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In Norway they have a common expression – “Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær!” which translates to “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!” At Bodyboard Holidays, we believe this expression stands true for bodyboarding in cold water too. In a nutshell, bad equipment = getting cold! And regardless of how good the waves are, if you’re freezing cold, bodyboarding sucks!
Having all learnt to bodyboard in the UK’s frigid winter waves, we at Bodyboard-Holidays are experts in cold water bodyboarding. As such, we have compiled this bullet proof kit list so that you don’t get cold and make the most of your sessions.
For British waters, we recommend a board with a bit of flex! Therefore, aim to bring a board with either a stringered PE (Polyethylene) or a low-density PP (Polypropylene) core.
Although Cornish, Devonshire and southern Wales waters are the mildest in the country, we still recommend bringing along a decent wetsuit.
A 5/3mm is perfect for the spring, late autumn and winter while a sealed-seam 3/2mm is ideal for the summer and early autumn.
For the winter months, we’d also recommend neoprene socks, gloves, thermal rash vest and even a hood if you’re one to feel the cold.
If you have two suits, even better. Putting on a dry wetsuit is so much more appealing than a cold sandy wet one for that second session of the day.
It’s essential to use a pair of comfortable, powerful, bodyboarding swim fins. The difference between a good pair of fins and a cheap pair is catching way more waves! If you’re bodyboarding in the chilly winter months, you’ll need a pair that fit comfortably over a pair of wetsuit socks.
It’s a simple insurance policy on any trip, so don’t forget a leash – it’ll save you a whole load of unnecessary swimming. Always pack a spare.
Bodyboard travel bag
A decent board bag will keep your kit safely protected throughout your journey, especially when you consider the brutality of some baggage handlers. They range from £20 to more than £100 – the more you pay, the better protection you get. The best on the market is the Creatures wheelie bag, it’s heat-reflective, padded and you can wheel it around, saving your arms and shoulders for paddling.
The humble board sock is a great all-rounder, they perform a dual purpose, protecting your board from the sun and drying you off as it’s a handy towel.
If you don’t wear wetsuit socks and want to prevent rub around your heels, it’s worth considering a set of heel shields. They make fins comfortable, stop chafe and have different thickness levels to suit the snugness of your fin.
Don’t let a lost fin ruin your session. Invest in a pair of tethers and be safe in the knowledge that after any wipeout or duck dive, your fins will still be attached.
Believe it or not, but it’s possible to get sunburnt in the UK, even on a sunny winter’s day. So be sure to pack some sun cream and/or block. Check the label to ensure it is water resistant, long lasting and environmentally friendly.
Warm clothing suitable for all weathers. Layers are the best option to make sure you are covered for all weather conditions. It’s important that you are toasty warm when not bodyboarding. If you’re cold before you get in, you’ll quickly get even colder in the water.
Dry robe and change mat
These enable you to get changed quicker and in comfort.
Having a flask of hot tea or coffee is an easy win to keep warm before and after your bodyboard session.
If you’re looking to hire some bodyboarding gear, we offer an excellent selection of kit hire for our UK bodyboard weekends and retreats. The equipment can be ordered in advance and brought along to the event, so all you need to think about is the surf, sea and sun!
Pro-standard bodyboard hire – £8 per day
Swim fin hire – £8 per day
Wetsuit hire – £8 per day
At Bodyboard Holidays we run bodyboard weekends and retreats in Cornwall and Devon. For more information check out our destination page.
If you have any questions or queries on cold water bodyboarding and/or the necessary kit, please don’t hesitate to get in contact via our online chat.
At Bodyboard-Holidays we’ve been running trips to the home of European bodyboarding for more than 10 years now and so thought it was high time we shared our kit recommendations for Portugal, where the sun shines hot, yet the waters are cool.
We sat down with our lead instructor in Portugal Matt ‘Mave’ Davies, who has been living on the Iberian peninsula since 2007, to talk through the kit for bodyboarding in Portugal.
Although daytime temperatures can be in the high twenties, the water is cooler than you’d think, so we’d recommend a board with a bit of flex! Therefore, aim to bring a board with a low-density PP (Polypropylene) core.
With sea temperatures ranging from 15°C to 23°C depending on the season, we’d recommend a decent 3/2mm or a 4/3mm wetsuit, and a shortie for the hot days.
It’s essential to use a pair of comfortable, powerful, bodyboarding swim fins to ensure you’re maximising the number of waves you can catch.
It’s a simple insurance policy on any trip, so don’t forget a leash – it’ll save you a whole load of unnecessary swimming. We’d also recommend bringing a spare just in case you snap one.
A decent board bag will keep your kit safely protected throughout your journey, especially when you consider the brutality of some baggage handlers. They range from £20 to more than £100 – the more you pay, the better protection you get. The best on the market is the Creatures of Leisure wheelie bag, it’s heat-reflective, padded and you can wheel it around, saving your arms and shoulders for paddling.
Board socks perform a dual purpose, protecting your board from the sun, and drying you off as it’s a handy towel. The trusty bodyboard sock is a great all-rounder.
Fin socks are a regulation piece of kit. They protect your feet from rub and sharp rocks, as well as keeping them toasty on the early morning sessions.
Don’t let a lost fin ruin the rest of your trip. Bag a set of tethers and know you’ll pop up from every duck dive and wipeout with both fins still attached.
While we can’t guarantee bright blue skies, there’s nothing worse than having to sit out on an epic session because your sun cream washed off yesterday and today you’re painfully crispy. We recommend you invest in a long lasting, water resistant and eco friendly sun cream and sunblock for a trip to Portugal.
Expect warm weather by day, so pack board shorts and t-shirts. It will cool off a little in the evenings so have a jumper or hoodie at the ready.
If you are thinking of a bodyboarding trip to Portugal but are unable to bring your own kit or wish to save on hassle and airline baggage fees, we offer an extensive range of bodyboarding kit to hire.
Pro-standard bodyboard hire – 100€ per week
Swim fin hire – 20€ per week
Board hire – 30€ per week
Wetsuit hire – 50€ per week
Feel free to messages us on our online chat and we can cover what you’d need to hire so it’s ready and waiting for you when you arrive. Interested in scoring the best waves in Portugal? Look no further than our upcoming Portugal Bodyboard trips.
Don’t let a fin cut, sunburn, boardshort chaffing or a dicky tummy ruin your next bodyboard trip in the tropics, before its even got going.
We’ve been running bodyboard holidays in far flung warm water destinations for more than 20 years, which means our kit list is tried and tested. Our extensive list means you avoid rookie errors and make the most of your time away.
The kit list is broken down into essentials, recommended accessories, and extras to make your bodyboard trip even more comfortable.
The equatorially warm waters make boards melt. If you have an older PE (Polyethylene core) board, it’s likely to get very flexible in the heat, which slows the board right down. So, we recommend boards with a PP (Polypropylene) core. A stringer is also essential. Look for warm water waxes (our favourites are the environmentally friendly type)
Shorts and rash vests
On any tropical trip, it’s important to invest in a good pair of high quality, lightweight, stretchy board shorts, and a good lycra vest to help keep the sun off. In fact, make that two pairs of shorts – it’s not worth risking getting caught short if you rip a pair! Also, be sure to rinse both your shorts and rash vest after each session to avoid chaffing and rashes.
It’s essential to use a pair of comfortable, powerful, bodyboarding swim fins to get the most from the awesome waves on your trip.
It’s a simple insurance policy on any trip, so don’t forget a leash – it’ll save you a whole load of unnecessary swimming. We’d recommend bring two in case you snap one.
There’s nothing worse than having to sit out on an epic session because your sun cream washed off yesterday and today, you’re painfully sore. There are a range of sun creams geared specifically for bodyboarding. We can attest they actually stay on in the water, and we’ve tested them in some searing conditions. Please select an environmentally friendly sunscreen! The higher factor the block, the better.
A decent board bag will keep your kit safely protected and have room left over for bulky things like your wetsuit, fins and a towel. They range from £20 to more than £100 – the more you pay, the better storage and protection you get.
Board socks perform a dual purpose, protecting your board from the sun and it doubles up as a handy towel. The humble board sock is a great all-rounder.
If you don’t wear wetsuit socks and want to prevent rubbing around your heels, it’s worth considering a set of heel shields. They make fins comfortable, prevent chafing and have different thickness levels to suit the snugness of your fin.
Don’t let a lost fin ruin the rest of your trip. Bag a set of tethers and know you’ll pop up from every duck dive and wipe out with both fins still attached.
Bring a pair of trainers and activewear for hiking. If you want to do some yoga bring your yoga clothes and a towel. You don’t need to bring a mat.
Sunglasses and hat
Protect your eyes and head from the sun.
First aid kit
As well as basics like painkillers, plasters, antiseptic cream and wipes, you may want to pack Imodium if you experience travel sickness or have a sensitive stomach. Vaseline will help with any chafing from your wetsuit.
Remember your passport, boarding pass and travel insurance documents. Plus, any medical cards/information that you usually carry with you. Save to your phone but it’s also a great back up to have photocopies and print outs.
Earplugs if you’re a light sleeper
A good book or Kindle
Laptop/mobile device with downloaded movies
Music on your phone – through iTunes or Spotify
Sweets for the flight, especially if your ears pop due to the cabin pressure
Plug adaptor for the destination’s sockets
Portable phone charger/phone power pack
Reusable water bottle
Should you have any questions about the kit list or visiting warm water destinations, please don’t hesitate to contact us through our online chat.
At bodyboard holidays we run warm water bodyboard trips to Indonesia, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Morocco and Tavarua. If you’d like to learn more, head over to our destinations page.
Bodyboard Holidays58 Fore StreetNewquayCornwallTR7 1LW
UK: 01637 879571Int: +44 1637 879571