My kids love to bodyboard; they are far from pros (in fact, they spend more time crashing in the sea or lying on the sand than they actually do on the boards) but I think its a great way to build water confidence, and adds an element of excitement to any beach day. If you live in the UK then you’ll know that (with the exception of July and August, when the water temperatures rise) the British seaside sea can be COLD! So I thought (given how many of us will be taking Staycations this year) I’d write a quick guide to what we take to the beach with us on our bodyboarding days:
Pick the Right Wetsuit
For that reason, if you want to try your hand at bodyboarding with your kids, I would recommend you invest in a wetsuit. My kids wear these Banana Bay ones, which we picked up from Argos. I paid £22 for the age 5-6 one and £25 for the age 9-10 one. The boys wear wetsuits with long sleeves/long legs, rather than the shorter ones, which offer extra warmth and protection from the cold sea; these ones have flat lock seams, stretch shoulders that make them easier to pull on, and are made with a lightweight foam for extra warmth.
Your wetsuit should fit like a second skin, so that it traps your warmth in against your body: I’m normally a big fan of buying a size up (to make them last longer) but you can’t really do that with a wetsuit! Although we have only tried these new wetsuits twice since we picked them up for this season, I would recommend them so far.
When it comes to getting out the water, whether we’re bodyboarding or just splashing in the waves, I couldn’t recommend getting a hooded towel more. We favour the ones that have hoods and sleeves (like a long hooded top) rather than the poncho style ones, which you can wear like a top as you leave the beach, and which are so easy and fuss-free to put on and get the kids dry. Although our designs are last years (more of my buy a size up practicality to make them last longer!) ours are from Boden: you can buy this seasons versions here. I promise that once you’ve tried them, you’ll never go back to taking a normal towel for your kids again!
Depending on where you are, the sand and the shoreline can be rocky; if it isn’t then there can always be jellyfish, limpets and other hazards-to-the-foot along the shoreline. For this reason, we always take our beach shoes when we’re on the beach. There are lots of different options available: some people wear crocs, or neoprene shoes. We favour the neoprene beach socks because they’re comfortable, and fit like a second skin so you won’t get too much sand or tiny stones going into your shoes. As you can see, the boys versions have a shark design on them, but you can get the plain versions from Amazon here.
Don’t forget to pack a carrier bag in your beach bag, so that you have somewhere to put your shoes when you’re finished, without getting wet sand all over your stuff!
I am far from an expert about choosing bodyboards! Because our kids are so young, and so inexperienced, I will be perfectly honest and say that right now we use very cheap foam boards: you can buy them in two sizes from just about any seaside bucket and spade shop! They come in two different sizes: the boys use the larger versions and we paid £14.99 each for them. If you want to buy before you travel, you can find a similar version from Trespass here.
As you can see from the clouds in the sky, our last Bodyboarding trip was on a pretty cold and stormy day, but with the right supplies the weather doesn’t really matter: there’s no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothes!
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