I really enjoy bodyboarding at the beach. I’m sure that at some point in the past, I would have been embarrassed to admit that, but since I’ve already written this post, I don’t suppose there’s much to lose. It’s a lot of fun and one of the reasons that we try to go to the beach at least twice a month. I’m one of those guys that walks into the surf with a tiny board. I walk against the tide for 25 minutes just so I can get far enough out to ride a tiny wave 10 feet. While that doesn’t sound too enjoyable, it actually is. After thinking about it, there are three reasons that I have a good time. I love the ocean.It really is a lot of fun.My wife won’t let me learn how to surf. I first tried it when we went to the beach with some friends and one of their kids had a board. I bribed the 6 year old to get the board away from him and gave it a shot. Even though the board was designed for someone about 1/5th my weight, it was kind of fun. Then, this Father’s Day, the family bought me a board designed for someone my size, so it was time for the real fun to begin. When you watch the other guys, it looks really easy. I mean, how hard can it be to lie down in the water and weight for a wave to come? It’s not like you have to balance or even swim out very far. With that being said, it turns out that there are actually a few things that you should know. Here’s my top 5 lessons learned from the handful of times that I’ve gone out in the surf. Enjoy Yourself – You’re not going to look cool, so don’t give it too much effort. When you just rode a wave a whopping 8 feet next to a 9 year old girl, sucking your gut in isn’t going to bring the ladies running. Just put a big, stupid smile on your face and don’t take it too seriously.Hang On To Your Board – I actually got this advice from a good friend of mine who grew up surfing, but it still applies here. If something happens, your board will float and you will not. Keep it close.Protect Yourself – If you’re like me, you probably want to go out past the smaller surf and make your way to the bigger breakers further out. This means jumping over waves as you make your way. I like to keep my board in front of me, so that I can land on it and float until I’m able to find my feet again. It turns out that there’s an art to this. If you hold the board too high, there’s a very good chance that you’ll catch a breaker right in the valuable area in the middle of your jump. Also, if you don’t have a firm grip on the board or aren’t really paying attention, there’s a good chance that a wave will slam the board right into your face. Either way, you can bet that your wife will be watching at that exact moment, and it’s all you’ll hear about on the way home.Don’t Run Over Any Kids – If you’re riding a wave in, and it looks like there is even a remote chance that you might run over a kid, just slide off the side of your board. Don’t get cute and try to “steer” around the kid in an attempt to extend your ride. There is no excuse on the planet for taking out a 7 year old in the ocean while you’re bodyboarding.Involve Your Kids – My daughter loves doing this as well. She’s only 6 and still learning to swim, so I don’t take her out very far. Fortunately, since she’s so light, she only needs about an inch of water to float. I’ll just carry her out to the point where the waves are washing up on the sand. She’ll ride it right up to the high tide mark, laughing the whole time. While this certainly won’t make you look cooler, at least you’ll look like a fun dad, and let’s be honest…that’s about the best that I can hope for at this point.

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