Paddleboarding is a great way to get the whole family on the water. For smaller children, having a properly sized paddleboard that they can control helps build confidence, independence and technical paddling skills at a very early age. As paddleboarding’s popularity continues to grow, brands are making boards specially tailored for youth.
Expect to see more of these emerge in the coming years. For now, we’ve compiled some of this year’s best paddleboards for kids, along with some buying advice for new and used boards.
Top picks: Best kids paddleboards for 2024
Best Kids Paddleboards
Elemental Wave CX
Medusa CX Yoga Paddleboard
Inflatable SUP 11'
iSUP 9'4" Pink
Shop kids paddleboards
Clicking the links below directs you to our Paddling Buyer’s Guide, where you’ll find the important details for every youth paddleboard—including specs, prices and reviews, along with local and online buying information.
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Shopping for a used kids paddleboard?
Kids are constantly outgrowing things. This high turnover ensures a steady supply stream of used junior paddleboards.
Most traditional buying advice applies when looking for a junior paddleboard, but a unique aspect to consider is how long this board will fit your children. You do not want to buy a board in the fall that your youngest child has outgrown by springtime.
Look for boards that come with adjustable paddles to meet different heights, especially if more than one child will be using the paddleboard. This will also ensure that a growth spurt doesn’t have you shopping for a new paddle right away.
This is where chatting with the seller, or other parents with kid-sized paddleboards can give some insight. When you go to see the board, make sure your kids get a chance to try the board, and establish it is something they are interested in continuing to do. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get the kids active and develop a lifelong passion for being on the water.
For more tips, check out our article How To Buy A Used Paddleboard.
Kids paddleboard buying guide
Inflatables are the best paddleboards for kids because of their durability and forgiveness. If rigid paddleboards hit a rock, they dent or scrape—whereas an inflatable bounces off them. This forgiveness not only helps avoid damage to the board but also to the paddler. Falls on an inflatable are much softer than a rigid board. Foam boards also provide this bit of softness.
What is the best-sized paddleboard for kids?
The best kids paddleboard needs to be the best all-arounder. It should offer some room to grow, and there should be sufficient volume so that the largest child can stand on it comfortably. A wide paddleboard, at least 30 inches, offers lots of stability.
Kid-sized standup paddleboards are shorter than standard boards—eight feet or shorter. But kids don’t necessarily need a board specifically sized for them. Depending on their size, they can likely also use a paddleboard designed for smaller adults. This gives them room to grow into the board.
What size is a kid paddleboard?
Look for boards less than eight feet long. Junior paddleboards shorter than six feet are made for the really young ones. A specific youth paddleboard is best for kids committed to paddleboarding and looking for better performance. If paddleboarding is a family outing, younger paddlers will appreciate the additional control that comes with a child-size paddleboard.
Kids paddleboard reviews
Start looking for a paddleboard for your kids here. Read reviews written by other users to see what they liked (or didn’t) about specific junior paddleboard models. These are valuable resources in your search for a good board for the kids.