Best Cheap Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board | Tried & Tested


I was looking for a used board for my daughter, and most of those were over $500. They looked like they had been well used and poorly taken care of. And they were USED. So I decided to check inflatables on Amazon. I found this one and was pleasantly surprised how good it was once we tested it out.

The 11′ FunWater inflatable stand-up paddleboard is not only a bargain but is super durable, easy to transport, and performs well on the water. It is easy to set up, and it comes with all the accessories you need to get started right away. This “cheap” SUP has well surpassed my expectations.

Let’s take a closer look at why this inexpensive inflatable SUP stands up so well against it’s more expensive rivals.

Construction of the FunWater

To make a SUP light and inexpensive, companies will construct a stand-up paddleboard that lacks strength and durability. One of the easiest short cuts is only to add one layer of PVC coating to the board. Another drawback to these cheap boards is their lack of reinforcement along the rails.

The FunWater SUP, on the other hand, is constructed with a dual-layer of PVC, which allows the board to be inflated to 15psi. This is important for performance, because the higher the psi, the more rigid the board will be. The board will have less “flex” in the water. Flex is when the board sags where the person is standing on it.

This paddleboard also has an extra layer of PVC to reinforce the rails. This adds durability. This board is tough enough to surf on. You can take this board and bang it against a dock or rocks in the river, and it will take it, thanks to those reinforced rails and two layers of protective PVC. Dropping this board would do absolutely nothing to it.

Setup of the FunWater

My new stand-up paddleboard came two days after I ordered it in a cardboard box about 2 1/2 feet long. The box was beaten up, and I had doubts about whether I had made a smart decision. Nevertheless, I took the box straight into the garage, grabbed my camera, and did my first ever product unboxing.

When I carefully opened the box (don’t want to slice your board accidentally), I was very excited. What I discovered was a sturdy looking SUP rolled up and protected by a piece of plastic. There was also a 3-piece adjustable aluminum paddle, a high-pressure pump, a small repair kit, three removable fins, a dry-bag to keep all my electronics safe while on the water, and a backpack that I could use to store or transport all of it.

Once I saw everything laid out, I was getting even more excited. I grabbed the pump and glanced at the instructions, and started to inflate the board. To my surprise, It took less than 7 minutes from completely deflated to inflated to 12 psi (the bottom of the 12-15psi range).

One note on the inflating process. There is a little doo-hickey that you have to pull up where the hose connects to the board. (it’s all in the instructions) This prevents back-flow when you take the pump out. I should have read the instructions a bit more carefully.

After I inflated the board, I stood on it for the first time, and I was shocked by how sturdy it felt. You would have had a hard time telling me this wasn’t a rigid board. Well, I couldn’t wait to take it out. The instructions recommend that you wait 24 hours to see if there are any slow leaks. I figured I’d just take my pump along because I wanted to get out on the water.

I slid the three fins into place (10 seconds each) and strapped my new inflatable SUP and my rigid SUP to the car and headed to the waterway.

Transport of the FunWater

Getting the FunWater onto my car was a lot easier than hefting my rigid SUP up. I just transported the FunWater on top of my rigid board, and the board never lost it’s shape as I tightened down the straps.

Once at the beach, the difference was incredible. It was so easy to carry the 300 yards down to the water. I had to make several trips to bring the other board down and a few “toys” for the day (cooler, castnet, fishing poles, etc.). Carrying the FunWater was by far the easiest trip.

On-Water Performance of the FunWater 11 Foot Inflatable

Finally, I get to try this thing out. The conditions weren’t perfect, but really, when are they? The wind was blowing about 15 mph. It was Saturday, so there was a lot of boat traffic, which increases wakes and gives us big, fast things to avoid. And the tide was ebbing, making the current run pretty fast. So, this was going to be a real trial. This was going to be more than me standing still next to a dock on a quiet lake.

How did it do? Well, it did GREAT! I, a 220-pound guy, was able to stand up with no problem. It was a bit more unstable than my rigid board, but I chose that one because it was the one with the most volume (the measurement used to determine how floaty and stable a board will be.) So, I was not surprised that my new board wasn’t quite as stable. I was surprised that it was almost as stable.

I was able to paddle through wakes and a small chop. The wind and current didn’t seem to affect me any more than when I was on my rigid. With the three fin design, the FunWater tracked very straight.

Here are a few minor drawbacks to the FunWater inflatable SUP.

  • While the SUP tracked straight. It was a bit slow to turn
  • The paddle felt strong but did have a bit of a flutter on a hard stroke
  • A bit less stable than my rigid

Final Thoughts

Stand-up paddleboarding is fun. It’s even more fun if you have someone to share it with. At some point, you may need more than one paddleboard, but are those cheap paddleboards any good? Well, until recently, I didn’t know for sure.

I recommend the Funwater SUP. If you are looking for an all-around inflatable SUP; one that is made for stability and durability; AND you want to save some money. This is the SUP for you. Heck, I would recommend this board at twice the price. Check the price on Amazon here.

Tom Walters

I have lived near the coast most of my life and I love all types of watersports. Stand up Paddleboarding is my favorite way to get out on the water, stay fit and have fun. I am the founder of FitFunSUP.com

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