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What’s The Difference Between Bodyboarding And Surfing?

Difference Between Bodyboarding and Surfing

Surfing and bodyboarding are two of the most thrilling water sports in the world. Although the two may differ slightly in equipment and in some technical aspects, both offer the ultimate wave riding thrill. The jury is still out on which one is the best wave riding sport but that is a debate for another day.

Whether you are a beginner or a water sports pro, riding a few waves, on a bodyboard or a surfboard, is a guaranteed recipe for fun. 

Let’s not argue which is better, let’s take a look at the difference between the two so you can decide which sport is better for you.

The Obvious Difference

  • The Board – the bodyboard is made of foam (polyethylene and polypropylene) so it is soft and much smaller than a surfboard. Surfboards, on the other hand, are much longer than bodyboards. Most surfboards are wide and are often nine feet long or longer. Surfboards are heavier because they are mostly made of wood, fibreglass or epoxy resin.
  • Riding Style – In bodyboarding, you ride the waves by lying down on the bodyboard where most of your upper body is on it while when surfing, you ride the waves by standing up on the board, manoeuvring it with your feet and body.
  • Propulsion – Bodyboarding lacks propulsion that is why you need fins on your feet to aid your hands. This is because your body is too close to the board. With surfing, standing up on the board allows your whole body to easily manoeuvre the board on the waves so there is enough propulsion to ride the waves.
Difference Between Bodyboarding and Surfing

Let’s take a look now at the pros and cons of surfing and bodyboarding:

Surfing Pros:

  • Surfing allows you to stand up on the board giving you a better view of  wave breaks. You can feel the wind giving you more of a thrill
  • Surfing allows you to catch bigger waves
  • Surfing is more versatile when it comes to riding style or freestyling
  • Surfing is more popular with more competition and events being held
  • Surfing allows you to use your skills and improve them by overcoming difficult and technical waves. There are many things you can do with a surfboard that you can not do with a bodyboard
  • Surfing allows you to freestyle and be creative. It gives you the chance to master the art
  • It is much more interesting because you can use different board types and fin set ups.

Surfing Cons:

  • Surfboards are made of stronger and more durable materials so they are more costly
  • Surfboards require regular waxing for balance otherwise, it gets slippery
  • Surfboards are heavier and much more difficult to carry around compared to a bodyboard
  • Surfing is more dangerous than bodyboarding.
  • You can not surf in black ball areas, only bodyboarders can
  • Surfing is seasonal. You can not surf when there are no waves
  • You can not ride when you are injured
  • Surfing is harder for older people.

Bodyboarding Pros:

  • Bodyboarding gives you better balance and stability during the ride because your body is closer to the board
  • It is safer because the possibility of falling off the board is very low
  • Bodyboarding is a good stepping stone to surfing
  • Bodyboarding is an easy sport to learn, even for children
  • Bodyboarders can ride difficult waves that surfers can’t. This is because the bodyboard is very light and easily stays on top of the wave
  • Bodyboards are cheaper
  • You can bodyboard even when there are no waves
  • Bodyboarding is safe for older people.
Difference Between Bodyboarding and Surfing

Bodyboarding Cons:

  • Some find it less challenging since you just lay flat on the board
  • It lacks creativity and requires fewer skills to ride
  • It is not as popular as surfing
  • If you are looking for the ultimate thrill, bodyboarding may not be for you

Whether you choose bodyboarding or surfing, make sure you have the proper gear and equipment. Safety should always come first. Beachin Surf is a trusted brand for all water sports in Australia.

We are 100% Australian owned with the highest-quality products. We have a large variety of bodyboards to choose from online and we ship nationwide.

Or, please feel free to come and visit our shop at 262 Maine Road, Toukley, NSW. We are happy to show you around and assist you in finding your dream board.

Please call us today on (02) 4396 5159 or send us an inquiry.

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