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Bodyboarding

Bodyboarding is also referred to as Boogieboarding due to the invention of the "Boogie Board" by Tom Morey. It is an easy watersport close to surfing but with a smaller and more flexible bodyboard, lighter than a surfing board, covered by a rubber layer.

From the conception of the modern bodyboard in 1971, bodyboarding has experienced spurts of rapid growth both as an industry and extreme sport. With its origins in America, over the past decade the sport has shifted worldwide into strongholds like Australia, Peru and Chile, Japan, Canary Islands (Spain), and South Africa.

Bodyboarders have been accredited with pioneering some of the world's heaviest, most renowned surf locations in the world: Teahupo'o, French Polynesia; Shark Island, Australia; El Fronton, Spain; Cyclops, Australia; Ours, Australia; Luna Park, Australia; and more.

Bodyboarding Styles

The evolution of maneuvers and waves in which it is being done have rendered it one of the most extreme wave riding forms in the world.

In addition, bodyboarders place strong emphasis on aerial maneuvers on bigger, heavier sections of waves. These include aerial 360s, ARS (Air Roll Spin), el rollos, inverts (tweaking the board with the momentum of the wave and then swinging it back), backflips, and variations/hybrids of these maneuvers.

There several different ways to ride a bodyboard on the crest, face, and curl of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore.

Prone

A bodyboard is mostly used lying down. Riding prone refers to when one rides the wave on his stomach. When the booger goes left, he places his left hand on the upper left corner of the nose and places his right arm halfway down the rail of the right side of the board. The opposite is true of when the skitz booger goes right.

Mike Stewart is responsible for establishing the standard and progression of the prone riding form. Most of the basic maneuvers that pertain to it were also invented by him. Prone booging is best for pulling into pits and chucking mad innys, also known as inverts, rather than doing turns on small waves, as is common with most forms of surfing.

Dropknee

Dropknee is when one places their preferred fin forward on the front of the deck with the opposing knee on the bottom end of the board with their fin dragging in the water. Dropknee was first pioneered in the late 1970s by Hawaii's Jack "The Ripper" Lindholm. Hence the term "Jack Stance" is in reference to his contribution to this form of riding.

During the '80s and early '90s dropknee bodyboarding was gaining popularity, some would argue that there were more bodyboarders than surfers during this era. With riders such as Paul Roach, Kainoa McGee, and Keith Sasaki pushing the limits of what could be done on a bodyboard it was no wonder the groms of the day started copying.

Stand-up

Stand-up consists of standing upright on the board and performing tricks on the face as well as in the air. While it isn't quite as popular as the other two forms of riding a bodyboard, three notable figures that popularized it are Danny Kim, Cavin Yap, and Chris Won Taloa.

Materials

The bodyboard differs from a surfboard in the fact that it is much shorter (typically 97 to 109 cm (38 to 43 in) in length) and made out of different types of foam.

The modern board consists of a foam 'core' encapsulated by a plastic bottom, a softer foam top known as the deck, softer foam sides known as the rails. The core is made of dow/polyethylene, arcel, or Polypro/polypropylene.

The bottom is made of Surlyn or Bixby. The deck is made of 8LB or CrossLink. Each type of foam core, deck, or bottom material gives a bodyboard a different amount of flex and control. Speed from the bottom turn is increased when a bodyboarder bottom turns and the board flexes and recoils, releasing energy.

If the board flexes too little or too easily, speed is lost. Dow (polyethylene) cores are best suited to cooler waters as they can be too flexible in warm water. Arcel and Polypro (polypropylene) cores are best suited for warmer waters due to their increased overall stiffness.

Construction

The average bodyboard consists of a short, rectangular piece of hydrodynamic foam. Deck, rails, and bottom are bonded via various hot air lamination techniques to the core. Previous to the lamination technique, shapers accomplished this by using glue.

Most boards on the market today contain one, two, or three rods (usually of carbon or graphite), referred to as stringers, to strengthen the board, reduce deformation, add stiffness and recoil to the core, thus providing greater speed off bottom turns and transitions on the wave.

If a single stringer is used, it is placed in the center of the board running parallel to the rails. If two are used, they are placed symmetrically about the y-axis. Triple stringers are a combination of the placement of both a single and double stringer.

We hope this helps you get a better idea. Now get your kit on and catch some waves. Enjoy!