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Bodyboards buying guide

Are you looking for a cheap and fun way to hit the waves in the sea? Bodyboards are the best way to enjoy any waterbody with your whole family.

However, it is not that simple to choose the correct bodyboard for yourself. Correct size, weight channels, stringers, and several other features play a crucial role in the board's performance and usability.

Here in this guide, we have incorporated all the useful information. You will get all the tips to select the best board for yourself and the whole family.

So without any further ado, let us dive into this extensive guide.

Something about bodyboards

Bodyboarding is considered a fun activity for everyone as it is an excellent summertime activity in the water. Bodyboarding involves riding on bodyboards in water, which is quite similar to surfing.

But it varies from boarding in certain aspects, which makes bodyboarding accessible for all of the people who do not feel confident while surfing on a surfboard. While you are using bodyboards, you have less chance of falling off the board as you are lying down on the board and have a firm grip on it. On the surfing board, you might have to stand and balance on the surfboard.

High-quality materials are used in the making of the bodyboards, which allow you to propel through the water quickly. There are many facts to consider while you are purchasing the bodyboards, but still, bodyboarding is deemed a simple activity. They have a durable bottom made out of plastic, and it has a foam core, which is light in weight and relatively buoyant.

Features to look at while selecting appropriate Bodyboards

Size

When you decide to purchase bodyboards, the most crucial factor to consider is the size of the bodyboard. The performance of the bodyboard will vary according to the height and weight of the bodyboard. The ability to catch the waves and the capability to maneuver the board can be affected even by the slightest inch in the wrong direction.

When you are holding these bodyboards in front, the perfect bodyboard should be level and reach from your knees, particularly your chin. Boards with increased width for maximum floatation and buoyancy are recommended for riders who carry a little more bodyweight.

Bodyboards come in a particular shape, which makes them suitable for riding the waves. Your arms will be swaying and dangling in water if the bodyboards are too small for you. As a result, you will be very low in moisture. It cannot be easy to control the bodyboard if it is too large for you. The experience of riding the waves and the optimum size of the board, which will be suitable for, can be considered with riding more waves. It would help if you considered purchasing a panel that can fit easily under your arm so you can carry it easily with you while you are moving to the beach.

You can know if you have the bodyboard of the perfect size when your arm can hang straight while you are carrying the board with you. The perfect bodyboard can be measured starting from the ground up to your belly button.

This is the exact length of the board which will be suitable for you. Along with this, you should also measure the weight capacity and then measure the board on that basis too.

Decks

The material or the surface of the bodyboard on which your body lies while surfing through the water is known as the deck. The configuration that is usually considered for the deck material is 8lb (density per inch polyethylene or PE).

The decks made out of PE are considered soft and quite flexible, but they lose their original shape after some time, which is quite similar to what happens with PE cores. It is noticed that creases and indentations also develop more often in the PE decks.

There is another alternative to the PE decks, which is known as a crosslink. It is relatively thinner than the PE deck as it is 6lb, and its structure is known to absorb less water, but it is comparatively more durable.

The bodyboards which come under the range of $100 use the crosslink alternative in it. But you must know that if you are going to purchase the crosslink bodyboard, you will need more wax for traction as it has the vinyl feel and the vinyl touch.

Performance

You cannot see the core of the bodyboards, but that is the more critical part of the bodyboard. It enables the user to reach the maximum potential of the board and progress and enjoy the water sport. If you get the wrong core type, there are high chances that you will never feel right with the board type.

The performance of the bodyboards in water is determined by the type of foam used in the core. So it would help if you considered the situations in which you are going to use your boards to yield optimum performance.

While purchasing the perfect bodyboards, you ought to look for features that include the temperature of the water, the size of the waves and the types of waves, etc.

Let's have a look at what material either PE-polyethylene or PP- polypropylene will suit you the best.

PE vs. PP

PE is the commonly used material in the core of the bodyboards, and they are more found mostly in the cold water of the UK and northern Europe. PE is flexible despite being heavier in weight than PP, which enables it to deliver more control.

The warm water riders opt for PP cores for the bodyboard as they are light in weight and much stronger than the PE parts, so they enable the rider to ride faster with more speed. A PP board can quickly return to its original shape while the PE board cannot, which makes the PP core more durable than the PE.

Although the PP bodyboards are fascinating for you, the stiffness in the board can make you feel a bit uncomfortable and may deliver you with a bumpy ride. The lacking flexibility can also make the simple moves look like a challenge on a board, which is painful for the user.

Core materials

The core in most of the bodyboards is either made out of polyethylene or PE or polypropylene or PP. PE is said to be heavier and is known to provide more flexibility than the PP. The performance of the PP material in cold water and huge waves is also top-rated. But it can get damaged with time as it will absorb water. One stringer is required for increasing its strength, or else the bodyboard will fold under the rider. PE is also known as Dow, and the PP is often known as polypro material.

PP material, which is expensive, is known to be 100% waterproof and light in weight. It has increased durability, and it performs better in hot water and waves. The strength of both the PE and PP materials has different grades of strength and durability, which affects the price range somehow.

A variety of plastic or foam material can be used like the EVA or Ethylene-vinyl acetate and EPS, or expanded polystyrene can be used to construct cheap boards.

Slick materials

The surface that faces downwards towards the water is known as a slick surface and is usually covered by a slippery cover known as the slick, strengthening the board and enhancing its speed. There are different types of slicks. The most common of them are:

  1. Surlyn

Surlyn is a plastic hybrid material that is used as slick material. It is known to be softer and provides flexibility. Riders who want to perform better and progress in water sports use this material to enhance their performance with the advantages that the material offers.

  1. HDPP (High-density polypropylene)

This material is hard, and it is quite stiff and comparatively thicker than the Surlyn material. This slick material offers very little or no flex at all. It is known to have strength and is quite durable. The beginner boards usually have the material HDPP.

  1. LDPE/HDPE (low/high-density polyethylene)

It has very similar properties to that of HDPP, but it is usually found in PE or the EPS bodyboards.

Stringers

You need to get familiar with the use of stringers if you want to know your water sport better and progress in it. Stringer is one of the essential parts of the bodyboard. Stringers are made up of carbon fiber or fiberglass. They are tubes or are available in the form of rod shape. The carbon fiber stringers are known to form the core of the bodyboard. The stringers increase the durability of the body and thus increase the performance rate.

A single central stringer that has medium stiffness is used in the colder waters. There are bodyboards which are made up of two or three stringers. The increased amount of stringers in the bodyboard increases the durability and the stiffness of the board.

Usually, a single stringer is more than enough for the riders to provide rigidity to the board while paddling and also assists in flexing while riding waves. Double stringers are mostly used in bodyboards that have HDPE bottom skin as it helps to retain its rigidity and recoil.

There are individual riders that require double stringers because they need flex in their board while they are turning the bottom of the board so that it recoils with increased energy.

Channels

Channels are grooves that are smaller in size and are present in the bottom of the slick. They assist in keeping the wave face upwards like the fin helps the surfboard. As a result, the control and direction are enhanced.

Almost all the channel designs have a narrow entry, which is specifically made for water in front of the board, and it has a complete exit at the back of the bodyboard. So, as a result, the surface area is highly increased so that the bodyboard can hold the water efficiently in bottom turns and the transitions in rail.

Concave, for example, is a design feature. It is a large channel that runs the half-length of the whole board right to the end of the hull. The starting point usually lies 20-25 inches above the nose, consisting of a gradual arc or channel moving down to the tail. Concaves are used to add control to the and are imperatively designed to yield maximum speed and drive through the waves.

Thickness

In recent years, bodyboards have become slimmer, and their thickness has been reduced from around 55mm to 51mm in the current year.

Thinner boards claim to have comparatively reduced buoyancy, and their speed is also not as much as that of thick panels, but they can provide enhanced maneuverability.

Thicker boards can provide the user with increased speeds, but they hinder the user in rail-to-rail riding. The bodyboards, which are thin, are more agile and can be maneuvered in the pocket. The thicker boards are designed to suit faster sections and huge waves.

Rocker

The upward curve of the bodyboard used for a water sports activity is known as the rocker. Rockers should be more focused in front of the board and should be slight. The loose ride will depend on the generous size of the rocker, but if you have a vast rocker, you will end up having a dog.

Similarly, if you have fewer rockers, you will be able to ride faster in the waves, but obviously, you cannot maneuver it that much.

If you are looking forward to purchasing the perfect board for yourself, it is recommended that you should go for a flatter board. The flat board will cause the rocket to occur naturally as the material of the bodyboard ages quickly, and when the board is exposed to heat, it will accelerate the process of aging.

The foam of the deck is known to expand at a very escalating rate when compared to the slick. As a result of this, the bodyboards will develop the well known dreaded reverse rocker with passing time.

Rails

The side edges of the bodyboard are known as the rails that are running down from the nose and all through the tail of the bodyboard. Usually, there are two sections on the rail. The board edge has a top, and it is known as chine, and the bottom part is known as the rail.

In the bodyboards, there are usually two design features that are available in the market the 60/40 and the 50/50. Their numbers depict how much shine is at the top of the bodyboard and how much rail is single at the bottom.

A 60/40 rail depicts that 40% of the chine is connected to the deck, and 60% of the railing of the bodyboard is in straight contact with water. This particular style is perfect for maintaining control of large-sized waves, which are quite powerful and are known to be the most common option.

50/50 rails are divided equally. They can offer high speed, and you can easily disconnect the wave face.

There are signature boards that have been designed by the professional riders, and they are conclusive of rails that have different ratios, like 70/30 or even 55/45. As they can test a variety of rail types, they have found that what ideal balance is the best for them. But ultimately, it depends on the individual's choice of what rails of bodyboards they will prefer.

Tails

The performance of the bodyboard is affected by another main component of the bodyboard, which is known as the tail. The performance is greatly influenced by the tail, which is quite similar to the influence of the version of the core.

The movement direction is dictated, and the release is done through the maneuvers. There are two shapes of the tails that are quite popular, which is the crescent and the bat tail shape.

The tails, which are narrow, assist in a release from the moves quite quickly because they are comparatively less buoyant. But the tails which wide provide the user with enhanced stability. A crescent tail is recommended for delivering more edge and control to the bodyboard. The bat tail is suggested for giving more significant surface area and more drive.

Nose

The front part of the bodyboard is known as the nose, and it is located at the top, and the width of the nose will significantly affect the maneuverability of the bodyboard. A bodyboard that is wide, like say 11 to 13 inches, is said to be more stable, and it is suitable for prone riders.

But the bodyboard, which is narrower, could be of any size and can have a round nose for up to ten inches that are positively opted by the drop-knee riders. The round noses are known to be loose and maneuverable.

If you are purchasing a bodyboard that is quite complete for your type of style, then you will start missing out on the speed of the bodyboard. If you go for a board that has a narrow nose, you will find it difficult to control your board.

Mostly all the panels have a relatively similar nose, so you need not worry much about it. You can choose the appropriate nose type that is suitable for you.

Contours

Contours are known to enhance the look of the bodyboard, and they have been explicitly designed to improve the flex for your bodyboard and to increase the response and control. They provide extra grip and absolute comfort and assist you in holding through the huge duck dives or even the risky landings.

They can provide an extreme difference in the hairier rides. Riders who have just begun bodyboarding can also see for themselves that they can enhance the capability to put their hands and elbows in the right place.

Cost

The material that was used in the making of the boards dramatically affects the cost of it. Along with the price, there are other things like the size, channels, or any unique contour, exceptional graphics like the signature of the famous rider, and the design for the surface.

  1. The beginners' boards for the children cost from $15 to $50 in the department stores with a budget.
  2. You can purchase a decent beginners' board inclusive of EPS core and LDPE slick for around $50 to $150.
  3. From$120 to $200, you can get a bodyboard which is made out of PE or PP material or sometimes even with the combination of both of them. An HDPP slick is also used at times, along with one stringer and foam of durable quality.
  4. It can cost you around $250 to $400 for a board, which is comparatively more proficient for riding. These bodyboards are usually available from a sports retailer or sometimes in a unique shop. Such boards are sometimes endorsed by some professional riders. It will come along with single or double stringers, deck contours and also involves elbow grooves, nose bulbs, a Surlyn slick in the bottom of the board at times, and the foam in the bodyboards are durable and have cool graphics.
  5. You can also try ordering a custom made board with your choice of features with the help of the internet. Try to find a suitable fit for yourself by trying out some boards before purchasing one.

FAQs

  1. What is the core difference between the body and the surfboard?

The bodyboards have a length that is below four feet, while the surf ones are larger than 5 feet.

  1. Can I store my bodyboard in the garage?

Make sure that the location in the garage is not damp or does not get direct sunlight. Keep the board on the rack so that it is out of reach of your kids and pets.

Final Verdict

Whether you are a serious enthusiast or just looking to have some fun, getting the right board is vital for enjoying the activity.

So, we have prepared a guide that is quite simple to go through in which you will get all the necessary details about the bodyboards.

All you need is to analyze your requirements and pick the best option for your upcoming trips.

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