What Are Boogie Boards? (&What Makes a Good Boogie Board?)

Boogie boards or bodyboards, which one is better, or is there even a difference between the two?

So, What Are Boogie Boards?

A Boogie Board is a trademark name, but the name has over time become a generic term for a bodyboard.

This is similar to how styrofoam is a product’s name, but the product is polystyrene foam.

Even though this is the case, the foam is commonly called styrofoam.

In the same way, all boogie boards are bodyboards, but not all bodyboards are boogie boards.

Let’s take a deeper look into boogie boards, where and when they originated, and how, if at all, they differ from other bodyboards.

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What Are Boogie Boards? (&What Makes a Good Boogie Board?)

What Is the Difference Between a Boogie Board and a Bodyboard?

The difference between a Boogie board and a bodyboard is so small that there is almost none.

As mentioned above, the Boogie board is a trademarked name, while bodyboards are simply the product.

In other words, boogie boards are simply a specific type of bodyboard.

This means that the only difference between Boogie boards and bodyboards is the company that produces them.

Who Invented Boogie Boards?

The “Boogie Board” was pioneered by USA-born Tom Morey while living in Hawaii.

The first boogie board was a 23” wide, 4’6” plank that was lightweight, coming in at approximately 3.75 pounds and selling for $31 each.

When asked about his first ride on the board, Tom replied: “I could actually feel the wave through the board. On a surfboard, you’re not feeling the nuance of the wave, but with my creation, I could feel everything”.

Since then the “foam biscuit” has become a cornerstone of bodyboarding innovation.

Why Are They Called Boogie Boards?

What eventually became a trademark, the name boogie board was inspired by a popular music movement between the first and second world wars.

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Tom Morey was a huge fan of boogie-woogie, so when he found the need to name his new invention, he didn’t need to think too far.

“Boogie swung, and it had a wiggle and a jiggle. It was perfect,” said Tom.

As he loved to boogie, Tom trademarked his company as Morey Boogie.

How Old Are Boogie Boards?

If we look back through the history of surfing, we will see that many cultures, such as the Hawaiians, made use of similar types of boards to the boogie board, but it was not until the 1970s that a lightweight foam board was created.

On the 9th of July 1971, Tom Morey cut his last piece of PE foam in half to create the world’s first boogie board.

Since then, the design has changed, but the core concept of a lightweight foam board designed for prone riding has remained.

Morey Boogie is the oldest bodyboard producer and has been creating bodyboards for over 50 years.

What Are Boogie Boards Made Of?

Boogie boards (or bodyboards) are commonly made from a foam core, a harder plastic bottom, and a softer deck.

The cores of these boards on generally constructed from one of the following:

  • Polystyrene
  • Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Kinetic Core
  • NRG+
  • M Core

Cheaper cores include polystyrene and EPS

PE cores are the most common (and the foam used for the first boogie board) cores and are priced in the mid-range.

PP and combination cores are the most specific, durable, and expensive.

Can Adults Use Boogie Boards?

There is no age limit for using a bodyboard, and as a boogie board and bodyboard are the same things, there is no reason why an adult couldn’t use one.

That being said, it’s important to use the correct size bodyboard.

Not doing so will make your board difficult to control or simply sink under your weight.

If we are speaking about Morey boogie bodyboards specifically, then there is a wide range of adult boogie boards available.

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Can You Surf With a Boogie Board?

Boogie boards are designed to be ridden in the prone position, although drop knee riding has become popular over the years.

Although boogie boards are small and difficult to surf, this hasn’t stopped many surfers and bodyboards from trying.

It’s not a popular practice, but standing up on your bodyboard is possible.

Yes, you will be limited as the board is small and there are no fins to help you steer, but stand-up bodyboarding is possible and practiced by a few unique riders out there.

How Much Does a Boogie Board Cost?

A bodyboard will cost you between USD 30 and USD 1000+ depending on the board’s core, the brand, and the shape.

If you talk about a Morey boogie bodyboard, the prices are a little more specific.

AS Morey is the oldest bodyboarding brand and has stood the test of time, the boards are slightly more expensive.

Although they do have a few cheaper models, a Morey Boogie can easily set you back USD 200.

What Is The Best Boogie Board

When it comes to the best boogie board, the answer is always different from person to person.

That being said, there have been a few iconic Morey Boogie boards (excluding the original of course).

One of the most popular boogie boards created by Morey Boogie is the Morey Mach 7.

The Mach 7 line is known as one of the best bodyboard lines available.

The first Mach 7 boogie board was released in 1982 with the name Morey Mach 7-7.

Since then, there have been multiple Mach 7 designs, each becoming better than the last.

The Mach 7X is the latest version with an updated shape and X-Flex core, which provides extra strength from nose to tail, all while providing the perfect amount of flex.

What Makes a Good Boogie Board?

Choosing a good bodyboard can be slightly tricky, but if you keep a few key components in mind, you won’t go wrong.

A good boogie board should include:

  • A good core: High-quality bodyboards are made with PE, PP, Kinetic Core, NRG+ or, an M-Core.
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EPS and polystyrene cores will be lighter but lack durability and flex.

  • Hard plastic bottom: Bodyboards without laminated bottoms should be considered low-quality boards.

These hard plastics are called slick.

The slick is commonly made from one of Surlyn, HDPP, or LDPE/HDPE plastic.

The hard plastic helps reduce friction, allowing you to move faster, both while paddling and when riding a wave.

  • The correct size: It doesn’t matter what bodyboard you buy. If it’s not the right size, it won’t work properly.

A board that is too large will be difficult to turn, duck dive, and paddle on.

A board that is too small will simply sink under your weight.

Your bodyboard should reach your belly button when standing upright in front of you.

Another measurement is from your chin to your waist. 

Of course, everyone will have their own size preferences, but this is a rough guide of where to start.

  • Good Flex: Flex in a bodyboard provides a higher response and projection, but too much flex will slow your board down.

Similarly, a board that is too stiff will be difficult to make sharp turns on, as well as difficulty dropping.

Are Boogie Boards Better Than Bodyboards?

As boogie boards and bodyboards are the same toys (yes, I called them toys), there is no way to say which is better.

That being said, if you compare Morey Boogie boards to other bodyboards, Morey Boogie is one of the best bodyboarding companies.

This, however, does not mean that other bodyboarding companies make lesser boards.

They are simply different.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to Tom Morey inventing the first boogie board in 1971, there has been an abundance of bodyboards hitting the market to date.

Morey Boogie has become an iconic brand as it has stood the test of time.

That being said, the boogie board has become a generic name for bodyboards, and in today’s surfing culture, the two names are interchangeable.

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