ASI Bodyboarding Safety

BODYBOARD SAFETY is ASI’s number one priority

Bodyboarding is now more popular than ever.  However, unless you have some basic surf safety knowledge, it’s easy to get in over your head.  

Here’s some tips to help you stay safe whilst bodyboarding.

1.  The Golden Rule of Bodyboarding Safety

Never go bodyboarding in water that you are unsure of:
Where the surf is larger than your ability

Ask yourself:
“would you still be able to swim in that surf and back to the shore if your leash breaks and you lose your board?

If you don’t think so,
Dont go bodyboarding until the conditions are more suitable for you.

2.  Knowledge of the Ocean

As simple as it sounds, the ocean and waves can be unpredictable at the best of times.   Knowing about the different types of waves and how waves break will help you determine what waves to catch and which ones to stay away from.

3.  Don’t be Washed Away

Rips and currents are one of the major hazards for inexperienced bodyboarders  They can carry you far out to sea or into large breaking waves.   Make sure you can identify where rips and currents are and stay away from them.   Patrolled beaches usually have signs on the beach identifying where the rips and currents are.  Look out for them.

4.  Learn the Bodyboarding Lingo

Bodyboarding has a language all of its own.  Experienced bodyboarders use not only bodyboarding terms, but also shouts and signals when out in the water.  If you are out paddling in the water and you hear a shout or whistle, it is probably an experienced surfer  or bodyboarder surfing on a wave and heading towards you.  It means “watch out, I’m coming through”.  

5.  Have Bodyboarding Awareness

Don’t be a UFO – an  “Unidentified Floating Object”.   This is the term commonly used by experienced surfers and bodyboarders for people who have little surfing or bodyboarding awareness.  When out in the water, be constantly aware of all that is happening around you to ensure you are not an obstacle (hazard or danger) to other bodyboarders, surfers and swimmers.

6.  Understand Bodyboarding Rules 

Just like any other sport, bodyboarding has rules to ensure bodyboarding is safe.   The one major rule in bodyboarding  is the rule of “dropping in”.  This is where you drop in on a wave another surfer or bodyboarder has priority on.  Make sure you understand who has priority on the wave so you do not take someone else’s wave.

7.   Don’t Over Do It. 

Bodyboarding requires a high level of physical fitness.  You get a really good workout as you are constantly using your energy to paddle and catch waves.  Experienced bodyboarders are well turned fitness machines, having spent thousands of hours in the water.   

Make sure you do not overdo it.  When you are tired, you may not be able to stay afloat if you lose your board.  When you start to get tired, go into shore, have a rest.  Go back out when you are rested.

8.   Stay Cool

If you find yourself in areas where experienced surfers or bodyboarders are heading straight towards you, keep calm.  Experienced bdyboarders and surfers will have seen you and will adjust their line of surfing to go around you.  Stay on your board, do not panic, do not jump off your board.  To do so can result in the experienced bodyboarder  or surfer not being able to adjust their line at the last minute and you could both collide.

9.  Surf Rage

Don’t be a part of it.  Bodyboarding is a sport that is in harmony with nature.   Surf rage generally occurs when inexperienced bodyboarders break the surfing and bodyboarding rules or panic and put other surfers or bodyboarders at danger.    So chill out, learn the rules and develop surf awareness and have fun.

10.  Respect Experienced Bodyboarders

Experienced bodyboardders have a respect and understanding of the ocean developed over many hours of bodyboarding.  The goal is to surf good waves, have fun and do it in a safe way.   If an experienced surfer or more experienced bodydoarder than you offers you some advice, take heed.   They could be offering you pearls of wisdom to help you perfect your bodyboarding or be helping to ensure you surf safely and not put yourself and others at risk.   

11.   Be Bodyboard Savvy

Knowing more about the sport will ensure you bodyboard safely.   
Check out your local bodyboard school and get as much information about bodyboardingbefore you hit the water.   

Bodyboarding is a great past-time that can be enjoyed by all.  The more educated you are about the bodyboarding, the more fun, easier to do, and safer it is.


ASI is the worlds leading  specialising in surfing, stand up paddle and bodyboarding for adventure centre operators and career instructors.   

ASI accreditation sets the international standard.   It is the mark of high professional competence recognised and sought after by employers and the general public.