Best Inflatable Paddleboard Under $300

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Living in Dunedin, FL near the beautiful turquoise waters of Honeymoon and Caladesi Island had me wanting a paddleboard or kayak so I could spend more time on the water and island hopping to little islands you can only reach by boat. I spent months researching both inflatable paddleboards and your standard hard SUP, trying to decide which would be best. Since you could stand or sit with a paddleboard, I pretty quickly ruled out getting a kayak. I like having the option of sitting when I need to rest or navigate the waves. And there’s nothing quite like standing up for the first time out on the water…the freedom…the bliss…stand up paddleboarding has become my favorite hobby. In this blog post, I’m going to share the inflatable SUP (stand up paddleboard) I purchased from Amazon (less than $300!), the pros and cons of an inflatable paddleboard, and answer questions like if it’s safe for the ocean, how long they last, and my favorite paddleboarding accessories from Amazon!

  • Best Inflatable Paddleboard under $300
  • Inflatable paddleboard or solid/hard
  • Pros and Cons of an Inflatable SUP
  • Are inflatable stand-up paddleboards good for the ocean?
  • Are inflatable SUPs safe?
  • How long do inflatable SUPs last?
  • My favorite inflatable stand-up paddle board accessories from Amazon

What is the best inflatable paddleboard under $300?

The DAMA Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board from Amazon. Obsessed is an understatement when it comes to this SUP. I purchased mine in 2021 (so it’s a little over 2 years old at the time of writing this) and I went with the 10’6″*32″*6″ size. I’m a female – 5’4 with not a ton of arm strength. I have no issues loading this board in and out of the truck and to the water. I grab the handle in the middle of the board, flip it on it’s side and can easily lift the board out of the water and into the truck (vice versa).

One of my favorite features of this board is the appearance – it has the look of a wood grain finish, making the board look like a real, hard paddlebaord, even though it’s inflatable. The bright turquoise accents look so good on the board and gives it a perfectly beachy look. The board is 10’6″ length and strikes the perfect balance between stability and maneuverability, making it suitable for riders of any level, including beginners like myself. I’ve yet to take mine out on fresh water (which is easier than the ocean) and it’s been a champ navigating the gulf where I live. I learned it’s not so fun taking it out with winds above 8mph- great workout, but not a fan of paddling that hard. The DAMA Inflatable Paddleboard is under $300, making it a super affordable way to get out on the water if you don’t have a boat. Amazon usually has a $20 off coupon too! Click here or the image below to check out my DAMA paddleboard on Amazon.

Which is best- inflatable or hard paddleboard?

Inflatable SUPs:

  1. Portability: One of the standout features of inflatable SUPs is their portability. They can be deflated, rolled up, and stored in a compact backpack, making them easy to transport in a car, on a plane, or even on a hike to a remote water spot.
  2. Storage: If you have limited storage space, an inflatable SUP is a great choice. You can store it in a closet, under a bed, or in a small apartment without the need for extra space.
  3. Durability: Modern inflatable SUPs are constructed using high-quality materials, such as military-grade PVC, which make them incredibly durable and resistant to dings and dents. They can withstand rough handling and are less likely to get damaged during transport.
  4. Versatility: Inflatable SUPs are suitable for various water conditions, including lakes, rivers, and oceans. They offer stability and maneuverability, making them suitable for beginners and riders of all skill levels.


  1. Performance: Hardboards generally offer better performance in terms of speed, responsiveness, and maneuverability. They are often more rigid, providing a solid platform for more advanced paddlers to push their limits and ride waves with precision.
  2. Tracking: Hardboards tend to have better tracking abilities due to their sleeker and more streamlined design. They cut through the water more efficiently, making it easier to maintain a straight line.
  3. Stability: While inflatable SUPs are known for their stability, hardboards can offer even greater stability due to their rigid construction. This can be advantageous for riders who want to engage in activities like yoga or fishing, where stability is key. Note: I’ve never fallen off or even felt like I was going to tip over off of my inflatable board. I’ve done SUP yoga classes and paddled through choppy conditions with no issues regarding stability.
  4. Maintenance: Hardboards typically require less maintenance than inflatables. They don’t need to be inflated and deflated, and there’s no risk of leaks or punctures. However, they may require more care when transporting and storing due to their bulkier nature.

Unless you’re after speed- the general consensus of everyone I’ve spoken with, seems to be in favor of inflatable paddleboards. They’re significantly cheaper, lighter, easier to store, easier to carry, and you generally speaking get the same experience. I talked to someone on the water yesterday who said he ended up selling his hard board for an inflatable and has purchased several more for when family and friends come into town. He said he can bring 5 deflated SUPs with him, his car still fits 5 people, and he inflates them with an electric pump once he gets to the beach. So cool!

Pros and Cons of an Inflatable SUP

Pros of an Inflatable SUP:

  1. Portability: Easy to transport and store, can be deflated and rolled up.
  2. Durability: Constructed with high-quality materials, resistant to impacts and punctures.
  3. Versatility: Suitable for various water conditions, including the ocean, accommodating riders of different skill levels.
  4. Safety: Soft and forgiving surface reduces the risk of injury.
  5. Price: Inflatable SUPs are significantly less expensive than a hard paddle board.

Cons of an Inflatable SUP:

  1. Performance: May not offer the same level of speed and maneuverability as hardboards.
  2. Setup and Deflation Time: Requires a few minutes for inflation and deflation. ( I always keep mine inflated- we built a rack on the wall in the garage to store it so it really doesn’t take up extra space either)

    Are inflatable stand-up paddleboards good for the ocean?

    Absolutely! The DAMA inflatable paddleboard is perfect for stand up paddleboarding. I typically don’t take it out in the ocean if winds are above 8mph. You can download wind/tide apps to help you navigate when a good paddle day is. I use the Windfinder app on Samsung and I’ve had no issues with accuracy.

You’ll want to avoid areas of heavy boat traffic. If a jetski or boat goes by, I typically get on my knees and paddle until the waves settle down. I never feel like I’m going to fall off because the board is rocking or is unsteady- it’s just a matter of finding it difficult to paddle and make progress when the waters get rough from boat traffic. Early mornings make for a beautiful, calm enviroment to take your inflatable board out. Remember to prioritize your own skill level, experience, and familiarity with oceanic conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Before I learned about winds/tides, I went for a sunset paddle and felt like I was paddling for my life trying to paddle back to shore against the wind- Don’t make the same mistake I did!

Are inflatable stand-up paddleboards safe?

Inflatable stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) are generally considered safe when used responsibly and with proper precautions. Here are some key points regarding the safety of inflatable SUPs:

  1. Stability: Inflatable SUPs offer stability, reducing the likelihood of falls or capsizing, particularly for beginners or less experienced paddlers.
  2. Buoyancy: Inflatable SUPs provide excellent buoyancy, ensuring riders can easily float in case of falling off the board.
  3. Impact Absorption: The inflatable construction helps absorb impacts, providing a softer surface and potentially reducing the risk of injuries.
  4. Durability: High-quality inflatable SUPs are made from durable materials, increasing resistance to punctures and damage.
  5. Proper Inflation and Maintenance: Following manufacturer guidelines for proper inflation and regular maintenance ensures optimal performance and safety.
  6. Personal Safety Gear: Wearing a leash and a personal flotation device (PFD) is recommended for added protection, especially in open water or challenging conditions.
  7. Skill and Experience: Safety depends on individual skill level, understanding of water conditions, and adherence to paddleboarding techniques.

Ultimately, responsible paddling, awareness of potential risks, and adherence to safety guidelines contribute to a safe inflatable SUP experience. Always have a safety whistle and life jacket on board just in case.

How long do inflatable stand up paddleboards last?

how long does a DAMA SUP last? ChatGPT

The lifespan of a DAMA Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board can vary depending on factors such as frequency of use, care, maintenance, and storage conditions. However, with proper care and maintenance, a DAMA SUP has the potential to last for several years.

DAMA SUPs are known for their durability, as they are constructed using high-quality materials such as military-grade PVC. These materials are designed to withstand impacts, scratches, and punctures, ensuring the board’s longevity. However, it’s important to note that excessive abuse or improper handling can still cause damage to the board, potentially shortening its lifespan.

To maximize the lifespan of your DAMA SUP, it’s crucial to follow proper care and maintenance practices. After each use, rinse the board with fresh water to remove any salt or debris. Allow it to dry completely before deflating and storing it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing the board in extreme temperatures or folded for extended periods, as this can potentially weaken the material.

Regularly inspect your DAMA SUP for any signs of damage, such as punctures or leaks. If you notice any issues, use the repair kit provided by DAMA or seek professional repair services to address them promptly.

Ultimately, the lifespan of a DAMA SUP can be influenced by how well it is cared for and maintained. With proper care, regular inspections, and responsible use, you can expect your DAMA SUP to provide you with many enjoyable paddleboarding experiences for years to come.

My favorite paddleboard accessories from Amazon:

Not only can you buy my favorite DAMA inflatable paddleboard from Amazon, but there are so many fun paddleboard accessories you can buy too. A big water bottle, cooler, speaker, sunscreen, and dry bag are absolute musts! Click here to shop my favorite paddleboard accessories! The anchor is great for SUP yoga so you don’t drift away while you stretch. The dry bag keeps everything dry (obviously) and I can fit a towel, clothes, a full bottle of sunscreen, keys, and a few other odds and ends I might want to bring.

The next thing I’m going to buy is this paddleboard set. I’ve been looking at them online and finally saw some on the water yesterday. Funny enough the guy had this exact DAMA inflatable board too (which he loves). He said the seats are a must have-it looked super comfortable and sturdy, clipping right into the rings that are already on the board. Here is the paddleboard seat on Amazon. It has tons of excellent reviews.

In conclusion, I can’t say enough wonderful things about the DAMA Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board. I feel so alive when I’m on it and it’s the perfect balance of relaxation mixed with exercise. For the affordability, stability, portability, and durability, you can’t beat it. This inflatable SUP is great on fresh water and the ocean and is perfect for a beginner or experienced paddleboarder. I always say, even if somehow it pops in a few years, it was worth every penny. And as long as you take care of the SUP properly, you won’t have to worry about it popping. Please reach out if you have any questions here or email me at – I don’t work for DAMA, I’m just OBSESSED with this paddleboard.

For local paddleboarding around Dunedin, you MUST launch from the Dunedin Causeway and paddle to Caladesi Island and the dog beach – the water is absolutely stunning and I’ve seen so many dolphins and beautiful wildlife. I can’t recommend it enough. Happy paddling!

Check out Caladesi Island State Park and Honeymoon Island State Park!

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