How to Bodysurf: Learn to Use a POD Body Surfing Handboard

How to Bodysurf: Learn to Use a POD Body Surfing Handboard

1st Dec 2023

How to Bodysurf with a POD Handboard

Place your hand on the handboard in the natural swimming position and strap it on firmly, pointing your fingers towards the POD logo while keeping your thumb on the outside as shown below.

Hand Position on a POD Handboard

POD highly recommends adjusting your hand strap once over your hand, and for further use slide your hand in between the handboard strap and the neoprene deck grip palm pad, this will ensure the Velcro remains attached and lasts for many years.

Left Handed Body Surfers

If you are left-handed, change wrist cord to the left side of the hand surfer strapping bridge allocated wrist cord hole.
For further convenience also remove the hand strap and reassemble the opposite way best suited for left-handed bodysurfers.

When duck diving under a wave make sure you hold the POD handboard with both hands with the handboard in front or under you as shown below.

Basically the same principle as a surfer holding a surfboard or a bodyboarder holding a bodyboard.

Both hands on a POD handboard when duck diving under the wave

Use the very same principle when swimming out to the break with a surfboard or a bodyboard. 

Swim with the top half of your body up out of the water, using the side of the POD handboard to cut the water’s surface. Then stroke the handboard towards your chest first. Not to your side of your body, this will unbalance your swimming stroke, then just before the handboard reaches your chest, then complete your natural swimming stroke to the side.

When catching a wave, skim, glide or plane the handboard across the water and lift your body out of the water as fast as you can.

The principle to remember is; LIFT equals SPEED and CONTROL!

The quicker you lift your body up out of the water, the less drag from your body you will feel and the faster you will bodysurf across the wave. 

You can achieve this by pressing down on the handboard in a push-up action and then moving your other hand behind your back for balance. 

Follow steps 1 to 3 from the three photos below.

Step 1 Lift:

  • Push-up with both hands onto the POD handboard.
  • The faster you lift your body out of the water the less drag.
  • The second method for fast lift, swim backwards with the wave, once you feel you're riding the wave, spin your body 180 degrees, this automatically has your body to one side out of the water to your waist and with the extra downward pressure on the handboard will pull your body up further out of the wave and provided even more speed across the wave.
  • The third method for fast lift, (not easy to master), is the dolphin style take off as the wave has almost rolled over you submerge yourself to the ocean floor or reef, then push off the sandbank with your swim fins piercing your handboard and body through the wall of the wave.

Both hands push up on a POD handboard for lift

Step 2 Speed:

  • Turn your body sideways and move your other hand behind your back for balance. 
  • Apply further downward pressure on the handboard will provides even more lift and speed across the wave.

Speed: move your other hand behind your back for balance.

Step 3 Control:

  • Less body drag by lifting your body out of the wave, resulting in better control and the faster you will aquaplane across the wave.
  • Want to stall in the barrel? Apply downward forces on the tail of the board or tilt the handboard backwards.
  • Do you want even more speed? Then tilt the POD handboard forward.
  • Don't want to have your handboard sliding down a steep wave? Use your other hand by holding the side rail of the handboard. Lift the board up more to one side of the concave bottom (now you are only using half the body surfing handboard). This will provide even more wave holding attributes.
  • Want to exist the wave before the close-out? Simply direct the handboard into the wall of the wave and drive back into deep water.

Control: Less drag the faster you will bodysurf across the wave.

The art of body surfing with a POD handboard is these three steps, Lift, Speed and Control.

Swimming back out to the breaking waves, always keep in mind to hold the body surfing handboard with both hands in front or under you with downward pressure (as shown in the above photograph) or the very same principle as duck diving with a bodyboard or a surfboard.

The entire POD body surfing hand board range