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Learn bodyboarding in Cornwall and prepare to get highly addicted!

Not only is it super fun but you’re guaranteed to catch a wave within the first five minutes of your lesson. We coach all standards from complete novice to top level competitor and everyone in between using top-quality kit.

Check out our range of bodyboarding lessons and find the right one for you:

At Newquay Activity Centre, Rob Barber and his coaching team offer tuition tailored to your ability with qualified instructors who are fully insured. Experienced lifeguards, some have 20 years of bodyboarding experience in Cornwall and beyond including 15 years of worldwide surf travel with British Team Bodyboarding Coach,
Rob Barber.

From family friendly lessons, adult or kids groups to advanced level lessons for aspiring groms and pros, our bodyboarding lessons in Cornwall are open to anyone who can swim, who wants to learn more about the ocean and have heaps of fun at the same time.

Why bodyboarding?

Bodyboarding is easy to learn, but hard to master …this means that it’s accessible to everyone and it’s guaranteed instant fun – you’ll be riding a wave within the first 10 minutes of the lesson with Newquay Activity Centre’s expert instructors, and that’s a promise! While at the same time there are an abundance of technical tricks and manoeuvres to master if you wish to take it to the next level.

What kit?

Whether you’re bringing your own kit or using the top level bodyboarding equipment that we supply you (included in the price), you’ll need the following:

  • The right size bodyboard

The length of the board should measure from your knee to your chin when held in front of you, with increased width in the board for larger riders.

  • A leash

The main choice is between a wrist or bicep leash. Ensure the Velcro attachment is padded, comfortable and well made. A top of the range leash will offer ‘brass’ swivels on both ends of the leash to ensure it does not tangle when you’re bodyboarding.

  • A pair of fins

If you’re going to take bodyboarding seriously then a decent pair of well-fitting fins will be essential. You get what you pay for with fins, the more expensive pairs offer unrivalled comfort and propulsion. Fin sizes typically come in XS, SM, M, ML, L & XL, but each brand varies slightly, so make sure you try before you buy. You want a fin that is snug but not tight.

  • A wetsuit

Don’t skimp! The difference in enjoyment between surfing in comfort against feeling too cold or suffering from rashes is huge. What’s more, the more you pay the more features your wetsuit will have. When you are trying on a suit, check for baggy areas in the back, under the arm and behind the knees. There shouldn’t not be much slack in these areas.

A pair of wetsuit socks / finserts / heel guards

These all offer protection from nasty fin rubs, a must if you don’t get in the water all that often.

Where will we surf?

Newquay is blessed with 7 beautiful surfing spots (Fistral, Towan, Tolcarne, Great Western, Porth, Lusty Glaze & Crantock) that provide a variety of waves in all conditions and for all levels – there’s something for everyone in the UK’s no.1 bodyboard town.

Top tips in the water

When you are out in the water, there are a number of important ground rules you should follow:

  • Don’t drop in! Bodyboarding is a fun sport with few rules but it’s fundamental that you don’t share the wave with other riders. The rider closest to the breaking part of the wave has the priority for riding that wave.
  • Don’t bodyboard directly after a meal.
  • Don’t bail your board when paddling out through the waves. There may be somebody right behind you who won’t appreciate getting a board in the face.
  • Don’t bodyboard alone. If there is nobody in the surf it normally means that the conditions are not favourable. But if it is pumping and uncrowded, call a mate to join you.
  • Don’t enter the water before warming up. Cold stiff muscles and ligaments can easily be wrenched by a wipe-out.
  • Don’t run straight in. As tempting as it is when the waves look good. Take the time to check the beach for rip currents, where other surfers are sitting, the time between sets, the wind direction and the best spot to paddle out. 5 minutes of patience will reward you with more waves.

Learn the lingo – the glossary

Aerial: An explosive manoeuvre where the bodyboader launches themselves into the air off the top of the wave

Barrel: A tubular section of a wave within which a bodyboarder can find the meaning of life. Also referred to as a tube, a pit and the green room.

Prone: The laying position when riding a bodyboard

Dropknee: Half kneeling, half standing position when riding a bodyboard.

Right-hander: A wave that breaks towards the right as seen from the line up, (and vice-versa for a left hander).

Set: A group of larger waves that arrive at the beach on a regular basis

Techniques, tricks and manoeuvres – What bodyboarding skills will you learn?


  • Walking in fins
  • Paddle techniques
  • Duckdiving
  • Catching a wave
  • How to brake
  • Body positioning and hand placement
  • Trimming
  • Bottom turns


  • Cutbacks
  • Forward spins
  • Reverse spins
  • Cutback to forward spin
  • El Rollo
  • Re-entry
  • Introduction to Dropknee



  • Reverse floaters / reverse off the lip
  • Tube riding
  • Invert air
  • Cutback reverse spin
  • Air forward
  • Air reverse
  • ARS
  • Backflip
  • Dropknee

History of bodyboarding

Bodyboarding has Tom Morey to thank for tinkering with a block of foam in 1971, and effectively modernising what ancient Polynesians had done for thousands of years.

On arriving in the Big Island of Hawaii, he bought some nine-foot blocks of foam with the idea of shaping a board he could ride prone (lying down). His first creation was a failure but after deciding to cut the second block of foam in two bodyboarding was born.

Bodyboarding grew steadily throughout the 70s as people the world over discovered the joy of riding a bodyboard and groups of keen riders sprung up in Hawaii, the East & West coast of the U.S., Australia, South America, and more recently in Europe and Japan.

Your Bodyboarding Lesson will include:

  • A two-hour bodyboarding coaching session
  • A range of boards to use as you improve
  • Photography of you in action
  • Bodyboarding School Progression Log
  • 10% discount on your following session to feed your addiction
  • 10% discount on a coasteer or surfing experience with us
  • Discount card for apres surf food/drink and the Rip Curl shop (15%)