Mar
08

Learning the Surfing Pop Up

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When I teach Surf Lessons in Oceanside, most students visualize themselves surfing like the advanced people on the outside or like the videos and films they have watched. The experts make surfing look easy. Few students Best Surf Pictures 006imagined how difficult it is to stand up on the board or catch a wave.

A few obstacles hold many students of all ages back from successful pop ups. Strength is certainly one. You have to push yourself up on the board to get a forward foot to the front of your board. It is my guess many people cannot do one push up. Flexibility is important. You have to get the front foot to the spot where your hands are placed under your chest as you assume a push up position. Many people do not have the flexibility to get their foot far enough. You should be able to put your palms on the floor with straight knees.

The core is important. You are driving your front foot forward using your core muscles to bring your knee to your chest. I wonder how many people couldn’t do ten sit ups or crunches. These are just some basic strengths that children and adults who have spent too many years at the desk and not enough hours at the gym lack.

Given a student can pop up and arrive standing on the board, the next essential is having the shoulders face the beach. If a person is regular footed, their left foot is forward on the board and their right foot is in the back. The right hand has to be brought forward so that it brings the right shoulder forward. When the right shoulder is back, most students then stand up straight and fall off on their backs.

The key I work on whether students get a perfect pop up or not is getting them to bend their knees and have both hands where they can see them. Kids crawl up on the board, but they understand the final posture they have to assume with bent knees, eyes and shoulders forward, and both hands forward of the hips. This brings the rear shoulder forward which brings the butt square on the board so the body is balanced.

Balance is achieved when the weight and foot pressure is equal on both sides of the imaginary stringer that runs from the tail to the nose of the board; weight equal on both halves of the board. My Plan A is to do a proper pop up. My Plan B for students is to get in the right posture as soon as possible without unsettling the balance of the board.

Kids can do this because they are light in comparison to the volume of the board. Teens and adults have more trouble if they don’t do the pop up properly because they often put a knee on the board which tilts it immediately. I have to tell students to only think of putting their front foot between their  hands and not to put a knee on the board.

The next violation is what I call “swinging it”. It is much easier to do a pop up if you can swing your butt around instead of putting the knee under the body and between the hands. The way to tell you have “swung it” is when you fall off the back in one second. Swinging is easy, but lethal on the pop up.

Follow the video on the landing page and practice 20 a day until you have the flexibility and smoothness. Remember, it is much easier to do it on land than in the water.

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“I’ve read and watched so many on-line tutorials and I’ve gotta say your book is the coolest, most succinct and comprehensive I’ve seen. So good!” A. Parker, OR.

Surf Instructions 

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Illustrated 80 page E Book  by Mark Kaplan, Surf Instructor Download Immediately Learning the Physical, Technical and Psychological stepping stones to becoming an Advanced Surfer

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