If you’re wanting to get out into the surf, don’t have $500+ for surf gear, nor the time to learn; bodyboarding is for you!
I surf and boogie board. Whilst they’re completely different, they are both just as fun as each other.
But, there are a few reasons that for most people, bodyboarding wins hands-down:
- There’s no learning curve before having fun, jump straight in and get started
- You’re not reliant on large surf, you can boogie board on tiny waves
- The cost of getting started with bodyboarding is a fraction of what it will cost to start surfing.
Below, we’ve split our guide into sections including:
- The 14 best boogie board brands
- The 3 best boards available in 2020
- Which size bodyboard you need
- Additional gear you need to start bodyboarding
The 14 Best Bodyboard Brands
If you’ve ever owned a bodyboard before you’ll know one thing; they break.
Well, not all of them.
If you buy a cheap boogie board from a low-end brand, don’t expect much in terms of value for money; they just don’t last.
So, whilst I’d urge you to check out recommendations for specific boards, at the very least, stick to the most well-known and best bodyboard brands.
There’s a tonne of brands to choose from, and here’s our top 14:
- 662 Boards
- Body Glove
- BZ Boards
- California Board Compan
- Gold Coast Surfboards
- Liquid Shredder
- Lucky Bums
- Mike Stewart Science
- Thurso Surf
The 3 Best Bodyboards In 2020
So, let’s get to it. For bigger guys and adults in general, we’ve got two options:
- The #1 best bodyboard
- The best bodyboard under $100
The #1 Best Bodyboard
If you’ve got a budget of over $100, you’re going to get a high-quality board.
But, there’s a few options here. And to add to confusion, they’re all roughly the same price!
I’d be weighing up the:
- Morey Mach from BZ Boards
- Custom-X Titan
- Lightweight Thurso Surf
So, which one’s the best and why?
Custom-X Titan Bodyboard Review
If I was buying a new bodyboard today, this is where I’d be putting my money.
The Custom-X Titan isn’t a cheap board.
On the flip-side, it’s over half the price of the high-end products such as the Science boards and offers similar features.
Body & Dropped-Knee Riding
Get a hold of most bodyboards, and you’ll notice they’re flexible.
That’s not a bad thing.
However, if you’re looking to ride on your knees on occasion, your board won’t have the stiffness in the shell to support your weight. And that converts to lack of buoyancy, and manoeuvrability.
The Custom-X Titan is flexible where it needs to be but has been constructed with dropped-knee riders in mind – there’s stiffness there if you need it.
Besides the actual ride, the difference between high-end and low-end boards is the construction.
With the Custom-X Titan, you’ll get solid Surlyn slick bottom and channels. This is the #1 material to use if you want a long-lasting board.
Combine that with a Wave-Plank Polyethylene Core, and you’ve got a board that’s going to outlast you!
You’ll get a crescent tail on the Custom-X Titan. That’s going to give you initial bite on waves (perfect for beginners), but plenty of control (ready for learning tricks when you progress to intermediate and beyond).
Stringer wise, you’ll get a single on the 41-43” boards. And that’s going to be a double on the 44-45” boards that are suitable for bigger guys and gals.
The Custom-X Titan isn’t the type of product that’s dirt-cheap, sold in the thousands, and low quality.
Instead, it’s high-end and therefore, doesn’t have as many online reviews as most. However, go and check out these reviews, and you’ll see that owners love their Titan.
Our Pick: The Best Bodyboard Money Can Buy
Dropped Knee Riding
Why we chose the Custom X Titan
There are budget bodyboards available, but for the price, the Custom X Titan offers the best value for money.
- Long lasting
- Flexible in terms of body/dropped-knee riding
- There are cheaper beginner boards available
The Best Bodyboard Under $100
There are a tonne of quality bodyboards under $100.
In fact, the one we’re suggesting for those looking for the best cheap bodyboard is under $50!
BPS STORM Body Board Review
As we’ve mentioned, the BPS STORM board is going to give you plenty of change from a $100 bill.
But, it’s not price alone that makes this the best cheap bodyboard. The quality (just check out the online reviews) on offer, rivals that of boards in the $80-100 range.
For a lightweight boogie board, the STORM is incredibly durable. It’s got the slick bottom you need to get speed, but also a strong EPS core, meaning unlike other cheap bodyboards – it’s going to last.
In fact, BPS are so confident in their bodyboards that they offer a money-back guarantee on delivery, and a manufacturing defect warranty of 12 months.
Free Leash & Fin Savers
When you purchase your BPS board you’ll get a free leash, and fin savers.
I’m a sucker for online reviews. And, the more reviews there are online, the bigger picture you can get of the product you’re buying.
The BPS storm has a 100s of reviews, and that’s because it’s one of the best sellers online in the cheap bodyboard category.
Go check them out!
The Best Bodyboard For Kids
So, we’ve covered the best bodyboard for adults, but what about if you’re taking kids boogie boarding too?
Here’s what we think is the best bodyboard for children.
Lucky Bums Kids Board
So, for kids, you’re going to be looking towards the lower end of that spectrum.
The size of the board you buy, doesn’t really affect the quality. For instance, a 41” Lucky Bums has a similar interior construction as the 33”.
However, the size board you need comes down to weight and height. And, a child on a 33” board, is going to be nowhere near as heavy as someone on a 41”.
And that’s a good thing, because you can get away with a much cheaper board.
In this case, the Lucky Bums can be found online usually for under $50.
Compare that to high-quality adult boards that are $100 and beyond, and we think you’re grabbing a bargain!
The Lucky Bums board design is perfect for beginners.
It’s got rear channels, and 60/40 rails. That means grabbing a wave is easy and learning to turn (or even to do tricks) isn’t going to be far behind.
And, that’s because most are made from cheap foam; that’s not the case with the Lucky Bums board.
It’s got a polyethylene bottom that’s slick (and designed for speed), and a lightweight but durable EPS core.
That doesn’t just mean it’s durable, it means it’s buoyant too, something that can’t be said for cheap foam boards.
You shouldn’t be hitting the surf without a leash. The first wave your child catches, and the board will be off!
Lucky Bums include a free leash with each purchase of their boogie boards.
OK, so this board isn’t particularly technical.
It’s not the #1 best bodyboard on the market, but it comes close when you consider durability, design and price.
Which Size Bodyboard Do You Need?
Bodyboard sizing is incredibly important. Get a board that’s too small, and you’ll find that it’s hard to catch waves, and it won’t support your weight.
Each manufacturer will have their own bodyboard sizing chart, so make sure you check them out.
Each brand’s chart will vary slightly, as the construction of different boards means the level of buoyancy varies too.
Essentially, the taller and heavier you are, the bigger the board you need. So, for you bigger guys, you’ll be looking at the high-end.
Typically, the 42”-44” is the most suitable for the average adult. That covers anything from 160lbs-220lbs and 5ft6”-6ft8”.
Essential Bodyboarding Gear
So, you’ve got your first bodyboard.
Well, you’re going to need gear for your bodyboarding escapades.
#1 – Bodyboard Bag
You’ll need to keep your bodyboard in good condition.
Sand can ruin the slick bottom, wear away at joints and affect speed.
Keep it protected with a bodyboard bag.
#2 – Wetsuit
Unless you live in the tropics, you’re going to need a wetsuit. Without one, you’ll struggle to stay in the water for more than 10-minutes.
For summer, you’ll need something like a 2/3 wetsuit. If you feel the cold a little more than most, head for a 3/2.
My 2/3 comes from O’Neill. It’s mid-range in terms of quality, but O’Neill tend to offer much higher quality wetsuits in comparison to other brands in the price range, so I’d certainly recommend them.
#3 – Wetsuit Boots
I tend to wear wetsuit boots for bodyboarding and surfing.
These are important if:
- You surf on rocky beaches, where getting out to the surf can cut your feet to pieces!
- You find that the surf is just that little too cold – wetsuit boots will help maintain a slightly higher body temperature
Like the wetsuit, I use O’Neill wetsuit boots for bodyboarding.
#4 – Fins
If you’re trying to catch big waves and struggling, it might be time to ditch the wetsuit boots, and grab a set of fins.
Not only will you be able to catch bigger waves, you’ll also be able to catch waves for longer, as you won’t tire out as quickly.
Thanks for reading our 5-minute review of the best bodyboards for adults and children.
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