What’s the best boogie board for 2021?
Boogie boards, also known as bodyboards, are like smaller versions of surfboards designed to ride waves in a prone position. Although there’s plenty of skill involved in boogie boarding, the basics are simple enough for beginners to pick up quickly.
Whether you live near the sea and want to take up bodyboarding as a serious hobby, or you just want a board to mess around on while you’re on vacation, here are the best boogie boards of 2021. The Thurso Surf Lightning Bodyboard PE Core is our overall favorite.
What to know before you buy a boogie board
Before heading off on your boogie board beach vacation, it’s crucial to get the right size. Your boogie board should reach from your knees up to your chin. When buying a bodyboard in person, you can simply hold the board up to yourself to find the right size, but when you’re buying online, you’ll need to measure your knees to your chin while standing up straight. Most adults need bodyboards between 40-42 inches in length, while kids’ boogie boards usually measure between 32-39 inches.
Rocker is the name for curvature in a boogie board from nose to tail. A quality bodyboard should be flat without any rocker. This makes it easier for you to catch waves and makes the board faster overall, since boards with a rocker push water and slow you down. Although turns are more manageable with some rockers, the flexibility of these boards means you can manually bend them when you need some extra turning power.
Although you won’t see the core of your boogie board, it’s one of the critical elements in its overall performance. An EPS core is the most common option on entry-level bodyboards. It’s great for beginners since it offers plenty of buoyancy and flex.
Polyethylene is better for use in cooler waters where it has good flex but doesn’t feel too soft, while polypropylene is better for use in warmer waters since it feels too still when cold. High-end boogie boards can either have dual cores containing both PP and PE, or low-density PP cores that retain their flexibility in cool water without feeling overly soft in warm water.
What to look for in a quality boogie board
Bodyboards can either have crescent tails or bat tails. For most riders and conditions, we’d recommend a crescent tail shape, as it offers good all-around performance in a range of conditions. Bat tails can give you more speed, but it feels looser on the waves. This tail shape is better for weaker surf and more unpredictable conditions than for heavier boarders who need more buoyancy at the rear of the board.
Channels are grooves in the underside of a bodyboard. The design gives you more grip in the water, but they should still allow you easy release to perform spins and maneuvers.
Nose bulbs are finger grips carved out from the underside of a board at the nose. They’re especially helpful if you like riding a heavy board or taking heavy drops.
How much you can expect to spend on a boogie board
You can find basic boogie boards for as little as $30, while professional-grade boards can cost more than $500. Expect to pay between $80-$150 for a decent bodyboard for recreational use.
Boogie board FAQ
Is boogie boarding easier than surfing?
A. Although it takes time and effort to fully master boogie boarding, it’s much easier to pick up the basics of boogie boarding than to learn the basics of surfing since part of the goal of surfing is to stand up on your board. In contrast, boogie boarders often remain lying down on their boards. As such, if you’re looking for a casual vacation hobby, you’re probably better off bodyboarding rather than surfing.
Do you need fins for boogie boarding?
A. Fins certainly aren’t essential when bodyboarding, but they help you move faster through the water, so you’re more likely to catch waves just at the right moment. If you’re new to boogie boarding and just want to paddle around and see a little bit of surf to push you back toward the shore, you don’t need fins. On the other hand, if you’re interested in riding across waves from before their breaking point, you’ll want fins to help you get where you need to be.
What’s the best boogie board to buy?
Top boogie board
Thurso Surf Lightning Bodyboard PE Core
What you need to know: This is a durable, stable choice for beginners who are serious about learning to boogie board or are intermediate boogie boarders.
What you’ll love: It has excellent glide while retaining stability, comes with a bodyboard leash, is well-cushioned for comfort and has a high-density, heat-laminated IXPE deck.
What you should consider: A minority of buyers state the board isn’t as durable as they’d like.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top boogie board for the money
Bo-Toys Bodyboard Lightweight with EPS Core
What you need to know: This is an affordable kids boogie board with two sizes for younger kids and teens.
What you’ll love: It’s reasonably priced, available in a range of colors and lightweight enough for kids to handle.
What you should consider: It’s great for occasional use but could be sturdier overall.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is an excellent Morey boogie board with a high-density EPS and durable skin.
What you’ll love: The channels in the base increase grip and minimize turbulence. It’s lightweight yet durable and has a user-friendly crescent tail.
What you should consider: It might not stand up for serious boarders.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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