The 6 Best Surfboards for Kids: Ultimate Comparison Guide

surfboards for kids
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Surfing has a collaborative, unifying spirit, yet is a solo sport at its heart. Many of you will no doubt have seen pro surfers taking on giant waves and thought, “not for me”. But it isn’t all barrels and wipe-outs. It is major amounts of fun! And can build confidence and boost strategic planning in the mind too. Kids who surf become adults who surf the waves of life, taking everything in their stride. So why not build your kids confidence whilst spending quality time in the surf?! We have the best surfboards for kids, right here.

Surfboards for kids are much like surfboards for adult beginners. They are often wider, and studier, and all of them are brimming with fun and potential! The best ones are apt to be those that make you feel like there is no gap between you. You are one with the board. If you haven’t tried it yet, you simply must. You could even tie it in with a holiday, there are some fabulous surf schools in Costa Rica

So join us as we talk surfing, board volume, and the best sizes for all ages. Along the way, you will find that this is not just great for kids, but great for adults too. We will divulge the top information on hybrid boards, what type of materials to look out for, and just when you should be starting your kid off surfing. Rest assured, you will be raring to go by the end.

KONA SURF CO 4ft 4″ Hybrid Board

When buying a surfboard for kids, it can be nice to own something a little versatile. So when you want to shake off the effort of the day and simply frolic in the waves, you can! KONA SURF Co have designed 4ft 4″ hybrid foam surfboards with removable fins that can be used as a body board (or ‘boogie board’) as well as a surf board. fin-less for some bodyboarding, then add the three fins to the underside of the tail when ready to ride those short waves.

This is the perfect board for kids of 6-11 years old, or anyone weighing up to 160lbs. Its 19.5 inch wide design will ensure extra stability, helping to build confidence in those waves. It’s also 2.5 inches thick, with a total volume of 27L, giving a hefty amount of float power. And KONA SURF CO have produced the 4ft 4″ board in a range of colours and styles to suit each look! And the base of the board is made of HDPE (high density poly ethylene), with a diamond net weave and slick finish to prevent scratches and bumps from damaging the board. The foam top features a layer of epoxy resin and fiberglass, and is vacuum laminated to ensure greater waterproofing.

For a versatile first surfboard that is great for very small kids, and many adults too, The KONA 4ft 4″ is a total family favourite. The makers have also produced a larger 5ft 5″ shortboard, and a Malibu 6ft 6″ to 7ft 7″ board for adults in this range. Each with a comfortable foam soft top.

A Alpenflow 7ft Foam Surfboard

Learning to surf doesn’t always begin when you’re super young. For teens aged 12-18 years old (or under 185lbs), the A Alpenflow 7ft board is great for the beginner surfer. Its soft foam top and length provides a stable base for you to catch surf quickly, and build confidence easily. Included in the box is the 7ft leash, three fins and a white traction pad which can be added to the board for extra grip. The board is built to last, with twice reinforced poplar stringers, treated for longevity. Stringers are the wooden parts that sit in the centre of the board. The blank board has then been topped with a fiberglass top and bottom, with a HDPE reinforced plastic coating on the base too.

This is a little different from other beginner models, in that it has a pointed nose with a pin tail. It also has a slight upward curve on the slick bottom of the board to increase speed and carving performance. If your teen kid is a fast learner, or just a bit of a speed freak, this is definitely one of the best surfboards to look at. Additionally, with the soft top surfboard design, you can make sure that safety is the first thought! And at 2.2″ thick and 3ft 3″ wide, stability and endurance is ensured. With a volume of 54.9 litres, it has a very respectable float power when in the water.

This one is the best surfboard for kids or a beginner who is a little older. And it certainly paves the way for bigger boards.

Liquid Shredder 6ft Foam Surfboard

The Liquid Shredder is a beginner board to make those early surf expeditions much easier. The 6ft size with 6″ thickness hold a weight of up to 95lbs, so can also be used for lean adults too. Paddle out to catch those small waves, with the three fins at the rear giving better control and improved balance. Every kid will feel like a pro once they have put a few of their new found skills into practice! And with a 7ft leash included, keep hold of your board without getting hit when you take a tumble in the water. And that soft foam top will keep you from harming yourself if you do hit the deck!

the body is made of EPS (expanded polystyrene), also known as styrofoam, at its core with an EPE (expanded polyethylene) deck and and an ultra-slick bottom made of PP (polypropylene). The whole thing is then heat laminated for superior waterproofing.

At a width of 22″, a thickness of 6″ and a weight of 2.27kg, these have long been known as the best ‘go to’ surfboards for kids. They are soft, easy to use, and large enough to catch medium to small swells and give huge confidence boosts to the novice! The only caveat is the weight restriction, making it really a kids only board.

Giantex 6ft Foam Surfboard

For something with a little more design pizazz, the Giantex 6 is a kids dream. With some pretty fun and colourful designs, and a traction pad for better grip whilst riding, the keen surf enthusiast will feel right at home on the water. With removable three fins built into the back, the board is also super sturdy. The foam surfboard is built to last, with an EPE deck overtop an EPS core. The super slick bottom is built from PP, which is great for gliding. However, several users have reported the base of the Giantex can be prone to scratches, so careful when you rug it on the sand after a session.

These materials make the foam surfboard super bouyant, withstanding weights of up to 200lbs! This is great then, not just as the best surfboard for kids, but one for the whole family. And active pursuits like surfing should be enjoyed as a team sport. It is easy to paddle out on the open water, kept sturdy by its 20″ width, catching surf from little to medium waves. The 7ft leash is included, as are the removable fins, which makes transport super easy.

Great for kids, and the big kid in your family, these boards will make the beginner feel like a pro in the water.

South Bay Board Co. Guppy 6ft surfboard

South Bay Board Co. have the cute look down to a fine art. Available in blue and white or pink and white striped, the 6ft board has a convenient carry handle on the board, and is perfect for younger kids or people up to 100lbs. It has a volume of 6o litres, and holds two marine ply wooden stringers with an EPS foam core for added durability. It also has a slick bottom of HDPE with a diamond wave netting to help avoid those dinks and scratches. As surfboard for kids go, this one is a real beauty for small waves and medium swell.

The rounded nose coupled with its squared-off tail make building that surfing experience a breeze, meaning every kid will want to stay in the water for longer. Sorry! The 6ft size is neither too big nor too small, and with the 7ft leash, surfers can best their previous run every time without fear of being hit by the board upon wipeout.

The 21″ width also supports a sturdier pop-up, building confidence all the more, and the soft top will ensure safety at all times. No nasty bruises or skinned palms! South Bay are a brand that really seem to care for their customers. And it shows in the premium quality materials, and design quality.

Catch Surf Odysea 4ft 6″ Surfboard

The final in our run-down of best surfboards for kids comes from the reputable Catch Surf. The cleverly titled Odysea board comes in a range of sizes and styles. But we’re focusing on the 4ft 6″ special here. Because, not only is this kids surfboard designed to provide a beginner fun in the water, but adults love it too! And it can handle tubes and large swells with ease. With a lightweight package meaning any child or adult can carry, it holds a volume of 32 litres and a width of 19.75″, meaning any kid can feel safe and secure on board. Learner’s surfing rails and small swells will do well for those first timers, and when it comes to those big-boy waves, no problem either!

The dual composite core and three maple stringers are designed to take all kinds of abuse. The rocker tail and squared edge combined with a flat center line also means speed! And with the three fins giving extra stability and steering it can be put through its paces. And with the HDPE is a variety of graphic styles giving a very slick bottom, these soft PE decked boards are pretty much best of the best! It’s a surfboard for kids and adults, so you’ll likely need more than one! But with a range of superb brightly-lit designs, desiring more will not be a problem.

Surfing in Cabo San Lucas
Photo by Paz Arando on Unsplash

Our Top Pick: The Winner

When it comes to surfboard for kids, the best has to be Catch Surf’s Odysea. This is surfing at its finest, and this is a board that represents oodles of possibility. And fun for the entire family! With a range of colours, a range of size, and a soft deck, any ability will feel at home while on board. We have focused on the 4ft 6″ board here, as it is a great starter for kids, but it also handles super well when it comes to larger swells and tubular waves.

So whether you are looking for something for the kid to learn on, or something to last the growth spurts and heavy beatings, this is the one. But be warned, once you have one, you will want to complete the set. These are addictive boards. And ones that could certainly accompany you on a trip to Bali’s best surfing locations!

What is a good age to start Surfing?

The best age to approach surfing with your kids is around 8 years old. Why? Because this seems to be when kids get a better sense of the world around them. They are also prone to be a little more cautious, yet with a brave spirit. Being out in the water is daunting if they’re not used to it, so its best to spend as much time in the water as you can before you introduce a board too.

Of course, some 6 year olds have been seen carving up those waves, and if you are a family heavily into surfing, you might want to broach this earlier. If you do, be sure to be in the water with the kids whilst they surf. Be there to help them if they run into trouble, and watch as their courage grows! Surfing is such a fun sport, be prepared to spend lots of time in the water.

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What size surfboard should I get for my child?

Younger kids from 6 to around 10 years old tend to suit between a 4ft 4″ to 6ft board. This is optimal as surfboards for kids need to be small enough to be handled alone. Or else they could quickly lose heart or interest. When in the water the boards buoyancy does a lot of the work—but getting in and out can be tricky if the board is too large.

Whilst 7ft long boards or a 7’7″ ‘mini-mal’ can be super fun, they can be hard to manoeuvre for smaller kids. These are perfect for teens however!

uluwatu surfing
Image by Anna Palinska from Pixabay

What should I look for in a Surfboard for my child?

When shopping around for surfboards for kids, the main things to look out for are the materials and the dimensions. A board of between 4ft 4″ 6ft would suit a small child, but the actual size will depend on your child. A wide deck of 20″ or more also gives stability in the water. A triple fin set up also improves stability and handling. An EPS (expanded polystyrene) core with an EPE (expanded polyethylene) soft top is generally considered to be pretty decent. And if you can find this with and HDPE (high density poly ethylene) bottom with a diamond net weave coat, so much the better. This will protect the base of the board from damage when surfing—and pulling it in and out of the water.

Being able to handle the board alone is key, lest the child lose interest because they constantly need help. You should also be looking for sturdy foam boards with wooden stringers inside for durability and stability. Foam boards don’t always require a traction pad at the tail, but this can be useful for greater stability, too.

To find the best board for your kids, shop for the board in person. That way, you have a chance to check height, width, and the all important style. These factors are always key in supporting a long-lasting love of surf.

Inspiring a love of the water and waves in kids is great. It builds ability in strategic planning, creativity, and it’s a majorly healthy pursuit! It also builds huge amounts of confidence! Both in and out of the water. Plus, many surfer’s mentality and view of the world becomes softer, calmer, they approach things with a can-do attitude. And once they have built that confidence, perhaps treat yourselves to a surf trip to Bali?