The 7 Best Kids Paddle Board (2021)

Stand up paddle boarding is the perfect family activity. But if your kids want their own board, it can be tricky to know what to choose. I’m going to show you the best kids’ paddle boards available and how to make the best choice based on my family’s experiences.

bluefin cruise jr

My children were lucky enough to test many boards. After having a lot of fun, we concluded that the Bluefin Cruise Junior is the best kids paddle board overall. It is very stable, so it is perfect for a child’s confidence. It comes with an impressive selection of accessories. There’s even a kayak conversion package.

The Bluefin Cruise Junior is particularly well built. You don’t need to worry about your kids damaging it. This board also has a cool design, so kids won’t be afraid to be seen on it.

Just like when you buy new shoes, they might need something particular. I’ve selected the best paddle boards for if your child is smaller or older and taller. I’ve also highlighted a fantastic pick if your budget is tight.

So if you want to make the right choice, keep reading.

Best for Smaller Kids – Thurso Prodigy Junior 7’6

If your kids are younger or smaller, the Thurso Prodigy is an excellent choice. At 7’6″ long, smaller children will still find the Prodigy manageable on the water. You can choose this SUP confident that it won’t discourage youngsters. 

Best for Taller or Older Kids – iRocker Nautical 10’6

For an older or taller child, the iRocker Nautical 10’6 is a fabulous option. 

The iRocker Nautical 10’6 is one of the best affordable price inflatable paddle boards available. It is just as suitable for adults as for older children. It might also be beneficial for teens that Nautical isn’t a child’s brand.

Best Budget Kids Paddle Board – Bote Flow Aero Kids 8’

For a limited budget, look no further than this Bote SUP. This is an excellent inflatable stand up paddle board from a very well-respected company. The Flow Aero Kids is suitable for almost any child. It also has what my kids thought were the smartest graphics.

The Bote SUP is the cheapest that I’ve reviewed. However, manufacturers often offer sales, so make sure that you check our comparison table. 

Best Kids Paddle Boards Compared

Kids Boards
Size
Weight
Capacity
My rating
1. Bluefin Cruise Junior 8
1. Bluefin Cruise Junior 8
8′ x 29″ x 5.1″
22 lbs
265 lbs
4.8
2. Thurso Prodigy Kids 7’6
2. Thurso Prodigy Kids 7'6
7’6″ x 30″ x 4″
19 lbs
80 lbs
4.8
3. Bote Flow Aero Kids 8′
3. Bote Flow Aero Kids 8'
8′ x 30″ x 4.5″
17 lbs
100 lbs
0.0
4. Honu Airlie Kids All-Rounder 8’6
4. Honu Airlie Kids All-Rounder 8'6
8’6″ x 27″ x 4.7″
11.9 lbs
135 lbs
0.0
5. Freein Kids 7’8
5. Freein Kids 7'8
7’8″ x 28″ x 6″
20.9 lbs
176 lbs
0.0
6. Nixy Huntington Compact G4 9’6
6. Nixy Huntington Compact G4 9'6
9’6″ x 32″ x 6″
18.8 lbs
250 lbs
0.0
7. iRocker Nautical 10’6
7. iRocker Nautical 10'6
10’6″ x 32″ x 6″
20 lbs
240 lbs
4.7

Best Kids Stand Up Paddle Boards

Here are what I believe are the seven best paddle boards for kids.

1. Bluefin Cruise Junior 8′ Inflatable Paddle Board – Best Overall

bluefin cruise 8

The Cruise Junior is a fantastic kids paddle board. The Junior shares the design of the full-sized Cruise boards. If you already have one in the family, this will match your own paddle board perfectly. 

At 8’ long and 29” wide, the Cruise Junior boasts excellent stability and maneuverability. The 265 lb weight limit is the highest of any board here, so you don’t need to worry about your child outgrowing it quickly.

The board weighs 22lbs, however this is related to Bluefin’s outstanding build quality. The Junior uses thick exo surface laminate PVC and is incredibly tough. Bluefin offers an industry-leading five-year warranty, the highest of any I’ve reviewed.

Included with the Bluefin Cruise Jr, is an excellent range of accessories. The 3-piece paddle has a lightweight fiberglass shaft with a hard-wearing polyurethane blade. There is even a complete kayak conversion kit which my children really enjoyed using when they got tired of standing.

Another standout feature is the inclusion of an action mount on the nose for mounting a camera. It’s entertaining to record your child’s adventures, and this fitting makes it easy and secure.

2. Thurso Prodigy Kids 7’6 – Best for Smaller Kids

thurso prodigy

The Prodigy is a stand up paddle board from the well-respected manufacturer Thurso Surf. They have built it to the same qualities as their full-sized boards. The 7’6 length makes this the ideal choice for smaller kids, and my youngest found it to be the most maneuverable of all. Thurso recommends the Prodigy Kids SUP board for young kids ages five and up, and I agree with that.

The Prodigy Kids SUP board has double-layer military-grade PVC, so you can be sure that it will withstand children’s use. When fully inflated, the board is really rigid. The maximum 30” width helps to make it extra stable and comfortable.

Thurso includes a great bag and a coil safety leash with the SUP. There is also an excellent carbon hybrid paddle especially sized for juniors which is nice and light. However, to save cost, Thurso does not include a pump. Their logic is that most purchasers will be SUP board families who already own one. Keeping the price down is welcome. However, I found it meant that I ended up inflating all our boards while the kids watched. 

The Prodigy Kids SUP board has a two-year warranty. There’s also a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

3. Bote Flow Aero Kids 8’ – Best Budget Kids Paddle Board

bote flow 8

At the time of my review, the Bote Flow Aero Kids was the cheapest inflatable stand up paddle board in our selection. This surprised me as Bote is another well-respected paddle board company. It was hard to work out where they had made the savings.

Both of my kids enjoyed using the 8’ x 30” board and found it easy and stable to use. They both commented that they particularly liked the graphic design of this SUP.

Bote’s paddle board is made from military-grade PVC and uses their AeroBOTE technology. This delivers a durable board that is strong yet light. The Flow Aero Kids weights just 17 lbs, which is excellent for its size.

Included with the board, you’ll find a manual pump and a three-piece adjustable paddle. There’s also a storage bag that shares the board’s graphics, rather than just being a generic design, so it matches – which is a nice touch!

There is also a removable center fin. Together with the side fins, this helps the Flow Aero Kids SUP track in a straight line, which is excellent for beginners. The only obvious thing missing is a safety leash, and I recommend that you add one before finishing your purchase. Even with its excellent price, the Flow Aero includes a confidence-inspiring two-year warranty.

4. Honu Airlie Kids All-Rounder 8’6

honu airlie kids

The Honu Arlie Kids is a fabulous inflatable stand up paddle board for both flat water and mild ocean use. Honu has designed this board to give kids a proper paddle boarding experience

Unusually, the Airlie Kids is 4.7” thick rather than the more common 6”. Experts say that this gives paddle boards a better feel. My children said they could “feel the sea better,” which we decided was a good thing!

The maximum weight rating of the SUP is 135 lbs, while the board itself comes in at just 11.9 lbs. This is the lightest that we tested. When it came to carrying SUPs down the beach, this was almost the most popular choice with my children.

The Airlie Kids proved to be extremely capable. It is highly maneuverable and very stable. The “X-Woven and Fused” drop-stitch PVC board is extremely rigid when fully inflated. Honu gives the board a four-year warranty to back up its claims of durability.

The Airlie Kids All-Rounder includes a bag with wheels, dual-action pump, ankle leash, and repair kit. The board uses a single removable center fin which helps with tracking. 

Honu doesn’t include a paddle as standard with the kit. Instead, you can choose from various options and get a 20% discount when you buy one with the board. This means that you can pick the right paddle for your child or save money if you have a hand-me-down available.

5. Freein Kids 7’8

freein kids

At 7’8 long, the Freein Kids inflatable SUP is ideal for shorter or younger children. We found that the deck pad on this board is excellent. The diamond-cut pattern sheds water well and is soft and grippy underfoot.

The Freein Kids inflatable stand up paddle board is fast in the water and one of the most maneuverable we tested. This inflatable SUP should stand up to children’s use well. It is made with a double layer of PVC all-around, with extra triple and quad coatings on the deck and side rails.

The kit includes a double-action hand pump, and the board is surprisingly quick to fill to its maximum pressure of 15 PSI. Freein also supplies a backpack bag for storage, an adjustable aluminum paddle, and a repair kit. However, there isn’t an ankle leash, so you’ll need to get that separately.

6. Nixy Huntington Compact G4 9’6

nixy huntington 9

This inflatable stand up paddle board really has had features and quality thrown at it. However, this does make it the most expensive here. If you’re looking for one of the best small paddle boards for your kids, you won’t find many that have a higher specification.

The Huntington Compact G4 is 9’6 x 32”, making it suitable for older kids and teenagers. It is made from dual-layer PVC and features carbon-reinforced side rails to improve durability and stability.

On the water, the board is very stable, and the three removable fins help it track beautifully. There are front and rear bungee storage areas for cargo. There are also four action mounts for accessories.

The included kit is also impeccable. The hand pump is a dual-chamber triple-action model, making inflating the board as easy as it gets aside from an electric pump. There is also an excellent wheeled backpack and a carbon shaft paddle.

The graphic design of the board was popular, and there are two colors: Maui green or Exuma blue. The warranty is for two years, and there’s a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

7. iRocker Nautical 10’6 – Best for Taller or Older Kids

irocker nautical

This paddle board is brilliant not just for older or taller kids, but for adults up to about 5’8 tall. The Nautical 10’6 is really stable. It also tracks in a straight line beautifully.

If you are thinking about getting yourself a board to take children on for a ride, this inflatable SUP is perfect. The weight capacity is 240 lbs, so it can carry the rider and cargo comfortably.

iRockers accessory package has all the essentials. It includes a fiberglass paddle with a nylon blade and an excellent single-chamber dual-action pump. There is also a good-quality backpack bag and ankle leash. 

There are nose and tail bungee storage areas. These incorporate grab handles, which are great for passengers to hang on. There is also an action mount to secure your camera.

The Nautical 10’6 has three removable fins that help it track nicely. My oldest child seemed to like that this was a “proper’ SUP rather than a kids model. If you have young adults, you don’t have to worry about them outgrowing this board.

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Kids Paddle Board

When shopping for the best kids paddle board, it’s important to keep certain criteria in mind. This is what to consider to make sure that you choose the right board for your children.

The Benefits of Buying a Dedicated Kids Paddle Board

The most significant benefit of a board designed specifically for kids is that they are smaller and more manageable. It’s not just about handling the board on dry land. In the water, if a paddle board is too big, a child will struggle to maneuver it and won’t have much fun.

Smaller boards also tend to be cheaper, so if you’re seeing if young children will take to paddle boarding, it is less of an investment.

Dedicated kid’s boards also come in designs that are more attractive to children so they won’t be put off by something that isn’t deemed cool.

The Downsides of Buying a Dedicated Kids Paddle Board

The biggest downside of buying a smaller board is that your child will outgrow it.

You might also find that older children want to use a grown-up design.

What to Consider When Buying a Kids Paddle Board

Board Size – Is It Right for Their Age and Build?

Children are, of course, smaller and lighter than adults and need smaller paddle boards. If a board is too large, then chances are that kids won’t be able to handle it well. 

Likewise, it will also be hard to maneuver and less stable if a board is too small.

Board Quality and Durability

You’ll want to choose a board that will stand up to the inevitable wear and tear that only children can bring.

Boards with military-grade PVC will be tough. It would be best if you also looked for reinforced side rails.

Does the Manufacturer Have a Good Reputation?

Cheap internet brands might seem like a bargain, but it’s usually best to go for a well-known brand. That way, you can have confidence in the quality and know that you’ll get support if needed.

Is the Weight Limit Appropriate?

It’s important to buy a board with a weight limit that is appropriate for your child. Make sure that they have some room for growth, and can carry any cargo or passengers you might want.

What Accessories Are Included?

All the stand up paddle boards in this list come with an accessory package. However, not all of them include everything you’ll need. If you don’t already have any SUP equipment, ensure you know what is included with your purchase, and what you’ll need to get in addition. 

What Important Accessories Might Not Be Included?

Something that suppliers rarely include is a personal floatation device. Although kids shouldn’t be using their board unsupervised, a floatation device is vital for safety.

You might also want to look at a kayak conversion kit. These are very popular with kids and give a great extra option for getting the most from the board.

Vital Kids Board Characteristics

These are the two most critical characteristics to evaluate in a kids board.

Stability

Make sure that the board has excellent stability. Children need to feel comfortable if they’re to enjoy paddling. A stable board goes a long way to achieving this and makes it easier for them to learn.

Maneuverability

One of the significant benefits of smaller, lighter boards is that they are easier for little ones to maneuver.

Best Paddle Board for Kids FAQs

Do They Make Paddle Boards for Kids?

Yes, manufacturers make boards specifically for children that are suitably sized. They often feature kid-orientated graphic designs.

What Are the Differences Between Kid and Adult Boards?

The difference between kids paddle boards and adult boards comes down to size. Kid’s boards will be in the range of 7’6 to 10’ long. Most adult boards are 10’ or longer.

Can a Kid Use an Adult Sized Board?

Older kids can use an adult paddle board if it is no longer than about 10’6 long. A younger child could have fun on an adult SUP board with a little assistance.

At What Age Can You Start Paddle Boarding?

Children can start paddle boarding as soon as they feel confident enough in the water. In general, kids aged seven and above tend to do well.

What Size Paddle Board Should I Get for My Kids Height?

Kids shorter than 5’ should probably stick to boards 8’ or shorter. Between 5’ and 5’6, a board 8’ to 9’6 is good. Taller than this should consider a 10 or 10’6 adult board. Make sure that the weight limit is suitable.

Are More Expensive Paddle Boards Worth It for Kids?

Yes, more expensive kids paddle boards are worth it! It’s worth spending on a good quality board for your kids so that you get something that they will enjoy and that will last well.

Are Cheap Kids Paddle Boards Any Good?

Cheap kids paddle boards are generally not as good as more premium options. Cheaper boards can seem like a good idea, but they are usually not very stable or hard-wearing.

Why Choose an Inflatable Paddle Board for Kids Over a Hard Board?

An inflatable board will accept general wear and tear better than hard paddle boards which are easily damaged. For younger kids, an inflatable board will be gentle on them if they fall or knock into it.

Inflatable paddle boards are easier to transport and lighter to carry. As the parent who will likely be looking after them, this is an essential consideration!

Conclusion

We picked the Bluefin Cruise Junior 8’ as the best paddle board for kids overall. It has an excellent range of features comparable even to adult boards. The Cruise Junior is very well built, so it should last well even with children’s use. It comes with an exceptional five-year warranty.

The Cruise Junior has a complete equipment package and even includes a kayak conversion kit that my kids enjoy.

Make sure that you check out this excellent children’s paddle board for yourself.