How to stand up on the surfboard in three simple steps
In the previous article, we explained about the surfboard itself, its parts and how to carry it right into and out of the water.
In the next tutorial, we will explain detail by detail how to stand up on a surfboard in a few simple steps, also known as the pop-up. To be able to stand on the surfboard, we first need to know how to position ourselves properly in while lying. Only then we will be able to catch a wave either independently or with the help of a guide and to practice popping up on the surfboard.
How to properly lie on the surfboard?
If you’ve ever been out surfing or just tried to lie down on a board and stand up, you probably know it’s more complex than it looks. With a few small tips you can make the process simpler or at least more approachable. Surfboards are usually symmetrical. That is, if we split the surfboard length into two parts, the right side will be the same as the left side. Conversely, if we cross the glide across it, we will find that the nose and tail are asymmetrical. Why is it important? We understand that in order to maintain balance we need to place our bodies right in the center of the surfboard. Most of the surfboards have a supporting wooden stripe served as the spine of the board and located exactly in the middle of the surfboard. If your surfboard does not have a noticable stripe through it , try to imagine a stripe running all the way through the length of the surfboard and divide it into two identical parts. Our goal when lying on the surfboard is to keep the body as straight as possible and as centered as possible above the center mark. In terms of our positioning relative to the length of the surfboard, we would like to lay down so that the fingertips of the feet touch the tail of the surfboard. If we were lying right in the center also along the surfboard, the nose would sink into the water and prevent us from moving forward while paddling. If we lie too far back and extend our fingertips beyond the tail line, the back of the surfboard will sink into the water and produce a tow that will make it difficult for us to paddle effectively.
How do you stand on the surfboard?
Step one – pushing the arms
When we are already on the surfboard and want to stand up, it is important to place the arms right under your chest. The arm rest should be such that we can lift the body with the hands with relative ease. Placing the hands over or behind the chest line will limit our ability to push the body up and produce a lever. The pose is similar to a push-up position.
* Important tip – Unlike the dry practice where we are on the sand, the water is a less stable surface. There is a tendency to grip the rails as they try to rise rather than spread their palms on the top surface of the surfboard. Griping the rails will cause the surfboard to swing from side to side in the water and impair stability which will make it difficult to stand up and release the hands from grasping the rails. Proper hands restraint under the chest will create greater surface area with the center of the surfboard resulting in more stability while trying to stand.
Step two – fold the back leg to 90 degrees position
After pushing the body up with the arms, we want to fold the rear leg so that the knee creates a 90 degree angle. Another way to know that you are performing the second step well is to feel the inside of the foot resting entirely on the upper dock of the surfboard.
* Important Tip – Please note that when we fold the leg and place the back foot on the surfboard we are more or less on the center of the surfboard line. Remember the line we talked about when we were lying on the surfboard? If you do not place your foot in the center while standing, the surfboard may a turn and we will lose our balance before we can stabilize our stance on the surfboard.
Step Three – Bring the front leg between both hands
The third phase is almost natural. Once our hands are stretched and the rear leg is positioned, we can complete the pop up on the surfboard by pushing the front leg in between our hands. Initially getting the leg right between your hands may be a little difficult, but that should be the goal.
Once you’ve got your foot in your hands, you’re actually standing. Both feet are placed on the surfboard and the hands will automatically detach from the grip. The body should now be lifted slightly, the back should be straighten and your knees bent.
* Important Tip – Practice the third step on dry.
A good way to do this even at home is to remove the fins from the surfboard so they don’t break and place the surfboard directly on the floor (on top of a carpet). Note that when you perform the front leg, it actually lands close to your arms. If you do not send the foot far enough, your punctuation will be small and the position of the legs at the back of the surfboard will soon lead to a loss of balance. In contrast, a forward foot will create too much punctuation between the legs, limiting movement and maneuverability. To make sure you jump to the right spot, you can use the lanyard and place it in the line of hands that rest on the surfboard. This way you can know how close you got with your foot to the desired point.
How to maintain correct standing
Now that you are already standing, you just need to check the posture and make sure you are stable. So what can we do to make sure we have stability on the surfboard?
1. Knees are always bent – Never lock your knees. Locking the knees makes us a kind of inflexible pole and reduce the flexibility of our lower body.
2. Straight Back – We want to keep the body above the surfboard. Always. You will hear this emphasis many more times. What it means? The back should be relatively upright so that the shoulders line up with the hips and waist line up with the ankles. Leaning with your body outside of the surfboard surface (Leaning back or forward) instead of bending your knees will result in loss of balance.
3. Front Hand guides – Our front hand should be sent straight in the direction we want to reach. Usually, at the beginning, we would like to point the hand in the same direction the nose of the surfboard is facing.
4. Accompanying look – As with many other sports, also in surfing our look leads the movement. Wherever you look, that’s where you go. Lift your head and look at the horizon. Keeping your look on your feet will cause instability.
Now that you know how to lie down on the surfboard and the three simple steps to pop up on the surfboard, you can practice yourself at home, on the beach or in the water. Highlights that are important to work on are the position of the legs while standing, the jump speed (steps 1 + 2 + 3 together) and stability after standing.