Body boarding is a water sport performed in a different water bodies like crest and curl of the waves. It uses the board type of structure which is square-nosed, soft and flexible in sizes. The bodyboarding is also called as boogie board or body board or belly board was invented by Tom Morey. He used polyethylene foam and a sheet of newspaper on the foam. Later on, polypropylene, expanded polyolefin and extruded polyester are also used for the construction.
The bodyboard consists of various parts and used for different purposes, the exterior parts are like Nose, Deck, Tail, Rails and Bottom (or slick). The Nose is the front part of the boogie board, where larger nose area is used for ‘prone’ bodyboarding and a slightly narrow nose is used for ‘drop-knee’ bodyboarding.The deck is the core part where your body lay on. These shapes and variations mainly depend on the models and brand of a boogie board. The tail is essential for the performance of the bodyboarding. The current options available for tail are crescent, square and bat shapes. The crescent shape used for faster speed and holds power, square tail offers faster speed and less drag, the bat tail is used for better maneuverability.
Rail is the side position of the board, it falls into two categories 60/40 (60 bottom rail and 40 top tail) and 50/50. This is the ratio between top and bottom rail. If the bottom rail is larger there will be more friction, if bottom rail is less there will be less friction and more speed.
The usage of the boogie board will also vary with respect to the shape and size. The main categories of basic shapes are prone, drop-knee and versatile. The prone shape generally has a wider body which supports the upper body of a rider to lay on it. The drop knee has a smaller wide-body in the front which facilitates easier maneuverability. The versatile board is the combination of both prone position and drop knee.
Based on the core material of the board, the characteristics, price and usage will vary. Materials like extruded polystyrene (EPS), polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) are used. These materials are inexpensive, lightweight, very durable and good flex characteristics in all water temperatures. The core and rail are covered with foam (skin). They are polyethylene like a core material and crosslink is denser and smooth finish. It also offers greater performance.
Stiffeners are used to prevent the board from over flexing. Graphite and fiberglass rods are inserted into the board and the plastic mesh is laminated between the bottom and the core. It provides the board with flex prevention and strength will be distributed uniformly.
The rocker represents the amount of flatness in the board. Generally, all the body bodies have a flat rocker, which mostly preferred for speed. Different types of extra contours used are hand bulbs/finger bulbs, elbow pad/locks, hand wells, hip channels and bottom channels.
The right size, shape and usage of the boogie board will make a big difference in body surfing, which will generate the greater power, performance and maneuverability.