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Why Aren’t All Boogie Boards A Bodyboard?

Water sports are an endless source of fun. But, moreover, practicing a water sport does not guarantee a healthy exercise routine. There are many types of water sports, and many of them may seem quite similar. For example, when you are a beginner, you may think that surfing, bodyboarding, and boogie boarding are almost the same thing, but is this true? Today we are going to focus on explaining what boogie boarding is and how it differs from bodyboarding.

Do you know why boogie boards cannot be called bodyboards? The answer is straightforward. Because the term boogie board is a registered trademark, the term bodyboard is the generic name given to the rest of the market boards. 

This is always the beginning of the controversy. Both boogie board and bodyboard have many years of history. The origin of both practices dates back to similar times.

For this reason, when we analyze the differences between the two sports, the same question always appears: which of the two came first?

The case of these two sports is very curious. They are two types of boards so similar that it is necessary to review their origins to understand what differentiates them. 

The Origin Of Boogie Boards

We have already established that the way to better understand the differences between boogie boards and bodyboards is to study their history. The Boogie board has one of the most colorful and endearing origins that I know of for any product.

That is the reason it is a sport that produces so much fun and enthusiasm. Maybe it is due to the passion of its creator.

The Beginnings Of Boogie Boarding

The original boogie boards appeared in 1971. Tom Morey was its creator, and he made them for surfing on the beaches of Hawaii. The first board he created was somewhat rustic.

Morey grabbed a knife, newspaper, and foam as his primary tools and components. Amazingly he was able to put it together and immediately jumped into the water. Sounds pretty impressive, but it’s true. 

Morey surfed the waves of the Kong Coast on the Big Island in Hawaii with this handmade board. Observing the success of his idea in practice, Morey began to think of possible names for his invention. The first idea that came to his mind was to call the board S.N.A.K.E.

S.N.A.K.E. stood for side, navel, arm, knee, and elbow, which are the body parts used to boogie board. Fortunately, his friends convinced him that the name was horrible for a bodyboard.

Morey was a big fan of boogie-woogie jazz. The name boogie originated from a style of jazz that became popular in the 1920s. Tom was also a jazz drummer, and it was his love of jazz that enlightened him to choose the final name for his board.

After much thought, he finally decided to name the board Morey Boogie. From that moment on, Tom created his bodyboard business Morey Boogie. Morey managed to have for the time one of the largest companies of board manufacturers.

In addition, it was one of the companies and brands that had a decisive impact on the rise of the sport. Over the years, Tom ended up selling his business to a toy manufacturing company, but that is a story that we will know below.

The Birth Of The Term “Boogie Board” And “Bodyboard”

When Tom moved to California, he started selling the Morey Boogie. What happened next was that the demand became too high for his company’s capacity. Tom was overwhelmed by the demand for boards, and that made him decide to sell his invention.

Tom struck a deal with a San Francisco toy company called Kransco and closed the sale of the invention of a lifetime. After this, Kransco registered the trademark as Boogie Board to use as the name of the board.

With this action, Kransco prevented other companies from using the name boogie board for manufacturing the same or similar boards. This protection of the boogie board as a registered trademark forced the competition to use the name Bodyboard.

This word was the only way for the other companies to tell people they were selling the same product. However, when you do an internet search, you will find that Google uses both terms interchangeably.

Differences Between “Boogie Board” And “Bodyboard”

So far, we have been able to answer the big question that everyone asks: which of the two boards came first? The definitive answer is the boogie board. Because of this fact, it is so challenging to establish differences between two boards that are so similar.

Remember that the bodyboard was the same boogie board but with a different name. Many experts claim that it is the same board and that there is no difference between them.

Due to this, when establishing what the differences are, we focus on very subtle variations between the two products, which are almost indistinguishable. 

The Price 

Let’s say that boogie boards are the economic version of bodyboards. Unlike many brands that compete to the death for the market, the brand name is cheaper than the generic.

  • The bodyboard has a wide variety of models representing an alternative for each type of user, from children to adults or extreme high-performance sportspeople. It is an ideal board for people who may be beginners but want to take this activity seriously.
  • Boogie boards are more positioned in the segment of children or people who are starting in this specialty. These boards are the perfect alternative for a hobby practice or to have fun. That is why they are ideal for children or amateurs.

The Origins

  • It is curious to think that the first boogie board is only composed of foam and newspaper. In the ’70s, the first users of this board were the local producers, but quickly the demand increased, and it became a massive product.
  • The bodyboard began to have its space after Tom Morey sold his invention. Competitors produced a similar product but at the same time with slight differences in design.

The Design

Many experts claim that the only real difference between the two boards is in the design.

  • Boogie boards are considered more basic compared to bodyboards. They are more straightforward, more fun, and more accessible for beginners to learn.
  • Bodyboards can be much more intimidating due to their advanced features. If you are interested in learning how to do tricks that pros do, this is probably the board for you. This board uses only high-quality materials; this finish allows the person to have more grip and control.
  • In boogie boards, the quality of the materials, the grip, and control of the board are inferior.

The Uses Of Bodyboard And Boogie Board

You may not be very clear on which of the two boards to buy. Before you decide, the main thing is to understand what you want the board for, like if you need a stringer, or what is the same, how I will use it.

Depending on the use you are going to make of the board, one or the other will be more appropriate. That is where the real key to the decision lies.

The bodyboard will be the best choice for:

  • Kids and beginners
  • Amateurs and hobbyists
  • Intermediate or advanced level people
  • Professionals of this sport

The boogie board will be the best option for:

  • Children and beginners
  • Amateurs, hobbyists, or people with intermediate level 

A Final Thought On Boogie Boarding And Bodyboarding

We are ending this exciting journey on the waves that we have made about boogie boards and bodyboards. But we cannot finish without remembering that both modalities are extreme sports. We should never underestimate the risks that will always be present in water sports. 

For this reason, the best recommendation is to prepare yourself very well before starting any activity of this type. Many people use boogie boards to have a good time with their families.

But even in this type of practice, we must think about having fun with safety and responsibility.