Balance vs Pop Ups in Surfing Importance


Teaching Surf Lessons in Oceanside, I meet a lot of different people who vary in sex, size, weight, athletic ability, and fitness. I begin with important basics of balancing prone on the board and then executing the pop up that Best Surf Pictures 006takes you to the proper standing posture.

Lots of students can’t manage the pop up because of flexibility, strength, and being over weight. I have rarely thought that lack of balance was someone’s problem. Students who have participated in other board sports like skateboarding, snow boarding, and skiing have an advantage as their bodies have learned how to balance in unusual positions.

Yet, I have had swimmers, triathletes, and yoga students do terrific because they have also learned to balance in cross fit type exercising. What is new to all these people is popping up on a moving surf board. In the water, there is no support for the board like on land or practicing the pop ups in your living room. This is when upper body strength, core strength, flexibility, and weight come into play.

Kids don’t do pop ups because they don’t have the strength. I tell them to get up on the board and assume the proper posture and they do fine. Teen agers or at least 10 and above need to do pop ups because the board won’t accommodate their weight if they just stand up. The more you weigh, the more excellent you have to pop up properly to keep the board balanced.

If a student can get from the prone position to the proper standing posture, they are balanced and most students can handle the motion created by the water underneath to ride to the beach. The pop up is a series of very specific motions and mechanical executions that use surf specific muscles.

Like with any sport, if you need sport specific muscles to perform a particular technique, then you have to practice that technique until you have the muscle and smoothness to execute. Practicing 25 pop ups a day in your living room is a great way to make it easier in the water.

The pop up can never get too good. Right now there are very steep waves breaking on shore on most Southern California beaches as a result of Marie and Norman hurricane swells. The pop up has to be automatic. On the same token, once surfers start riding bigger waves, the pop up is important and has to be better than the early days of riding foam.

The pop up creates the necessary balance. Going from the prone position to the proper standing position is balancing. Practice makes perfect. In the water, the board gets easier to manipulate with speed. That is why you see surfers pumping and accelerating as soon as they are in the pocket.

One footed yoga postures can develop better posture. After I was already surfing, I discovered in a yoga class I couldn’t execute their various standing postures. That was a wake up call. Now I practice them every morning thinking my balance now must have improved.


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