starting bodyboarding

5 Tips for starting bodyboarding

Do you want to learn how to ride the waves with your bodyboard and your fins? Yvon Martinez, bodyboard champion, shares with you his 5 tips for starting bodyboarding with peace of mind.

Bodyboarding is a sport for everyone! There’s no age for starting. It makes it easy to learn to ride the waves.

Yvon Martinez is a bodyboarding champion, a trainer at Pôle Espoir Nouvelle Aquitaine and a coach at the Hendaye Bidassoa Surf Club (Hendaye). He is a technical partner at RADBUG, the new bodyboarding and bodysurfing Decathlon brand. Yvon helps to design the bodyboards that you can find in store or on line.

Yvon shares with you 5 tips for starting bodyboarding. These tips will help those who start bodyboarding and will also accompany those who have already done so! You can find his 5 tips in the YouTube video.

In summary, the advocates for the following:

Yvon Martinez’s 5 tips for starting bodyboarding [long version]

#1 Choosing your bodyboarding equipment well

To enjoy bodyboarding, it is essential to have equipment adapted to your body and your ability. The choice of equipment can vary depending on the intensity you wish to put into your bodyboarding.

- The bodyboard
Size is the most important feature to consider when choosing your bodyboard. It is advised to choose a bodyboard which comes up to your belly button or slightly below.

- The leash
In order to avoid losing your bodyboard after the wave or when you go up the peak, use a leash. It is recommended to use a “telephone” or spiral leash. It is usually placed on the biceps which makes it less likely to slide. At the end of each session, to prevent the leash from stretching out over time, hang your leash on the plug of your board.

- The fins
By using the fins, you can catch two or three times more waves than if you didn't have themselves! Using symmetrical fins for you first uses are preferred. Attach the fins leash (or fin attachments).

- The wax
Before jumping into the water, put wax on your bodyboard to improve your grip and avoid slipping. It is not necessary to put wax on your whole board. It is best to apply it to specific areas like the nose or even the rails.

Choose your equipment well | Starting bodyboarding #1 (Yvon Martinez)

#2 Choosing your bodyboarding spot well

Before going surfing, check the weather conditions. Many sites like,, allow you to check the size of the waves, the direction of the wind, the weather. Yvon advises those who start bodyboarding to surf waves between 80 cm and 1 m. The key word is to have fun and not to become a big wave surfer (at least not right away!).

Choose your spot well | Starting bodyboarding #2 (Yvon Martinez)

#3 Warming up well before your bodyboarding session

Like before all practical sport, it is important to warm up to prepare the body for exertion. Yvon's warm-up consisted of a short jog followed by pinpointed warm-ups of the joints: cervical vertebrae, shoulders, lower back, knees, ankles and wrists. You can complete your warm-up by doing a plank.

Warm up well | Starting bodyboarding #3 (Yvon Martinez)

#4 Positioning your bodyboard well for better movement

To be able to move, there is a particular position to have on your bodyboard. The position is different depending on whether you want to paddle or row. If you want to go faster to get up the peak or catch a wave, you can paddle and row at the same time.

Positioning well for moving | Starting bodyboard #4 (Yvon Martinez)

#5 Positioning your bodyboard well for better riding

Once you know how to position yourself on your board to move, you need to acquire the right position to ride the wave. Yvon shares with you two exercises for improving your ride, going straight forward or right or left. This will allow you to make your first cut-back (or replacement turn) and send a spray of water!

Positioning yourself well for tiding | Starting bodyboard #5 (Yvon Martinez)

#Bonus carrying out your first manoeuvres on a bodyboard

Yvon has a bonus tip to share with you: teach yourself how to do manoeuvres. Bodyboarding is a great sport and is super addictive. It is possible to do your first manoeuvres very quickly after having started bodyboarding. Try doing some tricks! Yvon shares with you his advice for doing your first 360°, such as his first time doing it himself. He also explains how to do a roll; a trick that uses the lip of the wave like a springboard to carry out a spin.

Doing tricks | Starting bodyboarding #bonus (Yvon Martinez)

You are now holding all the cards to become great bodyboarders! 

See you in the water soon!

You may also like...



Wave sports is cool, it can tone up your muscles, push back your limits, work off your stress. Check out more on the health benefits of surfing and bodyboarding.


Bodyboarding is a great water sport! We will introduce the sport and teach you how to pick a bodyboard for beginners and kids. Check out now!
The rules on rights of way for surfers and bodyboarders

The rules on rights of way for surfers and bodyboarders

Surfing is all about surpassing yourself, contact with nature and feeling free. But, as surfing has become more popular, there are very few spots where you can surf alone and do whatever you like. To get off to a good start in complete safety, you need to know the rules on rights of way.