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I am a fellow paddleboarder, and like most of you, I am on a budget. Unfortunately, that means I have to be extra careful when choosing a SUP. Not all that glitters is gold. Fortunately, you don’t have to wade through all the different options. I’ve found the best inexpensive paddle board for you!
There are a lot of factors that make a board cheaper, and we will teach you which ones are worth giving up in the pursuit of an affordable SUP.
Table of Contents
- 1 Choose the Right Length
- 2 What’s the Hull All About?
- 3 Displacement Hull
- 4 Inflatable or Solid?
- 5 The 3 Best Inexpensive Paddle Boards
Choose the Right Length
I can tell you from experience that buying a cheaper board that is too short for your purposes isn’t worth it. You need to decide on the right length for you and your needs. If you aren’t sure, this video will help. The following is a list of the lengths of boards and their uses.
- Short – A short board is considered to be anything 10 feet and under. We recommend these boards for children and anyone looking to surf some waves. These SUPs are much more maneuverable due to their smaller size. Kids boards are around 8 feet long.
- Medium – Anything between 10 and 12 feet are considered medium boards. If you are going to use your SUP for many uses, this size is the best for all-around use. Medium paddleboards are also the best bet for anyone looking to get into yoga.
A great inexpensive, medium paddleboard is the Solstice Bali 10’8” Standup Paddleboard.
- Long – A long SUP is anything 12.6 feet or longer. The longer the board, the faster they move and the straighter they track. Anyone looking for a long-distance companion board should stick to this length.
What’s the Hull All About?
Another thing you should be aware of when purchasing a budget iSUP is the hull. There are 2 different kinds of hulls, and each was made for a specific purpose. You want to make sure the paddleboard you purchase has the kind you need for your activities.
A planing hull is wide and flat. It looks similar to a surfboard and is great for use on choppy ocean waters. This kind of design is more maneuverable than the displacement hull and it is good for a variety of things.
This type of hull does exactly as it sounds, displaces water as the board glides through. How? The nose, or bow, is pointed. You may notice the front end resembles a canoe or kayak. Displacements give you a smooth and fast ride by parting the water more easily. Keep in mind that faster and further means giving up maneuverability.
- Overnight camping trips
- Paddling for exercise
Keep in Mind:
- Short boards almost always have a planing hull
- Medium boards have planing or displacement hulls
- Long boards mostly have displacement hulls
Inflatable or Solid?
The obvious choice for an inexpensive SUP is the inflatable version. They are lighter, cheaper to produce, and many hold us as well as solid boards. However, there is one material used to make solid boards that is also lightweight and cheaper: plastic.
Just keep in mind a solid board doesn’t necessarily mean better. There are some iSUPs that are more resistant to dings and scrapes than plastic paddleboards. When deciding between the two, always consider how much storage space you have and how much weight you can carry.
The 3 Best Inexpensive Paddle Boards
#1. Short Board: Pathfinder Inflatable SUP
At 9 feet and 9 inches, the Pathfinder Inflatable SUP is our favorite inexpensive small paddleboard. It can be used for surfing, kids, or any other place where you need to maneuver easily. The hull is a planing hull, making it perfect for all kinds of water and short recreational trips.
This cheaply priced inflatable paddleboard comes in either blue or orange. Both are made from durable PVC materials with multi-layer drop stitching. The large deck pad up top is perfect to balance on as you tackle choppy surf.
This iSUP comes with some extras including a removable center fin, adjustable aluminum paddle, carry bag with shoulder straps, pump, and valve wrench. There is also a D-ring to attach a leash that is not included.
#2. People’s Choice: SereneLife Premium Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
The people’s choice is the 10 feet and 5-inch SereneLife Premium Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board. There are quite a few reasons for this, and most of them have to do with quality! This durable PVC stand up is only weighs 19.6 pounds and can hold up to 275 pounds of people and gear.
This is a great medium-sized iSUP for beginners because of the extra wide, anti-slip stabilization deck. At 6 inches wide, balancing won’t be an issue for anyone learning the art. This part of the board is even paddled to make standing for long periods of time and even falling much less painful.
The SereneLife Premium comes in four different colors: aqua, blue, orange, and pink. They also include everything you need to get started paddling. You get a convenient carrying bag, detachable bottom fin, ankle leash, pump, and aluminum paddle.
#3. Medium Board: RoC Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
A favorite medium board is the RoC Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board. The inexpensive price tag isn’t even the best part of this all-around iSUP. The material is military grade and the manufacturer offers a full 1-year manufacturers warranty so you have nothing to lose.
At 10 feet 5 inches long and 6 inches thick you will have no issues with stability. This RoC was designed with an extra wide platform. Not only that, but the deck pad is extra cushiony and anti-slip. It’s the perfect board for practicing your yoga or getting out into the lake to fish.
This paddleboard has excellent tracking due to the 3-fin system with removable center fin. The steering and handling are also top notch. In addition, RoC includes a few extras like a pump, leash, backpack, waterproof bag, and paddle.
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I am an avid adventurer. I have canoed and kayaked through the Southwest, and lately have been on the water in Maine. I am the sole planner of group kayaking trips. As an active woman, I go through clothing and equipment frequently. I am constantly researching and purchasing gear and love to write about my time outside on the water.