Top 7 Best Paddleboards for Kids | 2020 Review (Retrospec)

Nothing says a good family bonding experience than doing a fun, recreational activity together on vacation. If you love Paddleboarding and want to introduce your kids to the sport, but have little knowledge on how to choose the perfect board for them? Here is a little quick start guide for you.

You will find everything you need to know about choosing the proper children’s paddleboard here, from comparing different paddleboard constructions to the best board size for your child. We have also picked our top 7 best paddleboards for kids, so you have a better guide on what to look for.

Top 7 Best Paddleboards for Kids Reviewed

  1. Retrospec Weekender-Nano – Best Overall
  2. THURSO Surf Prodigy Junior – Best Value
  3. Bluefin Cruise Junior Inflatable Paddleboard – Editor’s Choice
  4. NIXY Huntington Compact
  5. Aqua Marina Perspective
  6. Aqua Marina Vibrant
  7. AIRHEAD Popsicle

1. Retrospec Weekender-Nano – Best Overall

Retrospec Weekender-Nano

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Specifications:

  • Length: 8 feet
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Height: 4 inches
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Weight limit: 140 pounds
  • Construction: ArmorStrength PVC

Retrospec, formerly known as Ten Toes, is fueled by their passion for creating thoughtfully designed and superior yet affordable products for people who spend their time outside of the 9-5 in-depth with nature. With their company based in Los Angeles, they do have a proper view of how exhausting city life is, driving them to create just the best possible products to offer.

Products ranging from home gym equipment to outdoor fitness gear, their quality of paddleboards are sure to give their consumers a great deal of satisfaction. According to most consumers, even back when they were still known as Ten Toes, their paddleboards are one of the best.

Their Weekender-Nano is their most compact paddleboard made especially for kids. With a shorter length but a wider body and rounded hull, your kid is sure to get their best footing and maneuvering using this board. It is made with the same materials as its older siblings, with ArmorStrength PVC making the kid-friendly board durable and long-lasting. 

Even if it is shorter, the board still comes with a containment area. With three stainless steel D-rings near the nose and one ring near the tail, inclusive of a bungee cord, your kid can bring their water bottle or sunglasses with them while enjoying a paddle for a long period.

Your purchase will include a three-piece adjustable aluminum paddle, a manual air pump with gauge, three removable fins, a waterproof phone case, a coil leash, a repair kit, and a carry backpack.

With its cheaper price and basic accessories included, this is the best starting board for your child if you are on a budget.

ProsCons
Complete basic accessoriesThe package sometimes does not come with the coil leash.
Lightweight and durable
Affordable price

2. THURSO Surf Prodigy Junior – Best Value

THURSO Surf Prodigy Junior

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Specifications:

  • Length: 7 feet 6 inches
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Height: 4 inches
  • Weight: 19 pounds
  • Weight limit: 165 pounds
  • Construction: Triple/Quad Military-grade PVC coatings on tarpaulin deck and drop stitch core

Modern life routine pushed THURSO Surf’s team to create products for people who want to escape the cityscape for a while and experience Mother Nature. Their call for adventure made their company’s mission to provide affordable products that adventure seekers can easily use.

The company’s main adventure seems to be on Paddleboarding since the products they sell are all paddleboards. This will ensure you the high durability of their paddleboards, with most of their construction is coated with high-grade triple/quad military-grade PVC.

If your child is starting Paddleboarding, the Prodigy Junior is the best starting board. It includes the best basic tools and accessories your child can easily learn on their own. You will be getting a three-piece carbon shaft adjustable paddle, three removable fins, a 10-foot coil leash, and a carry backpack. The paddle is also convertible to a kayak paddle, but its extra blade is sold separately.

With a length of 7 feet and a thickness of 4 inches, it is lightweight and easy for your kid to carry and maneuver on the water. The board’s thinner height makes it easier for your kid to climb back up the board when they slip or fall off. It also has a side paddle holder to prevent your kid from losing the paddle. Its three snap-lock fins are easy to assemble, and if your kid is adventurous enough to try out different maneuvers, they can easily customize the fins.

Kids can get the best possible Paddleboarding experience with the Prodigy Junior. With its high durability and child-friendly accessories, it is worth the price when your kid wants to use it for the long term.

ProsCons
Accessories are easy to use for kids.Best for kids on the shorter side
Long-lasting durabilityThe kid cannot grow up with it.
Optimized for kidsThe pump is not included.
Lightweight

3. Bluefin Cruise Junior Inflatable Paddleboard – Editor’s Choice

Bluefin Cruise Junior Inflatable Paddleboard

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Specifications:

  • Length: 8 feet
  • Width: 29 inches
  • Height: 5 inches
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Weight limit: 265 pounds
  • Construction: 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC and Pro Weave Drop Stitch, UV coating

A young company started in the early 2010s; Bluefin is owned by a family who enjoys paddle boarding. Their love for the sport urged them to create their boards instead of buying from the market. As experienced paddleboarders, they have adapted and created the best mix of materials creating the paddleboards they offer.

Now, they decide to share their high-quality paddleboards. One of their best products is the Bluefin Cruise Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard, and they have made a junior version of it just your kids!

The Bluefin Cruise Junior is made from the same durable materials as its big brother. Using 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC and Pro Weave Drop Stitch technology, your kids can enjoy the Junior’s stability. The board can hold up to 28 PSI, even though 15-18 PSI is recommended, making it the sturdiest inflatable stand up paddleboard you can find.

The board can also be converted into a kayak! With the D-rings on its deck, you can clip on the padded kayak seats and swap the SUP handle into a kayak paddle end. You can bring your GoPro to catch all the action, too. Simply place your camera on the integrated GoPro mount on the nose, and you will be good to go.

Nothing beats a good purchase than complete add-ons and accessories. The Bluefin Junior comes with an adjustable two-piece paddle made with a fiberglass shaft, an 8-inch removable fin, double-action pump, and an extra-padded backpack optimized for kids. It also includes a coiled leash, a waterproof phone case, and a repair kit.

However, it is on the higher price range for a kids’ paddleboard. It is not too bad a start for Paddleboarding with the board’s construction and the quality of accessories that comes with it.

ProsCons
Non-slip surface deck with kick padNo length indicator on the paddle
Completely convertible into a kayakWidth is slightly narrow
Complete accessories
Highly durable

4. NIXY Huntington Compact

NIXY Huntington Compact

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Specifications:

  • Length: 9 feet 6 inches
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • Weight limit: 250 pounds
  • Construction: Dual-layer FUSIONTech

NIXY’s family story tells of how they have been water recreational activity enthusiasts for about 15 years, enjoying the likes of kayaking and Paddleboarding. Their love for the outdoors and their search for the perfect paddleboard urged them to create NIXY’s inflatable paddleboards today.

One of their best products that can be used by both adults and kids is the Huntington Compact. The Huntington is their most compact paddleboard on the shelf, but it is not primarily optimized for kids. However, its shorter length and lightweight material make it usable for kids to try out the sport.

Most boards only recommend inflating them up to 10-15 PSI. However, with the Huntington Compact, you can inflate it up to 20 PSI, making it one of the most rigid inflatable boards on the list. This is perfect when you and your child are up for a daring challenge to paddleboard on the crashing waves in the ocean or paddling through a raging river.

NIXY’s Huntington Compact joins the others in this list that comes with kayak attachments. The board has 14 D-rings where you can attach seats and transform it into a kayak. The D-rings can also be used for towing, attaching the coil leash, and connecting the bungee cords. It comes with a dual bungee system on both the bow and the tail, giving you more space for cargo and equipment.

Its accessories include a four-piece adjustable fiberglass paddle, two removable fins, a Typhoon pump, a hybrid leash, and a heavy-duty nylon backpack with extra padded back straps, cargo hooks, mesh side pouch, waist strap, and a bungee tie-down system.

As it is more from grown-ups, either your kid can grow up with it, or you can use it for yourself if your child does not take an interest in Paddleboarding anymore.

ProsCons
Your kid can grow up with the board.Not optimized for kids
Very rigid when inflatedA bit harder to control
Complete accessories
Kayak attachments

5. Aqua Marina Perspective

Aqua Marina Perspective

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Specifications:

  • Length: 9 feet
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Height: 4 inches
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Weight limit: 176 pounds
  • Construction: Military-grade PVC and industrial drop stitch technology

Aqua Marina swears by their mission, “Ultimate Fun, Maximum Safety!” Catering to millions of customers worldwide, Aqua Marina is one of the most trusted brands of inflatable water sports products.

They make sure they cater to all possible consumers, including kids with budding enthusiasm in Paddleboarding. The Aqua Marina Perspective is the perfect start in learning the basics of Paddleboarding without frequent upturning. Its side chambers feature provides extra stability for your child. The wide deck and diamond-cut EVA pad allow your children to shift around comfortably.

If your kid is tired and wants to sit down, you can easily convert the Perspective into a kayak. The D-rings in the board allow for the kayak seats to be strapped in, and you can attach the bungee cords so you can carry more cargo, and you can enjoy resting and relaxing on the converted kayak.

Aside from the kayak attachments, its accessories include a fast-working pump, a paddle, a coiled leash, a detachable fin, a repair kit, and a board bag.

This board is also perfect for parents who want a safer start for their child in the sport. Aside from the extra side chambers for extra stability, it also comes with splash guards at the bow to prevent water from entering the deck. This will provide a great, calmer experience in Paddleboarding.

ProsCons
Side chambers for extra stabilityCoiled leash and paddle are sometimes not included.
Easy use for beginnersWater sometimes floods on the board.
Kayak add-onsInflation issues on the side chambers
Wide deck

6. Aqua Marina Vibrant

Aqua Marina Vibrant

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Specifications:

  • Length: 8 feet
  • Width: 27 inches
  • Height: 4 inches
  • Weight: 12.6 pounds
  • Weight limit: 132 pounds
  • Construction: Military-grade PVC and industrial drop stitch technology

Aqua Marina Perspective’s more popular sibling, the Vibrant is one of their best-selling paddleboards for kids. Specially made for their young consumers, the board’s size is the perfect junior size of its adult-sized brothers. Its shorter and narrow feature grants them a lightweight carry and easy maneuvering in the water.

Unlike the Perspective, the Vibrant seems to cater closer to the Paddleboarding experience. Its design truly is a junior version of full-sized adult paddleboards you see in the market. If you want your kid to have a more daring paddleboard experience, then you should consider the Vibrant more than the Perspective.

It also comes with four stainless steel D-rings connected with a bungee cord on the deck so your kids can bring extra cargo like a water bottle. Another D-ring is located at the tail to help you secure your leash or tow your board easily.

Even with its short and narrower board, its weight capacity can still carry your four-legged best friend with you in the water. Perfect for your kid and your pet, who are usually inseparable and are adventurous together.

Aqua Marina’s products are straightforward, including a lightweight paddle, a removable fin, a high-pressure hand pump, and a carry bag.

While it is more popular than the Perspective, you may find that there can be inflation issues with this board. Just make sure you have a better pump if the pump provided is not performing well enough.

ProsCons
Basic accessories includedNarrow width may be harder to control
Extremely lightweightDoes not come with a paddle
Reputable brandSingular fin
Pet friendly

7. AIRHEAD Popsicle

AIRHEAD Popsicle

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Specifications:

  • Length: 7 feet
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Weight: 19 pounds
  • Weight limit: 120 pounds
  • Construction: Durable PVC, EVA traction pad with kick pad

The first thing when you see AIRHEAD’s Popsicle is the color scheme. One look and you know it is perfect for children. The vibrant orange, yellow, and blue colors make it cute and easy to spot when far away.

The Popsicle seems to be the board most families use for their kids as paddleboard beginners. Understandable with its cute design, plus its short height of 7 feet, make it more optimized for smaller children. The EVA traction pad and kick tail make it stable for your child to stand on and maneuver, giving them a good first-time experience in proper Paddleboarding.

It is lightweight, and it comes with a couple of D-rings that allow easier towing of the board. It has four permanently attached fins that give it more stability. They are slightly flexible, so they do not get scratched easily.

This board is simple and straightforward enough to get your child started on their Paddleboarding journey. It includes a three-piece paddle, a hand pump, a leash, and a backpack. If your family does not plan on taking Paddleboarding on competitions, the Popsicle and its ultra-basic accessories are just enough for you.

ProsCons
Short and lightweight, perfect for childrenNo bungee cargo system on the board
Cute and vibrant designDecreased speed
Extra stability

How to Choose the Proper Paddleboard for Your Kid

Spending quality time with your family has never been as fun as going on an outdoor activity together. Your kids may have seen you take on that paddleboard and may have taken an interest in trying out the sport, too.

As a parent, you only want what is best for your kids. This includes choosing the right equipment and board for your budding little paddleboarder. While this may be exciting, there are several factors to consider before buying the best paddleboard for your kid.

The main thing to consider is your child’s interest in the sport. Kids grow up so fast, and so soon, their preferences may also change in the blink of an eye. You will want a cheap paddleboard for that, but one that does not sacrifice quality. You also need to consider your home’s storage space and a board that grows along with them if they consider taking up the sport for the long-term.

Solid or Inflatable?

If your family only takes up Paddleboarding for recreation, an inflatable stand-up paddleboard is a more suitable choice. Not only is it easy to store and travel, inflatables also give relatively fewer injuries than the solid boards.

While having fun, children usually take light items and hit their friends or siblings with them. This can be the case with your paddleboards. Inflatable SUPs are the safest choice, as it does not have a rigid core like the solid boards. Air takes up most of it, which makes the hits less painful in comparison.

Kids are usually hyper and all over the place when having fun. Inflatable paddleboards are the best solution for hyperactive kids. Since they are relatively softer than solid boards, it is low maintenance enough to not ding or scratch easily when dropped or slapped around surfaces.

Inflatable boards are a better family investment when it comes to junior paddleboards.

Looking for the Right Overall Paddleboard Size

As mentioned before, one main thing to consider is your child’s interest in the sport. If they want to take up Paddleboarding until they grow up, you should consider buying the junior paddleboards’ biggest size or one of the smaller sizes of adult paddleboards. You will want to look for 8-9 feet in length, about 30 inches in width, and 5-6 inches in thickness or height.

The 30-inch width will give your child proper stability in the water. However, the wide-body may be harder to carry if your child is too small, but if you plan for it to grow up with them, it will be fine.

It is more recommended for a junior paddleboard to be 4 inches in height or thickness, so it is easier for the kid to climb back up on the board once they have slipped off. But, if you and your child are considering the sport until his teenage years, you may want to buy a board that is 5-6 inches in thickness.

Other features to consider

You will want a durable deck pad to ensure your child will not slip frequently and not quickly tear when handled carelessly. In most paddleboards, the fins are removable. If your child is a little reckless and is prone to losing things, you will want paddleboard fins that are permanently set up on the board. You can prevent spending extra money on buying countless removable fins this way.

You will also want good basic accessories that come with the board upon purchase. This will help you if you are on a budget and if you are not Paddleboarding too frequently.

Your kids can still handle your full-sized adult paddleboard if you think about it. But giving them their paddleboard and equipment that is well-suited for them can make a huge difference in their growth as a paddleboarder. It is even more fun to go Paddleboarding with your family if every single one of you has their paddleboards.


Best Kids’ Paddleboard – Top Pick

Considering the affordability, durability, and accessories provided, the Retrospec Weekender-Nano is a clear choice. With its great board construction, complete accessories, and relatively good price point, this paddleboard stands out above the other boards in the list.

Consumers are all very happy using this product, seeing as their reviews mention their children and even themselves enjoying the board during their Paddleboarding adventures. The Weekender-Nano has the highest reviews in both Amazon and independent water sports sites, making it the most trustworthy board to use.

Overall, the Weekender-Nano offers a durable inflatable stand-up paddleboard with complete basic accessories and repair kit. You already get everything from this purchase without having to visit their customer care for a long time.


Conclusion

Just because junior boards are smaller and more compact than full-sized adult boards do not mean you have to sacrifice the durable materials they have. You can rest assured that your child is not forgotten when it comes to creating paddleboards for them to enjoy.

You have the knowledge to choose the best paddleboard now, with the guide we shared. While Retrospec’s Weekender-Nano is a promising paddleboard, only you know what is truly best for your child. There can be better boards in the market that are best suited for your child than the Weekender.

Do not be afraid of investing in things that can give you and your family joy in the long term. You will never know until you try it.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best size paddleboard for beginners?

In starting Paddleboarding, you should get an all-around paddleboard. Just like its name suggests, an all-around paddleboard can be used for any kind of Paddleboarding activity: touring, surfing, racing, or yoga. They usually have a rounder nose.

An all-around is usually 9 feet to 11 feet in length and about 30 to 32 inches wide. If it is for your kid, an eight or 9-foot-long board is a good start.

Why do my feet hurt when paddleboarding?

Pain from the ankles to the feet is common for beginners. This is caused by standing rigidly in the same position for an extended time since you must stay upright in stand-up Paddleboarding. It is also common to subconsciously grip the board with your toes, causing more strain.

There are a few techniques to lose the strain in your ankles and feet while Paddleboarding. Make sure you relax your ankles and wiggle your toes now and then. Relaxing your feet helps keep the blood flowing and avoid muscle cramps.

Another way is to shift your weight on the board. Not only does this prevent constant foot pain, but this can also help in your movement on the water. Learning to shift your weight can help you maneuver around the water easily.

One other way is to do little hops on your board. Make sure you do not jump too high, that can tip you over the water. Just small, light hops can help your blood flow on your feet better, plus your body can get to move and relax.

Can you over-inflate an inflatable stand-up paddleboard?

Usually, its sturdy materials prevent inflatable SUPs from over-inflating. The recommended PSI of great inflatable stand-up paddleboards is usually from 10-15 PSI. A higher PSI is recommended if you are using your board to surf or ride in raging waters.

You should buy a pressure gauge to keep track of the PSI if you are still worried. Some inflatable SUP packages come with an electric air pump, and they usually turn off automatically once the board has reached its optimal PSI. However, never use an air compressor to inflate your board. This is the case where your board can over-inflate and potentially burst.

How long will an inflatable stand-up paddleboard last?

An inflatable stand-up paddleboard can last up to 5 or 10 years if properly maintained and carefully stored. Inflatable paddleboards are usually sturdier than most solid hardboards due to their unique construction and heavy-duty materials.

Ensure you properly follow the appropriate procedures when using your board, store it away from direct sunlight and harsh elements, and routinely keep it clean. This will ensure to lengthen the lifespan of your paddleboard, extending beyond its warranty.

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