The best way to stand up on a surfboard, without doubt, is to utilise the ‘pop up’ method. This is where you catch the wave, perform a press-up and then whip your feet into place in one seamless motion.
This is an explosive body movement and understandably not everyone can do this when they first come along for a surfing lesson. It requires a good power to weight ratio, strong shoulders and good balance but if you don’t have these then all is not lost. There is a slightly slower but equally effective technique called the ‘two phase’ (sometimes the ‘knees method’) that is great for surfers who maybe aren’t quite strong enough yet or perhaps not as fit as they used to be.
We encourage everyone to try the ‘pop up’ first as this is the gold standard but the outcome for either method is the same: to stand on the surfboard and get a good long ride to the shore.
I was looking at some footage of one of our surfing lessons the other day and this young surfers technique really stood out. She’s not quite strong enough to do the pop up consistently but she illustrates the ‘two phase’ technique beautifully well.
How to stand up on a surfboard using the ‘two phase’ technique
As always choose a nice looking whitewater or gently breaking ‘green’ wave and catch it as you usually would then:
- lift your chest off the surfboard with your hands placed firmly of the deck just below your shoulders
- bring your knees up the deck of the surfboard and place them just behind (about six inches) where your hands are
- bring your front foot through the gap between your arms and place it in the centre of your surfboard between your hands – lift your head up (seriously, it makes it a lot easier) if you need to make more space for your leg to come through
- move your backside over the surfboards rail as you twist your shoulders
- keep your head centred over the surfboard as you let go of the rails
- tahdaaaaaah – your standing up!
Check out the video for a better visual representation and please leave any comments below if you have anything to add.