When you go to the beach and play in the water, a bodyboard makes the ocean much more enjoyable. They are easy to use and amateurs can have fun riding the waves into shore. It brings fun and the sun to a whole new level. If you prefer being out in the water for hours, rather than playing in the sand you need a body board. Bodyboards help you glide across the waves in the ocean allowing you to have hours of fun in the water. All ages can enjoy bodyboards and they do not require advanced skills. We have selected the best bodyboards available on the market. The following bodyboards will allow you to get a bodyboard for all members of your family to enjoy your trip to the beach even more.
Bodyboard Buying Guide
Bodyboards are also called boogie boards. They are relatives of the bigger surfboards. This is the simplest way of riding waves. These boards are ridden by lying down or kneeling on them, unlike with surfboards where one can stand. This makes it easier to ride and is appropriate for all ages. Even small children can use these to ride a few waves.
These boards are shorter and are made from one or combination of plastic materials. They have lightweight plastic type of foam for a core. The simplest would basically be plastic foam. High quality ones have plastic foam at the core with a much harder plastic material at the bottom (referred to as “slick”), with a deck and a few rails. The deck and rails are made with foam softer than the one at the core. The front portion of the board is called the nose. The back portion is referred to as the tail. A lot of boards are further reinforced with graphite or carbon rods, 1-3 rods running down inside, along the board’s length. The rods are called stringers. They provide structural strength as well as spring.
Bodyboards come in different styles. Some have narrow noses while some have broad ones. The tail of the boards can be shaped like a bat-wing whereas other boards’ tails have crescent shapes. The entire board can be flat or with rockers (i.e. The ends are slightly bent upwards). These boards do not have fins or skegs like surfboards do. This allows for better control when doing tricks on the water.
There are two main ways to use these short boards. The intended use helps in determining what type of board to purchase. Belly boarding is riding the board in waist-deep water. This does not require much special considerations.
Another way is to bodyboard. This means using swim fins (attached to the feet) and catching waves beyond the point where the waves break. This means swimming out further to the sea, in deeper waters. If this is the intended use of the boards, a buyer has to consider a few factors. The features of the board make a huge difference with wave-catching and board control while riding the waves.
These are important considerations even though they are not actually attached to the board itself. These are attached to the feet to help in paddling or controlling the board when riding waves. Longer swim fins allows for more paddling power when going out to the water. It also helps to match the speed of the waves in order to catch them. Short swim fins allow for better maneuverability. Whatever the style, swim fins should be snug fitting but not too tight that may cause cramps or cut off circulation.
Width and Length
Bodyboards need to be of adequate width and length to properly accommodate the height of the user. It should also be able t withstand the strength of the waves and stand up to climates where it will be used. These boards may crack under the weight of the user’s body and the waves.
People with heavier bodies need to buy boards that are wider with more tail width. Also, find something with a thicker core.
If the board is too long in relation to the body height, it pushes water, and paddling and controlling are more difficult. If the board is too short, it will not be able to hold the body adequately afloat. It will also feel very loose and more difficult to catch waves with.
To measure, stand with the board out front. The nose should be level with the area between the top of the hip and the navel (belly button). For bodies with heavy set bodies, opt for wider widths to improve flotation, not the longer boards. If unsure, some experts recommend going for medium boards.
Narrow and small boards allow for fast wave-riding. When using in with weak and small waves, it is harder to pull any fancy moves with a narrow board. It is best to use longer boards for smaller waves.
As the name implies, this is the widest portion of boards. It determines what positions are best. For boards with the widepoint in the middle, the best stance for wave-riding is semi-standing or the drop-knee stance and prone or lying on the stomach. For boards with the widepoint away from the middle, it is best used for bigger waves, where the body weight is more likely to be pulled to account for the higher speeds when riding the waves.
When buying boards, they should be flat. That is, there should be no rockers. Flexed boards or those with rockers tend to glide slower and are more difficult to catch waves with.
Recoil & Flex
These factors determine the projection and speed of board performance. These depend on the type of materials used in the board. Stiff boards are best for riding bigger waves, warmer water and clean surf. These boards are more difficult to control when used in choppy waters.
The boards may also get damaged due to exposure to hotter climates. It is highly advisable to match the board to the user and to where it will be used. For hotter climates, choose boards made from stiffer materials. When using the boards in colder waters, choose ones made with more flexible materials.
Tail & Nose Widths
The width of the nose and the tail are also very important. Wide noses are good for big waves. If used in small to average waves, they push water and slow down the ride.
Wide tails provide more flotation. These work for small and weak surf, too. They tend to slow down speed maneuvers. Spins and slides are loose with bodyboards that have wide tails. Narrow tails are more responsive to maneuvers but provide less flotation.
The shape of the tail is also very important to consider when buying one. Crescent tails give a nice grip on the waves. The grip is better enhanced with deeper tail designs and smaller tail pegs. These are most recommended for drop-knee and prone riding. This tail type is also very versatile and more responsive to maneuvering. It also performs great in all wave conditions.
The bat-wing tail is ideal for riding in weak surf conditions. It gives more speed by increasing flotation at the board’s back end. However, it provides a loose feel to the board, especially when speeds increase.
It is important to note the general wave conditions and temperatures where the bodyboards will be used. They are crucial in determining the features one should look for when buying.