How to scoop on a bodyboard


By Warrick Murphy

The ‘scoop’ is slightly different to the standard bottom turn. It is extremely effective in big, steep, sucky waves. It utilizes both leg and arm movements to control the speed created as you drop in to a wave.

First thing to remember is that the steeper the wave, the harder you will need to paddle to get into it.

  • As you are about to drop into the wave you need to extend the arms point the nose down toward the flats (in front of the wave).
  • At this point you are ‘falling’ down the face of the wave. You need to use your legs here. You need to dig those legs into the face of the wave. Keep your legs extended and open them in a ‘V’ shape. A bit likes an open pair of scissors. It is really important that you dig your legs into the wave face.
  • Keep your eyes down the line and try not to look at your board and the beach. If you dip your head by looking down you may nose dive.
  • Once at the bottom of the wave your hips will be on the tail of the board and legs should now be within the wave (well under the water).
  • This next step will be the make or break of your scoop. In a sudden movement, arch your back and pull up on the nose of your board in the direction you are about to go. (This is why bodyboards are made to flex)
  • If you are heading left on the wave make sure your weight is on the back left tail corner of your board. Visa versa if you are heading right. Look, lean and lunge in the direction that you want to travel.
  • This sudden action will pivot your speed from moving down the face to moving you across the wave. This is where you will begin your bottom turn. Your scoop will lead onto your bottom turn automatically if done correctly. This will then translate in to down the line speed. This move is essential to make steep drops and late, critical barrels.


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