How To Take Off On Steep Waves In Bodyboarding

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Bodyboarding, the exhilarating water sport that combines elements of surfing and body surfing, has gained popularity worldwide for its accessibility and adrenaline-pumping experiences. While catching waves on a bodyboard can be a thrilling adventure on its own, tackling steep waves adds an entirely new level of excitement and challenge to the sport. Successfully navigating these powerful waves requires skill, technique, and a deep understanding of the ocean’s dynamics.

In this article, we will delve into the art of taking off on steep waves in bodyboarding. We will explore the fundamental principles that govern wave behavior, discuss the equipment and techniques that can enhance your performance, and provide valuable tips to help you conquer those intimidating vertical faces.

Whether you’re an aspiring bodyboarder looking to progress your skills or an experienced rider seeking to refine your approach, understanding how to master steep waves is essential for pushing your limits and unlocking new possibilities in the water.

So, get ready to ride the edge of excitement as we dive into the world of bodyboarding and learn the secrets to taking off on steep waves with confidence and finesse.


What is a Steep Wave?

A wave is said to be steep when its face reaches a considerable angle, usually over 60 degrees from the horizontal plane. Steep waves are often more challenging to catch and ride due to their quickness and unpredictability. They are typical in break points where the wave abruptly changes its direction, creating a steep drop that requires you to follow the wave’s curve to avoid being thrown off.


How to Choose the Right Wave?

Choosing the right wave in bodyboarding is crucial as it dictates the amount of energy and speed you can harness. When looking for a steep wave, consider its size, shape, and speed. Steep waves tend to be larger, and they break more abruptly. Therefore, you need to take the necessary precautions and ensure you have enough speed and momentum to catch and ride the wave.


What is the Proper Positioning?

Proper positioning is critical in taking off on steep waves. Before you catch the wave, position your body in the right spot, facing the direction of the break. You should also angle your board to accommodate the steep drop and face the wave’s direction. Your feet should remain at the tail end of the board, and your body weight should be appropriately positioned to ensure the board remains flat.


What is the Right Timing?

Timing is crucial when taking off on steep waves, and you should avoid being too early or too late. To get the right timing, wait for the peak of the wave and start paddling with full force. As the wave approaches, fasten your paddling and move forward until you feel the wave’s energy beneath you. At this stage, pop up and adjust your body posture to align with the wave’s curve.


How to Pop-up on Steep Waves?

Popping up on steep waves is crucial, as it determines whether you’ll make the ride successfully or not. Start by positioning your hands on the rails at the front, then arch your back and push up using your arms. While doing this, swing your back foot forward, placing it on the backside of the board and your front foot on its centerline. Tuck in your knees and lower your center of gravity while aligning your body to face the direction of the wave.


What to Do If You Flip Over on Steep Waves?

Flipping over on steep waves is common, especially for beginners. However, you can anticipate and remedy this situation by ensuring you are in the correct position and timing. If you flip over, grab the rails with both hands and hold the board securely close to your body. As you surface, make a swift turn to face the board’s direction and paddle back to catch another wave.



Taking off on steep waves requires constant practice, patience, and the right technique. With the tips we’ve discussed above, you can significantly improve your bodyboarding skills and become more efficient in catching and riding steep waves. Always remember to choose the right wave, position yourself correctly, maintain good timing, pop-up correctly, and recover promptly in case you flip over. With these techniques, you can take your bodyboarding skills to the next level.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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