Buying a cheap paddle board or SUP can be a challenge as most low-budget USPs aren't that good! If you have a budget of more than $1000, then you can get a plethora of options from the best brands.
But when the budget is less, then you have limited options, so making an informed decision is essential. We understand that you may be buying the paddle board for the first time, so it should be something that provides you with the fun you need to ride on the water.
Thus, we are here with a comprehensive buyer’s guide that will help you in making a quick decision. We have listed several factors that should be on your mind if you are planning to invest in a paddle board.
Buying a cheap SUP doesn’t mean compromising the quality, and that is why this guide is here to help.
A cheap SUP isn’t just good to save money, but also it is a perfect start for beginners that have no experience with paddle boarding.
Paddle boarding has become extensively popular, and that's why everyone wants to have a paddle board to ride whenever they need it.
There are tons of benefits that you will get with a cheap paddle board.
If you are a learner, then cheap paddle boards are perfect for you. It would be great to start with an affordable board, and then you can go for high-end options once you have learned the right paddling techniques.
So, you will be paddling only a few days during the season? Why invest your money into a costly paddle board, when a cheap SUP can give you a similar experience?
Yes, a cheap SUP cannot match the performance of a high-end model. But for recreational users, an affordable SUP makes a great choice. You will not paddle with the board daily, so it isn't wise to buy an expensive board.
Cheap paddle boards are highly suitable if you need them to work out. You can go for cheap yoga boards, or paddling the board for around 20 minutes will help you burn too many calories. You can use the paddle board for a plethora of workouts and exercises.
If you want to explore some hidden places near the shore, then a cheap paddle board should be your choice. These SUPs are highly stable, and you can paddle with ease.
Furthermore, there are numerous benefits that will make you fall in love with SUPs. Continue with the article and check the factors listed below to get the best cheap paddle board for the money.
The list of factors that we have mentioned in this article comprises almost everything that you need to know about paddle boards and especially cheap SUPs.
You will find plenty of options such as types, lengths, and hull shapes, and with this guide, you can streamline your way to the best option.
To select the best SUP, you should know about how many types are available, and which one is suitable for you. Here are some types that you will find in cheap paddle boards.
These types of SUPs are perfect for everything, and even beginners can ride them with ease. The paddle boards work well in all conditions, and you can paddle on choppy and flat water. Most of these SUPs are pet-friendly so that you can take your furry friend with you.
If you are looking for a paddle board for high intensity workouts, then go for touring SUPs. These boards are ideal for covering long distances and gliding on the water smoothly. The paddle boards are great for their efficiency and maximum glide.
These boards are usually wide, so beginners can also ride them with ease.
If you are a bit above than the beginner level, then surfing SUPs can be a good choice. The paddle board allows you to catch more speed and is perfect if you need some action. However, maneuvering the board requires skills, as it is good for pro and intermediate level riders.
Yoga SUPs are highly popular among fitness enthusiasts. The board is highly stable, so you can use it for exercising on water. The expansive deck has ample room, so you get your space to do multiple yoga practices and exercises.
Most paddle boards for kids fall under the affordable category. If you need a paddle board that your little one can ride, then go for kid-specific boards. The boards are lightweight and small in size so that kids can ride on them.
Cheap paddle boards are available in two options i.e., solid and inflatable paddle boards. Both bills have different characteristics, so you should make an informed decision to have a good experience with the SUP.
Inflatable SUPs are usually made using PVC with a drop-stitching technique that prevents the air from leaking. You need an air pump to inflate the paddle board before riding.
The boards are compact, and you can take them anywhere by folding and packing them into a bag.
If you have limited storage space, then inflatable SUPs can be the best choice. You can pack the board into a small bag so that traveling will be easy. You can even throw the packed SUP into your car’s trunk because it doesn’t require much space.
If you love yoga and need a highly stable paddle board, inflatable SUPs should be your choice. The boards have ample space, and you can perform the yoga rituals without any issues.
Inflatable SUPs are lightweight as the board is hollow from inside, and there is just air. These paddle boards are the lightest, among other types, so you will enjoy paddling without carrying much weight.
Most popular SUP manufacturing brands offer solid paddle boards as they are highly stable, and there is no need to inflate the board. The boards are highly stable and are lightweight.
If you need a cheap paddle board for performance, then solid paddle boards can be a good choice.
Solid paddle boards offer better performance when compared to inflatable boards. The boards have sleek edges that glide through the water, and you can achieve better speed without paddling too much.
Solid SUPs have better stability as compared to inflatable boards due to the material. The rigid board gives better floatability, and even beginners can ride on the board without any hassles.
When using a solid board, you can rest assured that it won’t get punctured. An inflatable board can tear apart if you bump into a pointed object. Also, you can bid goodbye to the hassles of inflating and deflating the board multiple times.
Check the weight of the paddle board to make sure that you can portage it easily. Usually, solid paddle boards weigh somewhere around 20-30 pounds, but there are some lightweight and heavy options available as well.
The weight of the board depends on multiple factors, such as the size, material, and type of SUP. Inflatable paddle boards are lightweight when compared to solid boards, so if you don't have a cheap paddle board for traveling, then inflatable boards should be your choice.
The weight capacity is the measurement of weight the paddle board can carry without getting drowned. Every paddle board has a limited weight capacity, and you cannot take more weight than the allowed limit.
To select the SUP of the ideal weight capacity, you should determine how much weight you will be taking on the board. If you want your furry friend to accompany you, then look for a larger weight capacity.
If you put more weight than the board's limit, then the board will lose its balance, and you will have a hard time paddling with it.
To portage the paddle board from one place to another, you need to carry it. And to carry the board, you need grab handles. Cheap SUPs come with handles so that you can load the board on your vehicle and vice versa.
Check the type of handle the paddle board has, as the handle can be a game changer. The best handle that’s highly popular among paddleboarders is a butterfly-style handle. The handle makes it easy to carry the board.
It is critical to check the length of the paddle board to determine its performance, and how it will handle in water. Generally, longer boards glide faster and smoother as compared to shorter boards.
But maneuvering longer boards can be a challenge, especially if you are a beginner. While deciding the length of the SUP, you should keep the following things in mind so that you get a good experience with the board.
If you want to cover a long distance with the paddle board, then longer boards are ideal. These SUPs are perfect for achieving good speed and have better weight capacity due to the size of the board.
Most of the long paddle boards come with a displacement hull so that the board tracks in a straight line, and you don't have to put in a lot of effort to keep it straight.
In short, if you need a cheap paddle board for touring, then go for longer boards.
Medium-sized paddle boards are good for people who are interested in yoga. The paddle boards offer excellent stability, and you get ample room to do yoga. These SUPs have planing hulls, but some boards come with displacement hulls as well.
Short paddle boards are good for kids and beginners. These SUPs require less space to store, so you won't find issues when it comes to storage. The paddle boards come with planing hulls and are easy to maneuver.
Women riders should also prefer short paddle boards. Another benefit of getting a short SUP is that it is lightweight and versatile.
After selecting the length, you should check the thickness of the board as it has a significant impact on its performance. The thickness has an impact on the weight capacity and volume of the board. Two boards of the same length can have different thickness levels, so you should check the dimensions of the board to make sure that you will get the desired performance from it.
Thin boards paddle faster as compared to thick boards, and these SUPs are suitable if you know how to control a paddle board. On the other hand, thick paddle boards have better weight capacity, but you cannot achieve good speeds as you get with thin paddle boards.
Here’s another essential factor that you should check is the width of the SUP. Wider boards are more stable as compared to narrow boards, and the weight capacity also gets impacted due to the width.
Cheap paddle boards come in a range of sizes ranging from 25 to 35 inches. The boards with 25 inches are good if you want to achieve good speeds, as the board cuts the water and gives you better performance.
As the width of the board increases the stability and weight capacity also sees a rise. Thick boards aren't good for speeds, but you get better weight capacity and stability.
However, thick boards can be heavy as compared to narrow boards due to the volume and size of the board.
Here’s how you can quickly select the ideal width when choosing a cheap paddle board:
If you are a beginner, a wider SUP should be your choice. Wide paddle boards have better stability, so learning riding a paddle board will be easy. However, if you know how to paddle and you have spent hours in paddling, then a narrow board can be your choice.
The width of the paddle board depends on your body type. If you are big and heavy, then go for wide boards because of the weight capacity and room. On the other hand, if you are short or you are buying a paddle board for your kid, narrow boards should be your choice.
Another factor to consider when choosing the width of the board is the purpose. If you need a SUP for recreational purposes, go for narrow boards. Narrow boards are lightweight and reach up to good speeds.
If you need a paddle board for touring, then you might be carrying some gear and cooler with you that requires more weight capacity. Go for wide boards so that you get more weight capacity.
The type and shape of the hull determine how the paddle board will behave in water. You can even say that the type of hull influences the performance, so choosing the right type is essential.
Most cheap paddle boards are available in the following hull types. From pros to beginners, the type of hull should be different.
Paddle boards that have a displacement hull have a bow or pointed nose, just like what you see in the canoe-style kayaks. The hull cuts through the water and gives you better speed while improving efficiency.
Furthermore, the paddle board rewards you with a smooth ride, and you can track in a straight line without any issues. If you know how to control a paddle board, then go for SUPs with displacement hulls because maneuvering the board requires skills.
Unlike displacement hulls, planing hulls are wide and flat. The hull doesn't slice through the water, so you cannot achieve good speeds. However, cheap paddle boards with planing hulls are easy to maneuver and are suitable for beginners and kids.
If you are buying a SUP for yoga, leisure or recreational purposes you should go for planing hulls.
Cheap paddle boards are either hollow or have good volume. The volume is the amount of material used inside the board.
In simple words, paddle boards with high volume have better weight capacity as compared to the boards with the lower weight capacity.
If you need a board for touring, then go for boards with higher volume so that you can carry more stuff with you. SUPs with lower volumes are suitable for recreational purposes.
Paddle boards with more volume are heavy, as there is more material used on the board.
Most folks overlook warranty when choosing a paddle board, and it can be disastrous. Always check the warranty so that you get good after-sales services in case something goes wrong with the board.
Even when you are looking for a cheap paddle board, it is necessary to check the price. Make your budget and then start searching for the SUP. You will find cheap paddle boards at a range of prices. So, making your budget before selecting a board will help you save money.
After selecting the paddle board, you should get some accessories that are useful when paddling on the water. Check these accessories and add them to your cart while buying a SUP.
A life jacket will keep you afloat if you fall off the paddle board. No matter if you are a beginner or an expert, you should use a life jacket when going to ride a paddle board.
A car rack is essential to transport the paddle board. You should buy a car rack to transport the board safely while protecting it from damages.
A portable cooler will keep you cool when riding the paddle board. You might have seen many kayakers using coolers, and you can use the cooler too with your paddle board.
To prevent health issues like hypothermia and other problems caused due to cold water, you should wear a wetsuit. You need a suit that dries quickly, so you paddle without any hassles.
If you are buying an inflatable board, then buy a patch kit as well. The kit will help you repair the minor punctures, and you can enjoy paddling with the board.
Buying a leash is essential to keep the paddle board in reach. You may fall off the board when a wave strikes it, and then the leash will help you pull the board back so that you can get on it again.
A: It depends on the manufacturer and the deal that you are getting at the time. Usually, most inflatable boards don't come with pumps, and you have to buy them separately. The pumps are available in two types i.e., manual and electric.
A: Yes, washing a paddle board is essential to keep it clean and protected from the minerals that are present in saltwater. You can rinse the board and wipe it with a clean cloth to enhance its lifespan.
A: The weight of the paddle board depends on the type and size. Bigger boards are heavy and can possess issues while portaging them. Check the volume, type, material, and other factors when choosing a board’s weight.
With this cheap paddle board buyer’s guide, it will be easy for you to select the best SUP for the money. You can compare different boards based on the factors listed here. Keep in mind that cheap paddle boards can also perform good provided that you buy a good board.
The best way to select an ideal paddle board is to make a list of top options and then compare them based on the following factors.
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