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Boogie Board vs. Bodyboard: What’s The Difference?

If you love surfing, then you’d have heard of bodyboarding and boogie boarding, both of which require a bodyboard and a boogie board respectively. And one of the most commonly asked questions in the surfing community is the difference between a bodyboard and a boogie board.

The difference between a bodyboard and a boogie board can be a bit tricky since they are the same size and have the same function. But if we take a closer look at the two, we are going to find a couple of differences. So here we go.

Bodyboard vs. Boogie Board: Any difference?

Both bodyboards and boogie boards are designed to “ride prone” or lie down so they have the same function. They even have the same size as I mentioned earlier and this makes bodyboarding and boogie boarding essentially the same sport.

Boogie boards were the original “bodyboards” since they came first. However, the name “boogie board” was trademarked and other companies making their version of boogie boards had to come up with another name for their products since they can’t use “boogie boards”. There isn’t any mention of the company that first came up with the term “bodyboard” but that’s what companies used to describe their own versions of boogie boards.

While boogie boards and bodyboards are similar and essentially the same thing, there’s still a difference in the design. You see, bodyboards are made of better and more advanced materials compared to a boogie board. The core materials and decks of bodyboards are generally superior to those of boogie boards. And this makes bodyboards more expensive than boogie boards which are more widely available because of their affordable prices.

Since boogie boards are more affordable, they are also popular among beginners and kids while bodyboards are more common among people who take bodyboarding more seriously.

Boogie Board – A Brief History

Boogie boards were first created by Tom Morey who wanted something to ride the surf in Hawaii. With nothing more than a knife, an iron, some newspaper, and foam, Morey was able to come up with a board he used to catch waves on Big Island’s Kona Coast. Now, Mr. Morey didn’t have a name for his invention and thought about naming his board the S.N.A.K.E. which is supposed to stand for parts of the body used to ride the board; side, navel, arm, knee, and elbow.

Thankfully, some of Morey’s friends weren’t particularly fond of the board named after a serpent and convinced him to think of another name. As an avid lover of Jazz, especially the ‘boogie woogie’ style of Jazz, Morey thought naming his board ‘boogie’ was fitting since the board allowed you to ‘boogie’ out on the waves.

I must mention that Morey called his boards the “Morey Boogie” when he started mass production. However, there was an increase in demand (more than he could handle) which made him sell the company. The new owner trademarked the term ‘Boogie Board’ and a brand was born!

How to Bodyboard?

You use a bodyboard the same way you use a boogie board since they are essentially the same thing. The thing about bodyboarding is that anyone can participate in the sport. However, it’s important you are comfortable in the water before you go bodyboarding. So, you should consider brushing up your swimming skills if you aren’t a good swimmer.

To bodyboard, you first need to walk out to knee-deep water. Then, get on your bodyboard or boogie board and paddle out towards the waves. The next thing here is to find a wave which shouldn’t be a problem if you are in a good surfing location. Then turn around and face the beach. When you find a wave, ride it all the way to the shallow water after which you start again.

How to Choose a Bodyboard?

Choosing the right bodyboard is important to have an enjoyable time on the water. Factors like height, weight, and experience should be considered when choosing a bodyboard. Ideally, your bodyboard should reach up to your belly button when you stand it on the floor. Alternatively, your bodyboard should fit between the top of your knees and your chin when placed or held in front of you.

You’ll also need a leash to attach the bodyboard to your upper arm to ensure you don’t lose it in the water. Chances are that your bodyboard will come with a leash if you buy it new.

Final Thoughts

Bodyboards and boogie boards are essentially two different versions of the same product with boogie boards being the first one around. Some folks have even taken to calling all boards, whether boogie boards or bodyboards, boogie boards just like the several cases of people using brand names for generic names. Kleenex comes to mind, doesn’t it?

But at the end of the day, boogie boards and bodyboards are one and the same with the true difference between them being the brand or manufacturer. I hope I’ve been able to make the boogie board vs. bodyboard argument clear for you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach me in the comment section.

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