Tip 4 - The Dark Art of The Pop Up!

So, carrying on from Tip 3; you’ve just taken 4 fast strokes while holding your breath, you have caught the wave!

Slide both hands back behind the shoulders, place your toes on the tail (press up position), fully straighten your arms, breathe out and then use your toes and core muscles (not arms and shoulders) to slide your front foot up to your hands, give it a gentle twist so it’s tucked underneath your body and breathe in.

Keep looking and leaning forwards, then gently rise up into a crouching position and breathe out. Your back foot will naturally find a happy place so don’t worry about it for now. Your hands can now lift off the deck and remain in front of you where you can see them. You are surfing!

The why and how:

1. Make sure hands are placed on the deck (not the rails) before you pop, this adds another couple of inches of space under your chest area to get the leg through.

2. Lock out your arms and shoulders before popping, this prevents a big (wobbly) force being applied to the bit of board you are hoping to land on. Only use toes and core muscles to make the pop.

3. Looking ahead (not down) creates space underneath you and means you are looking at a stable horizon and not wobbly moving water. Think rough boat trip.

4. It is essential you breathe out as you pop; it will make you land in a softer, more relaxed stance and creates vital space underneath you. Holding your breath on popping means less room for your leg to come through and results in a rushed movement = sudden weight shift = wobbles = swim time!

This can 100% be mastered at home. If you can’t do it on your Axminster, you have no hope on a chunk of Atlantic and a foam projectile. So flip over the rug in your lounge, sharpie a make shift surfboard outline and get practising!

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