Longtime Bodyboarder Reviews the Bodypo

by Dave Hahn May 30, 2016 0 Comments

Longtime Bodyboarder Reviews the Bodypo

Talking to Jake at the San Diego demo day. Thanks for the photo, Logan.

Jake is a longtime bodyboarder who's lived in NorCal, SoCal, Hawaii and elsewhere — but I'll let him explain that himself. Jake came out to the San Diego demo day I had last week and tried the Bodypo. He wrote a thorough review of the board that wouldn't fit on the product page, so I thought I'd put it here. 


After 2 years I finally got a chance to test the Bodypo. 

My background is as follows to qualify my statements below: 

Born 1973, first board was about 1977, one of the original Morey boards. I still have my Morey 138.

I grew up learning wave riding in Marin County and San Farncisco, Stinson, Cron, Ocean Beach, Bakers, Fort Point, Eagles, Deadmans, and surrounding areas.

I moved to Brookings, Oregon in 1991 and bodyboarded the coastline there for the next 8 years.

I lived on Maui for a year, The Big Island for a year, moved to San Diego for 6 years and then back to the Big Island for the last 7 years.

I have ridden most of the major brands (not all but a wide range of the top companies through the 80’s, 90’ and early 00’s) I was riding Mantas through the mid 90’s and early 00’s and primarily Science boards since then.

Manta Australia in the 1990’s was heavily experimenting with advanced shapes. One of those threads was the Gun Type. A thin, parallel template with reverse rails (rails that were the smaller percentage of surface area i.e. 30/70 - meaning that the lower planning surface was smaller than the chine) this made a board that was incredibly fast and maneuverable, but took a certain amount of ability to control. Those are the closest approximations to the base entry of the Bodypo.

The Bodypo is not a body board. It is a hydrodynamic wave riding precision tool. It takes the concept of a bodyboard and strips away the “soggy sponge” aspect and refines the hydroplaning principals to absolute efficiency. 

The limitations that you encounter on a standard bodyboard are totally over come with the Bodypo concept.

If you are looking at these statements and thinking “Yea,but…” Here are some answers to your reservations.


  • Yes, it is faster than any board you have ridden. (I have been riding bodyboards since 1977, including fiberglass and wood bodyboards)
  • No, it is not a standard board and does not float the same as a petrol based board, but it is conceptually different from a floating piece of foam.
  • Yes it is comfortable to ride. It is highly maneuverable and precise, if you understand the principals of proper prone technique.
  • No, you are not going to be able to paddle out the same way that you do on a standard petrol based board. You have to adapt and modify your technique as with any new tool or instrument.


What I discovered with my first session on the prototype #301 was that the small minor adjustments that I would normally make to generate speed and try to build as much projection getting into and around flat sections and setting up for barrels, were unnecessary. The speed is there in reserve. All you need to do is accelerate, just step on the gas and go where you want.

There were several sections that normally I would have struggled to get into and with the Bodypo’s speed I was in prime position to take advantage of the sections. There were several barrels that I normally would have gotten into but tooslow to get out of and with the Bodypo I had a fine tune control in the barrel and blew right through the collapsing chandelier and out around the next section and recovered the breaking wave. It was a total shock that the speed was so accessible.

The Bodypo solves all the issues I have with standard bodyboards.

Paddling into waves is fundamentally different than a standard bodyboard. Because the Bodypo is not as buoyant as a petroleum board you have to shift your approach to positioning in the lineup, positioning for waves and positing as the wave you are catching is approaching.

I found that if you approach paddling like a hand-gun, pushing the Bodypo out in front of you, it does what it designed to do, hydroplane. There is actually an advantage in that like a long board surf board, you increase your surface area and gain an advantage in surface area that allows you to catch waves earlier than on a regular bodyboard.

As you are paddling to catch the wave, pushing the Bodypo in front of you the Bodypo hydroplanes so fast that you are not displacing the volume of water that you do with a standard bodyboard because you are sitting lower in the water.

You add the carbon fiber bottom skin and the Bodypo gets tighter, faster, more responsive and has untapped potential in hollow, critical waves.

The other gift that Bodypo gives you is duck diving. It just disappears into thin air going under water. Have spent my life riding in Northern California and Oregon, you develop techniques to getting under waves. 

With a wetsuit and a foam board you basically are struggling to submerge. If the surf is of any real size it requires you to be exceptionally calculated and plan your duck dives to get the maximum effect so that the wave pushes you deep instead of pushing you back.

The Bodypo makes the need to try to get under waves obsolete. It is neutrally buoyant and submerges with zero effort and planes/accelerates in the direction of your plane of attack. You angle down and kick, it goes in that direction.

The other advantage is that the blank Bodypo is quite literally an endlessly modifiable blank canvas that you can super tune continually to your exact riding style gives you a ability that a standard bodyboard made in traditional methods from petroleum based materials does not.

In summary, if you are looking to take your approach to wave ridding to new playing field that has a whole new set of capabilities and experiences, get a Bodypo.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Jake Yarish 5/30/2016

Dave Hahn
Dave Hahn


Dave is the founder of California Surfcraft and the inventor of the Bodypo. Dave was trained as a jazz pianist in Chicago, as a merchant marine in Honolulu, and as a start-up entrepreneur in San Francisco. He is a cancer survivor, an advocate for unlikely career paths, and, beginning in spring of 2015, a father.

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