Bodyboarding: Safety Tips
Bodyboarding: Safety Tips
Body boarding: Safety Tips. Our champion body boarders take you through the ten most important things to remember to ensure you body board in perfect safety.
Step 1: Stay fit
Never forget that you're always at the mercy of the wind and waves. The elements are always boss. So make sure you can swim and that you're fairly fit.
Always be sure to warm up and stretch properly before making a splash. This will help you avoid cramps while in the water and muscle aches later on.
Step 2: Enter and exit with care
Wait and enter the sea only when the waves hitting the beach are small. Be especially careful with strong shore breaking waves when exiting or entering at high tide, and of course steer clear of rocks and currents.
When getting out, catch a wave to the sand and never take your fins off in the water. Walk to the safety of the beach and do it there instead.
Step 3: Surf in a crowd
It's especially important to surf with a friend if you're a beginner. That way, if you get in trouble, there's always someone there to help you out of it. Even better, stick to surfing on beaches where there's a lifeguard on duty.
Step 4: Get in with the locals
There's no-one that knows more about the sea conditions than the locals. So always take some time to ask them for advice. They'll also be able to point out any possible hazards or areas of the beach to avoid.
Step 5: Stick to what you know
This one's simple: don't ride waves you're not ready for and don't enter the water if you're not sure you can handle the conditions. Know your own limits and you'll be back to surf another day.
Step 6: Work out the wave sets
Always be aware of how deep or shallow the waves are breaking. By taking 10 to 20 minutes to work out the wave "sets" - that is their size and frequency - before you surf, you'll save yourself a lot of hassle later when trying to catch them.
Step 7: Stay inside the barrel
When in the water and surfing the line for example, always try and stay inside the barrel as the wave closes. In most cases this will allow plenty of room for your manoeuvre and will ensure the wave's lip - i.e. the part of the wave at the crest, where it's just beginning to break - doesn't land on you.
Step 8: Check your leash
No matter what experience you have, always check your leash, making sure its attached to the board properly and is in good condition.
It should always be coiled to avoid twists which can easily wrap around your neck, legs or arms, sometimes making it impossible to swim.
Step 9: Use sunblock
Always wear a good waterproof sunblock. You'll know if you've been out for a few hours surfing in the sun without it. Also, if you're not wearing a wetsuit, it's a good idea to wear a UV proof rash vest to protect your upper body.
Step 10: Wax your board
Waxing your board regularly is another obvious one, but is still absolutely vital if you want to avoid slipping off, messing up your move and spending most of the time in the waves rather then on them. Wax around the rail and nose of the board where you'll need the most grip.