Why Cheap Inflatable Paddle Boards are Not Necessarily Bad

Are cheap paddle boards any good, or would you rather avoid them altogether and save enough for the costly ones?

In the article that I did some time back on how much do paddle boards cost, I said these things are not cheap!

In fact, I insisted in another post that the sup brands to avoid include the cheapest ones. But this is not always the case. There is always those few or several exceptions.

To get back on track: are cheap paddle boards any good? To this, we give the age-old answer of… it depends. If you are just beginning out to learn paddle boarding, there is no need to get the expensive Easy Eddy 3-Piece Paddle Board. Start with the cheapest SUP board you can find on the market. Later, as you get more skill and experience, you can get a costlier, feature-packed paddle board.

Is it worth buying a cheap paddleboard?

Cheap SUP boards are going to give you good value for money. First, they are cheap, and secondly, they will serve you alright.

However, buying the very cheap boards, perhaps even the used ones might not be a good idea for advanced paddleboarders.

They are good for beginners though because when learning how to enjoy this water sport, the board can be subjected to plenty of abuse.

Therefore, it is no use buying a costly beginner paddleboard. That can wait until you have gained enough skill and experience.

Mostly, the cheap SUP boards are going to be inflatable. If you get one for a beginner, it is going to be extra wide for stability.

If the board is punctured, you can get a glue and patch for SUP repair from Amazon, and get it back to good working order in no time at all.

A cheap new paddle board will cost you anywhere from $100 to $200 from the online marketplaces. Despite the affordable cost, they still come with all the paddle board accessories such as pump, carry bag, SUP paddle, and even the SUP leash.

Of course, used inflatable SUP boards can cost much less than this. But if you will be required to pay $100 for a used one, and you can find a new cheap one at $170, there is no need buying a used one.

What’s the difference between a cheap paddle board and an expensive paddle board?

To some extent, paddle boards are like surfboards. Costlier ones come with more features that enable functions like speed, maneuverability, and so on. Here are the main outstanding differences between cheap and costly paddle boards:

Low weight rating – Paddle boards come with weight rating and the higher, the better, so that you can go SUP-ing with your toddler, dog, or even carry stuff. A paddle board rated for 200 pounds or higher of weight is good.

Poor performance – Performance in paddle boards means the ability to build speed, easy to steer and turn, good for paddle boarding in the river, and stable. The cheaper SUPs will lack all of these. That is why they are cheap.

Lacks the bells and whistles – A costly board will have extra bells and whistles. For instance, it can have a deck mat, which makes the paddle board easy to transport. It can also come with D-Rings that make it easy to secure things on the deck. The cheap ones will not have such features.

The build quality – If it is cheap, then it means the manufacturer is not going to invest a lot in the materials, since they have to make their margin. The costlier boards come with more layers than the cheap ones, so they are more solid, and they last long.

Poor quality accessories – Of course, a SUP board comes as a complete package with leash, SUP and pump. However, just like the build quality, these accessories are not of reliable quality.

Durability – With good care, the costlier stand-up paddle boards are going to last a long time, many years. Of course, the boards will sustain some damage every now and then, but because of the material and build quality, the damage will not be as debilitating.

The size – The cheap boards are definitely going to be smaller, again, because the manufacturer wants to save on the materials. Therefore, you cannot use the SUP board for fishing, and you might not be able to go paddle boarding with your dog.

Is it worth buying your own paddle board?

When I was starting out in stand up paddle boarding, I mulled of the question of buying vs renting a SUP board a great deal.

Part of this was being fueled by the high cost of the SUP boards!

Finally, after a few sessions of paddle boarding in the ocean, I decided to buy. Best decision I ever made in my life.

You see, once you get started in stand up paddle boarding, you will become hooked so easily. It is thrilling. It is a lot of fun learning how to balance on a paddle board, how to climb back on a SUP after falling, and so on.

So yes, it is worth buying a SUP board. You can even have more than one if you like. As for me, I have a solid paddle board, which I use closer back home in California. I also have an inflatable one that I use when we visit with my folks in Michigan every summer. I pack it, toss it into my bag and fly with it.

Renting a paddleboard can be costly, as the rates start at about $25 per hour. Of course, the rate gets lower if you are renting for many hours.

Now, if you will be vacationing by the sea for a week or longer, buying beats renting anytime. This is why I preferred to buy as opposed to renting. I am so glad I did, because by now, I would have used enough money to buy up to 10 paddle boards.

Benefits of cheap SUP boards

 It is not good to dismiss something just because it sells cheaply. Rather, you should look at the features it comes with, and find out whether they are okay for a paddle board. Mostly, they will be basic, but the low price justifies such.

Here are some advantages of cheap paddle boards for sale;

  • The low buying price – anyone can afford
  • They come with all the necessary accessories
  • They are good for beginners to try and hone their skill
  • They can be brand new, and affordable at the same time
  • You get a chance to have a SUP board for keeps rather than a rental

Conclusion: Are cheap SUP boards worth it?

100 percent, they are! When you are low down on the budget, and you want a SUP board that you can call your own, well, you can get the cheap ones.

One of the best of them is the FBSPORT Premium Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board that you can buy on Amazon.com.

Are Cheap Paddle Boards Any Good


This is a feature-rich board that will show you why cheap can be good. It has good build quality, and comes with all the vital accessories.

Also read my previous posts on:

How to paddle a SUP in a straight line

What muscles does paddle boarding work out?

Stand Up Paddle Board Shaky Legs – Why?

What is a characteristic of a Type III lifejacket?

How much do surfboards cost?