It's common knowledge that bodyboarding is easier than surfing, as you won't need to stand up on your board. It's a great place to start for young surfers who are learning the ropes. But that's not to say that bodyboarding can't be enjoyed by anyone and everyone!
If you're looking to enjoy the waves without carrying the heavier load of your surfboard, then bodyboarding is perfect; it allows you to catch waves with all your family and friends. Just don't forget to stock up on all your essential equipment, such as your woman's or men's rash vest, wetsuit and bodyboard wax!
Are Boogie Boarding and Bodyboarding the Same Thing?
First off, you might be wondering what the difference between bodyboarding and boogie boarding is. The truth is, they're the same thing. However, the term boogie boarding was trademarked by Morey Boogie after he invented the boogie board, and it started to gain popularity.
How to Get started in Bodyboarding
Before stepping out into the water with your bodyboard, it's worth noting that an experienced coach or instructor should supervise you if it's your first time.
Start by choosing a sandy beach or a beach break; this will provide easy access to the waves and a much easier ride.
Naturally, ideal conditions will depend on your familiarity and expertise, but all that aside, you will always need to read the ocean before venturing off into the waves.
Checking the Winds, Tides and Swells for Bodyboarding
When bodyboarding, it's essential to understand how the tides and swells affect the lineup when you're about to catch some waves. Certain spots will need particular tide times and conditions to produce breaking waves.
Tides & Currents
Before you do anything, you'll want to check the best tide for the surf break you want to ride on your bodyboard. This means you won't need to waste time checking out the perfect surf spot that offers the best breaking waves.
Keep an eye out for bodyboarding spots that produce great waves in extreme low tides; surfing in shallow waters can be potentially dangerous.
Check for any strong currents that will push you out or toward a point break section close to the lineup. Riptides, for example, are long, narrow bands of water that will pull any object away from the shore and out to sea. They can be dangerous but also easy to escape if you remain calm.
Analyse the wind and the direction of the swell. Check if the wind is influencing the direction of the swell and the ocean. The ocean can easily shift depending on the circumstance, so it's always a good idea to prepare as much as you can and check the surf report.
Wind will always dictate the conditions. Even when there's no wind at all, it will still influence your bodyboarding session. If the wind is blowing in the wrong direction, it will ruin the waves. Try to look for offshore winds!
As long as you respect the conditions and accurately evaluate your abilities, you should generally be okay to hit the waves. Try to start with small and smooth breaking waves.
Beach break waves offer you more control and provide a great environment to get to grips with how technical moves should be performed. Perfect peeling waves will allow you to spend more time on your board.
Body Boarding Hazards to Look Out For
Try to pick spots that are clear of any coral, reefs or cobblestones below the water. Try to steer clear of any rocky surroundings too. By keeping an eye out for these, you'll be in a much safer environment if you fall off or wipe out.
You might find that some of the best waves for bodyboarding are over a rocky area, but while you're still introducing yourself to bodyboarding and learning, it's best to avoid these areas; try to opt for a sandy beach.
We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions about bodyboarding equipment, feel free to ask a member of staff here at Wetsuit Centre. For more articles and information, check out our blog.