How to do a roll on a bodyboard?


An air roll can be achieved on nearly any sized or shaped wave, from peeling waves to short closeouts.

Its versatility means that it can be performed in a variety of situations – from hitting end sections on mushy closeouts to ‘el rollo’ or ‘air rollo’ out of the pocket on a barreling wave.

The roll is the foundation for more advanced off the lip manoeuvres, so it is important to get this mastered before trying anything more difficult.

Here I explain how to perform a roll out of the pocket (in the barreling section of the wave) and back onto the face of the wave.

Step 1:

First things first, to do a roll off the lip you must select a wave with a barrel or at least some sort of pitching lip.

Step 2:

Once you have selected a wave you’ll need to think about your positioning from the moment you take off. When you first take off, look down the line to see any possible sections that are going to break. Once you’ve spotted a possible section you need to establish where and when the wave is going to break and aim to bottom turn just behind this point.

Step 3:

Lean into your bottom turn and focus on the point that you are aiming to hit. You should have moved your weight further up the board allowing you to utilise your momentum and speed to get up the face of the wave. Using your momentum achieved from the take off, you should have enough speed to reach the top of the wave and project off the pitching lip.

Step 4:

If you’ve positioned yourself correctly and timed your bottom turn properly you should reach the lip at the critical point when it is about to pitch. As you approach the lip get a good grip of your board otherwise it will be knocked out of your hands. When you hit the lip don’t try too hard to rotate – otherwise you may twist too much, making the landing difficult. Throw your head over your shoulder and look through the turn (as I am doing in the main shot).

Step 5:

To land, get the nose of the board pointing towards the beach. Hold on tight and get back into trim position.


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