Body Boarding in Cornwall

Body boarding in Cornwall is one sweet affair!

Cornwall is blessed with great beaches and waves, so it’s no surprise body boarding is so popular across the county.

I’ve spent many an hour in the water with my body board catching waves. I mean, you’ve not really completed a trip to the South West if you’ve not tried to ride a wave, right?

Take a look at Cornwall’s most popular past time…

Body Boarding in Cornwall

Let’s go to the beach, beach!

There are so many places to go body boarding in Cornwall. It is literally packed full of amazing places to go and catch waves.

Bude and Fistral are two of the big hitters but honestly you’ll find loads of places when you head down to Cornwall. Places like St. Ives and Porthtowan beach in Truro are great too.

Polzeath is one of my favourite beaches in Cornwall, I’ve been going for years and I’m just such a big fan. It’s tiny but, I really like that. The coastline here gets some awesome waves and is incredibly popular with surfers and body boarders. That’s where these pictures are from, if you were wondering.

What Watersport is best?

It really doesn’t matter! Whatever reason you’re out there – a wild swim, a choppy stand up paddle board, a body board or surf it really doesn’t matter. It’s just a cracking place to be in the water, so enjoy every minute of it.

Of course, the surfers look really cool. Let’s give them their dues, they’ve worked hard to get there. That’s a bit of a pipe dream for me, I just don’t have the upper body strength and speed to jump up to standing without plummeting straight off the board.

But, there’s plenty of other ways you can enjoy the water. My best advice is not to get hung up on what you look like and to just have fun.

Body Boarding in Cornwall

Getting the hang of body boarding

Despite me relaying a long, tired week of disastrous surf lessons to Mr BLBC ( Mr Bight Lights Big City – my partner in crime), he persuaded me to pick up a body board. He said it’s the perfect compromise, you can still ride the wave but you can leave out the jump. Brilliant I thought.

Fast forward to my first session body boarding. What I like to call ‘four hours of physical punishment’. I did not catch one wave. Not one. I came out defeated, with scrapes and cuts from being smashed about by the strong Polzeath waves.

Body Boarding Technique

I got dry and wrapped up to get my warmth back and we headed up the beach to go and find some dinner dragging our boards behind us. There had to be a knack to it, some technique, something that I was missing and everyone else seemed to be aware of.

And, that’s when I spotted a sign on the beach by the Wave Hunters Surf school that explained the basic principles of body boarding. OHHHHHHHH, so that’s how you’re meant to do it. Man, had I been doing it wrong. I mean so, so, so wrong, no wonder I wasn’t catching any waves.

I then of course resorted to YouTube. Why didn’t I do that before I got in the water? Of course, there were plenty of basic tutorials on there giving me some much needed guidance.

My first wave

The feeling when I first caught a wave. I don’t know how to describe it, it felt like I was flying. Oh my goodness, I will remember that forever, such an incredible feeling and a real mood booster.

Body Boarding in Cornwall

After watching some videos on technique I had a lot of success, and rode many a wave right into the shore. It’s so satisfying and ridiculously fun!

Honestly, once I got the knack, four hours passed by in a blink of the eye. At that stage I realised I should probably get out the water to drink some water and rehydrate. 😂

It gave me that feeling of being a kid again. You know, when you spend all day in the water and you don’t notice the time, you just have constant fun. Bliss. What a feeling!

My advice, of course, would be to check out some videos online before going in the water. There is a technique to it, and it’s well worth swotting up to avoid body boarding misery.

Buying Vs Hiring

If you’re only going down for a short or one off trip I’d really urge you just to hire a board.

If you’re going to be going more regularly or every year and are looking at buying a board please, please consider buying a wooden body board.

Most body boards are made from plastic foam or polystyrene and they snap. Many litter the shores and it’s such a waste, when there’s a few great alternatives available – hiring or wood!

Now I’m planning on taking some of my own advice because before I knew how bad plastic boards are I bought a foam one, not the cheapest but certainly not eco-friendly. I’ve used it every year on every coastal trip for as long as I can remember. It’s old, it’s well loved but it’s in a good condition so I will donate it to an appropriate charity or board hiring company if and when I upgrade my board.

I would love a Dick Pearce Bellyboard and it’s my goal to eventually own one of these, custom colours of course! Other cool wooden bellyboard companies are available of course. 😉

Body Boarding in Cornwall

Trip Essentials

Don’t forget…

  • Summer – a rash vest – without one you’ll end up with very sore skin. Trust me, this is a non-negotiable, the resulting rash is unbelievably painful
  • Winter – a wet suit
  • SPF
  • A bottle of water
  • A life guard patrolled beach

Body Boarding

Body boarding in Cornwall is a simple pleasure and one I now enjoy regularly since understanding the technique a bit more.

If you’re headed to Cornwall, hire a board and hit the waves – it’s not just for kids, you’ll have a wonderful time. Just make sure you watch some YouTube tutorials before you go!

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