Skimboarding vs. Bodyboarding vs. Boogie Boarding (Which Board Should I Get?)

People often use skimboarding, bodyboarding, and boogie boarding interchangeably, but you should know that these three sports are not the same.
Skimboarding vs. Bodyboarding vs. Boogie Boarding

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Skimboarding differs from the other two in the way that it is being performed—starting from the shore and meeting oncoming waves in a standing position. Bodyboarding and boogie boarding are the same in practice and the way that they are being performed, but the difference is in the technicality of how people often use these two terms. Because these three sports are different, it is important that you choose the board that will best support your skills, riding styles, and riding goals.

Skimboarding, bodyboarding, and boogie boarding are all becoming increasingly popular all over the world. But it can be difficult to enter into these sports, especially if you don’t know if they are the same or different. So, if you’re curious about these water activities and would like to know further, then read on!

What Is the Difference Between a Bodyboard and a Skimboard?

The difference between a bodyboard and a skimboard is how they function. Bodyboards are used in riding massive waves as opposed to skimboards which are used for smaller waves in shallow waters.

Since the boards are used for different purposes, they are also designed uniquely to accommodate their use. A bodyboard has a rectangular shape; it is longer, wider, and thicker than a skimboard. A bodyboard typically measures about 4 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 2 inches in thickness. Bodyboards are manufactured this way to provide stability and strength for the riders to face massive waves in the prone position.

In contrast, skimboards look almost similar to a surfboard – the only difference is that they are smaller in size and do not have fins. Because skimboards are built for wave riders to glide across shallow waters effortlessly, they are designed much smaller and lighter to cater to flexibility and optimal skimming stunts. They usually measure about 3 feet long, 18 inches wide, and their thickness is around half an inch only.

Can You Bodyboard on a Skimboard?

No, it is not safe to go bodyboarding using a skimboard. Bodyboarding requires a board specifically designed to withstand big waves, while skimboards are intended to be used to ride smaller waves near the shore.  In addition, it would also be difficult to bodyboard on a skimboard because they are too short to ride in a prone position.

So, if you are up to trying this activity, make sure to use the proper board equipment to avoid possible injuries. When bodyboarding, the correct thing to do is use a bodyboard, not a skimboard.

Can You Skim With a Bodyboard?

Although some people may do so, a bodyboard is not ideal for skimming. A bodyboard is too big and heavy for a rider to smoothly skim across the water’s surface. Therefore, skimming isn’t as fast and fun as opposed to using a skimboard.

Consequently, beginners may have a harder time skimming if they are using a bodyboard. A good skimboard would definitely help you learn and appreciate this activity better.

Is a Boogie Board the Same as a Skimboard?

No, these two are completely different from each other and are used on separate occasions. A boogie board is a trademarked name popular for bodyboarding activities. A skimboard, on the other hand, is the board used for skimming.

However, there are skimboards sold under the boogie board brand, too, like the Wham-O Boogie Board 35.5″ EVA Skimboard. That’s why it’s always best to check the name of the actual product and not just the brand when buying one.

What Is the Difference Between a Boogie Board and a Skimboard?

The main difference between a boogie board is that a Boogie Board is a brand name while the skimboard is not. The boogie board is a trademarked name usually associated with bodyboarding and has somehow been synonymous with a bodyboard.

If used in this context, a boogie board is a board long and wide enough to accommodate a person lying down. In contrast, a skimboard is shorter, narrower, and lighter and is used primarily for skimming.

The difference between a boogie board and a skimboard rests in the function and design of the equipment. But, although the boogie board is usually associated with bodyboarding, it’s also important to know that the brand has since branched out into manufacturing skimboards as well. So be extra certain when using these terms.

Can You Skimboard With a Boogie Board?

The answer depends on the context. Yes, you may skimboard with a Boogie Board if you are referring to the Boogie Board brand. But, if you’re using the boogie board synonymously with the term bodyboard, then the answer would be that skimboarding with a “boogie board” would not be ideal to do so.

Skimboarding requires a board that can easily glide across the water surface. That is why it’s designed to weigh lightly. A boogie board is designed for breaking much bigger waves. It is heavier, wider, and longer, which makes it less optimal to use for skimboarding.

Can You Use a Skimboard to Boogie Board?

It is not advisable to use a skimboard when boogie boarding. When you go boogie boarding, you would need to use a board that is heavier, wider, and longer than a regular skimboard. This is because boogie boarding entails riding much bigger waves, the kind that is not intended for skimboards.

Skimboards are designed to be way lighter than a boogie board because their intent is to glide on the surface of the water more easily and not to ride big waves.

Is a Boogie Board the Same as a Bodyboard?

Most of the time, they do refer to the same thing – the equipment used for bodyboarding. These two terms are often used interchangeably since the “boogie board” was trademarked.

The history goes back to 1971 when Tom Morey invented the modern-day bodyboard, which he called the “boogie board.” The name came after Morey’s love of “boogie-woogie,” a jazz style popular in the 1920s. Consequently, after the boogie board got trademarked, manufacturers were then compelled to use the term bodyboard instead.

But it would also be handy to know that the boogie board brand now has a skimboard product under their name. So, if you plan on purchasing a board under this brand, make sure to tell exactly which board riding activity you will be doing.

What Is the Difference Between a Boogie Board and a Bodyboard?

Since these two terms are often used synonymously to refer to the board specifically used for bodyboarding, there is no actual difference in design and function.

However, there are nuances in terms of how these terms are used. One of the significant differences is that beginners in bodyboarding are more likely to buy a boogie board since the brand is found in most retail stores.

On the contrary, professionals, and board riding enthusiasts sensibly use the word bodyboard as it is the common and generally accepted term for bodyboarding.

Is It Called Boogie Boarding or Body Boarding?

The proper term for this particular sports activity is bodyboarding. The confusion behind these two words is simple, but in order to understand better, we need to go all the way back to the 70s.

On July 7, 1971, American surfer Tom Morey invented modern bodyboarding after shaping a polyethylene foam into a rectangle and finally wrapping it with newspaper. After calling his invention the “boogie board” and having it trademarked, bodyboard became the common term for the board. This is why the proper name for the watersport’s activity is bodyboarding and not boogie boarding.