Slow Pop-ups – know what you actually do

A surfer’s standing action is a critical factor in how far a surfer can progress. Developing a fast pop-up should be the goal of every surfer, but many surfers struggle throughout their surfing careers because of a slow or hesitant pop-up, which is usually caused by insufficient strength in the shoulders girdle, poor mobility in the hips, or incorrect sequencing of the pop-up action.

From my experience, a good place to start in rectifying slow pop-ups is to know what you actually do. From this understanding, a surfer can bring an erroneous pop-up technique up to consciousness and compare this with what they should do, making the leap to the correct action much more likely.

Some of the most common pop-up errors include:

  • Surfers “climbing” up to their feet with a knee involved – “back knee – front foot – backfoot”
  • “Two stage” pop-up – “back foot – front foot”
  • Popping-up with the front foot landing onto the rail/side of the surfboard
  • Popping-up, but hanging onto the rails for too long [leaving the hands on the surfboard’s deck for too long]
  • Popping-up into a too-narrow or too-wide stance

All of these errors cause a surfer to have poor balance at the critical moment of take-off, or a surfer has to re-adjust their front foot as they are dropping down the wave, causing the surfboard to “bounce”, which again results in poor balance.

To rectify these pop-up errors, surfers should work on creating a fast pop-up action. A fast action is one where the surfer jumps to their feet, so that both feet land simultaneously on the surfboard’s stringer – shoulder width apart. Learning this technique provides confidence at take-off, especially in hollow wave conditions.

Pop-up Fast