Bodyboard Construction and Parts
Just before we go on, people keep asking what is the difference between a boogie board and a bodyboard. The answer is nothing they are the same thing.
The term boogie comes from the original Morey Boogie Boards that were around in the 70's. The term has taken hold in Australia and New Zealand and is still used there. So usually if someone calls it a boogie board you can take a good guess that they are from Australia or New Zealand.
So now for the parts of a bodyboard and construction types of a Boogie Board :)
The top of the bodyboard where you lay
- Slick bottom
- The bottom of the bodyboard that has a smooth or slick material such as Surlyn or HDPE.
- The front of the bodyboard where you hold on
- Nose Bulbs
- Small bumps on each corner of the nose where you hold on
- An extra layer of foam running through the nose and tail, which helps to protect the slick bottom from peeling and gives a little extra stiffness.
- The side of the bodyboard. The rail of a bodyboard is expressed as a ratio such as 50/50 or 60/40, etc. The theory is that a 50/50 rail is faster and more stable but a 60/40 offers more control and makes some maneuvers easier to do. Most bodyboards use 60/40.
- The back end of the bodyboard.
- Gouged-out areas on the bottom that reduce drag and channel the water under your board, therefore increasing speed , it is also acting as "small skegs" improving control
- It's a straight rod inserted into the bodyboard to maintain the stiffness of the board. Stringers do not stop a board from creasing. The purpose of a stringer is create stiffness and give more projection out of your turns and manouvers.
- A wire-like plastic material inserted into the core of a bodyboard to enhance projection and durability.
- This term refers to the overall shape
the rocker of a bodyboard will change mainly due to the difference of material used between deck , core and bottom. It is unfortunately a normal process and most bodyboards will end up with a reverse rocker causing the nose to dive into the curl of a wave ( especially while Drop Knee riding ) . To delay this , always keep your bodyboard in a cool place (heat will accelerate this process) and store your board on the nose , not the tail.
- the rocker refers to how flat a bodyboard is. Normally, the nose curve is going to keep the nose off the sea level, but the tail should be flat and the board shouldn't "rock" more than just a little bit. Too much rocker will decrease the speed.
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Tails : 2 main types
Looks like the wingspan of a bat. There are points at either end of the tail, with some form of rounded or pointed area in the center .Bat tails provide lots of maneuverability. Most prone riders preferred bat tails as it is very efficient for doing maneuvers in the critical part of the wave.
- Crescent Tail
- The type of tail has square corners on either side of the tail, and a "U" shape connecting them. Crescent tails are mainly used by drop knee riders and prone riders into tube riding. It provides maximum stability but doesn't release quite as easily as a bat tail if you like to execute a 360.
Cores, Foam Types and Bottom Skins
Crosslink- A type of foam characterized by it's denser, more compact feel, and unwillingness to absorb water. Very durable deck and rail foam material also named Green Cell or Dura Deck
Polypropylene- Polypro is light, springy, and strong. There are two types : Extruded polypro is made from strands of polypropylene and offers very good projection and durability.Beaded polypro is extremely lightweight, durable, water-resistant, but also very expensive.
Dow or Polyethylene- Used since the 70's, it's still the standard foam. It's compact ( there are different densities ), and has excellent projection and performance, but it does not last long , compared to polypro, unless combined with mesh or stringer, it is also a bit heavier than Polypro. It's used on the deck and rails of most bodyboards as well.
Surlyn- it is the material used in most bottoms of bodyboard ( golf balls are also using it ) ; it's slick and durable, has great speed and projection.
HDPE - High Density Polyethylene looks very similar to Surlyn, but it's not as flexible.
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