Boogie boards or bodyboards really began to get commercialized and received some adventurous innovations through the modifications brought on by Tom Morey in 1971. Anyone looking to the waves in order to join the ranks of Mike Stewart and other professionals needs to know a little about the available options before buying their first boogie board, and while you may not be doing aerial 360s and air roll spins right away, this information will get you in the water with a board that is best suited to the game.
The first thing to look for when browsing for that first boogie board is going to be the type of material that the board is constructed from. There are a myriad of different foams which give the different options to choose from. Polyethylene (or dow) and polypropylene are the two main foam materials that these boards are shaped from and it is likely that one or the other is going to be the best core material. The dow material will be slightly heavier and give some added weight to the board, but it has been used for many decades now and is great for colder waters. The polypro boards are a bit lighter and stiffer. In general, it is going to be a matter of preference with either being great options.
Stringers are another innovation which may be desirable in some of the rougher condition and especially with polypro boogie boards. They help reduce deformation in the board by basically acting as the spine which creates the solidness that can allow the board to hold together in tougher conditions. There are single stringer boards as well as double and tri-stringer variants which all can create a slightly different rider experience. These stringers can be essential in some of the warmer waters because the polypro boards can loosen up and flex with such temperatures and the extra reinforcement helps mostly prevent this.
Next there is the tail type of the boogie board which is another option that has a number of variants and should be looked at when buying your first boogie board. As one of the most important features for beginners there are two main types known as crescents and bat tails. The crescent tail has less contact with the surface of the wave which means that the fluidity of the boogie board is heightened so that overall the board is looser and responds faster. Then there is the bat tail which has a plethora of proponents and was designed by one of the premier bodyboarders in the sport so that you know it has a lot going for it in terms of performance. The type of riding being done can help determine the board tail type to get. If looking to go drop-knee then the crescent is the way to go, but otherwise prone riders might be more satisfied with the bat tails.
Finally, there is the length of the boogie board which needs to be suitable for the rider. It should reach from the floor to about an inch or so to the rider’s navel area. So taller riders will naturally need to go for a larger board while shorter riders can ease up a bit on the overall length of the board.
Boogie boards are a great source of fun and entertainment, and they come in an assortment of colors and logos for added customization and personality. A beginner looking to buy his or her first boogie board can also take some advice from some of the others who have been involved with the water sport for some time, as their experience will help work out the details. In no time you too will be out on the waves performing El Rollos and other extreme riding tricks.