Take Off Speed & Consistency
If you’re a beginner and just starting out, speed should definitely not be your number one priority. We want to focus more on consistency than speed.
This means you should focus on being able to paddle out and consistently pop up on the board effectively. Finding your rhythm in doing that will be most important initial step so that we can get you standing on the board.
So step one: Find your take-off technique.
Different Surfer, Different Take Off Technique
There are 4 techniques for surfers to approach takeoff. For different surfers there are different takeoff techniques. It all really depends on the surfer.
There is the Pop-up, Sliding Knees forward, the push-up, and the Chicken-Wing technique.
The takeoff technique will be mostly dictated by your strength, mobility, experience, and goals. Many surf schools and programs recommend that beginners try the push-up or Chicken-Wing technique to start, as they typically have the most support, but are also the slowest.
When you arrive to your surf class or instructor, we just recommend you ask them their opinion on best takeoff techniques and put yourself through a test to see if you find one more comfortable than the other.
Hands to Pectorals
The pop-up and plant take-off is what you want to aim for in your training. It is the fastest and most well rounded of the techniques. It takes a bit of strength and mobility, but once you get it down you will catch major waves.
Push Your Body Up
Pushing your body up may prove difficult for some people but it is essential in getting up on the surfboard.
It may seem obvious as a step to do but if you don’t do it correctly you will definitely bail and fall hard. You want to place your hands near your pectorals at as close to an even and parallel stance as you can. This will help you evenly distribute your weight across the board.
From there lift your entire body with your toes tucked on the board to create space between your body and the board.
First, Bring Back Foot, Then Front Foot
A commonly asked question is how to get your foot placement; and we get it, it can be difficult.
This is a large part in where the mobility aspect of it comes into place. After you have pushed your body up onto the surfboard and have your toes tucked, you are going to want to bring your back foot forward and then bring your front foot.
It may sound a little backwards but the reason to bring your back foot forward first is to secure a base and a focal point for you to stand up and then planting your front foot will propel you upwards.
Knees Bent & Proper Stance
Once you stand up the most important thing would be to stay up right?
As almost with any athletic activity, keeping your knees bent and a proper stance will give you strength and help you control your board in whichever direction you like.
Check out this visual for an example:
This is to maintain a steady and healthy balance moving forward.
I don’t know if any of you have ever done any balancing technique or played any balancing games with your friends, but it is well known that if you keep your eyes locked on something and your head facing forward, it is a lot easier to balance than if your head is moving around.
If you want to check out some surf lessons in San Diego, check out the San Diego Surf School