Last Updated on April 9, 2024

One sporting activity I think you really might enjoy, if you like outdoor sports and something challenging but very manageable, is bodyboarding. But what is bodyboarding and how can you get involved? If you’ve already tried whitewater rafting and surfing, you might be ready for a new watersports adventure.

What is bodyboarding guide

What Is Bodyboarding?

Bodyboarding is a thrilling aquatic sport that involves riding a board, usually made of high-density foam and plastic, down the waves of an ocean.

It is first thought to have existed in Hawaii during the 1970s where it was originally known as “sponging”.

The board is ridden with one’s chest and stomach on the top surface for stability in order to catch waves and stay afloat.

To bodyboard, you should have a basic knowledge of the ocean’s currents, tides, and surf spots so that you can position yourself in the best possible spot to ride an ideal wave.

There are three main types of bodyboarding:

  • prone
  • drop-knee
  • and stand up

Prone is the most common for beginners because it gives you a better chance to learn the basics while also providing improved stability.

Drop-knee involves positioning one’s knee at an angle against the board for greater control.

Stand-up involves standing on the board while riding, which is more difficult and requires a higher level of skill and balance.

This is a sporting activity that can really be enjoyed by all ages, from beginner to advanced levels, and so it also makes a great family activity.

Benefits of Bodyboarding

Lady bodyboarding

Now that the question of what is bodyboarding has been solved, you might also be interested to know the benefits of this watersport.

It is a relatively low-cost activity that provides a great opportunity for individuals to get out into the water and experience some exhilarating waves without having to invest in expensive equipment or intense training.

The benefits of bodyboarding are numerous, both physically and mentally.

Physically, bodyboarding provides many benefits and these include:

  • improved balance
  • the chance to build strength
  • better coordination

Regular sessions can help tone muscles throughout the entire body while also providing a good cardio workout.

Additionally, it’s an excellent way to stay active in the summer months when going outside may be too hot or unappealing otherwise.

Mentally, bodyboarding is incredibly rewarding too.

It offers a sense of accomplishment and can provide an adrenaline boost unlike any other, creating an unmatched feeling of satisfaction after every session.

The sport also encourages self-confidence as riders push their own boundaries to tackle bigger waves and better tricks, gradually increasing their skill level over time.

This is a fun way to get fit and healthy in the great outdoors and there is no limit to what age you need to be to enjoy bodyboarding.

7 Tips for Bodyboarding

1. Find a Good Spot

Before you start bodyboarding, it is important to find the right spot with the most suitable waves for your skill level.

Look for spots that are not too crowded and have enough space for you to practice safely.

2. Be Patient and Start Small

When learning bodyboarding, start with small waves that you’re comfortable with and gradually build up your skills as you go along.

Beach bodyboarding in Hawaii

3. Get the Right Gear

In order to get the most out of your experience learning bodyboarding, having the basic equipment will make you more comfortable and safer.

Make sure you have a high-quality board, wetsuit, fins, and other accessories like a leash or buoyancy aid if required.

4. Warm Up

Make sure to warm up your muscles before hitting the waves, as this will help to reduce the risk of injury while bodyboarding.

Some light stretching exercises are ideal for loosening up tight muscles and preparing them for action in the water.

5. Learn How to Paddle Properly

Paddling correctly is an important part of bodyboarding, as it is what propels you toward the waves.

Make sure to learn the proper way of paddling and use the correct technique while in the water.

6. Take Lessons

If you’re really serious about learning bodyboarding, it’s a good idea to take some lessons from a qualified instructor.

They can give you valuable advice on how to get the most out of your time in the water, as well as provide safety tips for when things don’t go according to plan.

7. Have Fun

Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun learning bodyboarding!

10 Amazing Places Worldwide for Bodyboarding

If you are looking to try out bodyboarding as a beginner, there are several great spots around the world where you can get your first experience of this fun sport.

1. Cumbuco Beach, Brazil

This beach has been voted one of the best spots for bodyboarding in the world and is especially great for beginner bodyboarders.

It has a wide range of waves, so you can get comfortable with the basics before taking on more challenging rides. The warm water makes it great for long days of riding.

2. The Wave, Bristol, UK

If you are based in the UK, there is a magnificent attraction just outside Bristol called ‘The Wave‘ and it’s brilliant for learning and experiencing bodyboarding.

Check out the video below that shows the wave technology that is used in ‘The Wave’.

3. Biarritz, France

This beach is world-renowned for its glamour and stunning scenery, but don’t let that fool you: it also boasts plenty of good beginner-level waves. The wide, sandy beach and rolling waves make it a great spot for beginners to get their feet wet in the sport.

4. Waimea Bay, Hawaii

If you’re looking for big wave bodyboarding, this is definitely the place to go. Even if you’re not quite ready to take on the big stuff, Waimea Bay still offers plenty of smaller waves for beginners to practice on.

4. Les Dunes, Morocco

If you’re looking for an exotic destination that also has good bodyboarding breaks, look no further than Les Dunes in Morocco. Expect warm water and some good waves for beginner bodyboarding.

Family bodyboarding

5. Trigg Beach, Australia

If you’re an advanced bodyboarder looking for some serious waves, this is definitely the spot for you.

But if you’re just starting out, head to the south side of the beach where you can find smaller waves that are perfect for beginners.

6. Sanur Beach, Bali

This Indonesian paradise is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with plenty of great spots for bodyboarding as a beginner.

The lovely sandy beach and gentle waves make it an ideal spot to start out your bodyboarding journey.

7. Kuta Beach, Indonesia

Kuta Beach is known as one of the best bodyboarding spots in Indonesia.

With its mellow waves, it’s perfect for beginners who want to get comfortable with the sport before heading out to bigger bodies of water.

8. Teahupoo, Tahiti

This legendary spot is definitely not one for the faint-hearted.

But if you’re already experienced, go ahead and take on some of the bigger waves that Teahupoo is famous for!

9. Big Beach, Maui

If you are looking for something a little calmer and more suited to beginners, head over to Big Beach in Maui.

Here you’ll find some small but consistent waves that are perfect for honing your bodyboarding skills.

10. Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

This stunning beach in Costa Rica is the perfect place to start bodyboarding.

Here you’ll find small, gentle waves that are ideal for beginners and plenty of space along the long stretches of sand.

FAQs About Bodyboarding

Can you stand on a bodyboard?

Most people learning bodyboarding do not learn to stand on a bodyboard but it doesn’t mean that it cannot be done. Some bodyboarders enjoy perfecting standing up on this quite small board.

Do you need a wetsuit to bodyboard?

This will depend on several factors, such as the water temperature, personal comfort and where you are trying it. You can bodyboard without a wetsuit, but in cold water, it could be uncomfortable or even risk hypothermia. A wetsuit provides thermal protection and some protection against abrasions or impacts.

What is the difference between bodyboarding vs surfing vs boogie boarding?

Surfing, bodyboarding, and boogie boarding are all popular water sports.
While they are similar in some ways, such as the need for a board and good wave conditions to enjoy them, there are distinct differences between each activity.

What is the difference between bodyboarding vs surfing vs boogie boarding?

Bodyboarding – Bodyboarding involves riding waves while lying down on a small, lightweight bodyboard and I think it fair to say it is a lot easier to learn and requires less skill than surfing.
As such, bodyboarding is an ideal activity for beginners who want to enjoy the thrill of wave riding without needing a great deal of practice.
Surfing – Surfing is an ancient Hawaiian sport that requires the skilful manoeuvring of a surfboard across waves to ride them.
The surfer has to stand on the board and ride the wave with a combination of balance, strength, and technique.
A key part of surfing is the fact that it requires wave conditions to be optimal in order for riders to successfully enjoy the activity.
Boogie Boarding – Boogie boarding is really the same as bodyboarding but some people prefer to use the term bodyboarding and others prefer to call it boogie boarding.

Do I need to be able to swim?

You will need to be able to swim.