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Posted by Sage Island | 11.18.2014 | Learn To Surf, Surfing Lessons, WB Surf Camp News

Surf Tips – Perfecting Your Pop Up

One of the most difficult and frustrating aspects of surfing is popping up. Whether you are learning to surf or have been shacked at Pipeline, being proficient at popping up is essential to your success and enjoyment as a surfer.

Like all surfing maneuvers, pop-ups are dynamic full body movements that require strength through your upper body and core to control the motion. If you’re weak through the upper body, you will be slower getting to your feet and will miss the enjoyment of riding the face of the wave. The movement needs to be quick, controlled, and timed perfectly. The speed and coordination aspects of popping up require both strength and skill components that can be trained out of the water; at home or in a gym. The timing aspect of when to pop up is a skill that takes repetition and surfing time.

The following exercises are designed to improve both the strength and skill components of popping up. Adding these exercises to your current regiment between surf sessions will have you confidently dropping into more waves and getting better rides.

Strong through your core, a flat back, and controlled movement through your shoulders are necessary. If done correctly, pushups improve your core strength dramatically as well. Once you become proficient, begin performing them on unstable environments. Bosu Balls, Indo Boards, T-Pushups, feet up on an exercise ball, and TRX straps are great ways to improve your ability to implement strength (pop up) through an unstable environment (floating surfboard – moving wave). Once you are comfortable in pushing through an unbalanced surface, begin training the speed and power aspect of popping up through clap pushups and explosive pop ups on the ground.

* Perfect Pushup = Keep your head/neck neutrally aligned with a straight back and tight core.

1. T-PushupT-Push Up
– Set your feet hip-width apart. Set your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. As you rotate your body, pivot on your toes and lower your heels to the floor. Raise your arm and rotate your body in one fluid motion. Your arms should form a “T” with your body. Complete as many as you can before losing proper form.

2. Bosu Ball PushupWill-WorkOut

– Place both hands on the middle or sides of the Bosu Ball; complete as many pushups as you can before losing proper form.
3. Explosive Ground Pop Up 

– In one flowing movement, “pop” up to a crouched standing position as quickly as you can by explosively pushing up and bringing your legs under your body.

Note: Your body/feet should be turned and pointed at a 45 * angle down the line! Practice makes permanent so take your time.

In order to improve your surfing, it is vital to train properly for it – whether that means doing surf specific work outs or if you’re lucky, surfing every day. Continue to keep an eye out for more surf tips each month and shoot me an email at info@wbsurfcamp.com with any surf related questions or if you want some guidance in your exercise program.

Stay stoked!
Will Ahlers – WB Surf Camp Director, N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainer, Surf Strength & Conditioning Coach, B.S. Physical Education