Bodyboarding: only a boogie rider knows the feeling | Photo: Red Bull

Bodyboarders are passionate about their sport and, today, prone riding is an established art form. Discover the best arguments a bodyboarder could present to defend his taste for boogie boarding.

For many, bodyboarding is the ultimate wave riding sport. Boogie boarding fanatics might say that their sport preceded surfing as an ancient outdoor activity. And for a few, bodyboarding is just an easier way to get into the waves.

There are also riders who, depending on the ocean's mood, will ride a bodyboard or a surfboard. A significant minority of hardcore riders will never trade a bodyboard for a surfboard.

However, the eternal debate continues. Is surfing better than bodyboarding? Why should you ride prone when you can stand up? Is there a natural way to enjoy the energy of a wave?

Thirty years ago, bodyboarders were not welcome in many of the world's best surf spots. They didn't get the respect they deserved from their fellow wave riders. Bodyboards were made in a factory; surfboards were hand-shaped by artisans.

But, as time went by, bodyboarding slowly changed the way others saw the sport. People started appreciating the new radical moves introduced by boogie boarders. Prone wave rider added risky and wild variables to the way a wave can be ridden.

When bodyboarders reached the skies - literally - and included acrobatic, gravity-defying acrobatic maneuvers into the sport's repertoire, surfers nodded in acceptance. Shall we repeat it again? Bodyboarding is not an introduction to surfing.

Bodyboarding: air dropping into the barrel | Photo: IBA

Today, bodyboarding is a highly technical water sport. It is not a summer entertainment. Forget that stereotype. You can't say you know how to bodyboard just because you surf. Competitive bodyboarding has evolved to the point that it can't be compared to surfing anymore.

The old physical rivalry between surfers and bodyboarders - and vice versa - no longer makes sense, but you can rationally discuss a few topics that make spongers proud of their choice.

You will never hear a diehard bodyboarder say he started riding prone because it was easier. It was a preference. Period. So, if you feel you belong to their devoted club, make sure you use the right arguments when the bodyboarding versus surfing discussion takes place.

Be clear and rational. Laying on your stomach while descending a giant wall of water is a noble art. "Stand up" for bodyboarding:

1. Bodyboarding is the closest thing to bodysurfing: your heart is closer to the water, your eyes are nearly touching the ocean;
2. Waves always look bigger on a bodyboard: when you're lying down, it is always breaking overhead-high;
3. Bodyboards fit in the car's trunk: forget surf racks, and transporting surfboards inside the car - bodyboards are smart and portable;
4. The speed sensation is bigger and better: because your eyes are one foot above the surface of the water, and swim fins provide extra boost;
5. Only bodyboarders can drop into vertical wave faces: bodyboards grant access to waves that stand-up surfers can't technically ride;
6. Paipo boards are older than surfboards: bodyboards are the natural evolution of paipo boards, the wooden planks that date back as far as 2,000 BC;
7. Bodyboards are more resistant than surfboards: boogie boards are stiff and flexible at the same time - ding repairs are rare;
8. Airs are bigger in bodyboarding: bodyboarders take advantage of fast, powerful and hollow waves, and use swim fin and leg power to boost themselves into the sky;
9. Only bodyboarders can surf closeout waves: because bodyboarders get into the wave faster that surfers;
10. Bodyboards are cheaper than surfboards: you can buy a professional boogie board for half the price of good surfboard;