Bodysurfing Tips






The less foam, the better.

This phase counts as 15% of the final assessment by judge


























on the surface of the wave


All manouvers on the surface of the wave can be performed inverted or normally, inside or outside the barrow.

Fluidity always counts on every manouver (the less foam, the better).

This phase counts as 70% of the final assessment by judge.

Wave Development


Wave ending

In foam


The less foam, the better

This phase counts as 15% of the final assessment by judge


Free fall

Photos of  Manouvers

Aspects that can contribute to improve athlete’s performance in competition:


1. Physical Preparation

Physical preparation is mandatory for the athlete to display ideal technique during competition. Physical strain stops atheletes from being regular, from the beginning to the end, causes missed waves and impairs manouvers.   Therefore, there are no miracle formulas. To be competitive, technique must come together with physical preparation, and vice versa.


2. Techique

Technique is undoubtedly one of the polemic issues. However, what the athlete believes he has performed in water is not always seen or interpreted by judges in the same way. Many athletes do not look at the wave as they glide on it, and this induces to error. Manouvers with inappropriate timing, and exaustive meaningless TWISTS in foam are errors that can be corrected simply by having a good reading of the wave.


3. Tactic

We have observed many athletes distracted during competition, not paying attention to the HEATS. Watching other people’s heats can reveal strong and weak points of future adversaries. For example, it can help you to assess the level of physical effort and technique you will have to use to reach your aim in your own heat. If adversaries are weaker in a heat, it may be a good time to save energy and go simple, just to go further, because afterwards the athlete may have to give its best to beat his adversaries afterwards.


4. Positioning

Choosing the right wave is one of the most important items, but it is also unpredictable, because a seemingly open wave can close in seconds. Anyhow, the best is to surpass nature’s unpredictability and do our best, choosing the good ones you will surf. Droping on a big closed wave is certainly an useless use of your energy. In this case, choosing a smaller one is much more profitable for the athlete to surf, and to develop technique.


5. Self-consciousness

Knowing which are your string and weak points also makes a difference.
Athletes must keep in mind that they’re not fighting against judges. They are fighting their adversaries, and even more, against their own limits.

=> It is common for human beings to try to find explanations to cover for their limitations, but this is not fair. For example, most often blaming the judges for not going ahead to the next heat does not make sense.

Judges are present only to grade the athletes’ development in competition, and their conclusions are impartial and honest.

Many have never watched themselves on video. This is very important for the athlete to analise his own pros and cons and for hism to be able to improve style and manouvers.


Rick Souza

ACSP Event Director

Four good reasons to wear them


1. Strengthening ankles

New or inexperienced swimmers often  find it difficult to swim with the legs, and sometimes don’t even move!

In fact, they often smim backwards!

One of the reasons for this is that their ankles act as hooks that trap water and create traction in the wrong direction.

Good swimmers manage to “hyper-extend” their ankles, in such way that the top of the foot becomes an extension of the leg.

In this case the fins cover a bigger surface. Swimming or flapping legs with fins forces the ankles to “hyper-extend” when they are forced... and the result is greater thrust!

The regular use of fins hyper-extends the ankles and improves the fexibility on the joints, which also extends musles in the area and helps flapping of legs with greater efficiency and thrust.


2. Improving physical condition

To involve the biggest percentage of muscles available in exercise brings better benefits to the cardiac- respiratory system. Swimmers who activate the legs’ muscular mass can benefit from very demanding exercise, since they burn more calories and increase the general conditioning level.  Raising the WEIGHT on the legs means you “recruit” more muscular fibers, and therefore... the cardiac-respiratory system goes through a much more intense effort, and that benefits your general conditioning greatly.


3. Developing powerful legs

Based on the principle of  SURPLUS the water resistance against the fins’ surface causes more stress on the muscles of the legs and tighs. The body then adapts to this stress improving the power of those muscles.

And stronger muscles help you to swim faster and more efficiently.

However, muscular potential for swimming must be specific: good runners, or cyclists, have very strong leg muscles, but those muscles demanded are good for running and cycling, not for swimming.

Fins can help you to develop power (strength X speed) in legs and tighs, specifically for swimming.

The quality of improvement and development of power in legs through swimming is unsurpassed, and it also helps to prevent lesions due to terrestrial sports.


4. Improving body positioning

Fins give you a greater thrust, and this increases the swimmer’s speed in the water. Good swimmers glide on the water, while inexperienced swimmers tend to drag their legs and swim in a slow, vertical position.

Since your aim is to swim better and/or faster without fins, the only way to do this is to transfer the feeling of fast swimming with fins, whenever you are swimming without them.

You must use the phenomenon known as “neural-muscular pattern”.

Muscles and “nerve ends” (nerves) can surely “remember” the feeling of “swimming fast with fins” to master this pattern when you don’t use them.

The more your repeat this pattern the easier it will be to master it.

As a result, you will be able to see improvement in your swimming technique.


Physical Education Teacher Cláudio Xavier
ACSP Techical Director





Translated by Daniela Figueiredo and Henrique Pistilli

Bodysurfing Fins

Associação Carioca de Surf de Peito

Esporte, Liberdade,  Energia,  Natureza e Saúde