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Bodyboard Basics

What: A form of wave riding using a foam bodyboard. Bodyboarders predominantly ride prone on their stomachs though they can also be ride in a half-standing stance with one knee touching the board known as ‘dropknee’. Many bodyboarders wear swimfins on both feet to aid in controlling trajectory, adjusting speed while riding, paddling out, and taking off.

Bodyboarding is arguably the earliest form of surfing, and is ultimately derived from the ancient Hawaiian Paipo board. The bodyboard differs from a surfboard in that it is much shorter and made of different material. The board consists of a foam ‘core’ encapsulated by a plastic bottom and a softer foam top known as the deck.

Old school bodyboarding was known for a fluid and easy-going style of surfing. The standard tricks were spinners (360 spin) on the wave face either in normal or reverse direction, cut backs and the bodyboarding trademark El Rollo. Todays bodyboarders still go for style but they draw tighter lines and involve a montage of tricks on the one wave. Predominant moves include inverts, forward and reverse spins in the air, reverse spins on the face, spins in the barrel, Air Roll Spins and backflips.

Links & Resources

International Bodyboarding Association

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