How to Use Bodyboards: Tips and Tricks for Beginners


Many people consider bodyboarding as the earliest form of surfing. It is an exciting watersport that you can try on your next holiday. It entails the need to catch and ride a wave, and many of the skills you need to learn are similar to surfing.

Interested to learn how to use bodyboards? Keep on reading and learn from the insights we’ll share. From the right equipment to the right techniques, we’ll help you do it like a pro in no time.

What You Will Need

The first thing that you must do is to prepare the things that you will need, including the following:

  • Bodyboard with leash
  • Wetsuit
  • Swim fins
  • Socks

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use Bodyboards

Take note of the steps we’ll briefly discuss below to learn about the basics of bodyboarding.

1. Get Your Gears Ready

As noted above, start by making sure that your gears are ready. The most important that you will need is the bodyboard. Make sure that the size is suitable for you.

Aside from the bodyboard, you will also need a rash guard or wetsuit. If you are in a place where it is cold, a wetsuit is better since it is more effective in keeping you warm. It also provides a layer of protection between the board and the skin, which will prevent cuts and irritation. Plus, it protects the skin from the heat of the sun.

For those who easily feel cold, it is important to wear fin socks. This gives an additional layer of warmth. You will also need fins if you want to go bodyboarding. Get fins with tethers to secure its position, minimizing the likelihood that you will lose it. Your fins are important because it improves your kicks and positively affects your speed.

2. Wear your Gear

Now that you have everything ready, the next thing to do is to wear your suit, socks, and fins. Make sure that you are comfortable. Grab your board and attach the leash to your ankle. At this point, you are ready to head to the water.

3. Practice on Dry Land

Before you go to the water, however, it is important that you take the time to practice on land. The most important thing you need to learn is how to properly position your body to keep your balance. Place the board on the ground. Lie on the top with the bottom of the board touching your lower body. Grip the nose with both hands, making sure that it is firm. You also have to practice how to paddle out with your arms.

4. Paddle Out

Once everything is ready, proceed to the water until you are knee-deep. At this point, you have to start paddling out. Move your hands in a paddling motion for the board to move while you are on top. Kick your feet below the water for powerful propulsion. While you paddle out, make sure that the board’s nose is above the water by one to two inches.

5. Duck Dive

Those who are interested to learn how to use bodyboards should also be familiar with how to duck dive. This makes it possible for the board to stay under a broken wave. Before you duck dive wait until the wave is three to six feet away. To push the board’s nose under the water, arch your back. With help from your hands, push the board and go as deep as you can. Wait until the waves pass over you before finally getting up.

6. Catch a Wave

This is one of the scariest parts for most beginners. The secret is to pick the right wave to catch depending on your skills. Make sure that it isn’t too big for your skills. Once you spot a good wave coming your way, turn around facing the beach and begin kicking. As long as you did it with the right speed, you should now start feeling the wave beneath you. If you want to cruise faster, push the nose of the board slightly.

7. Ride the Wave

After catching the wave, the next thing that you need to do is to ride it. This is also scary for many novices because of the fear of being wiped out. You need courage and practice to do it right. The right timing is also crucial to make sure that you won’t end up falling off the board. The direction at which the wave breaks will dictate whether you should move to the left or right.

Tips to Keep in Mind

Now that we discuss the basics that you need to know, allow us to quickly go through some tips that every beginner needs to take note of.

  • Put Your Eyes into Good Use: Like other water sports, you need to use your eyes if you want to use a bodyboard. The principle is simple – your body will follow the direction at which your eyes point. It will be easier to maneuver if you are looking in the right direction.
  • Maintain a Tight Grip: One of the most common mistakes in bodyboarding is not having a strong grip. One of the techniques you need to practice is the claw grip. Aside from keeping the board near your body, it is also great in terms of significantly improving your speed.
  • Stay Safe: Before you start bodyboarding, make sure to find a safe place. If you are a beginner, stay away from beaches that are crowded. The least that you would want is to hurt someone or be hurt. It is also important that you learn how to spot rip currents. The water should not be choppy as well.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: This is perhaps the most important tip for all beginners out there. Chances are, you won’t get it right the first time you ride a bodyboard. You will fall. You will be hurt. All of these, however, should not give you the reason to give up. Keep on practicing until you master the fundamentals.

Wrap Up

Now that you reach the end of this article, we hope that you are able to learn a thing or two about how to use bodyboards. It might seem scary at first, especially if you are doing it for the first time and if you haven’t tried surfing yet. You need to start with the right gear and practice on dry land. After this, learn how to paddle out and duck dive. Soon, you will have to catch and ride a wave.

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