Correct basic body positioning is crucial for all surfers at all skill levels. Getting the basics right when you’re learning gives you good foundations to build upon and makes the progressions into advanced surfing more fluid and stylish.
In time you will automatically pop up onto your feet in a good stance. While learning, making quick adjustments once you’ve got to your feet is possible, but it is best to pop up on your feet good to go. Repeating the popping up method on dry land will imprint a muscle memory which will begin to automatically transfer when you are in the water.
This basic positioning applies to all surfers from beginners to advanced
- feet should be slightly wider than your shoulders
- stay low in your stance (by bending your knees) from the moment your feet land on the board
- back foot 90 degrees to the boards stringer
- front foot at about 45 degrees
- put weight on your front foot
- look in the direction that you intend to go
- arms held at shoulder height
As you progress your body position will change depending on what manoeuvre you are doing. Head here to explore advanced manoeuvres.
Natural Foot: left foot at the front of your board and your right foot at the back
Goofey Foot: Right foot at the front of your board and your left foot at the back
Right handers: Waves that break from right to left when you face them from the beach
Left handers: Waves that break from left to right when you face them from the beach
Your forehand is the direction you surf when the front of your body is facing the wave. Your backhand is the direction you surf when the back of your body faces the wave.
A natural footer will surf on their forehand if they are on a right hander and surf their backhand on a left hander.
A Goofey footer will surf on their forehand on a left and they will be surfing their backhand on a right.
Everyone is built differently and the width of your stance needs to suit your body and board. Be sure to avoid the super wide poo stance.