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The Vault Blog

What is the Difference Between Bodyboard Cores?

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There are quite profound differences between the 3 main bodyboard core types on the market, yet these differences are very far from being 'common knowledge'.

Here we give you a summary of the main principles of each to help in your future board purchase:

1. EPS (Extruded Polystyrene)

This is the basic and cheapest core, it is stiff and quite water resistant however it lacks recoil and foam memory (ie: under stress it can crease easily and even snap). An EPS bodyboard core can be really be improved through the addition of a fibreglass or carbon stringer. Being lightweight and cheaper, these cores are good for beginners and casual surfers.

2. PE (polyethylene)

This is an open-cell core, so if exposed to water (ie: by damage piercing through the deck or slick to the core) the board can become water logged. PE however has significantly improved flexibility and memory, so can handle advanced bodyboarding and larger waves without creasing or snapping. PE handles better in cooler water as it can soften too much and become sluggish in warm conditions. PE boards benefit from having at least 1 stringer (2 stringers is probably better for an advanced surfer). A negative of a PE bodyboard is that they tend to be heavier than EPS and PP.

3. PP (polypropylene) 

The best bodyboard core. Lightweight, dense, and the greatest memory/recoil. Although in the past some have been open cell, almost all PP boards now are beaded foam - making the core quite water-tight. Most PP bodyboards are still reinforced by 1-2 stringers for strength and flex. PP bodyboards are the fastest, strongest and highest performing boards - they are also the most expensive.

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