How to Bodyboard: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Bodyboarding

how to bodyboard

Bodyboarding is a thrilling water sport that could be learned at any age. You’re not too young or too old to learn how to bodyboard. Whether you are 14 or 60 years old, you should give bodyboarding a try if you really want to explore the thrill-seeking adventure that comes with bodyboarding.

Bodyboarding is considered the oldest form of surfing and it’s believed that bodyboarding is a lot more difficult than surfing. However, it could be learned in less than 24 hours. Recently, bodyboarding has become one of the most popular water sports in the world.

It’s truly a beautiful experience once you get your chest on a board and you go explore the depth of the ocean. There are some things you must know when learning how to bodyboard.

Understanding How to Swim

teenager swimming in the middle of the pool

If you desire to be a bodyboarder with no knowledge of swimming, you’re most likely not going to have a good experience.

Swimming is an essential part of bodyboarding and you must take swimming lessons if you don’t know how to swim. Learning how to swim will enhance your desire to learn bodyboarding. Just like any other water sport, you must be confident when taking bodyboarding lessons. You must be prepared to face the tides and waves when bodyboarding.

Understanding the Mood of the Ocean

Another thing you must pay attention to when learning how to bodyboard is the mood of the ocean. Your safety needs to come first when you’re trying out something new, you need to look out for any danger signs. You need to remove anything that could be dangerous for you while you’re learning how to bodyboard.

What do I mean by the mood of the ocean?

You must be ready to note the calmness of the ocean and how rowdy it is. Know when the ocean is calm and when it’s safe to bodyboard. You must also ensure to look out for an area that isn’t crowded by surfers or swimmers when you’re studying an ocean.

The main reason for studying the composure and the environment of the ocean is to ensure you don’t crash. You also need to ensure there is someone looking out for you or watching over you.

All these are precautions are necessary for your safety and you should really pay attention to them to avoid having a disastrous bodyboarding experience. Every sport has its own safety measures and the safety measures that come with every water sport. This involves studying the ocean in order to avoid running into other people.

Getting Started on Bodyboarding

Bodyboarding is a thrill-seeking water sport. All it takes is lots of practice and patience. Once you get comfortable in the Ocean or Sea, then you’ll learn exponentially quicker. Everything from the right gear to practicing tricks, we’ll help you get started on bodyboarding.

Get Your Gear Ready and Study the Waves

two bodyboards resting on the wall

You need to get your gear ready before hitting the ocean. Ensure you get the perfect size bodyboard for your body type and weight. Choose the perfect bodyboard for your size in order to ensure a smooth ride.

Get your perfect wetsuit to keep your body warm in water to avoid catching a cold or pneumonia. You also need to get very good fins in order to have a great bodyboarding experience. High-quality fins are always between $40-$60, but they are worth the price.

Good fins allow you to catch waves and navigate through the water at your own comfort. The last thing you want is an obstruction in your bodyboarding ride. After getting your right gear, you should study the current. You need to know if it is low or high tide.

How do I get into the water without getting hit by a big wave? Study the waves to know what direction they are traveling in order to know how to maneuver your way in it to ensure a perfect ride.

Get the Right Position

When you’re trying to catch a wave, you need to get yourself positioned on your surfboard in the right manner.

  1. Plunge into the sand while laying on your board with your hands firmly holding the board’s nose
  2. Positioning the board’s tail beneath your tummy. Ensure your weight is heaved upon the board.
  3. This is where you begin to practice how to paddle. Practice paddling by moving your hands in a motion that scoops water closer to you. This is very similar to the free stroke in swimming.
  4. Accelerate the movement of your feet beneath the water by kicking to speed up your movement. Stroll into the water while holding your board and ensure the water reaches your knee.
  5. In order to avoid getting Stuck, you need to ensure every step is taken while raising your feet. This is where your search for white waves begins, these white waves lead you directly into the beach.
  6. After you are far beyond your knees in the water, you need to hop on your board in the right manner and begin to paddle across the waves.
  7. Ensure you kick below the water surface to speed up movement. Your board’s nose needs to be an inch or two inches over water when you are just beginning, you really need to look out for speedy or high waves.

Waves leading directly into the beach are safer as they stop you from traveling too quick. When you find the perfect wave, you need to kick in the motion leading to the wave. Right below, you can check out the video tutorial on how to position yourself to hit the waves.

Find a Good Wave

When finding the perfect wave, find the breaking point of the waves and create about five to ten inches of distance away from that wave. When the wave is behind you, this is the best time to paddle really hard, while sloping onward for additional speed, in order to catch the wave.

You may decide to paddle with one hand or both, depending on anyone that gives you more comfort and control. You can glide down the surface of the wave in speed by pressing down the board’s nose to increase speed. When the wave becomes too fast to handle, you basically slow down to get some resistance.

You also get to choose your own direction by controlling your board in any direction you want. You should glide the wave until you have explored the narrow fragment of the water (this is anywhere that’s below your knee). You may decide to continue or take a break from catching waves depending on how comfortable you are in the water.

the lip of the wave

Study the wave language

You must pay attention to the language of the wave as it would help you get better with bodyboarding and learning your first skills and tricks. Here’s a list of the things you ought to know about waves:

Practice the Forward Spin 360°

You should really try this after learning the basics of catching a wave. It involves going around in a circle around the wave in a very swift motion. You need to be sure of the direction you want to navigate.

  1. Go up to the wave facing the direction you want to navigate.
  2. Let go of your inner rail while turning by gliding through your board’s nose. Steady your board on the wave’s external part to avoid dragging.
  3. Ensure your legs are raised and crossed when turning. After navigating an entire circle, find your balance on your board and focus your weight on the board as you continue your journey.

Here is the video tutorial on how to do a forward spin 360°.

Practice the Cut Back

This is also one other skill you get to learn when getting familiar with the waves. You only need to get close to your shoulder area, after which you navigate by focusing your weight to the rail of your board, while you cut a path using the brink of your board.  Ensure your arms are closer to the board’s nose. Thrust down your hips while spreading your legs, to help support your stability.

Here is a video tutorial by Sports and Outdoors that showcases the proper technique to bodyboard the cutback.

Practice the Duck Dive

The duck dive gives you a chance to plunge your board beneath an unwanted breaking wave. It basically involves paddling across a wave in order to increase speed. When you are about 3-6 feet far from the wave, you need to glide towards the wave while holding on to your board’s rails.

Thrust your board’s nose beneath the surface by curving your back and forcing down on the nose with your hands. You should try to get into the depth of the water as you can. Make use of your knees to ensure the movement of the deck.

Plunge underneath the wave, dragging your body closer to your board. When you notice the movement of the wave above you, shift your weight to your knees and raise up your board’s nose until you have gotten the water surface.


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