How to Pop Up on a Surfboard

The Pop Up technique is the motion of moving from a paddling position to a surfing stance. This requires all sorts of skills; upper body strength, flexibility, strong core muscles and strong legs. When you are just starting to surf, it can be quite hard to get on your feet quickly on an unstable surfboard. So try to practice the Pop Up on land before you hit the water.

Here are 10 tips that can help improve your Pop Up:


Place your hands flat close to your chest. Preferably at the bottom of your ribcage. This way you will use all your energy for your Pop Up.


Don’t drag your feet in the water, this disturbs the flow of the board in the water. Keep your feet together and lay evenly and balanced.

The Pop up
The Pop up


Push yourself up with your arms. Arch your back and keep your head looking up.


The Pop up should be in one fluid motion. Spring up, don’t use your knees and bring your front foot under your body. Twist your body into a surfer stance.


Don’t stand up in a full upright position. Take your time to find your balance in a low center of gravity position. Bend your knees, especially your back knee, and look where you want to go.


Move your front foot between your hands and get both heels flat in the middle of your board. Find your balance and evenly distribute your weight.


Practicing your Pop Up is one of the best ways to improve your surfing without getting wet. You can do this on the beach, in the gym or at home. By doing the same movement over and over again your muscles will remember the movement and become highly efficient in executing the move. Improve your Pop Up  with 20 ‘dry’ Pop Ups a day.


Surfing requires all sort of skills. Balance, Endurance, Upper Body strength, Core strength, flexibility and strong legs. If you are serious about improving your Pop Up you will have to train all of these.


In steep, hollow surf it can help to grab the rail of your board. This will provide more balance and control.


Once you are standing in a low crouch position try to shift your weight for further control.
If you want to go faster move your weight towards your front foot. If you want control or initiate a turn shift your weight to your back foot.

Thanks for reading our article on how to Pop Up on a surfboard. Be sure to check our other articles on surf technique.

Video Turorial:

Leave a Comment