5 Best Cornhole Boards In 2019 (Reviews & Buyer's Guide)

5 Best Cornhole Boards (Reviews) in 2019

Best Cornhole Board Review

More Than Just a Sack of Feed And a Piece of Plywood

Find out the best-rated CORNHOLE SETS

FWAP! The thudding sound of canvas against wood is a sound that anyone from the midwestern and southern United States will recognize instantaneously. A pellet filled bag has struck its mark. The crowd holds its breath as the bean bag slides up the sloped board, inching its way to the hole at the head of the cornhole board. 

FLOP! It's in. Three points!

Cornhole is a favorite leisure game across America that has seen a rise in popularity over the last ten years thanks to 'The American Cornhole Organization' being established in Ohio in 2005. The official American Cornhole League was founded ten years later in 2015 to promote and develop cornhole as a recognized sport.

Nowadays the sport is regulated by the ACA, or the 'American Cornhole Association.' There are leagues, teams, official tournaments, and competitive competitions for the sport throughout the states, but cornhole, at its roots, is meant to be a backyard staple; a game for all ages to enjoy at BBQs, cookouts, and gatherings.

Our Top Picks for Best Cornhole Boards

Evolution....

The history of the game begins with a game called 'Quoits', which is a traditional game from the Colonial. The game involved throwing metal, rope or rubber rings over a set distance to land over a spike driven into the ground sometimes called a mott, hob, or pin. This game not only birthed the concept of cornhole, but also another backyard game we in the USA know well; horseshoes. 

The game we know today was first described in an 1883 patent for 'Parlor Quoits', which displays most of the features of modern cornhole, except Heyliger de Windt prescribed his game to use a square hole instead of a round one. The game was designed to be a version of "indoor quoits", and within 100 years, it became a national sensation thanks to Popular Mechanics (Pg 138). They wrote an article on a game called "Bean-bag Bull's-eye." which is what most of us know as "cornhole" today. 

The setup is simple, and the rules are easy. But there are several different styles and models of Cornhole boards and bags, so prepare to be educated in "The Way of the Cornhole"!


1. GoSports Wooden Regulation Boards

The Original Starter Pack


GoSports Solid Wood Premium Cornhole Set Review

Review

This is the best option for someone looking for a solid, quality, first cornhole set. Made of 100% solid wood, these classic boards sport a varnished surface that is perfect left as-is or custom painted. The boards are made with a pine support frame and mitered corner joints for maximum strength. Because of their plain finish, these boards are perfect for slapping on your own decals, stickers, or stencils, which make them perfect for a family project. 

This company also has a great warranty service. If you inspect your product for damage on arrival, they ask that you reach out to them right away and they will send you a free replacement. This could come in handy because more than a few people had some issues with the stitching in the bags popping, so that’s one thing to watch out for.

Research also indicated that while the surface of most of their boards is fantastic, there are a few that have come out with a tacking or flaky finish. This seems more the exception than the rule, however.

Pros
+ Regulation size
+ Premium Craftsmanship
+ Durable construction
+ All-weather bean bags
+ Varnish Top
+ Personalisation option

Cons
- Slightly bulky

2. ACA U.S. Flag Regulation Set

The Competitor's Choice


American Cornhole Association Official Cornhole Board and Bags Set Review

Review:

This is almost the Rolls Royce of Cornhole boards for those of us perhaps looking for something worth showing off. The ACA makes their own boards to exact regulation specifications, and this board has nothing but good things being said about it.

This is the only Cornhole set made by the official governing body of Cornhole, and it is made right here in the USA. This model features a solid 1/2' thick face made of Baltic Birch Plywood overlaid with a vintage American flag design. It is regulation size, 24" x48", and according to the research, has a fantastic, balanced "stick/slide" ratio. The design has grips on the frame of the board for easy transport, and the four red and four blue bags fit inside their own drawstring carrying bag for convenience. 

These bags are filled with authentic corn according to customers, so you're getting the 100% real deal when it comes to this set. And because they have such high standards for their own sport, the ACA offers a 100% money-back guarantee. If you are not thrilled with the product, they will give you a full refund! No questions asked.

Pros
+ Official tournament-grade cornhole board
+ Exceptional Build Quality
+ Solid Wood Construction
+ Made in the USA
+ Elegant Design
+ Backed by 100% money-back guarantee

Cons
- None!

3. OOFIT Solid Wood Regulation Size

Manufactured for Quality


OOFIT Portable Cornhole 2' x 4' Bean Bag Toss Game Set Review

Review

This company’s sleek and unique design is only one of the things that set it apart from other brands. In addition to being made of cabinet grade birch plywood, they sport an actual hardwood frame built with excellent craftsmanship. And that’s just the beginning of the detail they put into the construction.

They also coat the frames and legs with a lacquered finish to be water-resistant. Each board is also designed to be strong; they prove this by having team-members stand on them. Woven rope handles lay on the side of each board for easy carrying.

Rather than a vinyl sticker that will peel and fade, the top and bottom are made of a scratch-resistant, waterproof, heat-pressed printing that has the perfect stick and slide ratio. This feature goes hand in hand with the synthetic all-weather bags that come with this set. Their boards all come with a 3-month warranty and your satisfaction guarantee. This set also has a unique velcro feature that holds the boards together at the corner to make for easy transport.

One thing to watch out for is that some of the boards seem to unfold in such a way that they don’t quite meet the regulation height of 12”, but this seems to be a sparse and isolated problem with these models.

Pros
+ Natural wood finish
+ Water/Scratch resistant top
+ Velcro strips to safely secure the board
+ Carrying handle

Cons
- Non-regulation height 

4. Driveway Games All Weather Regulation Cornhole Set

Outdoor Family Fun


Driveway Games All Weather Cornhole Set Review

Review

This cornhole game set includes two weatherproof regulation-size cornhole boards made of a hefty, dense plastic that will not warp in the humidity or rain like a wood set will. It is touted as being perfect for leaving out in damp weather or playing poolside on a hot summer day. It is available in red, white, or beige coloring. Included in the set are the eight regulation-size 14 oz cornhole bean bags.

These waterproof bags are made of thick all-weather canvas and filled with moisture-proof plastic pellets. They are also double stitched for durability. The nice thing about this setup is the weight. A lot of wood boards can way 20-30 pounds each, but these plastic designs are trimmed down to 18 lbs. a piece, so they’re ideal for taking to the beach, park, picnics, etc. They even have a bean bag holder underneath the board itself, so you can keep the whole thing together. No lost bags! 

Driveway Games is a US Company with US Customer Support. They boast a fantastic guarantee that your set will arrive free of defects. They affirm they will stand behind their products 100% and you can directly email them with any problems you might have. 

Even the people who mentioned that the legs were not working the way they needed to, said the support they got from the company was fantastic, so your mind can be at ease.

Pros
+ 100% All-weatherproof
+ Solid build quality
+ In-built bean bag storage
+ Lightweight and durable
+ Excellent support

Cons
- Few buyers complained about support failure, but the issue seems to be resolved by the manufacturer

5. GoSports Portable PVC Framed Tailgate Cornhole

The Easy Travel Budget Option


GoSports Portable PVC Framed Cornhole Toss Game Set Review

Review

We might get crucified by the die-hards for this, but not all of us are so into cornhole that we need a $100-$200 regulation cornhole set. Sometimes you just want a game to toss in the back to let the kids play with.

Sometimes you just want to play the game, not compete with all the rules. This is where the Gosports Portable Tailgate Size Cornhole shines. This set includes a tailgate size "board" set, measuring 3' x 2', made out of light, compact fabrics and PVC.

It also comes with the eight bags and a carrying case, which is handy considering this setup is meant to be portable; it's only 10 pounds! The point of this setup is to be quick, easy, and fun. It's a cheap way to play cornhole without having to dedicate a ton of time and space to a full-size set.

The whole thing can be set up in under a minute and can provide hours of entertainment without the hassle of a regulation setup. Just toss it together and start tossing bags!

Gosport also brags a 100% satisfaction guarantee of their product.

Pros
+ Lightweight design
+ Portable
+ Bang for the buck pricing
+ Excellent for kids and family outings

Cons
-  Bags bounce higher due to the stretched nylon top which makes it slightly difficult to score
- Less ground clearance

Cornhole Board: Buyer's Guide

There are a couple of factors to keep in mind while selecting a cornhole board. We've discussed the same in the next section.

Regulation Size or Tailgate Size?


Regulations state that a competition Cornhole board is exactly 24" x 48", or 2' x 4'. This is the standard size used in tournaments and competition games. However, there is also a second standard size, which is called a "tailgate size" which measures 24" x 36", or 2' x 3'. Both sizes have their place, and it's up to you to decide what it is you want to play on.

The regulation size was implemented to make a consistent standard for those itching to compete at the highest level. Board tops must measure 4ft in length and 2ft in width and can only be made out of ½" thick plywood or thicker. The hole for the bags to slide through has to be six inches in diameter, centered 12 inches from each side of the board and nine inches from the top. There are also rules stating how tall the board must rise from the ground, and what angles the boards must lay at.

In addition to the board, the Cornhole bags have competition regulations too. Each bag must be made out of a durable fabric 6.25 square inches with a 0.25 inch stitched seam on all four sides. These bags usually have approximately 2 cups of feed corn inside them, and can only weigh 14-16 ounces when stuffed. Though if you'd rather not have actual corn, the ACA will allow for the use of plastic pellets.

The reason this is done is to provide consistent play. When you play regulation sizes and rules, you can play in any tournament or backyard competition and reasonably expect that your game will be the same as any other game anywhere in the world. They're also the most popular size boards to play with, so it eliminates unwanted frustration with potential players. Lastly, it's just plain sturdier most of the time; you want a set that will last, and because of the specific dimensions needed for a regulation set, they tend to be built to take a beating.

So if that's the case, why would "tailgate size" even be a thing? Well, one distinct advantage is that it takes significantly less space to play. You can set them up closer to each other, and they take up less space in transport. This makes them more of a "social" option for people who are just looking to play and don't really care about rules and regulations.

Traditional Corn or All-Weather Bean Bags?


Traditional feed corn is a dried, ground-up corn that resembles grains of rice in texture and size. This is the traditional stuffing for corn hole, but there are some problems with this setup. The biggest one is moisture; corn likes to mold over time if left moist in any way, and so when you play outside this inevitable invites said moisture. This is the main reason many people and events, including most tournaments, have switched to resin filled bags.

Resin bags are superior in the fact that they won't break down or mold over time. This means they also provide no dust, which can help actual corn bags stick to the board when tossed. This is the only real strategic advantage to corn bags over resin. However, the lack of a mess when playing with resin actually helps for indoor play, and so it's become more and more popular in competitive circles.

What Material Should I Use?


There are several trains of thought on this, but the biggest thing to keep in mind is moisture. If you're using plywood, (or any wood for that matter) it has to be moisture-free or protected against it. Otherwise, the wood can twist, buckle, bubble, de-laminate, and all other things that will ruin your boards and your fun in one go.

Keeping them indoors in a climate-controlled environment is ideal, but cornhole boards are not the easiest thing in the world to just stash away due to their size. Another thing to think about is how portable you want the boards.

Dragging 20-pound boards to the front yard isn't that bad, but dragging them a mile down the beach is not going to be a picnic. Think about where you're most likely to use them and go from there.

How to Play a Game of Cornhole


Once you have your court set up, you can begin to play. There are two basic ways to play a game, one is called singles, or 1 vs. 1, and the other is the more popular doubles or 2 vs. 2. Either way, each match is broken down into "innings" like in baseball. During an inning, each player must pitch all four of his or her bags, and the inning isn't completed until all players have pitched.

Singles: 1 vs. 1 

Both players must stay in their designated pitching boxes and lanes for the whole game.

1) Starting in their boxes, each player alternates pitching bags until each of them has pitched all four of his or her bags.

2) After each inning, the players walk to the end of their lane to the other court, take score, and start the next inning.

Doubles: 2 vs. 2 

In a game of doubles, one player from each team stands beside the cornhole board and stays in that lane when innings switch.

1) Starting in their boxes, one player from each team takes up their bags. Team-one pitches all their bags to the other end of the court, followed by the pitcher for team-two. The inning is over when all 8 bags have been pitched down the court to the teammates, who count score and then pick them up.

2) After each inning, the players on the other side of the court pitch and the cycle begins again. Whether you're playing singles or doubles, an inning starts with the "honor" pitch, which is to say that if your team scored the most points in the last inning, your team pitches first the next inning.

Scoring 

Scoring is based on "cancellation" scoring, which is where the points of one player cancel out the points of the other. Because of this, only one player or team can score per inning.

There are two different kinds of points; In-The-Count points and In-The-Hole. An In-the-Count point is a single point for any bag which comes to rest on top of the board. An In-The-Hole point is scored when a bag goes through the hole and is worth three points. This includes In-The-Count points that are knocked into the cornhole by subsequent bean bags.

So as an example, if one team gets three In-The-Hole points and one In-The-Court point, they would have a total of ten points. If the other team then scored six points at the bottom of the inning, the final points for the inning would be Team-One scoring four points, and they would throw first next inning.

A "foul bag" refers to any bag that has not been determined as Bag In-The-Count or Bag In-The Hole, and it is worth no points. This includes bags that touched the ground and then popped up onto the board, as well as bags that hit the bottom edge of the board and still partially touch the ground.

The game is played until one team reaches 21 points.

To Wrap It Up

Cornhole is a fantastic sport that is easy to learn and fun for all ages. It is a game of skill, but one that's easy and simple enough for the whole family to enjoy. It provides an outlet for both carefree spirits looking to socialize and die-hard competitors.

Yet for such a simple game, a lot goes into choosing a set of boards and the bean bags that you throw. So sit down and think about what it is you want out of this game and then pick the setup that is right for you.

We promise no matter what you go with, you'll love the hours spent tossing simple sacks of corn, and that, in and of itself is the beauty of Cornhole.

Kevin James
 

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