Words by Corinne Evans

For the past six years I have been coaching women and girls how to surf and I’ve also worked with a few men and boys along the way too. With everyone having their own unique style, fitness levels and also varying in flexibility I found it’s important to tailor pop ups individually. I have three ways to teach pop ups and here’s my breakdown on how to get to your feet effectively.

Beginner Pop Up – 3 Stage Pop Up

This is what I teach complete beginners and also people who are new to fitness. It’s the easiest way to get to you feet and it really slows it down and breaks the pop up into three manageable stages.

Step 1 When you’ve stopped paddling for the wave, place your hands on the board, as if you were about to do a press up. You need to now slide to your knees, keeping your hands firmly on the board.

Step 2 Now it’s time to get your feet up. Bring up your front foot. If you’re regular like me this will be your left foot and if you’re goofy this will be your right. Use your hands to help push off as you bring your front foot up and place it flat on the board.

Step 3 The back foot needs to come up in this stage. Once again push off your hands or fingertips and place the back foot down. Release the hands and bring the arms up for extra balance. Bend your knees and get your eyes up!


Intermediate Pop Up – 2 Stage Pop Up

These pops up is perfect for the people who want to stop getting to their knees and are aiming towards to the advance jump up method.

I used this pop up technique the other week when coaching a one to one lesson; the lady I was working with got to her knees every time and after using this method she managed to ditch the knee and got up so much quicker.

Step 1 Again when you’re on the wave and you can feel it pushing you forward it’s time to press up into a plank position. At the same time as pushing up you need to bring your front foot forward, placing in down on the board.

Step 2 Once your front foot is down you will also be in a deep lunge on the board, this is when you need to get your back foot in place. Sometimes it’s easier to slide your back foot into place but if this is difficult because of wetsuit boots then simply place your back foot down. Release your hands, bend your knees, get your eyes up and get surfing.


Advance Pop Up – Jump Up

This is by far the hardest BUT the most effective way to pop up, so it’s definitely one to aim for. You can actually start generating speed once you’ve popped up because it’s a quicker movement.

Similar to the Intermediate Pop Up, the Advanced Pop up requires you to start in a press up position but instead of bringing up one foot at a time you need to bring both feet up at the same time. This is a jumping motion and is very explosive. It needs to happen fast and as soon as you’re to your feet you need to release your hands get your eyes up and look down the line.


Remember mastering the perfect pop up takes time and practice. It’s not an easy thing to master but the more to try it the easier it will become. Happy Surfing!

For more surfing tips get The Surf Girl Handbook, available worldwide or at the Beach Boutique.