10 Best Cheap Paddle Boards (2021)
Definitive Guide [New Research]

Step into the Exciting World of Paddle Boarding Find the Perfect Combination of Value and Performance Right Here

SereneLife Free-Flow 10’6 iSUP
topnotchoutdoor award

Feath-R-Lite Paddle Board
topnotchoutdoor award

Bluefin Cruise 10’8 iSUP
35

Models Reviewed

126

Hours Of
Research

132

Field Test
Hours

54

Users
Surveyed

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This is the Ultimate TopNotch review of the best cheap paddle boards of 2021.

We recently researched and tested ten paddleboards in the market to choose the very best options for buyers on a budget.

Our goal?

To offer you the best choices for a versatile board that works well on all types of water surfaces.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the following: 

  • The three best paddle boats for budget buyers
  • A side by side comparison of the best models
  • The FAQs that matter

Lots more…

When you’re looking for the best value for money options, we have them listed right here for you.

So let’s get the ball rolling…

Table Of Contents

For occasional paddlers, buying an expensive stand-up paddleboard might not be a practical option.

Now, there are plenty of cheap paddleboards that may appear attractive at first glance.

But you’re afraid that they won’t offer the right quality.

To be honest, considering the quality and performance, we wouldn’t recommend most of these boards for professional use.

So does that mean you need to break the bank to have some fun on the water?

Not necessarily.

There are a few paddleboards that offer outstanding performance for newbies and casual paddlers. And the best part is, they don’t come with a high price tag.

But when it comes to selecting these few right ones from a wide range of options- let’s say things get a bit tricky.

And it’s not just about the technical aspects. There are plenty of products churned out by unreliable brands with no quality control.

So allow us to make things easy for you.

This time, the TopNotch team set out to pick the best cheap board that will allow you to enjoy activities like SUP Yoga, SUP surfing, fishing, or group paddling.

The lovely setting of Lake Tahoe was our backdrop as we team-checked the quality, performance, and comfort levels of 10 iSUP boards that we selected from the market.

We tested out the details of each product based on the metrics chosen by our team of experts.

Honestly, it was not as easy as it sounds- but our team loves doing this stuff.

As usual, we chose three of the best inflatable paddle boards as the TopNotch toppers.

Beyond that, we also checked the other options that offer high quality without a blazing hot price tag.

And all these options are listed right here for you.

Want to learn about them?

Let’s get down to business.

Cheap Paddle Boards

Best Cheap Stand Up Paddle Board

1 – SereneLife Free-Flow 10’6 iSUP

Editors Choice Award Winner
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Value for Money
8
Stability
8
Durability
7
Maneuverability
8
Transportation
7
Overall Score
76
  • Manufacturer: Serenelife
  • Dimensions: 10.6’ x 32 “
  • Thickness: 6 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 275 pounds
  • Weight: 19.6 pounds
  • Accessory Bundle: Paddle, manual pump, safety leash, storage bag

Bottom Line : A fully equipped paddleboard that makes it easy to get out and have fun on the water

Pros


  • Light and durable board
  • Good stability
  • Soft and anti-slip top deck
  • A versatile package

Cons


  • Not built for speed
  • Lacks carrying handles

Serenelife has done a great job here. In terms of performance, it stood out from the competitors.

And when you look at the price tag- quite simply, a great deal.

It comes in multiple colors. If you want a vibrant-looking paddleboard, you’ll love it.

Quite simply, the overall durability is TopNotch at this price point.

The double-layered fabric is highly resistant to punctures and scratches. 

Next, we come to stability.

Considering the shorter length, the overall stability isn’t class-leading. But the square tail helps you to maintain the right balance.

Also, the board has a long center fin. That adds to the overall stability.

However, the square tail and the round nose doesn’t make it the best choice in the speed department.

At the same time, that adds to the maneuverability. It’ll take a sharp turn with the least effort.

Coming to the accessories, they aren’t premium grade. But good enough for beginners to enjoy an occasional ride or two.

What else?

The board rolls up into a compact package that’s easy to handle. We packed all the accessories neatly into the backpack. 

All in all, a travel-friendly package.

The supplied pump is well-built, and it fills up the SUP in a short time.

In short…

… it’s a complete package that offers newbie paddlers all that they need.

In the end, it checked all the right boxes to emerge as the TopNotch Editor’s Choice.

Best Cheap Stand Up Paddle Board

Best Inexpensive Pink Inflatable Paddleboard

2 –  Feath-R-Lite Paddle Board

Best Value Award Winner
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Value for Money
9
Stability
7
Durability
8
Maneuverability
7
Transportation
8
Overall Score
78
  • Manufacturer: Feath-R-Lite
  • Dimensions: 10’x32″
  • Thickness: 6 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 220 pounds
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 15 psi
  • Accessory Bundle: Leash, manual pump, waterproof pouch, backpack, fin.

Bottom Line : An affordable board that’s great for casual use

Pros


  • Ultra-light design
  • Great build quality
  • Removable three fin system
  • Easy to inflate
  • Travel-friendly design

Cons


  • Not suitable for choppy waters
  • Not for heavyweight paddlers

In most cases, picking the Best Value Choice is somewhat complicated.

But this paddleboard from Feath-R-Lite made the choice easy for us.

And the reason is…

It combines a simple design and the essential features to offer good performance in a value for money package.

To start with, the board has a durable design that is anti-UV and scrape resistant.

Moreover, it’s got an extra PVC layer of board rails for better durability.

Even then, it’s one of the lightest boards we tested. At just 17.6 pounds, carrying it around is a breeze.

The overall stability levels are adequate, thanks to the triple fin arrangement.

But keep in mind, it’s not suited to tackle heavy waves.

One more thing…

We felt that the stability of shallow water is best at a pressure of 12-13 psi.

The easy to use air valve makes deflation a quick job.

It isn’t designed for heavy loads. But at this price point, we aren’t complaining.

You get all the necessary accessories here. 

Strictly speaking, they aren’t the best choice for professionals. But casual paddlers will have no problems while having some weekend fun.

You also get a waterproof bag for your cell phone. We wouldn’t advise carrying it along, though.

Also, the backpack is large enough to pack all the bits and pieces of accessories.

On the whole, the price versus performance is the best among all the paddle boards we tested.

Best Budget Paddle Board

3 – Bluefin Cruise 10’8 iSUP

Top Pick Award Winner
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Value for Money
7
Stability
8
Durability
9
Maneuverability
7
Transportation
8
Overall Score
78
  • Manufacturer: Bluefin
  • Dimensions: 10’8 x 33”
  • Thickness: 6 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 287 pounds
  • Accessory Bundle: Travel backpack, dual-action pump, coiled leg leash, kayak conversion kit, repair kit, adjustable paddle

Bottom Line : An all-rounder that offers TopNotch performance for beginners as well as experienced paddlers.

Pros


  • Excellent durability
  • All-round performance
  • Heat-welded side rails
  • Good range of accessories
  • 5-year warranty

Cons


  • No front handle
  • Slightly large for small paddlers

Let’s be honest. We love it when brands deliver a versatile package at an affordable price.

Now, this high-quality iSUP from Bluefin brings a lot to the table.

Firstly, you get a Denier Exo surface with a drop-stitch weave.

That allows the SUP to withstand a high pressure of 28 psi.

The pointed nose and the squared tail provides solid stability even on choppy waters.

Even with strong winds and a choppy surface, the board handled like a champ. 

Keep in mind, the longer length also adds to the stability factor.

Overall, it’s one of the best affordable paddle boards for heading out in the ocean. What we loved is the perfect balance of balance and agility.

Here’s something else-  the Croco-Diamond deck pad that makes the deck superbly comfortable.

Out of the three fins, only the center fin is removable. But the combination allows the board to glide smoothly through all types of surfaces.

The rigid structure also makes it easy to maneuver.

Other than that, Bluefin adds some excellent features- neoprene carry handles, a GoPro mount, and plenty of D-rings.

And the best part is…

The board also comes with a kayak conversion kit. In a few simple steps, you can make it even more versatile.

The paddle can also be converted into a kayak paddle.

The double-action pump offers TopNotch efficiency. It did a great job of filling up the board quickly.

That said, this is one of the heaviest paddle boards in this category. If you want ultra-light portability, look elsewhere.

For TopNotch all-round performance in all conditions, you can’t go wrong with this board.  In our final ratings, it was the numero uno – the TopNotch Top Pick.

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Best Adventure Affordable Inflatable Paddleboard

4 – FunWater Adventure Paddleboard

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Value for Money
8
Stability
7
Durability
7
Maneuverability
6
Transportation
7
Overall Score
35
  • Manufacturer: Funwater
  • Dimensions: 11’ x 33”
  • Thickness: 6 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
  • Weight: 18.9 pounds
  • Accessory Bundle: Triple fins, leash, carry bag, repair kit, 10l dry bag

Bottom Line : An entry-level SUP with a durable and lightweight design

Pros


  • Wide shape
  • Good weight capacity
  • Ideal for families
  • Lightweight design
  • Offers good value

Cons


  • Not a fast board
  • Lack of storage space

The thing is, long SUPs have their advantages. That includes good stability and more surface area.

Funwater offers a budget-friendly package that’s lightweight and a lot of fun.

Also, it’s pretty broad –  one of the widest in this category. That should have made it a very stable board, but…

The aggressive sidecut and the narrow nose makes it slightly less stable. However, it’s good enough for newbie paddlers on calm waters.

Even intermediate paddlers will enjoy riding it through the waves.

At the same time, the large dimension gives it a large turning radius. I have to add, maneuverability isn’t one of the strengths of this board.

Still, it’s versatile enough for a wide range of on-water activities.

In terms of construction, you get drop-stitch PVC material. The deck pad is lined with EVA foam that offers a good grip.

The good news is, the larger size doesn’t make this a heavy board. It packs up neatly in the supplied backpack,

But though it’s lightweight, we would have preferred a carry handle at the front and rear end for easy handling.

Apart from that, the efficiency of the pump isn’t the best. You’ll need to work out hard when going above 12 psi.

While it’s a perfect recreational board, the cargo space is limited. So you won’t be carrying much gear on it.

Overall, the quality and performance were good enough to make a decent choice at an affordable price.

Best Low-Cost Paddle Board

5 – Aquaplanet 10ft 6″ Pace

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Value for Money
6
Stability
7
Durability
8
Maneuverability
7
Transportation
6
Overall Score
67
  • Manufacturer: Aquaplanet
  • Dimensions: 10’6” x 31”
  • Thickness: 6”
  • Weight Capacity: 120 kg
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 15 psi
  • Accessory Bundle: Hand pump w/pressure gauge, repair kit, rucksack, coiled leash, waterproof kit bag

Bottom Line : A durable and dependable performer in a wide range of surfaces

Pros


  • Great build quality
  • Premium grade valve
  • Good stability
  • Easy to inflate
  • 5 l kit bag

Cons


  • On the heavier side
  • Lack of storage space

Undoubtedly, this is one of the most attractive looking boards on our list. The sleek design also makes it a good choice for lightweight paddlers.

What about the build quality?

There’s a reinforced drop stitch construction with military-grade PVC. Quite simply one of the best in this category.

But that’s not all…

There’s also an inner stability band that adds to the overall rigidity. 

All in all, this is an iSUP that will handle abuse without batting an eyelid.

Keep in mind, at slightly above 24 pounds; it’s not the lightest board on our list. Nor is it the fastest.

The overall stability was acceptable. The triple fins do a decent job of cutting through waves.

However, it does get wobbly when the conditions turn choppy.

But that doesn’t matter for learners and families out for fun on calm waters.

The diamond cut deck pad is extremely comfortable- perfect for SUP yoga.

There are extra D-rings that allow you to fit a kayak seat—a nice touch.

Now, the accessories supplied were a mixed lot.

The dual stroke pump did a great job of speeding up the inflation process. But the quality of the carry bag wasn’t the best.

Overall, this is a good board for beginners. But the price to performance ratio wasn’t the best in this category.

Best Low Cost Paddle Board

Best Beginner Budget Inflatable SUP

6 – Aleko PBS01 Paddleboard

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Value for Money
6
Stability
7
Durability
8
Maneuverability
7
Transportation
5
Overall Score
66
  • Manufacturer: Aleko
  • Dimensions: 10’x31″
  • Thickness: 6 inches
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 25-27 psi
  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Accessory Bundle: Pump with pressure gauge, storage bag, repair kit, ankle-safety cuff

Bottom Line : A durable board that falls short in terms of portability

Pros


  • Great build quality
  • Premium grade valve
  • Good stability
  • Easy to inflate
  • 5 l kit bag

Cons


  • A heavyweight
  • The paddle doesn’t float

This SUP from Aleko combines a simple design with good stability. 

Frankly, it’s not the best choice for gliding through waves. But in calm and shallow waters, it’s a dependable choice.

It’s a good option for beginners as it offers a very stable platform. The shorter length also makes it easy to maneuver and take quick turns if needed.

The triple fins help it to glide smoothly through smaller waves.  We wouldn’t recommend it for heavy waves, though.

The combination of drop stitched polyester and PVC material makes the board highly durable. It will easily resist scrapes and bumps without leaking.

The thing is…

At 35 pounds, this is a hefty board. On top of that, Aleko offers only one central handle for carriage.

You simply can’t share the load with someone else.

On the other hand, the generous storage area at the front is a welcome addition.

What about the accessories?

The aluminum paddle isn’t the best in terms of durability. Neither is the storage bag.

However, the supplied pump delivers a steady airflow. But it does take a long time to inflate it to the desired 25 psi.

This iSUP is a decent performer. We only wish it was more portable.

Best Cheap Paddle Board Inflatable

 7 – Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

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Value for Money
8
Stability
8
Durability
7
Maneuverability
7
Transportation
6
Overall Score
72
  • Manufacturer: Tower
  • Weight: 25 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.4’x32″x6″
  • Fin configuration: 2+1
  • Capacity: 350 pounds
  • Accessory Bundle: A handhold, strap, a roll-up, carrying strap, SUP pump, fiberglass, paddle

Bottom Line : A durable board that falls short in terms of portability

Pros


  • Good build quality
  • A versatile design
  • Glides well
  • Full range of accessories
  • Removable center fin

Cons


  • On the heavier side
  • Accessories aren’t the best

What caught our attention was Goosehill marks this SUP as a professional grade.

So we checked out the details.

The first thing is the SCE layer of reinforcement technology. Interestingly, it’s called Rainbow R construction.

Drop-stitch technology adds to the overall stiffness and can withstand high pressure.

Note that it’s not a light board by any means. Not the best choice for one-handed use- especially when it has just one center handle.

But the good thing is, this iSUP can handle a super-heavy load of 551 pounds. That’s great for the entire family.

We tested it under light choppy conditions. The board handled very well, and the stability levels were impressive.

But here’s the rub…

Under heavier loads, the maneuverability wasn’t so impressive.

However, at this price point, we aren’t complaining.

Also, the EVA deck pad prevented slipping. There are D-rings to support all the gear.

The “3rd Generation Pump” does an excellent job of filling up the board in a short time.

And one more thing…

The Goosehill Magic Backpack was too long. Also, it lacked the right level of rigidity.

There’s also a 3-year service that Goosehill delivers with the package. That’s something we appreciate.

On the whole, it’s not among the best in this category—still, a good choice for SUP fishing, yoga, and paddling.

Best Cheap Surfing Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard

 8 – Vilano Journey Inflatable SUP 

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Value for Money
8
Stability
7
Durability
7
Maneuverability
7
Transportation
8
Overall Score
74
  • Manufacturer: Vilano
  • Dimension: 10’ x 31.5”
  • Thickness: 6 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 240 pounds
  • Weight: 25 pounds
  • Accessory Bundle: Manual pump, removable shoulder strap, leash, action camera mount, mini dry bag, backpack.

Bottom Line : An entry-level board with some useful features, good enough for calm waters

Pros


  • Good build quality
  • A rigid board
  • A comfortable deck pad
  • A shoulder strap

Cons


  • On the heavier side
  • No repair kit

There aren’t many cheap all-rounder boards. This iSUP board from Vilano is one of them.

In terms of build quality, there’s Korean drop-stitch construction with high-quality PVC construction.

Vilano offers plenty of D-rings along with a bungee cord.

However… that makes its deck a bit crowded with hardware. Not so good for yoga enthusiasts.

At 25 pounds, it’s on the heavier side. But make no mistake about it…

The board can handle calm waters like a champ. The single fin also helps the board to track well.

Stability levels were good even at high loads.

By contrast, the performance suffers on waves. The overall responsiveness isn’t the best on choppy waters.

What’s more, the board comes with a shoulder strap. That’s good for carrying the SUP around.

We wish more stand up paddle boards will incorporate that.

Among the accessories, the pump and the aluminum paddle performed well in our tests.

In any case, this iSUP board isn’t the best in any particular category. But on the whole, it’s an excellent entry-level package.

And at this price, it’s one of those SUP boards that offer great value.

Inflatable Stand up Paddleboard

Best All-around Affordable Inflatable SUP

 9 – Goplus Paddleboard

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Value for Money
6
Stability
7
Durability
6
Maneuverability
7
Transportation
7
Overall Score
66
  • Manufacturer: Goplus
  • Dimensions: 10’ x 30”
  • Thickness: 6 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 265 pounds
  • Weight: 18 lbs(10 feet), 20 lbs(11 feet)
  • Accessory Bundle: Carry bag, fin, manual pump, and repair kit

Bottom Line : A colorful iSUP board – suitable for both beginner and intermediate levels.

Pros


  • Good build quality
  • A rigid board
  • A comfortable deck pad
  • A shoulder strap

Cons


  • On the heavier side
  • No leash supplied

At first glance, this stand up paddleboard gave us a good first impression.

Here is how it performed in our tests.

In terms of build quality, there are top-grade materials, including EVA and drop-stitch construction. However, the overall rigidity isn’t the best in this class.

A few long term users also reported issues with durability.

The iSUP is available in two lengths- 10 and 11 feet. A longer stand up paddleboard might be more advantageous for some families.

The board can pick up decent speed on flat water. Maneuverability isn’t the best, though.

Also, at higher loads, the iSUP gets a bit shaky.

But don’t get me wrong.

Overall stability levels aren’t bad. Lightweight paddlers won’t face any issues while handling the board. 

Thanks to the combination of one center and two side fins, the board tracks well.

Unfortunately, the paddleboard takes a long time to inflate. The air delivery of the pump isn’t the best.

What’s more, the backpack feels cheap. Handle it carefully if you want it to last long.

We would recommend this board package to any beginner or occasional rider. It’s just that the overall quality and performance isn’t on par with our top rankers.

Best Cheap Paddle Board

 10 – Dama Fly Line 10’6 iSUP

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Value for Money
7
Stability
6
Durability
7
Maneuverability
7
Transportation
8
Overall Score
70
  • Manufacturer: Dama
  • Dimensions: 10’6” x 33”
  • Thickness: 6 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 260 pounds
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Accessory Bundle: Dual-action pump, 5L waterproof bag, waterproof mobile-phone cover, safety leash, shoulder strap, backpack, repair kit

Bottom Line : An entry-level  iSUP that has the right levels of stability and durability

Pros


  • A good looking board
  • Great for kids and lightweight users
  • A comfortable deck pad
  • A shoulder strap

Cons


  • On the heavier side
  • No leash supplied

If you’re looking for a board for lightweight paddlers and kids, this is a decent choice.

The slightly shorter length also makes it easy to handle. 

Now, the weight limit is marked as 352 pounds. But strictly speaking, the stability is best within 220-250 pounds.

In fact, within that range, the stability levels are one of the best in the entry-level category.

That said, it’s best for calm waters. But it can handle slight currents and choppy conditions.

The dual layers of military-grade PVC with drop-stitch construction makes the board durable enough.

There are 12 D rings – you can attach a kayak seat to this iSUP.  Also, dual bungee cords provide plenty of storage space.

At 24 pounds, it isn’t ultra-light.

But we liked the additional carry handle at the rear end of the board. Not to forget there’s a shoulder strap. 

That makes it a breeze to carry around.

Inflation takes some time and effort. But frankly, that’s one aspect common in all paddleboards in this range.

It packs the full range of accessories. The overall quality is average and doesn’t stand out among the competition.

On the whole, this inflatable paddle board is a decent quality board that offers good value.

Check Out This Best Cheap Paddle Board Buyers Guide From TopNotch

Why Trust Us?

Choosing an outdoor product for the first time can be challenging. Sorting, comparing, evaluating – there are many steps to it.

Odds are you might miss the particular product that perfectly suits your purpose.

And the truth is, finding reliable information isn’t an easy task.

That’s why the TopNotch team is here to support you in the best possible manner,

We love the outdoors. So for the TopNotch team, testing outdoor sports products is just another day in the office ( with some extra layers of fun).

And here’s the most critical part.

All our reviewers have decades of outdoor experience under their belt. On top of that, we have special guests on our review trips. They specialize in particular areas related to the product.

The result?

We can filter out any false claims or factual errors from the product details. 

In the end, our reviews give you accurate data with no compromises.

It was no different this time. To help you choose the best paddleboards, we started in the beautiful setting of Lake Tahoe.

Then we headed to Cowell Beach, Santa Cruz, for the next stage.

From the striking beauty of the lake to the vibrant coast- it was a breezy trip.

Our experts tested each of the inflatable paddle boards under the various metrics.

Then it was time to collate the data and rate the products as per their performance.

As usual, our back-office team played a vital role in assimilating the data and fine-tuning the details.

The next stage – arguments and debates (mainly about the products1) over a zillion cups of coffee.

Finally, we had the best cheap SUP boards lined up for you.

What we want is for you to have the best outdoor experience. 

That’s what the TopNotch team strives for.

.

Skip Buyer’s Guide – Go to Analysis, Comparisons & Ratings
Cheap Paddle Boards

Frequently Asked Questions

Q Are cheap paddleboards any good?

In general, paddleboards priced between $300 to $500 are the lower-end options. The fact is it isn’t the

best choice to spend a lot on your first iSUP. So a cheap paddleboard can be a great way to start your paddling

adventures. 

However, you shouldn’t buy something that will break down within a few months. It’s best to check the factors like

warranty, quality, and design before picking a product. Once you balance the pros and cons, choosing the right

product is more straightforward.

Q. Why are paddleboards so expensive?

The price of a high-quality paddleboard can be much higher than £1000. The design of a paddleboard

depends on various factors. These boards are also bigger than surfboards. So they require more material. That

translates into higher costs in terms of production. 

Apart from that, accessories like paddles and pumps increase the cost. Also, the distribution system of these boards

has multiple tiers, including retailers and wholesalers. That adds to the overall cost too.

Q. Is a paddleboard worth it?

In reality, paddleboarding is a sport that’s riding the popularity wave. And inflatable paddle boards offer

a significant advantage when it comes to storing and transporting. For beginners, these boards provide the right

level of versatility and durability. Moreover, these boards can also be repaired when damaged.

Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results

Value For Money 

The truth is when we invest our hard-earned cash in something, we expect solid returns. 

These cheap paddleboards come in a wide price range. And there are slight variations in terms of design, quality, and performance.

Thanks to our experienced testers, we were able to note these aspects and judge the overall performances.

In the end…

… it all about striking the right balance between the price and performance.

So your final choice will be down to what you need within the budget.

How did our SUPs perform under this metric?

Let’s take a look.

Feath-R-Lite Paddle Board
9
SereneLife Free-Flow 10’6 iSUP
8
FunWater Adventure Paddleboard
8
Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
8
Vilano Journey Inflatable SUP
8
Bluefin Cruise 10’8 iSUP
7
Dama Fly Line 10’6 SUP
7
Aquaplanet 10ft 6″ Pace
6
Aleko PBS01 Paddleboard
6
Goplus Paddleboard
6

The Feath-R-Lite paddle board stands at the top of the list. Being the TopNotch Best Value Pick it’s undoubtedly the winner in this category.

The SereneLife Free-Flow, FunWater Adventure, and the Goosehill inflatable board scored the same under this metric. Their price versus performance stood out from the rest of the products.

One SUP  that took us by surprise was the Vilano Journey. It wasn’t the best performer in any particular metric. But as a complete package, it offers solid value.

Next, the Bluefin Cruise is one of the best boards you can pick. But it’s priced slightly higher than the competitors. This is one metric in which it scored less.

The Dama Fly Line is an excellent choice for beginners. However, it lacked a bit in the accessories department.

The rest of the stand-up paddleboards didn’t fare much so well under this metric. 

The product from Aquaplanet came with a relatively high price. So we expected the performance to be better than it turned out in the tests.

We gave a thumbs up to the durability of the paddleboard from Aleko. But a few shortcomings pushed it to the end of the chart.

Stability

To get the tricks of paddling right, you need a stable platform. So, stability is one aspect that any beginner wouldn’t compromise with. 

The stability of a board depends on multiple factors. These include the dimensions, the nose and tail shape, and also the weight.

Also, the construction method – the number of layers of PVC used- is also a deciding factor.

You’d have to say, getting this complex equation right isn’t easy.

Honestly, we weren’t expecting top-class stability from the boards at this price point. Still, some of them did leave us impressed with their performance.

Here’s a more detailed look.

SereneLife Free-Flow 10’6 iSUP
8
Bluefin Cruise 10’8 iSUP
8
Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
8
Feath-R-Lite Paddle Board
7
FunWater Adventure Paddleboard
7
Aquaplanet 10ft 6″ Pace
7
Vilano Journey Inflatable SUP
7
Aleko PBS01 Paddleboard
7
Goplus Paddleboard
7
Dama Fly Line 10’6 iSUP
6

Most of the boards turned out as average performers in this category. They were decent performers in calm waters and handled small waves well.

But none of them felt good in choppy conditions. 

This included the FunWater Adventure, Aquaplanet, and the Vilano Journey paddleboards.

The Vilano Journey performed well at higher loads. But it couldn’t handle the waves when we hit the surf.

The board from Dama ended up in the last place. But we didn’t find it striking the right weight balance for the best stability.

Coming to the top performers, the SereneLife Free-Flow and the Bluefin Cruise emerged as the toppers. 

Interestingly…

… the Goosehill was another SUP that performed equally well. The solid construction and the excellent load capacity works in its favor.

Among the toppers, the Feath-R-Lite SUP scored low under this metric. Being ultralight, it’s not the most stable choice for water sports.

Durability

As we have already said…

Picking a cheap SUP doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice the durability aspect.

We weren’t expecting premium levels of build quality or accessories like a fiberglass paddle from entry-level boards.

Even then, the build and quality of materials of these stand up paddleboards were pretty good.

A few were better than the rest. The result is – they could handle high pressure.

Beyond that, we also checked the quality of the accessories, fins, and hardware.

Keep in mind they are critical for a good paddleboarding experience.

And quite a few boards fell short in that department.

Here are the scores.

Bluefin Cruise 10’8 iSUP
9
SereneLife Free-Flow 10’6 iSUP
8
Aquaplanet 10ft 6″ Pace
8
Aleko PBS01 Paddleboard
8
Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
7
Feath-R-Lite Paddle Board
7
Vilano Journey Inflatable SUP
7
Vilano Journey Inflatable SUP
7
Dama Fly Line 10’6 SUP
7
Goplus Paddleboard
6

The Bluefin cruise emerges as the topper. The superb construction ensures TopNotch durability and a premium feel.

The Serenelife board put up a good fight. The high-quality double-layered fabric was admired by our team of experts.

Performing equally well were the paddleboards from Aquaplanet and Aleko. The multiple layers of PVC material used easily shrugged off scrapes and bumps.

All these boards could take rough handling well enough.

Now, things go slightly south in the next stage. 

It turns out…

The Goosehill and the Feath-R-Lite SUP are made well but lacked quality in the accessories department.

The Vilano and the Dama Fly Line were good but not on par with the toppers.

Lastly, the Goplus paddleboard sits at the end of the chart. The reason?

Low rigidity of the board and the poor quality backpack.

Paddle Boards Durability

Maneuverability

Imagine what it would be like to ride a paddleboard that isn’t responsive. It’s no fun.

Among the many factors affecting this, the most important ones are- size, design, fins, and weight.

Do narrow SUPs offer better maneuverability?

That’s right.

But they are less stable and best suited for professional riders.

Then again, some of the most stable boards aren’t the super maneuverable ones.

All the paddleboards that we tested are medium-sized. So they are between 9 and 12 feet long.

That doesn’t make them very fast. But they’re versatile for a variety of recreational activities.

This is how the boards performed.

Bluefin Cruise 10’8 iSUP
8
Feath-R-Lite Paddle Board
8
SereneLife Free-Flow 10’6 SUP
8
Dama Fly Line 10’6 iSUP
7
Vilano Journey Inflatable SUP
7
Goplus Paddleboard
7
Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
7
Aquaplanet 10ft 6″ Pace
7
Aleko PBS01 Paddleboard
7
FunWater Adventure Paddleboard
6

Strictly speaking, the performance of most of the boards we tested was average under this metric.

The toppers in our chart occupy the top three spots. They are shaped and designed to be maneuverable under heavy loads.

Even in choppy waters, their performance was better than the rest of the competition.

The remaining boats in the list delivered a decent performance under this metric.

They weren’t super agile or took fast turns. But the overall maneuverability was good enough for beginners.

The thing is…

None of them performed well on choppy waters.

By contrast, the Goosehill board delivered a good performance in choppy conditions. But the maneuverability suffered at higher loads.

The FunWater Adventure scored the least marks under this metric.

 It tracked well. But the overall maneuverability wasn’t on par with the competitors.

Transportation

This is one significant advantage of inflatable boards.

Being such space savers, carrying them around and storage is a breeze.

But even then, they’re not all equally portable.

The overall weight does play an essential role in portability.

Note that we considered the quality of the carrying handles on the deck pads and the supplied backpack.

Why do I say this?

Balancing large paddleboards while walking around isn’t easy. And a good quality carry bag really makes a lot of difference to the user experience.

Feath-R-Lite Paddle Board
8
SereneLife Free-Flow 10’6 iSUP
8
Vilano Journey Inflatable SUP
8
Dama Fly Line 10’6 iSUP
8
Bluefin Cruise 10’8 iSUP
7
FunWater Adventure Paddleboard
7
Goplus Paddleboard
7
Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
6
Aquaplanet 10ft 6″ Pace
6
Aleko PBS01 Paddleboard
5

To start with, we have the Feath-R-Lite paddleboard at the top spot. Being lightweight, it’s super easy to carry around. The high-quality backpack makes portability even better.

The SereneLife Free-Flow scores the same with its compact dimensions. We had no complaints about the quality of the backpack.

The Vilano Journey and the Dama Fly Line scored equally well in the second spot. They both fold up in a compact shape. 

What we loved is the addition of the shoulder strap – a convenient feature.

Coming next, our Top Pick, the Bluefin Cruise – a true heavyweight in this category. Despite its excellent features, it’s not a portable option.

The FunWater board is one of the longest that we tested. It wasn’t comfortable carrying it around with just a single center handle. 

The Goosehill and the Aquaplanet boards lacked a quality carry bag.

The Aleko board was one of the heaviest ones that we tested. No wonder it stood at the bottom of the chart under this metric.

Our Final Verdict: Best Cheap Paddle Boards (SUP)

So it all adds up to this.

We have all ten of the cheapest paddle boards lined up for you based on their performance.

Our reviews are always unbiased and fair.

So our job was to pick the very best as our winners.  And we did just that.

Check out the TopNotch final results…

Bluefin Cruise 10’8 iSUP
78%
Feath-R-Lite Paddle Board
78%
SereneLife Free-Flow 10’6 SUP
76%
Vilano Journey Inflatable SUP
74%
Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
72%
Dama Fly Line 10’6 SUP
70%
FunWater Adventure Paddleboard
70%
Aquaplanet 10ft 6″ Pace
68%
Aleko PBS01 Paddleboard
66%
Goplus Paddleboard
66%

Conclusion: 10 Best Cheap Paddle Boards

All in all, these are the top ten cheap paddleboards on the market for 2021.

One thing is for sure…

When chosen well, a cheap SUP can be the right pick for beginners.

However, first-timers need to be extra careful while choosing the right one.

So the key is, balancing the quality and performance with your budget.

That’s why we’ve rated each product only after a detailed analysis of each metric.

Let’s rewind for the details.

The Bluefin Cruise is a premium grade SUP and an overall great choice. We didn’t think twice about marking it as the TopNotch Top Pick.

The Feath-R-Lite  SUP is the Best Value choice. Thanks to its superb balance of price and performance. 

The SereneLife Free-Flow  SUP is the TopNotch Editor’s Choice because of its TopNotch versatility – at a great price.

Needless to say..

… this is the best SUP board to pick if you’re on a budget.

I hope this review will help you to make the best decision- especially if you’re new in the world of paddleboarding.

Now go out there and give it a go.

topnotchoutdoor award

SereneLife Free-Flow 10’6 iSUP
topnotchoutdoor award

Feath-R-Lite Paddle Board
topnotchoutdoor award

Bluefin Cruise 10’8 iSUP