best budget inflatable paddle board

best budget inflatable paddle board under $300-$400,Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards on the Cheap (2022),I don’t know about you, but I like to save on costs where possible, be it inflatable stand up paddle boards (iSUPs) for example.

  Often times there’s a reason to why they’re cheap (I’ve delved into some of the cost factors in this article). All that makes finding the right one a little tricky. You see, some of them might not have a warranty, they might be poorly documented, poorly constructed, or have no customer support.

Sup Inflatable Pump Paddle Board Racing Inflatable Surfboard 16
Sup Inflatable Pump Paddle Board Racing Inflatable Surfboard 16

  Along with this SUP buying guide (which I really suggest you quickly skim through), let’s have a closer look at those few high value low-cost iSUPs I’ve come across. See which ones you fancy more and check out their corresponding review.

  Before you go any further, let’s be clear about a couple of things when it comes to cheap iSUPs in general. Wouldn’t want you to make a bad decision.

  Although cheap and tempting, these low-cost high value iSUP packages are primarily entry level boards typically aimed at lighter paddlers and not so much for the really big guys nor the highly competitive paddlers (though there are exceptions). These here are more in line for recreational paddling on calmer waters (for the extreme thrill seekers I’d recommend this list of inflatables instead).

  They’re good enough mainly for cruising, but also for some river riding, fishing, yoga, some surfing smaller waves, etc (more about types of SUP activities in this article), and not so much for conquering the killer waves, full-on white water river riding nor racing on a competitive level. And thus they’re almost always classified as “all-around” type of inflatable stand up paddle boards.

Sup Inflatable Pump Paddle Board Racing Inflatable Surfboard 9
Sup Inflatable Pump Paddle Board Racing Inflatable Surfboard 9

  Some of the cheap ones I’ve come across have turned out to be real gems packing an incredible value on the cheap.

  What’s the Difference Between the High Priced and the Low Priced Inflatable SUP Packages?

  Assuming we’re talking about the ALL-AROUND type of iSUP board packages, the difference between the high and low priced SUP packages comes down to the quality of its contents.

  quality of the construction of the board

  quality of the accessory items in the package

  Overall, a higher quality board (usually higher priced as well) is more reliable as it can take a beating and thus lasts longer when compared to a lower quality board. You can take a cheap board a long way by simply doing a little maintenance every now and then – most people simply don’t bother with that and so they simply get a board that lasts exactly as long it takes for certain critical parts to degrade enough over time…

  Note that a higher priced board does not necessarily mean it was higher quality.

  Usually the sellers mention how many layers of what quality PVC layers there are in their inflatable board and in what way they’re constructed. Some of the well-known brands have upped the price by having the layers connected in a more efficient way or by having more layers of PVC whereas the cheaper and smaller brands usually always have just a single layer PVC (even when cheaper ones say they’ve got 2, they mean they’ve got 2 PVC tapes at the rails but not around the entire SUP… Just another way of deceiving you). More layers usually make the board more sturdy (like a hard board) and last longer in the more rough conditions. For general use, a single layer PVC can do just fine.

  Have a look: how much do inflatable SUP cost in general?

  But then comes the additional items in the package like the paddle, pump, ankle leash, backpack, etc. Apart from the board itself, the paddle is another absolutely necessary and the more expensive item in the package. The lower priced packages usually have a lower quality paddle, pump, and backpack. The paddle and the backpack can do the job, but the pump is often what people want to replace entirely by buying an electric pump separately.

  How Do I Find a Cheap Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board That Best Suits My Needs?

  The first question you must answer is what it is you want from paddle boarding. All-around iSUP boards can vary a little bit.

  Are you looking for stability to simply just cruise around calmer waters? Maybe you’re looking for speed to feel the sea breeze or what have you. Perhaps you’re looking to ride the waves or to travel some longer distances instead. What if yoga or fishing were the things you sought after from the start? Perhaps you’re not sure and simply want to do a little of it all (all-around), because that’s an option too! Click here and let this post quickly guide you through the process of finding you your board.

  Best Cheap Inflatable Paddle Boards

If you’re new to stand up paddling, it’s common to go through a bit of sticker shock when shopping for your first board. With hard SUPs and even some inflatables costing upwards of $1000, it’s no surprise that people start to look specifically for ‘cheap’ boards, which is likely what led you here. So, take a deep breath, shake some of that sticker shock, and we’ll guide you through our list of the Best Cheap Paddle Boards of 2022.

Full transparency, we don’t like to use the word cheap to describe any of these boards, because it implies lackluster quality. However, we’ll use that language here because ‘cheap’ is the term that is frequently used when our readers ask us for our suggestions on budget friendly paddle boards. With that said, the SUPs below excelled in all of our tests and we can fully attest to their value.

What Makes The Best Cheap Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)?
Before we dive head first into our list, I wanted to provide a bit of background about how we decide a ‘cheap’ SUP belongs on this list. While we are looking to keep the boards on this list below a certain price point, we’re also looking beyond that, to recommend to you boards that are durable, fun to paddle on, and backed by solid companies that care about the SUP community and their customers.

The boards below go above and beyond to fit these criteria and we work personally with the founders of each, so we can attest to the fact that they are doing their best to better serve their customers and our readers. What we love most about each of these companies is that they carefully listen to our and our readers’ feedback and work that into changes on the next model. With that in mind, if you have questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to send them our way to pass along to these brands. We can all play a part in growing and advancing this sport in a way that is accessible to all.

Having said all of that, below you’ll find our list of the Best Cheap/affordable SUPs of 2022!

  Important Tips for Buying and Enjoying the Best Cheap SUPs:

  When it comes to a cheap/entry-level SUP, there are a few other major factors or tips to consider that will help you make the most out of your paddleboard. Whether you go with one of the SUPs on our list or buy one on your own, consider the following factors:

  Good accessories go a long way. This is especially important for ‘cheap’ paddle boards. Having quality accessories that perform well can make or break your SUP experience. This means keeping an eye out for kits that include a double chamber hand pump, and a carbon fiber or carbon fiber blend paddle, as well as a great backpack (even better if it has wheels).

  Experience leads to better performance: Let’s face it, nothing is fun when you’re struggling to learn. Look for a SUP that won’t work against you when it comes to stability or maneuverability. Look for SUPs that are wide enough (30”-34”) to help you stay on your feet while you’re learning to paddle. As you improve, you’ll be able to make your board perform better in terms of tracking and speed. Patience is key; don’t make extreme judgement on your board’s performance until you get more comfortable in your skills.

  Check the weather and know your environment: If you’re a beginner paddler, a common mistake is to underestimate how much wind can affect your performance. What feels like a mild breeze on land can put a huge damper on your paddling experience. As a general rule of thumb 10mph winds are usually the cut-off between safe and unsafe paddling conditions, but 7mph is typically when it’ll cause more difficulty. Also keep in mind that inflatables and lightweight boards tend to get pushed around more in the wind than heavier hard SUPs.

  Wear the leash, and bring a PFD too: Nearly every SUP we’ve recommended comes with a leash, and we highly recommend wearing it to keep your board from floating out of reach if you fall off. Always remember to bring a PFD out when you’re paddling as well! Wearing the leash will keep your SUP close, but it won’t help you float if you fall off. In order to stay safe, bring a PFD with you, or better yet, wear it, even in shallow or calm water.

  Get wet and have fun: Eventually, you’re going to fall off your paddleboard. That’s fine; in fact, that’s part of the paddleboarding experience! Try not to take yourself too seriously, especially while learning. Our favorite thing about ‘cheap’ paddle boards is that they make this sport accessible to more people, and with that comes more good times on the water.

  All-around SUPs are jack of all trade paddleboards, meaning that they do nearly everything well, but don’t excel in one specific trait. Buying an all-around gives exceptional stability, tracking, maneuverability, and overall performance without having to spend too much money on a dedicated or performance SUP. Having an all-around is especially great for beginners still trying to find their niche.

  Affordability: Compared to specialized performance SUPs, all-arounds tend to have a more manageable price tag. This is because specialized SUPs, especially in the racing category, are constructed with high quality materials for optimal performance

  Beginner skill-level friendly: All-around SUPs will typically be shorter, wider, and more rounded than specialized performance SUPs. As a result, they’re more stable on the water and are ideal for beginners still learning how to balance and paddle correctly.

  Included gear kits: All-around boards will often, if not always, include all the necessary gear you need to get out on the water. This is especially beneficial for beginners that don’t have an arsenal of paddles, leashes, fins, and pumps as someone moving onto a performance of specialized SUP would.

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards Surfboard W/complete Kit SUP Paddelboard Surf Surf Board 12
Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards Surfboard W/complete Kit SUP Paddelboard Surf Surf Board 12

Having researched 2022’s inflatable SUP market situation, there are loads more that unfortunately, for one reason or another, I didn’t quite include in this best budget inflatable SUP article. Some of them can still be a great option for you, most however tend to be not so great…

Conclusion: ‘Cheap’ is not synonymous with poor quality or performance
As we said at the start of this post, we don’t like to use the word “cheap” to describe any of the boards on this list. Each of these boards is constructed to last and performs well in the water even in comparison to some premium boards on the market.

While the initial sticker shock while shopping for stand up paddleboards is overwhelming, our best advice would be to give one of the above boards on our list a shot, or look for used boards with the help of our buyer guide. However, if your budget is a bit higher or you need a bit more in performance than entry level boards can offer, head over to our list of the best inflatable stand up paddleboards.

As always, thanks for sticking with us through our list of the best cheap SUPs of 2022. Be safe, have fun, and happy paddling!

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