Fast Improvements at July Bodyboard Coaching Weekend!
By Rob Barber
We’ve just held our July bodyboard coaching weekend – what a scorcher it was!!
The first time in 20 years of UK bodyboard coaching that I was able to instruct in just a pair of board shorts and a rashest. The water temperature was awesome and the waves were one-to-two foot and super clean that made for really fun instructing conditions. We decided to follow London based bodyboarder Helena O’Donnell through out the weekend to offer a pictoral description of what happened – if you are wanting to get in to bodyboarding and improve fast, this is what to expect.
After getting enrolled at our centre, getting kitted up with the most suitable sized board, wetsuit and fins it was time to have a safety briefing and discuss what the equipment does. Then we worked through a bodyboard specific warm up and discussed the different parts of the board, fins etc and how to use them. Then it was time to hit the water, first of all with out fins to learn the ‘Jump Launch’ technique. Helena had only done a little bit of bodyboarding before so establishing good timing was important. After 40 minutes and loads of waves it was time to get used to the swim fins!
While lapping up the glorious sunshine we then had a talk about where and how to paddle out, using the water movement at the beach to aid the paddle. Also the different techniques to use to sprint paddle and to paddle at an average speed. The importance of good weight distribution across the board was established fast.
Within an hour Helena was catching her first unbroken waves. Amazing how fast bodyboarding can be picked up with some close quarters tuition and super fun waves.
Back to the centre for some video review. We quickly established that Helena’s weight distribution was too ‘front heavy’ on her take off. She needed to keep the nose of the board flat on the water with out pushing it under the water as this was causing the occasional nose dive. The video review also demonstrated that Helena needed to work on her elbow position. Fast results as usual by using the slow motion play back!
As well as the many other performance tweaks, Helena worked on her duck diving skills. Repetition with constant demonstrations saw huge improvements. An often overlooked but very important skill, the duck dive should be established early for all bodyboarders. It really helps to build confidence and saves energy on long paddle outs.
Helena attended the Saturday evening Bodyboard DVD premiere and book signing that we organised. A really good chance to get inspiration from some of the biggest names in the sport.
After a great weekend, Helena boarded her train back to London with a new found love for bodyboarding and a swag of new techniques that saw her progress sky rocket. Her leaving vow was that she wanted to work towards our next bodyboard-holiday to Morocco. We look forward to sharing some waves with you again! Well done!
This is what Helena had to say about us on Trip Advisor:
“I have just returned from a body boarding weekend with Rob Barber absolutely a blast. Rob and Joe were really professional and passionate about the sport . Warming up exercises how to judge the sea, use of wet suit, fins (which under Robs guidance required time choosing the right pair) and after coming out of the water video analysis of your lesson! I went on my own and initially I was slightly apprehensive. There was no need all the staff were great and I attended the history of body boarding book launch on a Saturday night . I would recommend body boarding to all ages and level of fitness. Also Rob can advise re boards places to do body boarding etc. Come on girls do something different on holiday get body boarding!”
Are you interested in improving your riding?
It doesn’t matter what bodyboarding level you are, we can help you to improve your bodyboarding fast. Tiered instruction for different ability levels that sees everybody improve fast in a fun, no pressure environment. As well as daily group and one-to-one lessons we offer bodyboard-coaching weekends on the following dates:
More info about our coaching weekends.
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