Beginner advice - popping up

Thommo84's picture
Thommo84 started the topic in Thursday, 7 Jun 2018 at 10:23am

Hi Guys,

I know this topic gets smashed but can't seem to find consistent advice so thought I'd try here.

First off, I'm just getting into surfing after retiring from all sorts of other sports, footy, cricket etc, surfing is nowhere near as easy as it looks!!!!!

I live in Bris and travel up the sunny coast most weekends for a surf.

Anyway, I'm about 5'8 and 75kgs so grabbed a 7' Stuart Pro Elite mini mal as it was a good price and thought that the shape etc would allow me to duck dive easier. I've been going ok with it, couple of lessons etc but am struggling with the pop up.

This is where the advice gets confusing......most learner advice out there showing the pop up technique are on boards where the instructor's toes are on the board, sand, mat, whatever they are using to demo. On my board my toes aren't on the board and so i've been practising the pop up without using them (bloody hard).

So my questions is
1) is my board length ok, or should i go to a longer board where my toes are on the board and it will be easier to pop up given that I will only be surfing once a week. Or should i try and master the 'shortboard pop up' and stay on the board i have?

Appreciate any advice guys.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 7 Jun 2018 at 10:35am

Not quite sure what you're saying - "the instructor's toes are on the board", and "On my board my toes aren't on the board and so i've been practising the pop up without using them". 

Having your toes over the back of the board shouldn't make much difference to your ability to pop up. Your toes don't come into play until they land on the deck. 

Thommo84's picture
Thommo84's picture
Thommo84 commented Thursday, 7 Jun 2018 at 10:46am

Sorry mate, just to clarify, there's a lot of 'pop up technique' articles/videos out there where they are doing a pop up with their toes on the end of the board and using them to spring up. It is a lot easier to pop up this way.

Here's an example of what I mean, the second method/video is what I'm talking about.
https://boostyoursurf.com/blog/2017/08/09/learn-two-ways-pop-up-surfing/

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Thursday, 7 Jun 2018 at 4:31pm

Thommo I really think you are more likely to confuse yourself with that kind of stuff than to get any real benefit. I think it is mainly about practice. In particular developing the proprioreception in your shoulders necessary to keep the board stable as you get up. Strength can be an issue particularly if you are carrying some extra kilos or do not have much upper body muscle. Another factor that causes beginners problems is that they are usually trying to pop up on fairly flat waves. This means you have to lift your body to get up. In steeper waves the board drops away so you are not lifting your weight. If you are only surfing once a week I would suggest a surfing holiday somewhere you can get out there everyday for a couple of weeks. This should make a huge difference and help get you over that beginner's hump.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 7 Jun 2018 at 6:00pm

First up, your toes have nothing to do with getting to your feet. Most shortboarders have their feet hanging well off the tail and it isn't a problem. The movement is all with your shoulders/arms and gently guided by your hips and back knee.

Secondly is this: "I really think you are more likely to confuse yourself with that kind of stuff than to get any real benefit."

A quick bit of history: the 'pop up' has only been a thing for about 10-15 years. Prior to that people of all ages learnt to surf without knowing or hearing the term. I surfed for 20 years without hearing it. Since then, however, that movement has become isolated and scrutinised to the point of futility.

There is not a single thing on this earth, and that includes the bogus learning vids on the WWW, that will replace time spent in the water. Learning to surf with one session a week will be hard. Take BB's advice, book a surf trip and chip away at Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours. The only reason kids get good quickly is because they put in the time.

And my advice is to avoid isolating or over-thinking any single movement. Watch what good surfers do, visualise yourself doing it, and then try and try and try.

happyasS's picture
happyasS's picture
happyasS commented Thursday, 7 Jun 2018 at 6:06pm

You can never go wrong starting with a bigger board. Learning is adaption. Your body doesn't know how to do the things your asking it to do, toes or no toes. Don't make the board the difficult part of the equation by choosing one too small. If your unsure then that signals you should just go bigger imo. You can always downsize remember.

barley's picture
barley's picture
barley commented Thursday, 7 Jun 2018 at 6:10pm

I once watched an interview with parko's trainer..he said Joel will do 'pop ups everyday as part of his training esp before pipe chopes etc.. 3sets of 10-12 reps.
I have tried this and it does make a big difference esp when I haven't surfed for a while..even a few paddle motions then pop up into your stance.

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Thursday, 7 Jun 2018 at 6:26pm

more advice on this old thread on the same topic ...

http://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/332617

kbomb's picture
kbomb's picture
kbomb commented Thursday, 7 Jun 2018 at 6:41pm

I agree with practicing your pop up and chipping away at the 10,000 hours. However make sure the pop ups are done on waves, not at home or on the sand. Popping up on the floor will get you good at popping up on the floor, the skill is similar but not the same, therefore not transferable. Piano players dont do typing for practice.

195

Thommo84's picture
Thommo84's picture
Thommo84 commented Thursday, 7 Jun 2018 at 8:12pm

Thanks, heaps for the advice lads, just need to keep working on it i guess so that it becomes second nature.

yeti's picture
yeti's picture
yeti commented Friday, 8 Jun 2018 at 3:04pm

I kind of disagree. There are wrong ways to "pop up". My progression got stuck for few a few years by using some shit techniques. So I investigated a bit by watching how the pros do it and trying to find some good Youtube videos.
In surf schools they basically teach you techniques that will get you going quickly so they can claim that they got you on your feet in the first couple of hours. But long term that's actually very damaging. The two techniques usually taught are
* The "chicken wing", where you slide your rear foot in position and use it in conjunction with your arms to push your self up. Usually shown to kids who don't have the strength to use proper technique. I thought for a long time that it was good until I realised that it screws up board stabilisation.
* Then you have the toe pop up that Thommo is mentionning. ie you use leg strength to push from the board at the same time as you arms and you jump in position. This is slightly better than the above as much more stable. But only works on a longboard.

Finally I came to the conclusion that most of it should come from your core strength followed by shoulders, with a minimal push from the knees. Dry pop up workouts definitely help. I found the following 2 videos very helpful
https://youtu.be/AsGkrg0HDGY (jump to 5:00 for the difference between toe/longboard and shortboard pop up, but the rest of the video gives some useful advice)
https://youtu.be/pti202SiePs

hope that helps and I'm not talking to much shit!

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 8 Jun 2018 at 3:12pm

Never heard of any of those diff techniques ?
You paddle hard grab both rails and jump to your feet..
Although i do see a bloke from time to time who uses back knee first then up...but does it so quick its barely noticable

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 8 Jun 2018 at 7:08pm

Bottom line. If you are thinking about it, you are doing it wrong. I had a spell when it was like I had to consciously decide when to go. That's bad. You need to get to the point where it just happens.....Oh now I'm up!

mr mick's picture
mr mick's picture
mr mick commented Friday, 8 Jun 2018 at 8:58pm

Agree with most comments above. Piss that first pop up example in video off & go straight for the 2nd example. I still see that 1st example used & a lot of the time the surfer blows it or gets hung up or the wave out runs him as he's too slow. If as Kbomb says pop up on floor is not transferable then Parko must be wasting a lot of time! To me it's very transferable & useful in the whole fitness/exercise regime, especially when the drought of waves happens, mainly Spring time. But of course you can't bet being in the water & practice,practice, practice. Good luck.

Mr mick

John Eyre's picture
John Eyre's picture
John Eyre commented Saturday, 9 Jun 2018 at 11:08am

Try riding a horse for a while.........getting on and off the horse is good practice.....