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


Top Body Boarding Tricks for Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Surfers

Body Boarding Tricks
Written by Jessica Herron
Last Update: August 14, 2023

Bodyboarding has been a popular water sport among the surfers for a long time. In this sport, the surfers ride shoreward waves in prone positions. Bodyboarding, as a water sport, arrived before surfing, and the bodyboard is an evolved form of “Alaia” or “Paipo” boards that indigenous Polynesian people used to ride hundreds of years ago. Bodyboarding has been constantly proven to be the superior form of wave riding.

The body boarding tricks are so amazing that you don’t have to wait for the perfect wave to surf. These boards are smaller than regular surfboards but bigger than a standard skimboard. Bodyboarders can access the water in the waves that are not reachable by regular surfers. It’s a very casual and thus easy form of water surfing. The article will discuss further about the bodyboarding tricks that will enable you to ride the waves like you’re supposed to.

General Bodyboarding Tips

Although bodyboarding is not that difficult to perform, you have to abide by some general rules and conditions that will make your bodyboarding experience safe and enjoyable. These are some of the preliminary tips that every bodyboarder at any level of experience should keep in mind:

  • You must know how to swim in rough water conditions before actually going for bodyboarding or surfing
  • Perform a wax job on your board so you don’t lose grip
  • Wearing a wetsuit on bodyboard increases your performance
  • Master the art of reading the waves and deciding which wave is suitable for riding
  • Don’t make the swimming too complex if you’re a beginner and only use your arms and feet for paddling in the waves
  • Use a leash for the board so you can hold onto the board if you fall over
  • Maintain good posture on the board; stay in the center of the board and keep your chest raised
  • Learn the board’s reaction at the different stages of wave riding
  • Perfect your duck diving skill

1. Understanding the Basics

Bodyboarding is a fun sport that doesn’t require so much skill from the rider’s part and yet it fills the bodyboarder with adventurous zeal. The board of this product is inexpensive, foam-made and has a slippery bottom. The incredible thing about this great water sport is that you can just lie on your stomach while surfing and don’t have to stand on the board.

2. Using Your Eyes and the Claw Smartly

Bodyboarding isn’t any different from other board sports in that it follows the same principle that your body only follows what your eyes can see. You have to learn to look through instead of doing spins, carves or rolls to really improve your water riding.

The claw grip decides the pressure with which you hold onto the rail of the board. With the claw grip, you get pressure on the elbow which enables you to hold the board effectively. You can ride the steeper waves more smoothly if you get the required pressure. The claw grip takes you to an upright position and this increases your surfing speed.

3. Being Aware of the RIP Currents

You have to be very cautious of the rip currents while bodyboarding. Before you actually go in the water, take a good look around to identify the position of the rip currents. You can easily track the rip currents by watching the other bodyboarders and see carefully whether they’re drifting towards or away from the shore. Then, find out the spots where the water is turbulent and the waves are not breaking.

Even if you get into a rip current, don’t start panicking. The most common mistake in this situation is to paddle against the rip currents. But you can just swim through the rip currents to get to the calmer waters before you get tied up in the torrent.

[amazon bestseller=”bodyboard” items=”3″ grid=”3″]

4. Getting Ready with the Bodyboarding Stuff

Except for the knowledge on bodyboarding, the most important thing for the sport is to keep the essentials with you. You’re going on to the sea and you’re not attuned to the condition of seas. You have to keep the necessary things that are required for bodyboarding to help you keep safe in all conditions. Here’s a list of the bodyboarding gears from which you can choose what you can keep with yourself:

  • Leash for the wrist or the biceps
  • Rope for the leg
  • Swim fins
  • Wetsuits
  • Bodyboard shorts
  • Rash vests

5. Being Ready to Surf with Experts

Don’t just stop at bodyboarding by yourself. While it’s essential that you avoid too many people for the sake of safety and keeping a calm mind, you have to find yourself a group of bodyboarding experts. Without getting the expert exposure, you can’t improvise on your techniques.

When you have expert eyes around you, they’re going to tell you whenever you’re making a wrong move or you can do better. The instant feedback on techniques and being exposed to the energy and expertise of such bodyboarders will drive you towards being a better bodyboarder. You’ll strive to become a better bodyboarder by pushing yourself hard.

6. Surfing in All Weathers

If you’re planning on challenging yourself to become a better bodyboarder or participating in the bodyboarding contests, you have to be prepared for surfing in all weather and water conditions. You might even have to practice surfing on onshore and offshore muck to master the board.

Also, bodyboarding in different weathers comes with their own predicaments. For example, you have to get exposed to severe heat during surfing in the summer. In this case, taking a good position in the waves and wearing suitable dresses like bodyboarding shorts really do the trick.

7. Practice on Different Wave Varieties

For the optimum performance, travel further with a reliable bodyboard to experience different kinds of waves. This is the most practical way of improving your bodyboarding skills. Also, you get to experience different bodyboarders in this way who perform the bodyboarding using completely different techniques. You can always learn from them and improvise.

8. Body Boarding Tricks

The bodyboarding tricks and moves add professional rhythm to this unique sport. The sport of bodyboarding has progressed so far that each and every move has been categorized and yet there are scopes of doing freestyles if you join these moves. There are three different levels of bodyboarding tricks depending on the three levels of bodyboarders: beginners, intermediate and advanced boarders. This categorization has been made according to the skill sets that are essential for each level. The tricks are described elaborately in the following sections.

Body Boarding Tricks for Beginners

The tricks for beginners in bodyboarding are described in detail in the next section.

i) Cut Back

Bodyboarders deploy this trick to turn back to the wave or to regulate the speed. The trick is especially used when you’re boarding so fast that you’re getting out of the wave and you need to get back on the wave for further boarding. You can also use this trick for repositioning yourself, so you can wait for another section of the wave.

body boarding tricks

Cut back is most likely the first or the second move you’re going to learn while bodyboarding. Here’s a process of how you can perform a cut back:

  • Don’t go for a wave with a lip or a barrel for a cut back
  • Go for a wave with a good shoulder
  • Take a left turn right under the peak of the wave
  • You have to shift your weight on the rail on the outside and then use the right hand for applying pressure in the center of the right rail
  • Take a strong turn to the right and ride the wave
  • Always keep in mind the spot you want to stop, so you can get to the right position
  • When you reach the spot, take a left turn to get into the wave’s curl again

ii) Drop Knee

It’s a pretty common trick used and seen among the bodyboarders. It’s a kneeling position on the board while having a foot up in the front. It’s a pretty hard trick to perform and is close to the style of surfing. Here’s how you can perform a drop knee:

body boarding tricks

  • Choose a flat wave so you can take off easily
  • Shift from your usual prone riding position and start a kneeling position
  • If you’re going to lift up your left leg, use the left hand for balancing on the center of the left rail
  • Lift the left leg to the nose or the front of the board. Use the left hand for balance
  • You can now slowly let go off both hands if you feel you’ve stabilized yourself on the board

iii) Bottom Turn

This trick is used when you’ve reached the bottom of a wave and want to turn without any speed loss. Without mastering this trick, you can’t do a lot of other tricks. To do this trick, you have to follow these steps carefully:

body boarding tricks

  • Put your bodyweight on the board’s left side
  • Push the left rail using your left elbow
  • Raise the right rail using your right hand
  • Put yourself in the curl of the wave and look forward towards your destination
  • Once you leave behind the white foam on the waves, start positioning yourself in the center of the board
  • Slide your body a little forward to get into speed

iv) Spin 360 and Reverse 360

This is a relatively advanced trick that can only be learned once you perform. In this trick, you need to position your body properly and move your bodyweight to the front of the board and then do a spin on the board for a full rotation. You can perform both forward and reverse 360. You can only use this technique in a flat wave or even while you’re in the air.

body boarding tricks

The best position for a 360 turn is when you’ve taken off from a wave, made a bottom turn and then you’ve gotten yourself in the curl of a wave. Here’s how you do a forward 360:

  • Take a left turn slightly while you face the wave
  • Slide your body forward and this will make your body centered on the board
  • Raise your legs, make a curve on your back, take your head to the left
  • Look towards where you want to spin with your board and you’ll see that you’re starting to move
  • You’re done with your forward 360. Now you can put your feet back in the water

The reverse 360 is the same as the forward 360 but you start on the right side and not on the left. This is how you do a reverse 360:

  • Take a left turn slightly towards the wave’s peak
  • Slide your body forward, raise your legs, make a curve on your back and go down to the wave’s face
  • Move your head and shoulders towards the tube on the right
  • Keep your head on the right until you finish your reverse spin
  • The reverse 360 is completed. Put back your feet in the water and move back to your pose

v) Aerial

This is a modern bodyboarding trick in which the board extends above the wave lip. This trick incorporates moves from both the intermediate and the advanced bodyboarding tricks.

body boarding tricks

  • Go for the steep section in a wave that has a lip
  • You need to have a great speed and a good aim for the lip
  • Don’t hit the wave vertically, rather opt for an angle so you can land well after flying on the wave
  • When you’re at the lip, throw yourself up to the wave
  • When you land, you’re done with an aerial maneuver and prepare for the next one

vii) El Rollo

It’s like the aerial maneuver but ends with a roll. This can be a complicated and, at the same time, compelling trick to perform with your board. By the end of the trick, you’ll feel vigorous, refreshed and energetic.

body boarding tricks

  • Go for the steep section in a wave that has a lip
  • You need to have a great speed and a good aim for the lip
  • Opt for an angle so you can land well after flying on the wave
  • When you’re at the lip, let go off your rail but don’t let it get inside the wave
  • Curve your head and back to take a look at your landing place
  • Let the wave take you and your bodyboard
  • Start to roll down. You have to ensure that the bottom of the board lands first

Body Boarding Tricks for Intermediate Boarders

These are the tricks for those who have mastered their skills with the beginner’s tricks. The different tricks for intermediate boarders are described in the next section.

i) Air 360 and Reverse

body boarding tricks

This is a combination of the aerial and the 360 moves described in the previous section. However, incorporating the two most difficult and desperate tricks into one can be pretty hard. When you get the hang of the trick, you’re going to cherish it for the ecstasy it adds to the bodyboarding.

  • Go for a wave that has a lip that’s about to break down
  • Maintain a good speed when you go at the lip
  • Go aerial after you’ve hit the lip. Throw yourself in front of the wave
  • You have to perform a 360 before you land, so the height you go aerial on should be high
  • Throw your entire body to the left. Keep sliding to the left until you complete your spin
  • If your aerial height is high enough, you can perform a 360 before you land

The reverse 360 is almost identical to the 360, except it’s in the opposite direction.

  • Go for a wave that has a lip that’s about to break down
  • Maintain a good speed when you go at the lip
  • Go aerial after you’ve hit the lip. Throw yourself in front of the wave
  • Get your body forward on the board, raise your legs, curve your back and go on the wave’s face
  • Throw your entire body to the right. Keep sliding to the right until you complete your spin
  • If your aerial height is high enough, you can perform a reverse 360 before you land

ii) Double and Reverse Rollo

The Reverse Rollo is the trick where you rotate from right to left and don’t use the wave’s arc for rolling down. It is simply going against nature.

  • Go for a wave that has a lip that’s about to break down
  • Maintain a good speed and aim good when you go at the lip
  • When you hit the lip, throw yourself up towards the wave
  • You have to keep as much distance as possible to start the reverse rollo
  • Hold the center of the rail using the right hand
  • Start the rollo from the right side to the left

iii) Invert Aerial

This is an exciting trick where both your body and bodyboard engage in an inverted position. After you’re in this position for some time, straighten yourself the same way you warped yourself.

body boarding tricks

  • Go for a wave that has a lip that’s about to break down
  • Maintain a good speed and aim good when you go at the lip
  • Instead of going vertically, opt for an angle so you can land well after flying on the wave
  • When you hit the lip, throw yourself up towards the wave
  • Twist your board and your body in a reverse position. The board’s bottom will face the sky and your head should be upside down
  • After you’ve been in the position for one or two seconds, straighten your body again following the same route you twisted

This trick is very tough to execute but the uniqueness of the bodyboarders can be seen in this trick which is the final step towards the advanced tricks.

[amazon bestseller=”bodyboard” items=”3″ grid=”3″]

Advanced Body Boarding Tricks

As the name suggests, the advanced tricks for bodyboarding are the toughest to execute and are only done by the professionals. Without honing the skills and tricks discussed above, you cannot perfect the advanced tricks.

i) Front and Back Flips

The black flips are as hard as it looks. You have to complete a 360 in a reverse order. It’s an unnatural and hence a very challenging movement. Professionals suggest practicing backflips on a trampoline where you can practice backdrop, handspring and finally a back handspring before you can actually practice doing backflips. When you’re prepared to do backflips, follow these steps:

body boarding tricks

  • Go for a wave that has a solid section
  • Maximize your speed. Do this by sliding forward the board
  • Aim for a lip that’s about to break and hit it before it does
  • Jump into the air while making your head turn a little back
  • Your bodyweight can help you with getting in front of the wave
  • Make a curve on your back
  • Keep your head aback and tuck your legs together
  • Firmly hold the board. Let your nose go into the water first
  • Maintain the balance of your body’s core
  • Never forget to look out for your destination. Then ride away there while spinning

ii) Air Roll Spin

It’s a combination of the two distinct body boarding tricks: the el rollo and the forward spin. The ARS is a progressive bodyboarding trick which allows you to take your skill and ambition to a whole new level. For doing the ARS, you need to get in front of a three foot wave with a lip that’s still intact. You’ll do lots of error in the trial period but will get to it eventually with training.

body boarding tricks

  • Use the bottom turn to gain speed and aim for the wave
  • Keep your head on the level of the nose and slide forward using your head
  • For highest projection, tense the body and straighten the board
  • Make the board angle in the upward direction
  • Get out of the wave’s lip
  • Curve your head and start doing the el rollo
  • When you’re going down, throw your head first on the face of the wave
  • Make a spin
  • Always keep an eye on your destination, so your body can follow your eyes
  • Make your legs tucked and lifted
  • If you accidentally land backwards, let the whitewater fix your position

iii) Barrel

Doing a barrel is like a dream for most of the bodyboarders. Only professional bodyboarders can perform a heavy and deep barrel. Starting with the small waves is the best decision for barreling. The steps to becoming a great master at barreling:

body boarding tricks

  • Look for a good barreling wave
  • Paddle on your board to get into the wave
  • To maintain the required speed, use the board’s nose, legs and the fins
  • Pull the rail of the board towards the wave’s face using your hand
  • You will totally get covered with the lip of the wave
  • Stay in the higher levels of the wave. Staying in the lower parts of the wave will get you pounded by the water
  • You have to maintain your speed when you’re inside the barrel
  • Get on the wave’s face by moving upwards
  • When the wave is about to close out, be prepared to exit the barrel


Bodyboarding has emerged as an art form and is not just a “summer sport” anymore. It is the ultimate wave riding sport that has replaced surfing from its position for a long time due to the radicalness it brings to the sport of wave riding. The techniques used in this sport are so unique that they offer the greatest pleasure and adventure while riding waves. However, to ride waves entails learning the body boarding tricks properly and mastering them.

The bodyboarding tips and tricks discussed in the article will help you have a comprehensive outlook on the sport. You can get the closest experience to surfing with your body when you’re bodyboarding.

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