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Editor’s Note: This guide was created in collaboration with The Art of Surfing Academy, an online surf coaching program designed to help people break through performance plateaus and improve faster, including new content that is added monthly. Save more than 50 percent (now just $99 instead of $204) by accessing TAOS here before 9/15.


Common sense would tell you that a faulty pop-up full of poor mechanics will have a cascading effect on everything you do on a wave. From your ability to generate speed to positioning yourself freely on the wave face to distributing your weight properly on the board – everything you do or don’t do well will follow the strength of your pop up. And all this is assuming you even get to your feet without tripping over yourself. Indeed, even experienced surfers can refine their pop-up mechanics for better overall surfing, and sometimes this can be achieved through the simplest of techniques.

According to the head of the New Zealand Olympic Surf Team and Founder & Head Coach of The Art of Surfing,  Matt Scorringe, many surfers need to apply what he calls the back foot technique:

-When initiating your pop up with a push up, imagine your arms have created a gate between your chest and the board.

-When lifting to your feet, avoid letting your knees swing outside of the barriers of that gate (your arms).

-Your front knee should come up through the gate. Your front foot will follow this motion, keeping your entire body more stabile throughout the pop up.

-With your back foot coming up and landing on the traction pad, you should now be in a balanced position while standing on the deck of your board.

-Now get barreled.

If you’re interested in making a commitment to improving your surfing, access The Art of Surfing, and save 50 percent until 9/15.

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