Bodyboard like a pro
Bodyboarding is one of the most popular sea sports around.
Anyone – old, young, big, or small – can bodyboard. But every year, 100s of children and young people get into difficulties while bodyboarding and need to be rescued by a lifeguard.
We spoke to the UK Bodyboarding Association, to get the hints and tips to help you and your family have bodyboarding fun.
1. Be comfortable in the water
If your little ones aren’t comfortable in the water, they’re probably not going to have a good time bodyboarding.
Visit your local pool before you go on holiday so you know your children are confident and competent in the water.
2. Pick the right beach
There are thousands of miles of excellent coastline. But always choose a lifeguarded beach with a swim safe area.
And remember to watch what your children are doing. The lifeguard is not your babysitter.
3. Check the tides so your children don’t get stranded or caught in a rip tide.
Before your little one gets comfortable being out on the surf, you will want to make sure that they are staying near the shallow part of the shores.
It’s much easier to practice in the whitewater than out in the larger waves and you can watch out for rip currents and rocks!
4. And make sure your children know what to do if they get caught in a rip tide or fall into cold water.
According to our research, just one in four parents teach their children what to do if they get caught in a rip tide or fall into cold water.
5. Get the right kit
If all your little one can think about is how cold they are, they won’t be able to concentrate of their bodyboarding technique. A wetsuit will inspire confidence (check out this wetsuit guide).
Get the right size bodyboard. Too big and it’s hard to steer in the water, as well as a challenge to carry on the beach. Too small, and it could be difficult to balance and steer. Avoid the cheaper polystyrene ones – they are too flimsy and could break in the water. And choose a board with a leash to avoid losing it after a wipeout.
6. Book a bodyboard lesson with a qualified instructor
If your children are scared, it will take longer to learn. They need to feel confident so that they can have fun!
Learn to catch waves with one of the professional, qualified and insured surf schools and camps. You will learn all the basics including ocean awareness, beach safety, equipment and – crucially – the lingo.
7. Like and share
Please like and share our video to help other mums and dads keep their children safe at the beach this summer.