Open Water Swimming - Bodysurfing Keys To Success

Open Water Swimming – Bodysurfing Keys To Success

At today’s grid race on Copacabana Beach prior to the King and Queen of the Sea competition, we observed Chad Ho, Keri-Anne Payne, Aaron Peirsol and other elite swimmers warm-up…and get some bodysurfing in.

Bodysurfing is an essential skill for competitive open water swimmers and triathletes who participate in swims and triathletes in locations were there is surfbreak and waves. Experienced athletes – like Ho, Payne, Peirsol – can identify swells as they swim into shore and catch waves to move significantly faster through the water than they can by simply swimming. This skill to catch a wave at the end of an open water swim or triathlon swim leg enables these experienced practitioners to beat their less experienced competitors – especially at a race in Copacabana Beach when the waves are breaking.

In the first photo above, Ho, an experienced body surfer. shows how he catches a wave, looks forward and picks his direction as he kicks to keep up with the wave.

In the second photo above, Ho uses his outstretched arm to guide himself in and down the wave. He takes the wave as far as he can into shore, usually to the shallow water where he stands up and either begins to dolphin or run up the sand towards the finish.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association