How To Do An Air Roll (El Rollo) On A Bodyboard

3 Top Tips

  1. Wave choice. Although doing a good air roll doesn’t necessarily need a crazy section to fly off it certainly makes the move easier to complete having a nice vertical wall as a launch pad.
  2. Timing. Like all bodyboarding manoeuvres, your timing will determine the success of your aerial. Mastering timing on a wave is truly an art form in itself and takes a lot practice.
  3. Throw your weight around. Really throw yourself into the air roll. This will project you higher and further out of the waves face.

Air rolls are a staple move in the bodyboarding world and can look awesome in a range of different waves. Air rolls are a great move for riders that have mastered the drop in, bottom turning and trimming. Any bodyboarder with the above skills in the bag will naturally want to move quite literally upwards with their bodyboarding. Air rolls are the ideal entry move into the world of aerial bodyboarding! Rest assured, once you’ve got to grips with air rolls, you’ll be absolutely hooked on boosting air moves.

So how do you do an air roll I hear you cry? Well, read on and we will go through the move with bodyboard holidays head coach Rob Barber.

Your air roll is going to begin by scoping out and focussing on a section of the wave that’s going to project you into the air. You’ll want to select a wave ideally with a barrel section or a decent pitching lip (see vid @ 0.36).

Once you’ve selected the wave you want to use in your aerial assault, you’ll need a suitable lip to boost off. Look, lean and lunge down the line, towards the section of the wave you are aiming to hit, and don’t your eyes off it. Drive through the bottom turn and as you are just about to hit the lip, slide your body up the board, utilising your bodyweight and momentum, hitting the lip with as much speed as possible.

If your timing is sharp you should reach the lip at the critical point when it is about to pitch. Prior to lift off, grip your board and prepare to become airborne. Hit the lip and project yourself up and out off the waves face. The roll is initiated by throwing your head over your shoulder (see vid @ 0.39), followed by your bodyboard. Your body will naturally follow your head through this motion. Always remember to look through the turn!

To land, get the nose of the board pointing towards the beach. Hold on tight and get back into trim position (see vid @ 0.50).

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