Why Surfers Fall off Board on Pop Up


When I teach new students surf lessons in Oceanside, the third thing we work on after water safety is the pop up. The pop up takes you from the prone position to the standing position.Best Surf Pictures 006

The surf board is only stable at two times. When you are lying down on the board and when you are standing in perfect posture. When you lie on the board you have to be in proper position from front to back with your weight back far enough so the board doesn’t pearl (nose into the water).

You also have your weight so the board is perfectly level in the water while waiting for the wave and then when paddling before popping up. If the board is even slightly tilted, it will turn and tip over. To balance you have your nose lined up with the middle of the nose on the board. You have your shoulders in the middle of the board. Then you adjust your weight with your hips so the board sits level. When you paddle for a wave, you have to maintain this balance.

When you pop up, you have to bring your forward foot under your body and place it between your hands. (see video on landing page). If you are really flexible, you might be able to step into position, but most people do better with a little spring in their push.

If your foot lands on the side of the board, you will fall in. If your foot lands behind the mid point of the board, the nose will lift and you will fall in. If you jump up with both feet together or lock your knees into a stiff position, you will fall in. And finally, if you swing your weight around with your butt over your heels, you will fall in backwards.

You should bring your foot under your body so your shoulders are more forward and your hands are at the side of your body, bent at the elbow, and facing front if you want to go straight. After putting your foot between your hands you gently lift up maintaining bent knees and looking forward.

If you don’t get up properly, the quicker you can get into the right posture, the more chance you will stay on the board.


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