boards by brand
boards by price
books and DVDs
seo friendly websites
Tel: 01637 877722
the Bodyboard Depot
the Bodyboard Depot Support
Ask a question:
Loading knowledgebase suggestions...
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions:
• What are the different core materials and what do they do?
The two main types of core material used today are dow polyethylene foam (PE), and polypropylene
foam (PP). Dow has been used in bodyboard cores for decades, and although slightly heavier, offers
superb flex, excellent projection and solid all-round performance when the water is colder. Warm
waters will slightly soften a bodyboard, increasing its flex, and as a result many dow cores now come
with stringers to stiffen them up and give the boards better recoil. Polypro boards are naturally
lighter and stiffer than their dow cousins, but when stringered can be too stiff for many riders when
the water is cold. Newer 3D cores incorporate both PE and PP foams in sandwiched layers, giving the
performance benefits of both materials. It is advisable to choose a core suited to the water
temperatures it will normally be used in, but bigger and heavier riders will naturally need stiffer,
stronger cores (ideally with at least one stringer) to make their board last.
• What is a stringer?
A stringer is a composite material tube that runs down through the middle of the board, effectively
giving it a spine. This adds strength to the core, providing near instant recoil and increasing
projection. Boards with stringers will generally last longer than those without. Specialist dropknee
boards may run two or three stringers to give increased strength in the areas the rider needs it
most, and even some prone boards can run multiple stringers, designed for warm waters and heavy
landings. Multiple stringers are naturally more common in bigger boards to increase stiffness and
• What is the difference with tails?
Tails are the last exit point for water leaving the bottom of the board, and different shapes have
different effects. The four main tails are based on those of the ‘crescent’ and ‘bat’ shape. A general
rule is the wider a tail the more stable and faster it is, the narrower the tail the more maneuverable.
The clipped crescent tail is a popular and proven all-rounder, holding the rider into the wave face
with predictable bite and reassurance. The full crescent tail has narrower tail pegs which increase
control and help dropknee riders lock in their trailing fin to help with turns. The bat tail was
designed by Mike Stewart in the 1990s and is much looser. Its extended bulb increases surface area
making the board plane much faster while reducing drag, as less of the rider is in the water. The tail
releases quickly for spins and is much more maneuverable. A square bat tail is somewhat flatter
than the standard bat tail and provides slightly more stability. See figure 1.
• What is a rail?
Rails are the edges of the bodyboard which plane through the face of the wave. The steeper the rail angle the more bite you will get, increasing your control, but reducing your drive. The shallower the angle, the faster the board will be due to less rail resistance, but harder it is to turn due to the decreased vacuum. Rails generally come in either 60/40 or 50/50 guise, both of which provide a good balance and rail angle of between 30 to 35 degrees. Transitional rails change size and angle over the length of the board, giving you the best of each ratio, but are harder to learn on. Double rails are lined twice and provide more strength to the board, in turn increasing stiffness and durability. See figure 1.
• What is the chine?
The chine is the area of the deck that bends round to meet the rails on either side. After the water has been displaced from under the board it wraps up over the rails and creates a primary vacuum sucking the board into the wave face. It then attempts to wrap around again further onto the chine, as it did the rail initially. The principles of chine size and angle have the same affect on hold and release. See figure 1.
• What is the wide point?
The wide point is the widest part of the board’s template taken from rail to rail. The width and position of the wide point affects the flotation and maneuverability of the board. The wider a board is, the greater buoyancy it has, but the more difficult it is to turn. Boards have become narrower over the last ten years to allow harder and sharper turns in the pocket as performance levels have increased. See figure 2.
• What is the nose-to-wide point?
The nose-to-wide point is the distance from the nose to the board’s widest point, and dictates the
overall shape and template of the board. (As an aside, dropknee-specific templates tend to have
narrower noses for looseness.) A higher wide point offers a greater surface area towards the front of
the board which is more suited for prone riders who drive, rotate and balance from the elbow. It is
also beneficial for prone as the rails then straighten down the length of the board and are more
hydrodynamic than the curved rails of a more rounded template. A lower wide point means greater
versatility; less prone control but more maneuverability for dropknee riders whose pivot is from the
knee, further down the board. See figure 2.
• What board thickness?
Bodyboards have become slimmer over the years, roughly down from about 55mm to around 51mm currently. Thinner boards have less buoyancy and speed, but increased maneuverability. Thicker boards boast bigger volume, increasing speed but hindering rail-to-rail riding. Where thinner boards are more agile and maneuverable in the pocket, thicker boards suit fast sections and big carves.
• What is rocker?
Rocker is the gentle upward curve of your board. Rocker should only be slight, and be focused more towards the front. The greater rocker you have the looser it will ride, but too much and you will have a dog. Likewise, the less rocker you have the faster it will ride, but the less maneuverable it will be. Broadly speaking you should look for a predominantly flat board. Rocker will naturally occur as the materials age - and exposure to heat expedites this. Deck foam naturally expands at a much quicker rate than the slick, so over time boards tend to develop the dreaded reverse rocker.
• How do I fit a leash?
Fitting a leash is a simple job once you know how, but can be daunting if you are attempting it for the first time. The tools are simple: a Philips head screwdriver with a shaft of around 5mm in diameter, a 2p coin (or a 50p coin if you’re from London), and a leash plug. The golden rule is to avoid the stringer. If your board has a single stringer it will run straight through the centre of the board from the tail until about eight inches from the nose. If it’s a dropknee board it may well be double stringered, which means there will be one around four inches in from each rail. (Holding your board up to a bright light you can usually spot where the stringers are.)You then need to decide which side you want it - generally you want it slightly off centre to the opposite side that your leashed arm will be, so the coiled cord will sit on the deck in the middle and stay out of the water. Next, push the screwdriver as straight as possible through the deck and through the core until you feel it touch the slick on the other side. Stand the board up to check it’s at 90 degrees, and push further until you see the slick flexing where the screwdriver wants to break through. Remove the screwdriver, spin the board over and push the screwdriver in from the slick side to complete the hole. Next unscrew the leash plug into two halves. Push the deck half of the plug into the board, then the slick half through to meet it. Screw tightly together with the coin until both ends of the plug are pressed flush and you are good to go. Or alternatively any member of staff can do it all for you while you look away and wince as we jam a big screwdriver into your shiny new board (insert evil laughter.)
• How should I look after my board and kit?
Your board, fins and wetsuit are all relatively durable pieces of kit, but they aren’t infallible. As with anything, you will need to look after them in order to make them last, a little love goes a long way. Sea salt will want to eat away at your equipment long after you’ve got out, so make sure you give it all a good rinse with fresh water after each session to get rid of abrasive sand and salt. Other rules: don’t drag your board up the beach, attempt to use it as a skimboard or go tobogganing on it at the first sign of snow at your local hill. Also bodyboards, just like dogs, don’t like hot cars. Extreme heat can cause your board to delaminate or deform, in some cases creating reverse-rocker, which is virtually the death knell for it. So buy it a bag, or at the very least a sock, to stop the sun from ending your fun.
• How do I wax my board?
Wax is key to helping you stay on your new board and progress your riding. It also helps you not fall off your board when you are trying to sit on it, which generally provides bloody fantastic hilarity for all who witness it. The main areas to wax are on the nose and slightly under the front corners on the slick side; then in patches where your elbows sit on the deck; and a third of the way down each rail for where your opposing hand lies. You can also wax lightly where your hips rest on the board, but you don’t want too much or you won’t be able to distribute your weight quickly across the deck when riding. The best way to wax is an opposing criss-cross pattern giving you little sticky bumps where you need them.
• What are the different delivery options?
You can have your new stick delivered next day in the UK for £6.49.
• What are the payment options?
We accept all regular cards, cheques or cash, or if you can land 720 air reverses you can have them for free as we are looking for good team riders. Alternatively you can transfer online to:
• How do I choose a pair of fins to suit my foot size?
Choosing the correct sized fins is important so you don’t get cramp, or worse still rub, which can hurt like hell and in some cases put you out of the water if untreated. All fins have foot pockets of different sizes, volumes and shapes, and boast different compound rubber for comfort. Some fins are better at coping with wider feet, such as MS Vipers. Most fins come in block sizes of small, medium small, medium, medium large, large, and extra large, which correspondent to your normal shoe size. It is advisable to try before you buy with fins; as just because they are technically the right size it doesn’t guarantee they’ll fit correctly. We recommend a pair of fins for the summer that fit you with thin flipper slippers or nothing on your feet, and another pair for winter that fit you with 3mm wetsuit socks on.
• What are your opening times?
We are open daily from 9am to 5pm. However, as we also run the bodyboard school from our centre, the busier periods are from 9am to 10am, and from 1pm to 2.15pm.
• Can I order from outside of the UK?
Absolutely, we can send your board tracked and delivered in Europe for £25.
Was this article helpful?
Help Desk Software
Go to the Top of page
Go to Home page
Go to Shopping Cart page
Go Back one page
Go to the Bottom of page