The best kids’ bodyboards for fun in the sea

by Stephanie Anthony |

There's lots of fun for the whole family at the beach from building sandcastles to games and paddling. One activity that is worth considering if your child is old enough, is making the most of the coast and giving bodyboarding a try. Bodyboarding helps your youngster to get used to the water while improving their balance and, most importantly, having fun! Kids' bodyboards are designed for smaller bodies to help your mini-me have more control while in the water.

Below we've pulled together some top tips for picking your kids' bodyboard with the help of Decathlon.

Related: Best baby and toddler wetsuits to stay warm and snug

What size kids' bodyboard should I choose?

The size of the bodyboard you choose directly influences its stability and ease of handling. A bodyboard that is too small will not float enough so will result in missed waves. A bodyboard that is too big will be difficult to handle.

Standard bodyboards are made for adults to use and handle, making them unsuitable for children. Luckily there are plenty of kids' bodyboards below that will do the trick. Just be sure to check the specified age or weight range to ensure it will work for your child.

What features do I need to look for in a kids' bodyboard?

The main thing you will want to look for when shopping for a bodyboard for your child is a strap that attaches around either your child's wrist or ankle. This will prevent the bodyboard from floating away in the water if your child lets go of the bodyboard, meaning they can quickly pull it back to them and hop back on.

Some designs of kids' bodyboards have handles at either side of the head so the rider can grip on and hold the board steady, ensuring greater control.

How to use a kids' bodyboard

It is important for your child to be wearing a long-sleeved anti-UV top or a wetsuit when in the sea to avoid chafing on the arms and torso as children's skin is delicate and being in contact with the wet and salty board can be irritating.

Your little one should already be confident in the water before starting bodyboarding otherwise the experience may feel scary to them. You will of course need to supervise them at all times.

The bodyboard should be used in shallow water where your child can touch the bottom, with the water below waist height. As a small broken wave passes, your child needs to push off using their feet, aiming towards the beach, and lie down on their belly on the bodyboard, with their hands gripping the head of the board or the handles, arms bent and legs stretched out behind them. This will allow the waves to carry your child onto the shore as they roll in.

It will take some practice and plenty of falling in but there is plenty of fun to be had together.

Shop: our top picks of the best kids' bodyboards

Mondo Toys Disney Frozen Bodyboard

Best kids bodyboard for Frozen fans
Mondo Toys Disney Frozen Bodyboard

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If your child is still obsessed with Frozen or is just a fan of all things Disney, how about this Frozen-themed bodyboard with their favourite characters on the front? It's nice and long at 84cm so more of their body will stay on the board as they hit any waves, and it comes with a leash and anklet included.

Dimensions: 84 x 46 x 4.5cm

Pros: Perfect for Frozen-fans
Cons: Expensive delivery cost

OMOUBOI Inflatable Bodyboard

Best inflatable kids' bodyboard
OMOUBOI Inflatable SurfBoard

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If you're looking for something that doesn't take up much room, this is the bodyboard for you as it can be deflated and inflated to suit your needs. Made of high-quality polyester fabric with good wear resistance, it's ergonomically designed with a concave-convex contact surface suitable for chest contour which helps to relieve pressure on your child's chest. It has excellent buoyancy and strong load-bearing capacity along with a nylon handle.

Dimensions: 30 x 16.5 x 3 inches

Pros: Can be deflated for easy transportation
Cons: Can take some time to inflate

Review: "I'm happy that I bought the surfboard at the beginning of this summer. My boy has been playing with it all the time at home and at the seaside. He had a lot of fun with it. No matter using it for water slide or floating in the sea wave, it proved that the quality has been trustworthy."

Nalu Bodyboard

Best kids' bodyboard for beginners
Nalu Bodyboard with Leash

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Designed with beginners in mind, this bodyboard features a crescent-shaped tail, which helps to keep the board steady on the waves, making it easier for beginners to handle. It has a textured deck, which adds extra protection by providing an extra layer to stop any dings and bashes. It also helps to keep the board from getting waterlogged. A leash and leash plug are included.

Dimensions: 107 x 5.5 x 55cm

Pros: Textured deck helps to protect it from damage
Cons: Some customers have commented that the strap is a bit flimsy

Review: "The Bodyboard was just what we expected..good quality and value for money...used many times already"

Bodyatu Kids Bodyboard

Best kids' bodyboard for younger children
Bodyatu Kids Bodyboard

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Suitable for kids from 15 to 25 kg (4-8 years), this bodyboard is great if your child is new to bodyboarding. We love the addition of handles which makes it easy for your little one to hold onto as they go over the waves.

Dimensions: 80 x 46 x 5cm

Pros: Ideal for younger children
Cons: Weight limit for use

Review: "An excellent bodyboard for small children since it has handles which they can easily hold. My daughter had great fun with this product down in Cornwall."

Schildkrot Funsports Children's Bodyboard

Kids' bodyboard with funky print
Schildkrot Funsports Childrenu0026#039;s Bodyboard

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Made from foam so it's lightweight and easy for little ones to carry, this bodyboard features a fun graffiti design. It also has a leash with velcro to fix the board to your child's wrist, making it easy to hang onto in the water.

Dimensions: 69 x 45 x 4.5cm

Pros: Cool design
Cons: Longer delivery time compared to other kids' bodyboards

Review: "My son just goes crazy with this! Great product!"

Weezmi Child Adult Tandem Board

Best kids' bodyboard for tandem riding
Weezmi Child Adult Tandem Board

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If your child is in need of some extra support, this bodyboard is suitable for two people. Your child sits at the front with the adult at the back. This is so you can ride the waves together, helping them to gain confidence out in the water.

Dimensions: 114 x 62 x 6cm

Pros: Child and parent can ride the waves together
Cons: Not suitable for waves and foam > 1m

Review: "Great product. Lots of fun for getting kids into messing about in the surf."

ACS Clothing Salt Water Seeker SWS01 36" Bodyboard

Kids' bodyboard with high durability
ACS Clothing Salt Water Seeker SWS01 36 Bodyboard

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With a crescent tail for greater control for riding in all wave conditions, this bodyboard has a high compression core for durability and buoyancy along with a fitted leash plug and a basic webbing wrist leash.

We love this vibrant red, but you can also get this board in lime, Polzeath blue, and navy.

Pros: Comes with a fitted leash plug
Cons: Design more basic compared to others

iBOARD Bodyboard

Best bodyboard for growing kids
iBOARD Body Board

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Pretty in pink, but with a funky green option available too, we think kids will love the colourful design and the board itself, which will give them a wonderful bodyboarding experience. It has a dynamic design with good curvature to make for easier work on the waves and a high-quality, EPS core which makes it strong, buoyant, and lightweight. Suitable for kids aged 6-16, it comes with a leash and wrist rope.

Dimensions: 37 x 18.8 x 2.2 inches

Pros: Choice of colours, suitable for use from a child to a teenager
Cons: Some customers have mentioned the foam bottom board doesn't give the board as much control in the water compared to others

Review: "All good! Exactly like on the photo. Good quality."

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