10 Body Surfing Tips for Surfers Using Handboards

person holding surfboard near shore


If you have been to any surf spots in Mexico, then you have the answer to what is body surfing. As an angler, you are used to those coming to the beach accompanied by hardboard to surf and dawn patrol. What is body surfing? Surfing is a beach sport that involves riding on an ocean or sea wave with the help of a buoyant device like a body surfing hand board. Bodysurfing is one of the most popular games in countries bordering oceans and seas.

If you like browsing the web, then you must have come across the data on surfing. The statistics available on the internet indicate that the world has over 23 million active surfers. This number equates to almost 10% of the total football players worldwide. According to the International Surfing Association (ISA), America and Oceania have the highest number of surfers. There are over 13.5 million surfers in America.

The many beaches available on the continent, especially in Mexico, makes it an ideal location for body surfing. Surfing using a body surfing hand board may not be one of the most followed games in the world, but one of the most fascinating and engaging. The data on world surfing indicates the relevancy of the game to most people. Notably, active surfers usually take it to the best beaches in Mexico early in the morning to enjoy dawn patrol.

You have landed on the right page if you are one of those interested in surfing. This article discusses some of the best tips for bodysurfing using a handboard.

Beginner Tips for Body Surfing

Learning to body surf can be such a difficult task if you are a beginner in the sport. You don’t know how to hold the hand board, and you find it disgusting when you don’t get it working. Do not worry. Sometimes learning to bodysurf can be overwhelming. The following tips will get you going so that you enjoy swaying the waves.

1. Research to Find a Favorable Beach

man surfing
Photo by Drew Farwell on Unsplash

Body surfing in Mexico for the first time needs space and a healthy surfing body. That is why you must get a local beach with few beachgoers so that you do not go about knocking other “expert” surfers when learning to bodysurf. The surf spots in Mexico that you visit should have a gradual slope, softy, and sandy. As a beginner, you can start bodysurfing on a beach with small waves and move to those with jagged rocks and strong waves as you advance your surfing skills.

The following are some of the best beaches in Mexico that you can look forward to learning bodysurfing:

  • Playa del Amor in Marietta Islands
  • Mamita’s Beach Club
  • Punta Mosquito
  • Playa Maunte, Oaxaca
  • Playa Paraiso
  • Playa Norte
  • Playa Balandra
  • Playa Ruinas, Talum
  • Medano Beach in Cabo San Lucas

You can always visit one of these beaches to learn how to surf in Mexico. Some of the beaches are open to the public and have some of the best body surfing Mexico resorts.

2. Wear the Gear

To ensure you remain safe on the beach, you should wear your handboard correctly before taking the first step to bodysurf. Wear your handboard while still on dry land to ensure they fit on you. Wearing your gear while on the beach can be disgusting when the gear floats and you have to follow it on a strong wave. If you are a beginner, you do not want to go through this tiring process when surfing in Mexico.

Therefore, before you bodysurf, you must put on your body surfing fins, handboard, and leash properly to avoid injuries and discomfort that comes when you put them on while on the beach.

3. Watch out for the Right Waves

man swimming with surfboard
Photo by LECHAT Valentin on Unsplash

If you want to learn to bodysurf for the first time, you should practice on a weak wave. Strong waves that come to your ways may draw you if you still lack the skills to handle them. However, when strong waves come your way, you can dive under them or deep within their crest and keep moving.

The waves come with a lot of force and the only way to avoid turning over when bodysurfing is to avoid these waves. You can always move to the safest location on the beach when waves are stronger for you to handle. Move to towards the wave breaking point on the beach and get some rest before you continue surfing. Keep your handboard intact to avoid wasting time once you get back to the beach.

You can swim past the break if the waves are breaking just beyond your chest level. To achieve this, you can stretch the hand holding the handboard in front and your other hand on top of the other one. Kick your legs simultaneously to move across the waves effortlessly.

To ensure you keep moving smoothly in the right position, you must ensure your handboard or surfboard is intact and afloat. Avoid being knocked down by the waves by turning your shoulder sideways. Keep trying until you get the best body surfing in Mexico.

4. Proper Timing of the Wave

Trust me. If you are a beginner, then you must avoid the strong waves as much as possible when body surfing Mexico. Proper timing of the wave is all you need to stay safe and enjoy bodysurfing. The wave will roll over you if you time it too late and you may end up in front of the wave if you time it too soon. In most cases, it takes roughly five seconds before the wave comes your way. Use this time to decide on whether you want to roll over the wave or not.

5. Surf the Wave

man in black wetsuit carrying red, yellow, blue, and green surfboard
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

After mastering the art of timing the waves, you can take on one to bodysurf. Pay attention to taking the barrel and enjoy floating your body on the cold waters. Push off ocean floor before it breaks by moving your handboard in front of you. To propel yourself to the other direction and remain afloat, you can have some arm paddle and kicks.

6.  Choose the Direction of Wave

To surf the wave, you have to move towards the shore. To keep up with the wave pace, you have to decide on which line you are going to follow. With different ocean conditions, choosing a direction can be difficult for beginners.

To ensure you enjoy surfing the wave, move in the same direction of wave breaking. You can also surf in the direction of your dominant hand if you have it holding the handboard.

7. Maintain the Momentum

woman riding on surfboard during daytime
Photo by Gia Oris on Unsplash

Nobody is born with the best body surfing in Mexico. If you want to get some speed while bodysurfing, you can stretch your body straight by moving your hands upfront and making some repeated kicks. Place your paddling hand on the hand holding the handboard strap. You can keep up with the wave speed by leaning into the wave. Push into the board to continue lifting your body until you plan.

8.  Keeping your Body in Line

To keep your body in line while surfing you can engage your core arms, use your free hand or use the body surfing fins. You can switch your body to either direction by moving your fins with a different move. To move on the right, you can drag your paddle more on the right. You can also engage your core legs and arms to keep your handboard and failing legs in position.

9. Put the Energy

person surfing at daytime
Photo by Fabrice Nerfin on Unsplash

You need the energy to propel your body when surfing the waves. This means you must ensure you eat energy giving foods before you go to bodysurf on the beach. Do not forget to carry some clean water to quench your thirst and boost your energy while at the beach. You need a healthy surfing body to learn how to surf in Mexico. Visit one of the best body surfing Mexico resorts to have a meal before taking it to the beach.

10. Don’t do it Alone

Surfing for the first time comes with many challenges that you do not want to face alone. You can bodysurf with other expert bodysurfers like friends or family members to ensure you are on track. You can always ask for help from other people while surfing.


Getting the right surfboard for bodysurfing if you are a beginner can help you learn how to surf quickly. The tips given here are enough to keep you going if you have a quality handboard at your disposal and the passion for body surfing Mexico. You can always refer to this guide to keep learning how to bodysurf in all Mexican beaches.

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