Boogie boarding is a great way to have fun at the beach riding the waves. Boogie boarding requires minimal experience and technicality to master. If you are keen on water sports, boogie boarding may be your best step into the world of ocean surfing.

What is Boogie Boarding?

A boogie board differs notably from your typical surfboard. While for the latter, we have an elongated design, the boogie board is wider and more compact in length. Commonly, you will see boogie boards made of foam or thick plastic.

Conventional boogie boarding involves laying your chest across the top of your boogie board and attempting to catch the waves.

To master how to boogie board like the pros, you would need to enhance your high-speed movement while picking up some aerial techniques.

Equipping yourself with a pair of scuba fins will make you capable of moving more. You will also need other gear like wax, rashguard, and even a leash.

Is there a need for boogie boarding?

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Image via Pixabay

There are very few water sports as simplified and easy to learn as boogie boarding. In most cases, surfing enthusiasts are advised learn how to boogie board first before attempting high-tempo surfing.

Unlike in traditional surfing where you need to stand on your surfboard, in boogie boarding, all you need do is lie on the board and let the waves leisurely carry you to shore. It is as thrilling as it is majestic.

Yes, your choice of a boogie board largely determines the amount of pleasure you would derive from your bodyboarding experience. It is therefore essential to choose a befitting body board size, especially as a beginner.

While the rules don’t always apply, we recommend:

A bodyboard size of 33″-35″ for people weighing 0-65 lbs and height of 2′- 4′. 

A bodyboard size of 36″-38″ for people weighing 65-85 lbs and height of 4′- 5′.

A bodyboard size of 39″ for people weighing 85-115 lbs and height of 4’6″- 5’2″

Let us Start: How to Boogie Board

Boogie boarding requires you to exercise your muscles. This exercise is not strenuous. However, it is beneficial if you can stay limber. This posture would increase your flexibility and make you less vulnerable to muscle strain.

To adequately master how to boogie board, we would suggest that you integrate stretching into your daily workouts. The emphasis here will be on your core muscles as well as your legs and back. Also, make sure you are eating healthily. We will not forget to mention that it is crucial to stay hydrated as well.

Now, get into your scuba fins. It would be more beneficial if your fins have a snug fit. You will need to also attach your boogie board’s Velcro strap around your wrist.

Preferably fasten the Velcro strap to your right wrist if you are right-handed and to your left wrist if left-handed.

Time to ride

It is advisable to swim out a bit from the spot where the waves start breaking. Now slide on your board, making sure to hold it firmly to aptly steer it. It is important you keep the larger part of your torso on the deck of your board.

Maintain an upward head pose while awaiting the wave. When the wave breaks, start kicking with your legs while paddling with your hands. You can maneuver the front of your board with your arms while you ride the wave to the shore.

This is the fundamental concept of boogie boarding. Before you learn how to boogie board like the pros, it is only natural that you first get acquainted with some of the basic bodyboarding skills.

One of the first steps you should learn in your bodyboarding adventure is the bottom turn.

This is one of the easiest boogie boarding tricks for the beginner. To perform the bottom turn, you simply need to lean to one side riding the wave on a turn. The cutback is another of the most popular beginner tricks.

To perform the cutback, you need to ride the crest of the wave sideways (turning on one side) and then turning back to the core or center.

The last basic move we are going to talk about here is Drop Knee Riding. Relax, it is simple. All you need to do is kneel on the deck with one of your legs while keeping the other bent uprightly at the knee.

Ideally, it would be best if you tried this trick after you have mastered the cutback.

Learning the basic boogie

boarding combinations


Now having mastered the basics, how about we try out some exciting boogie boarding combinations?

We will start with the aerial

In the aerial maneuver, the whole boogie board reaches above the lip of the wave. Well, this is a contemporary technique in bodyboarding.

If you want to boogie board like the pros and try out those daring and astonishing moves, you will need to learn the aerial maneuver fundamentally. Let us get into it!

To perform the aerial, you have to pick out a wave having a steep action. Precisely ensure that the lip would throw soon. It is necessary you are on the right tempo targeting it with considerable speed.

Many newbies attempt to hit it vertically. This approach is not the best. Make sure to accurately identify an angle that enables you to land just in front of wave immediately you have overflown it.

Did you get it correctly?


Now upon hitting the lip of the wave, quickly throw your weight towards (up) the wave’s front. When you land, the next action is re-engaging for the next move.

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Image via Pixabay

Let us try the El Rollo combination

This is another combination you should try out before delving into more advanced combinations. El Rollo is a buildup on the aerial maneuver. This time, immediately the wave’s lip pushes you, you will quickly perform a rollover before landing.

To correctly execute the El Rollo combination, it is vital just like the aerial maneuver to select a wave having a steep section whose lip is about to throw. Similarly, target it at a reasonable speed.

When you get to the wave’s lip, you can let go of your rail arching your back as well as your head with your eye poised at your landing destination.

Avoid the mistake of letting your rail stick to wave’s curl. While performing this combination, align your body and the boogie board with the wave’s direction. When you land, you get on the next move re-engaging your rail. Wasn’t that fun?

Time to do it like the pros with the

advanced maneuvers

Of course, there is that fulfilling pride when you pull those stunning body boarding combinations that dazzle your audience. This time is when you do it like the pros.

There are two favorite advanced boogie boarding combinations we will touch here. These are the backflip and the ARS. The ARS in boogie boarding represents Air Roll Spin.

The Air Roll Spin

The Air roll spin blends the El Rollo, the 360 and the aerial maneuver. The typical ARS is performed entirely in the air.

When you start the ARS combination, you would land facing the wave (this is backward) and then complete the mix with the 180 (combo). This combination closely mirrors your 360 moves.

To execute this move, you will have to select a befitting wave with sufficient power to give you the right pitching lip.

As usual, you have to hit the lip at the appropriate speed. Immediately you feel you are getting thrown up, arch your head and your back and initiate your El Rollo move.

Follow the El Rollo with your 360 (combo) thereby throwing your torso at the wave. Once you land, re-engage for the next move.

The advanced backflip combination shares a typical resemblance with the backflip you do in your gymnastics. So we see that the backflip involves a complete anticlockwise rotation landing in the face of the wave.

This move is followed with your 180 to restore your initial direction.

The backflip

In the backflip, you will need to hit the lip of the wave vertically in contrast to the El Rollo where you hit it on the side.

Hence when you feel you are being thrown up, immediately arch your head and back; throwing your full body entirely backward. Make sure this is done crossing your two legs. Once you land, re-engage for the next move, upping your speed.

We will admit this is not the easiest of combinations due to the hard landing. Therefore, it is advisable to reserve this combination until you have gained sufficient mastery of how to boogie board.


Boogie boarding is always a beautiful and jolly way to enjoy the beach, especially the summer. Boogie boarding is no rocket science and is one of the most comfortable water sports to learn.

Nonetheless, in the quest for fun, we will advise that you also prioritize your safety. Ensure you kit yourself with the right gear before you start.

The journey to boogie boarding like the pros is an upward progression, start with the simple moves and basic combinations first before jumping into the advanced moves. In all, have fun – but have fun safely!