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Is there a real difference between boogie boarding and bodyboarding?

When comparing the two water sports of bodyboard vs boogie board, it can be challenging to understand the difference.

There are many reasons for the common confusion found when discussing the two water sports.

One main reason for this challenge is that both boogie board and a bodyboard are often referred to as the same thing.

Both water sports follow similar tactics in order for you to perform them well and other techniques to keep you in the water.

Their boards are often used interchangeably by users as they are similar is shape and design.

These differences are technicalities that divide the two water sports.

However, their many similarities lead to the confusion of considering boogie boarding and bodyboarding to be the same thing at heart.

To better understand the similarities and differences between the two you must look at how they are performed, the subtle differences in their boards, the intended skill level, and other features closely related to water sports.

Why bodyboarding and boogie boarding?

Both bodyboarding and boogie boarding are great water sports to participate in. They allow you to enjoy your time in the water and perform small tricks on waves without performing stand up surfing techniques.

You will be moving along with the waves of the water while lying on your board or resting your knees on your board for more advanced boarders.

These water sports are often easy to learn as beginners can quickly pick up the ability to move on the board due to their position.

Rather than trying to balance and move the board as done in surfing, bodyboarding and boogie boarding will not be as challenging as you will be lying down on the board.

You can often learn the two water sports in just a few short hours and be ready to hit the water.

You can go out into the water or stay closer to the shore as most waves will suffice for your movements.

They can be a great way to stay in shape as well as they work out a majority of your body and muscles while helping to improve other health conditions.

The strength of your arms and even your legs is strongly developed when doing either bodyboarding or boogie boarding.

Both your arms and legs are necessary to paddle through the water and to provide an element of control to your movements.

This works to further strengthen the muscles within these two regions of your body and even strengthen your core.

Beyond building up your muscles and overall strength, you will see improvements in other health areas as well.

This includes a notice increase in your coordination skills along with better balance.

Both coordination and balance play important roles in keeping you on your boards while in the water.

This focus allows you to improve these skills.

How to boogie board and bodyboard

The first step to completing either of these water sports is to understand how you are positioned on your board. It is important to know how you wish to lay on the board prior to approaching a wave.

Beginners should practice this on the sandy shore, making sure they are positioned with their hands featured at the top of the board, also known as the nose, and their belly on the back portion of the board, called the tail.

This will allow you to keep your weight more centered and to paddle along the sides of the board.

Once you are prepared, you are able to wade out into the water and paddle to waves that look ideal for your skill level.

The board’s nose should always be kept above the water by at least two and a half inches.

To get on a wave, you will want to paddle and kick to where the waves are breaking within the water, with your fins under the water’s surface.

Here you will be able to find a rideable wave that is strong enough for you.

The nose of your board should be pointed in the direction of the shore, so you are moving within the same direction as that of the approaching wave.

You will want to get ahead of the wave, so you catch it at the right time where it is able to carry you forward.

To which directions once you are on the wave, you will lean in either direction.

To learn more about how to move in the water and other techniques for beginners of boogie boarding and bodyboarding check out this quick video.

Difference in gear

Both bodyboarding and boogie boarding will require you to have a few pieces of gear beyond the necessary board.

You will need a leash for your board, fins, a rash guard or else a wetsuit, and of course wax for taking care of your board.

Having a leash for your board is often highly recommended for these water sports, especially for bodyboarding. This is a leash that connects both you and your board to each other, making it easier for you to retrieve your board from the water.

They often connect to your wrist or arm and make sure your board is never too far beyond your reach. This is important for scenarios when you are knocked off your board or when you lose control.

Waves and the water’s current can easily take your board out of your reach and make it challenging to recover.

Another addition to your board is a fin which is designed to help you maneuver and control your board once in the water. This is for more intermediate or advanced boarders.

Having either a rash guard or wet suit will work to protect your body from the water and the sun.

A rash guard is used to cover any beach goer, working to protect them from the sun and other natural elements you might encounter while spending some time at the beach.

This is important in maintaining your health and preventing injuries like sun burns from occurring during your time in and out of the water.

 A wetsuit offers similar protection but also works to prevent the temperature of the water from affecting you.

Wetsuits are designed for slightly cold or chilled water temperatures, not those that get below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

They come in a variety of thicknesses to best suit whichever water temperature you will be experiencing.

Wearing a suit like this will prevent you from getting cold in the water and prevent an illness from occurring as well.

These suits work by allowing a thin layer of water to enter the suit, creating a barrier around your skin.

Your skin will warm this water and therefore allow you to stay warm too.

The wax you use for your board will protect it from damages caused by the sun and salt particles, which is discussed in the section below.

The board you use will also be important to consider. The boards are very similar in design and nature, allowing you to ride along waves and the water’s current easily.

However, there are a few minor differences in their material, hydrodynamic abilities, and their skill levels.

Bodyboards are often more expensive as they use more advanced materials in their core for greater stiffness and increased control.

They allow for greater hydrodynamics as well.

Boogie boards cost less than this and often feature less grip areas for you to hold onto.

Finding the right board requires you to consider your length and weight for either board option.

Due to these differences, bodyboards are often recommended for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced and competitive bodyboarders.

Boogie boards are often more favorable to those who are amateurs and participate in the water sport as a hobby rather than compete in competitions.

Taking care of your board

To take care of your board, whether it be a boogie board or a bodyboard, you will need to follow a few rules in order to prevent damage from both salt and the sun.

Your board should never sit in direct sunlight as this will damage the shape of the board and damage the exterior.

You should also wash your board after use to remove any salt as it can wear down the exterior of the board and affect its durability.

Waxing the nose, rails, and tail your board is a way to increase your grip on the board.

Simply use any surfer board wax or to complete this task. Pouring hot water onto your board will melt the wax off and allow your board to be wax free again.

Bodyboard vs. boogie board: How do they compare?

There is very little difference between bodyboarding and boogie boarding. This is due to the two water sports often being mixed together.

Even their names are used interchangeably by many who participate in the activities.

These subtle differences in their gear and performance, allow you to more easily move from one to another, with little difference in technique and overall performance.

Both board types work well for all users, whether you are new to either water sport or an advanced performer in bodyboarding or boogie boarding.

The shapes of the two boards are different in their price, grips, and material used.

Boogie boards are known to be cheaper and more widely used by those who are younger or not as advanced in the water sport.

Both water sports require additional gear beyond a board, including a rash guard, wetsuit, wax for your board, and fins to help you maneuver.

No matter which board you select, you will want to take good care of it.

Luckily, the minute differences between both bodyboards and boogie boards allows you to use the same care and maintain options.

This care allows you to extend the life of your board along with ensuring it will function well while in use in the water.

To care for your board, who must be aware of the effects of both the ocean’s salt and the sun as these will be the most problematic factors that can damage your board or impact its performance.

Cleaning your board along with following proper waxing techniques will help keep it operating and in a good condition.

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