The Importance of the Surfing Pop Up


One of the important techniques I teach in Oceanside Surf Lessons is how to do the pop up or going from the lying down prone position to a perfect stand up riding posture. It is actually the third principal students must Best Surf Pictures 005master before riding a wave to the beach. Most new students don’t realize how much there is to learn.

The first principal is getting your body positioned correctly on the board so that it is balanced and level when you paddle for a wave. The second is catching a wave by getting in front of it. The third principal is getting into the upright stance that allows a balanced ride.

The pop up is the real test of surfing strength and flexibility and separates the successful from the not. Most students get it on the first lesson. Those who are over weight, lack flexibility, or have no upper body strength in proportion to body weight do not. My suggestion to them is to practice in the living room, do push ups and crunches, and to stretch as a runner or like in yoga.

In riding foam, the pop up can be slow and smooth. Once the foam wave pushes the board, there is lots of time to pop up and ride. In a real wave, the time to pop up is often dictated by the speed and steepness of the wave. As waves get bigger, they are moving faster which means they propel the paddler faster.

On sand bar beaches, the waves tend to be close outs which means the pop up has to be quick so that the board is running on the wave ahead of the pocket. If you are not moving and accelerating the lip of the wave comes over and ends the ride.

On a steep wave, you often have to pop into a low center of gravity posture to keep up with the speed and steepness. After you make it down the face you can bottom turn and accelerate into the pocket. Most pros will say riding the face is the first step and most important.

It takes a lot of experience to properly position your board in the right spot to catch a real wave. Beginners try to paddle over the top of too many waves. Pros get in front and paddle when the lip is at the right angle over their head so they only have to paddle a few times. Paddling hard before the wave arrives is often the ticket to match speed of the board with the speed necessary to catch the wave.

If one doesn’t have an automatic great pop up, you will not develop the courage to catch bigger waves. You have to have total confidence that you can pop up if you catch a wave, otherwise you crash. Once you have popped up, you can just hold the pose and you will go down the face or angle into the pocket. From here you can develop skills of accelerating and maneuvers or tricks.

There is a pop up video on the landing page of this site.


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