What is a Body-Board?

i consider boogy-boards to be those tiny styrofoam boards wrapped with cloth, meant for tiny kids.  where as body-boards are more professional and of studier construction, consisting of a hard plastic bottom and a denser styrofoam core.



(picture) this is a board from K-mart and they have served us well.

Getting the right equipment.

if u need to purchase a body-board, they sell the ones i liked first and started with for $28 at K-Mart.  they have slightly larger boards at Albertsons for $30.  for $23 at Publix and CVS there are narrower but stirdy looking, next evolution foam nosed boards.  i'm gonna try one of these newer boards and see how long it lasts.

they have deluxe model body-boards available at the West Coast Surf Shop

K-Mart ; Albertsons across street

Publix ; CVS next door

Words of wisdom.

as with any outdoor recreactional activity, there are always a few BASICS that should be mentioned.

stretching is always a no-brainer.  take the time to loosen up before u play.

they call it the Sunshine State for a reason, i reccomend SPF-50 or higher.  it protects for up to 2 hours even in raging waters.  alternatively, wearing shirt-skins or wet-suits is a smart choice.

use common sense, and keep your eyes open.  "right of way" applies on the water, a person swimming cant manuever as fast as a surfer, so the slower person has the right of way. 
swimmer > surfer > surf-boarder > kite-boarder.


What kind of surfer are you?

surf your ability.  not mine.

i am a tall adult male, in fair shape. i can hold my breath 3 minutes if need be. so big waves crashing on me is no big deal.  i can swim well enuff to get out past the breaking waves. where as most people cannot.

kids should stay in the shallow areas close to shore where they can touch the bottom.  or near a sandbar.


Body-Boarding Basics. Welcome to BBB-101.

so what is body-boarding anyway?

i really liked this page, i couldn't have explained it better myself.


My personal tips.

it is usually shallow next to the piers, and easier to fight thru the waves.  cause a lot of times it really is a fight to get out there.  u cant jump over or dive under EVERY wave, some u just have to take head on and hope they dont throw u too hard.  being connected to the body-board can make it harder or easier at times.

i like to hold my bodyboard and use it as a shield to deflect waves and splashes away from my face.  some waves u can dive under with the board much like the surf-boarders do.  for bigger waves, let the board dangle with your arm back, ready for the whiplash, as u dive under or into the wave.  the board can pull u back a few feet if it catches a big curl, so be ready.

catching the perfect wave is more than just being in the right spot at the right time.  waves usually come in sets of 3-5, the first waves clean the way for the rest.  when its time to go, u will feed a strong tug on your feet, cause all the water is being pulled up by the big wave about to hit you.  it helps to burst up to speed in front of many waves to catch them right.  i like to jump off the sea-floor and kick then arm paddle for 2-3 strokes.

timing is everything, choose a path, ride the wave up or down the beach to make them last longer as opposed to straight into shore.  sometimes u can catch multiple waves when travelling across a wave, to one that is just breaking furthar in. remember, some waves are just too big, u need to know when to bail out.

i've found that holding the tip of the board, helps prevent it from doing a nose-dive into the water, and gives u more overall control of the board.  the lower u are on the board, the less water is displaced, and the easier it is to ride the wave furthar.  alternatively, if there is a lotta foam when the waves crash, i like to put 1 knee up on the board to get my head outta the spray.  this slows u down pretty fast usually, but is a lotta fun.


Maintaining your Body-Board.

for new boards, always remember to use a coin and tighten the leash connector on the bottom of the board, till the top circle is flush with the board.  don't over do it, they just always start a bit too loose.

dont ride waves all the way into shore, as the rubbing of the bottom of the board on the sand will loosen the edges of the board and can cause loose spots that will lead to tears and other issues later on.

when not in use, store the board away from any heat or direct sunlight, as they can cause the glue bonding the plastic to the styrofoam core to let go.

sometimes after extensive use, neglect, or a really big wave the board can be in need of a tune-up.  to repair most issues with any of these boards, use Elmers ultimate high performance glue (brownish) as it wont eat the styrofoam.  but beware it bubbles up and gets airy/foamy so use sparingly unless u want to add a thick layer of stronger foam, which i do sometimes to stiffen the belly of my boards.