Paddleboarding has received a huge boost in popularity in recent years, with many outdoor enthusiasts rushing to give this fun sport a try. If you’re new to the sport, it makes perfect sense that you don’t want to pay big bucks for a premium board straight away. Instead, it’s a much better idea to get the best cheap paddle board, as it will allow you to build up confidence and see how you enjoy paddleboarding in general.
Even if a board is budget-friendly, it can be a very good performer on the water. By carefully going through features like size, materials, and weight capacity, you can get a fantastic model that will fit right into your price range. To help you with this, our article takes a close look at the best cheap inflatable paddle boards on the market and shows you what each of them has to offer.
How To Choose A Cheap Paddle Board – Buying Guide
Cheap SUP boards can vary in price, and what’s cheap for one paddler might not be for another. Generally speaking, the most inexpensive paddle boards use an inflatable design. The main reason for this is because they require less material to make the board.
Most cheap inflatable paddle boards will be around or under $700, but you can find certain cheap SUP boards for under $500. It may still sound like a pricey investment, but you should remember that regular paddle boards easily cost $1000 or more. To save money, we advise that you set a maximum budget limit before you start looking at models.
If you are struggling to set your budget, you should consider the differences between the features that cheap SUPs have to offer and see whether the additional cost is worth it. For example, a difference of $200 goes a long way when talking about inexpensive paddle boards, and might result in higher-quality accessories and more durable board.
Generally speaking, cheap inflatable paddle boards that are around $700 will give you the best value for money. In this price range, you’ll be able to get a high-quality board from one of the industry-leading brands. This type of cheap stand up paddleboard will likely also provide quality customer service and better additional paddleboard accessories.
In addition, these cheap SUP boards will provide a better performance in the water, which can rival that of more expensive models. Last but not least, the package should include clear instructions on how to use the cheap SUP, how to store the board, and how to inflate it once you reach the water.
Cheap stand up paddleboards that are around or under $500 will save you more money but some of them might compromise on quality too. Many cheap SUP boards under $500 will be made by smaller brands that use lower-quality materials and provide lower-quality accessories.
The length of the stand-up paddleboard affects how it moves through the water, how easy it is to maneuver, and how well it tracks in a straight line. For the average-sized paddler, a board that is 10 to 11 feet long will be more than enough for recreational paddling.
In general, a cheap SUP board that is longer will move quicker in the water. Longer boards will glide more easily over the surface and require less energy to move them.
To cater to every paddler’s needs, there is a wide array of lengths available among stand up paddle boards cheap designs. In general, beginners and immediate paddleboarders will need to learn the sport on longer boards.
Generally speaking, the wider a board is, the more stable it will be. On the other hand, a large width also means more drag in the water which will make the paddleboard a lot slower. Because of this, skinnier boards will move through the water more quickly than wider boards.
For beginners, wide boards are better because they offer more stability. However, even SUP board experts sometimes use boards that are over 30 inches wide, depending on the activity. If you are SUP fishing or practicing yoga positions, a wider board could be the best option for you.
The thickness of the board will determine how firm the board feels. Firm boards are preferred over soft boards because they will hold their shape better and keep you higher out of the water. All the best cheap inflatable paddle boards will be about 6 inches thick to ensure a proper level of rigidity.
On the other hand, the problem with thin paddleboards is that they can sag in the water. Lower quality cheap SUP boards will often bend and drag in the water, which will make it harder to maneuver and paddle the board. The lower you sit in the water, the more energy you will have to use to paddle the board.
A cheap inflatable stand up paddle board that is too thin can mean you are left frustrated because you have to cut your trip short. Top-rated cheap stand up paddle boards should always keep you high on the water and make paddling as easy as possible.
Nose and Tail Rocker
While the nose and tail rocker are not the most important features to consider when choosing affordable paddleboards, but they do make a difference. Cheap SUP boards that have more nose and tail rocker will turn a lot easier and handle choppy water better. If you plan to paddle in waves, a higher rocker is ideal to keep you stable.
Q: What Is The Difference Between A Regular And Inflatable Paddle Board?
There are two main differences between regular and inflatable paddle boards – design and price. Regular paddleboards are made from one solid piece of material (plastic or fiberglass) and can’t be packed. They are larger and heavier than inflatable paddleboards and require accessories like a car roof rack.
Inflatable paddleboards feature a rugged PVC shell filled with air that gives the board its shape. They require electric or hand pumps to be inflated. Due to their packable design, these boards are easier to transport because. Most cheap paddle boards come with SUP board bags that makes carrying even easier.
Finally, the prices can be drastically different between regular and inflatable paddleboards. As we’ve pointed out, regular paddleboards are usually made from high-quality plastic or fiberglass. This makes them durable and sturdy, but also more expensive. On the other hand, cheap paddle boards can keep the price down because they use less material in the construction.
Q: Are Inflatable Paddle Boards Safe?
Yes, inflatable paddle boards are perfectly safe. They are made from rugged plastic that can’t be punctured and use a high inflation pressure to provide you with the rigidity and stability you need on the water. Because of this, you don’t have to worry about the board leaving you in the middle of the lake.
Besides the board itself, some gear and accessories also improve your safety on the water. For example, paddle board leashes will prevent you from getting separated from the board if you fall into the water. If you’re paddle boarding with kids, you should make sure that you use a SUP life vest too. Finally, storing your SUP properly will make it safer on the water, as a clean and maintained board is less likely to break or malfunction.
Q: Does A Low Cost Mean Low Quality?
Not necessarily. As we’ve pointed out when discussing the budget, there are a lot of affordable paddleboards that are still really well-made. The lower cost of a cheap inflatable paddle board versus a regular board doesn’t mean you are stuck with a low-quality board.
The best way to gauge if a cheap Sup is worth the money is to look at reviews. Other paddleboarders can tell you if the investment is worth it and if low cost really does equate to low quality with design. This will help you see whether the cheap stand up paddle board can withstand all the challenges on the water.
Q: How To Store A Paddle Board In Winter?
The best way to store your paddle board in winter is to use a rack. While keeping the board outside is also an option, we recommend that you put the rack inside to avoid any damage that low temperatures might cause.
To securely hold heavy boards and save them from damage, most racks are made with steel frames covered with foam padding. As an alternative, the rack can also be made from wood.
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Q: What Is The Best Stand Up Paddle Board For Beginners?
First of all, it’s important to determine what type of activity you want to do on your paddle board. For example, paddle boards for fishing and yoga often won’t use the same design. Of course, if you want to use the board for recreation and do a little bit of everything, you can always opt for a universal design.
Beginner boards often use this universal design. What this means is that they are wide, stable, and very easy to paddle. In addition, a beginner board should also be padded and comfortable so you can stay on the water for as much as you want.
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As you’ve had the chance to see, cheap paddle boards are an excellent way to get into the world of paddleboarding. The top-rated cheap stand up paddleboards won’t knock too much money out of your pocket, while still providing more than enough excitement to make you fall in love with the sport. We hope that our best budget paddleboards selection helped you find the ideal model that will allow you to make the most out of every paddling adventure.