Updated (01/18/18) You are a parent. You are strapped for time. You’ve decided your kids should own a Stand Up Paddle Board. Or perhaps your kids are consistent in asking for one. You don’t want to spend hours comparing them.
Does that sound about right?
No matter what size, age or skill level your kids are, the list below will contain the right kid’s SUP for your children.
Why are we so sure?
Because we know SUPs and we know kids. Most importantly we know what kind of SUP will keep your kids happy and most importantly, wanting to get out more.
This decision about buying a SUP for your kids is important. Not just so that they have fun, but if they want to keep getting out there, that means you can too! What better way to let off some steam then to power around with your kids on the water?
Quick Answer: 5 Best SUPs for Kids
What Makes a Good Kids SUP Board?
A SUP that is designed for kids should possess certain characteristics. For one, it should be reasonably priced. These boards should be light, durable (a very important aspect) and safe, but there’s no need to pay $2,000 for a high-performance SUP board at this stage.
A kids’ SUP should also be the right size, typically in the 8-9 ft range. This way the board will be easy enough to transport in a car and small enough so your child can lug it to-and-from the shore.
However, although these boards are smaller, there should be no sacrifice for ample stability. Learning to paddleboard is relatively easy, but you still need the right amount of stability to get your bearings. A younger SUPer will appreciate a stable board, and it’s also a way to give their friends a ride.
Below are five boards that are all excellent choices. They are not ranked in any particular order.
1. Thurso Surf Prodigy Junior
Thursosurf entire range is made with drop-stitch technology making their boards robust and safe.
This Prodigy model for kids and teenagers is a perfect size, holding up to 165 lbs (74 kgs). It comes with everything you’ll need to get your kids started out too. Not only are the accessories included, making the value for money skyrocket but they are also durable and practical.
Not to mention the incredibly stylish wooden deck design that will make your kids feel like the coolest ones on the water!
- Everything included
- Soft deck if children fall
- Easy to paddle for first timers
- Performance is a little sluggish
2. WaterKids All-Around 8ft
Waterkids company exclusively makes kids SUPs. You can’t go past a company that dedicates itself to a niche. We’ve chosen to include the 8ft because it’s the perfect average. They also have smaller and bigger boards depending on your kid’s size.
This all-rounder is also available in 2 color options. Both color schemes are gender neutral. It allows your kids to have options without feeling like they have to choose the “boy” or “girl’ one!
Some new SUP kids may find the boards a little wobbly at first. Only speculate on this because where many other SUP’s are around 30” width and 6” thick this is 28” wide and 4”. The plus side is that you could totally surf this SUP like a mal in small waves. You get a surfboard and your kids get a SUP!
- Extensive line – lots of choice for size
- Choice of color schemes
- No accessories included
- Could be wider/thicker
You can buy Waterkids SUPs on Waterkids.com.
3. Ten Toes 8′ Nano Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Bundle
While the accessories aren’t red hot, this board performs extremely well for the smaller riders. It’s got a three fin setup that makes it a versatile board for all conditions and the color choice will turn your little ones into happy chappies.
- Color choice
- Stable, easy to paddle for beginners
- Included paddle
- The paddle and accessories aren’t great
- No bag for transport
4. 7’ Airhead Popsicle 730
Well the Airhead may be your solution, the drawback being the weight limit is a little lower than other mentioned SUP’s here, but that shouldn’t be a worry until your children become small adults!
The 7’ Airhead holds 30-120 lbs (14-55kg) and is as stable as it is fun to ride. The egg-like shape makes this board extremely stable as well as it’s 4 fin setup. Again the drawback will be speed, your kiddy winkles will be struggling to keep up with you. Perhaps a tow rope?
Included is a bag for transport and the pump, you will need to buy an extra paddle! Airhead sells paddles for juniors separately here.
- Extremely stable egg shape
- No included paddle
- Slow on the water
5. XTERRA Milkshake 8’
There’s all the accessories needed to start; pump, bag, leash, paddle. Then there’s also the cool features like bungee cords for gear and a GoPro mount.
Vibrant colors will keep your children safe by being easy to spot and kids also love it! Anything colorful and shiny they say.
Not only do kids love the design, they love being able to take full control of their adventure (and so will you). The inflation/deflation is simple enough that XTERRA boasts kids are extremely able to do all the hard work themselves. Most kids get a bit kick out of doing it all themselves, even it does take them a little longer, means you’ve got more time to sit back and relax!
At 8’ long, 30’ wide and 150 lbs capacity weight, most children to teens will enjoy this SUP. The shape of the board means plenty of speed but without sacrificing too much stability either.
- All accessories plus adventure features – bungee and GoPro mount
- Fun design / easy to spot in the water
- Durable double layer materials
- Easy inflation – kids can do it themselves
- Paddle is low quality
PFD and Paddle
If your kids want to paddle board and get out on the water a PFD is an absolute must. There really is no way around it and it’s a safety essential. Luckily, they are fairly cheap. The Stohlquist Youth Escape PFD sold on Amazon is a good option. You can find it here.
Some of our recommended boards also don’t include a paddle. Picking a paddle for adults is complicated. For kids is not. There is no need to spend a lot of money on an expensive carbon paddle. Just make sure the length is correct and that it floats. An adjustable paddle makes a ton of sense. You don’t want to buy a new paddle every season. A good option is the 2-piece paddle by Super Paddles. You can find it here.
Let’s not kid around here…
If you have kids, you are probably strapped for time.
If you are strapped for time your hobbies are probably non-existent.
So why not include your kids into your hobbies?
Getting your kids a SUP can be as much for them as it is for you.
Now getting them a SUP that they will love and enjoy riding is important. It’s important for the longevity of them being interested in your hobbies. You can’t go wrong with any one of these SUPs.
If you love them all and completely stumped you really can’t beat the Thurso Surf Prodigy. It’s affordable, has everything to get started, super cool design (kids love that), easy for them to learn and versatile in different conditions.
Please feel free to comment any others we may have missed. Perhaps you found a SUP your kids love? We love seeing the whole family out there too so don’t forget to show us your family SUP pics!