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When it comes to bodyboards there’s an entire spectrum to choose from, with low-budget boards designed for casual fun at the beach at one end and high-performance competition boards packed with features at the other. Your first priority when selecting the right board for you should be size. Thereafter, you’ll need to make a series of decisions including (but definitely not limited to) whether you want a crescent tail or a bat tail, or a polyethylene core instead of a polypropylene one. Each feature has its pros and cons, and in this article, we try to address them all while highlighting the best bodyboards to buy right now.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Custom X Titan XPE Crescent Tail Bodyboard
The Custom X Titan XPE Crescent Tail Bodyboard is an all-around winner that offers high-end features for a mid-range price-tag. It is intended for both prone and drop-knee riders and is especially well suited to temperate climates because of its polyethylene core. The pro-approved Surlyn slick bottom is a major highlight, making the board faster, more responsive and better able to regain its shape after a few hard seasons on the water. The board also features dual rails and channels that help you grip the wave face while performing tricks.
The crescent tail caters to riders of all skill levels by providing more control and stability than the narrower bat tail shape often used for high-end boards. Depending on which size you choose, your board also comes with one or two graphite stringers. These increase your projection through the water while also prolonging the board’s life by making it easier for it to retain its original shape. The Custom X Titan comes in four bold colors: black, blue, red and yellow.
Best Budget: Own the Wave 'Beach Attack Pack'
Available in blue, green, and magenta, Own the Wave's 'Beach Attack Pack' is the perfect choice for those who want to have fun in the surf without spending a fortune on a high-end board. Its construction is basic but effective, with a buoyant EPS core and a polypropylene slick designed to cut easily through the water. If you’re a first-time bodyboarder, you’ll also appreciate the stability afforded by the crescent tail, and the traction offered by the bottom rear channels. Your package includes a bodyboard leash and a set of fin tethers, giving you even better value for money. Use the tethers to keep your swim fins in place even when you fall off.
Best Classic: Morey Mach 7 42-Inch Bodyboard
In 1971, surf shop owner Tom Morey created the first bodyboard using newspaper, scrap foam and an electric carving knife. The Morey Mach 7 Bodyboard represents the brand’s evolution since then into one of the most respected names in bodyboarding and is a classic choice hallmarked by expert workmanship. Even the colors are retro, whether you opt for yellow and black or orange and black. The board’s performance is also impressive, especially its incredible consistency in the surf.
The crescent tail contributes to the board’s overall stability, while channels cut into the HDPE slick provide additional grip and directional control. The core is made from high-density polyethylene, making the board heavier, more flexible and easier to master than its polypropylene cousins. Like the Morey brand itself, the Mach 7 is designed to stand the test of time, with a power rod stringer to reinforce its solid feel. The 42” length is suitable for riders measuring 160 to 180 pounds and 5’9” to 6’0” in height.
Best for Kids: Younger 33-Inch Super Bodyboard for Kids
Kids love the bold colors of the child-sized Younger 33-inch Super Bodyboard, which comes in blue, red, and yellow. Parents are equally enamored of the board’s wallet-friendly price-tag and safety-conscious design. It features an EPS core which is extra buoyant, a wristband leash, and an ultra-light build — it's just 1.6 pounds —that's easy for little arms to carry to shore.
Channels on the bottom of the board give it a better grip on the wave face, while 60/40 rails increase its maneuverability, making it easier to master basic tricks. The HDPE slick is a cost-saving option that is well-suited to smaller, lighter riders, who exert less pressure on the board and therefore have no need for the shape-retaining properties of Surlyn.
Best for Beginners: Wave Rebel Malaga Bodyboard
Specifically designed with beginners in mind, the Wave Rebel Malaga Bodyboard is a great choice for newcomers to the sport who aren’t yet ready to invest in a higher-end board. It features a flexible deck, a Pro-Slick bottom and an expanded polystyrene (EPS) core. The latter makes the board stiff and lightweight, with good buoyancy for riding smaller waves to shore. Meanwhile, the stability afforded by the crescent tail gives you the confidence you need to master the basics in record time.
This durable board comes with a double swivel straight urethane leash (handy for keeping the board close when you inevitably fall off during your first attempts at wave domination). The 42” length is suited to riders measuring 5’4” to 6’0” tall and 120 to 180 pounds, while color choices include black, red and yellow.
Best for Drop-Knee Riders: Hubboards Dubb Pro Plus PP CT Bodyboard
The Hubboards Dubb Pro Plus PP CT Bodyboard is custom-made for drop-knee riders who also like to ride prone on occasion. It caters to the fact that the drop-knee style puts the majority of your weight at the back of the board with a wide crescent tail; while the contoured deck offers extra grip for hands and knees through big landings and gnarly duck dives.
The core is made from polypropylene, making the board lighter, stronger and faster in the turns. Be aware that polypropylene cores perform best in tropical waters, however. Other highlights of the Dubb Pro Plus include double 50/50 rails, a Wave Cushion Air deck and a competition-quality Surlyn slick. Two SSS stringers help with projection and overall board strength, while the aesthetics are taken care of by sleek color choices ranging from emerald/purple to yellow/blue.
Best Bat Tail: Mike Stewart Science Pocket Tech BT Bodyboard
In contrast to the other boards on this list, the Mike Stewart Science Pocket Tech BT Bodyboard uses the alternative bat tail shape. First pioneered in the 1990s, the bat tail increases the board’s overall volume and provides better maneuverability when executing spins, carves and bottom turns. It is less stable than a crescent tail but remains the tail shape of choice for many prone-riding pros. This board compensates for the loose feeling of the bat tail with a contoured deck for added grip.
It also features a polyethylene core, an HDPE slick and 55/45 rails. Two Rex stringers give the board great projection while also helping it to maintain its original shape session after session. Choose from a range of color combos, including aqua/black/white, black/orange and gray/black/green.