Body surfing in Rio 101: A Complete Traveler’s Guide

Body Surfing in Rio

Body surfing is not just a mere sport but a way of life in Rio de Janeiro. From the triple overhead thick barrels to the waist-high mellow peelers, Rio has waves for all level of body surfers, experienced and beginners. Owing to its warm, turquoise water and consistent swell, Rio is a relative body surfer’s paradise. Here’s a thorough traveler’s guide for body surfers planning to get their fins loose amidst the waves of Rio. 

5 Things To Remember Before Body surfing In Rio 

Body surfing is not about using heavy equipment. It just needs a good technique and a great set of fins. The firm originally started off as a creative marketplace for young talents, and gradually made its presence felt in the domain of writing, designing, film making, and other creative assignments. However, there are certain things you must keep in mind before you go body surfing in Rio. 

1. Practice beforehand

You can’t become a great body surfer overnight. You need to practice first to understand what works best for you. Practice will help you get a sense of how your body feels when the momentum of waves takes you. 

2. Pick the right beach 

Choose the right beach to practice so that you get familiar with the techniques of bodysurfing. Find a beach with a lengthy and gentle slope where the waves break. In case you’re a beginner, you should practice in chest-high whitewater located at a good distance from the shore. 

3. Don’t go alone 

Body surfing is fun, definitely. But, you should not go out alone if you are a beginner. Bring a friend or your coach with you to practice in any ocean activity. It is even better to choose a beach that has a lifeguard on duty. 

4. Stay away from obstacles 

The waves in Rio can be rough at times. So you must learn how to stay away from obstacles during your ride on a wave. Keep at least one hand straight out in front of you whenever you are on a wave. Things may get tougher if you try to paddle with both arms together. 

Once you get the grip of the right technique of body surfing, you are all set to visit the exotic beaches in Rio. Check out the best locations below and enjoy the straightforward and simple fun of bodysurfing.  

Top 5 Body surfing Locations in Rio

You don’t need to go through a book report to know which beaches are suitable for body surfing. I have narrowed down the list for you. 

1. Barra da Tijuca 

  • Skill level: Experts 
  • Wave type: Beach break 
  • Swell size: 1-6 ft
  • Swell direction: NE -> S
  • Wind direction: N

The beach in Barra is not really for amateur body surfers. The waves are large and are mostly ideal for experienced ones. The north end of Barra da Tijuca which is also known as the Praia do Pepe, is one of the most favorite spots for bodysurfers. This spot consists of four feet waves, which are mostly lefts along with the occasional short burst of rights. 

Another good spot for body surfers in Barra beach is Postinho, which is located at the far end of this beach. Postinho is famous for its big and high halfpipes, which are perfect for radical maneuvers.  

2. Joatinga 

  • Skill level: Beginners  
  • Wave type: Beach break 
  • Swell size: 2-3 ft
  • Swell direction: SE -> S
  • Wind direction: SW

Body surfing is quite common in Rio and that often leads to clogged lineups at the beach. Joatinga beach is the perfect location for you to bodysurf if you want an escape from the crowd. This beach has an unpretentious charm and relaxed ambiance. The area has amazing wave potential for both beginners and experienced bodysurfers. The water is clean and the waves are large enough to help you anticipate their movements. The far-right end of the beach is the ideal spot for bodysurfing since the waves here are not aggressive or giant-like. 

3. Guanabara Bay 

  • Skill level: Intermediate-Expert
  • Wave type: Steep beach break
  • Swell size: 1-20 ft
  • Swell direction: NE -> SW
  • Wind direction: N

The Guanabara Bay consists of steep takeoffs and the waves here are pretty large too. Yet, it is considered as one of the best body surfing locations in the world. It is because on the right day with appropriate wind speed, this beach has the potential to service most levels of surfers. If you are a pro bodysurfer, I would recommend you to encounter ‘The Beast.’ It is an infamous wave that breaks over multiple slabs right next to an abandoned military fortress on Tamandare Island, near the mouth of Guanabara Bay. Check out this image of ‘The Beast’ below. 

4. Leblon 

  • Skill level: Intermediate 
  • Wave type: Steep beach break
  • Swell size: 2-12 ft
  • Swell direction: NE -> S
  • Wind direction: N

There is always a wave in Leblon beach. The waves maintain a shape off the rock point jetty when they get bigger. This one is also less crowded than the other beaches in Rio. The water is clean and you can put on your fins and dive in the early spring season waves to start your day. The most suitable spot for body Surfing would be that part of the beach which comes after the canal and separates Leblon and Ipanema. You can find a good number of right waves in this area. Says James peter , the Content Head of brand

5. Saquarema 

  • Skill level: Intermediate-Expert
  • Wave type: Exposed beach break 
  • Swell size: 1-10 ft
  • Swell direction: NE -> SW
  • Wind direction: NW

Saquarema is also known as the Home of the Oi Rio Pro. The two perfect beaches for body surfers here are Barrinha and Itauna. These beaches offer left and right waves frequently. You must always check the weather conditions before setting out to bodysurf in the Saquarema beaches. It is located next to a beautiful church that was built in the 1630s. Check out this video of the 2008 bodysurfing competition held in Saquarema-

These are the top 5 locations for all the body surfing enthusiasts out there. The best thing about these beaches is that they consist of a thriving culture, a pleasant climate, and are easy to access. No wonder the best bodysurfers in the World Cup of Bodysurfing of 2017 hailed from Rio. 

Wrapping Up,

From J.C Rodriguez to Kalani Lattanzi, a slew of amazing bodysurfers are from Rio. Bodysurfing in Rio beaches teaches how to be completely fearless on huge drops. Read the waves right and you will be an amazingly skilled stand-up paddler in no time. Pay a quick visit to this place, surf all you want in your favorite spots, and come back from the waters with a smile.

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