If you are a beginner, you are probably wondering how you can start bodyboarding or what you need to know regarding the sport or activity. For this guide, we’ll help you understand how to use a bodyboard properly, especially if you are just new to the trade.
- First, it is important to prepare yourself for the activity because bodyboarding is an active sport and you will move constantly based on the water’s movements. Make sure you can swim in any occurrence and if you are able to, try learning how to hold your breath for longer durations because you will consistently be underwater often when you wipe out
- Make sure that your bodyboard is firmly attached to your arm leash so you do not lose it each time you wipe out.
- You must also wear the right gear for the ride; wear fins and fin socks to add extra protection for your feet.
- In order to use your bodyboard properly, practice before you get in the water. Lie down on your board and place your hands on the nose while the back is somewhere under your lower belly. Make sure you are firmly centered on the board and that your weight is evenly distributed. You can also start practicing how to paddle properly and kick to get proper propulsion as you bodyboard.
- Enter the water and stop when you are knee deep and search for some decent waves. Hold your bodyboard securely under your arm as you move.
- When you are past knee depth, get on your board and paddle towards the waves you wish to ride. Either use both your hands to paddle or just use one hand while your feet propel you forward. Also, make sure the nose of your board is at least 1 to 2” above the water.
- When you select your wave, begin with one which you think you can work with. Do not immediately jump into the high and fast waves because it will spell some trouble for you and your board in the long run. When you find a good wave, turn your board and kick towards the beach while waiting for the wave to propel you forward.
- When the wave you want to ride is close to you, start kicking and paddling to give you the speed necessary to hold the board in the wave. Lean forward when you need more speed.
- As you travel faster due to the wave, properly control your board to make your ride the wave faster. Ride the wave until it breaks and rest up before going for the next wave.
Here are also some warnings and tips you need to remember when using your bodyboard:
- When boarding, check and see what’s under water, whether you are close to a reef or on a rocky part of the beach. If you end up getting wiped out and land on a reef or rocks, it can be painful and cause injuries
- It is also important that you know the water you are currently in: where the current is, where the people are gathered and where are the waves breaking
- Knowing which way the current runs is important when bodyboarding because one single move can change your ride in an instant
- Another important aspect you should learn is boarding on smaller rollers or whitewater waves because this will help you get the hang of waves and positioning
- It is also important to remember that when you bodyboard, you may get cuts in your shins and heels as you learn the moves of bodyboarding. The more advanced you get, the fewer cuts you will get
- Regularly wax your board because this will help you retain your grip between your chest and the bodyboard once you are in the waves
- Always ride the wave until it dissipates to help you understand the different phases of the ride and what you should do in each level
- Learn duck diving as much as possible because you will need to do it when you find yourself facing a sneaker wave
- Finally, always try to keep calm when in the water because if you panic when you wipe out you could wind drowning.