Bodyboards: protect the core | Sketch: 4Play

The choice of materials is a very important moment in the design and production of quality and high performance bodyboards.

There are many variables that should be taken into consideration, if you want to kick off a brand new bodyboard company, or if you're buying a new sponge.

The production of bodyboards has evolved through time. In the mid 80's, it was possible to buy bodyboards made of expanded polystyrene. They were fragile and were available in supermarkets.

Today, bodyboards have different shapes and new materials. Bodyboards can be shaped, just like a surfboard, to get the best hydrodynamic performance possible, in the rails, nose, deck and tail.

The most important core materials found in commercial bodyboards are: beaded cores, extruded foam, extruded polyethylene, polypropylene and arcel.

Bead cores in bodyboards have a few good advantages. The cell structured core is water resistant, durable and offer great stiffness. Beaded foams are, however, quite expensive and less buoyant.

Extruded cores display air bubble cells that are produced in large industrial scale. The extruded foam adds floation and soften the impact of aerial moves. This inexpensive material may absorb water and damage the entire bodyboard.

Extruded polyethylene is also commonly known as Dow Core or PE Core, but can appear with other names given by several chemical companies. These have been the most famous bodyboard materials ever.

However, the environmental alerts have been raised and the strength of this material was reduced. Today, PE Core is found in bodyboards for beginners.

Polypropylene - also named PP and Polypro - offers extruded and beaded models. Memory is the most important advantage of this core bodyboard material. PP is water resistant, durable and light weight.

Arcel is a high-performance beaded core made of 70% polystyrene and 30% polyethylene. Bodyboards made of Arcel keep the original shape longer and its stiffness level is excellent.

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