The fun and flurry of gift wrap torn open.
Squeals of delight- “Look what I got you, son!”
His mom anxiously glanced towards him.
But when little Mike unwrapped his present, I could sense disappointment.
He put his gift surfboard down and stared at the floor.
But how could he?
After all, all he ever wanted was to get in the water?
And now that he was age, it made perfect sense for me to get him a surfboard.
But here’s the thing; Mike, as with all small children, is different, and what we may think is best for them isn’t necessarily always right.
I mean, for little Mike, my gift choice was okay but too “girlish,” and he was afraid he would get laughed at by friends.
I was taken aback by his response, but he was also right, considering colors are the least of my prime concerns when selecting a surfboard.
Personally, I tend to lean towards performance, and for his choice of surfboard, I picked a board with more stability to improve his balance and fast-track his performance.
I also wanted a board that tracks and maneuvers well. On top of it, the soft top surfboard was light for him to carry.
But I didn’t consider the aesthetics! And that was among his greatest priorities.
The board was too colorful, and the pink and yellow painting was more feminine for a boy- as he put it.
To salvage the situation, I had to return the board to the store for a replacement. I also tagged along with little Mike, which gave me some insights into what surfboards kids really want.
See, on top of performance, remember kids grow fast and want to be cool, so getting right is important, but keeping them happy too.
You also need a board that will last through their growth and progress as some kids can be fast learners.
Now, perhaps you’re a parent like me and want to get a new surfboard for your kids; I’m pretty sure you’re worried about what surfboard to get for them.
I’ve been there too, which is why I feel I’m in a better position to help you with the selection.
In the guide below, I’ll share with you some of my favorite kids’ surfboards.
These are options that most kids will fall in love with instantly and want to show to their friends.
More importantly, they’re performance-focused options to help them grow into the surfing game easier and effortlessly.
Table of Contents
Best Surfboards for Kids For The Money
#1 Catch Surf Beater Original 54 - EDITOR'S CHOICE
For our top pick, I wanted to get my son a versatile, all-around surfboard that he could use for the different water conditions and riding styles.
The Catch Surf Beater seems to tick the versatility boxes in several ways.
First, it’s all about the design.
The Catch Surf Beater isn’t your typical surfboard shape; it’s a design into itself.
It’s best described as a mix of an egg shape, funboard, bodyboard, and skimboard, all squashed into one unique little mutant. It’s the closest thing you can get to a skateboard out of this lineup!
What’s the benefit?
The Beater, as its name suggests, beats the technicalities of the surfboard not allowed during blackball.
The smart design was a plus in my books since there’re plenty of no-surf areas in Newport Beach. Now, my son can use the board, like a surfboard, bodyboard, or skimboard on the “restricted” areas with no ramifications.
While Beater’s shape helps it stand out, the finless design is what truly makes this surfboard more than just a gimmick.
It feels more like an elongated bodyboard, perfect for the small waves where you wouldn’t normally paddle with our epoxy/fiberglass surfboard. My son finds the board the perfect surf gear for the shore-breaking waves and other sketchy small waves.
Of course, the finless version is a bit challenging to balance on, but Catch Surf, in line with its versatility mantra, offers the Beater in a twin fin setup.
The fin version is easier to balance on, and we love how it tracks well on the water.
On top of it all, the Surf Beater is available in two sizes, 48” and 54”.
I couldn’t find any information regarding weight tolerance, but younger kids, even teenagers, shouldn’t have any trouble using either.
Now, onto the construction; my kid loves how lightweight the Catch Beater is. I no longer need to help him carry the board from our truck to the beach or even loading it in the trunk.
And make no mistake, despite the lightweight design, the Beater can take a lot of beating in the ocean thanks to its solid construction.
The twin maple stringers, a dual composite core, HDPE slick bottom impact skin resistant skin, and polyethylene deck will stand up to smashing by the overhead wave and dragging on the rocky beaches without breaking.
Performance-wise, the Beater goes an extra mile to ensure your kid gets the best experience on the water, even without the fins attached.
The tapered d-rails and a twin-channel crescent tail made for an unbeatable wave-catching experience for my son, even on the low, marshy waves.
My only quibble with the Beater surfboard for kids is it doesn’t include any leashes or ropes.
It’s an important accessory for preventing the board from floating away while in the ocean.
But apart from that, the Beater is an awesome purchase and quite satisfying.
#2 South Bay Board Co. - Guppy Surfboard - Best Kids Surfboards for Stability
I bought the Guppy Surfboard for my niece, and she seems to love it.
The board is a lot of fun, stable and well-made. It allowed her to surf the ocean and progress quickly.
On top of that, it’s quite light and durable. It resisted many wipeouts, and I would buy it again.
One of the greatest attractions to the South Bay Board Co Guppy Surfboard was the construction.
I mean, it’s rare that you come across a well-built and perfectly designed beginner surfboard that can take all the abuse from surfing.
But the Guppy Surfboard is different.
It utilizes a closed-cell expanded polystyrene foam.
Now, for those who don’t know much about board construction, closed-cell means the board doesn’t absorb water as sponges do. So, the board acts as a water barrier skin, preventing waterlogging, which in turn extends the life of the board.
Furthermore, the deck utilizes a heat lamination process, which will last for several seasons without breaking. My niece has used his for three seasons now, and the board is still going strong, looking as new as when I bought it.
Another benefit I love with Guppy’s soft top construction is how forgiving it feels. It’s supple, and even if my niece takes a tumble or wipeout on top of the board, she’s hardly hurt because the top cushions here against any injuries.
Now to the shape, Guppy’s special-designed shape hits the balance perfectly between stability, advanced speed, and performance. It’s one of the reasons why Guppy is the best mate for your kids while gliding around the ocean.
A rounded nose helps with stability, so it’s the perfect surfboard for beginners or surfers just discovering the sport.
On the other hand, the square-ish shape of the tail makes it easier for the bigger kids to find their balance and work on their wobbly feet.
And here’s the kicker!
The 8-foot Guppy is 96″ x 22″ x 3″ with 80L of surfboard volume, so you’ll be amazed by the level of buoyancy it offers to your kids. Beginners will equally feel impressed and sure to feel safe and relaxed getting out of the waves on this cool surfboard.
Another design aspect I definitely fell in love with on this board was the weight.
It’s light, and at only 10 pounds, it’s easier for my niece to carry. Plus, it comes with a handle hole, which makes carrying the board a breeze, along with the small weight.
But the biggest benefit with the low weight is that the board goes faster.
And this brings us to the performance.
Guppy Surfboard is a beast on the water and has all it takes to promote a nice wave riding performance.
The reinforced diamond-weave feature promotes greater speed when riding waves while adding stability to the water.
And as icing on the cake, the Guppy Surfboard box comes with a wrist leash. It keeps the board close to you after a massive wipeout or a bomb. Our first board lacked this feature.
You also get three removable fins; in case the young kids crave more speed.
My only issue with the board is the top layer. I love the design, but it starts to heat up and peel off badly after exposure to the sun. It means I can’t carry the board at the top of my car.
But aside from that, this is a very nice board.
#3 Giantex 6' Foamie Board - Great Beginner Surfboard
The Giantex 6” is a budget board you can buy that still works!
My kids surf with this surfboard, and it has really helped them get into the game.
Aside from the juicy price, this kid surfboard is a performer as it has quite a curve to it, which means it doesn’t dig in as they try to catch waves.
The board is also a great beginner surfboard, ideal for teens and young adults.
Coming in at a 6-feet length, it seems ideal because the 9-foot bigger board might be too bulky for them.
Simply put, I think that the Giantex is a great introductory shortboard. And those with basic longboarding surf skills already should manage to stand up and ride this board.
One of the greatest appeals with the Giantex is the generous volume.
Sure, it’s a shortboard, but it packs immense volume, so my kids find it more buoyant than the regular boards.
Now, the more volume, the better a board floats, and my kids have no trouble sinking and paddling as it buoys them up and is easy.
The other Giantex’s strongest suit is durability.
The soft top design is sturdy as any foamie can get. It utilizes premium HDPE and a slick PP bottom, so it should last your kid several seasons, provided you take care of it.
And that’s not all!
The other Giantex’s components are reliable too. For example, the fins are built with durability in mind. They don’t come off even after the frequent crashing of the sand.
Yet, the Giantex Giant Board doesn’t compromise on safety.
The foam material is much softer than the traditional surfboards, so it’s perfect for the younger kids learning. When they wipe out, they’ll contact the soft part of the surfboard, so you don’t have to worry about serious injuries.
While Giantex isn’t built to be your forever board, it’s just good enough to catch waves on it, and it should help you progress with your surf skills much more than the traditional foam surfboards.
While still on the performance, I love how snappy and fast the Giantex is.
It’s unlike other foamies, which tend to be slow and sludgy.
Sporting a unique bottom concave, it helps your kid gain a bit more speed, and you can expect it to go faster than other softboards.
The board is also quite versatile and will perform well on small-sized and medium beach breaks.
It’s not the go-to option for the bigger waves or if you want to do some serious surfing. However, it’s the perfect option for all-around surf sessions.
Overall, the Giantex Surfboard is a great board, perfect for kids and beginner riders.
It’s easy to assemble, and handling the board is also a breeze.
#4 South Bay Board Co. Premium Foam Surfboards - Premium Foam Surfboard for Catching Waves
So, here is another surfboard, which could be the ultimate solution for your kid.
The South Bay Board Co Premium Foam Surfboards are actually a collection of three surfboards, the 7′ Ruccus, 8′ Verve, and the 8 ‘8” Heritage.
We shall focus our attention on the 7′ Ruccus, though we compare it with its siblings.
The Ruccus is a great all-around foam surfboard, extremely fun to use in the smaller set, and can handle well in the larger sets.
It’s also easy to ride and has fun on carefree days out in the water.
The Ruccus is also my favorite board because it has incredible paddling abilities yet is small enough to maneuver for beginner surfers or kids.
It might be the smallest, but at 7-feet, it’s packed enough with enough foam. This bad boy has a generous volume of 50 liters to make catching waves and learning how to surf easier for all levels.
On top of that, it provides comprehensive support to riders up to 170 pounds, so it’ll accommodate all kids.
Of course, while it remains one of the most versatile kids’ surfboards on our list, I would recommend you lean towards its larger siblings if you need to paddle easier and faster.
Ruccus still has enough volume to make catching waves easy, but with the pulled-in tail and more pointed nose, it has a bit more performance side to it than the Heritage or Verve.
As with all other Surf Bay Co boards, the Ruccus utilizes high-quality material for better durability and performance.
The EPS foam will stand up to abuse and can take a beating without breaking down,
Besides, kids will also benefit from a “fingerprint” textured traction pad. This feature provides more grip on the surfboard and will ensure your kids remain on the board at all times.
And if they fall, they do not need to worry because the board is a soft-top, so it won’t cause anybody harm or injuries.
Overall, the South Bay Co Premium Boards are an incredible option for your wave riding needs and make up for the ideal surfboard for your young ones.
#5 Liquid Shredder FSE 6' - Most Stylish Surfboard
I got the Liquid Shredder FSE 6′ for my 8-year-old son to help him safely learn the ends/out of surfing, and he loves everything about the board.
The Shredder’s is one of the smaller boards around, and its size is comfortable to him, and he easily carries it over his head.
On top of that, the board has enough float and mass to help him catch the smaller waves.
Flexing is just moderate enough, but not too bad for a soft board. I wouldn’t recommend the Shredder for anyone above 150 pounds, but it works well for kids and teenagers.
Beginner surfers can also surf on this offering, but it becomes too flexible on the bigger waves and when making hard turns.
However, for the kids and those learning to get into surfing, the Shredder will allow them to catch waves on their own.
The Shredder is also quite practical on the water, and kids shouldn’t have any problems with the balance.
It rides easily and will buoy your kid, thus improving their confidence in the water.
While it’s a bit narrower than most options on our list of the best surfboard for kids, it makes a great pick for young surfers who have trouble paddling out on wider boards that don’t accommodate their arm’s reach.
Meanwhile, the tapered nose makes it easier to duck dive this board, even on whitewater. The intermediate surfers and experienced surfers can even drop in on steeper waves without pearling.
The overall dimensions and weight for this board make it super easy to carry around in your car, as well as to and from the beach.
Furthermore, it’s easier to maneuver and track on the water.
Finally, the Shredder is a good-looking option, and this classic short board foamie will look good on any kid surfer.
Best Surfboards for Kids Buying Guide
Still not decided on what board to get for your kid?
Our guide below will help with the selection.
Here, we look at everything you need to know about selecting the right foam surfboard for kids.
Finding an appropriately sized surfboard for your kid will depend on the child’s age, flexibility, and athletic ability.
If they’re under seven years, their board choice will be significantly different from what a teenager requires.
Here’s a brief overview of what kids need for their surfboard, depending on their age.
Surfboards for Kids Under 7 Years
Under 7-year-old kids are all about getting comfortable in the water.
For a parent, remove any expectations and consider this as a time for discovery and learning.
Kids will be reluctant to get into the water, and that is normal.
Their best surfboard for kids would be a body board or a boogie board. It’s a surprise that they don’t need a surfboard at this age.
The good news is they can learn the basics from the boogie board.
A boogie board is shorter, wider, and easier for kids to learn to surf.
Surfboards for Kids 8-12 Years Old
Kids at this age can have their small surfboards.
They’re much more endowed and stronger enough to carry their boards.
The appropriate construction for their boards should be foam material. It’s softer and more forgiving.
Also, consider boards with softer edges and fins to reduce injuries.
Finally, ensure you match them with the appropriate size for better maneuverability.
Surfboards for Teenagers/ professional young surfers (13-19 years of Age)
The perfect first surfboard for your teenager will depend on their skills, experience, and athletic ability.
Remember kids learn and progress at different speeds, so you need an option that works for them and allows them to transition to different shapes or styles as they get better.
But generally, teens and advanced surfers need a larger board (7-9”) based on their height and weight.
Other Factors to Consider When Selecting Beginner Surfboards
Ease of Use
As this will be your kid’s first surfing experience, you need an easy and comfortable board to use.
I suggest boards with thicker rails, wooden stringers, and a soft-top deck to keep things easier for beginner surfers. This should help them catch waves easier.
It’s also critical to consider the durability of a kid’s board.
Pick an option that will last them through their childhood as they progress into their surfing skills.
Foam deck is a great option because they last for a long time.
This is probably the biggest factor to consider.
Stable boards will help the kids work on their wobbly legs and gain more confidence and better balance on the water.
Generally, the stable boards have greater surfboards volume.
We already touched on this earlier in the durability feature.
But all in all, ensure your kid’s board is constructed from premium-quality material for longevity, comfort, and ease of use.
We recommend a soft surfboard; it’s lightweight, easier to use, and comfortable.
Length/ Size Surfboard
Another essential feature you need to verify before buying surfboards is the length.
Surfboards come in different lengths, so you need to ensure the best surfboard for kids is entirely compatible with your kid so they can experience a comfortable, safe and exciting surfing journey.
Don’t forget to check on the thickness and capacity of the kid’s surfboard.
Here, you need to verify how much weight your board can support and see whether your board can float on the water.
Don’t invest so much for a starter board because you don’t even know whether your kid will love the sport.
That said, it’s always good to verify the value of the soft surfboard.
So, besides picking a surfboard with a reasonable budget, pick an entirely compatible and safe option for your kid.
Most inexpensive options and entry-level surfboards are plain-looking surfboards, while the expensive surfboards have plenty of bells and whistles.
Best Surfboards for Kids Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What size of surfboard should I get for my kid?
A: This will depend on many factors, including your kid’s age, size, and skill level/abilities.
Small kids (5-10 years) will do best with a 4-6 feet in size soft board. Taller kids (10+) who are just starting will find the 7 to 8 feet board perfect.
Advanced surfers can use any size of board.
Q: What is the best age to start surfing?
A: There’s no right age. Consider their fear and confidence.
Starting them too early might get them spooked, turning them off surfing and potentially the ocean altogether.
Experts generally recommend the age 5+ and no younger.
From this age, it’s easy to support and guide them as they develop their abilities and skills.
Q: Are surfboards for kids expensive?
A: Surfing isn’t an expensive hobby.
If your young surfer is just starting, you don’t need to spend a lot on their best surfboard for kids.
The soft top surfboards, the preferred choice for beginners and kids, aren’t as expensive as the hardboards.
All in all, purchase quality options as you don’t want to be spending twice as you should.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for our review is the Surf Beater.
It’s the overall best kids surfboard and has all the board features and benefits your kid would need to progress their surf skills.
It’s not a surprise. It’s common among surf schools.
The Beater isn’t only a practical solution to your kid’s surfing needs, but it’s also super-convenient, comfortable, and easy to use for beginners.
I would highly recommend this product.