From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bodysurfing is the art and sport of riding a wave without the assistance of any buoyant device such as a surfboard or bodyboard. Bodysurfers usually equip themselves with a pair of specialized swimfins that optimize propulsion and help the bodysurfer catch, ride and kick out of waves.


To get on the wave, bodysurfers must time their launch, pick a direction, kick and stroke hard with feet and arms, then use their back and outstretched arm, to ride the wave both sideways and downward. Turns can be performed by digging the shoulder into the wave, causing the person to slide to the side of the wave and accelerate. Advanced techniques include spins and barrel rolls.

Exiting the wave is key to safety. The safest exit maneuver is roll sideways into the back of wave until one exits out the back where the wave is no longer breaking. In stronger waves, the same maneuver applies, however the surfer must apply greater force to exit. This must be done with no hesitation, to avoid injury. Some bodysurfers opt to stay inside the hollow part of the wave — commonly known as the barrel — until it closes out onto them.