Body surfing Beach Puerto Rico shorebreak : Video and How to

by steven watts January 03, 2015

How to Bodysurf beach shorebreak using your Slyde Handboard

Dalton From Npi Productions takes you step by step through set up, paddling out and how to stay safe in some gnarly situations. 

"What's up, guys? This is Dalton Smith from NPI Productions, and today I'm going to be talking to you about surfing a beach shore break using your Slyde Handboard.

Puerto rico has some insane shore break

There are tons of different waves around the world, and the footage that I'm going to be showing you is from a very special secret spot in Puerto Rico. If you've seen our video Boricuas, you can actually see some surfing footage from there, and it's absolutely unreal.

The day that we went out was pretty dangerous, I guess you would say, if you were actually trying to go surfing. So we decided to go charge on the hand planes. And this spot in particular breaks not even 20 feet off of the shore.

Paddling out to bodysurf the shorebreak safely

I suppose the first thing that we're going to talk about is getting out. It's really important that you wait for a break in the set, because with any kind of surfing, if you paddle out midset, you're just to get drilled. I will almost always tighten down my handboard strap a little bit more than I usually do. The same thing with the leash on my arm because you are going to get yanked around pretty good.

Positioning yourself safely for beach break shorebreak 

Positioning at a beach break is super important. At this beach, the waves come in at deep water, and you see it jacking up. But when it hits that shallow water, it just fires and dumps. Beach breaks is where a nice set of fins is going to help you most, and it's really important to have them, because if you take off too late on a beach break, you're going to get hung up with a lip and just get thrown over. If you're not paddling hard enough, you're never going to catch the waves, and, again, if you're too far in front of it, the wave is just going to toss you and you're not going to get barreled.

Paddling with Handboard in shorebreak

When you paddle, we tell people all the time, make sure your hands are closed. When I first learned to surf, one of the first things I learned was don't paddle like this, paddle with your hands closed, because the tighter your hands are, the less amount of water is going to come between your fingers, more traction, faster speed, more waves. So when you're paddling, you need to be kicking and paddling your life away. You're going down a pretty much vertical face. On almost half of all these waves, we're taking off so late, it's just a free-fall.

Body surfing is a lot like surfing. It's all about speed and maintaining speed when you need it. So when you make that bottom turn, you want to make sure that you lead into the barrel and don't loose all your speed, because if you do, you're just going to sucked up and thrown over. I'll actually push down on my board and lift myself up out of the water, and it'll give me more push and less drag on my body.

Reading the waves and Practice, Practice, Practice

Read the waves. You have to know what wave is going to do what. I mean, I've been in the water for 12 years, and there are still those sets that come through, and I get completely lit up. So lots of practice, paddle hard, commit and be safe, guys. It is super fun to surf a beach break, but, like I said, you are going to get drilled in the sand, and it is going to let you understand how powerful the ocean really is.

steven watts
steven watts

Growing up in South Africa, Steve spent his youth dreaming of far off places. After spending eight years extensively traveling to many of the great surf destinations of the world getting dengue fever, having a near death experience from a falling coconut in mexico, Surviving a 15 foot drop on a handboard on a Nias bomb, jumping from every rock he could find without adequate health insurance. and comprehensively debunking the myth there are no waves in Thailand, even if they are small. He decided it was time for a a degree. Steve Graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London with a degree in product design. He missed his graduation to go surfing in Californian, found a kindred spirit with Venice and never left

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