Paddleboarding might be one of the most popular water-based sports.
You can grab your board and hit the surf, trying to stay on the board and riding the waves being an exercise for every part of your body, very different to the more isolated exercises you can get in the gym - and a lot more fun!
But it’s not just a sport for adults, plenty of children can get into stand-up paddleboarding. It’s a great way for them to have fun with their friends or a bonding activity you can do on holiday as a family.
But obviously, children will need boards that are specially adapted for their smaller stature. You want paddleboarding to be a challenge... but not impossible.
Generally, a smaller paddleboard will be easier for a child or teenager to control, keeping them closer to the water.
Children’s paddleboards generally have a lot more bright and fun designs on them than the adult ones. They choose between solid or inflatable paddleboards, the latter probably being the better option as they are easier to store and much lighter to carry.
Another major plus point of the children’s SUP is the price. Made from less material and using inexpensive construction materials, these cost significantly less than a full-sized adult board.
You can get a few models of these for your children without spending an arm and a leg, which will be important to parents who know their children aren’t going to be surfing more than a few times a week.
But where can you get the best kids' SUPs? What materials should a stand-up board for children be made out of and what features should it have to give them a fun and safe swim? How much can you be expected to pay for a kid's SUP?
Well, if you want to take your kids out on the surf, then you should read our list of some of the best kids' SUPs currently available on the market.
We’ve also got a buyer’s guide that will help you differentiate between the good boards and the bad boards, along with some frequently asked questions.
OUR TOP PICK
- 0.1 Feath-R-Lite Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
- 0.2 Wavey Board Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
- 0.3 Freein Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
- 0.4 Dama Youth 10-Inch Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
- 0.5 Aqua Marina Magma Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
- 1 Best Kids SUPs Buying Guide
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions
Our first board comes in an affordable package that you can pick up for your children and their siblings.
There is a wide range of colorful board designs with this manufacturer, so you can help them pick out the color that suits their personality or makes them the envy of their friends - introducing the Feath-R-Lite Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board.
This paddleboard is very highly visible, so you will be able to keep track of your child if they drift away from you.
It is constructed from military-grade PVC that will be able to withstand many scrapes and punctures. It is built for calmer waters and can support riders up to 120-pounds.
It has a cross-section bungee cord that will keep your child attached to their board at all times. You can use this cord to strap down a life jacket, a lunch box or even a small cooler of drinks.
When it comes to being out in the ocean, you want your child to be as protected and safe as possible.
- Portable - this board is easy to let the air out of and roll up, you can store it in your garage and it won’t take up any room at all. This might be more of a boon to people who only surf a few times a month.
- The bright colors are not only incredibly eye-catching and cool, but they will make sure that whoever is using them remains visible from quite a distance.
- The price - this whole package is very reasonable, considering the number of features that you get with this board. There is a bungee strap, removable nylon fins and a manual pump. For a first board, this one gives the user a lot for their buck!
- The construction of this board is both lightweight and durable, enabling even the smallest child to pick it up and carry it from the beach house to the shoreline.
- This does not include a backpack, so it might be more difficult and cumbersome to carry if you have some distance to go between your home and the beach.
Our next paddleboard is another very vividly colored one, perfect for those who want that simplicity and cool-blue tone to match the ocean or lake on which you’re surfing.
This surfboard has a round nose and a squashed tail shape with a soft top construction that makes it not too abrasive on your child’s delicate skin - introducing the Wavey Board Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board.
This board is very lightweight and can be easily rolled up, placed in your backpack and carried to the beach and back.
This has a removable fin system, so your child can select the amount of control that they want over their surfing.
It has great traction on the deck, meaning that the user will be able to stay on the board for longer to practice their balancing technique.
The bright blue and white colors will give your child or teenager that greater visibility on the waves, giving you that peace of mind that you will be able to track them quickly when they go out of sight.
It has a center-molded grip handle that will make transportation very easy.
- The price - like with a lot of the other paddleboards on this list, this one comes at a very reasonable price and has all the features and materials that a lot of the professional boards are made from.
- The traction pad on the top will ensure that your child will be able to stay on the board and learn more maneuvering techniques. For kid surfers who want to progress in their surfing, this ability to stay on top of the board will be very important.
- There is a leash plug on this, which the young paddleboarder can affix to their ankle or use to attach useful accessories like a life jacket or a paddle.
- The design - with a round nose and a squash tail shape, this model might not be the fastest, but it certainly gives the surfer trying to find their water wings that stability they need when they begin learning.
- This does not include a leash, which might be very inconvenient for those who want to get all their accessories in one single purchase.
Our next board is another very affordable model for children, with a longer body and 28-inch width that will give them stability when they’re out on the surf.
It comes with patented double-wall technology that absorbs the shocks from two different plates on the top and bottom of the board, leading to a far more comfortable ride - introducing the Freein Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board.
The weight of this board is 9-pounds, making it very easy to carry to and from the shore. It also has a maximum load-bearing capability of 176-pounds, making it very supportive for the larger child.
This board is definitely one more speed rather than durability, although the double-wall technology does a lot to absorb the natural shocks that the board is likely to experience.
If your kid is learning how to surf, then you’ll want a cheaper board that you don’t mind battering over and over again.
- This board is both long and nimble, enabling you to navigate through the trickiest of aquatic terrain. This board is perfect for both speed and durability, which a lot of children will need to improve their skills.
- The double-wall technology will absorb more shocks than your average board, which makes it easier for the rider to control the natural pitches of the ocean.
- Easy to store - this board like a lot of the others on this list is inflatable, allowing you to roll it up and store it in the garage when not in use. This makes it an ideal board for the more casual surfer.
- This board is ideal for both children and teenagers and is great if you plan on transitioning from a beginner to an intermediate paddleboarder.
- This board does not come with a backpack, which might deter kids who want that added cool factor of storing their board in a backpack.
Our next board is one that is slightly more heavy-duty, with 10 feet long and 30-inch wide dimensions that come in an adequate thickness that will support a weight of up to 220-pounds.
This makes it the perfect model for growing teenagers who might need a more resilient board for holding their growing weight - introducing the Dama Youth 10-Inch Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board.
This is available in a wide range of very bright colors that will appeal to a young teenager who wants to stand out from the crowd, while also making them visible.
Having a model of paddleboard that is both safe and stylish is not always easy to accomplish, but you can be sure that most teenagers will love the style of this board.
This board is very durable and inflatable, coming with a backpack that you can use to transport your board to and from the ocean or lake.
One of the main draws for a lot of kids is for them to take a surf with their pets or a friend, this board can surely support the weight of two smaller individuals.
- The longer and thicker dimensions of this board can support two smaller children or one growing teenager. Social surfing is very popular amongst kids and this board will be perfect for that end.
- The deck has a very tacky mesh upper side that will ensure that any practicing novice will be able to stay on the board for as long as they need to rehearse more complicated moves.
- The leash system on this board is very strong. You can attach it to your ankle or use it to attach useful accessories to your board such as a life jacket or a first aid kit.
- This board is very nimble and has been specially designed to be used on choppy waters, the ideal practice area for those younger surfers who dream of turning pro.
- Some users have complained that the seal between the pump and the board is too thick, making it a difficult unit to inflate.
Our final board is certainly no slouch when it comes to load-bearing, coming in an 8-feet long and 28-inch wide body, this model is more than equipped to carry the weight of a fully-grown teenager.
This has a double-action pump that will allow you to get this board inflated in super quick time, perfect for the energetic kid itching to get out on the water - introducing the Aqua Marina Magma Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board.
This has an integrated paddle and bungee cord, which makes it ideal for calm water paddling or fishing, allowing you to support all your goods as you swim out.
You can also use this paddleboard to carry you and your dog, allowing you some alone time with man’s best friend.
The lighter weight of this board makes it much easier for children to handle, so if they are interested in eventually moving up to an adult board, you can start early and make the transition to pro boarding all the smoother.
It also has a detachable center fin that you can use to increase or decrease the level of control over your board.
- The small and lightweight size and construction of this board make it a great model for children to handle.
- Kids can wield this board both on and off the water, the inflatable elements allow your teenagers or children to assemble or disassemble their boards on their own.
- This board is made from the same industrial-strength PVC that they use to construct the professional boards.
- The price - this is a very affordable unit, you can pick it up for less than $100. This will be very appealing to those families who only go surfing a few times annually.
- This board comes in only one color and design, which definitely won’t be appealing to the casual young surfer who values looks over surfing ability.
Best Kids SUPs Buying Guide
When it comes to getting the perfect board for your child, there are a few basic features that you’ll need that you won’t find on an adult board.
Children are generally smaller than adults, therefore, the boards they use will need to be smaller, more lightweight and easier to transport to and from the water.
How Old Is Your Child?
Children can start paddleboarding from a very young age and this is reflected in the variety of paddleboards that you can get.
There is practically a surfboard for every age of the child, from 5 to 18, so you must buy them the right “age” of board.
We would recommend that you get your child a board that is slightly oversized so that they can grow into it. The last thing you or your bank are going to want is to be buying surfboards every year!
Is The Board Solid Or Inflatable?
The inflatable boards are generally the best type to get for a child as they generally have a softer surface and won’t cause excessive grazing to your child’s knees or elbows.
Inflatable boards are also much easier to carry, often coming with built-in handles.
We recommend that you get a backpack for your child to transport their own surfboard, so they can feel that the board is truly theirs to look after.
How Stable Is Your Board?
A shorter and wider board generally has a lot more stability and sticks to the surface of the water a lot better.
This will make rehearsing certain surfing moves a lot easier for a child who has only just mastered standing on their board.
Does Your Child’s Surfboard Have Accessories?
Having an optional paddle will improve your child’s control of their paddleboard and help steer them away from potentially treacherous rocks.
Having a built-in leash is also important for keeping your child affixed to the board so that when they fall off they won’t lose their board.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Material For Making A Kids SUP?
PVC is probably the best material for an inflatable paddleboard, as it’s both durable and flexible.
When it comes to buying your child’s first paddleboard, you’re going to have to accept that it’s probably going to suffer plenty of knocks and impacts as they learn the surfing basics.
PVC is very resistant to punctures, which again will be important for preserving it and making sure that it lasts you at least a few years.
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I’m an Colorado native, who learned to surf in the Pacific Northwest, and SW Canada. I live inland near the mountains now, and love to get out on my SUP. It’s weird, but I love windy, choppy days as no-one is out and I like the challenge.