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The Quest for the Best Cornhole Board

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In this article, we’ll lay out this very simple approach to finding the best cornhole boards, along with some great options available on the market today.

Cornhole is one of the most popular outdoor games in existence.

Once a novel game to play while tailgating and at family gatherings, cornhole has matured into a sport with coverage on ESPN that attracts thousands of viewers and big-time prize money.

It is the perfect backyard game for players of all ages, and a great addition as a bar game if you have some available outdoor space.

Cornhole (also known as bags, corn toss, bean bag toss, etc.) is safe, fun, super competitive and portable.

Along with its popularity, the market for cornhole boards has also surged.

If you want to own your own set of cornhole boards, there are tons of options out there; from small travel sets and kid friendly sets to boards made from a variety of materials and designed for specific locations like the beach, snow, and so on.


And with all the cornhole set options available on the market today, there is also a lot of crap.

Many boards that are low quality, cheaply made and mass produced. They just won’t hold up over the long term.

Luckily, there is a very easy way to cut through all the garbage and find a high-quality board that will last for a long time.

We love cornhole, so hopefully you’ll find this guide straightforward and helpful.

If you don’t already know how to play cornhole, read this article first.

TL;DR Summary:

If you don’t have time to read the full article, here’s what you need to know:

  • Find a board that complies with equipment specs of professional cornhole organizations.
  • In general, this means boards that are 2 x 4 feet, made in the USA, constructed of quality hardwood, with a properly coated surface and durable bags (much more detail on specifications below).
  • Now check out our list of the best cornhole boards based on these criteria.

Finding the Best Cornhole Board: Where to Begin

QUICK OVERVIEW: Best Cornhole Boards

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Meets all ACO specifications
  • Can be folded and latched together
  • Constructed with thick plywood and coated with lacquer
VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • 5/8” Baltic birch top sheet and three layers of poly coating
  • Durable
  • Cool rustic American flag design
VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • Appealing natural wood design
  • 5/8” birch top sheets and poplar hardwood frames
  • Unique laminated vinyl playing surface
VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • Designed to meet quality standards of rigorous tournament play
  • The construction includes stainless hardware
  • Top sheet is ½” thick baltic birch plywood
VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • Made with cabinet-grade plywood
  • Portable
  • Great regulation size cornhole boards at a reasonable price point
VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • Made from real cabinet-quality plywood
  • Meets tournament cornhole specifications
  • Foldable legs for storage and portability
VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • Made from ½ inch cabinet grade domestic plywood
  • Natural grain frame with a rose finish construction
  • Come with tons of design options
VIEW ON AMAZON →

What do the pros use?

There are tons of options out there when it comes to cornhole board sets these days. So, where should you begin?

If you’re looking for a quality board that will hold up to frequent use in the backyard and you’re serious about the game, or you own an establishment and need a commercial quality board, the best place to start is with a cornhole set that is approved by the cornhole authorities.

Quick Pick: The American Cornhole Association Board
If you're short on time, you can't go wrong with this cornhole set from the American Cornhole Association: US made, quality materials, built to official specs.

Yet this is a new sport, so figuring out who actually governs the growing sport of cornhole can be a little tricky.  

Luckily there is some guidance out there, especially when it comes to rules about official cornhole equipment.

Which governing body? The ACO, ACA or ACL

There are three main governing bodies of the sport of Cornhole in the US: The American Cornhole Organization (ACO), the American Cornhole Association (ACA) and the American Cornhole League (ACL).

The ACO

The American Cornhole Organization (ACO) organizes regional cornhole competitions as well as national championships. Learn more about the ACO here.

The ACL

The ACL seems to be the fastest growing professional and amateur body governing cornhole games and fostering the growth of this game as a sport.

Case in point: The ACL is the league behind the matches broadcast on ESPN.

The ACA

The ACA also claims to be the official governing body, but it seems that they’re mainly focused on providing some structure to the backyard style of play that most of us are familiar with.

Each organization has its own set of rules. And within each rule-set are equipment specifications.

If you look at all three versions, you’ll notice that the specs are generally the same.

For example, all organizations specify that the boards shall be 2 x 4 feet, constructed of quality hardwood with a centered hole that is 6” in diameter and located 9” from the top of the board. The hole should be 12 inches from each side as well.

For more detailed specifications, let’s take look at the ACO equipment rules so we have a baseline for finding the best cornhole board.

ACO Approved Cornhole Equipment Specifications

Ultra Cornhole Tournament Boards American Cornhole Organization

The ACO says that only ACO certified boards can be used at major tournaments and national championships.

These certified boards have the ACO star logo and ACO 450 bags. An example would be the Ultra Cornhole Tournament Boards, available from the ACO store.  

ACO Approved Boards

For regional events and smaller ACO sanctioned tournaments, ACO approved equipment may be used.

These boards will work well for our purposes.

To be ACO approved the equipment must include hardwood plywood playing boards that measure 47.5” to 48” x 23.5” to 24”.

The playing surface must have a minimum thickness of ½” with cross section backing, or 3/4” without cross-section backing.

Boards must weigh at least 25 lbs and the holes must be 6” in diameter, horizontally centered and 9” from the top of the board.

The front of an approved cornhole board must be 3 – 4” from the ground to the top of the playing surface. The back of the board must be 12” from the ground to top of the playing surface.

The playing surface should have a smooth sanded finish and can be painted with high gloss latex paint or varnish.

Bags should slide on the surface but not be too slippery. If you’ve played cornhole before, you knot this is important.

Bags

All ACO approved bags need to be made from two fabric squares with double stitched seams. The fabric must be durable – as in canvas, twill or synthetic suede.

And, importantly, an ACO approved bag should measure about 6”x 6” and weigh 15 to 16 ounces.

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Now that we know what the ACO looks for in a cornhole set, we at least have a starting point for what the best cornhole boards should feature:

  • Hardwood construction, minimum ½” thick top sheet
  • Playing surface that is either natural or coated with high gloss paint or varnish and designed for moderate sliding
  • Durable bags
  • With correct dimensions and weight specs

So when are trying to find the best cornhole board, make sure it is a built to these specs.

It’s that simple.

Also, look for boards that are made in smaller quantities and manufactured in the USA.

The Best Cornhole Boards: Top Picks for Serious Players

Each of the best cornhole boards listed below complies with the general standards set forth by the governing bodies of modern cornhole.

They share these important characteristics, but also have unique features that set them apart.

Hole Headz Boards

Vibes Audio Hole Headz Cornhole Set, 2 Boards + 8 Synthetic Bags, ACO Certified

The go to boards for official ACO tournament play are the Hole Headz boards. These boards meet all ACO specifications.

They also fold and latch together so you can easily carry the whole set as a unit.

Hole Headz boards are constructed with thick plywood and coated with lacquer to provide a nice balance of grip and smoothness.

These boards are what the pros use, so you can’t go wrong here.

Related: If you already have a good regulation size set of cornhole boards, you can change the look by using a wrap.

The American Cornhole Association Set

American Cornhole Association Official Cornhole Board and Bags Set with Vintage American Flag Design -Bean Bag Toss Outdoor Game - Made with Heavy Duty Solid Wood - ACA Regulation Size for Tournaments
American Cornhole Association Official Cornhole Board and Bags Set

The American Cornhole Association makes a cornhole set with a 5/8” Baltic birch top sheet and three layers of poly coating to protect against dings, scratches and moisture. If you want to impress your friends and family with your new cornhole set, these are the boards for you.

Key Features 

  • Made by one of the governing bodies of professional cornhole 
  • Thick, durable, sturdy construction; 100% wood
  • Very cool rustic American flag graphics
  • Full regulation size and built with carry handles to take on the go. Also available in a smaller tailgate version

Players rave about the quality and craftsmanship with this ACA set. Thick and durable construction that is 100% wod – no cheap filler materials here. It’s heavy and sturdy. The poly top coat will also withstand hours of outdoor play.

Keep in mind, though, that you shouldn’t leave these boards – or any boards with custom graphics imprinted on a poly top coat – out in the rain for too long. Eventually, the graphics will fade or even peel from the face of the baord, even with high quality sets like these. 

The rustic American flag design is very popular. And it looks great. But you can choose from a couple other designs, including a skull, tropical beach motif, and a wavy American flag.

This cornhole set is perfect for backyard barbeques and will meet the quality standards of the competitive cornhole players. They also have a smaller tailgate size (3ft x 2ft) available. 

If you like the rustic American flag look, also check out this bestselling handmade cornhole set available on Etsy. Premium plywood construction, protective high gloss sealant, full size boards made in America:
American Flag Burned Wood Look Custom Cornhole Boards

Slick Woody’s Cornhole Set

Slick Woody'S Treated Oak Cornhole Set with 8 Cornhole Bags, Baltic Birch Plywood Tops for The Smoothest Flattest Playing Surface, Retractable Legs and Back Bounce Brace
Slick Woody’s Treated Oak Cornhole Set

Slick Woody’s also makes a very nice tournament level cornhole set. In fact, these are some of our favorite boards out there. 

The standard Slick Woody’s cornhole boards have a appealing natural wood design with a layer of vinyl lamination. This keeps the board in tip-top shape for many different conditions, including humid summer days. Again, don’t leave it out on the rain for days at a time.

Key Features

  • Meets all official cornhole specs
  • Made in the USA with beautiful (and heavy) hardwood construction  
  • Nice natural wood vinyl laminate decoration on face of the boards. Many other designs available too
  • Integrated all wood carry handles

Aside from this nice surface treatment, this board also has thick 5/8” birch top sheets and poplar hardwood frames to offer a premium build quality. Pure wood construction is what we’re after here. And these fit the bill. Just like the other boards on this list, Slick Woody’s makes solid boards that meet official corn toss specs. 

Slick woody’s makes a bunch of different style cornhole board sets, all made with the same adherence to their high-quality standards.

Anything from the American flag, to your favorite beer logos.

The cool thing is you can find a look that suits you while knowing you’re getting the best materials and construction available.

Note: the top layer is laminated. It is not an actual natural wood top coat. Some people are thrown off by this, expecting to receive a board without any synthetic materials. 

Check out all the Slick Woody’s options here.

Professional Cornhole Series Tournament Set

These basic cornhole boards are designed to meet quality standards of rigorous tournament play. Nothing too fancy here. The design is basic, but if that’s not important to you, these will do the trick.

This set comes with 2 x 4 feet regulation size cornhole boards and meets all cornhole association guidelines for design and construction.

The top sheet is ½” thick baltic birch plywood, with easy grab handles for portability and a smooth coating engineered for the right amount of slide.

The construction includes stainless hardware.

Plus, like the other boards on this list, they’re made in America.

Essentially, these are very durable boards for serious players. A top-of-the-line corn hole set

OOFIT Vintage Cornhole Board

OOFIT Cornhole Set Solid Wood Cornhole Set, Premium 2'X 4' Official Size Bean Bag Toss Game Set Durable Printed Surface Underneath, Portable Regulation Cornhole Bean Bag Toss Gam, Regulation: 2 x 4'
OOFIT Cornhole Set Solid Wood Cornhole Set

Best Cornhole Board with Vintage Looks

The OOFIT board has a unique appearance. This is a regulation size board that, like other boards in this category, folds up for storage and portability.

These boards go through a multi-stage production process to make sure each board is built with high quality hardwoods and ready for extended play indoors or outdoors.

OOFIT cornhole boards are made with cabinet-grade plywood. The wood is “heat-printed” to add extra wear protection, water proofing and scratch resistance.

There is a lot of workmanship here, and players love the final result: a beautiful full-size board with vintage appearance and rugged durability.

One thing to note is that some boards have shown some corner wear from storage and shipping, so keep this in mind.

Overall, these are great regulation size cornhole boards at a reasonable price point.

Rosewood Stained Cornhole Set from Victory Tailgate

Victory Tailgate NHL Regulation Cornhole Game Set - Rosewood Stained Stripe Version - Boston BruinsThese boards are 2 x 4 feet made from ½ inch cabinet grade domestic plywood. The construction features a natural grain frame with a rose finish.

These boards meet all ACA specifications and weigh 62 lbs.

Victory Tailgate boards are CNC machined and made in the USA. These are great all-purpose cornhole sets that will hold up to extended use.

Plus, these boards come with tons of design options to promote your favorite team, or even celebrate your wedding day.

Your guests will appreciate it.

Colorado Joes

Flag Cornhole Games Colorado Joes

If you want some true custom craftsmanship behind your cornhole set, check out Colorado Joe’s cornhole boards.

Colorado Joe’s boards are made with 5/8” Baltic birch plywood and constructed for serious durability.

These guys construct boards with some really cool custom graphics – just check out their website for some examples.

Tailgate Size Cornhole Boards

While it’s also fun to play with a full size cornhole set, the size and weight of these boards is not always conducive to transport or playing in tighter spaces.

If you’ve had trouble fitting a full size set in your car, you can understand the need for a compact version.

Luckily, cornhole boards come in a variety of smaller sizes.

The next size down from the tournament level category is the tailgate size.

These boards are 2 x 3’, so a foot shorter than the full-sized board.

Tailgate cornhole sets still have a 6-inch diameter hole, and the best ones are made from quality hardwoods with smooth finishes and sturdy legs.

Saving a foot on the length can make a big difference when packing your boards with a bunch of other gear in your car.

So, these can be great options for cornhole enthusiasts. These boards are also slightly lighter than full size boards, which can weight between 20 and 40 lbs.

Make sure you stick to the rules of quality construction, though. Smaller boards tend to be mass produced, and if you end up with a cheaply made set, it can ruin the game for die-hard players.

Here is a high quality tail gate size cornhole set we recommend:

Tailgating Pros 3’ X 2’ Cornhole Boards with Carrying Case

Tailgating Pros 4'x2' Cornhole Boards w/Carrying Case & Set of 8 Cornhole Bags (You Pick Color) 25 Bag Colors! (Black/Gold, 3'x2' Boards)

Tailgating pros makes a compact tailgate size cornhole set with solid wood and durable, heavy-duty hardware.

At 13 lbs per board, this set is a little lighter than a full size set and also includes a carrying case for ultimate portability.

Other than the length, this tailgating cornhole board meets all ACA specifications.

The top sheet is made from ½ inch thick plywood, with folding legs that are secured with galvanized bolts.

This a good outdoor option for serious games in a compact size

Wrapping Up

It’s rare that someone plays cornhole without a big smile on their face. It’s such a fun game for pretty much any type of outdoor event, party, or bar scene.

If you want play indoors, we suggest check out a game like DAGZ.

When it’s time to buy your own cornhole set, and you appreciate a good match, just make sure you look for a quality build that meets specifications.

This will give you a board that will hold up over the long haul and give you the full flavor of the game while improving your skills.

The sets listed above are all great examples of this. This should give you a good starting point so you can go out and find the best cornhole board for your needs.

And who knows, maybe we’ll see you on ESPN someday.

 

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