How to POP-UP

First of all, let me just tell you: surfing isn’t easy! But nothing in life comes in easily, especially not the good stuff.

When you are initially trying to learn how to surf, there are about 100 things you have to remember all at once, I’m not even kidding. That’s exactly what your first pop-up will feel like. In a millisecond you have to remember SO many things you have to do all at once and even more of those things you shouldn’t be doing. So yeah, at first it may feel a little overwhelming, and that’s OK!

I promise you, once you catch and stand up on your very first wave, it all changes. All those 100 things you have to memorise are like a messed up puzzle and with that one successful pop-up they all fall in place making a perfect picture, in this case – the perfect wave. And with every wave you catch, it gets easier an easier. With a little patience and practice you’ll be surfing in no time! So let’s look at the HOW.

There are two ways you can pop-up on your board: 

• POP-UP: If you are a complete beginner with little or zero fitness level

– this is a great option for those less physically active or someone who never surfed, skated or snowboarded before, and is completely new to this. We advise people only to practice this pop-up technique through the very first days to get the feel of catching waves and surfing, but for it not to become a habit making a transition to the pop-up B technique more difficult further along the way.

• JUMP-UP: If you have surfed before or have some fitness background

– we highly encourage people to learn and practice the this particular technique, which will allow you to improve and progress your surfing faster. This technique is widely used among surfers and requires some physical strength and practice.

how to popup

A. How to POP-UP on the surfboard:

  1. When you see a wave approaching turn around and lay face down on your board, facing away from the wave, looking towards the beach
  2. Once the wave is approaching begin to paddle, mimicking the speed of the wave
  3. Paddle until you feel a push you and your boards glides with the wave, you always want to be a little ahead of the wave. If you pop up to early you will miss the wave
  4. Once you feel the wave push you, place your hands underneath your shoulders, toes on the tail and push your chest up as if in a cobra pose
  5. Slide your back foot a little forward and your front foot all the way to the front of the board between your hands
  6. When your feet are stable and secure on the board, let your hands go and raise your upper body up
  7. Make sure your back is straight, your knees are bent and you are looking towards the direction where you want to go
  8. Enjoy the ride!

B. How to JUMP-UP on the surfboard:

  1. When you see a wave approaching turn around and lay face down on your board, facing away from the wave, looking towards the beach or angling your board slightly looking toward the direction of the wave
  2. Once the wave is approaching begin to paddle, mimicking the speed of the wave
  3. Paddle until you feel a push you and your boards glides with the wave
  4. When you feel the push, place your hands underneath your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your body and push your chest up as if in a cobra pose
  5. Remember to not look down – instead look up or in the direction you want to go
  6. You have to be quick on your feet, so do a big push up and jump the legs to the center of the surfboard. As you jump, rotate your body in about a 180 degree motion so that you land sideways. 
  7. Your feet should be as wide or a little wider than your shoulders
  8. Once you are up and riding, try to keep your balance centred as well as the center of your gravity low by bending your knees
  9. Depending whether its a left or right, your feet, body and gaze should face in that direction

What to Remember:

• keep your chin and head up – looking down will make it harder for you to pop up and keep your balance

• look in the direction you are going – looking straight ahead towards the beach rather than down towards your feet

• when you feel the wave push you immediately lift your chest up – think cobra pose

• always place your hands underneath your shoulders – if the hands are too forward it makes it impossible to lift

• do not lift your hands off the board until your feet are in position and balanced

• always have a bend in the knees, keeping your spine straight, shoulders and chest wide

• make sure your feet are little winder than your hips and at about 45° angle towards the front of the board

• find a place to relax and enjoy the ride – knees bent shoulders relaxed but opened and broad. Being too stiff will again, sabotage your balance

how to popup

What to Avoid:

• keeping your body too low and stuck to the board prior your pop-up – you want to lift your chest and head up to avoid the tip of your board to dip into the water 

• looking down at your feet and your hands – you want to keep your gaze upward to avoid falling down

• placing your forearms on the board when you want to pop up – you will be limiting the amount of space between your body and the board where the legs are supposed to go

• locking your knees and bending from the spine – this will result in an ugly surf style and will also make it way harder for you to keep your balance

• keeping your feet too close together – it will make it impossible for you to balance

• having your feet too far back or too far forward on the board – you want to have your feet centred and paced in the middle of the board

• hunching forward, rounding the spine and shoulders – in the long run this will become a habit that will make it impossible to turn your board later on. You want to keep your chest and shoulders opened and your spine straight. 

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Mahalo for reading our blog, we hope you enjoyed it!

We’d love to hear from you, so leave us a comment below and of course feel free to share it!

Pata Sudaka 🤙🏼

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