Pop Up on a Surfboard

How to Pop Up on a Surfboard

Learning how to pop up on a surfboard is one of the basic surfing techniques that you need if you want to become an established surfer. You can master the technique, whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate surfer.

Popping up technique is one of the best surfing exercises that incorporate your flexibility, upper body strength, strong legs, and core muscles. Learning it is not easy, especially when you’re starting as a surfer.

The good thing is that you can learn pop up anywhere, making it a good idea to practice surf at home on the floor. Doing so helps your body recall the popping up techniques and help build your arm strength. Here we look at tips that will help you pop up.

Things to Consider before Trying Pop UpThree kids surfing

How you pop up affects how you catch every wave and how you progress. Before you pop up, consider the following factors.


Figure out your preferable stance before you trying pop up on a surfboard. You can use the regular or goofy stance depending on which makes you comfortable. Feel free to play around until you find a comfortable position.

Regular stance requires stretching the right foot at the back and bringing it closer to the board’s tail. The left foot should be at the front near the center of the board. In the goofy stance, interchange your feet.

Finding Your Positioning and Balance

If you want to perform a successful pop-up, you must find positioning and ensure that you’re well balanced on the surfboard. Avoid the following surfing mistakes when finding your balance;

  • Putting more weight on the front as it increases the risk of nose-diving
  • Putting more weight on the back as it slows the board making it hard to catch the waves

Finding your position in the middle helps balance the board, making it easy to paddle and maintain speed.

Tips to Help Improve Your Pop Up

  1. Place the hands near the chest, below the ribcage. This positioning allows you to use all your energy for the pop-up.
  2. Ensure your feet are laid together and balanced rather than dragging them in the water. Dragging your feet in the water interferes with the board’s flow.
  • Push yourself up using your hands, while holding your head up and arching your back.
  1. Without using your knee, spring up by bringing your front foot below your body. Doing this helps you twist yourself into the surfer stance.
  2. Maintain a low gravity position while finding your balance instead of standing in an upright position at once.
  3. Ensure that you maintain your body in a centered position by moving the front foot between your hands. Keeping both heels flat on the center of the board helps distribute your weight evenly and, hence, find your balance.
  • If surfing in steep and hollow surf, maintain your balance by grabbing the surfboard rail.

Mastering how to pop up allows you to surf without getting wet. Repeating the above steps help improve your pop up efficiency by helping your muscles remember the movements.

Mistakes to Avoid When Doing a Pop Up

Refrain from the following errors when popping up.

  • Refrain from pushing up with your hands in front of the surfboard as you might unconsciously try to protect yourself from the waves. It also makes it hard to pop up.
  • Avoid bringing your knees in the front of the surfboard. Doing this increases the steps and makes it hard to catch bigger waves which don’t allow you much time to pop up. Instead, consider bringing your feet in front.
  • Avoid bringing your front foot first as you’ll end up further back on the surfboard. Bring your back feet first, and then the front one helps you maintain your speed and catch the waves effortlessly.
  • Don’t straighten your knees as doing so makes you unstable, increasing the risk of falling quickly.
  • Avoid bending your upper body when trying to find your balance. Leaning closer to the surfboard blocks the view of where you’re going and makes it hard for you to turn. As a result, you end up falling off the surfboard.
  • Avoid grabbing the rails unless surfing on steep surf. Grabbing the rail in regular wave makes it hard to maintain your balance and slows you down.

Bottom Line

Surfing combines a lot of skills, including muscle strength, endurance, maintaining balance, and flexibility. If you want to improve your pop up, you must be willing to train on all these skills.

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