Bodyboarding has become a popular ocean sport, combining thrill and excitement with the calming power of the surf. It’s the perfect adventure activity for all ages, levels and abilities. This guide provides individuals and groups with everything they need to know before hitting the waves on a bodyboard, with safety tips and tricks, equipment and clothing advice and more. So, jump on your board and join the growing movement of bodyboarders hitting the wide-open crests of the ocean.

What is Bodyboarding?

 Bodyboarding is a surface water sport utilizing a board that resembles a cross between a surfboard and a snowboard. It’s the simplest way of surfing and can be practised from just a few inches of water all the way to the biggest waves possible. Generally performed on ocean waves, it can also take place on other bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes and beaches. Due to its simplistic form and low cost of entry, bodyboarding has become one of the most popular wave-riding activities in the world.

Types, Styles and Abilities 

Bodyboarding comprises of four unique styles: dropknee, standup, prone and waveriding.

• Dropknee – considered to be the most classic of all bodyboarding styles, riders often kneel down on their boards and support themselves with their tucked knees. This is an especially effective style for conquering medium-sized waves.

• Standup – while still utilizing a board, this style sees riders propelling themselves up onto their feet, to the front of the board, while they ride the waves.

• Prone – considered the easiest style, it sees riders lying flat on their stomachs while they glide across the crests.

• Waveriding – this is a specialized style with aggressive wave-riding tactics. Generally, riders approach larger waves with this style, using their boards to go airborne in spectacular fashion.

No matter your physical ability, bodyboarding offers something for everyone. Individuals of all ages, sizes and ability-level can come together to experience the joy of riding the waves in a safe, comfortable and enjoyable manner.


For bodyboarding, the most essential piece of equipment is the board itself. It’s important to look for a board that is crafted for your personal size and weight. Other important items to consider include fins, leashes, wax, fins and surfboards.

• The board – it’s essential that boarders look for a board that is made from quality materials and offers adequate grip and stability.

• Fins – these help to provide stability, agility and traction while riding. When purchasing fins, be sure to choose a pair that are appropriate to your size and riding style.

• Leashes – this helps to keep the board secure and connected to the rider.

• Wax – this helps to provide additional grip and traction while bodyboarding. Be sure to select a wax that is made specifically for bodyboarding.

• Surfboards – surboards are used by advanced bodyboarders as they can provide additional stability and help to tackle larger waves.


What you wear when bodyboarding is just as important as your board and accessories. It’s important to remember that the more comfortable and secure you feel, the more likely you are to get the most out of your bodyboarding experience.

• Wetsuits – wetsuits are the perfect way to keep your body temperature regulated while bodyboarding. It’s important to select a suit that fits properly and is made from quality neoprene. Wetsuits also provide cushioning and protection against rashes and falls.

• Rash guards – these are made from lightweight and breathable fabrics. They provide extra protection from the sun and help to reduce friction from the board itself.

• Boots – rubber boots that extend to your knee are recommended for more intense bodyboarding sessions. They help to provide added traction and protection for your feet.

• Waterproof sunscreen – it’s important to always have high-SPF waterproof sunscreen. The sun’s rays are amplified when reflecting off the water, so it’s important to avoid any painful sunburns.

Safety Tips

Bodyboarding can be incredibly exhilarating, but to enjoy the experience it’s important to remember to keep safety as your primary concern.

• Check forecasts before you go – always read up on weather/water forecasts and learn about the areas in which you are planning to bodyboard. Also, be sure that you have a basic understanding of tide patterns and any possible hazards (i.e. shallow water, dangerous currents, etc.)

• Wear the right attire – as mentioned before, having the right clothes can make a huge difference in the safety and enjoyment of your bodyboarding experience. Make sure that you are wearing a wetsuit (or other protective attire) and wear a leash at all times.

• Wear a life jacket – experienced bodyboarders may stay away from wearing life jackets as it can limit your movement and maneuverability. But if you are a novice, never hesitate to wear a life jacket.

• Stay confident but don’t over do it – know your body’s limit and be realistic about what you can and can’t do. Even seasoned boarders can find themselves in dangerous situations, so always stop if you feel uncomfortable and in any doubt.

• Take a buddy – it’s always safer to take someone with you. Having another bodyboarder in the water with you can help to monitor the conditions and provide extra safety.

Bodyboarding is an enjoyable, approachable and often rewarding sport. It’s an activity that offers an incredible rush of adrenaline and a chance to test your skills and courage. This guide has given you an insight into what to expect when bodyboarding, including equipment and clothing tips, as well as safety advice. So, now that you are prepared, grab your board, head to the beach and take off on an adventure of the highest order. Go and ride the waves.