How To Paddle Efficiently While Bodyboarding

Table of Contents

As a beginner bodyboarder, one of the most important things to learn is how to paddle efficiently. In this article, we’ll explore six sub-questions on how to paddle efficiently while bodyboarding, including:

By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to paddle efficiently while bodyboarding.


Why is efficient paddling important?

Efficient paddling is crucial in bodyboarding for several reasons:

  1. Wave Catching: Paddling efficiently allows bodyboarders to generate enough speed and power to catch waves effectively. The faster a bodyboarder can paddle, the better their chances of catching waves earlier, which provides more time to set up for maneuvers and ride the wave.
  2. Maneuverability: Bodyboarding involves executing various maneuvers on the wave face, such as cutbacks, bottom turns, and aerial moves. Efficient paddling helps bodyboarders position themselves optimally on the wave, allowing them to generate speed and control necessary for executing these maneuvers successfully.
  3. Wave Selection: Efficient paddling enables bodyboarders to reach different parts of the lineup quickly, giving them the ability to choose the best waves. Paddling efficiently allows bodyboarders to navigate through the lineup, assess wave conditions, and position themselves in the optimal spot to catch the best waves suited for their riding style.
  4. Endurance and Stamina: Bodyboarding can be physically demanding, especially in larger waves or when paddling against currents. Efficient paddling technique reduces unnecessary energy expenditure and fatigue, allowing bodyboarders to conserve their stamina for longer sessions or challenging conditions.
  5. Safety: In certain situations, efficient paddling can be crucial for the safety of bodyboarders. For example, when trying to paddle out through breaking waves or strong currents, efficient paddling helps bodyboarders maintain control and avoid being caught in hazardous situations.


What is the proper body position for efficient paddling?

To paddle efficiently, you need to have the proper body position. Start by lying belly-down on your bodyboard with your head and chest lifted slightly off the board. Your feet should be hanging off the end of the board, with your toes pointed toward the water.

Keep your hips elevated and your body weight centered over the board. This will help reduce drag and allow you to paddle more efficiently.


How should you place your hands on the bodyboard while paddling?

Your hands should be placed on the board at about shoulder-width apart. Your fingers should be curled over the front edge of the board, with your thumbs on top. This creates a grip that allows you to pull yourself through the water with each stroke.


What is the proper technique for paddling?

The proper technique for paddling involves using your entire arm to pull yourself through the water. Start by extending your arm forward and dipping your hand into the water. Use your fingers to start pulling water back towards your body. As your arm reaches your hip, sweep it down and out of the water, then return your arm to the starting position and start the stroke again.

It’s important to use your entire arm for each stroke, not just your hand. This will help you generate more power and increase your speed.


How can you build your paddling endurance?

Building your paddling endurance is essential for staying out in the water for longer periods of time. To build your endurance, start by paddling small distances at a moderate pace. As you become more comfortable, gradually increase the distance and speed of your paddling.

You can also incorporate other forms of exercise into your routine to build your overall endurance. Running, swimming, and cycling are all great ways to improve your cardiovascular fitness and build your paddling endurance.


How can you test your paddling efficiency?

One way to test your paddling efficiency is to time yourself paddling a set distance. Start by paddling a few strokes to get up to speed, then time yourself as you paddle a predetermined distance. Record your time and try to beat it on your next attempt.

Another way to test your paddling efficiency is to track your progress over time. Keep track of how far you’re able to paddle in a set amount of time, and try to increase this distance every time you go out in the water.



In conclusion, efficient paddling is important for catching waves and conserving your energy while bodyboarding. To paddle efficiently, you need to have the proper body position, hand placement, and technique. Building your endurance is also essential for staying out in the water for longer periods of time. Finally, testing your paddling efficiency can help you track your progress and improve your performance over time.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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