Ocean City, Maryland 21842

A Pro Bodyboarder's Guide to Ocean City

Brian Stoehr Pro Bodyboarder Ocean City, MDBrian Stoehr, Professional Bodyboarder, launching a huge inverted air in Ocean City, MD.  Photo Credit: John Yeatman Jr. #yeatphotos

Considered one of the best all-around watermen for the East Coast, Professional Bodyboarder, Brian Stoehr was 12when he began competing and 19 when he became a pro. Learning to surf at the age of six, Stoehr enjoyed the time he spent with his family, learning to surf, grinning from ear to ear while being pushed into waves on giant longboards.

Stoehr learned to surf first and then transitioned to bodyboarding. The reason was simple, bodyboarding was allowed all day in Ocean City, and he wanted to spend his entire day in the water.

“Ocean City actually has really great waves for bodyboarders,” Stoehr says. They are faster, steeper and closer to the beach. “In my opinion, Ocean City has some of the best waves on the east coast, especially when a solid storm sits off the coast. It isn’t a world class wave on a daily basis, but when it gets good, there is no place I’d rather be.”

Stoehr always knew from a young age that he wanted to be the best and becoming a professional in the sport was his lifelong dream. Stoehr has over 20 years’ experience as a competitive wave rider, taking home 2 US National Pro Tour Bodyboard Titles, 1x East Coast Pro Tour Championship and had consistently placed in the top 10 in Pro Tour for over 15 years.

Presently, Stoehr is sharing his lifelong passion with the next generation of wave riders in his home town, Ocean City, MD. His lessons at the Wave Riding School offer a complete how-to in your choice of surfing and bodyboarding. They found a process to really simplify the learning process and make it easier and more fun than ever before. He enjoys watching his sport continue on to the next generation. It brings him so much joy.

Wave Riding School in Ocean City, MD

Besides the obvious surfing perks, he also loves Ocean City and the surrounding area for numerous reasons. So read on for a true locals guide to Ocean City, MD.

Where to Stay in Ocean City

One wondrous thing about Ocean City is the number of choices! There are iconic hotels that I recognize as a kid and some amazing new hotels that I haven’t even been inside yet like the ALOFT at 45th St. There are even a few new things that I can’t wait to see like the Margaritaville project!

I spend a lot of time in midtown, and the Hilton on 32nd street is one of my favorites! My family lived in the north end of town, so I'm partial to that area, a little quieter and more laid back. The Ocean City Fontainebleau Resort (formerly known as the Clarion) and the Carousel are both awesome options. Northside Park is an amazing amenity that Ocean City offers and the Holiday Inn Express is super convenient to the park and a TON of great food options.

Unmissable Eats and Drinks

Ocean City is 10 miles long by 3 miles wide with so many amazing options to eat! To start, you can’t leave Ocean City without a good Crab Cake! For breakfast, I recommend Barn 34, Bayside Skillet or Layton’s! For lunch and dinner; Shotti’s, Mother’s Cantina, Liquid Assets, Hooked Up and the list goes on! Where to eat is the hardest decision of my day! I’m a sucker for Sushi, and Ocean City has a few good options here! My two favorites are OC Wasabi and OC Sushi Cafe.

Health snack that is $$$ but worth it? Pablo’s Bowls!

Guilty pleasure: SUGAR! This town has about a million places to satisfy. Dolle's, Candy Kitchen, Fishers Popcorn to name a few.

Favorite Must Do Activities

Brian Stoehr - Ocean City, MD
Go to the BEACH! That’s what gives Ocean City its soul. I still get the coolest feeling in my stomach every time I walk over the dunes. My “Must Do” in Ocean City? Maybe learn to surf? That worked out okay for me;).

I’ve been spoiled with the opportunity to travel to a lot of beach towns during my career. Exploring these other towns has made me appreciate Ocean City even more. I took for granted simple things like bike rides on the board walk, some of the best golf on the east coast, hanging out on the boat in the bay, skating the skate park downtown and the list goes on. All are worth checking out!

Best Kept Local Secret(s)

1. Enjoying the sunsets at the Somerset Street fishing pier
2. The modest crowds at the north end of the boardwalk.
3. When it comes to surfing, a western wind makes for better ocean conditions.

Know Before You Go.

(any packing tips on shoes to bring or things that you wish someone would have told you before heading here) From a surfers point of view, there are some extremely cool websites out there like surfcaptain.com that will forecast the ocean and wave conditions. I arrange my life around these forecasts.

How long have you been surfing? 37 years, I’m getting old!
Favorite emoji icon: I've got 3! Use em daily: 🙏🏻👌🏻💦
Favorite Shoes: Olukai
Favorite Sun Glasses: Smith Optics
Favorite Body Board:  I have 3! Currently my top pick is the 9’0 Catch Surf Odysea Log. Next in line is the Catch Surf Stand Up Boog and then my newest toy, the Catch Surf Classic Pro Bodyboard

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