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Mastering the Body Roll with Slyde Handboards: A Comprehensive Guide (VIDEO)

5 min read

Mastering the Body Roll with Slyde Handboards: A Comprehensive Guide (VIDEO)

Slyde Into Success: Mastering Body Rolls on Handboards

Unlock the secrets to performing flawless body rolls with our expert handboarding guide. This detailed walkthrough covers everything from choosing the right wave to perfecting your technique, ensuring you Slyde into success with style and confidence


In the exhilarating world of Slyde Handboards, mastering tricks can transform your wave-riding experience from good to legendary. One such trick, the body roll, offers a thrilling way to engage with the wave, adding a dynamic twist to your surfing sessions.

Dalton Smith, from NPI Productions, shares his expertise in executing the perfect body roll, a maneuver that various names, such as a body flip or side roll can call. This guide is designed to break down the body roll technique into manageable steps, ensuring you can confidently learn and execute this trick.

Understanding the Body Roll

What is a Body Roll?

At its core, the body roll involves flipping your entire body along the face of the wave. This trick is visually impressive and functional, allowing surfers to maintain momentum and navigate the wave in a new, dynamic way.

Choosing Your Direction

  • Directional Preference: The direction of your body roll is influenced by the hand you hold the board. If you hold the board with your left hand, you'll likely find it easier to roll to the left and vice versa.
  • Orientation Tips: When performing a body roll, aim to orient yourself towards the beach or down the wave, ensuring you don't get stuck behind as you execute the maneuver.

Preparing for the Body Roll

Timing and Wave Conditions

  • Ideal Conditions: Look for clean, glassy waves where you can perform the body roll smoothly. The trick can be executed as you ride down the line or when hitting a breaking section of the wave.
  • Utilizing Wave Features: A lip line where the wave starts to break presents a perfect opportunity to smack the lip with a body roll, allowing you to emerge in front of the wave section.

Execution Steps

  1. Starting Position: With the board in your preferred hand, initiate the roll by bringing that hand over your body.
  2. Roll Movement: Practice the rolling motion a few times on land to get a feel for the dizzying effect and ensure you can maintain orientation.
  3. Kicking and Continuing: After executing the roll on the wave face, kick your feet hard to drive down the line and maintain momentum.

Advanced Techniques and Tips

Incorporating Body Rolls into Your Surfing

  • Combining Maneuvers: Body rolls can link maneuvers together, such as entering or exiting barrels, or add flair to your wave riding.
  • Immediate Execution: Try performing a body roll immediately after paddling into a wave to position yourself optimally on the wave.

Choosing the Right Board

  • Board Recommendations: The Bula is noted for its ease in performing body rolls due to its lightweight. However, the Wedge and the Fish are also suitable, with the Fish particularly favored for keeping surfers in the wave.


Mastering the body roll with Slyde Handboards adds a thrilling dimension to your surfing, blending athleticism with the artistry of wave riding. By understanding the proper technique, timing, and conditions for this maneuver and practicing diligently, you can elevate your surfing experience.

Remember, confidence, practice, and the right equipment are the key to a successful body roll. So, grab your Slyde Handboard and make the ocean your playground.

Stay tuned for more trick tips, and ensure you subscribe for updates. Dive into the world of handboard surfing with enthusiasm, and let the waves inspire your next adventurous move. Happy surfing!

Enhancing Your Body Roll Technique: FAQs

What is a Slyde Handboard?

Slyde Handboards are compact, hand-held surfboards that enhance the hydrodynamics of body surfing, allowing surfers to achieve greater speed, control, and maneuverability on the wave.

How do I choose the right direction for a body roll?

The choice of direction for a body roll largely depends on the hand you use to hold the Slyde Handboard. If you're a left-hand holder, rolling to the left may be more natural, and vice versa for right-hand holders. Always aim to orient yourself towards the beach or down the wave to avoid getting stuck behind.

What are the ideal wave conditions for performing a body roll?

Look for clean, glassy waves with a clear lip line for executing body rolls. These conditions allow for smoother entries and exits from the roll, giving you the momentum needed to continue surfing the wave.

Can body rolls be performed on any size wave?

While body rolls can be attempted on various wave sizes, they are most effective and manageable on waves that are not too large or powerful, as these conditions provide a more controlled environment for executing and practicing the maneuver.

How do I prevent getting dizzy while doing a body roll?

Practicing the rolling motion on land can help your body adjust to the sensation of spinning. Focus on a fixed point as you roll to minimize disorientation. With practice, your body will become more accustomed to the motion, reducing dizziness.

What are the best Slyde Handboards for performing body rolls?

The Bula model is often recommended for body rolls due to its lightweight design, which facilitates easier maneuvering. However, the Wedge and the Fish models are also great options, with the Fish particularly noted for its ability to keep surfers in the wave.

How can I use body rolls to improve my wave riding?

Body rolls can be used to navigate through different sections of the wave, connect maneuvers smoothly, and add a dynamic element to your surfing. They can serve as a functional move to maintain momentum or as a stylistic flourish to enhance your performance.

What should I do if I fail to execute a body roll correctly?

Failure is a part of the learning process. If a body roll doesn't go as planned, analyze what went wrong, such as timing, body positioning, or wave conditions. Practice on smaller waves and gradually work your way up as you gain confidence and skill.

Are there specific exercises to improve my body roll technique?

Core strengthening exercises, balance training, and swimming can all enhance your ability to perform body rolls. These activities improve your overall fitness, stability, and comfort in the water, which are essential for executing advanced maneuvers.

Can body rolls be combined with other tricks?

Yes, body rolls can be seamlessly integrated with other surfing maneuvers, such as spins, to create a fluid and dynamic wave-riding experience. They can be used to enter or exit barrels, link moves together, or as a standalone trick to finish off a wave.

Is it possible to perform a body roll in choppy conditions?

While possible, performing a body roll in choppy conditions is more challenging due to the unpredictable nature of the water. It's recommended to practice in cleaner, more controlled environments before attempting rolls in rougher seas.

How do I maintain speed after completing a body roll?

To maintain speed after a body roll, focus on kicking your feet vigorously and using the momentum of the wave. Proper positioning on the wave face and timing of the roll are crucial for preserving speed and continuing your ride.

What safety precautions should I take when practicing body rolls?

Always surf in conditions that match your skill level and wear appropriate safety gear, such as a leash for your Slyde Handboard. Be mindful of other surfers and swimmers in the water, and practice in areas free of obstacles like rocks or reefs.

How long does it typically take to master a body roll?

The time it takes to master a body roll varies depending on individual skill level, practice frequency, and surfing background. Consistent practice, ideally several times a week, can lead to noticeable improvement within a few months.

Can kids perform body rolls with Slyde Handboards?

Yes, kids can perform body rolls with the proper size Slyde Handboard and under adult supervision. It's important to ensure they are comfortable in the water, understand the basics of wave riding, and are instructed on safe surfing practices.

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