How to Bodysurf Using a Handplane

How to Bodysurf Using a Handplane

Bodysurfing, the art of riding a wave without the aid of any buoyant device, is a thrilling water sport that brings you closer to the ocean's heart than any other activity. However, there's a piece of equipment that can take your bodysurfing to the next level: the handplane. This comprehensive guide will delve into the world of handplane bodysurfing, exploring the different styles, shapes, materials, and sizes of handplanes available on the market, and how to ride with them. We'll also explain the difference in technique when bodysurfing with and without a handplane.

What is a Handplane?

A handplane, also known as a handboard, is a small surfboard that you strap to your hand. It provides extra lift, speed, and control when bodysurfing, allowing you to ride waves with greater ease and style. Handplanes come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, each offering a unique riding experience.

Styles, Shapes, Materials, and Sizes of Handplanes

Handplanes come in a variety of styles and shapes, each designed for different wave conditions and riding styles. The most common shapes include the fish, square, diamond, and swallow. The fish shape is great for small to medium waves, offering a good balance of speed and control. The square and diamond shapes are versatile and work well in a variety of wave conditions. The swallow shape, with its split tail, offers excellent maneuverability, making it ideal for larger, more powerful waves.

Handplanes are made from various materials, including wood, foam, and plastic. Wood handplanes are durable and eco-friendly, offering a classic, timeless appeal. Foam handplanes are lightweight and buoyant, making them great for beginners. Plastic handplanes are durable and affordable, making them a popular choice for casual bodysurfers.

Handplanes also come in different sizes. Smaller handplanes are more maneuverable but require more effort to catch waves. Larger handplanes provide more lift and speed, making it easier to catch waves, but they can be less maneuverable.

How to Bodysurf Using a Handplane

Bodysurfing with a handplane involves a slightly different technique compared to traditional bodysurfing. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Strap the Handplane: Strap the handplane to your dominant hand. Make sure it's secure but comfortable. Your hand should be flat on the plane with your fingers extended.

  2. Position Yourself: Position yourself in the lineup where the waves are breaking. Stay aware of your surroundings to avoid colliding with other surfers.

  3. Catch the Wave: As a wave approaches, start swimming towards the shore. Use the hand with the handplane to scoop water and propel yourself forward. The extra lift provided by the handplane will help you catch the wave more easily.

  4. Ride the Wave: Once you've caught the wave, use the handplane to steer. You can lean to the left or right to change direction, and lift the nose of the handplane to slow down or avoid nose-diving.

  5. Kick for Speed: Keep kicking with your fins for extra speed. The more speed you have, the longer and more exciting your ride will be.

  6. Exit the Wave: To exit the wave, you can either ride it until it fizzles out, or you can steer towards the shoulder of the wave and lift the nose of the handplane.

The Difference in Technique: Bodysurfing With and Without a Handplane

Bodysurfing with a handplane differs from traditional bodysurfing in several ways. The handplane provides extra lift, reducing the drag of your body against the water and allowing you to catch and ride waves more easily. It also gives you more control over your direction and speed on the wave.

Without a handplane, you rely solely on your body and swimming strength to catch and ride waves. You need to position your body at the right angle to create lift and use your arms and legs to steer and maintain balance.

In conclusion, a handplane can significantly enhance your bodysurfing experience, providing extra lift, speed, and control. Whether you're a beginner looking to catch your first wave or an experienced bodysurfer seeking to add a new dimension to your rides, a handplane is a worthy addition to your bodysurfing gear. So strap on a handplane, dive into the ocean, and ride the waves like never before!

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