How To Choose The Right Bodyboard

Table of Contents

Bodyboarding is a fun and thrilling water sport that involves riding on waves using a small board that is designed for the purpose. A good bodyboard can make all the difference and enhance your experience. However, choosing the right one can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to choose the right bodyboard.


What is a bodyboard?

A bodyboard is a small board made of foam and fiberglass that is used for surfing. It’s designed to be buoyant, durable and easy to maneuver.


What are the different types of bodyboards?

Bodyboards, also known as boogie boards, come in various types designed for different styles of riding and wave conditions. Here are some of the different types of bodyboards commonly available:

  1. Standard Bodyboard: These are the most common type of bodyboards and are suitable for all skill levels. They typically have a crescent tail, a slick bottom, and a foam core. They are versatile and perform well in various wave conditions.
  2. PE (Polyethylene) Bodyboard: PE bodyboards have a core made of polyethylene foam, which offers a balance of durability, flexibility, and affordability. They are suitable for beginners and intermediate riders.
  3. PP (Polypropylene) Bodyboard: PP bodyboards have a core made of polypropylene foam, which is lightweight and provides increased speed and maneuverability. They are favored by more advanced riders for high-performance wave riding.
  4. NRG (Nextrgen) Bodyboard: NRG bodyboards have a core made of Nextrgen, a high-density polyethylene foam. This material offers enhanced stiffness, durability, and responsiveness, making it suitable for experienced riders seeking maximum performance.
  5. Stringer Bodyboard: Stringer bodyboards have a carbon or fiberglass stringer embedded in the core. The stringer adds stiffness and helps control flex, providing increased speed and responsiveness. They are often preferred by advanced riders in larger or more powerful waves.
  6. Bat Tail Bodyboard: These bodyboards feature a bat-shaped tail, which is wider than a standard crescent tail. The wider tail provides added control and maneuverability, making it suitable for quick turns and high-performance riding.
  7. Drop Knee Bodyboard: Drop knee bodyboards are designed specifically for the drop knee style of riding, where one knee is placed on the board while the other foot remains on the front edge. They typically have a wider template, allowing for stability and control in this riding position.
  8. Big Wave Bodyboard: Big wave bodyboards are designed for riding larger, more powerful waves. They are typically longer, wider, and thicker than standard bodyboards, providing increased buoyancy and stability in challenging conditions.


What size bodyboard do I need?

Bodyboards come in different sizes, and choosing the right one depends on your height, weight, and skill level. Here are some guidelines to follow.

– For riders under 4’5,” a board that is 27 inches or less is suitable.

– For riders between 4’6” to 5’4,” a board that is 33 inches or less is recommended.

– For riders between 5’5” to 6’4,” a board that is between 36 inches to 42 inches is ideal.

– For riders over 6’4,” a board that is 45 inches or more is recommended.


What is the right material for a bodyboard?

Bodyboards are made of different materials, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are the most common materials used in bodyboards.

– Foam: Foam boards are the most popular and affordable. They are light-weight and provide a good amount of floatation.

– Polypropylene: Polypropylene boards are the most durable and responsive. They are commonly used for pro bodyboards.

– Carbon fiber: Carbon fiber boards are the most advanced and expensive. They are lightweight, durable, and provide excellent maneuverability.


What features should I look for?

Bodyboards come with a range of features that can enhance your performance. Here are some of the essential features to consider.

– Slick bottom: Look for a board with a slick bottom, as it helps reduce drag and increase speed.

– Tail design: The tail design affects speed and maneuverability. Crescent tails are the most common and offer excellent control.

– Channels and contours: Channels and contours improve stability and maneuverability, especially in choppy conditions.

– Stringers: Stringers are rods that run down the center of the board. They provide added strength and stiffness, improving the board’s responsiveness.

– Leash: A leash keeps the board attached to your wrist, ensuring that you don’t lose it when you wipe out.


How much does a bodyboard cost?

The price of a bodyboard varies depending on the brand, material, and features. A standard foam bodyboard can cost anywhere between $60 to $100. Polypropylene bodyboards range between $200 to $300, while carbon fiber bodyboards can cost over $500.



Choosing the right bodyboard can make all the difference in your bodyboarding experience. By considering factors such as size, material, and features, you can select a board that meets your needs and budget. Remember to invest in the right equipment, such as fins and a wetsuit, to ensure maximum enjoyment. Happy bodyboarding!

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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