So you want to take your bodyboarding to the next level? How about skywards by learning how to do aerial manoeuvres? Bodyboarding is the home of some seriously radical aerial moves. Each move varies in technique and skill, but one aspect of all air moves remains the same – they all start by hitting the lip of the wave. Let’s take a look at this skill with Rob Barber – head coach at bodyboard holidays.
The lip is the very top part of a breaking wave. Also referred to as the crest of a wave, it’s formed when the wave has reached its maximum height over the sandbank or reef it’s breaking over. This tends to be the most vertical part of any wave face and is the perfect launch pad for any aerial move.
Hitting the lip starts from the second you begin trimming down the face of the wave and you’ve decided you are going to commit to an aerial manoeuvre. You need to be pinpointing a section of the lip to launch off as soon as possible. The most critical part of hitting the lip perfectly comes down to the timing. Keep focussed on that section and read when it’s going to pitch and break. This imperative to the success of projecting off the lip and into an aerial.
Keeping the lip in your focus, make sure you have a mid to high line whilst trimming along the wave. By sitting higher on the wave you will generate more speed, allowing you to power through your bottom turn and up towards the lip.
Look, lean and lunge into the bottom turn, generating speed and aiming towards the lip. You will then release from the bottom turn and hit the lip. If you’ve timed it perfectly you should hit the lip as it begins to pitch for maximum projection.
If you have timed this correctly you will now be flying out from the waves face and into the flats (the water in front of the wave). Be sure to have a tight grip on your bodyboard so that you don’t lose grip when you hit the lip or in flight.
Aim your board towards the beach, hold on tight and brace yourself for landing. Try to centre your weight over your board so that you have a soft landing on top of the white water.