What Is Bodyboarding? – Beginner’s Guide

FAQ

Bodyboarding is one of the most popular water sports nowadays. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should add it to your list of water adventures to try this summer. But what is bodyboarding exactly? Below we answer this question and several others, as well as outline the equipment required for bodyboarding for beginners. 

What Is Bodyboarding?

So, what is bodyboarding? Simply put, bodyboarding is the art of riding waves while in a prone position (lying down on the board). This is very different from surfing where you’ll be in a standing position while riding the waves. Although bodyboarding is commonly known as riding waves in a prone position, other bodyboarding disciplines are also being practiced today, namely drop-knee and stand-up.

Accordingly, the Polynesian people were the first ones to ride a wave using their paipo boards in a prone position. They have been doing this for a long time even before stand-up wave riding or surfing ever came into being.

Why Try Bodyboarding Instead of Surfing?

Now that we know what is bodyboarding, you may be wondering what makes it a good alternative to surfing.

Well for one, it is much faster to learn bodyboarding for beginners. This is because they are lying down on the board as opposed to surfing where they will need to stand up. In this sense, because you don’t have to worry about getting up and standing on the board, you can start bodyboarding right away even if you’re just learning.

Another advantage of bodyboarding over surfing is that the former allows you to access waves that the latter can’t. This includes shore breaks, as well as super-hollow and fast-breaking waves.

Lastly, bodyboards are much more affordable than surfboards. Because of their small size, there is less expense in manufacturing them. Along that line, their small size also makes it easier to store them when not in use.

What Equipment Do I Need?

Those who research what is bodyboarding online are immediately interested in what equipment they will need. Well, you don’t need much to get started with bodyboarding. Below is all the equipment you’ll need for this sport.

Bodyboard

Getting the right bodyboard is essential to ensure total comfort and enjoyment while riding the waves. Thus, be sure to consider your height and weight when choosing a bodyboard. Think about the wave conditions where you’ll be riding the board as well. The perfect bodyboard will help a lot concerning control and maneuverability, and thus make it easier for you to have fun out in the water.

Bodyboards are generally made from various materials. Polystyrene bodyboards are known to be the cheapest and lightest, making them a good choice for children and first-time bodyboarders who are not ready to spend money on a better board. EVA foam bodyboards are durable and have a smooth underside to improve wave ride speed and performance. Polyethylene foam bodyboards have a solid foam or laminated underside, with a stiffness that can be adjusted thus making them more suited to advanced riders. Combined foam bodyboards are made from various materials including EVA and Polyethylene. They can be custom-made, which of course makes them rather expensive.

Bodyboard Leash

A bodyboard leash is important so that bodyboarders do not lose their boards if they ever get thrown off. The principle is pretty much the same as that of a leg rope and a surfboard. Arm leashes can be tied to the wrist or the upper arm, but most bodyboarders prefer the latter so it doesn’t get the way of their paddling.

Bodyboard Fins

Bodyboard fins are quite similar to swim fins except that they have shorter blades. They’re also quite stiff and this along with the short blades allow for rapid kicking in short bursts. A Velcro strap that goes right behind the ankle helps keep the fins in place and prevents them from slipping off while kicking.

Swim Socks

Most bodyboarders will wear swim socks before putting on their bodyboard fins. Doing so helps to improve comfort and prevent chaffing and blisters. They also provide extra warmth for your feet and toes. 

Wetsuit

If you’re bodyboarding in relatively cold waters then you’re going to need a wetsuit. These are pretty much the same as wetsuits for surfing, paddleboarding and other water board sports. On the other hand, if you’re bodyboarding in warmer climates then a pair of trunks and a rash guard should be enough.

FAQ

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Q: Is bodyboarding easy?

A: 

Bodyboarding is generally easy, even first-timers can get the basics down in a matter of hours. But like many other sports, you’ll need to learn more than the basics of bodyboarding for beginners, practice and gain enough experience if you intend to compete in professional bodyboarding competitions.

Q: Is bodyboarding good exercise?

A: 

Yes, bodyboarding is an excellent exercise much like any other watersports like surfing, swimming and others. Simply riding the bodyboard and paddling and kicking out into the water are enough to burn some calories and raise your heart rate to improve your cardiovascular health.

Q: What is the difference between boogie board and bodyboard?

A: 

There is no difference between a boogie board and a bodyboard – both terms refer to the same type of board and both are used to ride the waves in prone position. The distinction between the two came about when the term boogie board was trademarked, hence other manufacturers had no option but to use a different term: bodyboard.

Q: Do you need fins for bodyboarding?

A: 

Yes, you’ll need a pair of bodyboard fins when bodyboarding. Wearing these will help with propulsion and make it easier for you to swim out to the water and head back to shore. Almost any type of swim fin can be used for bodyboarding, but you’ll want to avoid using long ones like scuba diving fins and freediving fins.

Q: How many calories do you burn bodyboarding?

A: 

A typical person can burn around 150 calories while bodyboarding. However, the number can go lower or higher depending on several factors like the intensity of the exercise, the time of day when you go bodyboarding, and others. Naturally, the more intense your bodyboarding activity is, the more calories you’ll burn.

Q: How do you bodyboard for beginners?

A: 

Those who are new to bodyboarding are advised to join a class in bodyboarding for beginners. This way they can get first-hand experience as to what bodyboarding really is about, as well test out different bodyboarding equipment without investing a lot of money on gears and equipment.

Globo Surf Overview

Bodyboarding is one of the most enjoyable water sports around, and those who want to know more about what is bodyboarding and get recommendations for the best bodyboarding gear and equipment are advised to join a class in bodyboarding for beginners. There is no better teacher than the experience they say, and classes like these prove to be the best training ground for those who plan to enter the sport.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!