If you’ve decided to get a bodyboard for you or someone you care about, you probably wonder to yourself, “What size bodyboard should I get?” It can get confusing with there being so many different sizes, types, and set ups a bodyboard can have. But we’ll make it all easy for you with some simple guidelines.
One factor helpful to finding the right size bodyboard is finding one that fits your height. If you get one that’s out of proportion with your height, it can decrease the quality of performance you have on it.
For example, let’s say you get a bodyboard that’s longer than you. It will be difficult for your legs to paddle and the board will be harder to control. If the board is too short, it will drag in the water, and you’ll have a hard time trying to catch a wave.
One guideline that could be helpful is choosing a bodyboard as tall as your belly button. A length about from your knees to your chin when you’re lying on it can be suitable. This is best in particular for beginners. But you don’t have to be too strict with the belly button guideline. Depending on if your body weight is on the lighter or heavier side for your height, you might need a board that’s lower or higher than your belly.
There are different sites that will show you chart sizes that fit a particular height and weight. They don’t all agree on their numbers. So the right size might be largely based on what works for you. A person who said they’re 6’3 and 200 pounds is supposed to ride a board that was 45’’. Here is a size chart overview for all bodyboards.
Instead, he chose to ride a 42’’ board, which he believes he performs better on. So take any bodyboard size charts you see on a website with a grain of salt. You ultimately have to test out what works out best for you in the water.
But as a general rule of thumb, the taller and heavier you are, the longer and wider your board probably needs to be. Vice versa, the shorter and lighter you are, the shorter and more narrow your bodyboard should be.
Believe it or not, there are actually other factors besides your body size that should be considered with picking the right size bodyboard. In some cases, it wouldn’t be ideal to use a bodyboard that fits your size.
Sometimes it’s better for you to choose one that fits the type of waves you’re going to ride. For example, if the waves at the beach you go to are smaller waves, it’s best to use a board that’s slightly bigger for your size. This will help you have more stability and floatation in the wave.
If the beach you’re going to is known for big and powerful waves, it’s better to use a smaller board. That will help you have the most agility and control in it. You might notice on bodyboard descriptions, it either has a 50/50 rail ratio or a 60/40 rail ratio.
For smaller waves, it’s most helpful to use a bodyboard with a 50/50 ration. For larger more powerful waves, it’s more helpful to use one with a 60/40 ratio.
Did you know there’s more than one way to ride a bodyboard? You’re probably accustomed to seeing someone lie on their stomach when they ride a bodyboard. This is called the prone style of bodyboarding.
The drop-knee style is when a person puts a foot on the front of the board, and has their knee placed at the tail of the board. Stand up style, as you might already guess from the name, is when a person stands up on a bodyboard to ride it.
With each style, there are particular types of board sizes that suits each one. If you’re primarily going to ride your bodyboard in the prone style, you should get a board that has a wide nose. Wider noses give you more ability to perform well in the waves in that position.
If you’re going to ride mostly in drop-knee style, a narrow nose works best, because most of your weight is going to go on the tail of the board. With a narrow nose, the control will be looser, and you’ll be able to get to higher speeds. But the board itself should be slightly big. It should also be slightly big whenever you’re riding the board in stand-up style as well.
Some sizes will give you more of what you want than other sizes. Where one size board may you give more speed and less control, another will give you more control and less speed. When you decide what preference matters most to you, this can make it easier to pick a suitable bodyboard.
If you want to accomplish getting a lot of speed on the waves, smaller is better. First, as mentioned in the riding style section, the bodyboards with narrow noses get more speed. You should also pay attention to the rocker of the board.
For those who don’t know what a rocker is, it’s the curve side of the bodyboard. A bodyboard with a flat rocker will help you move faster. For the tail of the board, the bat tail is the best for speed.
You might want control in your bodyboard more than speed. Wider noses on bodyboards tend to give you the most control. In addition to a wider nose, a bodyboard with a crescent tail will help you have more control too.
Certain bodyboards can float better than others. For example, a thicker bodyboard will float better for you than a thinner bodyboard. For the style of tail, bat tails provide more floatation than crescent tails. With the width of the board, you want more wideness, but do note that it may make turning on the water more difficult.
Sometimes buoyancy will depend on the kind of wave you’re riding too. For smaller waves, shorter boards may be more helpful in giving you flotation. One other thing to keep in mind is the core of the bodyboard. If you see one that says it has an EPS core or a beaded PP core, these will provide you more buoyancy.
Measuring for a bodyboard based on the height of it reaching your belly button can be helpful. Just keep in mind that you should get a bigger board if you’re heavier, and a smaller board if you’re lighter. Nonetheless, there’s no exact science to this. Measuring for a bodyboard can be just as simple as picking the one that looks and feels most comfortable to you.
The best bodyboard is one that suits your goals. If you’re looking for more speed in your board, smaller bodyboards with narrow noses will work best. If you’re looking for more control, bodyboards with wider noses and crescent tail will be more effective for you. Whatever your goals are, there’s a specific kind of board that can help you fulfill that goal.
You can check out all the tips we have on finding the best bodyboards.
Yes, the stand-up style is one way that people choose to ride the waves on a bodyboard.
Given that bodyboarding generally doesn’t require you to stand up and balance on the board, it’s arguably more easier than surfing. It’s a great way to get started in the world of water sports. With bodyboarding, you’ll learn the basics of riding waves. That’ll help you to move forward in trying out surfing.
In the end, don’t feel too much pressure trying to pick out the right bodyboard size. It may take a couple of tries, but eventually you’ll find the right fit for you. Hopefully these guidelines have made it easier for you to narrow down your decision.
After you get your bodyboard, you can check out these basics on how to bodyboard before you hit the waves.