The Do's and Don'ts of Bodyboarding (Boogie Boarding)

Posted by Michael on 25th May 2014

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Bodyboarding (also known referred to as boogie boarding ) is a fun beach sport that people of all ages can enjoy. It features many of the attractive elements of surfing but on a smaller scale.Since bodyboarding is performed with your stomach lying flat across the board, it's easier to maintain stability when riding a wave.

Do: Choose the right bodyboard for you

The first step in engaging in this sport is choosing the right bodyboard. While they may all look similar in appearance, there are subtle nuances between the different board styles that can make a world of difference on the water. A good rule of thumb is to choose a bodyboard that reaches your midsection – not shorter and not taller. In terms of width, it should be just wide enough so you can comfortably carry it under one arm.

Do: Paddle out towards the breakers

Bodyboarding is a lot like surfing: you must paddle your board out to the breakers to catch waves. Upon reaching the beach, scan the ocean to determine exactly where the waves are breaking as this will be your target area. Next, carry your board out into the ocean until you are about waist deep, at which point you should transition on to your stomach and paddle to the breakers.

Do: Use your hands and feet

Don't rely on the current to do all the work for you.  Kick your feet and paddle with your hands to gain momentum. Incorporating this motion into your bodyboarding technique can make a world of difference in both your speed and control.If you really want to boost your speed, gear up in a pair of flippers before hitting the water.

Don't: Glide your body against the board

One all-too-common rookie mistake you'll want to avoid is allowing your body to glide around on top of the board. Why is this a problem? Well, the surface of most bodyboards is somewhat rough to create greater traction and rubbing your bare skin against it while you bodyboard for several hours can result in some pretty painful rashes.

Don't: Intrude on other surfers and swimmers

Be courteous of other surfers and swimmers in the water, staying out of their personal space. Intentionally paddling towards other people is poor etiquette that increases the risk of injury. This is especially true when multiple bodyboarders and surfers attempt to ride the same wave. Use eye contact and hand gestures to signal that you intend to ride a wave.