How Do I Learn to Bodyboard (and How Do I Get Better)?

Learning to bodyboard is easy. Getting skilled at it will take a lot of time and practice. But first, you should be a competent swimmer before you can even attempt bodyboarding for apparent reasons. It’s also best that you get a lesson or two to get the basics right, and you won’t have any bad habits to undo later. It would help if you also started learning on beaches where there’s not much crowd to avoid any accidents.
How Do I Learn to Bodyboard

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First, let’s get your gear sorted out properly so you can get better. You must have the correct bodyboard type and size, a wetsuit to keep you warm and toasty if you’re in a colder climate, a leash to keep your board connected to you, and fins for easier paddling. Now, it’s time to practice. You have to get out on the water as often as possible to improve faster. After mastering the basic moves, it’s time to venture into deeper waters with faster and more challenging waves.

Is Bodyboarding Easy?

Yes, bodyboarding is easy to learn but mastering it? That is an entirely different matter. Beginners usually get the hang of it in a lesson or two. If you’re okay with just going to the line-up, getting on your board, and coasting to the shore, then that’s the easy part. But if you want the challenge of bodyboarding more demanding waves, then bodyboarding can’t be considered easy.

Learning and becoming skilled at doing tricks in advanced bodyboarding will take a lot of your time. It’s going to take loads of effort and wipe-outs practicing the simplest tricks, much less the harder ones. Even the pros are still searching for the Holy Grail of bodyboarding tricks, whatever that might be for them. So again, learning to bodyboard is easy but to become skilled at it is not that simple.

How Can I Practice Bodyboarding?

You practice bodyboarding the same way you practice any skill. By surfing as much as you can with innumerable correct repetitions. Emphasis on “correct.” Have somebody critique your form, posture, how you grip your board, the position of your hands, in fact, anything that needs to be tweaked so you can have the proper technique. Doing this will certainly improve your bodyboarding routine. Remember to work hardest on where you are weak until they become your strengths.

Another way of practicing is by “mind surfing” by visualizing yourself surfing the perfect wave. Elite athletes use this technique to see themselves perform at the highest level. In your mind’s eye, play a videotape of yourself surfing flawlessly in different situations. When those conditions do occur, you will find your body responding perfectly to the situation without any conscious thought. Why? Because you have already surfed this particular wave successfully in your mind and just need to execute it, in reality, this time.

How Do I Get Good at Bodyboarding?

First and foremost, you must have the technique down pat. You might be surfing daily, but if your technique is flawed, improvement will not come easily. It would be best if you stayed fit and healthy as this is a very physically demanding sport. Develop an exercise routine especially for your core, back, chest, arms, and leg muscles. Cardio and flexibility exercises are also important.

Then there is your equipment. Your board must be of the appropriate size for you and suited to the water temperature of the ocean. Make sure you are wearing a wetsuit in colder climates to keep you warm and comfy. You cannot expect to perform well if you are physically uncomfortable.

Then there is knowing what is called “wave knowledge,” knowing how to anticipate the motion of the incoming waves as well as the waves you are riding. That is something that you can learn only by going out there and spending time in the ocean. Once you get the feel of the waves, you can concentrate on surfing them rather than being afraid of getting pounded by them. Getting these things right will all contribute to improving your bodyboarding abilities.

How Do You Bodyboard for Beginners?

As a beginner, there as some basic steps that need to be followed even if learning bodyboarding is easy.  Following the right steps will ensure your safety. You will learn and improve faster and enjoy bodyboarding more fully. Take a look at the steps below.

  • First, learn how to swim. You’re not expected to be an expert swimmer, but you must be competent enough not to get drowned in average conditions. Remember, the ocean is sometimes unpredictable, and it could get dangerous in a hurry.
  • Wear a wetsuit if you’re surfing in cold water. This serves to keep you warm, protects you from sunburns, and prevents chafing between the board and your skin.
  • Wax your board, so you don’t slip off your board.
  • Start small. Ride smaller waves, so you get a feel for your board and how it rides in the water. You will learn how to position yourself on the board, how to turn, and how to control your board.
  • Wear a leash to keep your board tethered to you. This will save you energy chasing after it if you wipe out. It’s a basic safety precaution, not an option.
  • Ride a wave to its conclusion. This allows you to learn how to react to the different stages of the wave.
  • Learn the duck dive, that is, diving underneath the wave you don’t want to ride. This will save you time and energy when you’re going to the line-up.

How Do You Bodyboard Like a Pro?

To be able to bodyboard like a pro, you must be willing to put in the effort like a pro. There’s no other way about it. You could get hurt big-time trying to bluff your way into the waves. The pros typically ride the waves breaking on rock ledges or sandbanks, and that is a recipe for disaster if you are not skillful enough to do it.

So how can you bodyboard like a pro? First, develop a mental approach like a pro. You should recognize the effort it will take to be able to surf like one and be determined to stick to it no matter what. Second, you must get physically fit as much as possible. Bodyboarding is an extremely physical activity, and your body should be able to take it. Perform exercises targeting specific muscle groups to strengthen them for bodyboarding. A sensible diet will keep your body in shape. Third, get in the water as much as you can. There is no substitute for practice. The only way to get your reps in is by going out in the ocean. This should be a piece of cake considering that this is what you enjoy.

How Do You Go Faster on a Bodyboard?

Your speed will largely depend on the swiftness of the wave you are riding. However, there are a few things you can do to satisfy your need for speed. For starters, getting the right bodyboard for yourself will get you on the correct path. Pushing the nose of the board down will increase your speed, while pulling it up will make it slow down. You can also help things along by kicking your feet to propel yourself faster. You can adjust your position on the board to raise your speed.

Other environmental factors can help influence whether you can go faster. The direction where the waves are coming from will affect your speed as well. If you are going against the wind direction, then you can expect to go slower than usual. A hollow wave that “spits” can push you rather fast along the barrel. Learning to ride the barrel properly takes some time, but the only way to learn it is to do it repeatedly. Once you get the hang of it, you only have to care about riding it as long as possible.

How Fast Can You Go on an Electric Bodyboard?

We will be negligent if we don’t mention here that you can bodyboard up to 30 km per hour with a new type of bodyboard. You won’t even need waves to surf with the electric bodyboards. The electric models are meant to be used in calmer waters with little to no surf or waves. It is powered by jet propulsion, similar to jet skis. A single charge of the battery can last up to 1-2 hours (depends on what the manufacturer claims) with a charging time of 2-8 hours. The top-of-the-line models even have built-in HD cameras and wi-fi connectivity!

But purists will contend that this is not real bodyboarding, and they will have a point. For one, the energy to power the bodyboard is not coming from your own muscles. This undermines the exercise you should be getting by bodyboarding. You won’t have the same motivation to keep yourself in shape if you can bodyboard using external power. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what you want out of bodyboarding. If it’s an opportunity to cruise on the ocean with little effort, then the electric bodyboard is for you. If it’s to get your dose of high-intensity thrill and exercise, then the traditional bodyboard will be the one for you.

 

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