9 Best Affordable Paddle Boards in 2020
Stand Up Paddling has become one of the most popular water sports in recent years. There is no lack of reasons to start with SUP. The outdoor sport is not only incredibly fun, but also a great workout for the arm, upper body and deep muscles, which does not feel like a workout at all. Furthermore SUP is easy to learn and something for young and old. From Kinder SUP to SUP for pensioners, there is really everything.
If you have already tried out Stand Up Paddling at a rental station, you might be toying with the idea of getting your own SUP board now. However, the inflatable boards are a considerable investment. Many boards cost many hundreds to over a thousand Euros, but there are also a number of cheap SUP boards, which are the focus of this article.
With the increasing popularity of the board, more and more new manufacturers have been added. The boards of these young brands often cost less and are therefore especially interesting for beginners. In our best list we have listed some of the best cheap SUP boards. The presented models could already convince in practice or in cheap SUP board tests.
The large number of cheap SUP boards makes it difficult especially for beginners to decide for one model (and therefore against the others). Our best list is a first overview of the cheap SUP boards available on the market. In the following we will go into the presented boards in more detail. Afterwards, we will give you some advice on what is important for a good, cheap inflatable SUP board.
The Best Affordable SUP Boards
|SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up|
|Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle|
|Runwave Inflatable Stand Up Paddle|
|Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board -|
|ANCHEER Inflatable Stand Up Paddle|
|Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up|
|Goplus Inflatable Stand Up Paddle|
|Premium Inflatable Stand Up Paddle|
|Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board|
Guide book: Buy a cheap SUP board
Many newcomers do not want to invest huge sums in the new hobby. After all, it is often still uncertain whether the sport is really fun and the board does not end up as a dust catcher after a season. The large selection of available SUP boards, which do not cost much, makes the choice of a certain model quite difficult.
In this guide we will therefore discuss the various differences between the various boards. From different construction methods and how these affect the riding characteristics, to the accessories included in the delivery, to the individual construction classes and additional features, we cover everything that is important to find a really good, affordable SUP board.
A first important finding is that inflatable SUP Boards make up the majority of all boards sold. The exact proportion is not known, but according to various estimates it is between 95% and 98%. The boards, also called “Inflatables”, are also much cheaper to produce than fixed boards.
The lower material costs have a direct effect on a lower price. There is also a wide price range for inflatables. Most inflatable SUP boards cost less than 700€, but there are also many cheap SUP boards for less than 500€. This still sounds like a lot of money at first sight. However, you should keep in mind that this is an investment that you will be making for a long time to come. And in water sports magazines, on the other hand, they only talk about branded boards, which all cost four figures.
For under 500€ there are a lot of good and cheap SUP boards. Some boards cost even less, but in our best list we focus on the best boards with a price of less than 500€.
If you are looking for a SUP board for little money, you shouldn’t look at the well-known water sports brands. Boards from brands like Fanatic, Naish or Mistral often start at 1000€. The focus should rather be on the small manufacturers, which are still largely unknown.
Many manufacturers, who are brand new on the market, offer their models cheaper at the beginning. This way they quickly sell the first SUPs, get them into the hands of athletes and can collect valuable feedback.
However, the low starter prices are not meant to last forever. After only a few weeks, the sellers usually raise the prices. And by the next season at the latest, the prices called up will have adjusted to those of the (low-priced) competition.
The length has a decisive influence on the driving characteristics. In terms of length, however, there is a trade-off between agility, directional stability and speed. For this reason SUP boards are divided into different board classes according to their length.
The common board classes are as follows:
- Kids: 7’0” to 8’6” (238 cm to 258 cm)
- Wave: 9’0” to 9’8” (274 cm to 290 cm)
- Allround: 10′ to 11’5” (304 cm to 330 cm)
- Touring: 11’5” to 12’0” (330 cm to 384 cm)
- Race: 12’0” to 14’0” (384 cm to 427 cm)
For newcomers especially allround boards come into consideration. These boards can be used in many ways and are suitable for lakes, canals, slow flowing rivers and coastal waters with smaller waves. Furthermore allrounders have a high degree of stability against tilting, which makes it easy to keep the balance, especially for beginners.
For an amount of less than 500€ there are also some Touring SUP Boards available. These boards are long and narrow built. Furthermore, Touring Boards have a sportier shape with a pointed nose. This construction allows for higher speeds. On the flip side this makes manoeuvring a little harder and the boards are a little more unstable in the water.
However, the greatest strength of the touring boards is the good straight line tracking. This means that the paddle side needs to be changed less often, which is especially noticeable on longer SUP tours. For newcomers, however, Allround boards remain the better choice. The extra width ensures that the SUP is very safe in the water. Especially at the beginning it is not always easy to keep the balance. The wide Allround SUP boards therefore make the start into water sports easier.
The wider a SUP board is, the more stability it offers. For beginners it is recommended to choose a wider board. A good beginner’s model measures at least 80 cm in width, although this also depends on the ratio to length. If the length of the board is below average, at only three meters, even a 76 cm board is still quite stable.
On the other hand, narrow boards have a lower water resistance, which is why this type of board is faster. For this reason Touring and especially Race SUP boards are very long and at the same time very narrow. Race boards of more than 4.5 meters in length are usually used in competitions, and they are also narrower than a small beginner’s board.
The thickness influences on the one hand the robustness of the board and on the other hand the load capacity of the SUPs. There have already been numerous discussions about the optimal thickness of SUP boards. Over time, a trend can also be easily observed.
The first inflatable SUP boards appeared in Germany in the early 2010s. These first models were mostly 4 inch (10 cm) thick. In practice, however, it was found that these inflatables already sag at an average body weight.
The manufacturers reacted to this problem with two measures. Better production processes were developed to make the models more robust. And the boards were also widened. The current standard is therefore a thickness of 6 inches (15 cm). Even in a SUP Board Test 15 cm thick boards often perform very well.
In recent seasons, it has become apparent that some brands are again experimenting with narrower boards. The thesis is that these boards could have better riding characteristics by offering less water resistance. However, if you are looking for a cheap SUP board, you should still make sure that it is at least 12 cm thick. These boards have been proven to offer the best robustness and therefore provide a very secure stand.
For beginners it is also exciting that many inexpensive SUPs are also supplied in complete sets with lots of accessories. If you are new to Stand Up Paddling, you usually do not have the necessary equipment yet.
For Stand Up Paddling you basically only need a paddle, a leash, a backpack and an air pump. A number of inexpensive SUP boards come with these accessories already included. Special attention must be paid to the leash. The leash is sometimes not included with the purchase and must therefore be purchased additionally.
When riding SUP Leashs are really important. The leashes are attached with one end to the ankle and with the other to the board. If you fall into the water, the board can’t swim away and can become quite fast due to wind, waves and currents. For this reason, a leash is standard equipment for every stand up paddler.
In terms of quality, the included accessories cannot compete with material that is purchased separately. For the beginning, however, the equipment is completely sufficient. Only the paddle is replaced by many people at a later date. Usually the paddles are height adjustable paddles made of aluminium, which is quite heavy.
The paddle movement is repeated a thousand times during a tour. Therefore every gram makes a big difference. In practice, models made of lighter materials like carbon or fibreglass prove to be much better. Also in a SUP Paddle Test paddles made of GFK or carbon paddles are particularly convincing.
FAQ: Frequently asked questions about cheap SUP boards
Do cheap SUP boards have a bad quality?
This is not necessarily the case. The difference between good low-priced models and the most expensive SUP boards of well-known brands is not as big as one would expect. However, the price does not only affect the workmanship and material of the board.
For example, many high-quality SUP boards come with a long warranty. Some manufacturers even go so far as to offer a 5-year warranty for their own products. This is rarely the case with cheap SUP boards.
Another aspect is customer service. While brand manufacturers shine with a fast, accommodating service, this is not always the case with cheap SUPs.
Moreover, with complete sets that already include all or parts of the basic equipment, it is often the case that the accessories included are not exactly the best. Cheap SUPs, for example, usually include heavy aluminium paddles, while more expensive sets include light fibreglass paddles or carbon SUP paddles.
Stand Up Paddling is a great way to spend a day on the water. Compared to other water sports, stand up paddlers need relatively little equipment. Basically all you need is a board, a paddle, a leash and an air pump.
With the large number of boards available, there are now also many cheap SUP boards. So the initial investment doesn’t have to be that big. In terms of quality, the cheap SUP boards are also getting better and better. Especially the models that made it to our best list are a really good choice. These SUPs already convinced in a cheap SUP board test or otherwise in practice.