[Update June, 2020 – All the kids sups reviewed below are currently available at the time of writing. The current pandemic has had a big impact on the supply chain and there has been a big increase in demand as lock-down restrictions are being lifted]
Paddleboarding is a great fun and gives you an excellent core, legs and upper body workout. At a time when our kids are seemingly spending all their time glued to cell phones or in front of a games console we, as parents, need to take action to get them physically fit and active.
When you’ve got organizations like the American Heart Association (AHA) recommending children get at least an hour a day of physical activity to ward off heart disease and diabetes it’s important to instill in them a sense of ‘keeping fit for life’. With this in mind then, what better way than to participate in a sport we adults love?
Choosing the right Kids stand-up paddle board
Kids paddle boards come in a range of lengths and shapes so it’s vital that you choose something that’s most appropriate for your child. The ‘allround’ shape presents itself as more of an rounded oval which provides great stability and reduces the overall speed you can achieve – both aspects that can help boost your child’s confidence and allay your worries of them falling off.
The lengths of popular adult paddle boards can stretch out from 11 to 16 feet and weigh around 28 lbs, something that a child will find difficult to carry and will also catch the merest hint of a breeze making it a struggle to walk straight. So with these thoughts in mind let’s look for the best paddle boards for kids.
As with all sports we need to take steps to minimize risks of injury; paddleboarding is no different. Look for a board that comes with an ankle leash – this strap has a line that fixes to the back of the board which ensures your child doesn’t lose it if he or she falls off. Most kids paddle boards come with paddles – look for one that is light, floats and is adjustable; that way your youngster won’t tire quickly and it will be able to grow with him or her.
General tips for all outdoors sports apply – keep a responsible adult as a spotter to look out for any difficulties and apply sun-block as the reflected light from the water acts to increase the chance of sunburn. Wearing a life-jacket or PFD (personal flotation device) and helmet can be problematic as many kids aren’t keen but there is a good range available with eye-catching colors and designs to help you out. Start off on flat water until your child has gained in experience, coordination and strength.
Kids Paddle Board FAQs
Can you buy kids paddle boards?
Yes, but they are not readily available. A lot of big SUP brands do not cater for children which we find disappointing
What size is a kids paddle board?
Kids paddle boards range from 6 foot to 10 foot, 8-10 foot boards being aimed at the youth market
Which SUP brands have a dedicated kids range?
Pau Hana and SOL
What size paddle board do I need for my child?
Obviously kids paddle board sizing will depend on how large your child is for their age, but here is a rough guide:
Ages up to 7 years would be best suited on the smallest paddle board which is 6 foot, the SOL toddler SUP
Ages 7+ would are best using 8-10 foot boards like the Pau Hana 8 foot board
Teenagers should be fine on a 10 foot plus paddle boards.
We have split our recommended kids paddle boards into Under 12s boards and Youth paddle boards which will be suitable for young teens.
- Pau Hana Grom X 8′ Kids Paddle Board
- Pau Hana Grom 6′ Kids Paddle Board
- Sol – SOLjah Inflatable kids Paddle board
- Hula Kids Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board 8 Foot
- PathFinder Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
- Bimini H2O Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
- Aqua Marina Perspective New Beginner SUP
- Lifetime Hooligan SUP
- BIC Sport DURA-TEC SUP
Solid paddle boards are great for kids as they offer more stability
Pau Hana Surf Co has been around since 2006 and founded by Todd Caranto, a well know figure in the industry.
Your kid will love getting started on a true stand up paddle board made with just them in mind. Pau Hana Grom X 8′ SUP is a lightweight, soft top SUP that a children can easily paddle. The solid paddle board comes with child size paddles making paddling an easy activity that they will definitely enjoy learning. Your child can choose the black, white or teal paddle board with awesome graphics to keep them looking cool out of the water.
The Pau Han Grom X is long enough to provide your child with great glide on softer waves. They can turn with better agility and quickly start enjoying paddle boarding. The width is also great for stability and it is not too wide that your kid will be unable to reach over and paddle. It is wide enough for proper stability and narrow enough for the kid to paddle away with ease. If it were wider, it would be difficult to stay in a straight line, making the process less exciting for the child. The cool Pau Hana Grom X has a sleek fin just for some extra flair and stability to get your child even more excited about joining you in the water.
The 8ft youth paddle board can accommodate all children and young petite paddlers taking to the water for the first time. The 16lbs paddle board can safely carry the weight of a playful 70lbs child to one that weighs 110lbs. It is a lightweight, high-performance board that isn’t at all intimidating for beginners. After a short time on Pau Hana Grom X kids Stand Up Paddle board, your child will be inkling to join you out in the water.
A good paddle board should last long and Pau Hana has ensured quality manufacturing. The ultra-soft EVA deck pad will cushion your baby as he/she splashes about in the water but that is not all. The choice of materials used in this board’s construction makes it a long-lasting brand for kids who can give a board some rough handling.
The core is made of expanded polystyrene foam, which makes it super strong and contributes to the board’s stability. The high-density polyethylene bottom protects against any damage to the core and is, therefore, a guarantee of durability. The stitching style for the paddle board allows for a longer lasting option that will last long until your kid masters the joyous art of paddle boarding.
If you buy Pau Hana Grom junior paddle board, there is a chance your little one will enjoy it for many years before they become too heavy for it. The board comes with several accessories like the child-friendly paddles to make for a rich experience out in the water.
If all your kid talk’s about is getting their own paddle board, it’s probably time to introduce them to the best starter board. Pau Hana Surf Grom is a non-inflatable option that your kid below 10 years can safely try out. At first sight, the graphics will excite the child before they get even more stocked over the soft top that will be gentle on them. It is lightweight at 13.15lbs and therefore easy for your kid to handle in and out of the water. For carrying, the SUP has proper external grip Ergo Well handles that will make the load more bearable for younger paddlers.
Pau Hana Surf Grom 6′ is an excellent introductory board that is shaped to cut easily through the waves and last longer due to extra layer and concrete PVC construction. Offers great glide and stability thanks to its size in relation to the kids it’s designed for. Young paddlers will be comfortable underfoot thanks to generous padding.
The board provides excellent glide for children thanks to its shape. For an even better experience, it comes with some accessories. It has bungee cords to help the paddler haul things, ConnexsUP for attaching things like fishing rods as well as the FCS II/Connect to ease installation. The Pau Hana Surf Grom has a carrying capacity of 100lbs and that includes the paddler’s weight. It has a 105L volume meaning it achieves a great balance between high performance in child-friendly waves and optimum floatation.
All the features of this kids paddle board and its accessories are designed with the young paddler in mind. They can reach out over the sides to paddle, reach top speed and maintain good traction on this non-inflatable kids’ paddle board with impressive design.
There isn’t a doubt that your child will love the shape, graphics, size, and performance of Pau Hana Surf Grom. You will certainly enjoy that it is so durable and lightweight for them to get started paddling on their own. With such an easy board to practice on, it will not be so long before your child can join in on the whole family’s fun.
This kids inflatable paddle board is 7 foot long and perfect for ages 5 to 8 years old.
SOLjah inflatable kids board comes in red, yellow or green theme to reinforce the One Love message. It is built to make paddle boarding easy, fun and possible for the little one. Gone are the days when you have to share your adult board with a playful child. They can have a special rockin’ time in the smaller waves without you worrying about their safety on the SOLjah 7. It is a high-performance board suited perfectly to children.
It features an I-rey rocker in the nose and another in the tail to give a kid the best stability in the waves. SOLjah inflatable paddle board gives amazing stability on the board for a beginner to feel like a pro with little practice. Thanks to its diamond-grooved deck, SOLjah will keep your little one comfortable while gliding by giving their feet good traction to stay onboard. The longer a child can stay onboard, the longer they will want to stay in the water; and this means a great time for the whole family. Thanks to sturdy design, this kids paddle board is great for taking on a river or sea. It is strong enough to carry you over the waves and gives excellent ability to make quick turns and brace yourself. Navigation is easy on this board with the right shape to enable your child to reach top speed.
The puncture resistant material for the board means that rocks and rough surfaces will not tear the SOLjah. The drop stitching techniques used to ensure maximum performance with the least flex in whatever paddling conditions. For a long time, your child will enjoy the dual-layered PVC construction. The SOLjah children’s SUP comes with a rubber handle for easy carrying from home to the water and back. The D-Rings for the gears is also an exciting addition to the colorful board.
Being an inflatable board the box comes with a high-pressure pump to get you going whenever the kids feel like going for some fun in the water. The repair kit will come in handy if something ruins the board and when a kid is not using it, feel free to pack it in the amazing wheeled backpack.
For a great paddling experience, enjoy the pc aluminum kids paddle designed to make movement in the water more fun than challenging. To guarantee longevity with the board, the Jah board comes with a thoughtful warranty package. They give 3 years warranty on the board and a lifetime warranty on the valve. With these, your child is sure to turn paddle boarding into a lifetime passion. They will never again have to play in the shores as you take on the waves by yourself.
The 8ft kids paddle board by Advanced Elements is ideal for small-bodied adults and playful children. It is an inflatable board with interesting and advanced features for the younger paddler. For better performance, Hula comes with a raised tip to help them cut through the waves like a real maestro. Your child will enjoy comfortable traction underfoot because of the large foam pad.
To enhance performance this kids SUP has a set of three removable fins. For an easy time carrying the board to and from water, the board has a center carry handle. The board also comes with a quality duffel bag to hold the deflated board, pump, and other accessories properly in place as you head to and out of the waters. Being kid friendly they will learn to be responsible for their own board if they want to join you for fun in the water.
This kids SUP is a made of 6in thick heavy duty PVC material for superior resistance to the elements. The drop stitch technique on the material ensures that your board truly stands up to the waves. The double skin on this paddle board’s outside is a great addition for ensuring that rocks and sharp objects cannot harm the board.
This Hula Inflatable SUP meets the high standards of design, comfort, and durability a kid’s paddle board requires. By using the strongest, high-performance materials, Hula promises to be a trusted companion in the water for your child.
Best Youth Paddle Boards (Teenagers)
The PathFinder inflatable SUP is one of our favorites, we find it ideal as a beginner board thanks to its build quality and features. It’s made from a robust PVC with a strong multi-layer drop stitch which means that it will stand up to the rigors of paddleboarding for many years and won’t damage easily if you run it aground or collide with any rocks. It’s an inflatable board which should take an adult around five minutes to inflate with the included pump. Inflatable boards are every bit as rigid as a traditional solid board and have the advantage of being easier to transport – you simply roll the deflated board up into the supplied carry bag.
- Measures 9'9", 5" thick. Portable and easy to store.
- Great for wide range of water and use conditions.
- Amazing Durability - PVC material and strong multi-layer drop stitch.
The PathFinder has a healthy complement of bundled accessories, the carry bag, high pressure pump, detachable center fin, valve wrench and an adjustable aluminum paddle. The only downside is that there is no ankle leash included although there is a D-ring fitted to the board ready to have a leash attached. The board has a bungee area so you can strap down some on-board cargo.
On the water our test board tracked well and was stable with a combined weight of 200 lbs, 40 lbs below the maximum with no sign of bowing. The aluminum paddle was a breeze to set to a suitable length with no drama. It feels well constructed but we’re not convinced it won’t sink if dropped overboard and not retrieved quickly. With a height of 5 inches the board sits high in the water which can be a comfort to nervous children.
At this price point you get a great board and package for your money, inflatable SUPs do tend to command a lower price premium, just add an ankle leash and get out there!
Editor’s Choice The PathFinder iSUP earns itself an Editor’s Choice because of its accomplished handling, stability and competitive price point making it an excellent board for youngsters to learn and train on.
Our second entry is another inflatable stand-up paddle board. The Bimini is exceptionally durable and constructed from military-grade reinforced 1100D PVC which ensures it will take some very hard knocks without damage. When it’s fully inflated the Bimini is as rigid as a traditional board. Oh and it’s one of the most brightly colored boards we’ve ever seen!
- Highly durable & extremely rigid - constructed from military grade reinforced 1100d pvc tarpaulin so it doesn't fold in the middle when fully inflated
- Oversized eva non-skid top designed for increased stability & safety - lightweight & portable, easy to carry from trunk to beach
- Your purchase includes - board, back pack carry bag, ankle leash, dual action pump with pressure gauge, adjustable aluminum 2 - piece paddle & repair kit
The non-skid expansive EVA track pad is ideal to build confidence but as the maximum weight load the board can support is only 130 lbs this will strictly be a single child only experience.
The generous package includes a backpack carry bag, dual action pump, adjustable aluminum two-piece shaft with 8.5” wide paddle, removable fin, ankle leash and repair kit. The dual action pump is great to help inflate the board within minutes as it pushes air in on the down and up stroke. The fin is of the tool-less fitting variety so you don’t need to remember to bring a screwdriver! It doesn’t end there either – if you register the product they will send you a free rash guard too. The backpack has mesh sides to allow airflow which is a must as once you deflate and roll up a wet SUP it has the chances of getting mildew. The pack is comfortable to carry thanks to large, padded shoulder straps and it’s also spacious enough to insert all the accessories.
We found getting our board to the water straightforward as it’s lightweight and has two sturdy, reinforced carry handles. Once on the water the Bimini performed well, its rounded nose and tail adding to the overall stability. At four inches in height it sits lower in the water than the PathFinder so it’s more likely that water will ride across the deck. The D-ring on the tail is ready for you to attach the supplied ankle leash (these really should be a standard bundled feature so it’s good to see one in the Bimini package). The bungee area is suitable to carry a small amount of on-board items.
The first thing we noticed when we unpacked this inflatable SUP was its unusual splash guards design, these side air chambers are designed to provide extra stability and reduce water riding onto the deck from the bow. We inflated the board to the recommended 15 psi in around five minutes and about the same again to inflate the sides to 5 psi. We liked the two-tone blues, green and black chevron design. It’s quite a mature look which may not suit younger riders but will likely appeal to older teens.
- Multiple chambers-extra side chambers for Super stability and splash Guards around the bow
- Comfortable brushed EVA deck
- D-rings for kayak seat fitment
The package includes a pump, branded backpack, detachable fin and repair kit.
The deck has a comfortable brushed EVA track pad that provides good traction. Its maximum load is rated at 176 lbs which we found would support two youngsters comfortably without bending. The board has a set of D-rings located for you to fix a kayak seat to – this is a nice touch and adds to the flexibility of usage. It also has a D-ring for an ankle leash but, disappointingly, one isn’t supplied.
The Lifetime Hooligan is one of the shortest boards we’ve tested and is squarely aimed at the younger kids from age five and up. This is a rigid HDPE (high density polyethylene) board and is fairly weighty at 28 lbs, several more than its inflatable rivals. Its hollow structure helps stop the weight getting too high although we found our kids couldn’t manage to carry it unaided. We would also prefer a solid board, not one that relies on being hollow for its buoyancy but this one is very robust and not likely to split. The fact that it comes with a five-year warranty gives us great peace-of-mind.
- Perfect for kids 5 and up. Retractable fin easily folds into bottom of board
- Paddleboard leash attachment loop. Lightweight 28 lb. (12,7 kg) design. Compact design for easy transport and storage
- Design provides great stability and tracking. 130 lb. (59 kg) weight capacity. EVA deck pad for increased traction
Unusually for the market, its minimalist monochrome marble design isn’t very child-oriented. The track pad opts for a confetti-cut EVA design which looks and feels terrific – it offers great grip too! The board has a D-ring at the rear for an ankle leash but, sadly, there isn’t one supplied. You do get a branded, gray and adjustable (64” to 72”) paddle though. The fin cleverly folds away for easy storage.
This SUP amazed us in the water, its stability is very impressive and we could stand one of our reviewers on it with a child and it remained well balanced. This is not always the case on boards produced for children.
At the higher end of the market, the BIC stands out for its ‘Dura-Tec’ construction which makes these among the most durable boards you can find. The outer shell is HDPE and its core is high-density foam – rigidity, performance and buoyancy. The track pad is a diamond-patterned EVA which offers excellent grip. All this comes at a weight cost, the BIC Sport is a hefty 30 lbs making it the heaviest board here and one which the parents will have to carry.
- Stable, surf inspired shape for all-purpose use in Flat-Water + small wave surfing , Fins set up : Thruster
- Bic SUP's exclusive tough-tec epoxy construction delivers true board sport performance w/exceptional durability at a great price
- Ideal balance between thickness, width + a Classic longboard shape for a stable, balanced, easy to Paddle SUP that's affordable + durable
The board has two inserts for a bungee carrying area and a 10” US Fin Box to allow for easy fitting of third party fins although a high quality polycarbonate fin is included. Surprisingly the BIC doesn’t come supplied with a paddle or ankle leash. So you will need to buy these separately – we like to think that their omission is due to BIC devoting the purchase price into the board quality itself! The clean and bright colors of the SUP are attractive, professional looking and one that our reviewers of all ages found appealing.
Our reviewers loved the chance to get the BIC out on the water. We had a blast; the hard board was very responsive and one which we can totally recommend. Your youngster will experience great tracking and maneuverability with less effort needed than on an inflatable SUP.
Editor’s Choice Showing that BIC doesn’t just make great pens! The BIC Sport SUP earns itself an Editor’s Choice because of its stability, performance in the water and great build quality that allows it to be used by kids and adults alike!