How to Get Barreled on a Bodyboard
Written by Rob Barber, with Rob Benson.
The team at Bodyboard-Holidays have just returned from another amazing trip to Indonesia where we scored some fantastic waves, soaked up the incredible culture and shared jaw dropping sunsets, thousands of belly laugh’s and general good times. Take a look at the images, it was an epic trip!
We covered a whole host of bodyboarding skills through out the trip from duck diving to invert airs. But we put a real focus on getting Barreled. Riding inside the vortex of a tubing wave is an incredible experience and there is no better place to do it than Indonesia.
Regular Bodyboard-Holidays guest and all round good bloke, Rob Benson showed some huge improvements with cutbacks and lip moves through out the three weeks. But it was his tube riding that really improved quickly. Here are the tips that he followed.
The type of wave that you need to score a tube ride
It’s essential to ride a wave that is moving quickly from deep water in to shallow water. This causes the wave to break more quickly and ferociously than usual, which will see the lip pitch from the peak to the trough in a hollow, rolling motion. If the wind is offshore this helps as it blows the face of the wave clean and keeps the wave hollow as the lip throws over.
Setting up for a Tube Ride
The speed that you are travelling as you drop in to a wave and as you travel across the waves face is critically important to getting tubed. On most occasions you need to slow yourself down so that the breaking section of the wave can catch up with you and then envelope you inside it. It’s important to use your legs to slow you down and control your board. By spreading your legs behind your board it will increase the weight on the tail of the board and the drag behind you, which will have the effect of slowing you down quickly. This will also see the inside rail edge of your board engage in the wave face which will save you ‘slipping out’ as the wave gets steeper.
Riding the Tube on a Bodyboard
Now that you’re inside the barrel the mission is to stay in there as long as possible but above all else make sure that you have a nice, clean exit. There is nothing worse than scoring an amazing barrel and then not making it! Gaining speed when you are inside the barrel should be done in the following ways:
Always aim up the wave face so that you trying to escape out of the top of the ‘hole’ or exit. This is critically important to your success, if you stay to low, at the bottom of the tube, your chances of success are drastically limited.
Lunge forward on your board and reduce drag by lifting your outside leg out of the water.
Hold on tight and keep your eyes open so that your board doesn’t get ripped out of your hands and you can negotiate through the tube.
As the lip impacts with the trough of the wave there will be shock waves that travel up the wave face. Allow these to go under your outside rail so that they push you up the wave face and you can use them to generate speed.
If you get deep in the tube you can sit on the foam ball at the back of the barrel, but be careful not to get swallowed up by it and don’t let it bog you down and sap your speed.
Different types of Tube
There are lots of different types of tube ride. From the quick shore break ‘head- dip’, to the perfect reef break multi section barrel. Rob Benson knew how to get in to the tube, his wave selection was excellent and his positioning as he lined up the barrel was good but he was struggling to come out. We worked hard on the line that he chooses, when to release the weight from the tale of the board and lunge forward and how to angle up towards the top of the exit hole. It all came together for this dreamy little multi-section-barrel below. It’s always great to see a rider realize their potential and score an epic pit. This will be the first of many long, successful tubes for Mr.Benson. Study the video of his ride and you can see him setting up, when the tube catches up with him he lunges forward and then he angles up to come cleanly out of the exit. A near perfect barrel.
If you want to learn to improve your tube riding there is no better place on earth than our Mentawai Bodyboard Camp this October or why not join us in Indonesia for our Bali and Nusa Lembongan trip next March/April.