Bodyboarding for Beginners

Bodyboarding is loads of fun and it is a great reason to hit the water all over the world in search of the perfect wave.  Before you buy a board and head to the beach there are things that you should know, especially if you are new to the whole sport.  Let’s look at bodyboarding for beginners and you can use these tips to help you master bodyboarding.

Location, Location, Location

When you’re new to bodyboarding you want to start out at a spot that’s a little easier to master.  Look for clear beaches that have sandy bottoms, you are not quite ready to take on reefs.  You need to master the basics first.  Sand bottom beaches will also have multiple wave peaks and are wide open.  Look for a beach that has miles of sand versus a smaller beach.  Check with your local board shop to see what they can recommend, they know all the best local spots.

The Board and Fins

You are going to need a board, and bodyboarding is done with fins.  The fins give you more speed and power when you are paddling and they help to keep you upright on the board.  Most pro bodyboarders like the Churchill Slasher Fins, but again check with the local surf shop for a recommendation that will work for you.  Depending on where you plan to bodyboard you may need a wet suit.  The wet suit will keep you warm and comfortable, and bear in mind that warm days don’t mean warm water.  Here is a guide to all the gear you will need.

Learning to Paddle

If you have never paddled on a bodyboard you may find it a bit hard to get coordinated.  Start out by paddling with either your arms or legs and work your way up to both.  With a little practice you can do both at the same time.  Paddling uses motions that are similar to swimming.  You can simply hold the board with your hand and paddle with your fins, make sure to keep your fins below the water for better forward motion.  Fins are integral to bodyboarding, you need them for more than just paddling they also help you stand on the board.  Once you get better at bodyboarding fins will help you do tricks.  Make sure that you have good fitting fins the last thing you want are blisters.

The hardest part of learning to bodyboard is paddling and balance.  Don’t lay too far back on the board, if the nose of the board is too high in the air then you are lying too far back on your board.  When you are too far back it is too hard to paddle efficiently.  Go to where there are no waves, here you can find the right spot to lay on the board where the nose is just above the water.  Now that you have the sweet spot, it’s time to find a wave.


Which Board is Right for You?

Waterboard sports like bodyboarding and surfing aren’t just fun they are addicting too.  It doesn’t matter what type of board that you are using each comes with its own challenges you have to face down in order to master the sport.  People have a natural attraction to the water, and every summer people flock to beaches and lakes.  It’s the simple joy of being outside, just you and your board against the water.  Which board is right for you?

If you have yet to grab a board and hit the water and are unsure about which board is the right one for you let’s explore your options.


This is probably the type of board you are most familiar with, surfing has its own culture and it has been popularized in TV and on movies.  It is also the most challenging of all the waterboard sports that you can try.  This is a mainstream and competitive sport and the elite athletes who surf for a living make millions of dollars from both sponsors and in prizes from competitions.  If you have never tried it before head to the beach and grab a wave.  In California, Florida and other states where it is warm you can rent a board before you buy your own.


Bodyboards or boogie boards are a lot smaller than a surf board and are typically made from wood or fiberglass.  Using a bodyboards is a lot different from riding a surf boards.  Bodyboarders grab waves a little closer to the shore and they paddle with fins while lying on the board in order to reach the waves.  Bodyboarding has become increasingly popular in the past ten years or so and you will see them along the shore right next to the surfers enjoying the waves.


If getting to the ocean regularly and ride the surf then wake boarding at a nearby lake may be your thing.  Much like water skiing, wakeboarding is riding a board that looks a lot like a snowboard and you’re getting pulled behind a boat.  You may find staying upright a bit of a challenge in the beginning but once you get the hang of it you will love it!

The board that you end up choosing may be dependent on your experience and where you live.  There is also no reason why you have to pick just one, enjoy them all!