Kayakfisherly is audience-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission that we use for site maintenance. Learn more


Bodyboarding vs Surfing- We’ve Put an End to The Rivalry

Written by Jessica Herron
Last Update: August 14, 2023

The rivalry between the surfers and the bodyboarders have existed for decades. In most cases, the surfers will claim superiority over the bodyboarders. When considering bodyboarding vs surfing, you’ll likely wish to know which is better. Providing the right answer to this question is very difficult.

The struggle for supremacy between surfing and bodyboarding is unending. The fact is, which is better is your choice. Our mission is to bring an end to the struggle in surfer vs bodyboard. Thus, we will examine their core differences, merits, and demerits.

The Difference in Bodyboarding Vs Surfing

bodyboarding vs surfing

Surfing and bodyboarding are among the most interesting water sports in the world. Surfing involves riding with a surfboard in the wave in an upright posture. In bodyboarding, you’ll lie flat on the bodyboard while riding in the wave.

Pros and Cons: Bodyboard Vs Surfing

This bodyboarding vs surfing comparison will provide some clues on which is better.

  • Surfing allows you to catch waves especially bigger ones than a bodyboard would.
  • Most surfers believe that there’s more fun while standing to surf than lying on the bodyboard.
  • The material for the bodyboard is cheap and you’ll not need wax for balancing.
  • Bodyboarding is a skill that all persons including children can practice with ease.
  • Also, surfing is more dangerous than boarding especially if you go too far.
  • Surfboards are heavier and difficult to carry or move around.


As mentioned earlier, bodyboarding is a water sport where you ride in the wave by lying flat on a bodyboard. This unique activity is also known as Boogie boarding. Tom Morey invented this sport in 1971. He introduced the Boogie Board to make surfing in the wave easy for everyone.


The following are some of the advantages of bodyboarding to surfing.

  • Bodyboarding allows you to surf bigger waves with precision. This is because of the extra stability and balance that comes by the lying position.
  • The possibility of falling off the bodyboard into the water is low. Thus, you’ll feel safer while bodyboarding.
  • Bodyboarding allows any person to learn how to ride in waves and become a skilled surfer with ease.
  • Bodyboards are light, portable, and easy to carry.
  • Bodyboarders can ride in difficult waves that is unapproachable with a surfboard.
  • Bodyboards are sturdy and flexible and can withstand tough waves.
  • Bodyboarding allows you to ride on powerful waves with a boost that is sustained by leg power and swim fins.
  • Bodyboards are easy and cheap to buy.


You may not wish to engage in bodyboarding because;

  • It is less challenging and does not need much skills and creativity.
  • It might dull the thrilling feeling of riding in the wave as you lay on the board.


 Many surfers often describe this water sport as the best invention by man. It allows you to explore your creativity in the waves while standing on the surfboard.


Here are some of the advantages of surfing over bodyboarding.

  • Surfing allows you to use your skills to overcome some challenging situations. There are many things you can do with a surfboard which you can’t try with a bodyboard.
  • Although surfing is more difficult than bodyboarding, it gives you the feeling of prestige as you master the art.
  • You’ll use different types of surfboards and fin setups for surfing. For example, longboards, shortboards, and much more.


You may not like surfing because;

  • No surfer can use surfboards in black ball areas. But bodyboarders can surf anywhere.
  • Majority of surfers lose their ability to perform when old age sets in.
  • You can’t ride in the waves even with the best surfboard on the planet when you’re injured.
  • You can’t engage in surfing at a time of the year were the wave is absent.

Who Wins the Battle? Bodyboarders Vs Surfers

So, who is the winner between bodyboarders vs surfers? In fact, surfing is very challenging and thrilling when you master the skill. The main thing is your ability to maneuver the surfboard. Yet, not everyone is happy with such levels of difficulty. This is because it’ll take a lot of training and practice to control the board.

It is easier to master the skills for bodyboarding. Thus, it eliminates the frustration you’ll feel if you cannot ride with a surfboard. Thus, your commitment and patience will determine your choice between surfer vs bodyboard. While some persons like surfing, others will always prefer bodyboarding. You need to try the two to know which is better for you.


1. Is bodyboarding easier than surfing?

Ans: Technically, yes. In bodyboarding, you need less preparation (like waxing the board) and you can distribute your body weight evenly across the board. The dedicated fins also make it easier to propel through the water. That’s why it’s slightly easier then surfing.

2. Why do people bodyboard instead of surf?

Ans: Bodyboards are cheaper, and provide more flexibility than surfboards. Body boards also make riding tricky/difficult waves a bit easier, and don’t take as much preparation as surfboards. This is the primary reason many people are interested in bodyboarding instead of surfing.

3. Does surfing in cold water burn more calories?

Ans: Yes. You bosy has to work twice as hard to keep your body worm and functional. All this energy comes from the fatcells stored in our body. Surfing also increases our metabolism and that, in terms, also helps to burn more calories.

4. Can you bodyboard without fins?

Ans: Technically, yes. Fins help the rider to propel through the water and catch waves. Without fins, that task will become much harder. Having fins will help you catch the best waves in the right time and that is crucial. So, don’t leave your fins at home.

5. How many calories do you burn bodyboarding?

Ans: For a 145lbs person, boadyboarding can help you burn up to 400 calories per hour. However, the number of calories you burn bodyboarding greatly depends on factors like the time of the day, the size/speed of the wave and the strength of the current.

6. Does surfing build muscle?

Ans: Yes. Surfing is considered as a full-body workout. It utilizes all the core muscles of our body and with regular practise, it can also contribute to your muscle building.


There are many ways which you’ll enjoy the ocean waves. You might opt for a bodyboard or a surfboard to suit your lifestyle. Using either of the two will allow you to display your skills in the water. The truth is you still lunch into the air irrespective of the type of board you’re using.

As we said earlier, it’s difficult to choose between surfing vs bodyboarding. There’s no need to dwell on the argument of which is better. Check your level of patience and desires then choose to ride with the board that suits your fancy.

About the author

Jessica Herron

Hi! This is Jessica. I can be your virtual outdoor buddy, lol! My friends call me a devotee of adventure. I believe, as any outdoor enthusiast does, adventures are all about the thrill. My love consists of a mix of fishing and camping in the wild, if you ask (what thrills you most?). So, I could be of help (through my articles on this website) to any adventure seeker as long as backpacking, survival, camping, hiking, and fishing are concerned. Are you planning to take a trip to the wild next weekend? Maybe, you already are in the middle of a journey. No matter where you are, my words are on the air!

Leave a Comment