Pop up

Any questions about learning to surf, or general questions about equipment, technique or improving your surfing.

Pop up

Postby Micky M » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:16 am

Hey,

i am currently learning to surf i have a "7'6" mini mal and i am around 6ft, here is the problem i feel i have ok balance on the board i dont seem to rock about but i just cant pop up. My feet also hang slightly off the end of the board so im also unsure if this has anything to do with it...

if anyone could help that would be great

Cheers :-)
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Re: Pop up

Postby Dantastic » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:14 pm

Practice practice practise dude. Get some string/a tie or whatever and lay in the middle of it. Palms flat on the floor just under your ribcage, feet in the air and pop up. I do 10 before bed and when I getting from work every day. I'm still a crap surfer but can pop up and stay up a whole lot better because of it. Check YouTube out too.
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Re: Pop up

Postby dermo909 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:32 pm

I'm the same height as you and have the same size board. My feet hang off the end of the board too but when I'm paddling I hold them above the water to minimise drag. Feet hanging over the end are like 2 lead weights slowing you down unfortunately.

As for the popup, are you struggling with doing it all in one smooth motion and are 'climbing' up the board to pop up? Practice your pop up at home on the floor relentlessly. It wont really be the same in the water so you'll have to practice the same thing in there as well until it becomes easier.
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Re: Pop up

Postby TonyB » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:00 pm

So instead of popping up from your toes like you can on a longboard you pop up from your knees?
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Re: Pop up

Postby Micky M » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:30 pm

i am struggling in general to pop up up!! i think aswell it will probably help with practicing my pop up at home...
daft question also, but i snow board and snow board quite well but i use my strongest foot at the rear rather than the front is it the same with surfing as i always seem to try and pop up with my stronger foot forward
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Re: Pop up

Postby cricket » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:08 pm

From my observations there are three major technical things people do wrong when popping up:

1. hand position - the purpose of the arm thrust (push) is to get your hips high enough to bring your legs under. If your hands are too far forward, then you cant get your hips into the right position - they will be too low and there wont be enough room for your legs. Make sure your hands are no higher than shoulder level and preferably at rib level. A useful tip is (for a natural footer) is to have your left hand around mid rib height (just below shoulder) and right hand close to the bottom of your ribs. This gives you a natural 'twist' as you push up. Remember that most of the time, at the 'top' of the arm thrust, your shoulders should be no higher than your hips. When you are on the board moving from flat to sitting (at the line up), push yourself up to sitting by putting your hands in the correct pop up position and it will become natural to place them in that spot.

2. trying to push your upper body to be over your feet, rather than bringing your feet under your upper body. Essentially your push up should move your upper body straight up from the board and then your feet come underneath. A lot of people seem to want to plant their feet straight away because they feel strange and so push their upper body backwards to be over their feet. This is almost impossible to do and, even if you manage it, you are in the wrong place and heading backwards. This problem seems to occur a lot on steeper waves when people freak out because their board is pointing downhill and the natural instinct is to try and make the board level again by planting your feet toward the rear of the board.

3. trying to stand up straight too quickly. After your feet land, if you try to stand up straight too quickly then your shoulders are heading up and backwards and your feet (on the board) are heading down the wave and forwards. So chances are you will fall off. Keep low - keep your hips low rather than your shoulders (bend at the knees rather than the waist). You can stand up after a second or two, when you are stable.

The other major issue, which is not a 'technical' issue, is simply not committing to the pop up. Doing a half assed push because you are a bit scared or not confident. Surfing is a matter of committing - you want a wave, commit to it, paddle hard and pop up hard. Paddle softly and you perl, pop us softly and you fall. Its like riding a bike - try to to it slowly and its harder than doing it faster.

Home practice is good, but a better way is to find somewhere with a lot of white water. Catch the white water and pop up. Repeat 50 times. Come back tomorrow, repeat 50 times. There is no way you will get 50 practice pop ups on unbroken waves in a session but you can on white water. Eventually you will peg the pop up in white water and can move out back. It is a bit different out back, but there is less difference between white water pop ups and unbroken waves than there is between floor pop ups and unbroken waves. There is an embarrassment factor in catching the white water, I know, but if you have a choice between constantly wiping out or playing in the white water for a week and then being able to actually surf, just harden up and take it. No actual surfer cares if someone is at white water level, we all were at some stage. Its like a learner driver, its a stage you go through. Just keep out of the way.

Another tip is to find a surf school in session and watch people. You very quickly see who is going to perl and who is going to miss their pop ups, and you can usually see why those occur. So don't do what they are doing.

As to which way you pop up - whichever feels right. I'm a left footer (kicker) but pop up natural (left foot forward). Actually, for most people, their strongest (most stable) leg is the one they dont kick with - its the leg that is used to hitting the ground and keeping the body in place while the glamour leg hits the ball. Your preferred leg makes no difference to your pop up or which foot should go forward, although it may make you a 'front foot' surfer or a 'back foot' surfer once you are up and cruising.

Welcome to the large school of people who have learnt that snowboarding and surfboarding are not quite the same...
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Re: Pop up

Postby dermo909 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:00 pm

Good reply cricket!

I agree with the whitewater practice. 50 pop-ups(waves) in a whitewater session is a good target and a bloody good workout too!
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Re: Pop up

Postby Leven » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:03 am

I like the hands at different levels underneath you....I think I do that subconsciously!

Also, I find it really useful to think about getting my hips and arse out of the way (i.e. lifting them up off the board) so I can bring my legs through underneath me. But you're right....commit! Explode off the board, lift your hips, bring your feet underneath you. Pretty soon it'll become second nature.
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Re: Pop up

Postby CornishWave » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:22 am

In my experience in surf coaching, its all about having a trigger or key phrase that will prompt the body to deliver the movement.

When your about to pop up and your in the prone position on your board, try repeating to yourself back foot, back foot, back foot ...

Dont worry about the front foot, the back one is the key.

Works every time with surf school students

Best of luck
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Re: Pop up

Postby Leven » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:23 am

That's interesting, why do you say the back one is key?
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Re: Pop up

Postby tehraab » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:26 pm

Muscle memory... Like mentioned above, just do 10 or so every day on the floor. Eventually it'll become second nature. Might also help by filming yourself to see where you can improve and compare against others.

Filmed myself and noticed my back foot was pointing towards the back all the time - not any more :-D
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