Sizing Dimensions of the Bodyboard
We’ve established that length is going to be an important characteristic of your board, perhaps the first thing you even look at.
Here are the other factors you need to work into your decision:
This is the tip of the board including the rail skins.
For surfers who want a large planing area in the front of the board, a wider nose width will do. For drop-knee surfers, a narrower nose width will allow more balance since the weight is concentrated on the tail.
The board width is measured from the widest point of the board.
Generally, the board width will depend on what type of waves you will be surfing – and not what you can fit under your arm – as we mentioned earlier.
Bodyboards with bigger widths deliver better flotation and are best suited for small and weak waves, while narrower boards are meant to surf bigger and stronger waves.
If you are a beginner, consider getting a wider board at first before you move to narrower ones.
Another part of the boogie board that would affect your surfing experience is the width of the board’s tail.
A board with a narrow tail can allow for more spins and quick turns, but offers less control. (And this is why we don’t recommend a narrow tail to beginners or less- experienced surfers.) A wider tail, on the other hand, picks up speed faster but is not easy to turn.
This refers to the wide-point distance from the nose of the board.
For drop-knee surfers or more versatile surfers who would like to ride more waves, wide points further back of the board are recommended.
Types of Bodyboards
You’ve learned a lot and you’re getting closer to that board!
But before you hit the shop, let’s get an overview of what types of boards are out there and how they affect your surf.
For Beginners and Young Ones
The bodyboard size for a beginner bodyboarder or a child would slightly differ from bodyboards of more experienced surfers.
For either group, float is going to be important.
Generally, a beginner would have a rough time riding the waves if he or she cannot stay afloat for a long while out in the water.
If you are a beginner or would like to choose a boogie board for your child, make sure that the length of the board is proportional to height and weight according to our boogie board sizing chart.
Getting that size right is going to allow for more time on top of the waves – and more fun!
What it’s made of matters!
For a beginner’s bodyboard, we recommend getting one that is made of an EPS (expanded polystyrene) core. An EPS core allows for more buoyancy, strength and cushioning – all important things for bodyboarders learning to surf.
In terms of other parts of the bodyboard, HPDE decks have a low resistance which can translate to more speed even on smaller waves.
On the other hand, XPE or IXPE decks offer greater resistance and high rigidity, which translates to higher durability.
Lastly, a board with a crescent tail or a bat tail will make it easier for the beginner surfer to position himself on the board.
For More Experienced Bodyboarders
A bodyboarder with intermediate bodyboarding experience has a little more flexibility in choosing a board.
Rather than pick a ride solely based on height, weight and body type, a more experienced surfer can look for a board that fits their riding style.
But I thought size was important!
The size of the bodyboard is still highly dependent on the physical factors of the surfer, but more skill on the waves means that you can vary the width and type of your board for a more diverse surfing experience.
Consider the core.
Knowing the ideal type of core for your bodyboard is significant in order to maximize the number of maneuvers that you can do while out in the water.
Bodyboards made out of PE (polyethylene) and PP (polypropylene) cores are great for experienced surfers who can do more tricks while surfing.
PE cores are less expensive and are recommended for surfers who ride in the cold water, while PP cores stiffer than PEs but tend to resist choppy waves and work well in hot water climates.
In terms of the slick and deck, a Surlyn slick and PE deck are highly recommended for experienced surfers. These will offer the surfer more control over the wave as well as greater flexibility.
You’re Ready to Buy a Board!
We know you’re feeling serious about buying that board – and we hope our helpful hints and bodyboard sizing chart have helped you feel more confident in seeking out your bodyboard.
Choosing the perfect combination of right size, type, style and design isn’t an easy task, especially if it’s your first time.
But the feel of the wave and the full-on thrill of riding will make the search worth it!
Rest assured, once you’ve answered the question “what size bodyboard do I need?’ and taken into consideration all of the factors we’ve discussed today, you’re well on your way!
Before leaving, here is an article on “How to Wax Bodyboard” I recommend you to read (https://fergalsmith.com/how-to-wax-a-bodyboard/)