The Best Kids Surfboards in 2020 [Guide Review]

Are you looking for the best kids’ surfboards? Well here is the guide to the best kids’ surfboards on the market for you.

It’s an exciting time when your kids are old enough to learn how to surf, and it’s great to think that soon enough, not only will you be able to surf with them, but they will be surfing much better than you! I would certainly be a 100 times better surfer if I could have started surfing when I was 5 years instead of 16!

If you’re looking for the best boards that won’t cost you much, but will allow your little guy or girl to catch their first waves on a surfboard or improve their skills, you’ve come to the right place.

In this review, we are specifically talking about young children who are new to surfing or just beginning to learn how to surf and are usually in the age range of 5 years to early adolescence.

Why are soft tops the best kids surfboards?

Surfers never forget their first board and the number one reason why you would select a soft-top for your child instead of fiberglass or another surfboard is safety. The soft deck, fins, and rails all make any impact on the surfboard a little less dangerous. Surfboards for beginners are also generally lighter and easier to handle.

Secondly, the buoyancy and volume they will find in one of these beginner surfboards will help them start learning to paddle easier, and it will be easier for parents to push them into the waves.

For more advanced child surfers, this adds buoyancy and also helps them when they are learning to paddles themselves right into a wave.

Top Tips for introducing kids to surfing for the first time

Teaching a child to surf can be tricky, and you can’t force children to surf – kids have to want to do it, and they will need to feel comfortable in the water.

Here are a few things to consider:

If you haven’t done it yet, make them feel comfortable in the water. They need to be able to swim confidently before you could think of putting them on your surfboard.

Glance how interested they are in surfing (if you are like me, you’ve been showing them the best surfboards, stringers, traction pad, etc. from the moment they were born!), you could also watch surf videos about surfing with surfers or them at the beach.

Practice on a foam surfboard on the sand before going into the water

Stay close to them in the water or take them out on a longboard just to see how it feels

For their first time on the foam surfboard without you holding them use a boogie board. One of the shorter boards recommended below can be also used as a boogie board.

Ideally, get them to learn how to surf with a good friend or group of friends. If kids are a little scared, learning with others will encourage them. It will also be great for them to have a buddy who has been learning to surf, as they can become surf friends for a long time.

Top Tips for a kid with advancing skills

If you have taken your kid into the waves several times and they were able to get some basic skills – they may have actually shown an aptitude for surfing – you should consider getting them some lessons at a surf instructor or surf school.

This will certainly ensure that they are on the right path from the beginning and before they develop their techniques, and may allow them to make a leap forward in their development.

From there, it’s all about letting them surf, and they’ll possibly make it quite clear that they wish to keep surfing.

How much does a top-quality kid’s foam surfboard cost?

Like most things, surfboards vary in quality and price. The foam surfboards for kids recommended in this article range from mid-quality to very high-quality level soft boards and the old expression “you obtain what you pay for” definitely applies here.

It’s obvious that cheaper surfboards for kids have less in the way of quality construction and won’t last as long.

The surfboards we recommend in our review range from$90 to $230 for a surfboard, and $40 to $117 for a bodyboard style board for beginners.

You can definitely find cheaper kids boards out there, but you’ll swiftly find that they bend out of shape and fall apart.

What surfboard dimension is best for kids?

We are convinced for both children and adults that when it comes to learning to surf the bigger the board the better, however, it must be of a size that everyone can handle.

Given that the term “child” can cover anyone from newborn baby up to late teens, it’s useful to know what type of board to look at for several different age ranges.

To find out how much volume you should buy for your children’s surfboard,  you need to assess their weight first. As a general rule, surfers should ride a board that is 100 percent equivalent to their weight in kilograms.

Up to 5 years old

For very young children up to this age who have already learned to swim but are just starting to ride on a surfboard, the best starting point is a short bodyboard where kids can get the hang of catching white water and playing about in the shallow water.

Up to 10 years old

Boards ranging from 4 foot to 6 foot with high volume are usually perfect for children from 5 years old up to this age. It’s still large enough to have sufficient volume and float and feel of a surfboard, as well as standing up and to get the hang of paddling.

Each kid will learn at a different pace and depending on their preferences. Having mastered basic surfing skills, they could look at different boards. If they think they wish to surf in a high-performance type of direction, then a 4-to 6-foot board may be ideal for them. Other children may benefit from a longer surfboard of a minimal type of say 7+ foot, with a more rounded shape and a generally simpler more forgiving surfboard.

Our Best 5 foam kids surfboards

1. Rock-It Chub Twin Fin

The Rock-It Chub is only 4’10” in size and has a volume (35L), so it provides excellent buoyancy and it is easy to paddle for a child.

Construction:

  • 2 marine wooden stringers coated with an epoxy nano-coating provide more stability.
  • Made using environmentally sensitive manufacturing processes
  • UV resistant soft top layer
  • Exclusive EPS foam core
  • All materials in the board are totally recyclable
  • Manufacturer’s warranty 12 months

Specifications

  • 4’10 in length
  • 5-inch width
  • 5-inch thick

Dimensions: 4’10” X 19.5 X 2.5″/ 35L

Includes: Fins (no leash, you will need to purchase independently)

Suitable for beginners and those who are already starting to develop their surf skills.

User feedback:

  • Excellent reviews from parents of 5-10 years old children
  • Safe kids surfboard
  • Quality construction provides more stability.
  • Float truly well

2. Wave Bandit Shred Sled (& Shred Sled Mini)

Shred Cred (&Mini) are designed for kids who are learning how to surf with a performance edge.

For the kids, these surfboards can offer a slightly different path than the regular learner boards. Created with the dual composite core these surfboards are built for rate.

The smaller surfboard for kids is a bodyboard (no fins) while the 48″ is created to be ridden as a small surfboard.

Dimensions: 37″ and 48″.

Features: leash (both sizes) and safety fins (48″ only).

User Feedback:

  • It’s one of the best boards for any beginner surfer.
  • Positive feedback as surfboard for kids.
  • Some comments about being able to float with children weighing only up to 22 kg (50 lb)

Suitable for: The 37″ is suitable for any smaller children when they are just beginning to be used as a bodyboard. The 48″ size is suitable for children who already have some advanced surfing skills.

3. Ocean and Earth Bug Mini

Sea and Earth Surfboards Bug Mini’s are fantastic for kids, offering safe, stable, and durable boards that are the ideal size – not too much board to handle!

They aren’t just for children: the larger sizes of these surfboards can offer experienced adults a fun option, too. Beginners can also use the smaller size as a bodyboard.

Despite the fact that these surfboards are very short, they have a high volume, so they are easy to paddle and they have a great float.

Construction:

  • A multi-layered core with EPS.
  • Controlled flex layer and substrate: rigid & quick. These are especially liked by surfers.
  • Triple stringers for added strength and stability.
  • Really easy to catch waves.
  • A fair amount of rocker for a foamie in addition to double concave for extra performance.
  • HPDE Slick bottom.
  • Twin fin setup (all surfboards with the exception of the larger 5’8″ which is thruster fin setup (tri-fin)). Fins are screw in plastic fins which are quite safe.

Dimensions:

  • 4’0″ (48″) – 26L with soft fins (Suits weights up to approx 30kg).
  • 4’8″ (58″) x 19″ x 2 3/4″ (30L) – Twin soft fins (Suits weights up to 40kg).
  • 5’2″ (62″) x 19.25″ x 2 3/4 (33L) – Twin Soft Fins (Suits weights up to 55kg).
  • 5’6″ (66″) x 19″ x 2 3/4″ (36L) – Tri fin setup soft fins (Suits weights up to approx 65kg).

Features: Fins (leash not included).

Suitable for: Range of children from absolute beginner (bodyboard style) to advanced older kids.

4. Wave Bandit Performer Mini Twin

The Wave Bandit Mini Twin Fin is a small pocket rocket with a fully rounded nose and square tail surfboard for kids. It’s suitable for experienced lightweight shredders or children who already have a little surfing experience and want to improve it on a high-performance surfboard (probably not an idea for a child who is just beginning to learn).

These surfboards for kids have a bit of rocker to them so they are well equipped for steeper waves and to handle tighter turns. They will handle waves up to around 4 feet. In addition, they are also loose and responsive.

Dimensions: One size only – 4’10″ x 19.5 x 2 15/16 (35L).

Features: Leash and removable fins.

User Feedback:

  • Good for a large range of surfers from kids to adults.
  • Some recommend very close to a PU shortboard with very high-performance characteristics.
  • Excellent quality and sturdiness provide an exciting surfing experience.
  • Can surf very small to head high surf.

Suitable for: Beginner and advanced children.

5. Catch Surf Beater

Catch Surf Beater Board is one of the best surfboards. They are versatile in that you can ride them as a skimboard, surfboard, or bodyboard with or without fins. The latest Catch Surf Beaters are lightweight but with dual composite core and 2 maple plywood stringers so are durable and strong.

Thanks to twin-channel crescent tail and tapered D-rails you can perform the board well even when ridden finless.

Specifications

  • 4’6” or 4’0” in length
  • Vintage themed designs
  • Finless or twin fins (without a leash)

Sizes:

  • 54″ (4’6″) x 20″ x 2.5″ (35 Liters).
  • 48 ″ (4’0″) x 20″ x 2.5″ (31 Liters).

Suitable for: Smaller lighter kids beginners will be able to learn to paddle around on the Beater board but this board is more suitable for advanced children who demonstrate an aptitude for performance style surfing.

6. Wave Bandit Shockwave

These Wave Bandit bodyboards are a good option for kids taking their first rides in the whitewash who aren’t quite ready to get on a surfboard. Perfect to take up developing their feeling of the waves and whitewash without venturing out of the shallow water.

Dimensions: 36″, 42″, and 45″ in length.

Comes with: Wrist leash.

7. Catch Surf Skipper

Catch Surf Skipper is an example of a board that is not only a good board to push your kids into the waves but likewise is able to surf it yourself.

The high volume of this board is great for pushing kids into small waves and provides them with great stability for catching waves easily.

Sizes:

  • 5’6″ x 21.0″ x 2.875″ (42 Liters).
  • 6’0″ x 21.5″ x 3.0″ (48 Liters).
  • 6’6″ x 22.0″ x 3.125″ (55 Liters).

Available in both quad fin and thruster fin setup.

8. Rock-It 5’8 Albert

Like the Skipper above, the Rock-It ALBERT is a terrific all-round surfboard that both kids and parents can enjoy. Sporting a twin-fin retro fish style which floats well and catches waves easily.

High-quality construction: 2 wooden stringers and multiple layers of fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin wrapped around an EPS core which are heat-sealed and vacuum soft top.

This board gets great reviews as a beginner board and is Rock-It’s best seller.

Dimension: 5’8 ″ x 20.5″ x 2.5″ (35.4 L).

9.Liquid Shredder Soft Surfboard

The Liquid Shredder board is a quite good quality 5′ and 6′ in length foamie. This softboard is sturdy and reinforced with wooden stringers for a bit more firmness.

At the same time, it is still quite soft overall that if the rider does fall off, they won’t get hurt. It doesn’t include a leash, so you’ll also need to additionally buy one of those, but as far as best surfboards for kids go, this is the perfect softboard.

10.BIC Sport Dura Tec Fish Surfboard

While the BIC Sport softboard is still great for kids, it’s probably not the best one for exploring surfing. If your child is closer to intermediate than a beginner at surfing, truly you’ll be looking at this board.

This softboard is more expensive than others, but surfers pay for quality from a very famous brand.

The board is featured with an integrated traction pad and its short fat design really helps make it more durable and stable.

This board is certainly will be the best surfboard for your intermediate surfing groms!

11.Slick Lizard High-Performance Bodyboard Pro Series

The Slick Lizard lineup is a well designed, high quality, durable bodyboard. Thanks to the bright color options, the board will always be visible in the water! That’s why it’s one of the best surfboards for a wide range of surfers.

The Slick Lizard board is a bit more expensive than the other boards on this list, however, surfers are paying for great quality that will last a long time.

If you know your child is going to start taking surfing seriously, you’ll certainly want to start them off on the right path, and Slick Lizard is the perfect bodyboard for this.

12.Little Tikes 33″ Bodyboard

I don’t have much to say about this board. This is a very durable beginner board at a very reasonable price, specially designed for children up to 5-6 years old.

This is probably the best surfboard for you if you are looking for an excellent entry-level soft-top board at a good price!

13.Bodyboard And Full Beach Pack By BPS

The BPS beach pack is featured with a bodyboard, a board leash, and swim fin tethers, designed to provide you everything you need to ensure your child can safely spend time in the water.

They are available in different sizes (length):

  • 33 inches (ideal for children)
  • 37 inches
  • 41 inches

They are also available in 3 different colors:

  • blue
  • pink
  • grey

It is very light, making it very easy for your children to control and handle it themselves.

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