With summer fast approaching, it’s a good idea to start stockpiling your gear for the beach. Whether you’re a regular beachbum, or it’s your first time heading to the ocean, bodyboarding is a great way to explore and have fun at the beach. We will explore the best bodyboards for the 2020 year so you can have fun at the beach.
While bodyboarding has been around for thousands of years, going back to the ancient polynesians, the “boogieboard” went center stage in 1971 and has since grown into a world-wide phenomenon.
Each bodyboard may vary in shape and size. A bodyboard is typically 3-4 feet long and 16-38 inches wide. It’s for riding waves while prone paddling or belly riding as opposed to standing when surfing.
To the untrained eye, this may look like a kickboard but bodyboard designs have grown significantly in sophistication over the last 50 years as you’ll see in the list below.
Bodyboarding can be a great introduction to the ocean and a great way to build your surfing skills. Particularly, bodyboarding can help you feel confident in the ocean, raise your wave reading skills (an invaluable tool for surfing), and familiarize yourself with ocean currents.
Bodyboarders have found new and innovative ways to ride waves from drop-knee to stand-up bodyboarding. In general, each board has a nose (front of the board), and a tail (typically a bat or crescent shape).
While bodyboarding does have a traditional and conservative shape, the evolution of bodyboarding has started to borrow tips from nature, aerodynamics, surfing, and even snowboarding. Bodyboard designs are taking off in sophistication towards new and innovative bodyboards.
If you’re new to bodyboarding, it can be tough to determine the right size board for you.
While historic alais and paipos, the world’s first bodyboards, were made from a combination of wood and fiberglass. Modern bodyboards come from two main materials: dow polyethylene foam (PE) and polypropylene foam (PP).
As a rule of thumb, Polyethylene boards typically lack a stringer, or centerline for balance and structure. They are also heavier and more flexible than Polypropylene boards. Polypropylene is typically lighter and requires a stringer for structural integrity.
A stringer is a thin piece of wood that runs the length of the bodyboard (typically in the center). This provides strength to the center of the board. The stringer has been around for decades.
Before you jump on the waves, it’s best to learn all about the different surfing styles. There are many YouTube videos that highlight and teach you how to ride the waves from belly boarding to stand up riding. Let’s go over the three most popular riding styles you can try out.
Bellyboarding, is the most traditional form of bodyboarding. For thousands of years, the ancient polynesians rode waves using simple sheets of wood.
This slowly evolved to become alai’s or a thin but stiff sheet of wood that makes it easy to turn down the face of the wave, and even tuck into the barrel. Bellyboarding is obviously great for beginners and it can set you up for many tricks as you progress towards 360’s and barrel rolls.
While bellyboarding is obviously the most traditional and basic form of bodyboarding, there are many different ways to ride based on board type, personal style, or conditions.
Drop knee boarding riding is a technique where the rider places their front foot on the nose of the board and kneels with their back foot. Drop-knee riding can help you build speed in hollow sections, hold a hard rail for quick drop-ins and allow for rail to rail carving.
Stand up riding is the least common style of bodyboarding, but with innovations in bodyboard design is becoming much more common. Unless you’re under 90 pounds, or a highly experienced surfer, stand up riding may be beyond your ability.
Learning to bodyboard starts with studying the waves. You’ll want to understand and identify what direction the waves are traveling. Next, you’ll want to set yourself up for a good position.
Everything from hand positioning to your body movement needs to be flawless. To learn more about bodyboarding, check out our article on how to bodyboard.
Now that you’ve brushed up on your history and gotten to know your board’s anatomy, you’re probably about ready to make your purchase, but don’t move too fast.
These boards have come a long way in almost 50 years as far as craft and sophistication. It can be tough to find a board for you and the conditions you hope to ride. Read on for expert advice on the top 10 bodyboards for this 2020 season.
Random high-performance bodyboard is designed with EPS core which gives the board strength and flexibility properties. With EPS core, you can easily grip the bodyboard and you’ll be able to make directional turns and rotations.
The bodyboard comes with a slick bottom which will help you glide and perform many high-speed maneuvers. Random bodyboard comes with a crescent tail which gives the riders the flexibility to ride the waves with any riding style.
This board comes with a leach that connects your arm from one end, and to the board from the other end.
One of the lightest bodyboards on the market, the Wave Weapon comes outfitted with a hydraulic leash. Under these circumstances, this will help you with board management in larger conditions.
Losing a swim fin in a big surf can not only be a safety concern, but keep you out of the water well into your next paycheck. With a sophisticated and high performance design, the Wave Weapon is great for riders of all ability levels.
Goplus bodyboard has an EPS design to give it strength and a smooth bottom that enhances the movement of the board. This bodyboard is lightweight, durable and buoyant. You’ll be able to glide through the waves without any trouble.
Goplus bodyboard has a dynamic design with 60/40 rails, rear channels, and a crescent tail. It’s designed for all wave conditions. In addition, individuals can enjoy more control, more maneuverability, and increased speeds and strength.
Also comes with a leash and a leash holder on the bottom of the board. This bodyboard is perfect for kids and adults.
Wavestorm is possible the most recognized brand for water sports in the United States. This board designed to embrace fun and enjoyment on the waves.
This board has an EPS core and a resilient WBX (water barrier skin). This helps and improves strong grip, smooth glide over the waves, and easy movement.
Crescent tail shape improves the grip of the board while making it easy to maneuver through the waves. Wavestorm bodyboard is crafted with high quality to give individuals high-performance movement across the waves.
Storm bodyboard has a super lightweight structure that helps maneuver quickly and effortlessly. It features a high-speed slick bottom to help you glide through waves and pick up speed.
It’s made to last for maximum comfort with the EPS core built-in for lightweight, buoyancy, and durability. Crescent tail shaped board to adapt to your body shape and increase the board’s fluidity.
It also comes with fin tethers, which are specifically for preventing you from losing your swim fins while riding waves. Lastly, the board comes with a coil leach, which helps you from losing your board while you’re surfing the waves.
The Morey Cruiser is your standard bodyboard with added contour for comfort and maneuverability. At 42.5” the Morey Cruiser is a bit on the larger side and is great for beginner to intermediate riders from youth to adults.
The IXL topskin and rails is a softer and less abrasive foam than your traditional bodyboard and the polystrene core gives added density making it more buoyant and a bit easier to catch waves.
Morey Mach 7 is widely considered to be the most iconic and recognizable Bodyboard in the world. The bodyboard is precisely made to withstand strong wave conditions and various riding styles. The simplistic design makes this board aesthetic and it’s great for beginners who are learning to boogie board.
This product is designed with a bat tail which gives riders great maneuverability. You can easily make turns and rotations with the design of the bat tail. It’s also designed with EPS.
EPS has been proven to enhance the grip as well as contribute to a smoother bottom for a smooth glide.
Everything from core to power rod stringer, this board is specifically made for beginner riders as well as seasoned veterans.
Thurso Surf 42 is designed with a focus on stability and glide for easy riding with maximum enjoyment. This bodyboard is made with a firm PE core and 2 FRP stringers to make it very light and buoyant.
In addition, the Thurso Surf is made up of 4mm High-density durable IXPE deck which makes the board well cushioned and protected to reduce the risk of delamination.
One significant factor that separates this board from the rest is the bottom. The bottom is made up of high-density polyethylene which is a strong and responsive bottom skin that adds hardness and maximizes the board speed.
You won’t be disappointed with this board. Thurso Surf is constructed with high-quality materials that will last for years to come.
Morey is a well respected bodyboarding brand for a number of reasons. They make reliable, high performance and best bodyboards for everyone from experts to beginners. The Wham-O Mach 7-SS is at the peak of sophistication for modern bodyboard design.
Outfitted with twin stringers, and constructed entirely of polypropelene foam, the Wham-O Mach 7 is designed for expert bodyboarders in a multitude of conditions. A little extra narrow from the nose, this board responds quickly and holds a rail down the line. Consequently, this is ideal for drop-knee riders, and intermediate conditions.
Mike Stewart, multiple-time world champion bodyboarder, has recently started designing and producing his own custom bodyboards.
This high-performance bodyboard is for just about any type of condition from double overhead barrels at the pipeline to your standard Floridian ankle-biter. If you’re a weathered bodyboarder looking to step up your quiver towards higher performance, this could be worth your consideration.
If you’re new to riding waves, it’s easy to lose track of your limitations and find yourself in a dangerous situation. Before heading out in the ocean it’s always great to consider the following:
This refers to everything from tide and wave height to temperature. When assessing ocean factors, take a few moments to watch how waves are breaking. Do you notice any patterns?
At any typical beach break, you’re likely to find a mix of shorebreak, rip currents, and long shore currents, all which can cause surprisingly dangerous moments.
One great way to brush up on your ocean factor assessment is to paddle out with an experienced friend or relative. While experience is the best teacher, be sure to familiarize yourself with how to identify a rip current, and how to get out, before heading out past the breakers.
This referrs to everything on the shore and underneath the water. Do you see any rocks underwater? How steep is the shoreline? Do you expect to find the reef, or sharp shells underfoot? It’s great to have a basic idea of what’s under you before heading out in the ocean.
If you have the time, take a look at your local break under all tide conditions so you’ll be aware of what’s underneath you.
Wind? Rain? Sun? Snow? Weather factors can influence ocean factors very quickly. While this may not present real and current danger, you can expect that weather factors may make or break your next beach day. Be sure to plan accordingly with hats, sunglasses, SUNSCREEN, and a wetsuit if need be.
How are you feeling? Happy? Sad? Excited? Annoyed? Human factors are potentially the most important from the list above because you can often find yourself in an unsafe situation if you’re distracted.
Bodyboarding should be fun! While you may be having an introspective moment, which is great! Human factors also relate to other humans in the water. Be aware of bodyboarding and surf etiquette so you don’t find yourself offending to the wrong dude.
If you’ve found yourself at the bottom of this article, you’re probably starting to dry out and itching for your next session. So hurry up and choose your board!
Choosing a bodyboard can be a fun and exciting adventure. Altogether, there are so many styles and brands to choose from that it’s easy to get bogged down with too much information.
No matter the style of riding that you’re hoping to pursue, the most important part is making sure that you are having fun riding waves. So slap on some zinc, grab your fins, and head out the door! Waves are waiting for you right around the corner.