Add to your fun in the water with a bodyboard!
My family and I have always been avid beach-goers (almost) whatever the weather! Whilst I love the sound of the crashing waves, the Globetrotters love nothing more than diving in headfirst and tackling the water. Ever since they were tiny, one of our beach essentials has been a Boogie Board.
Not only are Boogie Boards great fun for coasting the waves, but they also provide kids with an additional safety buffer in the water as your child builds their swimming skills.
Many Boogie Boards are designed with younger ages in mind, so they often come with built-in safety features. When paired with a swim vest or other PFD, they can work to reduce anxiety on your end as well.
This post is part of our tried and tested essential family travel product reviews series
Boogie Board vs Bodyboard
Before we dive in, you may be wondering what the difference is between Boogie Boards and bodyboards, as they typically generate the same products when searched on the internet.
It really comes down to a matter of branding: Thomas Hugh Morey was the inventor of the original Boogie Board, which he created in the early 1970s. His products became immensely popular in subsequent years, and Boogie Board became a household name.
Given that creators of similar products could not borrow the trademarked name, the term “bodyboard” was born. It’s common for people to refer to these boards interchangeably, since “Boogie Board” has become a commonplace term instead of a reference to the original product.
What to look for in a good Boogie Board for kids
This is the most important factor to consider when buying a kid’s Boogie Board, and for good reason. If you choose a board that is too large for your child, it will be hard to control in the water. This is why most Boogie Boards have a range of sizes to suit both kids and adults. We have done that research for you here, but it’s important to double-check before you buy:
- For kids 40-65 lbs/4 feet and under: 33-inch board
- For kids 65-85 lbs/4-5 feet: 36-38-inch board
Smaller than this, you can still look for kickboards that do a similar job- we’ll highlight some junior models below.
Features to Consider
Here are more features to look out for in a great kids bodyboard:
This is perhaps the most important feature when looking for a kids bodyboard. The leash is typically a simple loop held together with velcro that can be attached to the wrist or ankle. The leash keeps your child and his or her board connected to each other, preventing the board from drifting away. This will save you hours of aggravation (and swimming). Trust me.
Handles provide additional stability for children as they navigate the waters on their boards, but these are less common to find on Boogie Boards for kids than you may think. Separate handles can be purchased and added on, but it’s always a plus if the board comes with them.
Most bodyboards for kids have the same general design with some variations. One difference is usually the design of the tail, which greatly affects the manoeuvrability of the board. Based on our research, it appears that most kids’ bodyboards have a crescent tale design, which makes sense given that this shape adds stability to the board.
Core: The core of most bodyboards for kids is made of Extruded Polystyrene (EPS) because it is lightweight and inexpensive. While this does make the price point much more reasonable, it does impact the durability of the board itself. This is definitely something to keep in mind when packing and transporting.
While most kids’ bodyboards are made of variations of the same material, some are inflatable. These are a versatile option for both the pool and the beach, and can easily be deflated and stored in luggage for a beach vacation (handy if like us you often need to fly to your beach destination).
When purchasing Boogie Boards for kids, it’s important to check if a warranty is included in the purchase and any reviews for how the company has provided product care in the past. This will help you avoid any headaches down the road should you receive a defective product or encounter other issues.
Best Boogie Boards for Kids
Here’s a summary of our favourites – scroll on for more details!
|Bo-Toys Body Board with EPS Core||33" (approx 5 years+) and 41" teen/adults||Red, Blue, Pink|
|GYN Trade Heat Sealed Bodyboard||33" suits riders 3' 5" and up: 42" for riders 5.5" and up||Many bright patterns and two-tone solid colors|
|4 EVER Inflatable Surf Body Board||30" - Recommended 6 years to adult (max 180lbs)||Two-tone teal/blue and teal/pink|
|WOOWAVE Bodyboard||Comes in 33", 36" and 41" - suits all from approx 5 years+||Blue, green, Pink, Yellow|
|Universal Imperium Loggerhead Body Board||Comes in 33", 37" and 41" - suits all from approx 5 years+||Blue, Green, Yellow|
|VIAHART Swimming Kickboard||17.5" - toddler +||Rainbow of colors|
|Hubblite Mini Kickboard||21" - toddler+||White, Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Yellow|
Best Overall Boogie Board for Kids: Bo-Toys Body Board with EPS Core
Why We Love It: One of the features that drew us strongly to the Bo-Toys BodyBoard was the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction. Customer care representatives are quick to respond to any issues, which is always a plus.
This bodyboard for kids also has multiple features that increase its durability and stamina in the water, such as Heat Lamination Technology to resist impact and a super slick bottom coated in HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene). It’s versatile enough to take anywhere and is sure to last for many seasons of aquatic adventures.
- Available Sizes: 33” and 41”
- Material: EPS Core and HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) super slick bottom
- Tail: Crescent
- Colours: Blue, Pink, Red, Green
- 60/40 rails for maneuverability
- Heath lamination technology offers superior strength and durability
- Available in a variety of bright colors
- 60/40 rails provide increased maneuverability
- Pro Quality leash with band for either wrist or ankle
- 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee
- Some customers reported that when left out in the sun, the color faded and the exterior seal began to bubble.
* It’s always best to store your Boogie Boards in a dry part of your home, away from direct sunlight
Worth a Second Look: GYN Trade Heat Sealed Bodyboard
The GYN bodyboard claim to fame seems to be in its heat-sealed bonding process, which strengthens the overall construction of the board and allows it to be used in many different swimming environments. We like that this kid’s Boogie Board comes in a wide range of sizes and colors, which means it can be a one-stop-shop for the whole family.
- Available Sizes: 33” to 45”
- Material: EPS core/lightweight, hard slick bottom
- Tail: Crescent
- Colours: Wide variety of colors and designs
- Heat sealed for added stiffness and strength
- Detachable wrist retention leash
- Wide variety of designs and colors
- Wrist retention leash has been known to detach or break, and some customers have had to purchase separate leashes to avoid this problem.
Best Inflatable Boogie Board: 4 EVER Inflatable Surf Body Board
While most Boogie Boards for kids are constructed of hard material, this one is actually inflatable. The fabric is especially durable and can hold air for up to 1 month if stored properly.
The added benefit of being able to deflate the bodyboard and store it is not to be taken lightly, especially if you’re concerned about conserving space while traveling.
- Available Sizes: 29.5 x 20.5 x 6 inches (Holds up to 180 lbs)
- Material: Non-slip, high-density buoyant fabric
- Tail: Crescent
- Colours: Blue, Pink, and Multi-Colored
- Double anti-leakage nozzles
- Two-colour double-sized design
- Easily folds for storage and travel
- Woven handle straps for additional safety
- Works well as a swim aid for beginners
- Several customers reported confusion on advertising related to the quantity. Advertised price is only for one inflatable kids body board.
Best for Older Kids: WOOWAVE Bodyboard
This kids bodyboard is an excellent option for the older kids and teens in your family. It is incredibly lightweight and is durable enough for use at beaches, rivers, or just kicking around the pool.
The board’s construction allows for extra buoyancy and impact strength, and the 60/40 rails increase manoeuvrability in the water.
- Available Sizes: 33”, 36”, and 41”
- Material: EPS Core and HDPE slick bottom
- Tail: Crescent
- Colours: Blue, Green, Pink, and Yellow
- 60/40 Rails
- Water-resistant core for all wave conditions
- Comes with premium coiled wrist leash
- Stylish design comes in several bright colors
- Money Back Guarantee and free replacement exchange up to one year
- Some customers reported that the blue dye of the board rubbed off on their skin
Worth a Second Look: Universal Imperium Loggerhead Body Board
The makers of Loggerhead Boogie Board for kids seem to be focused on creating a long-lasting, quality board for kids to enjoy through many seasons at the beach.
We like that it is ideal for both beginners and experienced bodyboarders, with the construction allowing for both prone and drop knee positions. The loggerhead turtle graphic is also a distinctive touch that your kids are sure to love.
- Available Sizes: 33”, 37”, and 41”
- Suitable weight up to 65 lbs, 120 lbs, 188 lbs
- Material: Combined EPS core, XPE foam deck, and slick PP bottom
- Tail: Crescent
- Colours: Blue, Neon Green, Yellow
- Rigid and waterproof due to extremely durable construction
- Quality leash and wristband keep kids securely connected to board
- Bright colours stand out in the water
- Rounder rails provide greater maneuverability
- Grooves in bottom channel water for better performance
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
- Some sizes and colours do not offer free returns
Best Boogie Board for Younger Kids: VIAHART Swimming Kickboard
Surfing the waves might be much easier for older kids, but that doesn’t mean your younger ones have to miss out on all the fun. If you’re looking for a durable board that will last your child through the toddler years (and further through that early learning to swim phase), you’ve arrived at the perfect place. Kickboards aren’t as large as
- Available Sizes: 17.5 x 13 x 1 inches (One size fits all)
- Material: Phthalate and formaldehyde-free EVA foam
- Tail: Crescent
- Colours: Wide range of colours
- Lightweight and durable
- Well-suited for beginning swimmers
- 90 day manufacturer warranty
- Available in over 10 different colors
- Handles for additional stability
- Some customers reported a strong chemical odor upon receiving, but this went away after a few days
Toddlers can get chilly in the water long before your older kids, remember if the water is under 26°C/80°F to get a toddler wetsuit for enjoying their boogie board experience
Worth a Second Look: Hubblite Mini Kickboard
If your younger child simply insists on a more grown-up boogie board for kids, consider the Hubblite Mini Kickboard. At 21″ it’s a little more grown-up than a simple kick board, with the shape of a bodyboard, making it an excellent option for your pint-sized surfer.
- Available Sizes: 21 inches
- Material: EPS core
- Tail: Crescent
- Colours: White, Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Yellow
- A suitable first Boogie Board for younger children
- Composite core adds strength and durability
- Price point is higher than other options for a product your younger children will quickly outgrow
Boogie Board Storage Bags
There are storage bags made for Boogie Boards, but as you’ll see, they generally cost more than the board and are designed for larger adult-sized boards.
We have taken it with a grain of salt that whatever Boogie Board for kids you incest in, they won’t last forever. Do bear this in mind when you’re working out the cost-benefit of getting a bodyboard bag to bring your kit travelling with you.
Boogie Boarding is a fun and engaging beach activity for children of all ages to learn, and it’s a wonderful way to improve their existing swimming skills as well. We’re confident that these kids Boogie Board options will help you and your family create wonderful beach memories for years to come.
More beach gear to consider for kids
As if you don’t have enough to carry to the beach already! A beach vacation can undeniably come with a lot of kit, but many items are essential – while others (like Boogie Boards!) just add to the fun in the sun and worth making extra space for.
Before you head off on your beach vacation, make sure you also check out:
- Best sun hats for babies and toddlers – ultimate sun protection with these broad-rimmed UPF 50+ and waterproof hats perfect for the beach
- Best kids beach shoes – protect little heat against unexpected sharp objects and hot sand
- Toddler & Kids Swim Vests – ideal for when you’re little one is learning to swim but needs that little extra bouyancy
- Best Kids Wetsuits – if your water is on the chilly side you may struggle to get your little one in unless they have the extra warmth and protection provided by a wetsuit
- Best beach sun tents – especially with younger children spending a full day at the beach you’ll want that extra sun protection from a beach tent of canopy
- XXL Family Beach Bags – you need something to carry all this gear in now, right? An extra-large beach bag might be your solution
Anything else you think we’ve missed? Head on over now to the ULTIMATE BEACH PACKING LIST – we have a free printable guide there for everything you should need for a full day out at the beach with kids.
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