The 5 Best SUPs for Kids

A boy and a girl paddling
Photo: grom-sup.co.uk

Updated (10/29/19)

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?

Or perhaps they’ve seen you paddling and now insisting they want a board too! 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 than to power around with your kids on the water?

Picture NameRank Check Prices
 Thurso Surf Prodigy1.Check Prices
NIXY Huntington Compact2.Check Prices
Red Paddle Co Snapper 3.Check Prices
 Airhead Kids iSUPAirhead Popsicle 4.Check Prices
Ten Toes Kids Board TenToes Nano 5.Check Prices

Quick Answer: 5 Best SUPs for Kids

  1. Thurso Surf Prodigy
  2. NIXY Huntington Ultra Compact
  3. Red Paddle Co Snapper
  4. Airhead Popsicle
  5. Ten Toes Nano

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.

Kids’ SUPs 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.

Our Picks

Below are five boards that are all excellent choices. They are not ranked in any particular order.

1. Thurso Surf Prodigy Junior

Don’t you, when considering a SUP for your children want to know the quality is of high standards? They are more likely to be bashing their boards around so you want something that is well made and durable but still affordable. The Prodigy is that balance.

The Prodigy is made using a double layer PVC and using drop-stitch technology, which for lightweight kids is enough materials for a stiff board.

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 all the accessories you’d need to get going included, but they are also durable and practical. That makes the value for money skyrocket.

They have choices of a blue and a pink board, generic yes but at least there’s a choice!

Pros

  • Everything included
  • Affordable
  • Soft deck if children fall
  • Easy to paddle for first-timers

Cons

  • Performance is a little sluggish

Check Prices

2. NIXY Huntington Ultra Compact

While the NIXY Huntington is sold as an adult’s compact board, it’s the right size for a junior. It’s also super lightweight and has the smaller bag which makes it easy for kids to move their own board around, freeing you up to enjoy yourself!

NIXY makes outstanding boards with great features. The Huntington is their first compact board and at the time of this article the first-ever compact board in a mid-range price. They use a softer and more flexible PVC for it to be able to be folded but have reinforced the rails with carbon fiber but also, used fusion to bond the layers. Creating the most durable and stiffest junior boards on this list outside of the Red Paddle Co.

It came in behind the Thurso because it’s a bit squirrelly to ride and also not quite the same fit in shape for a juniors board like the Prodigy. The Huntington is better suited to teens that are looking to get right into SUP-ing.

Pros

  • Fantastic manufacturing
  • Compact designs for easier moving around by kids
  • Lightweight design great for kids
  • Get all accessories

Cons

  • Not the most ideal shape for juniors
  • Bit squirrely to ride

Check Prices

3. Red Paddle Co Snapper 

Here is the creme de la creme of the juniors boards. While this is easily the most well made juniors board and can even double as a surf SUP for experienced riders, it’s also fairly more expensive. Hence why it’s down on the list at number 3, our research tells us that most parents don’t want to spend a huge amount of their kid’s SUPs.

Red Paddle Co is known for being the best in the inflatable game which is why they are worth what they are. I truly believe they are worth it but not everyone is after the best of the best. They are the only inflatable SUP company that has their own manufacturing warehouse so their quality control is impeccable.

The Snapper is a very responsive and zippy board but also quite stable. It’s perfect for juniors through to teens, especially for those who are looking to really get into paddleboarding. The best part is that this board could even be shared by an experienced adult as a surf SUP.

Pros 

  • Exceptional quality
  • Can be used as a surf SUP by adults
  • Well known industry best company

Cons

  • Expensive juniors board
  • Some juniors may find the pintail a bit unstable

Check Prices

4. 7’ Airhead Popsicle 730

Airhead Kids iSUPWanting to find a SUP for your kids that is light enough they can carry it to the water’s edge?

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. The drawback on this eggy shape will be speed, your kiddy winkles will be struggling to keep up with you. Perhaps a tow rope?

Included are a bag for transport and the pump, you will need to buy an extra paddle! Airhead sells paddles for juniors separately here. This is a great board for small kids trying out paddleboarding for the first time.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Extremely stable egg shape

Cons

  • No included paddle
  • Slow on the water

Check Prices

5.

Ten Toes 8′ Nano Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Bundle

Ten Toes Kids BoardPretty in pink for girls and groovy green for the young lads. The Ten Toes 8’ Nano holds up to 140 lbs (63kg) and comes with a paddle, pump, and repair kit.

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.

Ten Toes is another company thats been around the inflatable SUP world for quite some time, their reputation is known. Their SUPs are quite basic and put together simply which can be a red flag for some but the plus side is that it keeps them extremely affordable.

Pros

  • Color choice
  • Stable, easy to paddle for beginners
  • Included paddle

Cons

  • The paddle and accessories aren’t great
  • No bag for transport

Check Prices

How We Choose Our List of Best Kids SUPs

There are a few factors that come into effect when choosing a good kids SUP. We mentioned these features at the top of the article, however, in case you need reminding we’ll lay it out again quickly.

1. A kids board needs to be built well, as I’m sure you already know, kids tend to be quite rambunctious!
2. Affordable – like clothes, they will outgrow the board and it could be sooner than you care to spend more money.
3. Versatile – This touches on the above point ^^ if you can have a juniors SUP that small adults can use too, then you have something that can grow with your kids
4. The right size, around 8-9ft.

So keeping all of this in mind is how we chose these boards. The other part that comes into our choice is customer satisfaction. While not everyone in the team has kids at Supboardguide, we all have experience paddling with kids. We know what makes a kid excited to get out on the water.

It’s something that isn’t too daunting to try for the first time and some cool graphics or colors on the board to lure them in. That and of course, watching their parents have the best time ever! So you best be paddling alongside them too. If you are also looking for a board and don’t want to stretch the budget, check out our Cheap SUP list.

PFD and Paddle

Kids PFD Life WestIf your kids want to paddleboard 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 an adjustable paddle by Bic Sport. You can find it here.

Let’s not kid around here…

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 of these SUPs.

Need The Decision Made For You?

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 on anything we may have missed. Perhaps you found a SUP your kid’s love? We love seeing the whole family out there too so don’t forget to show us your family SUP pics!

The following two tabs change content below.

SUP Guide

Hey there and welcome to SUPBoardGuide. We're a small team of paddleboard enthusiasts living in Australia, Germany, the US and the Philippines! We really hope you enjoy our content and feel free to comment or reach out to us with ideas or questions 🙂

13 thoughts on “The 5 Best SUPs for Kids”

  1. A lot of these boards seem expensive for kids and big too. Maybe they are meant for teens but little kids, like 8 and 9 years old, would need even shorter boards.

    • The 8′ boards are already pretty small. I can only think of one or two boards that are 7′ but I will include them in my next update. Thanks for pointing it out.

  2. I’ve got a Lakeshore Inflatable SUP for my kid, what I get for a $500 plus board is a convenient and durable SUP board for my boy. He’s 8 years old and he’s enjoying SUP as much as I do.

  3. Can you please include our company in your comparison for ‘5 best sup’s for kids’ as we manufacture 7 different models of paddleboards specifically for kids…and they are all top of the line construction, the same as any adults. WATERKIDS.com

  4. I discovered paddle boarding last summer and absolutely love the sport! I am an avid yogi and was easily able to move right into the sport and felt like a natural. Last year, I rented and this year I am ready to buy my own board. I am concerned about carrying the board since I am a smaller adult. 5’1″ about 150 lbs and would like to purchase the smallest board possible to be able to take it with me for travel but don’t with concern of length and weight of the board. What would the drawbacks be if I purchased a child size board? I haven’t used one but read that they are good for kids right at my height and weight but I don’t want to feel like I am riding a tricycle. Any information you can give me would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Hey Mary,

      good question. There are a few reasons why you don’t want to buy a kids SUP. First of all, most kids boards won’t hold your weight. At 150lbs you’d be exceeding all of the weight limits except that of the Thurso Prodigy. Even there, you’d be cutting it fairly close. The max weight in most cases is also not really intended to be maxed out by one person of 160lbs (Thurso weight capacity) but more by two kids sharing a SUP or playing on it together. For one 150lbs person it wouldn’t be stable enough. That’s because the dimensions are designed for younger kids. They are all between 7′ and 8′. You’d definitely want to look for a SUP that’s 10’+ long and as wide as possible since you need the stability for Yoga. Kids boards are all around 30″ wide, which given the length is pretty wide and stable. For a 10’+ boards on the other hand it’s not really.

      The same applies to the accessories. You definitely won’t enjoy paddling with a kids paddle. It’s just not stiff enough.

      Check out the Nixy Newport. It’s super light-weight (19lbs) so you won’t have any issues carrying it. It’s an inflatable so it rolls up and fits into the backpack that comes with it and the paddle blade is fairly small so you won’t be breaking any speed records but it will be easy to paddle. It’s also 33″ wide and super stable so ideal for Yoga.

    • Red Paddle do some great inflatables you may be interested in for the lighter adult. There’s a 9’8 version of their RIDE (All rounder/somewhat surf oriented), good to 200lbs (so you + plenty of kit in the tie downs…), and a Max Race 10.6 which are marketed for younger people, but they do a 28″ wide one good for 75Kgs rider (that’s about 165lbs so still a little close but worth a test?).

      If you’re more into touring / distance, their 11′ Sport good too. Less good for surf, but great tracking and not turning with every stroke.

      I am not connected to Red Paddle, other than being a very satisfied customer of one of their “Explorer” range (called “Voyager” this year).

  5. Any Kids one’s with more of a flat-water emphasis (the above tested ones all look surf-oriented in shape and fins…). We’re inland, so more on lakes and rivers and wanting to do some distances…

    • The ones above are all-around boards but some do have a fairly narrow tail making it easy for kids to turn. If you really want to cover some distance check out Waterkids. They have a 9ft Lake/Tour board.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.