What is Bodyboarding?

Bodyboarding FAQ

What is Bodyboarding?

Why should I learn to bodyboard with Newquay Activity Centre?

We are the World’s first and most developed bodyboarding school, headed up by British bodyboarding Team Coach and National Champion, Rob Barber.

With over 30 years experience and a professional bodyboarding career of international competition under his belt, Rob has built a school dedicated to delivering expert instruction guaranteed to build your skills and share the stoke!

Lessons from our Activity Centre in Newquay are pitched at a level suited to your ability, whether you’re a complete novice who has never been in the sea before or a professional standard rider. Our instructors are all trained lifeguards and qualified coaches with years of coaching experience to all ages and capabilities.

The beauty of this sport is that whatever your ability, you are guaranteed to catch fun waves and our lesson options include daily sessions, bodyboard surfari weekend courses and international holidays in tropical climates!

What are the advantages of bodyboarding over surfing?

  • It’s easier to learn at a beginner level and not as physically demanding
  • We guarantee you will catch a wave within the first five minutes of your lesson
  • It’s brilliant for all ages and members of the family
  • Boards are lighter to carry and ride – less energy spent before you even get in the water
  • Statistically safer than surfing
  • You can excel quickly with coaching from our team of expert instructors
  • The kit is cheaper to purchase
  • It’s easier to travel with a bodyboard
  • It’s just as hard to master at the top end but it’s less challenging to learn the basics!

what is bodyboarding

What will we learn during our lesson?

  • Beach and sea safety skills and knowledge
  • The role of patrolling lifeguards on the beach
  • A little about the equipment, for example names and sizing
  • Body position on the board
  • How to ride left and right
  • Different moves to perform, including cutbacks, barrel rolls etc.
  • How to use bodyboard fins
  • How to duck dive
  • What to look for when you check the surf

If you catch the bodyboarding bug and want to improve your skills, check out our intensive coaching alongside likeminded people at one of our bodyboarding coaching weekends!

Check out our online how-to guides here!

What are the best things about bodyboarding?

Head bodyboarding instructor, Brendan Moore tells us why he loves it so much!

“To bodyboard at the highest level demands a great degree of skill and fitness, but at a beginner stage it’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to get used to riding waves. The sensation created by being close to the water is amazing, you’re in control and the fins help you quickly pick up speed to catch loads of waves.”

what is bodyboarding

Do I have to go out of my depth?

Among other skills, we teach the jump launch technique which allows you to catch waves from waist depth water. There is no need to go any deeper unless you want to progress to riding green, unbroken waves using fins.

how to bodyboard

Where will we learn to bodyboard?

As Trip Advisor’s Number One provider of outdoor adventure activities in Newquay, our Activity Centre is located just 500m from the UK’s most famous surfing destination and the Sunday Times’ No.1 beach for activities, Fistral Beach.

Depending on the weather and swell conditions at Fistral Beach, we also run Bodyboarding lessons on the beaches in Newquay Bay just a few minutes walk from our centre on Fore Street.

what is boogie boarding

Where on the beach are you allowed to bodyboard?

Flags and signs

On patrolled beaches, RNLI lifeguards designate the safest areas to bodyboard with red and yellow flags. We willbodyboard between these flags; they indicate the lifeguarded area for bathing and bodyboarding.

Black and white flags indicate the safest place for surfers and hard craft, like kayaks. Having separate areas means we won’t be sharing waves with those using larger, more dangerous equipment so there are no worries about collisions.


Do you have to be a strong swimmer?

No, although we ask that everybody who takes part in our bodyboard experiences can swim a minimum of 50 metres. Let us know if this will be difficult for you and we can advise on how we can facilitate your abilities best. Our lessons can be tailored so that your feet never need to leave the ground except when you’re riding a wave!

learn to boogie board

Can we learn as a family?

Yes! We run private family bodyboarding lessons tailored specifically to your group’s ages, abilities and numbers.

how to boogie board

When is the best time to bodyboard in Newquay?

Bodyboarding is a year round activity, all you need is the right equipment and knowledge about the ocean conditions! Winter’s a great time to catch big swells. Check out our bodyboarding vouchers as an epic Christmas gift!

At Newquay Activity Centre, we organise our bodyboarding lessons around swell conditions and the tide to ensure you get to ride the best quality waves every time.

How long is a bodyboarding lesson?

Every bodyboard lesson is two hours long. After arriving at the centre, you’ll be provided with the equipment and the two hours will begin when you are ready to hit the beach!

If you’d like to stay down at the beach after your two-hour lesson for the remainder of the day, you can book a Bodyboard Lesson & Hire and keep hold of the gear.

We also offer hire of all our equipment. Check out our website for prices.

What equipment will we use during a bodyboard lesson?

You will be provided with professional standard equipment when you arrive at Newquay Activity Centre, suitable for all abilities from beginner to professional levels. You will get:

  • Wetsuit – You’ll be given a full body neoprene suit designed to prevent chill whilst submerged in water.
  • Bodyboard with leash– We’ll provide you with a board to match your height, weight and ability.
  • Fins
  • Fin socks- Neoprene socks to prevent rubbing from the fin straps

For anyone looking to purchase their own gear we can offer  15% discount from the Rip Curl store in Newquay.

what is bodyboarding

Is it safe?

All our Instructors are fully qualified Beach and Surf Safety Lifeguards and trailblazing bodyboard instructors. They’ve undertaken extensive First Aid training and we deliver regular in-house training to our staff so they have experience in all weather and ocean conditions. Every instructor must have years of personal experience in the water and we also work in close partnership with the RNLI presence on every beach to ensure your safety in and out of the water.

What do I need to bring for my bodyboarding lesson?

All you need to bring is your swimwear and a towel. We will provide you with everything else!

What time should I arrive for my bodyboarding experience?

Please arrive at the centre at the start time of your session. This can be found on you booking confirmation email. There is no parking outside the centre so please allow plenty of time to park and walk down to our centre on Fore Street. Once there your instructor will welcome you.

bodyboard coaching

What if I have a medical need?

If you have any medical needs, injuries or special requirements, just give us a ring and we can talk through how best we can cater for your needs during your bodyboarding experience!

How far is it from the changing rooms?

From changing room to water’s edge is a 5-minute walk! You’ll make your way down to the beach as a group after changing in our centre.

Will my valuables be safe?

Lockers are available at the centre free of charge to ensure any valuables are safely stowed away whilst you’re down on the beach. There are also storage compartments available for the rest of your gear including clothes and shoes. Please note that any items are left at the guest’s own risk.

what is coasteering

What is the age limit?

The minimum age limit for our group activities is 8 years old. However, we offer private sessions for every activity so no one has to miss out on bodyboarding! All our instructors have years of experience working with children of all ages. We also offer family packages for every activity, and tailor each session to you and your child’s requirements.   Check out the options here.

What happens if I want to cancel my lesson?

Our cancellation policy is outlined in our terms and conditions.  If cancellation occurs 4 weeks or more from the activity’s start date then a full refund will be issued.  If the session is cancelled 2-3 weeks before start date then a 50% refund will be given.  Unfortunately if the cancellation occurs less than 2 weeks to the activity’s start time then no refund can be issued. If the booking is changed more than 21 days prior to the Experience we will make every effort to change the requested booking. Less than 21 days prior to the start, no changes can be made.

Will you ever cancel my session?

We’re not afraid of some wind and rain, but Mother Nature occasionally intervenes and makes it impossible to run a safe session.  In the unlikely event that this should happen, we would endeavour to change the date of your session or offer an alternative solution.  If this were still impossible then a voucher would be issued for the value of the activity.

big surf bodyboard

Am I insured?

All our sessions are fully insured and are covered in the price of the activity.

Do you do group discounts?

Yes! Check out our discounts page for more information. We also do discounts for military groupsschools and families.

Can I wear glasses in the water?

We strongly advise against wearing glasses in the surf in case they fall off! However, you will be able to wear them during the instruction part of the lesson on the sand. They can then be stored with our first aid kits on the beach whilst you’re practicing in the water. We recommend disposable contact lenses wherever possible.

Should I wear sun cream?

Yes! We ALWAYS advise that you slap on good slather of factor 30-50 water-resistant sun cream before taking part in one of our activities. You can also use a bit of zinc for extra protection.

Can I book online?

Yes, you can book directly online or you can give us a ring and we can take payment directly over the phone. CALL NOW on 01637 877722 and try one of the UK’s best coastal activities with Trip Advisor’s number one provider, Newquay Activity Centre! Our lines are open from 8:00am until 10:00pm.

what is bodyboarding

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