There's lots of fun for the whole family at the beach from 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, control and most importantly, having fun!
Below we've pulled together some top tips with help from Decathlon as well as recommendations for kids bodyboards.
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 kid's 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.
The best kids' bodyboards available to buy
If your child loves their Disney, what about this Disney Princess themed bodyboard with a colourful The Little Mermaid design on the front? It's nice and long at 82cm so more of their body will stay on the board as the hit any waves. It's worth noting however that there isn't a leash or a wrist-strap with this bodyboard so this will need purchasing seperately.
Dimensions: 82 x 46 x 5 cm
Review: "Santa brought this for my little girl and she loves it!! Great value but slow delivery probably due to the Christmas period but otherwise great!"
With a crescent tail for greater control for riding in all wave conditions, this bodyboard has a composite foam core to provides a stiff and buoyant lightweight core along with a mesh skin bottom for greater strength.
If you're looking for something that doesn't take up much room, this is the body board for you as it can be deflated and inflated to suit your needs. Made of high-qualitypolyester 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 with nylon handle.
Dimensions: 30x16.5x3 inches
Review: "I'm happy that I bought the surfboard at the beginning of this summer. My boy have been playing with it all the time at home and at sea side. 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."
Designed with beginners in mind, this bodyboard feature a crescent shape tail, which helps to keep the board steady on the waves and make 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, as well as helping to keep the board from getting waterlogged. It also includes a leash and leash plug.
Dimensions: 83 x 5 x 47 cm
Review: "Bought this for my 7 year old granddaughter, who has had a lot of fun with it. Would recommend."
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 cm x 46 cm x 5 cm
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."
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 4.5 cm
Review: "My son just goes crazy with this! Great product!"
If your child is in need of some extra support, this bodyboard is suitable for two people, with a child at the front and an adult at the back. so you can ride the waves together, helping them to gain confidence out in the water.
Dimensions: 114 cm x 62 cm x 6 cm
Review: "Great product. Lots of fun for getting kids into messing about in the surf."