Bodyboarding is a surface water sport (sometimes called Boogieboarding). The average board consists of a small, rectangular piece of hydrodynamic foam sometimes shaped to match a person’s body style with a stringer in the middle of the board for additional support. Bodyboarding also consists of swimming fins for feet or a hand webbed neoprene material for additional propulsion during takeoff, which Boogie Boarding does not require. The board can be shaped and adapted to different riding styles such as prone, drop-knee, and stand up, considering the size of the rider. Bodyboarding has been growing very rapidly over the last couple of decades and has now developed into one of the fastest growing sports of all time.
The bodyboard is different from a surfboard in that it is much shorter and made of foam. The board consists of a foam ‘core’ surrounded by a plastic bottom and a softer foam top known as the deck. The core is made up of polyethylene, arcel or, more recently, polypropylene. Each type of foam gives the bodyboard a different amount of flex and control for the rider. Polyethylene cores are best suited to cooler waters as they can be too flexible in warm water and the board does not flex properly.
A Wetsuit is a garment, usually made of foamed neoprene, which is commonly worn by divers, windsurfers, canoeists, and others engaged in watersports, providing thermal insulation, abrasion resistance and buoyancy.
The third piece of equipment commonly used is a pair of fins. In general there are two main groups of fins; full foot and open heel. Full foot fins fit like a shoe, and are designed to be worn over bare feet. Open heel have a foot pocket with an open heel area, and the fin is held to the foot by springs or straps.
Without a doubt, Australia has some of the best beaches and best waves, which are perfect ingredients for bodyboarding. The sixth most populous city in the country, Gold Coast City is located in the southeast corner of Queensland and is known for its sunny subtropical climate, popular bodyboarding beaches and the canal systems.
In Central America, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east, the Republic of Costa Rica is a legendary bodyboarding location. Mostly ‘hardcore’ bodyboarders come here mainly because of the consistent waves year round and also to the many great bodyboard spots. Both coastlines produces great waves with the major swell season starting from April and ending in October.
Almost anywhere in Hawaii where there are waves, you’ll find people bodyboarding. From knee-high shorebreaks to famous spots as Pipeline and Waimea Bay, you’ll find a range of riders from simple frolicking in the waves to some of the most extreme bodyboarding you could imagine!
The World Tour is the men’s international bodyboarding event, which started in 1994 and has undergone a few changes in names and regulations. The Shark Island Challenge first started in 1997, and was a informal and local event organized by Nathan Purcell and Mark Fordham. The event would get increasing attention in the following years and was promoted to an international World Tour event sanctioned by the International Bodyboarding Association in 2002, eventually turning out to be the premiere event of the tour when the Teahupoo Challenge was eliminated due to lack of financial sponsoring.
Bodyboarding is a surface water sport with a world wide following, from Japan to the east coast of Australia and everywhere in between. Bodyboarding is an activity that the whole family can enjoy while spending a day at the beach. During your next family vacation while dad is out fishing and mom is sunbathing, bodyboarding can give the children an exciting activity to pass the time. While bodyboarding is an expensive pastime for the professional, the beginner can usually find rental gear available at almost any local beach. When planning your next fishing charter trip, send your family on the bodyboarding adventure of a lifetime.