How to give yourself more time to pop up

Still struggling with your pop up? Progressing from the whitewash to sitting out the back & nailing your pop up on unbroken waves can be one of the hardest jumps to make on your surf journey.

Based on my experiences, there’s 2 main reasons for it:

⏱️ You have a much smaller time window to actually catch the wave and finding that window takes practice.

Where whitewash can be caught pretty much anywhere along the way, an unbroken wave needs to be caught just as the wave is breaking which only happens at one small point in time.

So getting your timing and positioning right is important, it takes time to learn how to read waves, and is just one part of the equation for catching a wave and popping up.

I’ve written about timing/positioning/reading waves a bit before so won’t go into here, but check out tips 13 and 31 if you’re interested.

Instead, let’s talk about how…

⚡ There’s a misconception that your popup needs to happen really quickly.

Is a quick pop up better than a slow one? Yes, but only if it’s done right.

Rushing a sloppy pop up can actually be worse than doing a slow one the right way.

👉 So until you get the hang of it, give yourself more time by learning to set your line first. Here’s how in 3 simple steps:

  1. Look down the line.
  2. Angle your takeoff.
  3. Engage your inside. (Put pressure in the hand that’s on the inside rail i.e. closer to the wave).

Doing this is how to actually catch and ride a wave properly (even if you don’t pop up at all). And instead of having a split second to get to your feet, you’ll have all the time you need 🙌.

Check out tips 23 and 36 for more on this topic.

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