Bodysurfing for beginners: Know before you go out there
This is a comprehensive guide on how to bodysurf, with tricks and tips on how to make your experience bodysurfing more enjoyable. This how to was written for someone with little, to no experience in bodysurfing or the ocean. If you consider yourself a seasoned bodysurfer, you might want to try one of our Slyde handboards to take your experience to the next level.
Why learning to bodysurf is so important
If you are planning to go into the ocean at any point you “need” to learn how to bodysurf, if nothing else for safety reasons. Bodysurfing is an essential part of the learning curve to becoming a great all-around water man or water woman.
learn to bodysurf before you surf
After teaching surfing for 5 years I came to the conclusion that 90% of the student that I taught would have been leaps ahead if they had simply spent a few hours learning how to bodysurf. Bodysurfing gives you that simple appreciation and understanding of the ocean you don’t get when learning with a board.
If any of the below issues sound familiar to you should read this
wave crashing on your head
You have had a wave crash on top of your head more times than you've enjoyed riding one.
The wave leaves you behind
You have never really caught the wave and most times it just goes straight over you.
Short boring rides in white water
You caught the wave, but you only went about 3 feet.
Getting sucked over the falls
Worst and most dangerously, you got sucked up and over with the wave. This is not a nice feeling!
What bodysurfing and handboarding should feel like
Watch the 15 second video, This is what it should feel and look like to catch a wave bodysurfing
Learning to Bodysurf takes a little practice but once you get it right you will have the time of your life, and you will never forget that first wave. It’s easy to get disheartened when the only experience you’ve had is getting dumped by a wave. By sticking to a few simple techniques and practice it won’t take you long to bodysurf like a seal.
Top Tips for bodysurfing
Some would say bodysurfing, surfing and any sort of ocean water sport starts in the ocean, but it is the preparation before you enter
From your costume to your fins always make sure you have your equipment is in good order malfunctions can either be
Be prepared! Long before you get to the beach, it is important to be in good physical shape when you go into the ocean. Working out is not
Practicing breathing and holding your breath techniques are very important parts of being out in the ocean and
Before you head out, take 5-10 minutes to inspect what is out in front of you. You would not cross a road without looking, so don’t go into the ocean without inspecting what you are about to walk into. Keep an eye out and be aware of the below dangers
Take note of possible rip currents and sideways water movement. The telltale signs for these are usually noticeable from shore as
Set Waves and high surf
For the more experienced watermen or women, set waves are a very complex and varied set of circumstances. For the less
If it is your first time bodysurfing at a spot, it is always a good idea to ask the lifeguard on duty if there are any possible
Always be aware of your position in the ocean while you are bodysurfing. A good tip is to choose a stationary object in front of you on land,
bodysurfing equipment - what you need
The Beauty to bodysurfing is there is not a lot you really need
Wetsuit: if its cold
Choosing the Right Beach
Bodysurfing can be done on just about every beach and wave type. That's the fun part about bodysurfing: it’s accessible to everyone.
Picking the Right Wave to Ride
Which is the best wave for you? After you have swam/walked out to where the waves are breaking, you will want to catch a wave back to shore.
Catching your perfect Wave
Once you have chosen your wave and are committed to catching it, go for it and do not back down. To put anything other than everything
Pulling out of your wave
When you get it right, (it may take a few tries), you can ride the wave for some distance on your stomach. If at any point you want to
watch the beginners guide to bodysurfing and handboarding
all that's left to do is get out there!
Bodysurfing has been referred to many as more of an art form than a sport. I think it has it has an equal quantity of both. Bodysurfing is a pure communion with the ocean and it takes some finesse and art to be perfected, just like surfing. However, spend an hour out in the water and tell me it's not a sport. It is of a workout, and many big wave surfers like Mark Visser and Mark Healy use bodysurfing as an integral part of their preparation for their big wave surfing. I think it can be called both a sport and an art form.
Hopefully now you understand the importance of learning to bodysurf as a waterman or woman. Please remember there is no substitute for experience, so practice! Now that you have taken the appropriate precautions, it is time to have the fun. It may seem like a lot to remember when you are starting out, but most of the prep is common sense. So let's get out there get bodysurfing!