This page is by 'Laurent' who grew
up in the Re Union Islands
Bodyboarding like skating/
surfing it is all about maneuvers, it can be a 360, a 360
Reverse or whatever ; one of the fun things about bodyboarding
is getting air....launching air (with combination if possible)
and this is where bodyboarding has been successfully headed
in the recent years....mastering those maneuvers requires
time and practice....trying a 360 air reverse on a beach break
is for sure less harmful than on a reef break.
How to choose
Bodyboarding is really easy to
start, a bodyboard suited to your weight and height (see chart
under), a good pair of fins (flippers) and a leash will have
you on the way to catching your first wave, pulling a 360
even on the flat section is another story....
NMD Njoy model is an ideal first bodyboard
Bodyboard Size Chart
65 - 85 lbs
4' - 5'
85 - 115 lbs
4'6" - 5'2"
110 - 130 lbs
125 - 170 lbs
5'7" - 5'9"
145 - 180 lbs
160 - 190 lbs
170 - 210 lbs
180 - 270 lbs
195 - 255lbs
6'3" - 6'6"
Your board, when standing on it's tail should come up to roughly
within 1 inch either side of your belly button.
You should be able to hold the bodyboard under your arm and
against your side without much slack between your armpit and
tail width, and template- if you're a beginner, the
tail design doesn't really matter much. but if you're more
into the sport, bat tails are the choice of most prone-only
riders, and crescents are the choice of most drop knee-only
riders. If you are both, then consider what your ratio of
prone to drop knee is, and go with the tail design that covers
how you ride more (prone or drop knee). On templates, most
prone riders like a bodyboard with the wide point closer to
the nose, and most drop knee riders like it further back.
bodyboards have a 60/40 rail configuration that means that
60% of the rail is on the bottom side and 40% is on top, this
is better for prone riding and makes tricks easier to pull
off . Some bodyboards have a 50/50 rail which sticks better
to the curl , it is also more stable ( good for Drop Knee
riding) but less forgiving for the 360 and reverse tricks.
When you are more experienced
JL Designs in the USA specialise in bodyboards
made to order and can make a bodyboard to suit you.
Or check out the complete range of
and buy a bodyboard online.
The complete range of NMD bodyboards is also
available from the Saltwater Dreaming Surfshop in Phuket
Construction and parts
to insert a leash plug
You can use anything that is strong
and at least 4 inches (10cms) long , a screwdriver is best,
heat it for a minute or two then start to perforate the board
with the heated screwdriver, from the bottom through to the
Alternatively, you can use an electric
drill on slow speed, with a 3/8 drill bit. Remember to always
drill from the bottom.
It is not neccessary to use glue,
just be sure to firmly tighten the plug.
Most riders will put the leash
about 8 inches (20cms) down from the nose of the board in
the center, but some will put it about 6 inches (15cms) in
from either side depending on whether they are regular or
Note : If your bodyboard has a
stringer, do not install the leash in the center or you will
hit the stringer, just install it about 1 inch (2.5 cms )
either side. With double stringer bodyboards, the stringers
are usually placed halfway between the center and the rail.
See also how
to care for your bodyboard and stringer placement
- Is it necessary to wax a bodyboard?
Surfers wax their boards to improve
their grip , it is the same for bodyboarders.
Do not wax the entire deck of your bodyboard as you need to
be able to move your body depending on the manouvres you want
to execute , for a 360 your body has to be in the middle of
the bodyboard whereas while prone riding your hips have to
be in contact with the tail of your board.
Wax the nose of your bodyboard
( last 1/3 from the top ) including the rails , then same
thing for the tail and finally the rails in the middle of
the board. Drop Knee Riders will wax exactly the same way
except that they will just wax half depending whether they
are regular or goofy.
to remove wax
Pour hot water on your bodyboard
and the wax should melt off. Another option will be to use
a hair dryer wiping the wax off with a wax comb while it's
still melted and hot.
or biceps leash ?
Positive- It's comfortable and
easier to tie/untie.
Negative- During some tricks ( ARS ), the leash may get rolled
around your arm
Positive- The main concept is to
keep the leash out when paddling as it is tied just above
the elbow on your upper arm
Negative- It may hurt while flexing those huge bicep muscles
80% of top bodyboarders today are using the bicep leash
about Swimfins ?
Bodyboarding without swimfins is
almost impossible! Fins will help in all aspects of bodyboarding-
paddling out, catching waves, steering and controlling the
bodyboard as they are acting as skegs. After the board itself,
swimfins are the most important accessories in bodyboarding.
Advice for all who rent bodyboards
on Phuket beaches, include fins in the rental and your customers
will definitely come back the next day for a new session ;
there's nothing more frustrating than renting a bodyboard
and not being able to catch a wave....
The most popular fins for bodyboarding
on the market are Churchill fins. Invented
in 1936, Churchill MAKAPUU "Floating? FINS utilize a
patented dolphin fin design which gives you optimum power
and acceleration for catching waves.
Makapuu fins also act like a skeg
on a surfboard to help maintain total control. The blue rubber
covering your foot is soft for complete comfort while the
rubber found on the blade is stiff for more kick power.
Fin Sizing Chart:
Extra Small 3.5 - 4.5
Small 5 - 6.5
Medium 7 - 8.5
Med/Large 9 - 10.5
Large 11 - 12.5
Extra Large 13 - 14.5
Another popular fin style
is the STEALTH Swimfin
Designed with the feedback from the most
dominant bodyboarding team riders out there, the Stealth fin
combines the highest quality Malaysian rubber with a soft
foot pocket and stiff, straight-edged blade. Other details
include a floatable construction, and a new drainage system
that lets water out, but won't let in rocks or other debris.
S (US MENS 4.5-6)
MS (US MENS 5.5-7.5)
M (US MENS 7.0-8.5)
ML (US MENS 9.0-10.5)
L (US MENS 11.0-12.5)
on a bodyboard
Using skegs on the bottom of your
board will help not sliding out (which is useful when you
start drop knee riding) , other than that it is a useless
accessory as it goes in total contradiction with the essence
of bodyboarding (spinning) ; bodyboarders have not used them
since the beginning of 80's.
board care tips
Do not leave your board in direct sunlight. It will rocker
out (loose it's concave shape) and bubble your board! Try
to choose a bodyboard with a white bottom and avoid black
decks, which attract the heat.
Rinse your board with freshwater as soon as possible after
Salt and Sun are the worst enemies of your bodyboard. Always
keep your boogie board in a bag to protect it from the elements
and accidental damage when moving it from surf to surf.
to care for your NMD bodyboard - Bodyboard
Care Tips from NMD
to catch waves on a bodyboard
Wax your bodyboard
Lay down on the board so that your hips
are in contact with the tail of the board.
Place your hands on the top corners
of the bodyboard.
Keep your elbows on the board. It is
almost impossible to control your bodyboard if your
elbows are dragging in the water.
Arch your back and keep your head up.
Make sure to keep your fins underwater,
beginners have a bad habit of slapping the surface
with their fins which is absolutely inefficient
Catching Your First
Try to pick a wave that's not too big
and that has a clean face. You need to try to catch
it just before it breaks and turns to whitewater.
As the wave approaches, start to kick
the water with your fins underwater. Once you've chosen
to go right or left, it's time to get the right position
on the bodyboard.
If you have chosen to go on the right,
move your body to the inside (right) edge of the board
and apply pressure with your right hip to the back edge.
Put your right hand to the top right corner with your
right elbow pressing along the right edge of the board
acting as both a pivot and the main point of control.
Your left hand should be around 1/3 down
the outside (left) edge of your board with your left
arm slightly bent and the elbow in air. Your right hand
and elbow are controlling your rail and keeping it in
the wave and your left hand and arm are controlling
your direction. If you go left on the wave, just reverse
all the body, hand and arm positions.
To gain speed, crucial for any maneuver,
simply slide forward on the board, but not too far or
you'll lose your hip pressure on that inside edge and
start sliding out and losing control. In the meantime,
lift off the water the feet on the outside of the wave
to reduce contact, on a right hander wave, lift off
your left foot and your right foot on a left hander
Check out this video
on How to ride a Bodyboard
Once you are really surfing
you might want to try some turns,
tricks and maneuvres
Check here for other learn
to surf tips
Check this page from
time to time for further updates