We Researched the Best Bodyboards—Here Are Our Top Picks to Ride the Waves

Find the perfect board for your size, skill level, and budget

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

The Rundown

Best Overall: CustomX X1 at customxbodyboards.co

"This pick is fully customizable, so you can make it exactly to your liking."

Best for Kids: Bo-Toys Bodyboard Lightweight with EPS Core at Amazon

"This 33-inch board is just right for kids."

Best for the Beach: Hydro Zapper at rei.com

"It has a strong, lightweight composite core that is 100 percent waterproof throughout for excellent flotation."

Best for Beginners: South Bay Board Co. 42” Onda Beginner Bodyboard at Amazon

"This is an ideal board for beginners up to 200 pounds."

Best for Drop-Knee Riders: Morey Mach 7-SS Bodyboard at Amazon

"This versatile board is an ideal pick for excellent performance in both prone and drop-knee positions."

Best Lightweight: Woowave Bodyboard at Amazon

"This super lightweight board comes in three sizes for a range of riders."

Best Tandem: Tandm Surf Tandem Bodyboard at Amazon

"This inflatable board for two riders is lightweight, durable, and ultra portable."

When Tom Morey and his company Morey Boogie invented the boogieboard back in the 70s, his was the only product of its kind in the marketplace. While some would say Morey still makes the best boards in the game, bodyboards are now widely available in all sizes, specs, and price points. And now they’re more than just a block of foam with a polypropylene core: Bodyboards have features like stringers (rods or tubes down the middle of the board for stiffness), knee contours, raised thumb ridges, nose bulbs, bat ridges, and channels for water flow (like the fins of the board).

If you’re packing up for a family vacation or weekend road trip and wave action is on the agenda, here are the best bodyboards on the market.

Best Overall: CustomX X1

CustomX X1

Courtesy of CustomX Bodyboards

What We Like
  • Fully customizable to your specs

  • Made in the USA

What We Don't Like
  • Top-end price point

Second-generation surf pro Josh Hansen of Hansen Surfboards identifies the X1 by CustomX boards as a great overall pick. It’s got a tight cell deck, which means the top of the board is minimally porous and floats exceedingly well. It features a crescent tail and channels, a high-grade Surlyn bottom (that’s the material used in the outer shell of golf balls), and double 55/45 rails (these numbers identify the ratio as a percentage between the rail and the top of the board connected to its deck). As the brand name implies, these boards are fully customizable: Choose yours in 41, 42, or 43-inch length, with one, two, or three stringers. Pick from blue, white, red, yellow, or black. Each purchase comes with a bicep leash.

Sizes: 41, 42, or 43 inches | Number of Stringers: 1 to 3

Best for Kids: Bo-Toys Bodyboard Lightweight with EPS Core

Bo-Toys Body Board Lightweight with EPS Core

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Handles major abuse on the beach

  • Value price

What We Don't Like
  • Spotty construction

This compact and lightweight bodyboard has an expanded polystyrene (EPS) core that is lightweight but strong. It's constructed with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and a super slick bottom with channels and a crescent tail. This board has 60/40 rails to allow for optimal maneuverability. It also comes with a leash with a wristband. This 33-inch board is just right for kids. You can choose from among bright colors including blue, red, or pink.

Sizes: 33 or 41 inches | Number of Stringers: None

Best for the Beach: Hydro Zapper

Hydro Zapper Bodyboard

Courtesy of REI

What We Like
  • Budget friendly

  • Great flotation

What We Don't Like
  • Experienced riders may want something else

This board comes in three sizes for riders of various ages and sizes: Grab the 36-inch, 42-inch, or 45-inch version. It has a strong, lightweight composite core that is 100 percent waterproof throughout for excellent flotation. High-density polyethylene slick coats the bottom of the board for speed and flex. This board includes a leash.

Sizes: 36, 42, or 45 inches | Number of Stringers: None

Best for Beginners: South Bay Board Co. 42” Onda Beginner Bodyboard

South Bay Board Co. Onda Bodyboard

Courtesy of South Bay Board Co.

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Cool striped look

What We Don't Like
  • Less long-lasting than higher-end boards

This is an ideal board for beginners up to 200 pounds. It comes in a classic shape with a crescent moon tail for a swift and fun ride. Soft-edge rails make for easier turns, and a subtle nose rocker prevents nosediving. As is most commonly found in entry-level bodyboards, this one has an EPS core plus a high-density HDPE bottom with diamond-weave plastic netting that keeps it lightweight and long-lasting. Plus, it just looks cool with hand-painted-looking stripes meant to represent waves.

Sizes: 42 inches | Number of Stringers: None

Best for Drop-Knee Riders: Morey Mach 7-SS Bodyboard

Morey Mach 7-SS Bodyboard

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Durable, high performance

  • Versatile for a range of riders

What We Don't Like
  •  High-end price point

This versatile board is an ideal pick for excellent performance in both prone and drop-knee positions—lifeguards use it on the job. Custom contours allow riders to lock in their knees for precision maneuvering. Raised thumb ridges make for top-notch grip for riders of all sizes in any hand position. This board has one stringer with a Surlyn bottom with mesh and slotted channels. It’s made with a super-durable polypropylene (PP) core, and its flex makes it great for colder water.

Sizes: 41.5 or 43 inches | Number of Stringers: 1

Best Lightweight: Woowave Bodyboard

Woowave Bodyboard

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Durable

  • One-year replacement guarantee

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note blue dye can stain skin

This super lightweight board comes in three sizes for a range of riders (33 inch, 37 inch, and 42 inch), and the lightest weighs just over a pound. The board has 60/40 rails and a water-resistant core. It comes with a coiled wrist leash, including a comfortable cuff to keep that board near you at all times. It has a high-speed HDPE slick bottom surface and a high-performing EPS core for durability, buoyancy, and speed.

Sizes: 33, 37, or 42 inches | Number of Stringers: None

Best Tandem: Tandm Surf Tandem Bodyboard

Boogie AIR Bodyboard

Courtesy of Tandem

What We Like
  • Portable

  • Feature rich

  • Comes with all the necessary accessories

What We Don't Like
  • Too gimmicky for purists

  • High-end price point

Talk about tricked out: This as-seen-on Shark Tank inflatable board for two riders is lightweight, durable, and ultra-portable, rolling up to tote tidily into a travel bag. Pump it up at your destination, and you’ve got a finless board with handles as well as a built-in camera mount ready for your GoPro. Soft handles are ideal for holding on through all of the action. This one comes with a pump, storage bag, and maintenance kit.

Sizes: Not listed | Number of Stringers: None

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the CustomX X1 (view at CustomX). Not only can you customize its size, color, and the number of stringers, but it's minimally porous and floats well. Looking for something more affordable? The Woowave Bodyboard (view at Amazon) is lightweight, comes in six colors, and has three sizes to choose from.

What to Look for in a Bodyboard

Material

First, consider the core material. “The two main types of core material used today are dow polyethylene foam (PE) and polypropylene foam (PP),” Hansen explains. “Polypropylene is the better core: lightweight, dense, and the greatest memory/recoil.” Further, he says, look out for stringers. “Stingers are a nice feature as it helps with projection/recoil and strength,” he says.

Size

Bodyboards aren’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. "When sizing a board for someone, we say two inches below or above the belly button is a good general reference for sizing," Hansen says, "Kids can go much bigger as long as they can handle the board."

Price

First, consider your budget and your commitment to the sport. Some beginner boards are budget-friendly and suitable for an impulse buy, while higher-end boards can be a serious splurge.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Do you need to wax bodyboards?

    You can, but it’s not necessary. Some professionals choose to do it. Others choose not to. If you do it, wax along the rails and anywhere you’d hold onto the board. Even if you choose not to wax, you might want to do so before your first ride out on the board to tackle any slippery coating that the manufacturer may put on the board to ensure it’s protected during shipping.

    Pro tip: Hansen offers an easy and readily available alternative to waxing. “Rubbing sand on a new bodyboard can help create a little traction,” he says.

  • What's the difference between a bodyboard and a boogieboard?

    Semantics. Technically a boogieboard is a brand name, though it is colloquially used as a general term, similar to the way we say Q Tips when we might mean just regular cotton swabs.

    Hansen notes that boogieboards may typically be used to describe boards used for smaller waves, compared with bodyboards for larger waves. But overall, he says, they’re “basically the same thing,” with the caveat that a minor difference in colloquial usage might be described as “beginner versus experienced” given the size of the waves connoted by popular usage of the terms.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Alesandra Dubin is a frequent beachgoer and longtime travel writer covering beach activities, gear, and destinations.

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