Rob Barber - Team Rider of The Bodyboard-Depot

Rob Barber

OK, hands up - I’m a self-confessed bodyboard addict, a geek, a sponge disciple: I love it, it’s what I do, and I get to spend a lot of time every year looking for new waves to bodyboard – yep, that’s probably my favourite part of the job!  But it’s this journey of exploration and understanding that kindles the fire of The Bodyboard-Depot. Whether it’s discovering something new about my equipment in different surf conditions or finding different techniques that make wave riding easier and more fun. I get to learn more about the ocean every day and pass on what I’ve learned.



Knowledge building

I grew up in Newquay, Cornwall, and began bodyboarding as soon as I could swim.  The last 32 years have seen me chasing swells, competition titles, magazine covers and dream waves all over the world. I’ve been chosen to represent England and Britain on many occasions and have been fortunate to travel right across the globe. During this time I’ve gained unrivalled equipment knowledge from trying different boards, fins, wetsuits, leashes and bags in different countries. I’ve also experienced varied temperatures, wave conditions, the charged stress of competitions and the liberation of free surfing. So I know what kit works, whatever the circumstances.


Coaching experience

I love teaching people to bodyboard and sharing the buzz they get from their achievements. I launched the first bodyboarding school in Europe in 1997. As a result I’ve coached over 7000 bodyboarders of all abilities, I've spent thousands of hours with complete novice bodyboarders, intermediate riders, and coached top level shredders all over the world. This experience has helped me to quickly recognise the perfect kit for different types of bodyboarders, different sized people and different abilities. This ongoing analysis of riders of different abilities has given me an indepth knowledge of what works and what doesn't. One of our main aims at The Bodyboard-Depot is to match the right size and fit of kit to each individual whether they’re riding in cold or warm temperatures. Of course, we always like do this at the right price for the client wherever we can as well. That’s simply the way we roll.


Countries Bodyboarded 

England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Jersey, France, Spain, Portugal, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Graciosa, Fuerteventura, Morocco, Cape Verde, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, South Africa, Hawaii, California, Florida, Indonesia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Reunion Island, Australia.

UK/Ireland Spots: Cornwall, Devon, Wales, Bournemouth, Brighton, South East (Cromer etc), North East, Scotland (North and West coasts), Northern Ireland, Ireland.

 ”The week was a triumph thanks to the patience, enthusiasm and encouragement of Rob Barber and his crew” – Simon Copeland


"But when I finally catch one, it’s a euphoric feeling giving me the confidence to seriously consider taking up the sport." – Lisa Scott


"It is one of those experiences, like first-time sex and driving at great speed, which will stay in the memory. There is a burst of power, a surging, swelling roar of water, a rush of adrenalin and I hurtle towards the shore on the crest of a wave, moved beyond my usual element, mixing water and air, where are the cameras?" – Antony Sattin




Publications (Author/Editor)

  • Bodyboarding journalist and editor for ThreeSixty Magazine issues 48-92 (13 years)
  • The ThreeSixty Bodyboard Manual: An instructional guide to bodyboarding.  First published in 1997. Revised 5 times.  Re-written and released as a hard back in 2013
  • The Bodyboard Travel Guide (2012)
  • Born to Boogie (2013)
  • Surf Travel:  The Complete Guide (2012)


  • Director of Rob Barber’s Bodyboard-School since 1998
  • British Team Bodyboard Coach (Since 2003)
  • English Team Bodyboard Coach (Since 2002)
  • Director of Bodyboard-Holidays since 2003 offering coaching holidays to Ireland, Morocco, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Indonesia (destinations added each year)
  • Director of Newquay Activity Centre
  • Director of Surf Coaching Holidays 2013

Competition Results

  • Ranked number 3 in British national ratings, year end 2013
  • 8th at the European Championships in Ireland (2012)
  • Senior British National Champion (2010 and 2011)
  • British Bodyboard Club Championship Winner (2000)
  • British Bodyboarding Cup Champion (1999)
  • Virgin Cola Surf Tour Winner (1998)
  • 22nd in World Champs at Pipeline in Hawaii (1995) Highest ranked European in World Professional ratings
  • Winner of the ThreeSixty Bodyboarders Readers Opinion Poll of the UK’s best riders (1995, 1996 and 1997)
  • Threesixty Series Winner (1994)
  • Three time captain of Bodyboard-Depot team to win British bodyboard Club Tag team championships (undisputed champions!)


Supporting the Sport 

  • Founding member of The British Bodyboard Club
  • Youth Rampage Groms Club
  • Organising and sponsoring the best UK competitions each year
  • Charity bodyboarding events
  • Coaching bodyboard judges
  • Sponsoring military services
  • Book Launches 
  • Board test days
  • Youth Bodyboard Contests
  • Writing useful equipment guides and advice articles