Today, bodyboards are more than just a soft sponge made for riding summer waves.

In the past, you had to switch boards whenever the wave conditions changed. Fortunately, bodyboarding equipment evolved, and now, with stringers, you can ride the same board all year round.

With the advent of stringer systems, bodyboards became complex hydrodynamic mechanisms ready to excel in the most extreme ocean conditions.

But what exactly is a stringer and what does it do for your riding? A bodyboard stringer is a more or less flex pliable tube or rod that is inserted in the bodyboard's core to give it extra strength.

Bodyboards may be shaped to accommodate a single and central stringer, two side stringers, or a three stringer setup. These sticks are often made of carbon fiber or fiberglass and can be quickly installed or swapped using a special key.

These tubes help boards spring back to their original shape, even after being put to the test in extreme wave riding conditions such as punchy shore breaks, closeout waves, and vertical elevator drops.

Interchangeable Stringer System (ISS): a universal stringer standard for bodyboards

You can consider stringers to be the spinal cords of a bodyboard, just like the thin wooden strip featured in a surfboard.

And taking into consideration that bodyboards react greatly to different water temperatures - cold water makes them more rigid, warm waters make them more flexible - stringers can play an interesting role in your gear choices.

With interchangeable stringer systems, you can switch from a flexible to a stiff stringer in a matter of seconds. A flexible model is suited for small, mushy surf, while the stiff model will provide added structural rigidity and speed to your bodyboard.

Stringers can be replaced via tail. When inserted in the board's core, they will cover around two-thirds of the foam, making sure it will not mess with the leash plug.

The bodyboard stringer system is a universal standard, so you can use the same stringer kit on a large number of bodyboard models.

Learn more about the anatomy of a bodyboard.