In this staff tip, we explain why all bodyboards are not created equal, and what are the important things to look for in your next bodyboard.
Why you should buy a ‘proper’ bodyboard
Every year our customers ask us what’s the difference between cheap discount store body boards and ‘proper’ bodyboards like the ones we sell from Atunas and Vision. The answer is this: Quality. You get what you pay for and this is obvious when buying bodyboards. A discount store bodyboard has a polystyrene core, like the white stuff used in packaging for electrical items, and it is generally covered with a material or vinyl covering. If you’ve bought something that’s packed with polystyrene then you know how it crumbles and leaves bits of itself everywhere, well that’s the core construction of most cheaper bodyboards. They are not durable and tend to crack under even small amounts of pressure and especially when wet.
Our range of beginner boards, Atunas J15 & J105, is made from extremely durable EVA foam. This type of foam is used extensively in sports and water sports products because of its low-temperature toughness, stress-crack resistance, hot-melt adhesive water proof properties, and resistance to UV radiation. It’s an ideal material for bodyboards and provides a reliable, sturdy bodyboard that you can return to year after year for your wave adventures.
The intermediate range of bodyboards in store, Vision Ignite and Pro Channel Venom, allows the user to progress and improve their skills. These are made from an XPS core, most will have HDPE layer, a stiff ‘slick back’ layer on the bottom decreasing resistance which allows the board to travel faster over the wave and increases manoeuvrability. There are other options too such as the ‘HDPE + Mesh’, similar to HDPE but with a woven fibre mesh embedded in the slick to give added strength and projection. Most of the intermediate level boards feature ‘channels’, these are designed to give better holding power and control in the turns.
We hope you’re having fun on whatever kind of a bodyboard you own and that with this information, you’ll be able to make a more educated purchase when you decide to upgrade your board.
The Jelly Fish Team
Soft Board and Bodyboard Constructions Explained
It’s easy to get confused by all the different terms and technologies available, we want our customers to be able to make informed choices and understand why one bodyboard differs from the next and what exactly your soft board is made from. This pages explains all the different technologies available and will make your choice an easier one.
Lighter then Dow and PE core, this core is great for everyday intermediate riding. When combined with the correct deck, rails and slicks the XPS core performs extremely well in good sized surf. The XPS core is an EPS foam made exclusively for bodyboarding and should not be compared with other EPS foam boards on the market.
This is the original foam core used for performance bodyboards. Vision V-Core is heavier and more durable than the XPS Core while still maintaining its core characteristic of being very responsive. The V-Core has good flex which enables the rider to get added projection and speed from the board. V-Core is a polyethylene core especially developed for bodyboards.
The highest performance core on the market today. Dow Core is only used for the very high performance models in the Vision range due to its charactistics. Dow Core gives the bodyboard good amounts of flex while still maintaining its memory which is the key factor in creating good amounts of projection and rail to rail turns.
This is a cross linked Polyethylene material which has a semi smooth finish which while maintaining its density has a shock absorbing feature. The XPE has a closed cell structure which means that it is very good at keeping water out.
A higher density material the XPE still maintains its closed cell structure. The advantage of IXPE is that due to its high density it adds rigidity and enhances the overall strength of the bodyboard. The other advantages of this material are that it provides superior water protection to the bodyboard and gives the rider a smoother riding surface-although not as shock absorbing as XPE.
High Density Polyethylene ‘HDPE’ slick is used on the bottom of the board to enhance the performance characteristics of the board. Not only does HDPE slick add strength to the bodyboard it also gives the bodyboard a resistance free riding surface to enhance speed and manoeuvrability on the wave.
HDPE + Mesh
This slick has the advantage of the HDPE slick as above but with a woven fibre mesh embedded inside the slick to give added strength and projection.
The fiberglass stringers add to the bodyboards core strength and increases projection. The feature is only used on the premium Vision bodyboards.
The Vision basic straight leash is made with a webbing type material and has an adjustable wrist strap.
Urethane Straight Leash:
This performance urethane leash will stretch under pressure giving some shock absorbtion if the board becomes separated from you, included an adjustable wrist strap.
Urethance Coil Leash:
This high performance coiled urethane leash will stretch under pressure giving the rider ultimate shock absorption if the board becomes separated from you. Coiled leashes also have the advantage of being shorted and more compact so that they are less likely to interrupt your paddling stroke, includes an adjustable wrist strap.