We have deep-dived in and reviewed the best kids paddle boards for 2021. Learn which SUP board is right for your child (and why?)
So, your kid loves to paddle board, eh?
You’ve noticed the thrill and excitement they get from being out on the water, the joy on their face tells you this — it’s lovely to see.
But you want the best for them.
You want the best equipment to boost their confidence.
That’s why you need to know what the best kids paddle boards are to support your child’s needs, and where to buy them. Choosing the perfect SUP can be quite challenging, but it doesn’t have to be because we’ve done the research for you!
In this article, we’ve listed 10 of the best paddleboards specifically for kids. We cover the pros and cons of each one, and by the time you have finished reading, you will have a clearer view of which board to choose.
What’s the difference between kids’ stand-up paddle boards and adult ones?
Kids stand up paddleboards are manufactured with ease-of-use and safety in mind. They typically come in smaller lengths, thickness, and width, which tends to create a more user-friendly experience.
You normally have two choices with regards to the build, ‘hard or inflatable’ (Mostly Inflatable). Children’s boards usually come with fewer accessories and attachments compared to adult ones, but not always. The thinking behind this is to help the younger paddleboarders to avoid getting into trouble while on the water.
Sometimes kid’s SUP’s are less expensive than adult paddle boards because they are typically smaller, cheaper to build, and don’t last as long due to the child growing out of them. This isn’t always the case though, as you will come across certain SUP’s that are suitable for both kids and adults, equipped with a good range of accessories.
To sum up.
kid’s paddle boards are basically the same as adult ones, but only smaller, thinner, and sometimes less expensive. They usually come equipped with fewer accessories and attachments, but you can find some that are perfect for both kids and adults, even with added accessories.
Top 3 Kids Paddle Boards At A Glance
The Nautical paddle board by iRocker is a great paddle board that’s perfect for kids of all ages.
SUP Weight – 20lbs
Max Weight – 214lbs
Size – 10’6″ x 32″ x 6″
Our Rating – 4/5
The Gili Air 10’6 SUP is our TOP PICK for the best kids’ paddle boards. This fantastic board is ideal for kids and comes with hundreds of positive reviews from happy actual users.
SUP Weight – 20lbs
Max Weight – 240lbs
Size – 10’6″ x 32″ x 6″
Guarantee – Yes
Our Rating 5/5
The Nixy G4 (Huntington) paddle board is a great choice for children, teens, and adults.
SUP Weight – 18.75lbs
Max Weight – 250lbs
Size – 9’6″ x 32″ x 6″
Our Rating – 4.5/5
What Are The 10 Best Paddle Boards For Kids In 2021
Below, you will find detailed reviews for ten of the best and most suitable SUPs for youngsters today. Hopefully, they’ll help you to choose the best one for your child.
|MODEL||GILI AIR 10’6|
|DIMENSIONS||10’6″ x 32″ x 6″|
|MAX WEIGHT||275 Pounds|
We believe this paddleboard is the best for kids out there — no bias. The GILI AIR Standup Paddle Board features a rigid 6-inch thick design that is great for paddleboarders of all ages.
The SUP board is designed for use in smooth, wavy, and slightly choppy water.
The GILI AIR is equipped with an extra-large diamond-shaped traction pad for superior ease-of-use — this feature comes in really handy for children and new paddleboarders. It also comes with front, center, and rear D-rings that allow you quick access to your gear and safety tethers, making it even better for kids (and pets).
This impressive board supports a weight limit of up to 275 pounds and weighs only 19 pounds when inflated. In our opinion, this makes this SUP absolutely perfect for kids, teenagers, and adults as well. The board works well for yoga, paddling, surfing, touring, and more.
The board itself is 10.6-feet long, 31-inches wide, and 6-inches thick. It consists of high-end military-grade PVC material, and has been designed for all skill levels. It also includes all the handy accessories you need, such as a leash, backpack, repair kit, paddle, wrenches, pump, and more.
It also comes with a 2-year warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
|10-6-inch long, 31-inch wide, 6-inch thick|
|Sleek design great for a range of activities|
|Includes removable snap-on fin, pump, bag, paddle, and more|
|Feels like a hardboard SUP when fully inflated.|
|60-day money-back guarantee|
|Not well suited for rough white water|
|MODEL||iRocker Nautical 10’6|
|DIMENSIONS||10’6″ x 32″ x 6″|
|MAX WEIGHT||214 Pounds|
Next is the iROCKER NAUTICAL paddle board. The board has a length of 10.6-inches, a width of 32-inches, and a maximum weight limit of 240 pounds. It has a thickness of 6-inches.
This board is perfect for children, teens, and suitable for a wide range of activities including, free paddling, yoga, and much more. It has a weight of 20 pounds and a volume of 232 liters. This SUP is made with military-grade drop-stitch materials.
Storage and transportation are quick and easy with the NAUTICAL from iROCKER as well. It includes everything needed for a beginner. A dual-action hand pump, fiberglass paddle, fins, ankle leash, carry bag, and repair kit comes included with the board.
In addition, the board includes a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
|10-6-inch long, 32-inch wide, 6-inch thick|
|3 flip-lock fins|
|Includes pump, backpack, leash, paddle, and more|
|Only a 1-year warranty (Some boards have 2 years and more)|
|Single Layer Board|
|Fiberglass paddle is mediocre|
|MODEL||DAMA Youth Inflatable SUP|
|DIMENSIONS||10’0″ x 30″ x 4″|
|MAX WEIGHT||176 Pounds|
The DAMA Youth Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board is an excellent choice for kids, and those looking for a less expensive board. It’s one of the least expensive on our list. The board has been designed for smaller kids and also teenagers.
The DAMA Youth Inflatable has a typical SUP design. It’s crafted from military-grade ultralight drop-stitch fabric which ensures the board will last for years to come. The paddle board also has an anti-slip deck which makes it safer and more comfortable for kids to use.
A 3-piece collapsing paddle, that never sinks. comes with the board. Furthermore, it’s also equipped with high-end steel D-rings, which make it easier to handle, and safer for kids. The D-rings allow you to connect a leash to your kid’s ankle, or attach their entire board to your board.
In addition to the above, this kids paddle board includes a waterproof carry bag, repair kit, ankle leash, air pressure gauge, removable fin, and a double-action hand-pump. The board also comes with a standard 1-year warranty and free customer service.
|10-foot length, 30-inches wide, 4-inches thick (Suitable for kids and teens)|
|UV and corrosion-proof materials|
|Includes bag, leash, pump, repair kit, and more|
|Probably not suitable for really tall teenagers|
|MODEL||Thurso Surf Junior|
|DIMENSIONS||7’6″ x 31″ x 5.9″|
|MAX WEIGHT||165 Pounds|
The next item on the paddle board for kids list is the Thurso Surf Prodigy Junior Paddle Board. It’s one of the smallest boards on our list and perfect for smaller children. It has a max weight limit of 165 pounds, so probably not suitable for older teens.
In addition to the above, this cool paddle board also comes with a 3-piece carbon shaft paddle, 3 fully-removable quick-lock fins, and various other accessories. It also comes with a full 2-year warranty that covers manufacturer defects.
|7.6-foot length, 31-8-inch width, 5.9-inch thickness|
|3 removable fins|
|Not great for bigger kids and teens.|
|DIMENSIONS||9’2″ x 29″ x 4″|
|MAX WEIGHT||120 Pounds|
The NRS Youth Amp Inflatable Paddle Board is another excellent choice for kids. This board features a universal design that’s great for white water, oceans, rivers, lakes, and more.
This inflatable sup has a maximum weight limit of 120 pounds.
The board fills up to 20 PSI quickly, and deflates just as well, making it super easy to transport and store. Furthermore, it comes with interchangeable/removable fins and a double sidewall build for added stability and durability.
The board is built with heavy-duty drop-stitch PVC and a high-end Leafield D7 inflator/deflator valve, as well as a center-mounted webbing handle. It also has handles on the front end, making it easy to carry.
The six D-rings give you even more options for safety and gear while out in the water. The board has a length of over 9-feet, a width of 29-inches, and a thickness of 4-inches. The manufacturer also throws in a 3-year warranty, which speaks volumes about the quality of the SUP.
|9.2-inch long, 29-inch wide, 4-inch thick|
|Includes pump, backpack, leash, paddle, and more|
|More expensive than other kids SUP’s|
|MODEL||Yaska Children’s Board|
|DIMENSIONS||9″ x 30″ x 4″|
|MAX WEIGHT||150 Pounds|
Our next paddle board for kids is the YASAKA Childrens SUP Board. This one features extra-strong materials in its construction, including tough and durable DWF materials with added PVC layers. That means it should last for quite a while.
Even more, the versatile paddle board features a stand-up design and triple bottom fins, which typically makes it easier for children to maneuver than most other stand up paddle boards. It also works for a wide range of water activities like touring, racing, surfing, and free paddling.
One of our favorite things about this unit is that it is made for seas, rivers, and lakes. In addition to this, the board also comes with some handy accessories such as a removable fin, ankle leash, adjustable paddle, carry bag, wrenches, and more.
|9-feet long, 30-inches wide, 4-inches thick|
|High-end PVC and DWF material construction|
|Triple bottom panel fins|
|Handy accessories included|
|Not well suited for Teenagers and Larger Pre Teens|
|DIMENSIONS||8.7″ x 26″ x 4″|
|MAX WEIGHT||154 Pounds|
The Aqua Marina Vibrant Inflatable Paddle Board is again a great kid’s SUP that we came across during our search for the best kids paddle boards. The board features a rigid design that’s composed of long-lasting PVC drop-stitch materials.
The Aqua Marina Vibrant is easy to transport and store, as are most inflatables. This one measures 8.7-feet in length when fully inflated, and has a 26-inch width and a 4-inch thickness.
It supports a maximum weight limit of 154 pounds and is equipped with a high-quality steel D-ring on the rear for a safety leash attachment, which is a great feature to have on a kids board.
Aside from the board itself, this purchase includes a pump, removable fin, and an easy to carry bag.
|8.7-feet long, 26-inches wide, 4-inches thick|
|PVC and drop-stitch construction|
|Includes pump, carry bag, fin, and more|
|The included hand pump can be a bit tricky for kids Best to use an electric SUP pump|
|MODEL||Xplor Child 7’6|
|DIMENSIONS||7’6″ x 25.5″ x 4″|
|MAX WEIGHT||110 Pounds|
The first of two Xplor SUPs to make our list is the Xplor Child Inflatable Paddle Board. Measuring 7.6-feet long, 25.5-inches wide, and 4-inches in thickness. This board is best suited for children of five to ten years old. The unit has a maximum weight limit of 110 pounds.
It’s a lightweight board consisting of long-lasting high-end materials. This makes it easier to transport and maneuver in and out of the water. For kids who are beginners, it doesn’t get much better than this.
There are two fixed fins and one quick-lock removable fin. These fins provide even more stability and maneuverability to the board. The included D-ring is installed on the front of the unit, allowing a leash to be added for safety reasons.
This purchase includes a paddle, pump, strap, carry bag, and repair kit.
|7.6-inches long, 25-inch wide, 4-inch thickness|
|High-quality 2-piece construction|
|2 Stationary fins and 1 removable|
|Includes leash, backpack, repair kit, paddle, pump, and more|
|Not ideal for teenagers|
|DIMENSIONS||9’6″ x 32″ x 6″|
|MAX WEIGHT||250 Pounds|
Next on the list is the NIXY G4 Compact paddle board. This SUP (Huntington) is a lightweight board that’s ideal for those looking for an easy to carry paddle board. It has excellent stability, rigidity, and is a great paddle board for all. With a maximum weight limit of 250 pounds and a volume of 250 liters, this is a great choice even for teenagers and adults, in addition to kids.
The board is made with dual layers of fusion laminated woven drop-stitch materials.
Safety features? This unit comes with an impressive 14 D-rings, four M8 action mounts, 3 grab handles, side bungee, and extra-strong side rails. It also includes three fins — two 5-inch removable side fins (no tools necessary) and one 9-inch removable center fin. It also has a UV resistant, grooved, logo stamped traction pad.
|9.6-foot length, 32-inch width, 6-inch thickness|
|1 center-mounted fin and 2 5-inch side fins|
|High-end fusion lamination woven drop-stitch construction|
|Includes side rails, paddle, leash, pump, and more|
|Not an heavy-duty board|
|DIMENSIONS||9″ x 29″ x 4″|
|MAX WEIGHT||150 Pounds|
The second Xplor stand up paddle board featured on our list is the Xplor Youth Inflatable SUP. The board measures precisely 9-feet long and 29-inches wide, 4-inches thick. Furthermore, It features a front-mounted D-ring and 150-pound weight limit, making it ideal for pre-teens.
The board is both highly durable and lightweight, making it a good choice for beginners. It features a typical standup paddle board design and comes with a single quick-lock removable fin and two stationary fins — great for newbies.
The strong two-piece collapsable paddle is made from the same high-quality military-grade PVC as others on our list. It also comes with a pump, ankle strap, carry bag, and repair kit.
|9-feet long, 29-inches wide, 4-inches thick|
|2 stationary fins, 1 removable|
|Includes paddle, leash, repair kit, backpack, pump, and more|
|Not suitable for most kids under 10 or over 14|
Considerations Before Buying a Kids Paddle Board
Now that we’ve discussed our top picks for the best paddle boards, let’s have a closer look at what you need to think about in order to make sure you choose the correct one.
Quality/Type of Materials
The quality and type of materials used in the construction of a stand up paddle board is one of the first indicators you have with reference to its overall quality. Depending on what you plan on using your paddle board for, this spec should be considered carefully.
Many paddle boards are constructed with foam or hollow-wood cores. The cores are layered with epoxy resin or fiberglass. Inflatable stand up paddle boards are typically made-up of drop-stitching cores, covered with high-end PVC layers on the outside.
More expensive SUPs are made with all-foam or carbon fiber cores, as well as resin or fiberglass. All foam paddle boards are typically the most inexpensive models.
Width, Length, and Volume
The width, length, and volume of a SUP are some of the most significant factors to take into consideration before making a purchase. The dimensions of stand up paddle boards pretty much dictate what you’ll be able to do with the board.
The width of the board determines its maneuverability and overall balance. That said, you should probably avoid a SUP that’s less than 30-inches wide for kids. The reason being that the narrower the board, the more skill required. On the flipside, wider SUPs make better multi-purpose boards and are great for beginners and kids.
Length-wise, the shorter the board, the easier it is to use for a wider range of activities like fishing and surfing. On the other hand, the longer it is, the better it is for long-distance boarding and touring.
The thickness of a SUP is also a crucial factor to consider. Generally speaking, 6-inches is a well-rounded thickness for children’s inflatable paddle boards. That said, the best measurement of thickness for hard boards varies from board to board. Moreover, the best thickness is different for each type of paddleboarding activity.
Hard vs Inflatable Paddle Boards
Speaking of hard boards and inflatable boards, there are a lot more differences between the two than thickness. The first difference is in the hull types. There are two kinds — displacement hulls and planing hulls. These determine which types of water, and activities, your board is best suited for.
The second major difference is referenced in storage and transportation. The hard SUPs require a rack to transport properly, typically on the roof or back-end of your vehicle. Hard types also require a secure place to keep them safe while not in use. This could be a rack, a wall, or even a closet or porch.
Inflatable boards are most definitely the easier of the two to store and transport. Unlike hard boards, they fit in a bag. Once you’re finished with your water-fun, you can simply deflate the SUP and pack it away in a duffle bag. Likewise, when you’re ready to use it again, all you have to do is pull it out of the bag and pump it back up.
Depending on what you plan on doing with your paddle board, you will need to pay close attention to the specs of the board. Whether you want to fish, dive, race, or do yoga, the specs for the board are crucial. Furthermore, even when purchasing an all-around SUP, you need to consider whether you will be using it in white water, ocean waters, lakes, or ponds.
Generally speaking, a board of approximately 12-feet long, 31-inches wide or wider, and several inches thick, is perfect for multi-purpose use. On the other hand, shorter and narrower boards are much preferred for specialized activities.
Ease of Transportation
How hard or easy a SUP is to transport is another major consideration to take into account. As mentioned above, hard boards require much more space to transport and store. Inflatable SUPs, on the other hand, fit in a bag and are far easier to transport and pack away.
What sort of vehicle you drive, and whether or not it has a rack, as well as where you live, and how much space you have, play a big role in helping you to determine the sort of paddle board that’s best for you, transportation-wise.
Knowing what sort of fin system is best for your preferred activities is also incredibly important if you want to pick the best board. That said, all SUPs come with at least a single fin. This main fin helps to keep the board moving straight in the water.
The more fins your board has, the more specialized it is for a particular purpose in addition to being more stable and easily maneuverable. At any rate, a kid-friendly beginner SUP should have a durable main fin. A couple of side fins are also recommended particularly for children.
Storing your SUP is another significant factor to consider. You have two basic options — indoor and outdoor. It’s ok to store your board outside, but only after winterizing and properly covering it.
Indoors storage, however, is much preferred.
Depending on how often you plan to use your board, and where in the world you live, storage can be more or less important. If you live in Hawaii for example, you will more than likely use your board frequently and have little need for long-term storage. If you’re from Michigan and enjoy frequently paddle boarding on the Great Lakes, you’ll probably want a decent storage place for your board over the long and cold winters.
You can expect to spend between $100 to $1000 when purchasing a paddle board for kids. In our opinion, the best paddle boards typically range between $300 to $700. In addition to the cost of the paddle board itself, there are also accessories and maintenance costs to consider. Pay attention to exactly what’s included with your board, as well as the price of these items if you purchase them separately. Also, if your board will require special cleaning or waxing, take this into consideration also.
Regardless of how much your new SUP costs, it needs to come with a warranty. A good paddle board includes a warranty of at least 12 months and typically, a money-back guarantee of at least 60 days.
If you’re considering purchasing a kids paddle board that doesn’t have a money-back guarantee or warranty, don’t do it. Instead, search for a similar model that includes at the very least a 60-day money-back option and a 1-year warranty. That way, if the board doesn’t work out, you won’t be stuck with it, or out of pocket.
Just in case we didn’t cover your question, we’ve included some of the most frequently asked questions about paddle boards:
What is the Best Size Stand Up Paddle Board for Beginners?
Generally speaking, a beginner board should be between 10 and a half feet to 11 and half feet in length. The width should be somewhere over 30-inches, up to 35-inches. These measurements are preferred for beginners as they give the board more balance and maneuverability.
How Do You Paddle Board with a Child?
For water-loving families, paddle boarding is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding activities you can partake in. It’s an excellent way for the whole family to bond, exercise, and build beautiful memories. That said, be sure to teach them safety measures such as wearing PFDs while boarding.
For those who aren’t familiar with boarding, and considering buying their first set of boards, there are lots of material online outlining the paddle boarding basics. A simple google search will yield you the most current information.
We suggest digging in deep with your research. Read and watch videos before hitting the water — always research “how to stay safe when paddle boarding with kids”?
What is the Best Paddle Board for a Beginner?
The best paddle board for beginners depends on who the beginner is, and what they plan to do on their SUP. But, generally speaking, a 10 -12-foot length, with 30-inches or more in width, is a great size to start with.
These measurements ensure that your board will work well for several types of water-based activities.
However, if your kid isn’t exactly a newbie on the water, a shorter and narrower board would be preferred. And again, if your kid is into fishing or recreational paddling, you may want to invest in a board over 12-foot long.
Is a Stand-Up Paddle Board Worth The Money?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so is the answer to this question. Only you and your kid(s) can decide whether a paddle board is worth it or not. But, all things considered, the chances are, if your kid(s) enjoy the board, and you have a nice time on the water with them, then the answer is pretty clear.
In our opinion?
Yes. A paddle board is most definitely worth purchasing.
Are Cheap Paddle Boards Any Good?
I would be very wary about purchasing a cheap stand up paddle board. They may look nice on the eye, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. The materials used in a cheap paddle board will typically be of a lower quality, and the board itself will usually need replacing quicker than a mid-range or expensive one
A Final Word About the Best Kids Paddle Boards
Only you can choose which paddle board is best for your kid. That said, the wide-range of SUPs listed in this article should give you a great starting place for your search. Hopefully, the information helps you to make the best-informed decision possible!
If we have to choose one, then our top pick for the best kids Paddle Boards is the GILI AIR. This board features everything a great SUP for children and beginners should have and is built by a leading manufacturer in this field. Plus, it’s super easy to transport and store when not in use.
Do you have a favorite paddle board for kids? If so, is it one from our list or a different brand and model altogether? Wed love to hear from you in the comments section below!