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7 Best Inflatable SUP Under $500 of 2024 Helpful Guide

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Updated May 20th, 2024

best inflatable sup under $500

Stand up paddleboarding or SUP is a lot of fun. It’s one of the fastest growing watersports today. $500 is a great entry level price point for a paddleboard. It will get you a good performing durable board with high quality accessories. You can spend more on an inflatable paddleboard but $500-$600 seems to be the sweet spot for getting the most value.



1 – iRocker All Around 11

☆ Best Overall
iRocker All Around Product Image

What we liked:

  • Carbon paddle and triple action pump
  • Big long stable board
  • Plenty of room for a large dog
  • Roller backpack with many pockets and bungee
  • A fun board to paddle around
  • Sturdy stiff and durable 3 layer construction
  • Many accessory mounts, handles and D-Rings

What we didn’t like:

  • It takes a bit of effort to get back into the bag
  • The triple action hand pump is difficult to fit into roller backpack and doesn’t make hand pumping much easier or faster

Summary

The iRocker All Around 11 has been our favorite SUP board since we first tried it out. It is a perfect combination of performance and stability. It has enough D-Rings and accessories mounts to be usable for almost any activity. It uses 3 layer PVC construction that is tough, durable, and stiff. iRocker has tried to replace it with their Ulta Series, people love the original so much that they had to bring it back. We are really happy they decided to bring back the original All Around 11.

The AA11 comes with a 3 piece carbon paddle, triple action pump, and roller backpack. The 3 piece paddle is one of the better paddles we have found in inflatable SUP packages. There is an optional blade available to turn it into a kayak paddle. Our one complaint about the AA11 accessories is the triple action pump. It can’t be used to deflate the board. The triple action pumps from NIXY and Thurso can also deflate.

On the water is where the All Around 11 really shines. It is a very stiff board on the water thanks to it’s 3 layer construction. It is stable enough that any beginner can use it. It is long enough to have better glide than most 10’6″ or 10″ inflatable SUPS. The 3 fins give it excellent tracking. A river fin is available for those who want to use the board in shallower water. The board is stable enough to be used for SUP fishing or yoga or any other activity.

Review

See our review of the iRocker All Around 11 to learn more.

iRocker all around 11 paddling

Specifications

  • Size – 11′ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 435 lbs
  • Board Weight – 26 lbs
  • Construction – 3 Layer
  • D-Rings – 20
  • Paddle – 3 piece carbon
  • Pump – triple action hand pump

2 – Bluefin Cruise 10’8″

☆ Top Pick
Bluefin Cruise product image

What we liked:

  • The board is very stable and would be a great beginner board
  • Bluefin offers a 5 year warranty on their inflatable paddleboards
  • The paddle with 2 clamps has less rattle than other aluminum paddles

What we didn’t like:

  • The bag doesn’t have wheels or a handle on both sides
  • The board doesn’t have a rear bungee
  • The kick pad is too far back on the board to be useful

Summary

The Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddleboard is a stiff sturdy board that comes in a complete package. It includes everything you need to paddleboard. It has an aluminum paddle that has upgraded clamps. It comes with a nice padded bag.

The 3 fins use flip lock fittings that are easy to install and remove. They provide good tracking.

The board is 10′ 8″ long by 32.5″ wide. This gives enough width to be stable and a little better tracking than a 10′ board. It is still easy to maneuver and suitable for a first time paddleboarder.

The board has 10 D-ring attachments and a couple action moujnts built into it. It has a carry strap in the middle as well.

The deck uses a croco-diamond EVA pad that is comfortable and gives good grip and drainage. The board has a kick pad at the back. It’s a bit too far rearward on the board to really be usable.

The paddle has a 2 piece aluminum shaft and plastic blade. It is one of the better aluminum paddles we have seen with clamps at both joints instead of just a pin at the lower joint. This prevents a lot of the clunk that most aluminum paddles have.

This board has one of the better backpacks available at this price range. It doesn’t have wheels but it has heavy-duty construction with thick comfortable straps. A second side strap would have been nice.

Overall this is a great package for someone looking to get a good performing paddleboard. It is suitable for beginners and more experienced paddlers.

Review

See our review of the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ to learn more.

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ 8″ x 32.5″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 330 lbs
  • Board Weight – 24.8 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer
  • D-Rings – 9
  • Paddle – 3 piece aluminum
  • Pump – double action pump

3 – Outdoor Master Swordfish

☆ Best Value
Outdoor Master Swordfish Paddleboard Product Image

Overall Score

75
Stiffness7.0


Stability7.0


Speed Performance7.0


Tracking8.0


Accessories7.0


Portability9.0

What we liked:

  • Low cost
  • Lightweight overall package that is easy to carry around
  • Board feels light and nimble on the water. It is stable enough for beginners
  • Choice of hand pump or electric pump
  • Bag has rollers and a pocket for storing an electric pump
  • Improved fit and finish compared to older Outdoor Master paddleboards

What we didn’t like:

  • The aluminum paddle feels cheap and wobbly at the joints
  • Dolphin electric pump needed a replacement H3 fitting to work with the Swordfish
  • The 2 small fins were bent from shipping and needed to be straightened out before using the board.
  • No repair kit included

Summary

The Outdoor Master Swordfish is the new inflatable paddleboard from Outdoor Master. It brings with it a lot of bang for the buck and the option to get it with an electric pump. It is a 10’6″ x 32″ all around shaped board that is good for beginners or experienced paddlers. It’s lightweight design and overall package make it easy to carry around or travel with.

Accessories

The Swordfish comes with a roller backpack that is made from heavy feeling material. It has a side pocket sized for carrying an electric pump. The board is available with either a double action handpump or an electric pump for $50 more. I hate hand pumping and so I like seeing the option to get it with an electric pump.

A basic 3 piece aluminum floating paddle is included. It works and will get you on the water. If you like paddleboarding you’ll eventually want to get a better paddle.

On the water performance

The Outdoor Master Swordfish is a 10’6″ x 32″ board with a wider tail shape. It is very stable for beginners in calm waters. It feels light under your feet. It’s easy to turn. It glides well in flat water. It’s not the stiffest board so you will feel some flex and bending when you paddle through chop or with a heavier paddler.

Review

See our review of the Outdoor Master Swordfish to learn more.

OM Swordfish gliding on canal

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ 6″ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
  • Board Weight – 20 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC
  • D-Rings – 18 D-Rings
  • Paddle – 3 Piece Aluminum
  • Pump – Electric Pump or Double Action Hand Pump

Get 10-20% OFF with code ERO2022 at OUTDOOR MASTER


4 – iRocker Nautical GO

iRocker Nautical Go product image

What we liked:

  • Available in 2 board shapes
  • Cruiser 34 inch width is good for beginners
  • Very low cost even with package item add ons
  • Good board to throw in your bags for trips
  • Has enough D-Rings to attach a seat
  • Available kayak conversion

What we didn’t like:

  • No available bag
  • 5 piece paddle has more clunk than a 3 piece paddle
  • Board has some flex. More noticable for heavier paddlers near the weight limit
  • Doesn’t come with any accessories or package when ordered from Amazon

Summary

The Nautical Go boards are the latest entry level portable boards from iRocker. They take the low cost and value that the Nautical is known for and make it available in a smaller, easier to travel with package. The Go is available in the Go Ten Six which is the same shape as the traditional Nautical 10’6″. There is also the Go Cruiser which increase the width to 34 inches and has a shape similar to the iRocker Cruiser.

The Nautical Go’s use the same 2 layer PVC construction as the traditional Nautical. They use the split deck pad similar to the iRocker Ultra boards to allow the board to fold in half. They use the twin fin setup from the Ultra boards as well.

Accessories

The Nautical Go can be customized when ordered from iRocker to include a variety of accessories. There is an available 5 piece fiberglass paddle that fits in a compact SUP bag or any other duffle or travel bag you want to use.

You can choose either the iRocker electric pump or a mini-hand pump. I prefer the electric pump. Shorter height mini-hand pumps mean you have to bend over farther to pump and do more strokes. I’m just not a fan of mini-hand-pumps from any brand.

There currently isn’t a compact Nautical bag available. There is a carrying strap. Hopefully iRocker will come out with one in the future to really complete this package.

If you buy the Nautical GO from Amazon, it is sold as a board only without any accessories. You get no pump or paddle. We recommend buying this from iRocker. It’s the same price for the base board and you can add the pump and paddle.

On the water performance

The Nautical Go behaves very similar to the original Nautical 10’6″. It is a softer board that likes smooth water and lighter weight paddlers. It has good tracking and glide on flat water. When the breeze picks up and you get some chop you can feel the flex in the board.

The Go Cruiser is 2 inches wider and is a more stable board. It is a great beginner board for people that want more stability. It has a shape similar to the popular iRocker Cruiser in a much less expensive package.

Specifications

  • Size – 10’6″ x 32″ x 6″ Go Ten Six, 10’6″ x 34″ x 6″ Go Cruiser
  • Weight Capacity – 240 lbs
  • Board Weight – 20 lbs
  • Bag Size – none included
  • Bag Weight – n/a
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC
  • Paddle – Optional 5 piece Fiberglass
  • Pump – Optional electric or mini hand pump

5 – Bluefin Cruise Lite

Bluefin Cruise LIte product image

What we liked:

  • Good board stiffness for a small portable board
  • Low profile twin fins don’t need anymore water depth
  • Small overall package
  • Carbon fiber paddle in a low cost package
  • Has the same shape and stability as the original Bluefin Cruise

What we didn’t like:

  • Mini hand pump takes a ton of effort to inflate board up to 15 psi
  • No D-Rings for attaching a kayak seat

Summary

The Bluefin Cruise Lite retains almost everything good about the original Bluefin Cruise in lighter weight and smaller package. The board has the same shape and dimensions as the Cruise 10’8″ which means you get a good performing board that is stable enough for beginners.

They used softer material for the Cruise Lite. This makes the board lighter weight and more compact when folded. The original Cruise uses high density drop stitch that was one of the stiffest boards available. It was also one of the heaviest boards as well. This is a good change.

The Cruise Lite manages to fit in a small compact bag without having a split deckpad that other brands use.

A twin fin setup is used with normal depth fins. This means less catching weeds or digging into the bottom.

The Cruise Lite comes with a carbon paddle, mini-hand pump and compact sized bag. The bag is about half the height of the normal Bluefin Cruise bag that makes it easier to store and travel with.

The 5 piece carbon paddle allows it to fit in the smaller compact bag. It does have the same clunkiness that we have felt with other 5 piece paddles. There are more joints so more places to get a little bit of wobble.

The only thing we don’t really like about the Cruise Lite is the mini-hand pump. You have to bend down so far to use these pumps. They are not comfortable to inflate a board up to 15 psi with. I prefer electric pumps in compact packages over reduced height hand pumps because of this.

The Bluefin Cruise Lite performs very much like the original Bluefin Cruise 10’8″. The Cruise Lite has closer to average stiffness for an inflatable SUP where the original Cruise was very stiff. There isn’t much compromise with the Cruise Lite. It is a very stable board that any beginner can handle. It still works okay for heavier paddlers.

The twin fin setup gives good tracking without catching too many weeds. The deckpad feels good and doesn’t have a split in the center.

The Cruise Lite doesn’t have any D-Rings around the middle of the board. You can’t make a kayak conversion with it. This is one miss. Most of the other compact boards like the iRocker Ultras and Nautical GO’s have enough to add a seat.

Specifications

  • Size – 10’8″ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 240 lbs
  • Board Weight – 21 lbs
  • Bag Size – none included
  • Bag Weight – 29 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer PVC
  • Paddle – 5 piece carbon
  • Pump – Mini double action hand pump


6 – Freein Stand Up Paddle Board Kayak SUP

Freein SUP Kayak product image

What we liked:

  • Convertible paddle has drip rings
  • Low cost for a complete package
  • Carbon reinforced rails make board stiffer than most single layer PVC boards

What we didn’t like:

  • Seat could use a little more support
  • Not as stable as wider 32-34″ boards

Summary

The Freein SUP Kayak is a good value kayak SUP combo that comes with eveything you need for both. It has a seat and convertible paddle good for any adventure. The board uses single layer PVC construction with carbon reinforced rails. This gives it extra stiffness beyond the normal cheap 1 layer PVC boards. It is available in several colors as well. The board is 10’6 x 31″ so it will glide faster than a wider board but gives up a little in stability. It will still work well for most beginner paddlers.

Accessories

The board comes with a complete package including the board, double action hand pump, bag and convertible paddle. It also includes a coiled leash and an H3 to Schraeder valve converter. The paddle works well both ways and has drip rings which is a nice touch. The double action pump works well for inflating the board. The backpack easily fits everything inside.

On the water performance

The Freein SUP kayak is an all around shaped board that is 31 inches wide. It will have better glide and tracking than a wider board. It will go through chop easier. It won’t be as easy to balance as a wider 33-34 inch wide board. It is a nice compromise since it is meant to be used as a kayak also where the extra width and stability aren’t needed. Tracking is good with the 3 fin setup.

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ 6″ x 31″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 18 lbs
  • Board Weight – 286 lbs
  • Construction – Single Layer PVC with carbon reinforced sides
  • D-Rings – 9
  • Paddle – 4 Piece aluminum convertible
  • Pump – Double action

Get $30 off using coupon code FS30 at Freeinsup.com


7 – GILI AIR 10’6″

GILI Air Product Image

What we liked:

  • A portion of every GILI board sold goes to charities that support ocean health and marine life
  • Stable board good for beginners
  • Lots of D-Rings, action mounts and handles
  • Good bag design with pockets and molle loops
  • Racing/touring center fin and removable side fins
  • Lightweight board that is easy to carry

What we didn’t like:

  • Only comes with an aluminum paddle
  • Board has noticeable flex in it for heavier over 225 lb paddlers

Summary

The GILI Air is their entry into the very competitive budget inflatable SUP market. It goes in guns blazing with lots of features such as action mounts, diamond groove deck pad and nice bag. A portion of every GILI SUP goes towards charities supporting ocean cleanup and marine animals.

The GILI AIR is available in 2 sizes. The 10’6″ and 11’6″. The 11’6″ is the better choice for larger paddlers over 200 lbs. The board is 32 inches wide with plenty of volume at the nose and tail for stability. The board is good for beginners and new paddlers looking for a stable board.

The AIR uses 2 layer PVC construction. It has okay stiffness. Paddlers over 200 lbs will be able to feel the board flex more than stiffer woven or 3 layer boards. Overall the construction looks and feels high quality and above what you expect for a $500 SUP.

The board has a standard 3 fin setup with fliplock removeable fins. The center fin is a 9 inch racing/touring design which is a little upgrade over the standard dolphin fin that most boards come with. The board will perform well on flat water without the side fins with some paddling practice.

The board has a 18 D-Rings and 3 action mounts for mounting seats and accessories. GILI sells a wide range of accessories to use with thsi board including a kayak conversion and fishing rod holders. There are also 7 handles making it easy to carry. At 19 lbs it’s already a very easy board to carry.

The accessories are what you expect at this price point. The bag has good padding and some molle loop for attaching things. The bag doesn’t have wheels or an option to add them. The board comes with an aluminum paddle which is the biggest negative of the whole package. A standard double action pump is included which gets the job done.

Specifications

  • Size – 10′ 6″ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 280 lbs
  • Board Weight – 19 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer
  • D-Rings – 18
  • Paddle – 3 piece aluminum
  • Pump – double action pump

A portion of every GILI Paddleboard goes to charities that support ocean reefs and endangered sea animals


a couple paddling on inflatable sup
Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Ryan Craig
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days, I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible. Visit our About Us page and learn more.

ryan@lowbudgetadventurer.com


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