Best bodyboards UK 2022: boogies boards - from long body boards for beginners to short boards for experts
Be you a beginner in the surf or a water-loving sports expert, boogie boards are a great way of having fun and staying fit in the summertime
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The original boogie board was invented in 1971 by Tom Morey - a man who quit his stable job, moved to Hawaii, and decided to try and build a board designed to recreate the sensation of riding waves on his Dad’s back when he was a kid. The boogie board - also known as body boards or bodyboards - was born.
The early ‘Morey Boogie Boards’ were made by Tom in his backyard, glued together, and finished off with tape. They were a huge success, and to this day, boogie boards - are one of the best ways of having some serious fun in the surf.
The best thing about a body board? Unlike surfboards, you don’t need to have any skill to get started - just a bathing suit and and your boogie board, and you’ll be riding waves in minutes. This makes them an ideal choice for families, as kids and parents alike can enjoy some time catching surf on a body board.
That said, body boarding can be a serious business - there are competitions for riding waves on a bodyboard, and the more you do it, the more dexterous you’ll become, riding waves longer.
Do I want a long body board or a small one?
Bodyboards vary in size from around 30 inches to above 46 inches. A very long board is better for beginners, as it allows more stability and is easier to mount. But it won’t handle big surf as well - although it is unlikely a beginner will be wanting to head into a major swell.
Small bodyboards are great for more advanced boarders - they’re easy to manoeuvre in big surf. They have a low flotation though so best worked up to.
Traditional boards will feel stiff when you first get them - they’ll require time in the surf being ridden to soften and get more flexible, easier to manovere.
If you are looking to get good at boarding - learn some tricks, ride larger surf for longer times - you’ll need to invest in a decent board (we mean spending over £40).
There are few pieces of advice for a beginner who wants to get the most out of boarding and improve. Look for a board that is:
- Made of EPS – Expanded Polystyrene: A lightweight board with a hardy core and high floatation - ideal for beginners.
- A Single Stringer: A ‘stringer’ is a hollow, filament composite fibre tube in the core of a board, designed to strengthen an dstabilise. A single stringer is best for beginners - offering the correct balance of rigidity for paddling and flexibility for riding.
- HDPE Slick: this is the slickness on the underside of the board, connected to the water. HDPE slick is the ideal surface for beginners - durable, speedy, but not going to catapult you into the stratosphere.
However, if you want something for your toddler to tear around on in the whitewater, a cheap board will be just fine - just don’t expect it to last multiple seasons. And we don’t want to lecture, but single-use plastic is not doing our environment any favours...