How to Catch a Wave in Bodyboarding: An Easy-to-Follow Guide

You have come to the right place if you are interested to learn about how to catch a wave in bodyboarding. Here, you would know about various factors about catching waves. There are some basic rules that are very important to follow while paddling for a strong wave. Your body positions would make it sure that you could paddle through at maximum velocity as well as getting a stable position on the board.

Most bodyboarders end up bodyboarding by riding breaking surfs to the shore. You just can’t wait till the powerful wave forces you to go back to the shore. Thus, it is important to learn the tricks for catching a wave for a bodyboarder. A few things you should keep in mind when bodyboarding are given below.

Check the water before you start

For the beginners, it is safe to practice bodyboarding in the white water. The waves of the white water would provide enough power getting you used to with the concept to catch a wave. Moreover, you would be able to stand on the surface of the sea that could save your energy by allowing you to lift up the bodyboard above waves till you learn to swim.

You should check the waves before going towards the water and don’t ever get into the water if you’re in doubt about handling the conditions alone or not. The most exhausting and trickiest part of the bodyboarding is to paddle out the waves. You should always keep your weight in the correct position. You could even sit on the sea beach and observe the waves and their movement for a few minutes meanwhile, you could do some warm-up stretches and get your body ready to catch waves.


How to catch a wave in bodyboarding?

Being the owner of the greatest bodyboard in the whole world is not enough to do bodyboarding successfully. You have to learn and increase your skills before entering in the waves. The rules are not too hard to explain. Here are the things that you should work on!

  1. Choose the right wave
  2. Learn to read waves
  3. Paddle out the waves
  4. Choose the direction
  5. Start to gain speed

Step 1: Choose the right wave

You should know about the waves that you are going to drive. If you are a beginner, you should not go into the waves that are too big but the waves should be steep and powerful to push you. This becomes important for a heavy body boarder. Ensure that the size of the waves won’t frighten you when you are already panicked. Waves that are steep and clean could be good targets for you. Beware of the surroundings and also notice other body boarders to keep yourself safe.

Step 2: Learn to read waves

Learning to read waves may sound difficult but it would be natural by spending more time in the sea water. you should practice paddling into the waves before breaking. The ability to read the waves would tell you where you have to sit exactly in the water. pay attention where the waves seem to break.

You should keep yourself 10-feet away from where the waves start climbing. You would find enough time for getting ready if you start paddling away the waves from 5 feet distance. Day by day, you may find the best distance that works good for you.

Step 3: Paddle out the waves

Now you are about 5 feet away from the waves and it is time to start paddling. There are three ways for paddling into the water:

  1. Arm paddling
  2. Leg paddling
  3. Arms and legs paddling

In which way you are going to paddle depends highly on the speed of the water waves. Smaller waves don’t require much velocity but steeper and larger waves require more thrust by using legs and arms together. Moreover, bodyboard fins are another important element that could provide you more stability and control to ride scary waves.

  1. Arm paddling: let your chests to stick up in the air by arching your back. Look in the direction where you may want to drive. Both of your legs should be flooded in the water while your hips are resting on your board tail. Generate much power by using front crawl.
  2. Leg paddling: Your hands should grip the top of the bodyboard. Make sure that your elbows dig into the bodyboard and lock up for getting extra control. You should submerge your legs fully as the downwards hit could generate thrust.
  3. Legs and arms paddling: You shouldn’t arch your back in this way of paddling. You would need keeping a low center of gravity to avoid slipping off. You could generate much power with your legs and arm only if your chest and head remain low. Wax would be useful to prevent slipping from the board and that’s why most bodyboarders use while riding.

Step 4: Choose the direction

A good bodyboard would be helpful to make this easier. In the time of catching a wave, you have to choose your direction as well as maintaining control over your board to prevent wipeouts. After choosing your direction, shift your body weight to that way and use your elbow and inside hip for applying pressure. Hold the board’s nose using your outside hand and grab the rail using your inside hand 1/3 of your way down.

Step 5: Start to gain speed

After riding towards your direction, you should build up more speed to get ready for the tricks. Once you have caught the wave, you have to ride the optimal side line which is called trimming. Keep yourself flat on the board and slide forward a bit to ensure that your nose won’t drop into the wave.

Your legs should be lifting out of the water because it would reduce drag to help you stay ahead of the water breaks. Stick the board flippers back to change the speed. In this position, you may set up yourself for a casual trick or ride away the waves to the shore.


Maybe you have learned to catch a wave and practice could make it even better. It is not as hard as it seems at first. You should learn duck dive sooner or later, then why not now! Be careful and enjoy riding among the waves.

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