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  • Writer's pictureTomáš Homolka

How to improve your pop up

For a surfer popping up is a fundamental aspect of surfing as it sets you for your ride. Doing a pop up correctly makes a huge difference in your surfing, enables you to take steeper waves, also will make sure you will get enough speed from your take off and most importantly helps you get on the wave and be ready to ride the wave.

In this post, we will look into a few tips that will help you improve your popping up!

  • Look where you want to go

  • Pay attention on how you place your feet

  • Choose a good condition to practice

  • Paddeling

Look where you want to go

As a common saying in surfing ,, where you look, there you go’’.  For us as a surfer, it is important to understand that the body follows the head, meaning if you drop your chin down (looking down) your body will follow and you are most likely to fall. How you can fix this mistake is by paying attention to look forward, or to the side where you want to take the wave but your look should never be on your feet or on the deck of the board. When you are able to read green waves, looking to the side, where the open face is, you start selecting the wave better and also allows you to project what you will do on that wave.

Choose a good condition to practice

Not every day will be good for your practice of popping up. Especially on bigger days in a line up, when the waves seem faster, it can be really challenging to get up correctly on your surfboard. What you want to do is look for a day with smaller waves, also you can look for high tide and slower waves. You can always go to the white water if you feel the conditions in the line up are off for your level and practice your pop up in the white water.

Pay attention on how you place your feet

The position of your feet plays a huge role in your stability and will allow you to ride the wave in a comfortable position. Your front foot should not be in a straight line but around 45 degrees from the centerline of the board, so you are able to stabilize your stance using the toe / heel side of your foot for maximum control and stability of the surfboard. Back foot stays in a parallel way to the centerline of the board. Common mistake that beginner surfers do, is placing their front foot in a straight line, thus looking for a lot of stability.


Why is paddling important in your pop up? Well it's simple, because of your paddling you will be able to position yourself to more comfortable positions to take waves from and also timing how to get into the wave with your paddling will change the way how you do your pop up and make it more easy. In your next session, pay attention to if you are too early on a wave or in the opposite case, too late on a wave and adjust your paddling for your needs. When paddling for the wave, try to stay calm and aim to nicely glide into the wave.

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