Popping up

Popping up to your feet is a simple exercise that you can practice anywhere. Burying your fins in the sand and practising on your actual board is a good idea so that you are getting instant feedback of your foot placement and body positioning on your board.

Suggested time frame: 5 – 10 minutes practise before you head out + as often as you like at home

This popping up technique is the most efficient method. It is able to be transferred to any type of surfboard, long, foam or short and so is the most ideal to learn.

An alternative method (that is specific to long and foam boards only) can be found in the Alternative Pop Up Module

When you see somebody pop up on a shortboard, their back foot is right at the tail above the fins. It is important to note that when you take off on a longboard, you need body weight towards the nose. Weight towards the tail on a longboard is like having breaks on. You simply loose speed and fall off.

Here at the basic steps to popping up broken down

-Lie down in your paddling position
– Keep your eyes looking to where you want to go
– Place your hands below your shoulders
– Push your hands onto the deck and straighten your arms this creates a big space for your front foot to come and fill
– Glide here for a second to establish balance
– Jump your feet through and stay low
– Aim to land with your feet about hip width apart
– Front foot: between your hands
– Back foot: at 45 degrees
– Release your hands and outstretch your arms
– Keep your your upper body straight, your knees bent and look to where you want to go

With practise you will begin to discover whether you naturally place your left (natural footer) or right foot (goofy footer) forward when you stand up. 

This short clip demonstrates the pop up. Notice that it is exactly the same technique on both a long board and short board.

Popping up in the water requires you to do all the above…on a moving surfboard! Prepare for a laugh…This is where wipe outs can be ultra epic and hilarious.

Avoid the common mistakes

The most important thing is to make sure you have caught the wave and you’re moving fast before popping up, so paddle hard. Think riding a bike without momentum. The same applies with standing up on a surfboard, you need to be moving with speed.

You will quickly learn to go for the white water waves that are moving at a good speed and that will offer you a long ride. If you keep having trouble selecting the right waves, go to the Catching White Water module and the Making The Most of White Water module.

Dont grab your rails when preparing to pop up, keep your hands flat on the deck

Always keep your eyes looking in the direction you want to head. If you are looking down at your feet, this is the direction that you will end up going

When you stand up keep your knees bent and your upper body straight and centred over your board and your eyes facing where you want to go

Once you’ve caught the wave, glide in the push up position for no more than a couple of seconds before popping up

Avoid bringing your knees onto your board. It is a bad habit and a hard one to break. If you find you are repeatedly bringing your knees onto the board, try the alternate taking off method

Your standing position should cover approximately the front 2/3’s of your long board with weight in your front foot (think front foot = accelerator)

Established surfers sometimes glide for just a split second in push up position to establish their flow with the wave before popping up. You can do the same in white water while travelling forward with the wave (as opposed to down the wave)