Mastering the beginner surfer pop up is the first step to riding bigger waves and having fun. There are a lot of techniques that come before and after the pop up, but if you are not standing on the surf board, you are not surfing.
Learning the Beginner Surfer Pop Up
The beginners surfer pop up is different than the advanced pop up in just a few ways. The reason for the beginner pop up is it doesn’t require the strength or coordination of the advanced pop up. The goal would be to transition from one to the other.
The beginner surfer pop up starts with learning each step and counting them out loud in the water as you go through them. The reason is that new students become enthralled with the environment and don’t think about the process. Secondly, it is important not to think, but to just do the actions.
Catching the Wave is a First Step
The first step is paddling to catch the foam wave. The surfer has to paddle before the wave arrives in a straight line to the beach so the wave hits the board squarely in the back. If the board is aiming at even a slight angle, the wave will tip the board over.
When the foam wave is a few feet from the board, the surfer starts paddling hard and when the wave hits the board, the surfer paddles hard at least three more strokes. New students don’t understand hard paddling. They think it is casual swimming. It has to be short strokes like you are in a 20 yard race for $1,000 in the pool.
The Pop Up Sequence with Counting Out Loud
Once the surfboard has planed out in front of the wave (not until), the surfer puts his hands on the board in a man’s push up position for a few seconds. It is crucial the new surfer learns to stop in this position. Most want to put their hands on the board in the upright fully extended position, which tips over the board most of the time.
After resting a few seconds in what I call the “stop” position, the new surfer pushes up and puts his back foot under his body flat on the board so he can stand up. This is the crucial step.
The new surfer then stands up on the foot as he lifts his hands. He must lift his hands so he can move the other foot to the front of the board. Most students want to hang on until the other foot lands on the board, but their hands block the foot from getting to the front. Then the surfer is riding on the back of the board and falls off.
Riding in the Correct Posture
The proper riding position on the board is front foot on the middle stringer at a 45 degree angle facing the front and near the nose. The back foot is three feet back perpendicular to the two rails. The upright torso is equally weighted on front and back foot. The hips and shoulders are squared to the front . Knees are flexed. ( see the Dry land video below.)
In the proper posture on a foam wave, the surfboard will go straight and little balancing is required. From mastering this process, the student could then paddle out and ride bigger waves.
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See my Dry Land and in Water Demo video
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