How to Pop Up on a Surfboard
"10 pops a day will keep the flops at bay!"
Practising your pops is one of the best things you can do to improve your surfing without even having to get wet. Not only does it help increase your upper body strength, but practising your pops on a regular basis is a great way to keep your eye in if you don't have the luxury of surfing every day.
The Ollypop surf towel will help you:
Find a suitable surface for your Ollypop like carpet, sand or grass, lie it down and follow the tips in the video clips below (taken from the free DVD included with each towel):
OR follow the tips below ...
1. lie on your front, body straight
2. hands by your side, thumbs in line with lower ribs
3. arch back, get ready to spring from toes
* Short board pop ups - don't spring from the toes! You need to use your upper body strength to launch forwards. It's a lot harder, but a necessity if you're a short boarder or want to increase your core upper body strength.
4. launch forward with a twist to get front foot between hands (ACCELERATOR BOX), back foot should land about a shoulder width from front foot (anywhere in BRAKE/TURN BOX)
5. push up into standing position, knees slightly bent
6. hands stretched out either side, eyes forward
7. lean on your back foot for control or to initiate a turn
8. lean on your front foot to go faster!
When in the standing position, make sure your knees are bent but your back is straight. Your feet should be angled as marked on the Ollypop and it is essential that they cross the central stringer line.
NB Your stance may be wider or narrower than the one marked on the Ollypop. The position for your back foot will therefore be different for different surfers, but your front foot should always land in the 'accelerator' box.
Ollypop bonus tip! - You may find it helpful to practice in front of a mirror to check your stance.
Some commonly asked questions...
No, every one’s stance is different depending on their size. Your stance should be slightly wider than your shoulder width. The important thing is to make sure your front foot DOES land on the front foot mark and the back foot can land anywhere in the ‘Brake/turn’ box as long is still crosses the centre of the board.
I’m a shortboarder, should I spring from my toes?
No, you should try to spring by using your upper body strength only. This is because when riding a shortboard, your toes don’t touch the back of the board unlike a longboard or beginner’s swell board, and therefore you have no surface to spring your toes from.
How many Ollypops should I do a day?
There is no set number, it’s entirely up to you and your stamina. However, I would recommend trying to do at least 10 pop-ups a day just to keep your eye in.
Can I use the knees method on the Ollypop?
You can but it won’t work as well as the straightforward pop-up! It is also a bad habit to practice, if you want to progress to surfing un-broken waves, the quick pop-up method is essential.
Should the towel be the same size as my board?
No. Remember you are practising a method that is universal for all surf boards. Long boarder or short boarder you still need to pop-up with your front foot landing between your hands, back foot in the ‘Brake/turn’ box and both feet crossing the centre line of the board.
Can I simulate popping up on a steep breaking wave a bit better?
Yes, you can simulate the steep breaking wave by placing your Ollypop on a gradient like a sand dune or side of a hill. Be careful though, choose the gradient according to your ability, don’t go too steep or you may have a heavy wipe out on land!
Do I have to place my hands exactly on the hand prints as marked on the Ollypop?
No, whatever feels comfortable to you. Again, the width between your hands will be different for different size people. The important thing is to make sure that they still cross the horizontal line going across the board.
I can pop-up quite easily now, do I still need to use my Ollypop?
Yes. It’s still important to check that your feet are landing in the right place. If you practice without, you may get into bad habits which will impact on your surfing.
Is the Ollypop only for beginner or bad surfers?
No, even pro surfers practice their pop-ups. The Ollypop is a fun product for all surfers to practice on and let’s not forget that it’s also a handy beach towel!
What else can I try on my Ollypop?
- Practice popping up switch foot. That’s to say pop-up with your natural back foot as your front foot and your front foot as your back foot, if that makes sense!?
- For short board pop-ups, you can try placing your Ollypop on the edge of a step. This way, your feet will be dangling over the end and you will have to pop-up using only your upper body strength.
- Time yourself. Remember speed is essential for an effective pop-up. Make a note of your pop-up timings from start to finish and try to beat them. After a few weeks of practice you’ll notice a vast improvement on your first time.
- Challenge your relatives and friends! Makes great viewing to watch Granny having a go, you never know she may surprise you!