Paddle boards are a great way to have fun, get fit and explore the world. However, not all paddle boards are created equal!
The boards can be made in all shapes, sizes and from different types of materials, which will affect durability and performance. We researched some of the best budget paddle boards this year for UK buyers looking for great value, without making a huge dent in the bank account.
If you’re thinking about buying a paddle board but don’t want to spend £800+ on the top end boards, then this article is for you – we’ll tell you what to look out for when making your decision so that you don’t end up wasting money on some random Amazon find that you thought looked like a good deal.
We are only including well known, reputable brands and most on this list are inflatables, which generally cost less to manufacture, store and sell.
Below you’ll find our list of the top budget paddle boards with their descriptions and unique features.
If budget is less of an issue, you might like to read our article about the best beginner paddleboards.
Best budget SUP’s – 7 cheap inflatables & 1 hard board
+ Complete package
+ UK business
+ Great choice of colours & design
– Single-lined PVC layer
– Uncomfortable carry bag
For a true budget inflatable paddle board, you won’t find many better than the Wave Tourer. Based up in Newcastle, Wave SUPs produce great value inflatable gear to get you on the water.
We tested the 11ft Tourer, which would be a perfect 1st time beginner board for most people. As we say in our full review, although it’s called ‘Tourer’, it’s not a touring board by design and its shape is suited for a beginner looking for an all rounder to get started on.
Coming with a full package, it’s quite amazing how Wave have managed to do this for just £249. That is by far the cheapest paddleboard on this list. Apart from the bag, the accessories like the pump and paddle are just as good as the more expensive boards.
There has to be some kind of pay off for a board that costs this cheap, and that comes in the form of the construction. The board has a single layer of PVC, which makes it incredibly light (8kg), but this means it can’t inflate to higher pressures.
Other boards on the list, like the Bluefin and Aquaplanet, can hold up to 17 PSI whereas the Wave Tourer can only go up to a maximum 12 PSI. Going to a higher pressure normally means more rigidity, stability and performance, so the Wave Tourer does feel a little bit soft on the water.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a budget paddleboard to get you started, the Wave Tourer might be perfect for you.
Wave offer a 12-month warranty on their Tourer.
Weight: 8 kgs
Goosehill Sailor SUP Package
+ Great customer service
+ 3 year warranty
+ Decent beginner board
– Accessories not great
Goosehill is the only brand on this list I didn’t know a great deal about. It’s because they are an American company who only sell in the UK through Amazon, so their presence in retail shops and magazines is quite limited.
Their boards look pretty underwhelming in terms of style and design, so initially I put Goosehill in the ‘cheap rubbish Amazon brand’ category and kind of left it at that. However, there were some things I came across during research and testing for this blog that made me think I was wrong…
They offer an outstanding 3 year warranty (which is amazing for the price of the board), and on many UK Facebook paddleboarding groups the comments all say they have great customer support. These are some of the most important things I look for in independent brands, because it shows they are serious about having a proper functioning business and have confidence that what they are selling is good quality.
Similar to most boards on this list, the design is well-suited for beginners who just want to have fun on the water. At 32 inches wide it will be stable enough and the 300 litre volume will have enough buoyancy for the bigger adult to float and feel secure.
Goosehill say, ‘well suited to all kinds of popular SUP activities like racing or cruising on a quiet lake, the ocean or down a calm river’. Realistically this isn’t a race board at all and the board won’t feel super efficient gilding on the water, but the rocker suggests the board will cope well in choppier sea conditions which is good to see.
The accessories like paddle and pump do feel cheap, but it’s kind of what’s to be expected for a complete SUP package in this price range.
Overall if you just want a cheap paddle board to get you on the water that has a decent warranty for peace of mind, you can’t go far wrong with the Goosehill SUP Package.
Weight: 9.2 kgs
Read our full Goosehill Sailor review >
Decathlon iTiwit Beginner Touring SUP
From £299.99 – View boards on Decathlon >
+ Well made
+ Great customer support
+ 2 year warranty
– Very simple design
– No paddle or pump
Decathlon probably needs no introduction, you’ll know them as a French company who have sports stores all around Europe. They make and sell decent gear at very affordable prices, which is exactly how you could describe their main range of paddle boards.
Their inflatable beginner paddle boards are indeed within the ‘budget’ category and priced from just £299.99, which is great value for beginners, kids and families just wanting something fun to play on in the summer months.
What’s great about Decathlon is you can guarantee their customer support will help you if something goes wrong with the board, which comes with a 2-year warranty.
It’s very basic in design, with no kick tail (help with more advanced turning) and it’s arguably one of the hardest and slowest to pump up. Decathlon calls this board ‘Beginner Touring Inflatable SUP’, but I can’t really see any features that would suggest it’s a touring board, so don’t expect this board to glide like a proper touring board. Nonetheless, it is wide and stable which is ideal for beginners.
Remember if you want to compromise on price, there will also be some compromise on quality and performance. However, the boards seem very well made and lightweight enough to easily carry. The construction features drop stitch, reinforced rails and a double stringer, but this is pretty much the minimum you would expect for any inflatable board worth its salt. More expensive boards like Red Paddle have a high-density drop stitch construction, which means the board can be inflated to a higher PSI to stay rigid.
The price has been kept very competitive due to the lack of extra accessories such as a paddle – but we think this makes sense given how good value everything else included is! Keep your eyes peeled on deals on their iTiwit boards, in a recent Black Friday offer they had £100 off their beginner board which makes the board crazy cheap.
Weight: 9 kgs
Bluefin Cruise SUP Package
From £559.99 – View boards on Bluefin’s website >
+ Very well constructed
+ 5-year warranty
+ Complete package
– One of the heavier boards to carry
Based in West Yorkshire, Bluefin started producing inflatable paddle boards in 2018 and have quickly become widely popular within the UK market. Known for their great value and solid build construction, they offer a huge 5-year warranty on their boards.
Their Cruise SUP is a great all round board, ideal for beginners and those who want to enjoy paddle boarding without spending money on all the accessories.
The complete package comes with everything you need to get started, bag, paddle, fin and pump, all of which are good quality and will last you a long time.
In terms of board design, the shape lends itself to exactly what they named the board – Cruise. It will be perfect for those looking to cruise around the water but with enough stability for those just starting out. The board has all the features you’d expect from a well-thought-out design, kick tail, decent non slip deckpad, GoPro camera mount and storage bungees.
Some users have disliked the weight of the board, but Bluefin have addressed this recently with their latest model being 10% lighter. However, it’s really not all that heavy anyway and I actually prefer to know the designers have used a lot of material to construct the board. That tends to mean it’ll last longer, and with their 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC and Pro Weave Drop Stitch, you’d expect the Bluefin to be the toughest inflatable budget paddle board on the market.
For more information, read our detailed Bluefin Cruise review.
Weight: 12.6 kgs
+ Full package
+ Pretty looking board
+ Great value
– 1 year warranty
Another paddle board company born and bred in the UK, Aquaplanet is a well-established, well-known brand. They claim to be the UK’s no.1 top-selling paddleboard, whilst I’m not sure if that claim is true, they are certainly very popular and they could claim to be the most popular budget paddle board brand in the UK.
I’ve chosen the Aquaplanet Pace because it’s a little bit different in terms of shape, which I really like. Whilst I’d still class it as a beginner board, it lends itself to better progression because the width is a bit narrower than most beginner boards. The pointer, narrower shape means the board will cut through the water and glide much better than rounded, wide boards.
I’m all for boards that make it easy for beginners, but if they are too wide and stable, then you never learn proper technique which will slow down further progression when you want to get on race or wave boards. So if you are keen to really get into paddle boarding, you won’t outgrow this board as quickly as others in this list.
However, if you are a nervous beginner who wants maximum stability for their board, then this isn’t for you. If your heart is set on an Aquaplanet you could try their Max SUP Package.
The construction of this board is what you’d expect for something in this price range. The high density drop stitch construction will help give the board rigidity at high pressure, and the double layered rail protection is a good idea – we have a lot of sharp stones and shells on many of our UK beaches.
The board only has a 1 year warranty, so that gives you an idea of how much confidence Aquaplant has in the board construction. I think it’s worth bearing that in mind when you’re weighing up your options.
With everything included in the package to get you on the water, you really can’t go wrong with the Aquaplant at the price point.
Weight: 12.6 kgs
Tahe Beach Cross
From £527.00 – View board on The SUP Co >
+ Most durable construction
+ Fun in small waves
+ Best value hard board
– Paddle not included
Say whaaaat… a hard board! Although inflatables are best suited for a budget paddle board range, we’ve included a rigid board in this line up. If you’re lucky enough to have no issues storing or transporting the board, then you should consider going for a hard board. They last much longer and perform better than inflatables.
Tahe is a merger from two brands, Tahe Outdoors and BIC, who along with making pens and lighters, have been manufacturing windsurf, surf and paddle boards for years. So although Tahe is a new name, they have been around for a very long time.
The Tahe Beach Performer is their all round 10’6 board, with a classic longboard style shape, this board will be at home cruising around on a lake or surfing small waves. At 31.5 inches wide, it will be stable enough for beginners and intermediate to have a lot of fun on. The board will glide nicely and probably better than any inflatable, but it’s not a touring board.
Any board produced by Tahe will be far cheaper than other hard board on the market because of the materials used in the manufacturing process. Instead of a process of layering using expensive materials like carbon fibre sheets, fibreglass and wooden stringers, the Tahe is thermoformed moulded plastic (in true BIC style). Not only does it make the board cheap to manufacture, it is also pretty much bulletproof. It’s literally the only hardboard that you could throw down a flight of stairs and expect the stairs to come off worse.
The downside of the Tahe plastic board is they are always heavy to carry.
Every board comes with a 2 year warranty, which is probably all that’s needed to figure out if there are any manufacturing faults. I’ve worked at watersport centres that still use 10 year old BIC paddle boards and they work perfectly. Even though the plastic might go off colour in intense sun over the years, the board still works the same and they never have any problems.
So, if you’re looking for a budget paddle board that you want to last for a very long, then the Tahe is 100% for you.
Volume: 185 ltrs
Weight: 14.5 kgs
JP Australia Allround Air SL Package
From £339.99 – View board on The SUP CO >
+ Famous watersports brand
+ Super lightweight
– 1 year warranty
Coming from a windsurfing background, JP Australia is a brand I hold close to my heart. They are the most well known brand in this list within the watersports industry and know exactly what is needed to get people on the water at every level of progression.
They produce some high end, top quality gear that is designed for true watersport professionals. I personally really like their SUP surf boards, which I used a lot when I worked for a watersports centre in Brazil.
On the flip side JP knows that beginners need something durable that’s easy to use and easy on the wallet. So along with their performance boards, they have produced some gear for beginners that is actually some of the cheapest on the market.
Their Allround Air SL Package is as basic as it comes but for the price you get a decent board that will get you confident and comfortable on the water.
SL stands for superlight, and coming in at just 8.4 kgs it’s the lightest board on this list and one of the lightest boards around. So if you’re small or struggle to carry your paddleboard to water, then the SL might just be the board for you.
The narrow nose and single fin means the board will glide very nicely across the water, and the tail shape and 32” width means the board will provide decent stability.
Unlike the Bluefin or Sandbanks boards, the JP doesn’t have many reinforcement features, suggesting the board will probably flex a bit for the bigger, heavier riders out there. So it’s important for this board to pumped up fully, otherwise it might feel a bit like a bouncy castle.
The package comes with a bag, leash, and pump, but the board doesn’t come with a paddle. I’d recommend upgrading to the glass or hybrid paddle if you can, the basic 3 piece alloy paddle is a bit naff.
If you want something to get into touring that glides really well, their 12’6 Cruiseair is a great option that I’d still put within the ‘budget paddle boards’ category.
Weight: 8.4 kgs
Aqua Marina Vapor
+ Amazing value
+ Great looking board
+ Complete package
– 1 year warranty
Aqua Marina is a Chinese manufacturer and brand, who are doing really well here in the UK. They’ve found a sweet spot of being the budget paddle board brand for most of the top retailers. This is a complement for Aqua Marina, because UK SUP retailers only want to sell the best gear to their customers.
As a first time board for a beginner, the Aqua Marina Vapor is a very decent option and you won’t be disappointed. The board feels and looks more like a mid-range board, rather than a budget option. The construction is great for the price and I like the idea of the double layered PVC on the deck and rail, which should make the board durable and help it last a decent amount of time.
The little components on the board like the value and fin slot are also surprisingly good quality. I like that the Vapor only comes with one centre fin, because after some time the glued on side fins peel off and just become an annoyance. These extra side fins just make the board slightly more expensive and heavier but provide no real purpose for beginners.
On the water the Vapor is on the small side of the ‘beginner’ range. At 10’4” long and 31” wide, it might not be as stable as other boards on this list, but will still be perfect for most people. Whilst it glides well enough, it’s not as smooth as something like the Aquaplanet Pace. However, the length of the board means it’ll turn nicely, which is great once you want to practice step back turns.
It’s not really a negative and most boards in this price range have some flex, but with the Vapor make sure you pump it up to max PSI every time to make it as rigid as possible.
Overall, we think this board hits the sweet spot between affordability and quality, which makes it a fine candidate for one of the best budget paddle boards around. So if you want to skip spending hours scouring through user reviews, just take our word for it – The Aqua Marina Vapor Paddle Board offers excellent value!
Weight: 10.1 kgs
What to look for in a budget paddle board?
There are definitely some factors to look for when researching anything ‘budget’. You want something that is good value but isn’t so cheap that you end up wasting your time and money on something that just is not good enough.
It’s never been easier for someone to go on alibaba.com, import 200 cheap paddle boards from China, create a decent looking brand then sell on Amazon. It’s now well-known paddle boarding is the fastest growing watersport in the UK, so recently there has been a load of people who think they can get rich quick by selling a few boards.
These people have no experience producing or selling paddleboards, and probably have no intention of creating a customer service team or helping you if something goes wrong.
I’m a paddle board and windsurfing instructor, and have worked in local surf shops so I already have a feel of what is a ‘proper’ paddle board brand, and who are the pretenders. During your research for ‘budget paddle boards’, look at the brands ‘About’ page on the website, check reviews on Amazon, and find paddle board groups on Facebook to determine if what you’re buying is from a legit company. You’ll soon get a feel of what a proper paddle board brand looks like.
When doing research for this article, the warranty was probably the biggest factor in adding a board to the list or not. There are some great looking budget paddle boards out there, but if the manufacturer doesn’t offer any warranty then please avoid them!
For me, a warranty means the manufacturer has confidence that what they are producing is high quality and will outlast the warranty period. They have confidence in their workmanship and the materials they use.
I’m sure paddle boards aren’t the easiest thing to make, and sometimes it does go wrong where the glue doesn’t set or there is a random fault with a component that the manufacturer has little control over. Hopefully, when you buy your board it’s perfect, but these things can happen so having a warranty gives you that peace of mind.
Make sure you read the warranty terms because you might need to register the board first.
Apart from the Tahe, which is made from almost indestructible thermoformed plastic, the inflatables on this list are manufactured with pretty much exactly the same materials.
Some brands have done a better job of explaining how their board is made, with Bluefin and Aqua Marina showing the doubled lined rails and deck which should give the board more durability. Try not to get bogged down in the details, Bluefin talks about their 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC, whilst it sounds cool, I’m not too sure what half those words mean.
The shape of a budget paddle board will be pretty basic but will be totally perfect for beginners and those who want to occasionally get on the water. You can’t expect a high-performance board at this price range because the brand can’t spend much time/money in research and development.
There are some basic rules for shape, so you can get a rough idea how the board will feel on the water. Whilst there are many more factors like rocker, rail shape, tail shape and fins, just looking at width, length and volume is a good start.
- The wider the board the more stable it’ll be
- The narrower the board the faster it’ll be
- The longer the board the better it’ll glide and track in a straight line
- The shorter the board the more manoeuvrable it’ll be
- The higher the volume the more buoyancy the board will have
Many of the SUP’s on this list offer a package option, which is perfect for the beginner who needs everything to get started. From what I’ve found the accessories in these packages are generally not the best quality and you’ll probably find the seals will break on the pump. However once you really get into paddle boarding you’ll want to upgrade to a lighter carbon paddle, a dual action pump or better fin anyway.
Are cheap paddleboards any good?
Cheap paddleboards are great if you are a beginner or someone who loves to occasionally go for a paddle on flat water. These budget paddle boards often come in full packages (leash, paddle, fin) that provide everything you need to have a lot of fun on the water.
As seen in this list, many of the cheaper paddle boards come with warranties that are equal to or better than more expensive boards. This seriously reduces the risk of buying ‘cheap’, and should give you the confidence you are buying a well made board that will last a good amount of time.
I suppose cheap is relative and when I’m talking about a cheap paddle board this is between £350 to around £550. If you found a board or SUP package that is £200 then I’ll probably say this cheap paddle board is no good.
You might like to read our blog about how much paddle boards cost >
Of course it’s not always the best or cheapest option to choose a budget paddle board. If you’re serious about getting into paddle boarding then buying a cheap board will be false economy, because you’ll very quickly want a board that’s faster, lighter and higher performing than the basic ‘cheap’ options.
Those who are very keen and plan to get on the water at least once a week may want to buy a more expensive board with better construction. Boards with a better construction will be able to withstand many more inflations and deflations.
Hopefully the above information will be of use when you decide to buy your very own paddle board; be sure to take your time as well to find the right one. When it comes to investing in a paddle board, you want to own one you can trust and that can perform to the level you want it to! If you need more objective opinions, remember to read a few customer reviews as well – they’re honest and will tell you exactly what you need to know in order to make an informed decision yourself.
About the author
Watersports Pro is managed by Ollie, who has been in the industry since 2007. A paddleboard and advanced windsurfing instructor, Ollie has travelled the world teaching these sports.
Now based on the South Coast of England, he shares his experience and knowledge on watersportspro.co.uk.