The Best Cornhole Boards for 2018 | A Buyer’s Guide

As the popularity of Cornhole grows, so do the number of companies and individuals selling bag toss boards and products. For such a simple game, you would be very surprised at the number of options, variations, and aspects that you might want to consider when buying your first set.  We’ll look at what qualities comprise some of the best cornhole boards on the market.

It is important to note that regulations vary from place to place, as do local cornhole rules and board sizes. Even the name of the game varies from Cornhole to Bag Toss, or Bean Bag, or “Bags” throughout the country.

There are many places online to find guides for building your own cornhole boards, but I have to caution you as I’ve made (or at least attempted) to make multiple boards following free internet instructions.  I have yet to make a board at the same price and quality of the already-built options on the market today.  It’s very common to underestimate the cost of the wood and materials required.

In fact, I may write an in-depth guide to making you’re own set if there’s an interest.  Leave a comment below!

All of the products in this guide I have either used personally at various tailgates/barbecues or were recommended to me by a few of my cornhole-obsessed friends.  Some are among the best cornhole boards on the market, while others are a bit more casual and less “official”.

Top Cornhole Boards Comparison Chart

Picking the Best Cornhole Boards

Before starting, let’s consider a few things. There are many areas of the United States where cornhole or “bags” is popular and every place tends to have their own set of rules and equipment to play Cornhole (or whatever they would call it). Keeping this in mind, I obviously cannot provide details for every local town’s rules, instead, I’ll stick to the details that are considered official by the American Cornhole Association (yes, it’s a real thing).

Before describing the quality to look for in a board, it’s important to recognize what you want out of the game.  There are three general types of people who play cornhole and each may prefer a slightly different setup.

  • Beginners:

These are the guys who will only pick up cornhole bags after having more than a few beers on a game day or late Friday night patio bar. They are not good at the game; they may think they are at the time, but they are really not.  And although they may get angry at times, they don’t really care about their performance. Instead, they’re just trying to have a good time. These type of people won’t notice unevenly weighted bags or the incorrect distance between boards.  Even so, there’s no reason they can’t pitch in a few bucks to get the best cornhole boards available in their price range.  It won’t break the bank!

  • Regulars

Regulars can be found playing in casual $10 leagues all across the country. They typically have their own cornhole set and spin the bag when they throw to control the slide. They will absolutely notice bag irregularities and will bring out a tape measure to ensure proper distance between the boards.

  • Professional Cornholers (that’s what I call them):

Professional Cornhole Tournament Bags

This group of individuals takes the fun casual game of cornhole way too far. They travel to different states to play in cornhole tournaments, read articles about cornhole and are heavily involved in online cornhole forums where they spend their time arguing about various brands, equipment, and throwing techniques.

All in all, Cornhole is a pretty basic game, and although there are these three levels of experience, the equipment tends to change only very slightly for the three. The main difference between the groups is the amount of money they are willing to spend for a higher quality setup and more consistent experience.

Cornhole Equipment Requirements

There is not a long list of required products when looking for a cornhole board to buy.  The main things that are required are just a board, where the bags of corn (or beans) are pitched. The other main aspect are the bags, which are meant to be pitched into the board. There are also additional products that can be purchased; like lights, which aid in making nighttime play possible or drink stands, which will hold your drink when you focus on your throw.

Evaluating a corn hole board is not hard, but there are a few differences and common mistakes to avoid if you’re looking for a better quality set or even one of the best cornhole boards.

Choosing the Best Cornhole Board

The most important thing to consider while evaluating a Cornhole set is the board. Of course! It is the center, around which the game is played. The players will be throwing the bags into the board and points will be calculated keeping in view the position of bags (the second most important component) on the board’s surface.

There are a number of details that are considered to be ideal for the best cornhole boards. We will not be explaining all of them; instead we will focus on the standards as put forward by ACA (American Cornhole Association). So, according to ACA, the board for Cornhole must have the following things:

Materials for the Best Cornhole Boards:

The boards are regulated by ACA to be made with the material of half inch plywood. This type of material ensures the quality of the board, and minimizes the amount the bags bounce. There are also boards available in the market that are made up of different types of plastics, metals, and other materials. These are typically discouraged and none of them are recommended by ACA because of the change in experience of the game and inconstantly of these materials compared to the standard wooden boards. The plastic and other material based surfaces are usually too slippery and bags have a tendency to bounce off them. This significant variance in the boards can cause the gameplay experience to change and should be avoided when you are searching for a quality board.  However, boards made from these nonconventional materials may be great from someone just starting who want to play casually or wants a very portable option.

Official Cornhole Distance, Size, & Dimensions

ACA Regulation Cornhole SIzeThe board dimensions also play an important role in the evaluation of a good board. The boards must be equal in areas and their front surface and angles must be balanced as well as of a good quality. This is to ensure an even and comfortable gameplay so that both of the players (or teams) can have a good playing experience. Now we will explain the dimensions of frontal area and the angles, which come into play while evaluating the dimensions of the board.:

The area of each Cornhole board should be 48″ x 24″ (4 feet by 2 feet) in surface dimensions. The boards are required to be of the same size in terms of the dimensions because a change in size not only is considered against the regulations but also serves as a change in experience for the players.

The front of the board should be 2-1/2″ from bottom to top. On the other hand, the back of the board should be 12″ from the ground to the highest. The top is maintained to be close to the ground so that the board may have an inclination when the back and front are adjusted at their standard positions. This is also to ensure that the gameplay experience remains smooth and it becomes easier for the players to pitch the bags in the boards. The angles of both the front and back end of the board are maintained to be as close to the 90-degree angles as possible, to ensure a smooth gameplay.

Another important dimension on the top of a bean bag toss board is the hole. The hole has to be 6″ in diameter to ensure the best playing experience. Moreover, the hole has to be centered 9″ from the top, and 12″ from each side of the Cornhole platform edges.cornhole game

Cornhole Board Siding

Some of the best cornhole boards have solid wood sides with the only opening to the underside of the platform through the hole of the Cornhole platform. Such platforms are preferred by ACA to play because it becomes difficult in determining if a bag was pitched inside the board through the hole or the open sides of the board. The portable fold-down versions of the boards (which are open from the sides) are also functional, but get ruled of competitive play.

Cornhole Board Surface:

The surface of the board plays an essential role in the gameplay. The bags’ slipping, bouncing and point scoring highly depends upon the surface of the board. So, the board surface needs to have some texture and optionally visual details on it as well.

The surface should be finished sanded to a smooth texture as per the regulations of ACA. There should be no blemishes on the wood surface that can disturb the gameplay.

Cornhole Board Paint Requirements:

The surface should gloss painted with a high gloss latex paint. This would ensure that the surface allows the bags to slide, but the surface is not so slippery that the bags fall off the board. The color of the paint is preferred to be white, but there is also permitted colors that are easy to see. Any easy to see colored board can be put into the game in ACA sanctioned tournaments.

5 Best Cornhole Board Reviews:

 

Slick Woody’s Burnt Wood Cornhole Set, 4 by 2 Feet

Great looking board, with an extremely high-quality finish for the smoothest of bag slides.  This is truly one of the best cornhole boards available.

Pros

  • Follows ACA Recommendations
  • The graphics are made by Ultra Violet friendly ink, so they won’t fade even in the toughest sun lights.
  • The material is extremely durable and has a tough shape and feel.
  • Great slide when used with 10oz duck cloth classic Cornhole bags.

Cons

  • High Price

 

Victory Sports Cornhole Boards

A Very high-quality board that comes along with a steep price tag. Available with virtually every large college’s logo.  It’s currently the board I have, and love.  Is it among the best cornhole boards on the market?  Well, it might be tough argue against it!

Pros

  • Follows ACA Recommendations
  • High Quality Premium Plywood
  • Officially Licensed Team Logo Prints Available
  • High Quality and Durable Finish

Cons

  • Logo May Fade in Sunlight
  • High Price

 

GoSports CornHole PRO Regulation Size Bean Bag Toss Game Set

The board is very good one if it is kept out of the hands of weather. It is a lightweight set that comes with a pre-fitted lights pack in one of their offers. The rate of the set is very low as compared to the sets of specific accessories and users have given it a rating of 4.5 stars.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to Carry
  • Premium Quality Bags Included
  • Light-Up Edition Available

Cons

  • Poor Quality Bags
  • Board Not Weather Resistant

 

GoSports CornHole Bean Bag Toss Game Set – Superior Aluminum Frame

The Superior Aluminum Frame is not really superior as it is advertised in the product description. The craftsmanship is no doubt detailed, but the metallic board causes a lot of problems when the bags make contact with the board. Some bags tend to bounce off after an annoying slamming sound, while others slide more than expected. There is a significant change in the game experience, so I do not recommend this product.

Pros

  • Durable Aluminium Board Structure
  • Excellent Board Craftsmanship
  • Case Make Board Easily Portable
  • Customizable Board Finish
  • Batteries Included

Cons

  • Not Regulation ACA Board Size
  • Poor Quality Bags
  • Loud Noise Upon Bag Contact

 

Triumph Sports Tournament Bag Toss

 This low cost board may be attractive to low-costtially due to its easy mobility and affordability, however these advantages do not come without their drawbacks.   This board is not the regulation size of 2’ x 4’, and even the bags are undersized. The top of the board is not genuine wood, so the bags slide much more than they should.  It’s not among the best cornhole boards, although it’s a tempting purchase from a casual glance.  I would not recommend this board to anyone who wants to play “Bags” correctly.

Pros

  • Low Cost
  • Handles for Easy Mobility

Cons

  • No Genuine Wood
  • Not Regulation Size
  • Fragile

The Verdict

 

For beginners I would suggest the GoSports CornHole Bean Bag Toss Game Set, however for more experienced or serious players I would choose a board like Slick Woody’s Cornhole Set.

Have a favorite college sports team? Check out Rupp Arena Matching Basketball Court Cornhole Board!

 

1 Comment

  1. clara

    This is an excellent review. I especially appreciated the details about the ACA regulations, the types of players and the descriptive pros and cons.

    Reply

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