Tips on Maximizing Your Bodyboard’s Potential
Bodyboarding is one of the best ways to experience waves, particularly for beginners. Unlike a surfboard, bodyboards are shorter and easily maneuvered in the water. Typically, using a bodyboard prepares future surfers to catch and navigate waves and gain confidence. However, before attempting to bodyboard, review the essentials.
Before Hitting the Water: Prepare Your Body
Most bodyboarding beginners don’t fully understand how the sport affects the body. Ideally, aspiring bodyboarders should spend time conditioning their bodies by stretching and exercises. The following exercises will ensure your body is ready to hit the water and reduce the likelihood of injury.
- Neck stretches. One of the least strenuous exercises available, neck stretches performed on a regular basis will help you loosen up in preparation for the water.
- Abdominal crunches. Strengthening your core, particularly the abdomen, will help prevent injury and promote flexibility on the water.
- Forward lunges. Critical to promote leg strength and flexibility, forward lunge exercises are ideal additions to your conditioning routine.
- Crossover twists. In addition to crunches, perform crossover twists to enhance flexibility and core strength.
- Burpees. Considered an all-over workout, burpees promote weight loss and increase strength in your core.
Once you’ve properly conditioned your body, it’s time to choose a bodyboard.
How to Choose the Right Bodyboard
Choosing the best bodyboard for your frame and level of experience directly impacts your ability to enjoy the waves. When searching for the best bodyboard, look for the following qualities:
- Length. Though smaller than surfboards, bodyboards are available in different lengths depending on your height and weight. Children’s bodyboards are anywhere from 33″ to 40″ long while adult bodyboards may be 45″.
- Thickness. Averaging a thickness of 51mm, bodyboards are available both thinner and thicker than this standard. It’s important to consider your intended use since thinner boards are easier to maneuver than fast, thicker boards.
- Core material. Bodyboards generally contain one of two core materials: polyethylene foam and polypropylene foam. Typically, polypropylene boards are lighter and stiffer, while polyethylene boards provide flex and projection and are known for performance.
- Tail type. Crescent and bat tails are two of the most common types of tails found on modern bodyboards. To choose between the two, think about what is more important to you on the water: maneuverability or stability. Wider tails are more stable, while narrow tails are easily maneuvered.
- Rocker slope. A rocker is the angle at which a bodyboard curves upward, which affects your riding experience. If you’re an experienced bodyboarder, choose a board that is mostly flat to enhance speed.
- A reputable brand. Finally, purchase a bodyboard made by a reputable brand. Generic bodyboards may seem inexpensive at first, but buying a quality board from a reputable company, like Culprit, will enhance your experience of the sport.
Bodyboard Maintenance: The Low-Down on Wax
Professional bodyboarders often agree to disagree when it comes to waxing a board. Some prefer to ride without waxing their board, while others insist wax is the key to catching the most wave action. If you’d like to experiment with wax on your bodyboard, consider applying it to the following areas:
- On the board’s nose. Applying wax to the “holding” area of your board will increase your ability to hang on to the board while in the water.
- Where your chest and abdomen touch the board. If you’re planning to ride larger waves, it may be wise to apply wax to the board where your chest and abdomen lay. Avoid applying too much wax; it can hinder your ability to move.
- Along the rails. Because wax should be applied to areas of the board you come in contact with, add wax along the rails of your bodyboard.
Following these tips will enhance your experience of bodyboarding, whether you’re a beginner or pro. For high quality surfing gear, browse Culprit’s online store today.