Confused on what size or shape bodysurfing handplane to get? Does it even make a difference? As a matter of fact it does, sometimes subtly, sometimes quite obviously. The order of consideration when looking to purchasing a bodysurfing handplane: Size, Hull(bottom shape) and Tail.
Just like surfboards. It depends on your size, skill & the waves you want to ride.
Generally speaking, the bigger the wave the smaller the handplane and vice a versa. More advanced riders will be able to use smaller handplanes in smaller conditions.
"..a handplane is like a gas pedal, the more pressure applied the faster you go.." - Ed Lewis from Enjoy Handplanes
Think the hull shape on a bodysurfing handplane doesnt matter? Think again! The hull is where the lift and drive to send you speeding down the wave comes from. The shape will also determine wether you spend that time skipping down the wave face or getting barrelled. In general - the flatter the hull, the faster it will go and the less control it will have. So a deep concave will not be as fast but will allow you to 'grip' into the wave better when its steepens. The best bodysurfing handplanes will have a balance between the two and offer the most versatility.
Just like surfboards, the combination of hull & tail shapes are to give subtle performance differences. However given you dont really pivot off a handplane like you do a surfboard this difference is so negligible that it can be ignored. In other words - this is one decision where aesthetics are your main concern! Here are some classic bodysurfing handplane tail shapes.
Has spent over 30 years of his middle aged life trying to spend more time in the ocean. Likes to surf, bodysurf, free dive and pretend he enjoys chasing big waves.