring boards are good only in calm water due to their lack of stability.

Their highly specialized aspect makes them expensive.

  • RACING SUP

Racing standup paddleboards are longer than touring SUPs (between 12’6” and 14′ in length) and narrow (between 24” and 28” in width) and have less convenient features like cargo tie-downs.

They are built with this sleek shape to get the most speed possible.

This SUP category is reserved for competitive athletes and it’s the most expensive one.

  • SURF SUP

Surfing standup paddleboards are smaller than surfboards in length, between 6’ and 10’ and 28” to 35” in width in order to be maneuverable.

They glide poorly and are unstable, but they excel at turning.

SUP surfing is a new alternative to traditional surfing that let you surf ocean waves while you are standing and propel using only your paddle.

Inflatable SUPs technology has evolved to make surf iSUPs, (like Fanatic Stubby and Red Paddle 8’10 Whip, which satisfy even experienced surfers.

  • FISHING SUP

Fishing standup paddleboards generally range in length between 11’ and 12’6 and width from 32” to 38”, sometimes even 40”.

Fishing SUPs are that wide in order to be stable and spacious, which is required in order to stay concentrated and have enough room for you, your fishing tools, and any catch.

Usually comes with attachment points for fishing rods, tackle boxes, GPS, etc.

If you don’t have a specific use for your board, then an all-around is the best for you.

WHY INFLATABLE SUP BOARDS ARE BETTER THAN HARD ONES?

PROS 

  • Getting a quality inflatable SUP for an affordable price is much possible than hard ones.
  • Cheap maintenance.
  • The ability to pack small makes transport and storing easy.
  • Transport does not require upgrading your car with a roof rack, trailer, or straps.
  • Deflated in its backpack, you can transport it even in the backseat, on your back on a scooter, bicycle.
  • Can be check as luggage in airports.
  • Support more weight than similarly shaped hards SUPs.
  • More stable than similarly shaped hards SUPs.
  • Durable and less prone to dings and holes.
  • The soft and cushy deck makes falling less painful.
  • Inflatable SUP packages usually come with everything you need, except the life jacket.
  • With the drop stitch technology, inflatable SUP boards performance became close to the hard ones.
  • Favored in whitewater than hard SUPS.

CONS

  • Inflating and deflating takes time and is a bit of a workout (electric pumps make this less of a problem).
  • Requires to always carry a pump.
  • Needs to be dry completely before storage.
  • Requires to be cleaned with clean water if used in salt water.
  • Close but does not have the performance of hard SUPs.

LENGTH

SUP boards come in three ranges of length:

  • SHORT (<10’): These are ideal for SUP surfing, kids/youth, and smaller adults. Boards this short are best at turning and maneuvering but are less stable and don’t track straight.
  • MEDIUM (10’ to 12’): This length range is common between all-around and beginner SUP boards. They usually have a rounder shape and a planing hull making them able to handle most water conditions while being stable enough. If you are on the heavier side, get something at least 10′6″ long.
  • LONG (>12’): Longer boards are ideal for touring and racing due to their ability to stay in a straight line while paddling.

WIDTH

Board width has the most effect on the SUP board stability and more width means more stability, but with a catch.

  • NARROW(<32″): Narrow boards are faster but less stable. SUP boards with this width are only ideal for lightweight or advanced paddlers.
  • WIDE (32″ to 36″): This is the recommended with for most adult beginners. It’s ideal if you want to take a kid or a pet with you.
  • EXTREME WIDE (>36″): Extremely wide boards are not the best because they will make you uncomfortable reaching water with your paddle and will force your paddle from the centerline of the board, making it turn your SUP with each stroke.

THICKNESS

More board thickness means more volume and therefore more weight capacity and more stability.

Some cheap SUP brands take the shortcut to get stable products by making them thicker rather than using higher-quality materials. It works, but you will be much higher on water, which some do not like.

Other than kids/youth SUP boards, you are not recommended to get an inflatable paddle board with less than 6″ in thickness.

The board thickness sweet sport depends on your weight. If you are over 225 lbs, you will need a thickness of 6″, if you are small, a 5″ thin board is ideal.

CONSTRUCTION

Inflatable SUP boards are made of PVC. This lightweight and durable plastic are even used by the military.

Chambers (or layers) are what hold air inside.

More chambers make the board more rigid and sturdy.

Drop-stitch technology is commonly used in inflatable SUPs and it uses thin threads to hold the two layers of PVS in order to get a flat shape when inflated.

WEIGHT

Board weight is important to look at because it’s what you will carry by hand from shore to water.

Fortunately, the most affordable inflatable SUP listed above are under 25 lbs, it’s like carrying a little baby which is easy for most paddlers.

WEIGHT CAPACITY

Board weight capacity is the weight that your board can handle before starts sinking.

I recommend you to avoid SUP boards with a weight capacity close to your total weight (body weight and anything else on the board) because this way the board will lose a lot of its performance and will be hard to move and turn.

I recommend you to weigh your body, your pet, your kid, and your gear to have a clear idea of what is best for you.

DISPLACEMENT VS PLANING HULL

Board hull in the shape of the underside. The main two shapes are displacement and planing.

  • DISPLACEMENT HULL

SUP boards with displacement hulls have pointy noses that cut through the water making them track straight and be faster, unfortunately, less stable.

  • PLANING HULL

A planing hull is what is common between SUP boards.

Boards with a planing hull are wider, flatter, and have rounded upward noses.

This shape makes the SUP easily maneuverable and keeps balance in small waves, this is why its used by surf, yoga, and recreational SUP board.

DECK PAD

The deck pad is the area that lets you stand up comfortably on your feet.

The best ones should be grippy even when wet, this is why they are made with EVA foam and textured in order to drains out water.

Deck pad density is what differentiates between a SUP with a high-end deck pad and another cheap one. High-density means more comfort for your feet, knees, hands and less wearing.

Size also matters with deck pads, a large deck pad is ideal for practicing yoga.

KICK TAIL

Kicktail means a raised area in the rear of the deck pad.

This feature is not that important for you because intermediate and advanced paddlers are the ones who know how to use it in order to quickly turn.

HANDLE

SUP board handles are what help carry your inflated board to the water, or help you pull your board without damaging the fins when you are alone.

In order to not get bothered with the center handle, look for one that is flat or one with a removable cushioned grip.

The best handles are made of neoprene lining in order to be comfortable.

FINS

Fins are what keep your SUP stable and move in a straight line when you are paddling.

Bigger fins are good for added stability, and smaller ones are good for maneuverability.

Removable fins let you tune the performance of your board

SUP boards come with fins in three setups:

  • Single fin: The minimal drag make this setup ideal to be faster on flatwater like in lakes.
  • 2+1 setup: This is what it’s common in the SUP boards listed above, the side ones are small and the center one is larger and removable, in order to give you adjustability and be easy to pack down your inflatable.
  • 3-fin setup: This setup is common between surf SUP boards because it gives them a nice control.

D-RINGS

D-rings are what let you attach a kayak seat and tie down your gear inside a dry bag if there is a bungee cord mounted to them.

More d-rings mean more ability to customize your board as to how you wanted it.

If your SUP board comes with D-rings not placed where you want them or just not enough for you, you can always glue new ones.

SUP COMPANY REPUTATION

A SUP board from a reputable company like iRocker, Atoll, BOTE, or Thurso Surf will be easier to solve its problem if you encounter one.

Even if you get an affordable stand-up paddleboard, get it from a company that provides support, is fast to get an answer from, and has customers that are happy with the performance of durability of its products.

WARRANTY

Look for a warranty even if you know you will not ask for it because it gives an idea of how durable the product is.

When a manufacturer gives months of warranty duration or no warranty at all, that means that he knows the product will not last long.

ACCESSORIES

  • PUMP

Most if not all of the inflatable SUP packages come with a hand pump and depending on the price you get a premium hand pump or a simple one.

The best current hand pump at the time of writing this line is the dual-chamber, meaning more air per one stroke, and triple-action, which means getting from both chambers and on the upstroke and the downstroke, getting air from both chambers but only on the downstroke or get air from one chamber and only on the downstroke, all that to make inflating your board less tiring and quicker.

Another thing that you should look at is are there is any pressure gauge that lets you know how much pressure is on the board and how much is still needed to complete the process.

  • PADDLE

Be careful with the paddle because even though most inflatable SUP boards packages include it, they are still some brands that do not give one.

Plastic and aluminum are common for the included paddles and they are not the lightest available.

The length of your paddle should be 4 to 7 inches taller than you when you stand up straight.

  • LEASH

The leash is another item that some brands do not include in their SUP packages.

If your board does not come with one, you should get it because it’s what keeps your board close to you if you fall from it.

Other than not losing your board, a leash can save your life by keeping a floating object near your that can help you stay afloat.

The best SUP leash is one with a soft cuff, a coiled cord, and dual swivels to prevent tangles.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES

  • ELECTRIC PUMP

The first thing to think about when you want to upgrade is the pump, especially with pumps that are included in affordable inflatable SUP board because it will have a big improvement in your SUP boarding experience.

If it takes you 10 to 15 minutes to get to the right air pressure, electric pumps can do the same in about 3 to 5 minutes and without working out.

When most electric pumps need to rest after inflating two SUPs, I definitely recommend  OutdoorMaster Shark II SUP Electric Air Pump because it can inflate 3 SUPs in a row.

  • PFD AND LIFE JACKET

Even if you paddle in calm water or you will not be far away from the shoe, you still need a life jacket and a personal flotation device in order to stay afloat if something happened.

In the U.S and Canada, paddling outside the surf and swim area is required to be with a life jacket and PFD or you will be fined by the coast guards.

HOW TO GET YOUR PREFERED SUP PADDLE BOARD WITH A DISCOUNT

The release of new models every year gives an opportunity to get last year’s high-performance inflatable paddle board for a discount.

If last year’s model is not enough for you, you can wait until the next season to get it at an affordable price.

Set an alarm for the end of summer or for holiday to remember to look for discounts.

TIPS TO GET BETTER PADDLING EXPERIENCES WITH AFFORDABLE iSUP PADDLE BOARDS

  • DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS TO COMPENSATE FOR THE iSUP LOW PERFORMANCE

Learn to paddle efficiently to keep your iSUP straight and how to perform quick turns are all things that can help you minimize the performance difference between your affordable inflatable paddleboard and a high-end one.

  • USE YOUR LEASH AND PFD EVEN IF YOU PADDLE IN FLAT WATER

When you bought your inflatable SUP on a tight budget you are more likely afraid to lose it, this is why wearing a leash is very important.

PFD and a life jacket are also a smart investment, especially when you get yourself an affordable inflatable paddleboard because it’s more likely to bend and make you fall to the water.

ADVICE TO STAY SAFE WITH AN AFFORDABLE PADDLE BOARD

  • Learn how to perform sweep stroke or the step-back for quick turns.
  • Search the internet and familiarize yourself with the place you will paddle in.
  • Let others know about where you are heading and when you are expected to get back in order to send you help if you get lost.
  • Always have a whistle with you.
  • Attach your board to you with a leash, wear a life jacket and waist belt PFD to have something to keep you afloat.
  • Pack light to help keep your affordable inflatable SUP not sink.
  • Be friendly to other people around and ask them if there is anything to look out for.

FAQ

CAN TRUST AN AFFORDABLE PADDLEBOARD?

As long as your paddleboard stays afloat, you can trust it because even if you bump into a rock you will bounce from it unless it’s a really sharp rock (even then you might get away with it).

Weather, the water type, your paddling/swimming skills, and your fitness have more impact on your safety than the paddle board itself.

WHAT IS THE BEST INFLATABLE INFLATABLE PADDLEBOARD?

My best affordable iSUP is Nautical by iRocker. For only $469, you get great performance due to the dual-layer military-grade PVC construction and a fiberglass paddle with a nylon blade, which are not common in entry-level SUPs.

CAN PETS RIDE ON AN AFFORDABLE INFLATABLE PADDLE BOARD?

Yes, it’s even fun. Just make sure that your deck pad is existing in the place where your pet will sit and if not just place him a towel to be sure not to puncture your already resistant PVC outer layer.

Make also sure that your inflatable SUP weight capacity can support both of you.

HOW LONG TO INFLATE AN INFLATABLE PADDLEBOARD?

This depends largely on your fitness and your pump.

With a simple single-chamber single-action pump, you can inflate it for about 10-15 minutes.

If you are using a dual-chamber triple-action pump, you can inflate it in 5-10 minutes.

If you have an electric pump, it will take you only 3-5 minutes.

Last modified: August 24, 2021

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