Bodyboarding’ among the most popular water sports in the entire world. Like surfing, bodyboarding, or boogie boarding, as it sometimes referred to, is about using boards to ride waves. Unlike surfing, though, bodyboarding is usually with a person sitting flat on their stomach. The board’s also smaller than a surfboard.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Bodyboards
- BEST DROP-KNEE: Hubboards Dubb
- MOST DURABLE: Lucky Bums
- BEST VALUE: Own the Wave
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- Top 3 Best Bodyboards (Summary)
- Best Bodyboards of 2020
- How to Choose the Best Bodyboard
- Top 5 Best Bodyboard Brands on the Market
- How to Bodyboard (Video Guide)
- Bodyboards FAQ’s
Top 3 Best Bodyboards (Summary)
For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.
Despite being smaller, bodyboards can surf with the best waves out there. Some of the best surfers in the world like to use bodyboards. For those who are looking for the best in the business, here are eight of the best bodyboards people can buy for 2020.
Best Bodyboards of 2020
1. Hubboards Dubb Edition PP Pro Plus
In bodyboarding, drop-knee is the art of riding the board with one knee on the board and the other foot facing forward. It can be a difficult technique to master, and since bodyboards don’t have fins, weight means a lot. It’s best to use a large board for drop-knee boarding, such as Hubboards Dubb Edition Pro Plus.
The Dubb Pro’s built for drop-kneeing boarders, but its good for prone or stand-up surfing. Coming in versions ranging from 40.5-42.5″, its reinforced to allow for the extra weight. The 40.5″ uses a single stringer, while the larger versions have two. It also has a mesh, a wire that helps the board’s durability.
To help with grip, the deck of the board is line contour, allowing the hands and knees to keep a stable grip at all times.
This is one of the best bodyboards out there, but this won’t be for beginners. Drop-kneeing is a technique that takes time and practice to master. As such, beginners shouldn’t try and go for it right off the bat. Once they’ve practiced enough at it, this board will be worth the investment of time and money.
- Comes in 40.5-42.5″ models
- Uses stringers for durability: one for the 40.5″, two for the 42.5″
- Mesh wire to help with durability
- Line contour deck allows for hands and knees to keep solid grip
- Not for beginners to try drop-kneeing
2. Lucky Bums Bodyboard
Wipeouts are an inevitable part of surfing that surfers must deal with. They can be embarrassing or even hurt, and they can sometimes break a board since no surfer wants a jury to cut, its best to get as durable aboard as possible. For bodyboarders, they need the Lucky Bums Bodyboard.
Made from an EPS core and a high-density plastic bottom, this board’s a mixture of durability and lightweight. The base can stand all kinds of waves and wipeouts. To help with wave riding, the Lucky Bums has 60/40 rails and rear channels, plus a strap on a leash. It can crash into a sandbar and still turn out fine.
Don’t expect it to stay in great shape forever, though. Sooner or later, this board will succumb to wear and tear; some sooner than others. Lucky Bums is aware of this problem and has stated they will replace any faulty product. The fact that they are willing to replace the boards shows the confidence that Lucky Bums has in its products. That is a good sign that they only expect the best for their boards.
- 60/40 rail
- Strap on leash
- EPS core and high-density slick make it lightweight and tough
- Lucky Bums will replace faulty boards with better ones
- Can start to wear and tear earlier than normal
3. Own the Wave Wave Weapon Body-Board
For those who are looking to get the best out of what they buy, the Own the Wave ‘Beach Attack Pack’ is going to give them the best bang for their buck. It comes with the lightweight ‘WAVE WEAPON’ bodyboard. It is made with a high-speed slick bottom, an EPS core, rear channels, and a crescent tail to provide high performance.
That’s not all, though. Included in this pack is Own the Wave’s PREMIUM bodyboard leash, and a set of fin tethers for swimming fins. Own the Wave even provides printed instructions on how to install everything, and look after the board.
Some customers have complained about the quality of these boards being low in the past. Own the Wave is aware that their products won’t always be up to par, but they offer a 100% guarantee. If people are not happy with the WAVE WEAPON, they can return it in the first 12 months for a refund or replacement. That shows how confident they are in their products, and shows that the WAVE WEAPON can be trusted.
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- EPS core
- Rear channels
- Crescent tail
- Comes with premium leash, fin harnesses, and instruction booklet
- 100% money back guarantee in the first year
- Quality has been criticized in the past
4. Custom X Beast – Best for Big Surfers
The problem with bodyboards is that they tend to be small in comparison to surfboards. While that’s necessary, that means that people who are taller or weigh more may not be able to partake in the fun of boogie-boarding. The solution is to get a bodyboard that will accommodate more prominent people. That’s where the Custom X Beast comes in.
It has all the usual bells and whistles found on body boards, but the big difference is the sheer size. The smallest is over 42″, while the biggest goes up to 48″ in length; that’s four feet of the board! The largest size can handle people 6’6″ and over no problem. To help with durability, the Custom X has two graphite stringers, making it even tougher. It’s perfect for the giant surfers who want to enjoy the waves.
The downside to this board is how big it is. Storing a four-foot boogieboard can be a bit of a hassle, especially inside of a car or truck. Given the weight, it can hold on it, though it will be worth the trouble in the end.
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- Hold the biggest surfers imaginable
- Two graphite stringers to increase durability
- Storing it can be a problem due to size
How to Choose the Best Bodyboard
Before going out to buy a bodyboard, there are a few things that need considering. They all have to do with the different parts that make up the bodyboard.
The first thing to look at is the core. It’s what the board’s made of, and it can decide how well it does in the water. There’s two main types of cores, PE and PP. They’re both foam, but they’re made of different kinds.
PE cores are the most common. The heavier of the two, they offer a lot of flexibility, and thus more control. They can bend and mold themselves to match waves. They’re great in cooler waters.
PP Cores are lighter, but also stronger and faster than PE Cores. They’re made from beaded foam, and thus can keep their shape very well, increasing their life span. They’re great for surfing in warm waters.
In other words, think about where you want to surf, and use that to decide.
2. Tail Shape
The tail’s a big factor in how a bodyboard does. The shape of the tail decides what direction the board will move in under the best circumstances. The narrower a tail, the easier it is to move. A wider tail, though, offers greater stability.
Contours are not only stylish, they help the board respond better in the water. They provide grip, comfort, and help you stay on the board. That can be a lifesaver when things start to get dicey on the water.
Everyone’s going to have a different height and weight, so its a good idea to find the board that fits yours best. A board that’s too small won’t offer enough flotation, making you slower. Choose a board that complements your height and weight.
There’s also the kind of waves you’re seeking. Smaller waves will need a bigger board. Bigger waves will need a smaller board, so you have more control of your movements.
Top 5 Best Bodyboard Brands on the Market
Modern bodyboarding traces back to the innovation of one man, Thomas Morey. Born in 1935, Morey had an early passion for water sports like surfing, something that carried over into adulthood. After majoring in Math at the University of Southern California, Morey went to work as an engineer for Douglas Aircraft. Still, his love was always for surfing and waves.
So, he quit his job and became an inventor, creating innovations for the sport he loved. After years of developing new surfing inventions, in 1971, Morey would hit upon his most significant idea ever: the bodyboard. Using a 9-foot piece of foam, he cut in two and covering it in a newspaper; he ironed it into the desired shape. The next day, July 7th, 1971, Morey tested it out on the beaches of the Big Island, Hawaii. It got the name “boogie board” from Morey’s love of boogie rhythm music at the time.
By the end of the year, Morey had signed a deal with a surfing company and was producing dozens of boards a week. His creation became the basis for modern boogie-board. He sold Morey off in 1975 and started a career as a singer and ukulele play known as “Y.” He has since returned to the surfing industry, while Morey remains one of the most popular brands of bodyboards in the world.
2. Science Bodyboards
Born in Hawaii in 1963, Mike Stewart has been a surfer almost his entire life. It also helped that, in 1976, the teenager met with Tom Morey, the godfather of the bodyboard. Stewart would pioneer the art of bodyboarding in his way. He popularized the idea of riding the board from the prone position and developed some of the earliest tricks of the trade. By the early 1980s, Stewart was considered by many to be one of the best surfers in the world.
Stewart’s won more than nine world bodyboarding tour titles throughout his career, but he hasn’t stopped there. In northern Oahu lies one of the best surfing spots in the world, the Banzai Pipeline. Created from wave breaks on three underwater reefs, the Pipeline’s a place that few have mastered. Every so often, one surfer who’s beaten the Pipeline is crowned Mr. Pipeline, and Stewart’s the only bodyboarder ever to do it.
In 1998, Stewart would found his own bodyboard company, Science Bodyboards. He continues to surf around the world while teaching the next generation of surfers as the bodyboarding king.
Jeff and Dave Hubbard: brothers, world champion bodyboarders, and owners of Hubboards. Founded in 2013, Hubboards is still a new company on the scene, but it has a lot of potential for itself. It’s already delivered high-quality bodyboards like the Dubb Edition PP Pro, and that’s not all. Aside from bodyboards, they also make wet suits, swimming accessories, and swim fins. Hubboards stands to become a big player in the surfing industry with the way it’s going.
4. Custom X
Debbie Colwell got her start in the bodyboarding industry with none other than the godfather of bodyboarding, Tom Morey. She used her time at Morey Boogie to hone her skills in making bodyboards, and in 1987, she founded Custom X.
In 1993, she joined forces with two other people in the industry to found Superior Foam Products, Inc. She continues to run Custom X on the side with the help of her employees and takes pride in creating high-quality products. After buying various production facilities in 2012, Custom X’s expanded to creating surf gear, fishing gear, paddles, and more. They continue to work towards building a better future for the industry.
Manta’s the original Australian bodyboard brand. In 1985, Manta was founded in one of the surfing capitals down under Cronulla, home to talented surfers and massive waves. From there, Manta has expanded its operations, becoming one of Australia’s top bodyboard companies. Still based in Cronulla, their mission remains the same as always: to have fun even in the harshest conditions.
How to Bodyboard (Video Guide)
Q: What are Slicks and What Types are There?
A slick is the material on the bottom of the bodyboard. It’s what comes in contact with the water while riding waves. There are two main types of slicks. There is the Surlyn slick, the most common material. Made out of a composition of resin and elastic plastics, they help the board respond to stress and help it keep its shape. The second, cheaper type is HDPE. With its look and texture, its almost identical to surlyn. Since it gives off less pressure, it tends to last longer at the cost of performance.
Q: What are Channels?
Channels are the small grooves on the bottom of a slick. They help the board hold its position in the water while it moves. They’re narrower on the front of the board, and get wider in the back as it goes along.
Q: What’s the Most Common Channel?
That would be the Concave. They run half the legnth of the bodyboard to the back of the hull. They maximize down-the-line speed to help the board go faster.
Q: What are Chines?
Chines are the part of the board that bends around the deck to meet the rails on either side.
Q: What Other Kinds of Tails are There for Bodyboards?
Aside from the crescent tail, the other most popular tail found on bodyboards is the bat tail. As the name suggest, it’s shaped like the wing of a bat. It was popularized by Mike Stewart.
Next to surfboards proper, bodyboards/boogieboards are the most popular ways that people like to surf. Their smaller size and the ease at which they’re carried makes them popular among professionals and casual surfers alike.
As has been shown several times now, bodyboards are capable of surfing with the best of the best, proving that size doesn’t always matter. It may take some practice, but the results can be worth the effort when you’re on that board surfing like a pro!