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Make Yourself Into a Surfboard: Bodysurfing!


Oahu, and the other Hawaiian islands have amazing and almost non-stop wave-action going on. Waves are nearly continually breaking somewhere on each island.

For the first year and a half or so I only bodyboarded. Bodyboarding was the biggest rush once I learned how to ride 4+ foot waves. I had heard about bodysurfing but didn’t really care for the longest time. What could be fun about swimming with a wave? Would that be better than bodyboarding? I didn’t think so.

Finally I tried it. I don’t know how I ended up without a bodyboard on the windward side of Oahu one time – but I did. Probably I lent my board to someone that was having a hell of a lot of fun while I watched. I decided I’d try bodysurfing.

It took about 20 tries to get something going which was a bit depressing. For surfing down a wave with your body the waves should be rolling in rather fast. On the northeast side, they are usually a bit choppy and bodysurfing the shore-break is no fun at all. Someone at Sandy Beach will tell you that! (wicked shorebreaks at Sandy’s).

A, D mark Point Panic - a great bodysurfing spot on Oahu, Hawaii just west of Ala Moana Park

A, D mark Point Panic - a great bodysurfing spot on Oahu, Hawaii just west of Ala Moana Park. Google map.

Nobody can stand on you, you won’t be that much like a surfboard… but no matter. You can have a lot of fun bodysurfing yourself in small 2-4 foot waves.

Bodysurfing is the closest thing you can get to communing directly with the ocean. It’s better than soulsurfing a long board and hanging ten. It’s heaps of fun!

Here’s a great video of bodysurfers at a bodysurfer exclusive beach on Oahu called, Point Panic. As usual there are guys there with boards because nobody seems to care what the signs say.



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About the author: Moving to Hawaii was one of the most amazing moves ever. I strongly encourage you to consider it if you’re in the financial position to make it work. Living in Hawaii has a fair bit of both positive and negative experiences awaiting each of us who give it a try. Read some of the articles here and try to get a feel for whether you might thrive in the islands. I wrote an entire book on the subject and it’s usually less than $5. It’s up there on the right side column. Best of luck and life to you! Aloha! – Vern L.

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