Last updated: 16/10/2022

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In today’s text, we will talk all about the bodyboard, the mandatory equipment of one of the most popular sea sports, a sure presence in any beach. With a bodyboard, you have in hands a complete activity, that can entertain a whole family and that can be that motivation you wanted to practice a sport. In this Guide, we will help you find the ideal model, which best matches your level of practice and where and how you want to use it.




Summary

  • The size of your bodyboard has to be suitable for your height, and should be measured with the board that, vertically, reaches your navel.
  • There are ideal bodyboard models for each level of use, from beginner to semi-professional (intermediate) and professional.
  • The two most common materials in the composition of bodyboards are polypropylene and polyethylene, the latter being the most used.

The best Bodyboard: Our Picks

We have put together a list of the best bodyboards on the market, based on the main usage situations. We have also evaluated the quality of the materials, the performance and the cost-benefit of each one.

Buying Guide

The bodyboard is one of the most versatile pieces of water equipment on the market. It suits adults and children alike, from big waves to foamy swells, from the unpretentious alligator to the most complex manoeuvres. Still, there is an ideal model for each type of use. In the Buying Guide below, we’ll help you find the right model for yours, even if it’s a bit of each.

Imagem mostra um rapaz um pouco distante da câmera, deitado em sua prancha de bodyboard, em meio à uma onda.

From big waves to sea foam: the versatility of the bodyboard is great. (Source: Camila Castillo / Unsplash)

Bodyboard for beginners, semi-professional or professional?

There is no specific division between bodyboards, in the sense that there are no different types of this equipment, and, in the end, the bodyboard is itself a niche of the large segment of boards. In any case, what differentiates the various bodyboard models on the market are the different sets of materials, accessories and designs. They, in turn, cater to the types of actions that the surfer does on the board. These actions, finally, define the level of practice of the bodyboarder, which can be beginner, semi-professional (or intermediate) and professional.

Imagem mostra um bodyboarder deslizando por uma onda média.

Your movements in the water define the type of bodyboard you need, between beginner, semi-professional and professional. (Source: alfcermed / Pixabay)

For a beginner, who focuses only on staying on the board and doing the basic movements in smaller waves, the board needs to be stable and light. The ideal is a model with tail (tail) wide and that already comes with a leash (guide) resistant and easy to use. The semi-professional boards are for those who already face waves of greater difficulty and even risk their first maneuvers. If the focus is the waves, still worth a wide tail, for maneuvers, already worth models with narrow tail. The ideal is a body of medium or high density material, but with a good cost-benefit ratio. Professionals, in the end, need to be versatile, flexible and resistant. High density materials, which provide greater resistance, narrow tails and more ergonomic designs, especially in the nose, tend to have a better performance.

Beginner Semi-professional Professional
Feature Stable and lightweight Stable and flexible Flexible and resistant
Tail Wide Wide or narrow Narrow
Density Low Medium – High High

What are the best bodyboard brands?

Besides having the right characteristics, it is important that you choose a bodyboard from a brand of quality and tradition in the segment. Among the national brands, the giant Mormaii stands out, which also produces accessories and surfwear items, and the very traditional Genesis, one of the oldest in the market. GT Boards is another Brazilian brand with a lot of experience in the area. In the group of foreign brands, we highlight: BZ Boards; Science Bodyboards, created by Mike Stewart, one of the greatest bodyboarders of all times; the Californian Custom X; Morey Boogie, the oldest brand in the segment; and No. 6, one of the most recent and innovative.

Bodyboard or surfboard?

In the mind of every first time surfer, that is, the one who wants to catch a wave anyway, but doesn’t know how, lives the eternal doubt between acquiring a bodyboard or a surfboard. Far from comparing the sports, each one with its rich history and its contribution to the maritime and radical sports scene, there are a series of objective questions that can help to solve this doubt, at least at the time of purchase.

Imagem mostra dois rapazes caminhando pela praia, cada um carregando uma prancha de bodyboard debaixo do braço.

Both act on the waves, and beyond the obvious, there are several practical issues that end up differentiating the bodyboard from the surf. (Source: Mael BALLAND / Unsplash)

The point is that, as an activity, bodyboarding is much more practical, which makes the bodyboard a much more versatile purchase. Smaller in size, lighter and without much need for maintenance, the bodyboard is easily transported and can be used by anyone, even if it’s just to float around the sea. Surfing, on the other hand, has a much stronger beach culture. You will have no difficulty finding help to get started – either in content# on the internet, or with the help of a surfer friend -, or to continue, with groups of surfers spread around and several established surf spots all over the Brazilian coast.

Bodyboard Surf
Practicality High Low
Culture Emerging Established
Use Versatile Sporty

Buying Criteria: Choosing your Bodyboard

The following is our exclusive list of buying criteria. Their items are outstanding features of the bodyboard that deserve special attention when buying.

  • Size
  • Tail
  • Block material
  • Leash

So let’s talk about each of these items, so that you know exactly what you are buying, and thus make the best choice.

Size

The size of the board is essential for your best performance on it, and mainly your comfort. There is a board size best suited for each height, and it should be calculated with the board in the vertical position. The ideal model is one that, with the back part on the ground, has the front part in line with your navel. The same goes for the height of the knees and chin, with the latter “playing the role” of the navel. Don’t worry about the exact size, there’s a margin of error of a couple of centimetres. If you’re buying online, take a look at the reference table below.

Height (m) Board size (inches)
1.20 – 1.45 30
1.45 – 1.65 34
1.65 – 1.85 38
1.85 – 42 – 45

Tail

The tail of the board defines the level of stability and speed.

The tail of the board is what defines the level of stability and speed, which are inversely proportional. The wider ones are more stable, and therefore slower, ideal for beginners or for a quieter “navigation”. The narrower tails, on the other hand, are faster, perfect for those looking to do maneuvers, which naturally leaves the board more unstable, better navigated by experienced bodyboarders.

Block material

The block material, which is the bulk of the bodyboard – the skeleton, so to speak – directly influences the model’s performance. There is no single ideal material, but a group of quality components. The most common and equally efficient are Polyethylene (PE), which can have low or high density, Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS) and Polyurethane (PU).

Leash

This last point is simpler. The guide, or leash, is essential for the safety of the bodyboarder, and also not to lose the board in the case, or better, when it rolls that that shock. Even so, there are models that do not come with a built-in leash. It is worth, therefore, to give preference to those that have the guide in the package. (Source of the highlighted image: OMNA / Pixabay)

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