What is a Bodyboard?

Are you ready to ride waves in style? Well, let me introduce you to the best invention in the surfing world – the bodyboard! If you’re not already familiar with this nifty piece of equipment, you’re in for a treat. From its humble beginnings to the modern and more sophisticated designs, there is so much to know about bodyboarding. So, grab a seat and let me take you through the ultimate guide in everything you need to know about bodyboarding.

What is a Bodyboard?

A bodyboard is a small, foam or foam and fiberglass board designed for riding waves while lying on your stomach. It provides buoyancy and maneuverability, allowing riders to catch waves early and ride them with ease. The board is typically crescent-shaped and has a slick, smooth bottom that enables it to ride atop the water’s surface. Bodyboarding is a fun and exciting alternative to traditional surfing that has gained popularity around the world.


If you’re looking for a fun, fast, and affordable way to ride waves, then bodyboarding might be just what you need. The sport has come a long way since its beginnings in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and today, it has millions of passionate fans around the world.

While bodyboarding might not be as well-known as surfing, it’s still a great way to experience the excitement of riding waves. And, if you’re looking to get into the sport, the first thing you need to do is get yourself a bodyboard. In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into everything you need to know about this amazing piece of equipment, including what it is, how it works, and how to choose one that’s right for you.

What is a Bodyboard?

At its core, a bodyboard is a small, foam or foam and fiberglass board that is designed to be ridden while lying on your stomach. The board provides the rider with buoyancy and maneuverability, allowing them to catch waves early and ride them with ease.

Bodyboards are typically crescent-shaped and have a slick, smooth bottom that allows the board to ride atop the water’s surface. The top of the board, where the rider lies, is usually made of soft, comfortable foam that provides cushioning and helps to prevent injuries.

Bodyboards come in a range of sizes, from small, kid-friendly boards to larger, more advanced boards for experienced riders. The size of the board you choose will depend on your height, weight, and skill level, as well as the size and power of the waves you plan to ride.

How to Choose a Bodyboard


One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a bodyboard is the size. The right size will depend on your height, weight, and skill level, as well as the size and power of the waves you plan to ride.

As a general rule, the length of the board should come up to your belly button when you stand it up vertically on the ground. Your weight should also be taken into account as it will affect the amount of buoyancy you need from the board.


The shape of the board also plays a significant role in how it performs in the water. Some boards are designed with a wider nose, which provides extra lift and stability, while others have a more narrow nose for easier maneuverability.

The tail of the board also varies depending on the desired performance. For example, a crescent tail design provides a better turning ability, while a bat tail design provides more speed.


The core of a bodyboard is the internal part that provides the board’s structure and buoyancy. The most commonly used core materials are polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene. Each material has its own unique properties and benefits.

Polyethylene is the most common core material. It’s affordable, durable and provides good buoyancy. Polypropylene has a similar feel to polyethylene, but it’s lighter and more flexible. Polystyrene is the lightest and most flexible core material but is also the least durable.

Deck and Bottom Materials

The deck and bottom materials of a bodyboard are also important factors to consider. The deck is the top of the board where the rider lies, and the bottom makes contact with the water’s surface.

The most common deck material is polyethylene or soft foam, which provides the rider with comfort and cushioning. For advanced boards, a cross-linked or extruded polystyrene layer is also used to increase the board’s stiffness and responsiveness.

The bottom of a board is typically made of a slick, smooth material like Surlyn or HDPE, which helps the board glide over the water’s surface.

Where to Buy a Bodyboard

If you’re in the market for a new bodyboard, there are two primary options: a surf shop or online retailers. Surf shops offer the benefit of being able to see and touch the board before you buy it, as well as getting advice from experienced staff about what type of board is best for you.

Online retailers, on the other hand, offer a greater selection of boards and often have lower prices. Just be sure to read reviews and find a reputable seller to avoid buying a low-quality board, and don’t forget to factor in shipping costs when comparing prices. And don’t forget, some surf shops offer used surfboards for sale relying on the popularity of the sport.


Bodyboarding is a fun and exciting sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner looking to catch your first wave or an experienced rider looking for a new challenge, there is a bodyboard out there that is perfect for you.

By considering the factors discussed in this post, including size, shape, core material, and deck and bottom materials, you’ll be well on your way to finding the bodyboard that’s right for you. So, get out there and start riding those waves!

Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to bodyboarding, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Always start with smaller waves and work your way up to larger ones as you gain more experience and confidence. Make sure to wear a wetsuit, fins, and a leash to help keep you warm, stabilize your movement in the water, and keep your board nearby.

When paddling out, lie flat on your stomach and use your arms and legs to propel yourself forward. Once you reach the lineup, wait for your turn and avoid dropping in on other riders. And, most importantly, have fun and enjoy the thrill of riding the waves!

Bodyboarding vs. Surfing

While bodyboarding and surfing are similar in that they involve riding waves, they are two distinct sports with unique styles and techniques. Bodyboarding is generally considered an easier and more accessible sport, as it requires less equipment and can be performed on smaller waves.

Surfing, on the other hand, requires more specialized equipment, such as larger boards and multiple fin setups, and it requires a higher level of skill to perform. Additionally, surfing is often seen as a more prestigious and more widely recognized sport, with a larger following worldwide.


So there you have it, everything you need to know about bodyboarding. Whether you’re just starting or you’re already a seasoned rider, the most important thing is to get out there and have fun. All that’s left to do now is grab your board, hit the beach, and ride those waves like never before!


Still have questions about bodyboarding? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about bodyboarding.

1. Is bodyboarding easier than surfing?

Bodyboarding is often considered an easier and more accessible sport compared to surfing. This is because the board is smaller, it requires less equipment and can be performed on smaller waves.

2. What is the difference between a bodyboard and a boogie board?

There’s no difference between a bodyboard and a boogie board, both terms refer to the same piece of equipment. It’s like asking for the difference between soda and pop.

3. Can you bodyboard in big waves?

Yes, more experienced riders can bodyboard in big waves, but it’s not recommended for beginners. Bodyboarding in larger waves requires proper safety equipment and advanced skills.

4. What age can a child start bodyboarding?

Children as young as five years old can start bodyboarding, but only under close supervision and in small waves. Proper safety equipment, such as a wetsuit, fins, and a leash, is also recommended.

5. How do I know what size bodyboard to buy?

The size of the bodyboard you choose will depend on your height, weight, skill level, and the size and power of the waves you plan to ride. Generally, the length of the board should be around your belly button when you stand it up vertically on the ground.

6. What kind of fins do I need for bodyboarding?

Short, stiff fins are ideal for bodyboarding as they provide the rider with better control and maneuverability in the water.

7. Should I use a leash when bodyboarding?

Yes, always use a leash when bodyboarding. The leash is vital to keep the board close to you and prevent it from becoming a hazard to other riders.

8. Can I do tricks on a bodyboard?

Yes, there are numerous tricks you can do on a bodyboard, including 360 spins, cutbacks, and airs. However, these tricks require advanced skills and are not recommended for beginners.

9. How do I take care of my bodyboard?

Rinse your board with fresh water after each use to remove any salt or sand. Store your board in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and warping, and don’t forget to apply wax to the deck periodically to ensure traction.

10. Is bodyboarding dangerous?

Like any water sport, bodyboarding can be dangerous, especially in larger waves or when proper safety equipment is not worn. Always wear a leash, wetsuit, and fins and only ride waves that are appropriate for your skill level.

11. Can I buy a used bodyboard?

Yes, you can buy a used bodyboard, but it’s important to inspect the board for any damage, including cracks or delamination. When buying a