10 or 15 years ago, if you weren’t riding a Morey bodyboard, it’s because you were riding Turbo boards. Turbo Body boards were the only competition against Morey in the 80′s and are still going strong today. The brand itself has rich and colourful history that started out as Turbo Surf Designs. These dudes were the first to create the vinyl deck, and first to sell customized boards. Turbo Body boarding quickly became the professional’s brand of choice, while also helping the sport gain legitimacy and grow away from the novelty of riding a “Boogie Board”. For almost thirty years Turbo has put out a consistently excellent product. There was a little lull for a few years while Turbo disappeared from the scene, but they are now back in full force, and with that much experience it’s no wonder that they are still offering some of the best boards on the market.
The Turbo IV bodyboard model is the retro ride. The old favorite of many a bodyboarder. Riding the waves of thirty winters 2011′s Turbo IV is a little slimmer then the original, with a more contemporary deck but the same things that made Turbo great back then, remain true in this board. Even the color scheme is the same, as is the clipped crescent shape. It’s good for both the groms all the way through to the older crew. For your typical prone rider its a great pick, even if only for all the heart that the board has. However if you want more than heart Turbo has boards with muscle too.
The Turbo V is the work horse of the brand. For the more frequent bodyboarder this board offers more than enough in terms of functionality and durability. It’s styled much in the way that made the old Turbo IV so distinctive, with a solid deck, core and rails. It remains Turbo’s top seller and with it’s retro styling gives a nod to its nostalgic roots. The Turbo V is the sort of board you might see a lot of in the water, because it represents great value for the average rider, but admittedly it is a board you probably won’t see too many of the Pros riding.
Many board brands out there like to plaster their team riders’ names across their range, and it probably comes as no surprise that Turbo is no exception. After all, if the pros choose to ride them, then that’s always a good sign, right? Damien King has not one but two boards with his name attached to them. The HD Turbo bodyboard model is basically a Turbo V that is re-skinned with a handful of his personal touches. When compared to it’s big brother, the King Versatile Limited model, it does look a little light on performance features, but it really depends on what floats your boat. The Versatile is an excellent demonstration of some of Turbo’s greatest strengths. Turbo also has a Versatile model without the King signature on it, and they both hold up admirably for both prone and drop knee riding.
Most other board brands completely disregard them, but Turbo, being so connected with their retro Hawaiian roots have even released a stand up bodyboard. Stand Up Bodyboarding received a bit of attention due to riders such as Danny Kim back in the mid nineties tearing it up, while standing, on conventional bodyboards. The Turbo stand up body board is logically a larger sized board than the rest of the range, both longer and wider and built on its own architecture. The board’s weight distribution is similar to a drop knee board, and is durable enough to survive a few seasons, despite being far more flexible than the fibreglass alternatives for standing up.