What Is The Slick On A Bodyboard?

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In the realm of water sports, few activities are as exhilarating and accessible as bodyboarding. As riders glide across ocean waves, harnessing the raw power of the sea, a crucial element of their equipment plays a pivotal role in their performance – the slick. The slick, often regarded as the hidden hero of bodyboarding, is a critical component that contributes to the speed, control, and overall experience of riders.

For the uninitiated, the slick refers to the smooth, high-density plastic bottom layer of a bodyboard. Its purpose is twofold: to reduce drag and friction between the board and the water, and to enhance the rider’s ability to maneuver with agility and precision. While seemingly inconspicuous, the slick can make a world of difference in a bodyboarder’s ride, transforming a good session into an unforgettable one.

In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of bodyboarding and shed light on the significance of the slick. We explore its composition, its impact on performance, and the various factors that riders consider when choosing the perfect slick for their bodyboard. Whether you’re an experienced enthusiast looking to fine-tune your gear or a curious newcomer seeking insight into this captivating sport, join us as we unravel the secrets of the slick and discover why it holds a special place in the heart of every dedicated bodyboarder.


What is the Slick?

The term “slick” refers to the bottom surface of a bodyboard. The slick, also known as the slick skin or bottom skin, is typically made of a high-density, smooth material such as Surlyn or HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene). It is attached to the core of the bodyboard and provides several important functions.

The slick bottom of a bodyboard serves to reduce drag and increase speed when riding waves. Its smooth and low-friction surface allows the bodyboard to glide easily over the water, minimizing resistance and enabling the rider to gain momentum. The slick also helps with water flow and channeling, allowing for better control and maneuverability.

In addition to enhancing speed and control, the slick bottom provides durability and protection to the bodyboard. It acts as a barrier between the core of the board and the rough surfaces of sand, rocks, or other obstacles in the water. The high-density material of the slick can withstand impacts and abrasions, ensuring the longevity of the bodyboard.

The slick of a bodyboard is usually black, although it can come in different colors depending on the brand and model. Some bodyboards may have additional features on the slick, such as channels or contours, which further aid in water flow and control.

Overall, the slick is a crucial component of a bodyboard, contributing to its performance, speed, maneuverability, and durability.


What makes a good Slick?

To understand what makes a good slick, we must examine different properties of bodyboard slicks. The overall quality of your board’s slick will depend on three critical aspects:

1. Material

The most commonly used materials for bodyboard slick is Surlyn and HDPE, both of which are known for their durability. However, Surlyn foils tend to have better flexibility, and they are easier to control than HDPE foils. Conversely, HDPE foils have a smoother surface and are more resistant to scratches and warping, making the board more durable and able to handle considerable impact.

2. Thickness

Ideally, the slick should be thick enough to protect against any impact with the ocean floor or other obstacles, but also thin enough to remain lightweight, making it easy to maneuver the board in and around the water’s waves. Experts usually suggest that the ideal thickness of the slick should be between 1.5mm – 2mm.

3. Texture

Finally, slick texture plays a significant role in the performance of the bodyboard. A smooth slick will decrease the drag and create a smoother ride. Conversely, a more textured slick will create greater friction with the water’s surface, allowing for more control and speed when making quick maneuvers.



In conclusion, the slick of the bodyboard is a vital component of the board that affects the overall performance when riding the waves. In selecting the best bodyboard, choosing a quality slick material, thickness, and texture cannot be overemphasized. With the knowledge provided in this article, you can have an easier time selecting a bodyboard that meets your surfing needs. Furthermore, it is recommended that you replace your slick once it begins to show excessive damage or wear, to ensure optimal performance in the water. Therefore, ensure you keep your bodyboard in optimal conditions, so that you can have a great time catching waves in the ocean.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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