Bodysurf the Waves

By Hawaii.com Team

Makena Beach, Maui. Photo: Ryan Healy.

Bodysurfing is wonderful exercise and the least expensive of all the wave-riding sports. Gliding down the face of a wave and gracefully (or even not so gracefully) floating over the whitewash towards the beach is a great way to enjoy the ocean.

The first rule is to find a partner. With a pair of fins and a little knowledge of the water, almost anyone can learn to bodysurf. But like all water sports, you’ll have more fun and be safer with a partner. Start at a mellow beach with gentle waves and sand bottom. Sit and watch the surf for a while, watch what other people are doing and where the waves break. Keep in mind that swells can be deceptive. Big waves can look like fun but, in reality, they can create dangerous shore breaks. “Look before you leap” applies here. Check out the surf with a lifeguard or a local surfer before you jump in.

Here are some safety tips from the University of Hawaii’s Sea Grant Program: Learn how to swim before you try bodysurfing. Always surf with a friend. If you’re unfamiliar with a beach, ask questions before you go in the water. Take time to observe wave and current conditions before going in. Know your limits, stay out of surf conditions that are too dangerous for you to handle. Bodysurfing doesn’t mix with drugs and alcohol.

Popular bodysurfing beaches are: Makena’s Oneloa, Ka’anapali, Napili Bay and Baldwin Park.

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