How to stand up on a Surfboard
The surfing popup is essentially an explosive pushup. This is how you get from paddling position on a surfboard to standing on your feet! The pop up is also one of the more important things to learn when beginning to surf. So if you’re not sure on how it’s done or maybe you just need a few more pointers, this blog will give you the low down!
When done correctly the pop-up will be one fluid motion, meaning you are required to have some upper body strength. If you’re able to do 8 normal push ups or 12 -14 knee push ups then strength shouldn’t be a problem for you. But like the physical act of surfing, you’re only going to get better with practice, and the easiest place to do that is out of the water. Practicing the pop up 10-20 times a day will not only increase your strength, but your muscle memory as well. Meaning next time you’re out in the water you’ll be much more confident in getting to your feet.Everyone’s surfing popup is slightly different, but for all intents and purposes the popup technique is basically the same for everyone.
At the beach, you can lay your surfboard down on the sand (dig the fins into the sand to avoid breaking them) and practice your popup before you go surfing.
Easy steps to a popup:
- Place your hands flat on the board near the bottom of your ribcage.
- Push your chest off the board with your pelvis and upper thighs still in contact with the board. (Don’t do a full body pushup with your weight on your hands and toes)
- Without relying on your knees, bring your front foot forward under your body to approximately where your hands are. This step is hard to explain, but your lower torso will twist a little to the right if you’re regular footed or to the left if you’re goofy.
- Your back foot will naturally follow—just check to make sure that your feet are parallel to your board’s stringer.
- Some people grab the rails of their surfboard, claiming it gives them more control. Grabbing the rails makes it easier to slip off and give yourself a fat lip or botch a takeoff, but give it a try and see what works best for you. When surfing a shortboard it can help to grab the rails and pull the board under you in a steep takeoff.
- The popup should be a single fluid motion. Don’t worry if you don’t get it exactly right the first few times. It will come with practice. You’ll also need to build up some muscles.
- Try not to end up on your knees. This is a tough habit to break for some people. It happens sometimes, though, so don’t worry too much.
- It’s easier to do a popup while you’re surfing a real wave. When you catch an unbroken wave, the action of the popup pushes the wave down the face a bit. Plus, the excitement of catching a wave makes the popup even easier.
- When you’re just starting to learn to surf, practice popups on the floor anywhere you can when you’re not surfing. Do 20 or so a day until you can do it without thinking. It’s also great exercise and will build your surfing and popup muscles.