On Bodysurfing

A fun little corner about all things bodysurfing

For any comments or suggestions, please send me an e-mail (theopepler@gmail.com).

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The English noun bodysurfing (or body surfing) is translated to other languages as:

Afrikaans: lyfbranderry
French: bodysurf
Hawaiian: kaha nalu
Hebrew: גלישת גוף
Norwegian: kroppssurfing
Portuguese: surfe de peito
Spanish: barrenar / pecho surf / correr pecho / pechito / playitas





There is a plethora of bodysurfing videos on the web, ranging widely in quality. This is a selection of my favourites.









Rest of the world


Also see updated IBSA calendar.





Rest of the world






South Africa

Rest of the world



Swim fins



Bodysurfing quotes

Jamie Brisick

This is why I love bodysurfing. This is why, in my recent trips to Rio, I end up bodysurfing more than board surfing: I'm still learning new things. At age 47 I may be declining as a surfer, but as a bodysurfer I'm unquestionably improving. The tadpole grows feet and hops across the terra firma. The surfer sheds board and swims off to eternity.
Rio is the best bodysurfing city in the world. Those same iconic granite rocks that brought us Sugarloaf and Corcovado also bring us ricocheting wedges that zipper off the north and south corner of every beach.

Woody Brown

We never found any part of Dickie. He just vanished. We did find the board, just shattered to pieces. I talked to an army guy who had been on the beach that night, and he told me, "We never did see that other guy after he got wrapped up in that last big wave." Those were his words: "wrapped up in that last big wave." Based on that, I figured Dickie---who had so much guts---tried to bodysurf the wave. The fact that he got "wrapped up" could only mean that he was up in the curl, right? How else would you express it? So, I figured he tried to bodysurf in.
-- recounting the story of how Dickie Cross lost his life at Waimea Bay on December 22, 1943

Dwight Crum

Another area that has been neglected by many beginning surfers is body surfing. They learn to swim a few yards and then by-pass this wonderful sport completely to learn surfboard riding. Body surfing comes in very handy to the surfer who has lost his board and faces a long swim. It is a very good conditioner for learning to surf, timing the take-off, judging the waves, and being at home in the surf. It also takes up the void during the day when the wind blows unfavorably for surfboard riding or when local regulations prohibit surfboard riding.

Midget Farrelly

Catching a wave with the body alone was probably the original method of surfing, and to many surfers it is the greatest thrill of all. There is no board to worry about, no artificial aid---just you and the sea.

Joe Quigg

I had a style of bodysurfing the Wedge, where I'd drop in on my side, like it was a rail, and curve it to be the right shape to go up and down the wave. Most people plane with one arm back, one arm over, but I rode on my shoulder, like it was a rail.

Matt Warshaw

Twenty therapeutic minutes in the shorebreak means a quick dozen tubes attached to a dozen miniature thrashings, and I walk up the beach afterwards just glowing. Every time. Never had a bad bodysurfing session in my life.
Bodysurfing is the only hate-proof form of surfing.
Bodysurfing was here first, and it'll be here last. Seals and dolphins will still be riding waves after the human race finally pearls for good. And if we drag the seals and dolphins down with us, cockroaches will eventually figure it out.


The people of Kauai generally held the credit of exceeding all others in the sports of the Islands. At one time, they sent their champion surf rider to compete with the chiefs in the sport on Hawaii, who showed them man's ability to shoot, or ride with the surf without a surfboard.
-- From 1822 publication Hawaiian Annuals


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