Although it may look like a fish out of water, you should practice everything on the beach before entering the surf. Surfing like everything else is built on the fundamentals and you don’t get those fundamentals without practice. In fact, in the beginning, I recommend that you to practice a bit everyday with their beginner boards on the beach to gain the muscle memory associated with the pop up.
The pop up is a quick and explosive pushup that allows you to get to your feet on the surfboard and get into position. On the sand, just lay your board down, digging a hole for the fins. Then lie on your surfboard stomach down and place your toes on the tail of the board, grip the rails below your chest, keep your head looking forward at all times and slightly raise your chest off the board. The surfing pop up should like this.
Method 1: Jump Up
- Place your hands flat on the board at the bottom of your ribcage.
- Push your chest off the board with your pelvis and upper thighs still in contact with the board. (Don’t do a full body pushup with your weight on your hands and toes)
- Without relying on your knees, bring your front foot forward under your body to approximately where your hands are. This step is hard to explain, but your lower torso will twist a little to the right if you’re regular or to the left if you’re goofy.
- Your back foot will naturally follow—just check to make sure that your feet are parallel to your board’s stringer.
Method 2: Step Up
The step up method breaks down getting to your feet into two movements, it is slightly slower than the jump up but still allows you to achieve your desired result of standing up. Shoulder and chest strength are still required but rather than using your toes to spring to your feet, the inside knee of the back leg will be included to assist you in getting to your feet.
- Once again lying on the surfboard with the correct body position. The first movement is to slide your rear leg forward until it is angling out to the side from the hip, the inside of the knee should be rested on the deck.
- The second movement is to use your upper body strength to push up and step your front leg through. As you gain maximum clearance from the deck to your chest the front leg should step up under the chest and the foot placed on the chest line.
It is important to twist your hips so your foot is placed facing across the deck. You should be levering this movement of the inside knee off the rear leg.
- Continue to hold the rails at all times, if your feet and body are front on (facing to the nose) make the effort to twist your hips and adjust your footing.
- From here you can simply stand up into the correct surfing style.
That’s it. You are off. The pop up and stepup should be a simple fluid motion. Again, as I mentioned above the pop up or the step up should be practiced everyday as a newbie. Practice at home on the floor, the gym or just anywhere.
Do ten a day. Not only will this be great exercise keeping you toned, it will build those exact muscles that you need to rely on to make the move.