Best Kids SUPs

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As a parent it’s often hard to let go of having your child go from being your passenger to having their own kids SUP. 

But it is a step that is worthwhile in their development as a person. They get to learn paddling techniques, safety tips as well as build stamina and endurance as paddlers. Not to mention paddle boarding is a great way to take a pause from life and be in the moment. 

In this guide we go through the best inflatable SUPs for kids where we choose kid specific as well as smaller adult boards to help them make the crossover in their preteen years. We also inform you as to which paddle board to choose and when.

Lets dive in!

For our list of the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for Adults, click here! Many of them can take on children if they are not ready for their owns SUPs yet!

Best Kids SUPs

Below are the best kids paddle boards that are both child specific and hybrids for smaller adults. Below is our list of top kids paddle boards

  1. Bluefin Cruise Jr – (Best Rated Kids SUP)
  2. Atoll Youth SUP – (Stability Pick)
  3. Red Paddle Snapper – (Premium Pick)
  4. iRocker All Around 10 Ultra – (Cross-Over Pick)
  5. Nautical Kids – (Onboard Storage Pick)
  6. Sea Gods ASR Kids SUP – (Best Design)
  7. Thursosurf Prodigy Jr – (Small Kids Pick)
  8. Nixy Huntington G4 Ultra Compact – (High Quality Accessories Pick)
  9. Gili Mako – (Playful Pick)
  10. Bote Flow Aero Kids – (Young Paddler Pick)

In this list there are no “bargain brands”. We made sure to pick SUPs with the expectation that they are made of high quality materials and have at least a 2 year warranty backed behind them against any manufatcuring defects.

1. Bluefin Cruise Jr (Best Kids SUP)


  • Dimensions: 8’ X 29” X 5”
  • Weight: 22 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 176 Lbs
  • Materials Used: Exo laminate construction

Why is it a Good Kids SUP Pick? 

One of the main reasons why we chose the Bluefin Cruise Jr as the best kids stand up paddle board is the fact that it comes with a wide array of accessories. On Top of the regular pump, bag and paddle dealio, the Bluefin Cruise jr also comes with a kayak conversion kit (kayak seat and paddle add-on extension). 

This is handy because your child’s endurance on their feet will not be as built up as yours. So if they get tired they can just take a seat and carry on in a kayak formation. The price tag of this SUP is very reasonable for what you get. This on top of a 5 year warranty helps this SUP secure the first spot. 

On-Water Performance 

The Bluefin Cruise Jr will provide ample stability for children between the ages of 5 and 9 as well kids that are smaller above 9 years old. At 29” its at about the median in terms of SUP width. 

The Cruise jr is more maneuverable board because of its 8’ size but it can provide ample tracking when the 8” fin is attached. It’s highly recommended that you keep track of this fin otherwise your child will have a tough time keeping up. People who forget their fins and paddle out know!

One thing that I really appreciated for the adventurous little ones is that this SUP has a kick pad. This allows your kid to work on their pivot turns with a board that maneuvers well thanks to its smaller length. 

Board Features and Designs 

The Bluefin Cruise comes with a good amount of accessories which was part of the reason why we ranked it #1. But there is a down side to this, which is more stuff to carry! Your child may need your help taking everything to the shoreline. The board also weights 22 lbs which is pretty hefty considering boards that are 2 feet longer like the All Around Ultra are actually more lightweight. 

On the plus side the board does feature some deck storage which is handy for you child’s drinks and even a small cooler bag that you can fill with juice boxes and sandwiches. 


  • Affordable Price Tag
  • Comes with Wide Range of Accessories
  • Bungee storage at the front of deck
  • Good Customer service
  • 5 Year warranty on their products 


  • The board is heavier 
  • Overall Package weight is on the heavy side of this list

2. Atoll Youth SUP (Stability Pick)


  • Dimensions: 9’ X 30” X 6”
  • Weight: 21 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: N/A
  • Materials Used: Dual Fusion laminate construction

Total Score: 8.1/10 (Average of Below Scores)

  • On-Water Performance – 7.6
    • Stability 8
    • Tracking 7.5
    • Speed 7
    • Maneuverability 8
  • SUP Construction – 9
  • Board Features  – 8
    • Deck Pad 8.5
    • D Rings 9
    • Deck Bungees 7.5
    • Handles 7
  • Accessories – 7.3
    • Backpack 7
    • Paddle 7
    • Pump 7
    • Fins 8
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8.5

Why is it a Good Kids SUP Pick? 

In my experience, if there is one thing Atoll is really good at, it’s making stable and steady paddle boards. The Atoll youth SUP is no different in this regard thanks to its 30” width and 6” thickness. Which makes it wider than most kids’ boards on this list. 

The Atoll 9’ Youth SUP is best for older or taller children who are between 8 to 13 years old. This board is a relatively new addition to the Atoll line up which previously only sold the Atoll 11’ board in different color variations. 

On-Water Performance 

If tracking and stability are your priority this 9’ SUP will be one of the better choices for children compared to shorter boards of the 7’- 8’ variety. It should be noted though, that while most childrens SUPs are about 5” thick this one is 6” which means your child will be higher up when paddling. 

This is a bigger board to maneuver which makes it a bit more tricky for smaller paddlers to navigate. This board will also be a bit slower in the water due to the extra few inches width on average. Although speed is probably the least important priority when it comes to on-water performance factors. 

Board Features and Designs 

Atoll makes supremely durable boards that are built to last so the 9’ Youth SUP should be no different. One of the good things with this 9’ board is that it has almost the exact same features as the Atoll 11. So if you get a family of Atoll boards your child won’t feel left out as they have the exact same designs, features and compatibility. 

This board can also be paddled by a smaller teen or adult as well which makes it a pretty decent hybrid/ inbetween of an adult SUP and a childrens SUP. Another good feature is the 3 rows of deck rigging which makes this a good SUP for some of those longer excursions. Your child can feel included carrying some of the gear and taking on some of the responsibility! 

See the Atoll 9′ Youth SUP Review here.


  • Makes of one of the most stable paddle boards I’ve ever paddled
  • Company has a lot of experience with inflatable paddle boards
  • Relatively affordable price 
  • Good pre-teen to small afult SUP
  • Tracking will be one of the better ones on this list


  • May be challenging for smaller/ younger children to handle
  • May be a bit bulky to carry to the water

3. Red Paddle Snapper (Premium Pick)


  • Dimensions: 9’4” X 27” X 4”
  • Weight: 17.5 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 132 Lbs
  • Materials Used: Patented MSL Fusion Technology

Why is it a Good Kids SUP Pick? 

This is what you would consider a more intermediate/ advanced SUP pick for kids who already have experience with paddle boarding and want something more responsive. 

This SUP is labeled a premium pick not just because of its highly detailed in-house construction but also because of its more expensive price tag. At $1149.00 this is not a purchasing decision to be lightly considered. But if your child has a passion for paddle boarding and you know they will be out there paddling with you it will be night and day compared to other SUPs on this list. 

On-Water Performance 

The Red Paddle Snapper is probably the most versatile SUPs on this list as it is built from a more performance guided mindset. It’ 9’4” dimensions makes it a more maneuverable board than Red Paddle’s popular Ride line-up. But its pointed tail and 2 fin setup allow for this board to get up to a good speed. Don’t be surprised if you kid (with good paddling technique) can keep up with you on a longer board!

One thing I have noticed testing 2 fin SUPs is that they are very good at tracking when facing external elements like wind and waves. So this set-up should help your smaller one a bit more when they encounter them. And they will encounter this at some point!

Board Features and Designs 

True to its name, the Red Paddle Snapper 9’4” has kept a lot of the features that make this company a truly premium board. It maintains the 3 unique Red Paddle Bungee cords, 2 fin setup, and its famous 2 texture deck pad design. 

Perhaps the most important feature we need to mention is Red Paddle’s MSL technology. Most inflatable paddle boards are made overseas in Asia. However, Red Paddle designs all of their boards carefully in-house with MSL drop stitch technology. It coats the thread layer with adhesive and then adds a machine laminate layer of high density PVC to create a seal and a bonding layer. Making this a very structurally sound board. 

It’s 4” thickness will also gives it a more stable feel as you care closer to the water.


  • Best made SUP on our list
  • Most performance oriented board
  • Maintains a lot of Red Paddles flagship features
  • 5 Year Warranty on SUP


  • Very Expensive for a Kids SUP
  • May not be worth it to spend money on board your kid will eventually out grow

4. iRocker All Around 10 Ultra (Cross-Over Pick) 

iRocker All Around 10 Ultra SUP


  • Dimensions: 10’ X 32” X 6”
  • Weight: 19.8 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 260 Lbs
  • Materials Used: Cross Threaded Drop Stitch Material

Total Score: 8.7 (Average of Below Scores)

  • On-Water Performance – 8.1
    • Stability 7.5
    • Tracking  8
    • Speed 8.5
    • Maneuverability 8.5
  • SUP Construction – 9
  • Board Features  – 8.6
    • Deck Pad 9
    • D Rings 8.5
    • Deck Bungees 8.5
    • Action Mounts: 7.5
    • Handles 9
  • Accessories – 8.6
    • Backpack 9.5
    • Paddle 7.5
    • Pump 9
    • Fins 8.5
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 9

Why is it a Good Kids SUP Pick? 

Cross-Over Pick whats that? What I mean by this is that it’s the best pick for the inbetween stages of preeteendom where your child is too big for a kids SUP but too small for a larger adult SUP. The iRocker All Around 10 Ultra is a great inbetween SUP because of its quality construction which results in a lighter weight board. 

In Fact this board is lighter than some of the kids SUPs on the list like our top pick the Bluefin Cruise Jr. As mentioned above, I would recommend this board for kids in the pre-teen to teenage age. On the plus side its a board that doesn’t have to be out grown thanks to its maximum capacity. 

This SUP features a more travel friendly bag due to the fact that this SUP folds in half lengthwise. Which also makes it easier for your teen to carry around. 

On-Water Performance 

While I have not tested the All Around 10 Ultra yet I have tried its bigger brother the All Around 11 Ultra. In my experience the All Around 11 Ultra is a solid board that has great acceleration and glide. It’s not the most stable board I have tested but it does the job and makes you feel stable enough as you paddle on. 

The All Around 10 Ultra will be a better board for maneuverability but it’s tracking will not be as good as the 11.  If you have a bigger preteen/ teen you may want to upgrade to this model to insure they do not outgrow it. 

Board Features and Designs 

One of the main reasons why I thought this board would be great for kids is its lightweight build and durable construction. With this new Ultra series the construction is made of cross threaded drop stitch material and fusion laminated PVC. Previously they used single threaded drop stitch and triple layer PVC which required more materials, man hours and was heavier in the process. 

The All Around 10 Ultra is one of the more feature rich boards on this list as it features 3 rows of bungee deck webbing at the front, and 2 rows at the back. The SUP also features 3 mounting points for things like rod holders, cup holders, go pros and of course cell phones. A solid addition for your social media addicted teen ;). 

A big bonus with this SUP is that if you have younger children, they can ride at the front as there are handles there for them to hold onto

See the iRocker All Around 10 Ultra Review here.


  • Travel and carry friendly
  • One of the lightweight 10’ SUPs
  • Great SUP for pre-teens and teens
  • Lots of possibilities for onboard cargo


  • Will be too big for younger children
  • Can get pushed by the wind a bit easier due to light weight and length

5. Nautical Kids (Onboard Storage Pick)


  • Dimensions: 9’ X 32” X 6”
  • Weight: 17.2 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 220.5 Lbs
  • Materials Used: Dual Layer PVC Construction

Total Score 7.6/10 (Averages of Below Scores)

  • On-Water Performance – 7.4
    • Stability 8
    • Tracking 7
    • Speed 6.5
    • Maneuverability 8
  • SUP Construction – 7.5
  • Board Features  – 7.9
    • Deck Pad 7.5
    • D Rings 8.5
    • Deck Bungees 8.5
    • Action Mounts: 6
    • Handles 9
  • Accessories – 7
    • Backpack 7
    • Paddle 7
    • Pump 6
    • Fins 8
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8

Why is it a Good Kids SUP Pick? 

The Nautical kids is a great board for kids who want a good amount of storage onboard. This set-up is ideal for those paddlers who like to stay out a bit longer. Although that being said, with 6 rows of bungee deck webbing there is a higher probability of kids tripping over it when they are forest getting a handle on paddle boarding. Especially at the back of the board.

The board is more on the lightweight scale of things when compared to other Kids SUPs at 17.2 lbs. Which makes it easier for your child to transport by themselves to the water. 

On-Water Performance 

Being a 9’ board the Nautical will track better for a kids SUP thanks to its extra foot length. That said, it’s not the best tracking board on this list. However, its 32” width will make it one of the most stable 9’ boards on our list. 

With a 220.5 lbs weight limit it can take kids of most sizes along with some gear. Heck it can even be a sturdy board for smaller adults who are just starting out! Although there will be limitations to kids who are 5’10” and above. In that case get an adult board like the All Around Ultra 10.  

Board Features and Designs 

The Nautical brand name is the introductory SUP in the iRocker lineup so its materials are not of the same level as iRocker and the sister Blackfin names. Its construction is a dual layer PVC with threaded drop stitch material. So not the best quality materials on this list but this SUP does come with a 2 year warranty and I have heard of folks who have had their Nautical boards for 5 + years. 

As mentioned above the Nauticals purpose is pure stability coupled with a higher than average weight capacity for a kids SUP. The SUP also lends itself to some customizability with one action mount and 4 free D rings that can be used for a kayak seat. 

See the Nautical Kids Review here.


  • One of the most stable boards on our list
  • Good amount of storage room
  • High maximum capacity
  • Long deck pad for grip
  • Fantastic board for smaller beginners


  • With deck bungees come more possibilities of tripping, especially at the back of the board
  • Fins are Snap on which means a higher possibility of losing them
  • Board will not be the greatest at tracking

6. Sea Gods ASR Kids SUP (Design Pick) 


  • Dimensions: 8’ X 28” X 4.5”
  • Weight: 17 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 120 Lbs
  • Materials Used: 12800/M2 Drop Stitch Fabric

Why is it a Good Kids SUP Pick? 

Being a company that is located in my local city, I know the owner and I know for a fact they have kids! As a result, they have used their kids’ expertise to design this board. It must also be noted that this is probably one of the best looking SUPs on this list, especially the bottom of it. In Fact the bottom of the board is designed by a Disney artist!

The looks of a board often goes understated, even on this site. But for kids having a cool looking board that stands out is a necessity! On Top of looks this board has a lifetime warranty for the board to be free from manufacturing defects for the “reasonable life” of the item. 

On-Water Performance 

From a maneuverability point of view this is one of the better boards at 8’ long. It’s also one of the best constructed 8’ boards out there. It’s 4.5 thickness allows the board to be lower to the water which gives the board a bit of a boost stability wise. 

The fin set-up are a glued on thruster fin setup so there will be a bit more fish tailing with this SUP compared to other larger boards with a longer center fin on this list. Which makes this an ideal board for more calmer water conditions like medium sized lakes or sheltered calm bays. 

Board Features and Designs 

Of course, the first thing that stands out about this board is its design but whats behind it? Being a local company I’ve actually visited them a few times and they gave me some pretty interesting insights into the construction of their boards. For one, the deck pad is NOT sprayed different colors but rather cut from different colors of deck padding. This process keeps the board from sun fading and colors being run out. 

In terms of their actual construction, they were relatively tight lipped but their boards are made using a woven drop stitch material with ULF (Ultra Light Fusion) PVC technology and heat molded seams. This insures that the board meets their stringent product lifetime warranty. The board can also be blown up to 20 PSI. 

So if quality SUPs are important to you Sea Gods is probably one, if not the best manufacturers in Canada and even North America. 


  • Best made 8’ SUP on the list
  • Best looking SUP in the list
  • 4.5” thickness allows your kids to be closer to the water
  • Board is very maneuverable thanks to length and fin setup


  • Price tag is pretty hefty for a kids SUP
  • 3 equal sized thruster fins do not do the board any favors tracking wise

7. Thursosurf Prodigy (Small Kids Pick)


  • Dimensions: 7’6” X 30” X 4”
  • Weight: 19 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 80 Lbs
  • Materials Used: Double Layer PVC with Woven Drop Stitch Material

Why is it a Good Kids SUP Pick? 

The Thurso Prodigy jr is a good SUP for smaller children learning the ropes of paddle boarding. This board is probably the most introductory SUP on the list as it’s only 7’6” long and has a maximum capacity of 80 lbs

As the name entails its uses are for children ages 5 – 9 years old or anybody who is under 80 lbs weight. 

On-Water Performance 

The Prodigy Jr will have some of the best maneuverability which will make it an easier board for kids to control. It also comes with a lighter carbon hybrid paddle. Kids SUPs don’t usually come with nice lightweight paddles so this is especially a bonus for your smaller paddler! Not only will it be lighter for them but they will also have an easier time keeping up with you and will be able to paddle longer. 

That being said, this board will not be a tracking hero. The 7’6” frame with a wider width will make the board zig zag more. To counter this, Thursosurf has included 3 snap-on fins. Unfortunately they do not detail what size the thruster fins are. 

Board Features and Designs 

The Prodigy is designed like other Thursosurf boards using a double layer constriction and woven drop stitch materials. One thing I do notice about this board as that it has more of a considerable rounded figure. While great with stability I do find that the nose of these types of boards do tend to aquaplane more than all around hybrid SUP noses. This adds more drag as you are paddling. 

The board itself also has a smaller deck pad. Which may make for a few slips into the water if they misstep forward.  While I do like grooved deck padding I find the diamond groove will give the best grip for your child’s feet. Especially when they are learning. 


  • Very maneuverable in the water
  • Paddle is very lightweight which is a good for children
  • Best for younger kids and should be used as an introductory board.


  • I wish the deckpad was more expansive on this
  • Speed and tracking will be pretty limited on the board due to length
  • Fins are snap-on but can get lost, especially more so with kids

8. Nixy Huntington G4 Ultra Compact (High Quality Accessories Pick) 


  • Dimensions: 9’6” X 32” X 4”
  • Weight: 19 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 250 Lbs
  • Materials Used: Dual Layer Fusion Laminate woven drop stitch constriction 

Total Rating: 8.7 (Average of Below Numbers)

  • On-Water Performance – 8
    • Stability 7.5
    • Tracking 7.5
    • Speed 7.5
    • Manueverability 9
  • SUP Construction – 8.5
  • Board Features – 8
    • Deck Pad 8.5
    • D Rings 8
    • Deck Bungees 8
    • Action Mounts 7.5
    • Handles 8
  • Accessories – 9
    • Backpack 9
    • Paddle 9
    • Pump 9
    • Fins 9
  • Setup/ Take Down – 9.5

Why is it a Good Kids SUP Pick? 

The Nixy Huntington Ultra Compact is a great board for larger kids or pree-teens who want a lightweight package that they can talk almost anywhere. It’s split deckpad design, like the All Around 10 Ultra allows the board to fold in half lengthwise to make for a more compact package. Which means an easier to manage backpack that is less bulky!

On-Water Performance

The Huntington G4 is lighter than most adult inflatable paddle boards which gives it good acceleration. But it won’t have better tracking than longer 10’6 and 11’ inflatable SUPs. Still when comparing it to other shorter boards on this list it does quite well. 

Like other travel friendly packages the Nixy Huntington Ultra Compact comes with a 2 fin center fin setup which allows the board to track sufficiently when given more power or against external forces like wind and waves. Make no mistake about it though, this is one of the more maneuverable boards in the Nixy line-up due to the boards length

Board Features and Designs 

The Huntington Ultra Compact has a fairly expansive deck pad with the option to remove the deck webbing from the board. This is especially ideal if your teen/ preteen wants to practice pivot turns on this board. The board also has Action mounts which allows you to add go pros, cell phone mounts, cup holders and even rod holders. 

Perhaps the best thing about this board and other Nixy boards, is the accessories you get with this board. It comes with a well made, more compact backpack, carbon hybrid paddles as well as a dual chamber triple action pump which makes setting up the board a heck of a lot easier. In my experience Nixy truly makes some of the best accessories in the game

See the Nixy Huntington G4 Ultra Compact Review here.


  • High quality accessories included
  • Very travel friendly package
  • Solid Overall On-Water Performance
  • Expansive deck pad area


  • May be a bit bigger to maneuver for smaller kids
  • Pricery then kids SUPs

9. Gili Mako (Playful pick) 


  • Dimensions: 10’ X 32” X 6”
  • Weight: 20 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 260 Lbs
  • Materials Used: Dual Fusion Layer Technology

Total Score 8/10 (Average of Below Numbers)

  • On-Water Performance – 8
    • Stability 7.5
    • Tracking 7.5
    • Speed 7
    • Maneuverability 9
  • SUP Construction – 8
  • Board Features – 8
    • Deck Pad 8
    • D Rings 8
    • Deck Bungees 8.5
    • Action Mounts: 8.5
    • Handles 8
  • Accessories – 8
    • Backpack 8
    • Paddle 7.5
    • Pump 7
    • Fins 8.5
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8

Why is it a Good Kids SUP Pick? 

The Gili Mako is a very good candidate for riders that are 5’10 and under. IE most kids. It also has a good amount of deck storage which is ideal for some of the older paddlers. Children between the ages of 10 – 15 would do well with this SUP as its still relatively lightweight for its size and dimensions

Its also a good SUP for maneuverability as well as a wide range of different conditions including surfing or learning more intermediate SUP skills. 

On-Water Performance

The Gili Mako offers good dimensions for it to be a truly all around, all condition board. If you are paddling in tighter water ways like calm rivers its a great pick for maneuverability purposes. Of course due to its dimensions it won’t be the greatest tracking paddle board in existence but when compared to most of the SUPs on this list it does a pretty good job of it. 

In terms of stability people under 5’11 will probably feel at home on this board and won’t have a problem with its stability. But if you teen or preteen is over those dimensions, it may be best to look at longer paddle boards like the Gili Adventure 11 or 12′

Board Features and Designs 

One of the features I really appreciate about Gili boards is the fact that they have 2 different textured deck pads. They have the grooved in the middle and diamond groove in the back for when your child wants to challenge themselves with more advanced paddling techniques like pivot turns.

The board also features a good amount of storage with 3 rows of bungee deck webbing at the front and rear of the board as well as 4 total action mounts for Add-on accessories. The board is one of the better made ones in the Gili line up as its made of a dual layer PVC material compared to the single layer done by the Gili Air SUPs

See the Gili Mako Review here.


  • Lots of storage room
  • Good for pre-teens or anyone below 5’10”
  • Great All Around board that can be used in a variety of different conditions
  • Lightweight


  • May be more difficult for smaller kids to navigate this board
  • Pump that comes with SUP is pretty basic for the price point you are paying
  • Taller teens will most likely outgrow this SUP

10. Bote Flow Aero Kids (Young Paddler Pick)


  • Dimensions: 8’ X 30” X 4.5”
  • Weight: 17 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 100 Lbs
  • Materials Used: AeroBOTE Technology 

Why is it a Good Kids SUP Pick? 

The BOTE Flow Aero is a great kids pick for those younger ones who are just starting to get their paddling legs under them. This SUP’s 8’ length makes it better for smaller children in the 5-10 years old range

You should take note though, that this SUP’s maximum capacity is one of the lightest at 100 lbs. So this board should be mostly used as a introductory board for calm water conditions. 

On-Water Performance 

Unlike many other of the above kids paddle boards, this one actually has a good amount of customer reviews. One of the more interesting ones was from Megan W. who states:

My 6 year old and 9 year old are both able to control this board. They love it!! My 9 year old is about 89lbs and the board shows no signs of bogging down. Recommend getting a paddle lanyard – my kids learned the hard way that the paddle sinks fast.

So it appears that in this and a few other cases BOTE has underestimated the maximum weight capacity for this board. At 30” width it falls into the median range for Kids SUPs width wise. 

Board Features and Designs 

The BOTE Flow Aero is pretty standard in its features. It has 2 rows of bungee deck webbing at the front, as well as 4 free D rings on the sides for a kayak seat. The Board does have a design that makes it stand out as well as a deck pad that is fairly expansive. Which is good for younger introductory paddlers needing grip to stand on their boards. 


  • A good sized deck pad for grip
  • Has a fun design especially for boys
  • Best for younger paddlers learning the ropes
  • Maximum capacity appears to be understated


  • Nothing really stands out with this board
  • Paddle has been reported to sink 
  • Bigger kids will outgrow this SUP quicker than others due to smaller length

Kids Stand Up Paddle Board Buying Guide

Below is a guide on kids sups. We tell you what things to look for and a few things to avoid in the process. 


This one is a bit of a no brainer but it’s something you have to think about. How much do you want to spend on a kids paddle board? Is it worth it to spend $500 for a few years or buy a small adult SUP that will last them longer? 

A lot of these questions will be answered below but for good introductory kids sups they are usually in and around the $500 and up range.

Establish what you want to spend and weigh if its worth it for both you and your child to have them sitting on your board or them having their own. 


Safety is especially at the forefront here as many kids have not had the swimming experience as we have had. So while you could spend less on a cheaper board the probability of it leaking will be higher

This is due to the fact that most of these cheaper brands use single layer PVC which exposes itself to leaks in the seams over time. All of the above picks have more advanced manufacturing procedures and have at least a 2 year warranty attached to their name. 

So how do you tell if a SUP is made of good quality? 

Take a look at our What Are Paddle Boards Made of? guide that explains the difference between SUPs with high quality manufacturing processes and ones that do not.

Good indicators of good durability are customer reviews. When looking at them don’t just look at the manufacturer platform, oftentimes they filter out bad reviews on their site because they have the ability to. Instead look at TrustPilot, BBB and look at reviews on their Facebook page (under reviews tab). These will help you paint a clearer picture of the brand you are looking at. 

As mentioned above, take a look at the warranty as well. We look for SUPs that have at LEAST a 2 year warranty against manufacturing defects

On-Water Performance

What use is a paddle board if it doesn’t do anything in the water? Here are a few things to look at.  With on-water performance you always have to do a dance of finding something that is stable but also does not paddle like a dog in the water all the while accounting for your child’s height and size. 


This will be the most important on-water performance factor, especially for your child who is just starting to navigate their own boards. Factors that determine the boards stability are length, width and the board shape. 

Boards that have a more rounded shape will be more stable in the water. This is especially aided when the board is longer in length and wider in width. 

If your child has a bigger/ taller stature it’s best to go into the 9’ length and 30” width. I would even recommend an adult board if your child is in the pre-teens or rapidly growing. 

If your child is lightweight and smaller in frame they can go down as far as a paddle board that is 7’6” long with a 27” width. 

Standing on the paddle board will be the first skill that they learn so getting this right is important. 


I’m just going to put this out there now. Most Kids Stand Up Paddle Boards will not track as well as adult ones due to simple physics. Longer boards have better tracking ability due to their dimensions. 

If you and your family paddle in bigger bodies of water like lakes then tracking will be more important. In this case choose a board that is longer so that it can keep up better with your adult SUPs. 9’ Kids SUPs are decent for this. 


While your child may be at a disadvantage compared to your adult paddle boards in terms of speed, tracking and stability. They gain the upper hand in maneuverability

Shorter paddle boards are much more maneuverable which makes turning the board a lot easier for your little one compared to trying to navigate a bigger adult board. 

If you are paddling in smaller calm rivers or are hugging a shoreline, your child may prefer having a shorter board that gives them better maneuverability and control

How Heavy is the SUP? 

One of the most underappreciated factors is how much a paddle board weighs. You don’t think a lot about this until you are unpacking it and carrying it to the shoreline! 

If your child wants full independence of having their own board, carrying it is also part of the responsibilities! So in this case getting something lightweight will be ideal. A lot of this will of course depend on the child’s size as well. 

You will notice that some of the adult SUPs are actually lighter than a couple of the kid’s SUPs above! However, I will also note that the bigger the board, the more wind resistance it has when carrying it to the shoreline. So if you have your kid carrying a lightweight 10’ adult board to the shore, they may struggle to hold the board steady if the wind picks up. 

A Child’s Age will be a Determining Factor 

Ultimately how old your kid is will be one of the most important factors in terms of what board you get them and what size SUP they need. Younger kids who are smaller in stature will require a smaller board that is easier for them to handle both in and out of the water

As they get into the pre-teens you have to look at their growth over the last few years and see if it’s worth it to just buy an adult paddle board from the onset

Childrens SUP vs Getting a Small Adult SUP

As your child grows you will have some hard decisions to make. Do you sacrifice a bit of usability from the beginning and jump right into an adult SUP? We will discuss the pros and cons of each below. 

Starting Off with a Kids SUP

The younger your child is the more of a no-brainer it is to get them a kids SUP. On a whole, ages 5-9 are concrete cases to get your child their own specialized kids paddle board

Advantages of Starting off with a Kids SUP

  • They will be easier to carry to the shoreline
  • They are easier to learn on
  • Their dimensions will better suit your child which will result in a far better time for them
  • They have a paddleboard they call their own 
  • Appearance-wise, they will be more appealing to children
  • Usually cheaper than an adult SUP

Disadvantages of Starting off with a Kids SUP

  • Your child may outgrow them quicker
  • On-Water Performance will not be as good
  • Less stability compared to adult SUPs

Starting off with a Small Adult SUP

As your child gets older, it may make more sense to upgrade to an adult SUP for them to get the most out of paddle boarding. This makes more sense when they are teen to pre-teen ages. Ten-foot boards are usually the way to go for this and are not that much heavier as a result. In Fact sometimes if they are made of good materials they are lighter!

Advantages of Starting off with an Adults SUP

  • They will last longer 
  • More versatile and can be used by other adults/ older children as well
  • Will save you money vs buying a kids SUP and then a few years later an adult SUP
  • Your teen/ preteen will be a stronger paddler as a result
  • Will feel more stable for your child
  • Lightweight Adult paddle boards will have better on-water performance
  • Harder to damage
  • More options for onboard accessories like deck bungees and deck mounts

Disadvantages of Starting off with an Adults SUP

  • They are more cumbersome
  • Take more effort to paddle
  • There will be an adjustment period at first
  • Will Be too big to paddle for smaller children
  • Harder for kids to inflate

Kids Safety Tips

We have a dedicated article on Paddleboarding With Kids but here are the long and the short of the most important safety tips for kids on SUPs.

A Fitted PFD is essential 

Ohh boy another wear your PFD warning! Well yes. But in this case, it’s super important. This is your kids we’re talking about here! 

Kids will not be as well versed in swimming as you are, and chances are your kid may not be a fan of swimming lessons (I certainly wasn’t). 

When choosing a kids PFD there’s a few things you should be looking at 

  • US Coast Guard/ Canada Transport Approved(or your local country’s water governing body) 
  • The weight range of the Life vest will say on the back. As they say in the video, buy the right size right now!
  • Make sure to fit a lifevest before buying. It should feel snug but comfortable on them
  • Look for a collar and crotch strap to keep the life vest from riding up

Wear a SUP Leash

Yes, you have the PFD for floatation but it’s good to have a leash as well so that your child can easily get back onto the board. Your child may still have a ways to go when it comes to swimming so having a SUP that stays attached to your ankle will be crucial for them to get back onboard. 

Bring Sunscreen

Sunscreen is often one of the most forgotten things to bring paddle boarding. But with kids, it’s pretty important. Make sure you use child-safe waterproof sunscreen and re-apply them every few hours. After all, nobody wants to deal with a cranky little burnt lobster!

Bring Snacks and Lots of Water

This is where having a kid’s SUP that has bungee cords comes in handy! Be sure to pack a lunch box and plenty of water to make sure that your child is properly hydrated. 

In my experience, I HAVE to have water with me. If I don’t I get super dehydrated from the sun which drains my energy levels when paddling. Which after the fact often gives me a headache later on in the day/ night.

– Editors Notes

Dehydration is a sneaky son of a gun so make sure you come to the water prepared! 

A packed lunch in a cooler is also a good way to replenish energy levels on longer paddling trips. Things like sandwiches are always a good energy boost during a mid-paddle break.  I found this was a cool article for kids snacks on the water.

Kids Stand Up Paddle Boards FAQ’s

Below are some questions that I get asked about kids getting their first SUPs. 

What Is The Best SUP For Kids

Below is our personalized list of the best SUPs for Kids. 

1. Bluefin Cruise Jr – (Best Rated Kids SUP)
2. Atoll Youth 9′ SUP – (Stability Pick)
3. Red Paddle Snapper – (Premium Pick)
4. iRocker All Around 10 Ultra – (Cross-Over Pick)
5. Nautical Kids – (Onboard Storage Pick)
6. Sea Gods ASR Kids SUP – (Best Design)
7. Thursosurf Prodigy – (Small Kids Pick)
8. Nixy Huntington G4 Ultra Compact – (High-Quality Accessories Pick)
9. Gili Mako – (Playful Pick)
10. Bote Flow Aero Kids – (Young Paddler Pick)

The Bluefin Cruise Jr was rated best Kids SUP because of the value of the package as well as the detail in construction that Bluefin provides. This SUP also comes with a 5 year warranty which is extremely good for a SUP in its price range.

When Do I Know When My Child Is Ready To Paddle On Their Own?

mom son paddle board

The biggest factor to this is when your child actually has a desire to paddle on their own board and be independent. They should also be able to have somewhat acceptable swimming skills under them as well in case they fall off the board and need to climb back onto their SUP

Can A Child Sit On A SUP? 

Yes, absolutely a child can sit on a paddle board! They can either sit at the front of your Adult SUP or you can get them their own SUP with a kayak hybrid seat so that they are comfortable. The #1 pick Bluefin Cruise Jr comes with a Kayak hybrid blade and seat in the package. 

Is Paddle Boarding Safe For Kids?

If the right precautions are taken, yes paddle boarding will overall be safe for kids. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind for your children.

Limit them to calm water conditions (check the weather temperature, water temperature and wind gust as well as tide tables if applicable).
Have them wear a PFD at ALL TIMES along with a SUP Leash
Do not let them stray too far away from you
Avoid going out in tidal zones, currents are high wind days
Have them learn the basics in a safe controlled environment

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Hey, My name is Derek Lenze and I'm the owner of Inflatable SUP Authority. I've had over 20 years experience with watersports and over 10 years of various paddle boarding experience. My new-found passion is bringing my stand up paddle boaring knowledge in an explainable and actionable way all the while giving you my unbiased takes.