So you’ve decided to get into bodyboarding, and you are busy accumulating all the essential bodyboarding equipment.
Although various pieces of gear make bodyboarding easier, without a bodyboard, you simply can’t surf, but luckily, bodyboards don’t need to break the bank
How Much Do Bodyboards Cost?
The average price of bodyboards varies depending on the shape, material, and branding, and you can expect to find prices anywhere between USD 30 for beginner boards to well over USD 1,000 for custom-made pro boards.
Let’s take a deeper look into the pricing of bodyboards, how different boards compare in price, and what you should be looking out for before buying a new bodyboard.
How Much Does a Bodyboard Cost?
Bodyboards, thanks to their size and materials, tend to be cheaper than surfboards of similar quality.
That being said, that doesn’t mean they are always cheap.
As mentioned above, cheap bodyboards for beginners can be picked up on Amazon for under USD 30
While high-quality bodyboards are usually sold for around the USD 300 region.
Beginner bodyboards tend to be the cheapest and made from the lowest quality materials.
As these boards are made for beginners, they tend to be light and not very durable.
For beginner boards, the core is usually constructed from polystyrene and covered in a fabric known as Fiberclad.
These boards are ideal for kids or those who are extremely new to the ocean and its waves.
Another beginner bodyboard material that is commonly used is Expanded Polystyrene (EPS).
These boards are stiffer and slightly more durable than polystyrene boards but still offer good flex for those learning to ride a bodyboard.
Polystyrene and EPS boards can be easily found for under USD 50 and up to USD 100.
If you are well into bodyboarding but not prepared to break the bank on the highest quality boards, then PE (Polyethylene) cores are your best option.
PE cores are the most commonly used for bodyboards and offer more flex and durability than EPS boards.
PE boards offer the best all-around experience and are ideal for intermediate bodyboarders that are progressing from the beginner stages.
For an intermediate bodyboard, you should expect to pay between USD 100 and USD 200, although the prices may range above or below.
If you’re looking for the highest quality bodyboards with the best performance, then Polypropylene (PP) cores are the number one go-to.
PP bodyboards are the most expensive cores but are stronger, lighter, and offer more responsiveness than EPS or PE boards.
Coming in Extruded PP and Beaded PP, these high-quality bodyboard cores are the go-to for many pro bodyboarders.
PP boards can range from USD 150 – USD 300 and more.
|Board Quality||Commonly Used Material||Average Price Range|
|Beginner bodyboards||Polystyrene or Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)||USD 30 – USD 100|
|Intermediate bodyboards||Polyethylene (PE)||USD 100 – USD 200|
|High-Quality bodyboards||Polypropylene (PP)||USD 150 – USD 300+|
What Should I Look for When Buying a Bodyboard?
Whether you are looking for the cheapest board on the market that will get you on a wave or a pro board to face some of the gnarliest waves the ocean has to offer, there are certain things you want to keep in mind before making your final decision.
Before making a purchase, you are going to want to think about the following:
- Your budget
- Your skill level
- The waves you’ll be surfing
- Your height and weight
- How frequently you’ll bodyboard
Having a good idea of each of the following will help you narrow down the type of bodyboards that are appropriate for you.
From here, you can decide on the exact specifications of your new bodyboard.
Bodyboard Buyers Guide
Once you have a general idea of the type of bodyboard that will suit you, you should consider the following to help you narrow down your search.
The size of your bodyboard will make a huge difference when you are in the water.
Not using a board that is compatible with your size will make your session less than enjoyable.
A board that is too long will be difficult to turn, while a board that is too short will create too much drag from your body lying in the water.
A well-sized bodyboard will reach approximately between your knees and chin.
That being said, personal preference and use case may cause this to vary.
Wide and Thick
The width and thickness of your bodyboard will affect your speed, buoyancy, and agility.
Wider bodyboards are more buoyant but lack agility and are therefore more difficult to turn.
Narrow bodyboards are more agile and allow for harder and sharper turns by sacrificing some buoyancy.
Besides the width, the thickness (volume) of your bodyboard will affect maneuverability and speed.
Bodyboards commonly range between 51mm and 55mm thick.
Thinner bodyboards lack buoyancy and speed but make up for it with added maneuverability and control.
On the other hand, thicker bodyboards are more buoyant, which allows for greater speeds. However, they lack the edge when it comes to rail-to-rail riding.
The material that your bodyboard is made from will directly relate to its durability, agility, weight, flexibility, as well as price.
Polystyrene and EPS boards are the cheapest and lightest but aren’t durable and are not suitable for large waves.
The most commonly used bodyboard materials are PP and PE, with PP being the most durable, maneuverable, flexible, lightweight, and of course, the highest price tag.
If you are planning on taking bodyboarding seriously, you should consider using a PE bodyboard as they are the best all-round boards and the most commonly sold cores.
If you are new to the sport and are not sure if you’ll enjoy it, then you may want to simply buy a cheap EPS board until you are sure that you want to commit.
After all, you can always pass your cheap EPS board to your kids.
Where your wave is breaking will determine the type of board you use.
If you are surfing small shore breaks, a thick EPS board will help you gain as much speed as possible on the small swell.
On the other hand, if you’ll be bodyboarding on a point break, then you will want to invest in a more agile and durable board.
Not only will the location determine the type of wave you’ll be surfing, but it will also determine the temperature, which in turn has an impact on the core and stringer of your board.
Materials such as your bodyboard’s core and stringer contract in cold water and expand when temperatures rise.
As your board expands and contracts, the flex of your bodyboard is affected.
The best boards for warmer waters are PP boards, while PE boards outperform in colder climates.
If you’re looking for the best all-around board for warm and cold water, then the Bodyboard Center suggests a Polypropylene core with ISS technology that will allow you to change out the stringer as needed.
Everyone eventually adopts their own style when bodyboarding.
Some bodyboarders enjoy riding prone on huge waves and getting massive airdrops, others prefer performing tricks and getting large air.
Furthermore, some bodyboarders dedicate their time to mastering DK, while others decide to bodyboard without fins and ride on their feet.
The style you adopt will determine the specifications of your board.
If you are after large waves, then a thicker PP board will be best.
For riding drop knee you will want to have a wider board that is not too thick but buoyant enough to hold your entire weight.
For fast-performing tricks and barrels, you’ll want to look at thinner, lighter bodyboards.
Your bodyboarding style should determine the type of board you use, not the other way around.
Unless you are only planning on using your bodyboard for a few casual waves while you are on holiday with the family, there is no reason to invest in a poor-quality bodyboard.
If you choose a bodyboard with low durability, you will be limited to small waves and gentle breaks and will likely find yourself replacing it every year.
If you are passionate about bodyboarding, then you should make sure you get a PE board at the minimum.
This will ensure that your board lasts while you improve your skills.
If, however, you are particularly clumsy or plan on surfing some heavier breaks, you may want to opt for the most durable materials such as PP.
That being said, if the board is only for your young kids to play around in the shallow surf, an EPS board will likely last until they outgrow it.
Although we shouldn’t always determine the quality and other specs on price, the unfortunate truth is that most of us are limited by this factor.
Having a good idea of what you are willing to spend on your board will allow you to focus on what you can have and not what you can’t.
Once you know if you can afford a high-quality, intermediate, or beginner bodyboard, you will be able to make a more accurate choice.
5 Common Mistakes When Buying a Bodyboard
Buying a new bodyboard can be tricky, and if you don’t know what you’re doing or what to look out for, then you could easily find yourself making a mistake that will leave you with a less than perfectly performing bodyboard.
The following are some of the most common mistakes made by beginners when buying a bodyboard.
1. Buying From the Wrong Shop
When you want to buy a bodyboard, you should buy it from a bodyboard and surf shop, not an all-around sports shop.
When you go to a surf shop, you will be speaking to people with deep knowledge of the sport and the gear.
This will ensure you get a board with the correct specifications.
2. Not Considering a Variety of Brands
With the advertising and branding of today, it’s easy to get caught up in a brand, even if we have never used it before.
Not considering different brands will limit the shape and styles of boards available to you, which could result in you never find your perfect board.
Never be afraid to try a different brand.
3. Buying an Incorrectly Sized Board
The size of your board is extremely important.
Using a board that is too long, too short, too thick, too buoyant, not buoyant enough, etc., will leave you with less than ideal equipment.
Although you may still be able to ride an incorrectly sized board, it won’t handle well, could sink, and may slow you down.
Make sure you refer to a bodyboard size chart such as the one above and ensure to ask an assistant if you’re buying your board from a surf store.
4. Buying the Wrong Core
Just as the size of your board is important, so is the core material of your board.
If you use a core that is too soft in warm water, your board will become too flexible and may result in slowing you down.
Similarly, a soft, flexible board in cold water will stiffen up, but to the point that the board loses responsiveness.
If a hard core is used in cold water, the board may lose flex and become difficult to ride on the rails.
5. Following the Clueless
Don’t listen to just anyone’s advice when it comes to what the best bodyboard is for you.
Everyone is different and will therefore have a different “best board”.
Instead of cluelessly following the advice of others, you should put some time into doing your own research.
As long as you buy a board that’s correctly sized, has the correct core, and is made with durable materials, it doesn’t matter the brand or shape.
As long as your board suits you, then it’s the correct board.
Do you still have a few bodyboard-related questions?
Perhaps the following are on your mind, and I can put you at ease.
Are Bodyboards Cheaper Than Surfboards?
Bodyboards are significantly cheaper than surfboards, partly due to their smaller size and cheaper materials, as well as thanks to surfing’s superior popularity.
Surfboards cost around USD 600 for a decent shortboard to well over USD 1000 for higher quality longboards, and this is without considering custom-made and designer boards.
Bodyboards, on the other hand, can be picked up for between USD 100 and USD 300 for good to high-quality boards.
That being said, the highest quality bodyboards are often more expensive than lesser quality surfboards.
What Is the Most Expensive Bodyboard?
Although bodyboards are cheaper than surfboards in general, it doesn’t mean that they’re always cheap.
Yes, you can pick up a cheap USD 30 foam bodyboard that won’t last you two months, but if you are willing to put some real money towards your passion, you can follow the likes of James Mcquaker.
In August 2020, James bought (on behalf of an anonymous buyer) the BZ Ben Severson 001 model for USD 11,005, making it the most expensive bodyboard ever sold.
Although surfboards have been sold for well over this price, by buying this bodyboard for USD 11,05, the buyer made history and has set a new standard for vintage and designer bodyboards.
What Are the Top Bodyboard Brands?
Although brands shouldn’t always matter, they are often an indication of high quality and trusted equipment.
The following are a few of the biggest bodyboard brands.
If you don’t know where to start when buying a board, you can begin with these brands and explore further from there.
- Custom X
- Hardy Shapes
- VS Bodyboards
This is just a short list of a few top-end bodyboard companies, but you should by no means limit yourself to them.
As mentioned above, you shouldn’t limit yourself to any specific brand, this could really limit your bodyboarding experience.
Bodyboarding does not need to be an expensive sport, and with as little as 30$, you could get yourself riding your first (but not great) wave.
Higher quality bodyboards are not expensive and will almost always cost you less than USD 500 unless you are after something custom-made or with a pro label.
No matter what your budget is, there is a bodyboard out there for you.
Just make sure to do a size and quality check before you put your bank card down, and you are ready to go!