If you are looking to get yourself the best bodyboard in the marketplace, you would be surprised as to the amount of factors that differentiate among bodyboards. There are a lot of choices that you have to make in order to make a final purchasing decision. In order to help you with this process, we have come up with a buyer’s guide that you can use in order to pick out the best bodyboard on the market.
Top 10 Best Bodyboards for the Money (2018)
|Body Glove 16509 Classic Peace Out Body Board||(4.9 / 5)|
|'Beach Attack Pack' - WAVE WEAPON Super Lightweight Body-board by Own the Wave||(4.8 / 5)|
|Lucky Bums Body Board with EPS Core, Blue - 41 Inches||(4.8 / 5)|
|STORM Bodyboard PACK by BPS - includes BPS Coiled Leash and Swim Fin Tethers||(4.8 / 5)|
|Legendary Pro X Slick Bottom Bodyboard||(4.6 / 5)|
|Wham-O 27 inch Boogie Board||(4.6 / 5)|
|Younger 41 inch Super Bodyboard with IXPE deck||(4.5 / 5)|
|Morey Big Kahuna 44" Bodyboard||(4.6 / 5)|
|42 inch Ultimate Hard Slick Bottom Wavemaster Pro Bodyboard||(4.6 / 5)|
|Empire Kaila Bodyboard||(4.6 / 5)|
What To Consider Before Buying
It is extremely important that you inform yourself about bodyboards before you purchase one as they can be pretty expensive units and you don’t want to have to regret your purchasing decision sometime down the road.
Slicks (underside of the bodyboard)
This is one of the most important aspects of a bodyboard, as it is the section of the board that is constantly in the water. Generally, there are two types of slicks that you will come across in the marketplace. Here is a quick breakdown of the two main types of slicks:
This plastic material is quite hard and really helps to improve the durability of a board. This type of slick is the more expensive type of the two types of slicks and is used by many professional bodyboard riders around the world. This slick helps to allow the board to have flex, but still be able to return back to its original shape afterwards.
High Density Polyethylene Slicks:
These types of slicks are cheaper than their surlyn versions and are generally used for beginner boards. These types of slicks aren’t as durable as surlyn slicks and therefore don’t last for as long. These boards are not as flexible as surlyn slicks.
Slicks are a little bit more complex than just a piece of plastic that is sitting on the bottom of your board. A proper slick will have small grooves on it in order to help the rider be able to stay in better control of the board. These channels are generally designed so that there is a small opening for water to go through at the front of the board and a wider groove at the rear for the water to disperse. The grooves will help you to be able to get more grip in the water and allow you to maintain better control of the board when doing things like turning. A concave channel is the most common, as they add a lot of control and are made so that they maximize speed as well. A normal concave channel will start at around 25 inches from the tail and will curve through the board to the tail.
This is one part of the board that you won’t be able to see without breaking your board apart. Mesh is used in a bodyboard in order to help make a board more durable. Generally speaking the manufacturer will put a layer of plastic mesh between the slick and the core. This layer helps the board to be able to better absorb impacts caused from the rider jumping on the board. Especially if you like to do a lot of tricks on your board or if you like to bodyboard in some pretty rough water conditions, then this is definitely something that you should be on the lookout for.
A bodyboard core will generally be made up of polyethylene or polypropylene. Each of these materials are significantly different from one another. A polyethylene board is the most common type of core used in bodyboards and is much heavier than that of polypropylene. The reason it is much more popular is because it is capable of flexing more and therefore can take on more impact and return back to its normal state. Despite the fact that polyethylene is more popular, it generally doesn’t last as long as polypropylene and you will find that you have to replace your board more often. A polypropylene board is generally a more expensive board than a polyethylene board. Generally, polypropylene boards are used in warmer waters as they are quite stiff and are sometimes seen as uncomfortable to ride. Polypropylene offers faster turning and an overall faster ride thanks to its lightweight design, but just be aware that this also means you sit higher up in the water and are more buoyant. It can take some time to figure out which kind of core you like the best, if you get the chance to try some cores out before purchasing them, it is highly recommended!
This is another aspect of a bodyboard that you can’t see without splitting it open. A stringer is a tube that runs through the core of a bodyboard and helps the board to be able to bounce back to its original shape after flexing. Depending on the make and model of the bodyboard that you buy, the stringer will be either a single a dual or a three string design. Generally, a single stringer in a board is enough to support the needs of most riders as it is capable of taking on a decent amount of impact and the price stays down accordingly as it costs less for the manufacturer to put together. A dual design is also something that you will come across in your search. You will even find that some manufacturers make a shape such as an oval out of the string, to try and support the board as much as possible. In recent years, three string designs have become more and more popular. This is largely due to the fact that a three string design allows a bodyboard to be able to flex where the riders elbows are. Three string designs are much stronger than single string designs as a result of the extra flexibility that these strings let the board take on.
There are several different types of bodyboard tails available in the marketplace and each of them have their own purposes and impact the board in different ways. Here is a breakdown of the bodyboard tails that are available:
These are generally the most common type of tail in the market. This type of tail allows riders to have more control as it forms a wide “U” like shape on the rear of the bodyboard, which puts more of your body on top of the board. This board is ideal for people that like to ride on their knees or those who like to lie down and board. This is the most popular type of tail for people that like to ride on big waves as it allows you to be able to turn with ease and the board is actually pretty comfortable to paddle around on.
The reason this type of tail is called a bat tail is because, quite simply, the tail looks sort of like the wingspan of a bat. This type of tail is used for almost the exact opposite purpose of a crescent tail. Bat tails are meant to be used on smaller waves and are also ideal if you are a heavy rider. There is quite a bit of buoyancy on the back of the board to keep you afloat. A bat tail is ideal for someone who likes smooth turns and who likes to travel around at fast speeds.
Nose and Nose Bulbs
This part of the board is the main part of the board that affects your ability to be able to turn the board. There can be a big difference in a board’s ability to manauevre based on just how wide the nose of the board is. A wider board is a board that is generally over eleven inches in length; these types of boards are ideal for people that like to ride around on their knees or that are new to the sport. A board that is wide will have reduced speed, which is definitely something that you should keep in mind. A narrower board will give you the most amount of maneuverability, but too much maneuverability can result in a loss of control and it can be hard to find the balance that is best for you. It is generally recommended to get a wide board if you don’t have a whole lot of experience behind you, which is something that you may want to keep in mind. The extra stability and buoyancy that wide boards offer are much easier to learn on. You will find it much easier to switch to a narrower board from a wider board later on when you have a bit of experience behind you.
If you want to be able to maintain control of your board in heavy waves, then one of the crucial things to take a look at is the rail of your board. The rail of your board is essentially the sides of the board that run all the way from the front to the back of the board. A rail is generally broken down into two different sections. The two sections being: the chine of the board, which is essentially the top part of the board’s edge and the other section being the bottom of the board, which is usually just referred to as the rail. Generally the manufacturer will state what the rail of a board is like as a ratio. For example: a 70/30 ratio means that just 30 percent of the chine of the board is connected to the actual deck of the board and 70 percent of the board makes contact with the water. It really boils down to how much of your board you want in the water; it can definitely take some time to develop preference as to how you like your rail.
The overall length of your board can have a huge impact on your board’s performance and your ability to be able to use the board properly. Getting the right size for your body is very important. Getting a board that is too small for you can potentially cause you to hit the tail of your board as you are paddling, slowing you down. Getting too long of a board can make it difficult to control and it can also make it pretty slow moving on the water as it can have an impact on proper paddling technique. To make sure that you get the proper size, it is a good idea to also think about the areas that you are going to be using the board in. I f you plan to ride massive waves with your board then you may want to get yourself a smaller board to increase your control. A larger board on the other hand, could very well be the best option for you if you go into shallower waters and hit smaller waves. Larger boards are more buoyant and you will find that larger boards are easier to balance on as well which is ideal for taking on the constant force of smaller waves.
Almost all of the decks that you come across in the marketplace will be made up of polyethylene. You should look for boards that have a density of 8 lb per inch as this is generally the standard that most bodyboard manufacturers aim for on their decks. The other kind of deck you will find on lower end boards is something called d a crosslink deck. These types of deck usually have a density of 6 lbs per square inch and you will generally find that these are more durable, but much more stiff than that of a polyethylene deck. The main thing you need to know about crosslink decks is that they require much more waxing than polyethylene due to their smooth to the touch feel. On the top of some boards, one thing that you will often see is that the manufacturer contour the deck. It is important to realize that this doesn’t mean you are looking at a lower quality board. Many riders prefer contours as they allow you to be able to see exactly where you should have your body while riding, so that you are riding in proper form. In fact, getting a contoured board for your first board may be a good idea while you master proper technique.
Warranty/ Return Policy
One thing that is extremely important, regardless of the amount you spend on a board, is that you can have peace of mind with your purchase. Making sure that the company you are dealing with has a reasonable return and a lengthy warranty policy is a good way to familiarize yourself with the company that you are dealing with. It is always a good idea to compare the length of warranty terms and it is even a good idea to read over the clauses, so that you know the kind of condition that the product has to be in so that is can qualify for a return.
Hopefully after reading this article, you now feel as though you are better informed about bodyboards and that you can make a more educated purchasing decision. Buying your first board is never easy, you really haven’t developed a personal preference towards anything yet and narrowing down things can seem next to impossible. It is important to realize that unless you are buying yourself a cheap, defective, board then no matter the board you buy, it is not going to be impossible to learn on. You can only improve once you start practicing. Best of luck in your search for a bodyboard and hope that you find yourself an awesome one!
bodyboard sport in waves via alfcermed/Pixabay