Bodyboarding is a fantastic water sport where you have to ride the board on your chest and face and a curl of a wave that carries you towards the shore. It is also known as boogie boarding because of the invention of “Boogie Board” by Tom Morey. The most common bodyboards have a short and rectangular piece of hydrodynamic foam.
Bodyboarding comes from an ancient form of surfing on one’s belly that originated from the Native Indians. The native Polynesians used to ride “Alaia” boards on their knees, abdomen, or feet in rare cases. They made these boards from Acacia koa wood that varied in shape and length.
They used some form of swim fins for extra propulsion and control while riding a breaking wave. These boards were different from the commonly used modern stand-up surfboards in which there were no ventral fins. Captain Cook witnessed and recorded this when he noticed Hawaiian villagers riding such boards when he came to Hawaii in 1778.
Bodyboarding has become a trend ever since 1971. Today, a bodyboard is a complex mixture of high-performance materials and modern functional designs. The most commonly used materials in bodyboards are polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), and extruded polystyrene (EPS).
Best Bodyboarding Places in the USA
1. Flagler Beach, Florida
Flagler Beach is one of the great places that you can visit in Florida. It is located in Flagler County, Florida, and is a fantastic place for bodyboarding without too many people around.
You can travel down some blocks to get away from the crowded waves. This place is suitable, especially for beginners who don’t know how to bodysurf as it is a lot easier to learn with more space.
2. Masonboro Island, North Carolina
North Carolina has a few beaches that are famous for bodyboarding. Of all the other beaches, Masonboro Island is the best one for bodyboarding and surfing. This Island is a hidden gem of North Carolina and is almost empty because of its seclusion and has little to no people around on average. Due to this reason, it can be one of the best places that you can bodyboard with great waves.
However, it has a downside as well; there are no bridges to get to the Island, which means you will need a boat to get there.
3. The Wedge, Newport Beach, California
Wedge Beach is known best for bodyboarding. People who don’t take part in boarding also come to see bodyboarders surfing. This spot is recommended for hand-boarders with experience and has lifeguards due to the blackball season. The waves at this spot are strong and can easily knock out an inexperienced surfer underwater.
The beach has excellent waves compared with other locations like Hawaii and Balboa due to its beautiful sand and water.
4. Montauk, New York
Montauk is known as the best surfing spot in New York. Some people have also gone so far as to confirm that it is the best surfing spot on the East Coast. It is mainly known for its heavy waves and consistent breaks. The Ditch Plains, located nearby, is excellent for bodyboarding. The waves can get a little bit difficult to manage, but they are worth the effort if you know how to board.
It is a popular surfing spot, especially during the summer season, to get crowded by people. If you are an experienced bodyboarder and strictly follow the rules of surfing etiquette, you should be good to go on The Ditch Plains but be careful of the rocks at the bottom.
5. Ocean City, New Jersey
Ocean City is prevalent amongst families and vacationers, as well as bodyboarders. Although Ocean City is a beautiful tourist spot, some people are unsure about visiting it for surfing or bodyboarding. They don’t know that it is known for its decent waves.
Many of the bodyboarders try getting out there just as the sun comes up because it is a great way to avoid large crowds. The mornings can also be somewhat chilly for the sunbathers. Ocean City is also a great place to visit if you are looking for uninterrupted bodyboarding.
6. South Padre Island, Texas
South Padre Island is another popular place for bodyboarding that doesn’t get too crowded with people. Other than the temporary rush of college students during their break, the area is very relaxing. The beach runs so far down that everything is pretty spread out, making it an excellent spot to settle for boarding.
You can find some decent waves to bodyboard on these beaches like those near the South Padre Island Jetties, staying calm and steady on the water. These beautiful waves also give you a nice thrill now and then; not every bodyboarder can say that they have pulled their way through a tide.
Best Boarding Places outside the USA
1. Safi, Morocco
Safi in Morocco is a hidden gem for the bodyboarding community, as it has been off the radar for so many years. The tides at Safi are very unpredictable, and the conditions are just right for the waves to go off. When the stars align, you are guaranteed to find long ultra-fast waves during low tide.
The locals of the area are very territorial over this place, so you should be careful when you paddle out. Many factories are located on the coast, meaning that the water quality is not always the best there.
2. Bundoran Beach, Ireland
If you are ready and willing to face the Atlantic Ocean’s cold waters during winter, this is the place for you to find decent and quality waves suitable for all the people with different skill levels.
During winters, however, Bundoran is home to some of the largest waves in Europe. The Bundoran Beach is situated in the southern town of Donegal, which is about a few hours of drive from Dublin.
3. Bells Beach, Australia
Australia is one of the premier surfing locations in the world. Bells Beach is a well-known beach out of thousands of other beaches that form Australia’s coastline.
This beach has also hosted the Rip Curl Pro Surfing & Music Festival, which is among the world’s longest-running bodyboarding competitions. Bells Beach got famous in 1960 and has remained the same ever since.
4. Macaronis, Indonesia
Indonesia has an extensive group of islands, consisting of nearly 18,000 islands. Interestingly, of those 18,000 islands, only 8,000 have been named. One of those is an outstanding and must-visit Island on every bodyboarder’s list called Macaronis. This place has the best waves to offer for everyone and is known for being an amusement park for surfers of all skill levels.
The water is crystal clear, and the white sand beaches make it a hotspot for shooting surfing videos. The name of the Island Macaronis comes from the boiled noodles bodyboarders used to eat back when they planned an extended stay on the Island.
5. Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa
Jeffrey’s bay, or Jbay, is known for having strong tides. J-bay offers an excessive amount of options to the surfboarders with heavy waves up to 12 feet in measurement and ten different zones that the surfers can select. This spot has powerful waves, and a rip current can drag you down the coastline.
Walking back is not so easy because the shoreline consists of sharp mussel-coated boulders that will tear your feet apart. Therefore, boots are a must-have to surf in this area, and also, you need to be aware of the wildlife present in the water. Moreover, great white sharks are seen almost regularly on Jbay as they love this subtropical convergence water.
6. Cloudbreak, Tavarua, Fiji
Cloudbreak is home to some of the world’s best waves and was also the host of The Fiji Pro Championship Tournament. Cloudbreak can witness waves that reach the height of 20 feet, and it attracts bodyboarders towards itself from all across the world.
This place is excellent for seasoned veterans because it breaks over the shallow reef and makes it tricky to figure out its different angles. The good thing about this shallow reef is that it allows consistent surfing all year long. The Island was a private spot earlier, but it is now open due to new local policies.
Bodyboarding – A Great Form of Surfing
Bodyboarding is an excellent water sport that you can practice and compete with your friends and family. It has historical roots and significance dating back to the Native Indians and has many health benefits, including improving the arm’s muscular strength and leg muscles’ development.
There are many great surfing sites in the US and outside the US, which you can check out if you’re looking for a thrilling bodyboarding experience.