17 Feb 5 Ways to Improve Your Pop-Up
Surfing is a skill and requires you to gain expertise in a wide range of motions to maintain balance in the water. Note that paddling, duck diving, and popping are the core components of surfboarding. All these movements heavily rely on how you keep your shoulders flexible.
Mastering pop-up, without a doubt, is one of the most challenging things for beginner surfers. Popping up is typically a combination of strength and skill. It requires you to use your body’s strength capacity to push and pull while balancing on the moving water underneath.
If you’re taking surfing lessons and experiencing difficulty in popping up, you’re not alone. All you need is to learn and perfect your upper body’s strength characteristics and strong core until you master the movement.
The given five ways can help you improve your pop-up.
Ways to Improve Your Pop-up
1. Perfect the “Prone” Position
Surfing begins with learning the prone position. It means you need to lie down on your stomach and practice paddling. Mastering prone position is essential as it affects all movements of surfing, including the pop-up.
You need to practice your balance to improve your prone position. You can do that by finding the sweet spot where the surfboard’s tip doesn’t stick up in the air or drip down in the water. If the nose of your surfboard dips, there is a high risk of crashing headfirst into the water. In the same line, if your nose sticks up in the air, you might slip off the back of your surfboard.
Ensure you surf a few waves every day to get comfortable with the position and learn how to balance.
2. Learn to Keep Palms Flat
You might have seen many beginners gripping the sides of the surfboard when attempting a pop-up. While the position feels more effortless, more stable, and comfortable, it destabilizes your balance. Clutching the surfboard sides is riskier and can affect your position.
The correct way to make this attempt is to keep your palms flat straight on your surfboard and point your fingers towards the sea. The position is not much different from the one you make while performing push-ups. Remember that your initial pop-up position should feel similar to your push-up posture.
3. Focus Ahead of You
Staring at your hands when trying to pop up is natural, and many new surfers find it helpful in the beginning. You might get caught up with this habit, but it will NOT help you master the art of a perfect pop-up. Wondering why?
Think about staring at your hands when driving to get a feel of how dangerous it could be. You probably will never do it.
Instead of staring at your hands, it is better to focus ahead. You can pick a point or spot on the sea you like to look at and keep seeing it until you’re popping-up. Make “looking forward” a habit.
4. Improve Your Popping Up Speed
Many new surfers often attempt to stand up when the waves are moving slowly. Keep in mind that popping up is easier when you use the momentum of waves. Simply stated, you can safely pop-up when waves have the most momentum, or they’re traveling quickly.
You may lose out on the speed required to stand up if you feel timid or think they are moving quickly. It is good to consider your safety, but you must know that momentum is sometimes your friend.
5. Bend down Your Knees
Once you popped up, there is no need to stand up like a pen. Note that standing or popping upright will not help you gain the balance you need to ride on the water. Instead, it is better to bend your knees a little and adjust your weight quickly.
Doing this will help you improve your stability significantly. Moreover, bending knees will allow you to land pop-up and keep you surfing the waves until you’re in the right position.
Overall, getting comfortable in your prone position, keeping your palms flat, looking forward, and bending your knees once you have popped up are some tips that can help you master this skill.