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How to do a Roll on a Bodyboard

Updated on October 10, 2015

A roll can be done on almost any wave. They can be done in a freesurf with a stylish appeal and in competition for a safe move you know you will pull off and link to the next move.

A roll is a fundamental to bodyboarding and a trick that every bodyboarder learns on their way to figuring out how to bodyboard. It is important to know about the best bodyboarding fins. Rolls are functional on mushy waves, hollow waves, open faces and closing out sections. There are similarities and differences to each approach. To do a roll you require very little speed but the crucial element is the lip. You must be able to contact and hit the lip to project yourself from it to start rotating your roll and ultimately land in a good position of the wave, so it all begins with the lip and hitting it right.


Drawing down the line Once you have decided to do a roll for the approaching section, begin to focus and keep your eyes on the lip of the wave.

Trimming down the line with my eye on the approaching lip, gathering speed and getting ready to hit it

Hitting the lip As you race towards the lip your naturally as far front as you can be for maximum speed. But when you hit the lip you will move your body towards the back of the board to begin projection towards the beach and rotation. Your board will make contact with the lip and imediatily following you want to roll your head back and arch your back to begin the roll. This is important because, as with any bodyboard maneuver, where your head goes you go.

Rotating and landing By now you have hit the lip and are in the air and your body should be horizontal as you rotate your roll. After you hit the lip and are rotating it should be one solid fluid motion until completion and landing. If your section is an open face wave where you are landing back onto the face of the wave to continue riding then you want to hit the lip with your back to the open face (parallel to the beach). Or if your section is closing out and you will be landing in the whitewater and flats then you want to position your self where as you hit the lip your back is facing the flats (perpendicular to the beach). In either case, you want to continue to rotate your roll in that same direction in order to either land on the face of the wave or in the flats.

I have hit the lip, my head and back are arched, and I am going into the rotation. This section was a closeout so my body is rotating perpendicular to the beach


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    • PapaGeorgeo profile image

      PapaGeorgeo 5 years ago

      I did this too at first, you are just focusing on the roll it self.

      Once I started doing that and got the rotation of the roll down (and just landing out on the back of the wave) I started to next focus on the lip. The way you make contact with the lip is the next step for you because done right will push you out infront of the wave more and land back on the face.

    • profile image

      vini 5 years ago

      oi guys, i have a problem, when i do the roll i always end up behind the wave, what can i do to fix this????

    • Parks McCants profile image

      Parks McCants 5 years ago from Eugene Oregon U.S.A.

      You got it Big Dawg...

    • PapaGeorgeo profile image

      PapaGeorgeo 5 years ago

      Awesome, great comment Parks McCants. I bodyboard the wedge a lot actually. Im building a how-to bodyboard niche site called its new but take a look in a month or two!!

    • Parks McCants profile image

      Parks McCants 5 years ago from Eugene Oregon U.S.A.

      From an "old school" Newport Wedge Kook... A good read.

      Voted up.

    • PapaGeorgeo profile image

      PapaGeorgeo 6 years ago


    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      You're pretty brave! Great hub. Voted up.