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Can You Bodyboard Small Waves?

You may be wondering if you can bodyboard small waves. Have you ever wondered if doing this activity is safe? If you are curious about the answers to these questions, here you will find them.

Yes, you can bodyboard small waves. In theory, bodyboarders can ride small, medium, or big waves; it does not matter. Although many people might think this is not possible, bodyboarding small waves is an excellent way to improve your skills.

Is It Safe To Ride Small Waves While Bodyboarding?

Bodyboarding small waves is the safest way of practicing this water sport. When you ride small waves, you have more control over your board.

At the same time, you can manage your body and make precise moves that can help you improve your abilities.

This is why bodyboarding on small waves is the recommended way of starting to practice this sport.

Those who are beginning should start here, then proceed to higher waves.

Bodyboard Tips And Tricks

Unlike some other water sports, bodyboarding does not require enormous waves to practice the exercise.

Here, you can find some advice on how you can improve your bodyboarding.

  • Analyze every single wave you want to ride, even if it is a small one: Even the smaller waves can surprise you if you are not prepared for them. Do not rush too much and take your time with every single wave on the ocean.
  • If you are a beginner, go to beaches with lifeguards: If you have trouble with any type of wave, a lifeguard can save your life. Choose beaches with security and first aid.
  • Go to beaches with smaller waves: Beaches with small waves are perfect for you, even if you are not new to this water sport. You can always make room for more practice.
  • Avoid dangerous places or situations: Beaches with rocks or shore breaks can be unsafe and threatening. Keep in mind these small details every time you want to bodyboard.
  • A bodyboarder needs swimming knowledge: This might seem obvious, but someone that wants to practice this water sport needs to know how to swim properly.
  • Do not go too far away if you are not prepared yet: This can expose you to a dangerous situation. Like everything in life, bodyboarding needs practice, so wait until you are ready to move forward.
  • Respect red and yellow flags: These flags mean medium and high hazards. Do not get in the water in any of these circumstances.
  • If you get in a dangerous situation, do not panic: Panic worsens everything. Try to stay calm. Remember that you can face incidents on small waves too.
  • If you have not bodyboarded before, go with someone else: The best thing to do is going with someone that has the experience and can teach you how to do everything.
  • Make sure that you have enough personal space: If you are too close to someone else, you could harm them, or they could harm you. This is more likely to happen on small waves.

What Is Considered A Small Wave?

The concept of a small wave is relative: it could be based on your experience, personal opinions, or what professionals believe.

For example, some people say that 1-2 feet waves are small. Others believe that small waves go from 2-3 feet tall.

Although many people claim that 1-3 feet waves are small, many people think that 4 feet waves are too big for beginners. So, in conclusion, you can consider 1-3 feet tall waves small.

What Can I Do If I Want To Bodyboard A Small Wave?

Many methods can help you master the art of bodyboarding small waves. Here are some of them:

Backflips and frontflips:

These are common on bodyboarding. Yet, they need a lot of determination and practice if you want to do them correctly and with no danger.

You need to check many things before trying to attempt one of these tricks. One of those elements is analyzing how fast the wave is.

In addition, it is important to think about what method you are going to use to do a backflip or a front flip.

After this, you will need to see if the wave is solid enough to ride it, and then you can do your trick with no problem.

Bottom turn:

This needs to be performed at a fast pace. In order to accomplish this properly, you cannot lose a second.

The purpose of doing a bottom turn is to take a turn when you arrive at the bottom of a wave.

Air roll spins:

Air roll spins are often used on bodyboarding small waves. People do these spins quickly. They mix two things: the first is a roll on the wave, and the second is a flip.

One of the most effortless landings after an air roll spin is when you are emerging from a barrel or a wave curtain.

Cut back:

People use this trick to come out of a wave or place themselves in a different wave section. If you want to use this trick and do it correctly, visualize where you will position yourself first.

360 turn:

A classic, this one is good for small waves because you have to do it on a flat surface. You can do it in the air too.

A good piece of advice for this trick is to keep your eyes on the direction you want to do the 360.

Benefits Of Riding Smaller Waves

If you want to know some advantages of riding small waves while bodyboarding, check out the following list: 

  • You can get good speed on small waves too: People might think that you cannot get full speed on a small wave, but it is possible. Of course, you need to gain momentum from a specific part of the ocean. At first, this can be a challenge, but you will do this quickly after some time. 
  • You are safe on small waves: Small waves are not that risky or threatening compared to big waves. Therefore, anyone can feel safe and confident on a small wave because it produces less impact.
  • If you need help, you can shout, and someone can save you: Being close to the shore is a big advantage because people can see and hear you better. On the other hand, if you are too far away (riding a big wave), it can be harder to save you. 
  • Small waves, effortless paddle-outs: When you are too far away from the seashore, you need to put more effort into paddle-outs. Paddling can be tiring, and it can decrease your energy. If you ride small waves, you will not have this problem, and you will get out of the beach faster.

Should I Always Stick To Riding Smaller Waves? 

No, but you can if you want. If you feel safe riding small waves, you can do it, but professionals recommend trying every single variety of waves. This will help you improve your bodyboard skills.

It can also help you spot the difference between a small, medium, and big wave. But please remember, do this when you are ready, not when you want to do it.


As shown in this article, bodyboarding is an active and exciting activity. This sport is gaining popularity every day, and this is why we should keep learning from it.

All the tips and tricks presented in this text are essential if you want to become a professional at bodyboarding.

If you want to become better every day, follow them and apply them the next time you go bodyboarding.