Beach Wrestling: The Full Guide

Beach wrestling is a unique form of combat sport that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It combines the best elements of traditional wrestling and beach sports, making it an exciting and thrilling experience for both competitors and spectators alike.

The rules are simple yet intense, requiring quick thinking and agility as competitors grapple on the sand. Beach wrestling can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, providing a great way to stay fit while having fun at the same time!

In this article, we’ll take a look at the basics of beach wrestling, including its rules and regulations. We’ll also discuss how to get started with the sport, and some tips and tricks to help you excel in beach wrestling. So grab your board shorts and let’s hit the beach!

beach wrestling match

Table of Contents

What is Beach Wrestling? 

Beach wrestling is a form of freestyle wrestling that takes place on the beach and officially held since 2005. It combines elements of traditional wrestling, as well as beach sports, in which two competitors grapple in a battle of strength and skill. The sport has a men’s and women’s division, with competitors from all ages and skill levels.

Since 2019, beach wrestling has been featured in an entire range of competitive tournaments and events including the Youth Olympic Games, Asian Games, Mediterranean Games, and even the World Beach Games. The first-ever series of World Beach Wrestling Championships were held that same year as well.

Is Beach Wrestling a Sport?

Yes, beach wrestling is a sport. It is a form of combat sport that has been gaining popularity in recent years and officially recognized by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA).

The rules and regulations for beach wrestling are similar to those found in traditional wrestling, with the added element of sand and sun to make things even more exciting. Beach wrestling events are held all over the world, including in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East.

Beach Wrestling Rules and Regulations

Two competitors must stand and battle without interruption in a circular wrestling ring for 3 minutes. If the competitors are men, shirts must not be worn, in order to make sure that the opponent’s clothes will not be used as an advantage. If the competitors are women, then a one-piece or two-piece bathing suit is required.

Legs can be used to score points against opponents, allowing offensive wrestlers to drop one knee down in order to perform any desired maneuvers. If an action does not yield any points, 1 point is awarded to the opponent.

If either wrestler accumulates 3 or more points, they receive a decisive victory and the match ends early. However, if both wrestlers are tied at 1:1 or 2:2 when time runs out, then it goes to whoever scored last; this individual will be named the winner.

In the event of a draw, the wrestler with less weight is declared victorious. But if both wrestlers have an equal amount of mass, then it’s decided by who was drawn first in the sortition procedure.

Wrestlers may take advantage of the medical services provided for a maximum period of 2 minutes during their match. Athletes must also remain on the competition field for no longer than two minutes to complete their rounds.

What Style of Wrestling is Beach Wrestling?

Beach wrestling is a type of freestyle wrestling but it is also influenced by other wrestling types, like Greco-Roman and folkstyle. The style of beach wrestling is different from regular freestyle in that it involves a lot more grappling, and holds can be used to score points. Additionally, the rules are less restrictive and wrestlers have more freedom of movement. This makes beach wrestling unique and a great way to challenge yourself.

What Beach Wrestling Tournaments Are There?

There are a variety of beach wrestling tournaments around the world, from local events to international competitions. The Beach World Championships Series is one of the most renowned events and is held annually in different locations, like France, Mexico, and Brazil. Other tournaments include the Beach European Championships, Beach Pan American Championships, and Beach Asian Championships.

Also, almost every continent has its own Beach Wrestling Championship, like the African Beach Wrestling Championships in South Africa or the Oceania Beach Wrestling Championships in New Zealand.

Local tournaments and events are also held in many parts of the world, so make sure to check if there is one happening near you.

Is Beach Wrestling Effective For Self-Defense?

Beach wrestling could help in terms of self-defense, as the style focuses on grappling, and many of the techniques used in beach wrestling can be adapted to self-defense situations. Learning how to grapple, how to move and control your body weight, and defensive techniques can all be beneficial if you ever find yourself in a self-defense situation.

But, in beach wrestling, like almost any other type of wrestling, you don’t learn and practice how to defend yourself against strikes, kicks, chokes, knife attacks, and other possible threats. In this case, it would be necessary to supplement your beach wrestling training with some additional self-defense or martial arts classes.

Beach Wrestling Weight Classes

Beach wrestling has five weight classes: men’s light, middle, and heavy; as well as women’s light and middle. Men’s light is up to 65 kg, men’s middle is from 66-85 kg, men’s heavy is from 86-105 kg, women’s light is up to 60 kg, and women’s middle is from 61-85 kg.

Beach wrestling weight classes are often not as strict as those in other disciplines, so wrestlers may be able to compete in a higher or lower weight class if they choose. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the referee to decide which weight class a wrestler can compete in.

How to Get Started With Beach Wrestling 

To get started with the sport, you should also look for a local beach wrestling club or team to join, as this is the best way to learn the sport and meet other wrestlers.

Once you’re part of a club, you can begin to hone your skills and build up your strength and technique. Those who are already experienced in wrestling can transition to beach wrestling quite easily, with just a few adjustments to their style.

You can also try to wrestle at home at first, just to practice your moves and get a feel for what beach wrestling is all about. In addition, try some workouts on the sand to get your body used to the conditions, shadow wrestling on the sand is a good way to do this and to practice both wrestling moves and sand-specific agility.

Also, make sure you are keeping up with beach wrestling news and events, so you can stay connected to the sport and follow your favorite wrestlers. Ultimately, ensure that you remain well-trained and nourished, as well as take the necessary precautions to guarantee optimal safety during a wrestling match. This will not only help you demonstrate higher capability while on the mat but also protect yourself from any potential harm or risks.

Some Tips and Tricks for Beach Wrestling

Beach wrestling is a sport that requires special skills and techniques. Here are some tips and tricks to help you improve your performance:


Wrestling on sand can be an exhausting activity, so make sure you are in top shape for any competition. This includes regular physical activities and cardio exercises as well as proper nutrition.


Beach wrestling requires a good sense of balance, as you will be constantly shifting on the sand. Working on your agility and reflexes can help you stay balanced during any match.


The rules for beach wrestling require wrestlers to move in circles around the mat. So practice different footwork drills on the sand to help you move quickly and smoothly.


Practice different wrestling moves, throws, and takedowns in order to increase your repertoire of techniques. Use a partner or coach to help you execute each one successfully.

Mental preparation

As any wrestling match requires mental toughness and focus, make sure you are mentally prepared for any competition. This includes visualizing your performance and developing strategies to help you stay focused on the mat.


Beach wrestling is an exciting, challenging sport that requires special techniques and skills. Make sure you are well-prepared for any competition by following the necessary conditioning and training exercises, as well as keeping up with beach wrestling news and events. With enough practice and dedication, you can become a successful beach wrestler or you can just wrestle with friends for fun. Good luck!