When To Pop Up In Surfing

Table of Contents

Surfing is a popular water sport enjoyed by millions of people across the world, and is a great way to stay fit and healthy while having fun in the sun. But as much as surfing is about riding the waves, a crucial aspect of the sport is the technique of popping up on the board at just the right moment.

Popping up is the key to successfully riding a wave. It is commonly thought of as the most important aspect of surfing, and for good reason. Without a good pop-up, it is almost impossible to catch and ride a wave. Proper technique can help to make this part of surfing a little easier, and can even improve the overall performance of a surf session.

In this article, we will discuss the optimal time to pop up when surfing, the technique for popping up, and other tips and tricks to maximize your ride and get the most out of your surfing experience.


Knowing When to Pop Up

Timing is everything when it comes to riding a wave, and this applies to the timing of your pop-up as well. The ideal time to pop up is just as the wave begins to break, when it is still relatively flat and the wave is just starting to form.

This is important for several reasons. First, popping up too early can cause you to lose speed and momentum, making it difficult to catch the wave and ride it smoothly. Second, popping up too late can cause you to miss the wave altogether, or to catch it at a less than optimal point and struggle to maintain balance.

Another important factor to consider when timing your pop-up is your level of experience and skill. Beginner and intermediate surfers may find it easier to pop up a little earlier, as it gives them more time to get the hang of balancing on the board. More advanced surfers, on the other hand, may prefer to pop up later, as they can maintain speed and momentum more easily.


The Technique for Popping Up

Now that we’ve covered the optimal timing for popping up when surfing, let’s dive into the technique itself.

First, lie down on your board with your hands at your sides and your head up, looking at the shore. Place your toes on the tail of the board and your knees in the center of the board.

When the wave begins to approach, take a deep breath and prepare to pop up. Place your hands on the board, just below your shoulders, and push up with your arms while simultaneously bringing your feet up to a crouched position. Your front foot should be placed just behind the center of the board, and your back foot should be directly behind it.

Once you’ve popped up and are standing on your board, keep your knees bent and your weight centered over the board. This will help you maintain balance and control as you ride the wave.


Tips and Tricks for Maximizing Your Ride

While the timing and technique for popping up are crucial to successfully riding a wave, there are other tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of your surfing experience.

First and foremost, practice makes perfect. The more you surf, the more comfortable you will become with popping up and riding waves. It may take some time and effort, but keep at it and you will see improvement.

Another important factor to consider is your positioning on the board. As a general rule, the further forward you are on the board, the easier it will be to catch waves and maintain speed. However, being too far forward can also make it difficult to control the board and maintain balance. Experiment with different positions to find what works best for you.

Finally, remember to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Surfing can be a fun and exhilarating experience, but it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. Always be aware of other surfers in the area, and keep an eye out for hazards like rocks, reefs, and other obstacles.



Popping up is an essential part of surfing, and knowing when to do it and how to do it effectively can make all the difference in your experience on the waves. Keep these tips and techniques in mind, and practice regularly, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering this crucial aspect of the sport. Enjoy the ride!

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

Recent Posts

How To Make A Wakeboard Rails
How To Make Wakeboard Rails

Wakeboarding has emerged as one of the most exhilarating water sports, combining elements of surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding into a thrilling experience. As wakeboarders push

Read More »
How To Do A Scarecrow Wakeboard
Safety In Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding is an exhilarating watersport that combines elements of water skiing, snowboarding, and surfing. As with any adventure sport, safety should be a top priority

Read More »