How to perfect your pop-up

March 14, 2017 | 0 Comment

How to perfect your pop-up

When it comes to surfing, one the most important things, and something beginners tend to struggle with a lot, is the pop-up. A good pop-up will put you in position to start turning on a wave immediately. It has to be fast, or we’ll end up in white wash before we’re standing. And it has to be accurate, or we just lose our balance. With that said, here are two good methods of popping up to try and one incorrect method commonly seen in beginners. The sooner you crack the pop-up, the sooner you’ll be gliding along hanging ten.

The box – Incorrect

Unfortunately, it’s quite common to see beginners being taught this method. It’s generally used by teachers with too many students at once, who just want to get their students standing. While it may be an easy was of getting to your feet on a big foam board, it will lead to nothing but bad habits as you progress through surfing. It’s worth putting in the hard work, it’ll be better in the long run! Here’s what to look out for.


1. Once you’ve caught the wave, place both hands under your chest and push up

2. As you push up, slide your knees towards your chest so that you’re kneeling on the board.

3. Lift your back foot and place it in position

4. Lift your front foot into position

5. Rise to standing.

One step – Correct

This is the most efficient way of getting to your feet, but also the one people struggle with the most. If you can master the one step pop up you’ll be first to your feet, ripping it up on every wave. It’s important to practise your foot placement with this or you could just end up turning the board over, which won’t look quite as cool…


1. Once you’ve caught the wave, place both hands under your chest and arch your back.

2. Push up and jump your feet into position on the board

Three Step – Correct

If you struggle a little with the one-step, this is a good alternative. It’s a little slower but gives you the opportunity to be precise with your foot placement and not worry about not having enough strength yet for the one step. As you get more practise with this, you’ll probably find that it eventually becomes the one-step.


1. Once you’ve caught the wave, place both hands under your chest and arch your back.

2. Twist your body slightly to the side of your back foot and bend the knee of your back leg, placing your foot in position.

3. Slide your front foot under you and into position.


For proper positioning on a board and more tips, check out our other blog posts here. Happy surfing!