Hey everyone, have you ever been to the beach and seen people surfing then you see people bodyboarding? Why are some people more into bodyboarding than into surfing? What is so great about bodyboarding?

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What is bodyboarding?

Source: Wikipedia

Bodyboarding is a water sport in which the surfer rides a bodyboard on the crest, face, and curl of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore. Bodyboarding is also referred to as Boogieboarding due to the invention of the “Boogie Board” by Tom Morey. The average bodyboarding consists of a short, rectangular piece of hydrodynamic foam. Bodyboarders typically use swim fins for additional propulsion and control while riding a breaking wave.

Bodyboarding originates from an ancient form of riding waves (surfing) on one’s belly. Indigenous Polynesians rode “alaia” (pronounced ah-lie-ah) boards either on their belly, knees, or feet (in rare instances). Alaia boards were generally made from the wood of Acacia koa and ranged in length and shape. They are distinct from the modern stand-up surfboards in that they had no ventral fins. Captain Cook recorded seeing Hawaiian villagers riding such boards when he came to Hawaii in 1778. The boards he witnessed were about 3′ to 6′ and were ridden “prone” (on the belly) or on the knees. Alaia boards then evolved into the more modern “paipo” (pronounced pipe-oh) board. Paipo boards were either made of wood or fiberglass. Fiberglass boards used by Tom Morey hybridized this form of riding waves on one’s belly on a paipo to his craft of shaping stand-up surfboards. On 9 July 1971, Tom Morey invented the modern bodyboard.

Bodyboards are shaped to the rider’s specific needs and preferences such as height, weight, and form of riding. Three basic forms of riding a bodyboard include prone, dropknee, and stand-up.

Prone

Riding prone refers to when one rides the wave on their stomach. When the bodyboarder goes left, they place their left hand on the upper left corner of the nose and place their right arm halfway down the rail of the right side of the board. The opposite is true of when the bodyboarder goes right. Mike Stewart is responsible for establishing the standard and progression of the prone riding form. Most of the basic maneuvers that pertain to it were also invented by him.

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Dropknee

Dropknee is when one places their preferred fin forward on the front of the deck with the opposing knee on the bottom end of the board with their fin dragging in the water. Dropknee was first pioneered in the late 1970s by Hawaii’s Jack “The Ripper” Lindholm. Hence the term “Jack Stance” is in reference to his contribution to this form of riding. During the ’80s and early ’90s DK bodyboarding was gaining mass popularity. With riders such as Paul Roach, Kainoa McGee, and Keith Sasaki pushing the limits of what could be done on a bodyboard it was no wonder the groms of the day started copying.

Holding a line on a wave in dropknee position is an art in itself, unlike fiberglass standup surfboards, the bodyboards Dropknee riders use don’t have fins underneath to help maintain a line on the face of a wave or to stop them sliding out, dropknee riders rely on weight transition from rail to rail to hold a line on a wave and turn/snap

 

The bonus of not having fins underneath the board is being able to 360 spins (forward and reverse). It’s a very technical move that looks incredible when performed in the pocket of the wave. It is also used during competitions to link up maneuvers for a higher score, (cutback to reverse 360, forward or backhand 360 to barrel or off the lip 360 to impress judges).

Stand-up

Stand-up consists of standing upright on the board and performing tricks on the face as well as in the air. While it isn’t quite as popular as the other two forms of riding a bodyboard, three notable figures that popularized it are Danny Kim, Cavin Yap, and Chris Won Taloa. It has however fallen to number 2 in Southern New Zealand.

Bodyboarders are passionate about their sport and, today, prone riding is an established art form.

For many, bodyboarding is the ultimate wave riding sport. Boogie boarding fanatics might say that their sport preceded surfing as an ancient outdoor activity. And for a few, bodyboarding is just an easier way to get into the waves.

Reasons people prefer bodyboarding

  1. Bodyboarding is the closest thing to bodysurfing: your heart is closer to the water; your eyes are nearly touching the ocean;
  2. Waves always look bigger on a bodyboard: when you’re lying down, it is always breaking overhead-high;
  3. Bodyboards fit in the car’s trunk: forget surf racks, and transporting surfboards inside the car – bodyboards are smart and portable;
  4. The speed sensation is bigger and better: because your eyes are one foot above the surface of the water, and swim fins provide extra boost;
  5. Only bodyboarders can drop into vertical wave faces: bodyboards grant access to waves that stand-up surfers can’t technically ride;
  6. Paipo boards are older than surfboards: bodyboards are the natural evolution of paipo boards, the wooden planks that date back as far as 2,000 BC;
  7. Bodyboards are more resistant than surfboards: boogie boards are stiff and flexible at the same time – ding repairs are rare;
  8. Airs are bigger in bodyboarding: bodyboarders take advantage of fast, powerful and hollow waves, and use swim fin and leg power to boost themselves into the sky;
  9. Only bodyboarders can surf closeout waves: because bodyboarders get into the wave faster that surfers;
  10. Bodyboards are cheaper than surfboards: you can buy a professional boogie board for half the price of good surfboard;

Everyone Can Do It. Not Everyone Can Master It

Any healthy human being can grab a bodyboard and fins and hop in the water, however, there are distinct differences between those who are advanced veterans vs. novices. Experienced bodyboarders have a keen sense for wave knowledge and can make a good prediction on what the wave will do and how the rider must react. Posture and body control is another key component—as simple as laying on the stomach looks, in action there’s a clear difference between a newbie and a vet.

All Waves Are Not Created Equal

Waves come in all shapes and forms, which are determined by the swell direction, shape of the sandbars or reef on the bottom, wind direction and other geographical factors. These days, both surfers and bodyboarders are riding unique and challenging waves, however, bodyboarders typically opt for more “ledgy” or steep waves whereas surfers could have some difficulty getting a quality ride. Surfers, however, do have an advantage in longer, faster waves with the ability to gain more speed standing up on a board.

Bodyboarding is a sport which goes with a beach lifestyle, bodyboarding involves riding waves, acrobatic maneuvers and bikini-clad women.

Some of the best bodyboarders of all time

Dave Hubbard

Kyle Maligro

Sacha Specker

Damian King

Fred Booth

Dave Winchester

Steve “Bullet” MacKenzie

Ardiel Jimenez

Todd de Graaf

Jay Reale

Kainoa McGee

Dave Ballard

Bodyboarding for exercise

The top of your body rests on the board, you let yourself be carried by a wave, and then move into position to attack the next wave by kicking your feet (you can also use small flippers).

 

It works the muscles of your legs, bum, abs, back and shoulders, and you burn up to 500 cal/hour. Maximum results for minimum effort bonus!

How do you bodyboard

It’s never too late to start bodyboarding. Whether you’re 7 or 70, go for it.

For many people, bodyboarding is harder than surfing. The truth is that bodyboarders can ride all types of waves.

On the other hand, if you’ve never ridden a wave with a board under your chest, then let’s take a quick look at the basic equipment you’ll need to begin bodyboarding. A complete beginner’s kit can be bought for under $200. It includes:

  1. A bodyboard;
  2. A leash;
  3. A pair of bodyboarding fins;
  4. A wetsuit or a rash guard;
  5. Wax
  6. Know how to swim

Make sure the ocean is calm, with a few small waves breaking near the shore.

Find an area in the ocean that is not too crowded with surfers and swimmers.

Is there someone watching over you? Make sure there is.

  1. Wax the bodyboard.
  2. Strap your leash to your left or right wrist – alternatively, you can put it above the bicep.
  3. Put your bodyboard fins on.
  4. Walk towards the water.
  5. When reaching ankle depth water, turn around and start walking backwards.
  6. When in waist-depth water, turn forward.
  7. Lie on the bodyboard, with your chest positioned in the upper second half of the board.
  8. Hold on the nose and start kicking your feet.

Now that you and your bodyboard are moving, it’s time to do the first duck dive, i.e., to dive beneath the incoming waves. To do so, simply push the nose of your board underwater before the white water hits you.

You will rapidly feel that you can get deeper and avoid the wave impact. If the wave hasn’t broken yet, dive through its face and use your fins to resurface on the other side. The obstacles have been overcome.

Let’s learn how to catch a wave:

 

  1. Spot a good-looking wave;
  2. Turn the nose of the bodyboard towards the beach;
  3. Start kicking your fins, and use one or two hands for extra power;
  4. Get in the wave;
  5. Find an unbroken wave face, to left or to the right;

You’ve taken off on a wave. Terrific. Now, instead of heading straight towards the beach, you can opt for optimizing the ride, as the wave breaks left or right. Here’s what you should do to enjoy an endless ripple.

  1. Going right? Grab the left rail with your left hand, and leave the right hand on the nose;
  2. Going left? Grab the right rail with your right hand, and leave the left hand on the nose;
  3. Arch your back and move your body slightly up to the front of the bodyboard;
  4. Try to draw a rounded zigzag on the wave to gain speed, using your fins if necessary;
  5. Eye the end section of the wave and turn towards the beach before it breaks;

You’ve ridden your first bodyboarding wave.

Let’s learn how to catch a wave:

 

  1. Spot a good-looking wave;
  2. Turn the nose of the bodyboard towards the beach;
  3. Start kicking your fins, and use one or two hands for extra power;
  4. Get in the wave;
  5. Find an unbroken wave face, to left or to the right;

 

You’ve taken off on a wave. Terrific. Now, instead of heading straight towards the beach, you can opt for optimizing the ride, as the wave breaks left or right. Here’s what you should do to enjoy an endless ripple.

 

  1. Going right? Grab the left rail with your left hand, and leave the right hand on the nose;
  2. Going left? Grab the right rail with your right hand, and leave the left hand on the nose;
  3. Arch your back and move your body slightly up to the front of the bodyboard;
  4. Try to draw a rounded zigzag on the wave to gain speed, using your fins if necessary;
  5. Eye the end section of the wave and turn towards the beach before it breaks;

You’ve ridden your first bodyboarding wave.

Competitive Bodyboarding

The Sole Governing Body of The Bodyboard World Tour 

The APB is the sole governing body of the World Bodyboarding Tour. The APB also represents the athletes, officials & event promoters. Our paramount goal is to showcase the sport of elite Bodyboarding to a vast growing audience of spectators, supporters and fans around the world and develop the sport from the grassroots level right through to the elite top 24 Men & Top 16 Women professional Bodyboarders of the world. since 2014, the APB will endeavor to conquer new territories around the world and leave a positive footprint for Bodyboarding in these regions. Bodyboarding is expanding throughout the world and leaving impressions on the public as one of the most exciting actions sports to watch. Bodyboarding is a form of wave riding that will bring stoke, adrenalin and fun to any person.

The Association of Professional Bodyboarding (APB) is the sole governing body of professional Bodyboarding. Crowning Bodyboarding’s undisputed world champions, the APB sanctions the following tours: the APB Men’s World Tour (APB MWT), the APB Women’s World Tour (APB WWT), the APB Dropknee and Pro Junior World Championships.

The APB is dedicated to showcasing the world’s elite Bodyboarders in the world’s best waves with the International organization supported globally by seven regions – South Africa, North America, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, Japan and South America.

The APB serves to celebrate and grow the history, elite athletes, diverse fans and dedicated partners that together embody professional Bodyboarding today.

Professional Bodyboarding was birthed in Hawaii at the infamous Pipeline in 1982. Since then, as major extreme sports evolved, Bodyboarding has grown globally in the recent years with numbers of participants exceeding the tens of millions across the globe. Athlete attendance is on the rise due to the media reach from international competitions and social media platforms.

 

In the 80’s and 90’s, Australia, Hawaii, Brazil and Sth Africa were the major regions involved with the world tour. Moving forward into the turn of the century we now see a diverse range of athletes deriving from Morocco, Chile, the Caribbean, Europe, Japan and central America.

 

The sport of Bodyboarding is expanding at a rapid pace and the future prospects look very promising. The sport of Bodyboarding is not only for the elite athlete but also offers a healthy lifestyle for all ages.

Give bodyboarding a try, you might like it!

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