Why bodyboarding is good for you

I started bodyboarding in mid 2021 at the age of 35. I did a lesson, played around a bit and then was fortunate enough to find an incredible coach (Aden Kleve, thank you) who has fast tracked my bodyboarding journey.

Now I’m absolutely hooked and try and catch some waves as often as I can! I LOVE it!!! This sport is amazing.

I think bodyboarding is really good for you! Here are a few reasons why.

Water sports are just incredibly fun and bodyboarding is no exception! Whether it’s performing a fun maneuver, riding a big wave, catching a tandem wave with a buddy or just enjoying the vibes out in the sea on a stunning day there is always fun to be had! I don’t think I’ve ever regretted putting my wetsuit on and going for a surf (we sometimes say surf because it is quicker than saying “bodyboarding session”).

I’m not hugely into treadmills or machines when it comes to fitness. I, like many, prefer things that are fun and mentally stimulating. Bodyboarding is both! The ocean is different every single time you are in it! No two sessions are alike.

Bodyboarding is very physically demanding at first, and because there are different levels of bodyboarding, one could always become more fit no matter your level. Bodyboarding is a full body workout. Check out the bodies of the bodyboarders on the world tour and you will see what I mean – these okes are ripped!

Combine the fitness requirements with how fun bodyboarding is and you have a winning recipe!

The bodyboarding and surfing community is pretty awesome. There are lots of friendly people into ocean sports and there isn’t much better than having some great rides with people that you care about.

I’ve done bodyboarding camps, group classes and regularly go for bodyboarding sessions with friends. These are great experiences that create treasured memories.

Being in nature is good for you. When you bodyboard you get exposed to healing seawater, healthy sunshine, negative ions from the ocean, grounding when you’re walking on the sand before and after your session and you also get to see and experience marine life. I have had a number of incredible animal encounters when bodyboarding – seals, dolphins, a sea otter, penguins, fish, sting rays. I also truly believe that exposure to seawater is really good for one. The health of my skin improved a lot (less back acne) after I started being in the sea a lot.

When I am going through difficult times I find that being out in the ocean to be very therapeutic. It puts me in the moment and gives me a new perspective about my problems – they become easy to solve.

Learning about the weather
Because bodyboarding is so weather dependent and whether a wave breaks or breaks nicely or not is super weather dependent you will quickly start becoming more in tune with weather patterns in general. I now regularly use websites like windguru or windy, and check things like swell size, swell direction and wind direction and my accuracy with predicting conditions is getting better. There are also yearly and seasonal patterns. It’s really cool being more in tune with this kind of thing, and I honestly never expected this as a potential benefit!

Facing fears
This item from the list is the one that’s closest to my heart.

Bodyboarding is a strange beast in that it has a very low barrier of entry. All you need is a board and some small waves, and you’re good to go! Anyone with a basic level of swimming can start bodyboarding. At the higher levels, bodyboarding becomes an extreme sport with real dangers like rocks, reef, sharks, big waves, drowning, strong rip currents and tricks that involve launching yourself high into the air.

So no matter what level you start at, there will be some fear that you will need to overcome if you want to progress to a higher level of ability in bodyboarding. Higher ability = move fun. For myself my biggest initial fear was a fear of being sucked out to sea and drowning when I’m unable to swim back to shore. As soon as I couldn’t stand anymore I started becoming a bit panicky.

With patience , time, knowledge and experience I can say that I have overcome this fear at levels that would had me freaking out before. I can happily take my bodyboard and fins and paddle out past waves that would have scared the crap out of me a few years back and be in very deep water, and feel very comfortable. What a gift! Of course, there are levels to this and if I’m in some very big surf or at a new spot this fear will resurface. All good though! Facing fears = overcoming fears.

This has been excellent because I’ve been able to see real progress, and that is helping me in the “real world”. I have fears in the real world, and I know that if I can and have faced my fears in the ocean and continue to do so, then I can apply the same process in other areas of my life.

Closing thoughts
Bodyboarding has been a special, life changing journey for me. To start all you need is to rent or buy a cheap board, and go to the sea and try catch a few waves. I’m sure you will be hooked in no time.