We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Bodyboard?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Sports n' Hobbies, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A bodyboard is a type of short, snub-nosed surfboard. The modern incarnation of the bodyboard was developed by Tom Morey in 1971, although the roots of the bodyboard are much older. Body boarding is probably the oldest form of surfing, with evidence suggesting that bodyboards were used extensively in Hawaii and Polynesia to play on the waves for centuries. Basic body boarding is easier and safer to learn than basic surfing, so many beginners and travelers start out with body boarding, progressing on to surfing if they feel so inclined or honing their body boarding skills.

The basic design of a bodyboard includes a snub nose with tapered sides called rails and a crescent shaped tail. A typical board is lightweight and made from resilient plastic or foam. Some bodyboards are protected with a layer of resin, like surfboards, but cheap bodyboards with a thin layer of protective plastic are much more common, and readily available in tourist areas with good surf. Some artisans also carve body and skim boards from wood for an unusual appearance.

According to Morey, the design for the bodyboard was inspired by an encounter with a young surfer who had put together a shorter surf board from assorted materials. The board looked like a good idea, if it could be refined, and Morey turned out several prototypes to experiment with before settling on a final design and calling it the boogie board, in a nod to his love of music. The modified boards quickly took off, and by the 1990s, a body boarding subculture which rivaled surfing had emerged.

The equipment needed for body boarding is fairly basic, starting with the bodyboard itself, which is around 40-42 inches (101-107 centimeters) long for men and tall women, and 38-40 inches (97-101 centimeters) for women and short men. Many body boarders also wear a leash to attach themselves to the board, and flippers to assist with paddling out. In cold water, a wet suit should be worn as well. All of the equipment including the body board can be thrown into a duffle bag which fits into a car, making body boarding somewhat more practical than surfing for those with compact vehicles.

Most people body board by lying chest down on the bodyboard and paddling out to position themselves for waves. Some body boarders adopt a crouching stance known as a drop knee, while more adventurous body boarders stand fully upright on the bodyboard. Body boarding is much like surfing: you paddle out behind the break and try to catch a good wave, riding it as long as possible. Experienced body boarders can do challenging tricks, just like surfers.

Like any water sport, body boarding can be dangerous for people who are not experienced. Taking several classes will teach you how to read the waves and respond to emergency situations, and it is always good to follow the advice of more experienced body boarders. Always check the weather before going out, and call your adventure off if conditions look unsafe. Body boarders should also be aware that their sport carries some stigma in surfing culture, and that if they go to highly popular surfing spots, they may experience hostility.

Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Sports n' Hobbies researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Certlerant — On Feb 17, 2014

Tom Mory now named Y, born in Detroit, Michigan was a musician as well as a well known engineer and inventor.

At the age of twelve he was performing with the likes of Dizzy Gillepse. He worked from a young age to gain a talent on drums and ukulele. He was an original member of the 'Sons of Beach' and went on to found several other bands.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.