Since surfing has been around, surfer’s have been doing the pop up or hop up. The pop up or hop up is a full range motion that takes a person from lying down in a prone position (face down) to standing erect (upright) in a surfer’s stance over top of your feet. More and more surfer’s who learn on their own, and many younger surfers practice the incorrect technique for getting up on their boards (owned or rented). If you go to your knees and then to your feet, you’ll be to close to the middle, front on the board and it will allow the nose to dig water and you to fly off the board. If your pop up continues, you will allow the surfboard to eventually hit you in the head (It’s the law of averages).
In order to limit being hit in the head a surfer has to make one quick pop up motion into the proper surfing stance. Most of the younger students can’t comprehend the right techniques due to an inability to understand what the movement is. Older (over 35 years of age), new surfers may not have the right amount of upper body strength to make it up into the correct position. Whatever the reason is, it’s very important to learn the correct technique for this maneuver. I’ve seen different techniques on TV and in person, but they have not worked at all for the persons learning surfing.
The first thing to do is get prepared by increasing your upper body strength. Do some push-ups to increase your shoulder and tricep strength. If you are in good physical shape this is not as necessary, but will help train the muscles to get ready. Do as many pushups as possible, if you can do only ten, then try to do twelve the next time. Add more reps each time to help with increasing your upper body ability to thrust you into stance.
To pop up start from a lying, face down position you will need to make like you’re in the push-up setting. In one quick movement to standing in the surf stance. You will have to blast off the ground to complete this quickly placing your feet under your body. This is a one step process, not two, or three. When you practice this you will become more familiar and comfortable. If you go to your knees then to your feet, you will press down on the rear deck of the surfboard, upon unweighted to go to your feet the nose of the board will drop underwater and you’ll crash and burn. This is why it is very important to do this in one quick movement. It is very important to not hold on the rails of the surfboard when doing this maneuver. If you hold the rails of the surfboard it will cause a whipping affect with your arms flying over you head and making you fall backwards into the water.
The best system is to place your hands under your chest at your shoulders and spring up into either a regular foot stance (left shoulder is aligned to the nose of the surfboard), or a goofy foot stance (right shoulder is aligned to the nose of the surfboard). You must have your head up, shoulder pointed at the nose of the surfboard, and your knees have to be bent in this maneuver to have propper success. Any deviation from this will result in unfavorable near misses. Once you get hit in the head, you can not take it back. There is no returning to before it happened. Practice this at home, or wherever you can. When going to try this in the water make sure to use the whitewater (the foam that is a bi-product of the wave breaking and mixing with air) to make it safer for you.
Once you have got this down you will see better results more and often. Keep those feet under you body and in the center of the board. Pressure on one rail or the other will cause the surfboard to turn in the direction of the rail that’s under pressure. Use the right size surfboard, and also choose smaller waves that are less likely to get you into trouble. Practice, practice, practice. You want this to be like riding a bike, a no-brainer (it means that you don’t have to think about it).
If you find yourself having trouble, contact us and we will show you the proper style for popping up, and guide you into your surfing success making your time well spent. My system is the best for making you happier, and safer when working on riding your surfboard. Happy surfing!!