Bodyboarding and Boogie Boarding: Know the Difference

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Are bodyboarding and boogie boarding the same? This is a question that is often asked by water enthusiasts, especially considering that the two sports involve floating on a board and allowing waves to carry you to shore. However, despite their similarities, bodyboarding and boogie boarding are different in several ways. In this article, we will explore the differences between the two and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about which one to try.


What is bodyboarding?

Bodyboarding is a water sport that involves lying on a foam board and riding waves on your stomach or chest. Typically, a bodyboard is made from foam, is shorter than a surfboard, and has a curve on the underside that allows it to glide over the water. A bodyboarder uses fins to kick and navigate the board in the water. Bodyboarding originated in Hawaii in the early 1970s and has become a popular activity all over the world.


What is boogie boarding?

Boogie boarding is a water sport that involves riding waves on a bodyboard. In other words, boogie boarding is essentially the same thing as bodyboarding. The term “boogie boarding” was coined in the late 1980s by a company called Morey Boogie, which was one of the first companies to manufacture bodyboards. The term “boogie” was used because it was a popular dance craze at the time, and the company wanted to appeal to a young, fun-loving audience.


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

The terms “bodyboard” and “boogie board” are often used interchangeably, and in many cases, they refer to the same type of water sport equipment. Both bodyboards and boogie boards are small, rectangular or oval-shaped boards designed for riding waves in the ocean.

However, if we want to differentiate between the two, historically there has been a subtle distinction between the two terms:

  1. Bodyboard: The term “bodyboard” was originally used to describe the boards used in the sport of bodyboarding. Bodyboarding is a water sport where the rider lies on their stomach or drops to their knees on the board, using their fins for propulsion. Bodyboards are typically made of foam core with a slick bottom and are available in various sizes and shapes to accommodate different riding styles and preferences.
  2. Boogie Board: The term “boogie board” emerged as a brand name for a particular type of bodyboard manufactured by the company Wham-O. Over time, “boogie board” has become a genericized trademark and is now commonly used to refer to any type of bodyboard, regardless of the brand. Boogie boards are also made of foam core and feature a slick bottom for enhanced speed and maneuverability.


What are the benefits of bodyboarding?

Bodyboarding provides numerous benefits, both physical and mental. Riding waves on a bodyboard improves cardiovascular endurance, strengthens the core and upper body, and increases balance and coordination. Additionally, bodyboarding can help reduce stress and anxiety by providing an opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the relaxing effects of being in the water.


What are the benefits of boogie boarding?

Since boogie boarding is essentially the same as bodyboarding, it provides many of the same benefits. Riding waves on a boogie board improves cardiovascular endurance, strengthens the core and upper body, and increases balance and coordination. Additionally, boogie boarding can be a fun and exhilarating activity that provides a sense of adventure and excitement.


Which one should you choose?

Ultimately, whether you choose bodyboarding or boogie boarding depends on your personal preferences and goals. If you are looking for a fun and challenging activity that improves physical fitness and mental health, then either sport is a great choice. However, if you want to ride waves on a board that is specifically designed for that purpose, then bodyboarding is the better option. On the other hand, if you prefer a board that is versatile and can be used for other activities besides riding waves, then a boogie board may be the better choice for you.



In conclusion, while the terms “bodyboarding” and “boogie boarding” are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Bodyboarding involves riding waves on a specifically designed foam board, whereas boogie boarding can refer to any type of floating device. Both sports provide numerous physical and mental benefits and can be a fun and challenging activity. Which one you choose ultimately depends on your personal preferences and goals.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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