Bodyboard rails: a balance between control, speed and maneuverability

Rails are one of the most important features in a bodyboard. The side edges of a boogie board are responsible for steering your destiny on a wave.

Bodyboard shapers know how rails can make the difference in a bodyboard. Basically, there are two different types of rails: the 60/40 and the 50/50.

The numbers represent a rail/chine ratio. The 60/40 means that 40 percent is chine - the top part around the deck - and 60 percent is the lower proportion in direct contact with the wave.

The 60/40 ratio is the most popular bodyboard rail format in the industry. If you're riding bigger waves, with steep faces, you'll be needing more control from your board. That is exactly what the 60/40 set offers.

The 50/50 rails - equally divided on the upper and lower parts of the rail - offer more speed and maneuverability. You can also find double rails, consisting of two layers of foam bonded together. They add stiffness to the board, prevent creasing and add speed.

The side edges of a bodyboard will, therefore, play a vital role in wave riding functions such as grip, hold and release. If you need to know more about design, take a look at the anatomy of a bodyboard.

Learn how to choose the best bodyboard, and study the bodyboard core types and materials. Discover the secrets of bodyboarding in "The Bodyboard Manual."