It’s easy to imagine that people have been bodyboarding one way or another for millennia using all kinds of objects and materials to enjoy the waves. The fundamentals have not changed – it is the art of riding waves in a prone position, on a buoyant board, close to the ocean surface.   

The modern form was invented in California in 1971 when legend says Tom Morey cut a foam blank for a surfboard in half, laid it on paper and cut out the first bodyboard shape.  There are a variety of foam core types and most bodyboards end up between 32 and 46 inches, rectangular in shape with a square nose, slightly concave tail and channels on the underside.   

The big advantage of bodyboarding is it’s easy to get started – all you need is a bodyboard, and you can catch heaps of waves in waist depth water. If your advancing to ride out of your depth a pair of fins is essential to keep you safe and help you catch waves. Cheaper than a surfboard, bodyboarding is hugely accessible and a great entry into the world of wave riding.  For the more advanced there are aerial tricks, spins and of course, barrel riding – especially in waves to shallow and fast for surfers to tackle.  

On the market, check out Decathlon for some good quality affordable bodyboards. 

On the beach – we advise participating in the red and yellow flags at a RNLI lifeguarded beach. For more on surf safety, see here.  

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