Stand up paddleboarding is one of the most fun watersports to take on together with your kids. It’s a relatively safe sport, a perfect gateway to more challenging water activities, and very exciting for kids. Like with any other adventure, proper equipment is essential. For a fun and safe experience, it’s crucial to get the best paddle board for your child.

To help you make the best choice for your kid(s), we’ve reviewed the best paddle boards for kids and compiled a buying guide so you can understand better the features and specs you should be looking for when evaluating the top youth SUP boards. FAQs about kids SUP boards are also addressed further down this page.

How To Choose A Paddle Board For Kids – Buying Guide

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Child’s Age, Weight, and Ability Level

If your kids are absolute beginners, then make sure you choose a board that’s easy to use for first time paddle boarders. The best kids’ paddle board should be easy and comfortable to stand on, rigid, and well-balanced.

Related Review: Balance Board For Surfing

As for age and weight, the child’s weight is the more important consideration when shopping for the best paddle board for kids. Some kids are bigger or smaller than average for their age, so it’s the supported weight that you should base your decision on.

Still, age is an important consideration when deciding whether to take your kid paddle boarding in the first place. If your child is younger than 5, perhaps it’s best to wait another year or two.

Accessory Package

When making your final decision on what children’s paddle board to get, consider whether the essential paddle boarding accessories are included in the package or not. You’ll notice that most kids SUP boards are inflatable, for convenience when traveling and storing. If you opt for an inflatable paddle board for kids, you’ll also be needing a pump to inflate it with.

Some stand up paddle boards for kids comes with a hand pump included in the list of extra accessories, but some don’t. Other extras you can expect to come with one of the best paddle boards for kids include a bag or a backpack for easy transportation, fins for tracking, a paddle, a safety leash, and a repair patch.

Size

The length, weight, and thickness are important considerations when choosing to stand up paddle boards for kids. This is because the size determines the ease of handling and performance on the water. The thicker and wider a child paddle board is, the more buoyant and stable on the water it will be. However, a children’s stand up paddle board shouldn’t be too wide or kids won’t be able to paddle it on their own.

Weight

To ensure the child you’re shopping for will be able to carry the board on their own, it’s important to find out how heavy the stand up paddle board kids model you’re getting is. The weight is pretty much negligible when it comes to inflatable stand up paddle boards but hard boards can carry significant weight. The weight of the youth paddle boards will be indicated in the description or list of specifications.

Use

Before opting for one paddle board junior model or another, consider where you intend to take the kid paddle boarding. Is it at the beach or on a calm lake? With the intended use in mind, you will be able to choose a youth SUP board that will perform well in the intended environment. Also, consider how easy the board will be easy to use for a child. A paddleboard for a child should be lightweight and perfectly sized for kids.

Durability

Since most kids’ stand-up paddleboards are inflatable, they can last about 3 years with peak performance. For non-inflatable kids SUP boards (hardboards), this optimum functioning period is longer at 5-6 years. Of course, how often the board is used and how well you care for it can also prolong the lifespan or shorten it.

Features

Some of the best kids paddleboard options come with extra features, such as a handle for carrying the SUP to and from the water, a ring for attaching a leash to it, a bungee cord system for securing gear, and so on. Some youth stand up paddle boards feature rings for attaching a kayak seat to them and transforming the SUP board into a children’s kayak.

Avoid Surf-Style SUPs

If you see a children’s stand up paddle board advertised as a surf-style SUP, we recommend avoiding it. While paddling on a surf-style board can have its merits, this should only be attempted by more experienced adult users. It’s too risky for children, even if they’re not beginners at paddling.

Safety

Safety matters for all users, but it matters, even more, when the intended users are children. Therefore, the best kids’ paddle board is one with safety precautions built-into the design of the board. A non-slip deck surface and a molded ring for a safety leash are great examples of features to look for on kids’ paddle boards. Beyond that, it’s up to you to ensure compliance with paddle boarding for kids’ safety guidelines, such as the need to outfit your child in a life jacket or PFD (personal flotation device).

FAQs

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Q: What Is The Main Difference Between An Adult And Kids Paddleboard?

A: 

The main difference between a kids paddleboard and an adult version is the size of the board and the weight the board can support. Most kids SUP boards can support up to 120 lbs., with a 155 lbs. upper weight limit. Still, a smaller adult can use a kids paddleboard. A youth SUP board will be smaller in size, which means a petite person will find it easier to operate than a full size SUP.

There are also some other minor differences, like the fact that kids SUP boards tend to be more colorful. Also, you’ll find that a top kids paddle board places a stronger focus on safety and user-friendliness.

Q: What Are The Common Features Of A Kids Paddleboard?

A: 

Most kids SUP boards are inflatable or soft tops. The common features you should expect to find on kids paddle boards include molded rings for attaching safety leashes, molded handles for ease of carrying, and non-slip top decks. Most junior paddle boards also come with an adjustable SUP paddle.

Q: Are Kids Paddleboards Safe?

A: 

Yes, as long as you choose quality stand up paddle board for kids. An approved for market top kids paddle board is tested and calibrated for safety, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be vigilant. Make sure you follow all principles of paddle board safety and you’ll all be fine.

Globo Surf Overview

It’s great to enjoy watersports with children at your side, preparing them to be adventurous and outgoing from a young age. Once you choose the best paddle board for kids that suits their skill level and weight, you’re all set to go. We hope our kids SUPs guide helped you make up your mind on the best option for your kid, and that you’re now one step closer to the family getaway of a lifetime. Enjoy your paddling trips!

More Paddle Reviews:

How were your watersports trips with kids so far? Is this the first time you’re shopping for a paddle board for kids? What brands do you prefer for this kind of equipment and why? Let us know all about it in the comments field below! We’re always excited to hear from the other Globo Surf community members.

Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!