How to Boogie Board

One Methods:Basic Maneuvers and Tricks

Boogie boarding, also called bodyboarding, is a form of wave riding that can be practiced as a casual recreational activity or a serious sport. This article explains everything that beginning boogie boarders should know before hitting the waves.


  1. Image titled Boogie Board Step 1
    Select a boogie board that is the appropriate size for you. When standing on its tail, the board should reach to the level of your belly button. You should be able to hold the board under your arm and against your side without much slack between your armpit and the edge of the board. [1] Make sure that an arm or wrist strap is attached to the board.
  2. Image titled Boogie Board Step 2
    Go to a swimming beach that has 1- to 2-foot-high waves. Make sure that the beach is free of large rocks, boats and fishing equipment.
  3. Image titled Boogie Board Step 3
    Secure the strap to your wrist or just above the elbow before entering the water. You don't want to lose your board in the current!
  4. Image titled Boogie Board Step 4
    Enter the water and lie down with your belly on the board.
  5. Image titled Boogie Board Step 5
    Kick and paddle to where the waves are breaking. When a wave is about to break, you will see a bulge form at the highest point, or the crest, of the wave.
  6. Image titled Boogie Board Step 6
    Choose the wave you want to ride. Not every wave will be strong enough to carry you. Attempt smaller, non-powerful waves at first and work your way up to larger ones.
  7. Image titled Boogie Board Step 7
    Get in the ready position.
    • A few seconds before the wave starts to break, point the nose of the board toward the beach.
    • Lie flat on your belly, with your hands a couple inches down on the side and from the top.
    • Keep your shoulders parallel to your hands, with your elbows bent and resting close to the outer edge of the board.
  8. Image titled Boogie Board Step 8
    Start paddling and kicking toward the beach in the same direction the wave will break. Getting ahead of the wave will help you catch it.
  9. Image titled Boogie Board Step 9
    Scoop the water with your hands to gain speed.
  10. Image titled Boogie Board Step 10
    Catch the wave! If you have paddled the board at the right speed and in the direction of the wave, you should now feel yourself moving effortlessly toward the beach. You should no longer need to kick or paddle, as the wave will do the work for you.

Basic Maneuvers and Tricks

  1. Image titled Boogie Board Step 11
    Lean left to turn left; lean right to turn right. You can ride a wave down the beach ("ride in the barrel") by positioning yourself on the board in a way that enables you to apply weight to either side of the board as the wave starts to push you towards the beach.
  2. Image titled Boogie Board Step 12
    Turn at the bottom of the wave without losing speed. A good bottom turn is the foundation for all other maneuvers, such as 360's.
    • As the wave catches you, keep your hands over the nose of the board.
    • Lean onto your elbow to dig the edge of the body board into the wave.
    • Extend your legs as you turn to prevent your feet from dragging in the water.
    • After you start to turn, center your body weight on the board and lean forward slightly to gain speed.
  3. Image titled Boogie Board Step 13
    Do a cut back. A cut back is a turn back to the curl of the wave that you can do to regulate your speed or to reposition yourself along the wave. [2]
    • Start by doing a turn on your left to just under the top of the wave.
    • Shift your weight on the outside rail (away from the wave) while applying pressure with your right hand to the middle of your right rail.
    • Lift up the upper left corner of the board with your left hand and lean to your right.
    • Look at the inside of the wave and visualize the spot where you want to stop your turn.
    • When you reach that spot, lean left to get back in the curl of the wave and shift your weight back to the normal position.
  4. Image titled Boogie Board Step 14
    Do a 360. After you've mastered the bottom turn and the cut back, try a full rotation. This can be done on the flat section of a wave, in the white foam, off the lip or even in the air. The technique is the exactly the same wherever you attempt a 360. [3]
    • Make a bottom turn to position yourself in the curl of the wave.
    • Turn slightly to the left to face the wave.
    • Slide forward on your board so that your face is roughly level with the nose of your board.
    • Lift your legs, arch your back and throw your head to the left.
    • Keep looking in the direction you want to spin and your shoulder will follow.
    • After your 360 is complete, perform a bottom turn to gain speed for the next maneuver and put your feet back in the water.


  • Pay attention to warning signs on the beach. They may indicate hazards such as rocks, reefs, strong currents, old jetty remains or jellyfish.
  • If you find yourself in front of a wave that's going to crash hard on you, quickly lie down on the board facing forward, grip the board tight, push the board underwater and take a deep breath just before the wave hits you.
  • Check the forecast to see how big the waves will be. Waves with a swell of 1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 m) are recommended for beginners.
  • Position yourself in the belly of the wave you are trying to catch; avoid the crest or tip-top of the wave.
  • The larger the wave is, the farther you'll be able to ride it.
  • Be sure to ride the waves in a path where you won't hit anybody. Colliding with other boarders can hurt and be dangerous.
  • If the beach uses flags, the best time to go is when the flag is green.
  • The classic boogie boarding position is called prone riding. Another popular stance is drop knee, which involves kneeling on the board with one knee bent at a 90 degree angle and your foot placed flat on the board.
  • After a wave has crashed into you, prevent other waves from throwing the board against you by curling into a ball and holding the board in front of your knees with both arms wrapped around it.
  • Boogie boarding is common near the ocean; however, some amusement parks offer "wave rides" that are suitable for bodyboarding.


  • Boogie boarding can cause chafing and other minor skin irritations. These can be prevented by wearing a rash guard shirt.
  • Understand the risks of the ocean, which include rip tides, sea creatures, rocks, reefs, and powerful waves. Make sure you only go out in situations that are safe for your ability levels.
  • Always swim or boogie board with a lifeguard present.

Things You'll Need

  • A bodyboard with a leash
  • A safe beach with waves
  • Water-resistant sunscreen (optional)
  • body Board or surf wax to minimize slipping
  • A rash guard shirt or a wetsuit (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Surfing