Looking for the best kids stand up paddleboard? Well we’ve found some of the best SUPs for kids to make your choice easier.
Paddleboarding’s popularity has been growing over the past few years, and it’s no wonder why. Stand Up Paddle (or SUP) boarding is a healthy, enjoyable activity for the whole family.
Not only does it get you out and about, enjoying fresh air and nature, but it’s an easy to learn, fun form of exercise that builds core strength, coordination, and balance. And teaches water confidence and safety too!
What You'll Find in This Post
- Paddleboards for Kids
- Overview of Best Stand Up Paddleboards for Kids
- Do you need a kid’s SUP board, or can you use an adult board?
- Best Stand Up Paddleboards for Kids
- 1. Bestway Hydro-Force Aqua Journey Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
- 2. YASKA Stand Up Paddle Board for Youth
- 3. GILI All Around Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Package
- 4. NIXY Huntington Paddle Board
- 5. Airhead Popsicle 730 iSUP
- 6. Aqua Marina Vibrant 8
- 7. Thurso Prodigy Kids SUP
- Other Kids SUP Accessories.
- What type of paddleboards are there?
- What features should a kid’s paddle board have?
Paddleboards for Kids
Children as young as five can begin learning to paddleboard on their own, while toddlers can enjoy the experience from the safety of an adult’s board.
Adults can do it at any age because, despite the name, you can actually do it sitting down or kneeling if you want to. And plenty of SUP boards are pet-friendly to allow the dog to join in the fun too.
If you’re considering taking your family on a paddleboarding adventure and want to purchase your kids their own boards, there are a few things to consider.
Here in our round-up of the best kids stand up paddle boards on the market, we’ll talk you through the various features and specifications on offer. We’ll discuss size, weight, capacity, and buoyancy levels, as well as the various features and accessories that you might need to get out paddleboarding with your kids.
Overview of Best Stand Up Paddleboards for Kids
|Paddle Board||Length (Feet)||Weight Limit (lbs)||Board Weight (lbs)||Best for Age||Price|
|Bestway Hydro-Force Aqua Journey||9'||209||23||8+||Check Price|
|YASKA Stand Up Paddle Board for Youth||10'||260||24||10+||Check Price|
|GILI All Around Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Package||10'6"||280||19||10+||Check Price|
| NIXY Huntington Paddle Board ||9'6"||250||18.75||10+||Check Price|
|Airhead Popsicle 730 iSUP||7'||120||19||5+||Check Price
|Aqua Marina Vibrant 8||8'||132||12.6||5+||Check Price|
|Thurso Prodigy Kids SUP||7'6"||165||19||5+||Check Price|
Do you need a kid’s SUP board, or can you use an adult board?
Children can learn to SUP board on adult boards, and there are benefits to that. If you purchase an adult board, you can use it too and know that your child won’t grow out of it. Adult boards do perform better and have more scope for accessories and customizability.
It’s an expensive purchase, and it’s tempting to go for an adult-sized board. But there are benefits to purchasing a dedicated kid’s stand up paddle board, especially for younger children.
Kids SUP boards are designed for kids. They are smaller, lighter, and tend to look more fun and colorful. They have less complicated features and are easier to maneuver in the water, especially by junior paddlers. They are also easier to carry or inflate, and if you want your child to take ownership of their gear, then getting them a board that they can handle themselves is essential.
As a general rule:
- Children < 5 should only be paddleboarding with an adult on an adult’s board.
- Children 5 – 8 will do better on a dedicated children’s board.
- Children 8 – 15 are tricky. They could go either way, so you should judge based on your child’s height, weight, and abilities.
- Teenagers 15+ can handle a hybrid or adults board
Best Stand Up Paddleboards for Kids
Inflatable. 9’ x 30” x 6”. Maximum Capacity 209 lbs. Weight 23lbs.
Not one of the biggest names in the paddleboard industry, but the Bestway board is fast making a name for itself as a best seller on Amazon. With everything you need to get started, this is one of our most reasonable boards.
- A budget-friendly complete beginner package, this board comes with everything your child needs to get started at a reasonable price.
- Comes with an adjustable aluminum paddle, leash, pump, and rucksack.
- Two carry handles, one in the center of the board and one at the tail.
- Double traction pad with different textures.
- Tri-fin system for excellent tracking.
- Fixed fins, no need to worry about installing or removing.
- Super buoyant and stable.
- Longer length and higher weight capacity will allow children to use this board for longer without growing out of it.
- Higher weight capacity allows adults to use this board too or for two children to enjoy this board together.
- The longer length will make it trickier for very young paddlers.
- 23lbs weight means younger paddlers might need help carrying it.
- Graphics and colors aren’t as fun as some others.
- No bungee storage on the nose.
- No repair kit.
Best for a versatile board that will still suit your children as they grow up.
Inflatable. 10’ x 28” x 4.7” Maximum capacity 260lbs. Weight 24 lbs
Despite being longer than most youth paddle boards for sale, the Yaksa had to be on our list. For a lower price point, your child can have all the equipment they need to get started on a board that allows them room to grow and improve.
- Complete package of board, adjustable paddle, leash, pump, center carry handle, and backpack.
- Strong and durable, made of military-grade dual-layer DWF materials.
- Large, durable traction pad.
- Tri fin system for good tracking, two small permanent fins and one central larger one removable.
- Higher weight capacity than the younger boards allows older children, pairs of children, or adults to use this board.
- It is longer than most junior SUP paddle boards and, therefore, harder to maneuver.
- At 24lbs, younger children may need help to carry it.
- One removable fin.
- Some paddle board reviews state that while the board is of excellent quality, the pump is not.
- No year warranty.
Best for an excellent package on a tight budget.
Inflatable. 10’6” x 31” x 6”. Maximum capacity 280lbs. Weight 19lbs.
This beautiful board is not technically a paddle board for kids and, at 10’6 ft long, may be too large for most younger children. However, it has a fantastic look and a pack of great features. Plus the fact that a donation is made to ocean charities with every board purchase. We think this is an excellent choice for teenage paddlers.
- Very light for an adult board at only 19lbs.
- Four distinct color choices, all with the beautiful turtle design.
- At 31”, this board is extra wide and stable.
- Large weight capacity allows for multiple paddlers
- The extra-large traction pad is specifically designed to be passenger or dog-friendly.
- The width and traction pad on this board makes it an excellent yoga SUP board.
- The complete package includes an adjustable paddle, leash, pump, and backpack featuring the same turtle branding as the board.
- 2 carry handles, one at the center, one at the nose.
- Bungee storage system at the nose
- Additional stainless steel rings at the tail can be used for extra storage or to add a kayak seat.
- Tri-fin system for great stability and tracking.
- Plenty of range for improvement and advancement with this versatile board.
- Every purchase of this Gili board means a donation to an ocean charity, including the Coral Reef Alliance, Project Aware, and Save our Turtles.
- Too long for very young children to handle easily.
- Does not come with a repair kit.
- The adjustable paddle is heavier than most and might need replacing with a lighter version for younger children.
- One removable fin, although it does not require tools to be installed.
Best for teenagers who care about their look and the environment.
Inflatable. 9’6” x 32” x 6”. Maximum Capacity 250lbs. Board weight 18.75lbs.
Not technically a junior paddle board, but small and light enough to be handled easily. This board is a more expensive choice but comes packed with high-quality accessories and features and is specifically designed to be ultra-portable and traveler-friendly.
- Beautiful design with two color options.
- Light and easy to maneuver and carry.
- Adjustable lightweight carbon fiber paddle that breaks down into three pieces.
- Packs away remarkably small into a three-wheeled backpack, perfect for traveling.
- The package includes everything you’ll need: leash, paddle, high-quality pump, repair kit, shoulder strap, and wheeled backpack.
- A wide, buoyant board that inflates to high rigidity for extra stability.
- Three grab handles, center, nose, and tail.
- Bungee storage systems at nose and tail.
- Mounting brackets for accessories such as GoPro.
- Option to convert paddleboard to a kayak with a removable seat.
- Single fin system. Some reviewers have noted that tracking could be improved.
- Removable fin.
- At 9’6” in length, older teenagers might eventually want a longer board.
- Too many additional features – elastics and straps – for young children to use easily.
Best for families willing to spend a little extra for portability, premium features, and accessories.
Inflatable. 7’ x 30” x 6”. Maximum capacity 120 lbs. Weight 19lbs.
This is an excellent small paddle board for really young paddlers. Bright, colorful, fun, safe, and stable, this is a perfect beginner board.
- Built with children in mind, this is the perfect kid-size stand up paddle board.
- The 6-inch thickness makes it extremely buoyant.
- Four fins offer maximum stability and excellent tracking. They are permanent fixtures, so there’s no issue of having to take them in and out or of screws and small parts being lost.
- Fun and bright.
- Large, durable EVA traction pad for excellent grip.
- Light and easy to carry.
- Tail ring for attaching a leash or tow rope.
- Has a center carry handle.
- Comes with a pump, repair kit, and mesh rucksack.
- Does not come with a paddle or leash.
- It is the thickest of our kid’s inflatable boards, making climbing back onto it a little trickier.
- The shortest of our boards and with the lowest lbs weight capacity, this one cannot be used easily by older children or teenagers.
- Priced can be at the high end and it’s not the cheapest junior sup paddleboard, especially when you know your child will grow out of it.
Best for very young beginner children.
Inflatable. 8’ x 28” x 4”. Maximum capacity 132lbs. Weight 12.6lbs.
The vibrant has been a fan favorite for some time, but it has recently had an upgrade. Aqua Marina has listened to suggestions and refreshed the original Vibrant to give it even more of what you want from your kid’s inflatable SUP. Still featuring its signature color and the stiffness that reviewers loved, it’s now shorter, wider, and lighter with a more effective traction pad. And, most importantly, it now comes with a paddle.
- By far the lightest of our boards and the easiest to carry.
- Paddle board reviews praise the fact that it can be pumped up to 15psi, giving it the stiffness and feel of a hardboard.
- Comes with a lightweight, adjustable kids paddle, leash, pump and carry handle, and backpack.
- Bungee elastics on the nose for storage.
- Large traction pad.
- Removable fin slides in rather than using screws.
- Bright funky colour.
- Reasonably priced with midrange pricing.
- One removable fin. Aqua Marina stands by the stability and tracking of their single fin setup, but some might find the Popsicle’s four fins easier for children. Also, since it’s removable, there is a risk of loss or damage.
- Does not come with a repair kit.
- It is short and has a low weight capacity, so children will grow out of it.
Best for young children and beginners, with a little more room for growth than the Popsicle.
Inflatable. 7’6” x 30” x 4”. Maximum Capacity 165 lbs. Weight 19lbs.
Another great kid-size stand up paddle board, but this one’s for the kid’s with a bit of attitude. The Surf Prodigy Junior looks cool, is cool, and tops the charts for speed and maneuverability.
- Recommended by Thurso for children as young as 5.
- The Prodigy Junior kid’s board comes in two color choices, blue or pink, both with a camo pattern.
- Two carry handles, one central and one of the nose, making it easy for your kids to carry it and drag it out of the water themselves.
- Tri-fin system for good stability and tracking.
- Elastic bungees on the nose for storage.
- Extremely lightweight, adjustable, 3 piece carbon shaft paddle.
- Light and easy to carry.
- Durable and strong made from the same double-layer military-grade PVC construction that Thurso Surf uses on their adult boards.
- Comes with a paddle, leash, and backpack.
- Short and with a low weight capacity, your child will eventually outgrow this board.
- Does not come with a repair kit.
- Does not come with a pump. Thurso says this is because many paddleboarding families end up with more pumps than they need. This makes sense, but you will have to make an additional purchase if you’re not one of those families.
- Removable fins.
- At the higher end of the price point.
Best for cool kids who learn quickly and want to go fast.
Other Kids SUP Accessories.
Once you’ve picked the board, here are a few other things you might want to think about adding. You want to be fully prepared so that your children have the best paddle board adventure possible.
- Leash – Most of the kid’s SUP boards on our list come with a leash, but if yours doesn’t, then think about purchasing one to save your child the worry about losing their board when they fall off.
- Jr Paddles – An essential piece of the kit. Make sure your child’s paddle is the right size and weight for them to use easily. Using the wrong size paddle can make paddling difficult and cause shoulder pain. Adjustable ones are an excellent choice for a kid’s paddle.
- Life jackets or PFD’s for all children and adults too if you want to set a good example.
- If pumping up all those kids’ inflatable SUP boards is too much for you, consider electric SUP pumps to make your life easier.
- Wetsuits make cold water paddleboarding a lot more enjoyable.
- Water shoes or wet suit boots to make getting in and out of the water easier over rocks and pebbles.
- Snorkels and masks. These are a great idea once your kids are confident on their boards. If they take snorkels with them, they can jump into the water or lie on the deck of their boards and observe the fish below.
- Waterproof dry bag to take sunscreen, snacks, car keys, phone for emergencies, etc. Make sure you get one that you can clip firmly to your board or wear securely.
- Waterproof camera or GoPro to record your family adventures. GoPro makes secure mounts specifically for the front of surf/paddleboards.
- Paddle board to Kayak convertible kit.
- Shoulder strap to make carrying the board easier.
- Unicorn board attachment– well, that’s just for fun! Although they do come with seats to help turn your board into a toddler paddle board!
What type of paddleboards are there?
Paddle boards come in all different shapes, sizes, and materials, and you need to make sure you choose the one that best suits you and your family’s requirements. The three main types of board are listed here with their general pros and cons.
Inflatable paddleboards are probably the most popular option these days and definitely when it comes to paddle boards for kids.
- Lightweight, easy to carry and maneuver.
- Soft. If your child falls off or gets hit by their board, an inflatable one does not hurt.
- Easy to transport since they don’t require you to have a van or roof rack but can be folded up into a bag and put easily in the car.
- Easy to store since they don’t take up much space.
- Durable. This might be surprising for an inflatable object, but these boards are tough. Made with double-layered construction of high-grade, PVC they can be dropped, crashed, and dragged across rocks with little to no damage.
- Easier and cheaper to travel with than hard boards since they can be checked as luggage on a plane.
- Generally cheaper than hardboards.
- Need inflating and deflating when you reach the water, which takes time.
- Don’t look as traditional or classic as hard boards.
- Slower and slightly less maneuverable than hard boards.
- Requires more equipment that you may have to purchase separately, i.e. pump, rucksack.
Hard boards or epoxy/fiberglass boards.
Hardboards are not really appropriate for children because of safety concerns and the fact that they are quite easily damaged. For this reason, there are no hardboards on our kids stand up paddleboard list, but we have included the pros and cons here to give you an idea, and in case you’d like to purchase an adult one.
- These traditional paddle boards look great and are suitable for people who like the classic look and style.
- They tend to be faster and sleeker, good for racing, touring, and SUP surfing.
- Don’t need inflating or deflating, so you save time when you reach the water.
- Fragile. Fiberglass boards get scratched and dinged up quickly. If you hit a rock, drop the board or even just hit it too hard with your paddle, you can damage the board. And repairing them is a skilled job.
- Requires adequate storage space, up to 12 feet long.
- Needs a van or roof rack to transport them.
- Harder and heavier to carry.
- More expensive than inflatable paddle boards.
- Generally narrower and less stable than inflatable boards.
Soft Topped Paddleboards
A good choice that combines some of the best features of both inflatable and hard boards.
- Lighter than hard boards.
- A soft foam top makes them softer if you fall or land on them.
- Generally broader and more buoyant than hard boards.
- The soft top is more comfortable and perfect for kneeling or doing yoga on board.
- Durable, unlikely to chip, ding, or crack during transportation or storage.
- Dog friendly. The foam gives them grip and doesn’t get damaged by their claws.
- Family-friendly. Several children or an adult and child can easily fit on them.
- Great for beginners.
- Needs storage space – up to 12 feet long.
- Needs van/roof rack for transportation.
- Heavier and more difficult to carry than inflatables.
- Slower and less mobile than hard boards.
Note: There are no soft-topped paddleboards on our list here. This is not because there are no good junior soft tops, but purely because they are less widely available. Soft tops such as the Tru Wave 8’0 Youth Junior Stand Up Paddle Board are a great choice.
What features should a kid’s paddle board have?
Some of the things we looked at in our search through the best junior and youth paddle boards for sale:
Length – Dedicated kids SUPs will generally be between 7 and 9 ft long, whereas adult boards can go up to 13ft long.
Width – Paddle boards for kids tend to be narrower to allow for childrens’ shorter arm span when paddling and carrying. But the wider the board, the more stable it will be.
Maximum Weight Capacity – The top weight that the board can carry safely. When purchasing a board, you should take into consideration everyone who will be using it. Will you be paddling with your child? Will your children paddle together, two to a board? Will you want to take your dog on the board with you? If so, make sure you choose a board that will accommodate your combined weights.
Board Weight – How much the board itself weighs is important if you want your child to carry their equipment themselves.
Thickness – The thicker the board, the more buoyant it is, but this can make it less stable as it sits higher off the water. A thinner board rides lower in the water, making it more stable and easier to climb back onto after the inevitable fall.
Traction pad – The non-slip deck pad on top of the board. How big it is, how grippy it is, and what it’s made of. You want something large, strong, and durable for a children’s paddle board.
Accessories. Does the board come with everything you need: paddle, leash, rucksack, pump, etc., or will you need to make additional purchases?
Fins – The fin placement is essential for how good a paddleboard’s tracking is. I.e., whether the board veers off course as you paddle or stays on ‘track’. Adult boards tend to have removable, adjustable fin systems that are not great for children. They have small, fragile parts that are just asking to get broken or lost. Some kid’s boards have fixed, permanent fins.
Price – We’ve tried to provide kids SUP boards with a range of prices to suit all budgets.
A few last points
You’re all set up and ready to go! Just consider these last few points before you head out on the water.
- Consider starting with a rental day. No one wants to spend money on something their children don’t enjoy or won’t do more than once. Check out paddleboard rental places and head out for a few hours to see if your kids love it.
- Pick your location well. Avoid beaches with lots of surf and rivers with currents. Paddleboarding for children, especially at the beginning, is easiest and most enjoyable on flat calm water.
- Check the forecasts, avoid heading out in high winds as you can quickly get blown off course, and paddling against the wind back to shore is hard work.
- Remember sun protection. Paddleboarding is great fresh air exercise, but being on the water does increase your sun exposure. So make sure you and your little ones are wearing sunscreen. Consider putting them in hats and long-sleeved swimsuits too.
- If you’re going out for a while, consider packing a wetproof bag with drinking water and some snacks for the kids. These bags are also a great idea for your personal items and phone in case you need to call someone in an emergency.
- Even when kids have learned to paddleboard properly, accidents can still happen. Children should never paddleboard without adult supervision.
- Children should always wear buoyancy aids and life jackets when paddle boarding.
That’s it! Have a great time paddle boarding with your kids, happy sup’ing!