Difference Between a Bodyboard and a Boogie Board


There’s a lot to love about water sports. Not only do they provide great exercise but they are also pretty similar in nature, which makes transitioning from one sport to another easy. Taking a look at bodyboarding, boogie boarding, and surfing; these are a lot alike but not quite the same. So, what makes them different?

Surfing is arguably the most popular of these three sports. It involves an individual using a surfboard, which is a relatively large board with a built-in fin at the bottom, to ride the waves.

Now, moving on to bodyboarding and boogie boarding. How are these two different?

Bodyboard vs. Boogie Board

Both the bodyboard and boogie board have a history spanning several decades. When it comes to the differences between these two boards, it almost always centers around which of them came first.

It was an individual by the name of Tom Morey who, in 1971, built a board that he could use to ride the waves. His love for a specific genre of jazz called “boogie-woogie” led him to name his board the Morey Boogie. He then later sold this board to a company that gave it the trademark name “boogie board”.

As for the name “bodyboard”, it only came to be since other manufacturers couldn’t adopt the trademarked “boogie board” moniker. In this sense, there’s really no difference between these two types of wave-riding equipment, which are both meant to be ridden lying down.

The Differences

You could probably say that bodyboards and boogie boards are one and the same. Some probably use these terms interchangeably, while others, particularly newbies, are probably too excited to catch their first waves to even care about which of these boards they’re using.

The differences between these two closely similar boards can be quite tricky to determine. They can be hard to figure out because you may or may not find them significant. Whatever the case, these differences are real and are worth pointing out.

1. Affordability

Boogie boards are the cheaper version of bodyboards. It’s a bit like comparing Kleenex and tissue; only, this time around, it’s the brand-name product that’s more affordable.

Bodyboards are usually able to address the needs of all types of users, from kids and beginners to advanced users and tournament professionals. Boogie boards, on the other hand, typically draw the attention of people who are just starting to get into wave riding or those who are more into the activity for the fun of it. These boards are great for kids and amateurs.

If you’re serious about riding the waves, be prepared to spend a little bit more on a quality bodyboard. These boards can help you navigate every phase of the wave-riding journey efficiently. On the other hand, if you’re only looking for a fun activity to do in the water and not wanting to engage in some fancy tricks, then a boogie board should suffice.

2. History

The first boogie board, made way back in the ’70s, was composed of nothing more than foam and newspaper. Its inventor, Tom Morey, was constantly experimenting and even struggled to find the perfect name for the product before eventually calling it Morey Boogie.

The first users of boogie boards were local producers, but the activity of boogieing on the water soon caught on, and there was a massive demand on the market for the boards.

The bodyboard began making waves after the boogie board license was sold. Manufacturers wanted to create a version of the product that differed slightly in terms of design. They then named this product the “bodyboard”.

3. Design

The most significant difference between the boogie board and bodyboard lies in the design. Boogie boards are classed as more “basic” compared to bodyboards. Laying eyes on them, as a beginner, you’ll see something simple, easy to learn, and fun.

While the bodyboard can also evoke this type of reaction for some people, it has a bit more of an intimidating element to it because of its advanced features. Someone who doesn’t just plan to boogie on water but is really interested in learning the tricks professionals do with their boards would definitely want to get their hands on this board.

The bodyboard is also made of quality materials, such as polypropylene, expanded polystyrene, and low-density polyethylene. Low-density polyethylene is sometimes used in constructing decks. The board provides better control to users, particularly professionals, by having stringer tubes made of fiberglass and slick tails that offer better grip.

You’ll find hydrodynamics, quality of materials, and grip power to be on a lower scale when it comes to boogie boards as they’re normally used by kids and hobbyists.

Final Thoughts

To sum up the bodyboard vs boogie board discussion, bodyboards and boogie boards are not too different, but they do have some clear distinctions between them that center on design and suitability factors for different users.

Bodyboards are built to address the needs of a wide range of wave riders, while boogie boards are much more ideal for children and amateurs who aren’t looking to do anything fancy or dangerous.