In my surf lessons, I tell the student what they are supposed to do to go from a prone position to standing on their surf boards. Easier said than done. They hear what I say and could probably recite it back to me, but their body has not learned the muscle memory necessary to complete the action.
Even thought they can do it on the beach, when they get into the ocean with the board moving, it is different.
The process I teach to stand up on the board starts by using a four count. I tell them after I push them into the wave they are to
- put their hands on the board next to their chests,
- extend their arms into a push up position with their knees still on the board, and then
- pop up with the front foot forward
(see pop up video on landing page of website)
The paddling includes 2 to 5 paddles after the push to be sure the wave has caught the board. Then the pop up should put the body on the board with:
- feet shoulder width apart,
- weight balanced between front and back foot, and
- weight balanced between toes and heels.
- Knees should be slightly bent and hands pointing forward
What happens that causes students to fall off the board are they:
- they put a knee on the board before popping up. I call this crawling p the board.
- move their back foot forward on the pop up so that feet are only a few inches apart
- get their front foot to one side of the board
- don’t get their front foot past midway on the board so they fall off the back
- stand straight up and lock their knees which causes a backward fall
- get their head over their toes and go in head first
- get their butt too far over their heels and go in backward
The real lesson begins by telling students what they are doing wrong and correcting it until their pop up is correct with the right stance on the board.
I suggest to all students to practice the pop up on the video 25 times a day for months like I did. The body develops the core strength for the pop up and the muscle memory to place the feet in the right spot. It takes perfect pop ups to ride bigger waves.
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