Sports & Wellness

Surfing: First Steps to Standing Up

23 Mar 2022

Learn how to pop up and stay up surfing the waves. Learn the first steps to standing up while surfing here and ride the wave of success today.

Surfing is a popular sport, with almost five hundred thousand UK citizens practising it. If you are looking to do it yourself, too, you will have to get past the first hurdle: Standing up. Do you know how to do this while riding a wave?

This article will help you understand the steps you need to take to not only learn how to stand but how to do so in the ocean. By the end, you should have the confidence to practice this on a wave. So, read on and become the surfer you always wished to be.



Before you catch surf on the ocean, make sure to get in the practice you need to know what you are doing. Not only will you be safer, but you will have a much better time being able to do the basics before you jump in.

Get your surfboard and put it on the floor. You can do this on the beach or in your living room. You will not be catching waves until you know the simpler stuff.

Lay down. Lie your body on the board, with your toes touching the tail end. Place your hands where your shoulders line up with the board but do not touch the edge; it should look like you are about to do a push-up.

This is the position you will want to start at while out on the surf. It gives you a good centre of gravity and lets you push up with your hands without overbalancing the board.

Push up. With your hands flat against the board, push up and raise your chest. When you do this, raise your head, so you are looking forward.

Avoid turning your head to look left, right or behind you, as this will alter your balance, causing you to fall.

Repeat until good. This might seem like you are doing a workout at the gym, but practice this manoeuvre for a while until it becomes second nature.

Also, make sure you are comfortable, without pain or cramp in any part of your body. While you are on the surf, you will end up needing to do this several times over the day.


Stand Up

When you find yourself able to repeat the process of pushing yourself up, you will need to get yourself to a position where your feet are on the board. In one quick motion, try to get from pushing your chest up with your hands to bringing your feet in from under you.

Your aim should be to pop up into a stance where you have bent legs and your feet about two feet apart on the board, one in front of the other. Your body should be the left or right, whichever is more comfortable for you.

Again, practice getting up from a lying position until you can repeat this process. There is no point going out on the water until you can at least stand with consistency. You are going to stumble or fall a few times, this is ok, and everyone started like that.

Actually Doing It

There is no point doing this on land forever. The next step is to get out on the water and try to stand up while maintaining your balance. To do that, you will need to find yourself a killer wave.

Catch a wave. Carry your board into the water and attach it to your ankle with its lead. This way, you will not lose your board to a sudden wave or when falling off.

When in the water, lie on your stomach on the board like when practising. Paddle yourself with your arms until you are behind where the waves form and then turn around.

You can then come back over the wave and wait for a large wave that might catch your board. When you see one, start paddling as hard as you can, you want to be almost as fast as the wave, so it does not need to push your board too hard.

When the wave catches your board, be ready to jump up as you have practised.

Find your footing. When the board starts catching speed, leap up as you did on land, then try to find your balance. The most important thing you need to do is get your feet in the right place.

You can also use your arms to balance yourself. This will prevent you from falling off and needing to go through the whole process again.

Either you will manage to keep your balance and ride the wave to the shore, or you will crash out. Either way, the next wave is only a short paddle away. What are you waiting for?

After this, you have a whole load more lessons to learn...


Bonus Tips

If it is your first time learning how to surf, you might enjoy some of these tips most surfers share.

Stay Warm. If it is not too warm, you will need to make sure that you keep your body at a safe temperature.

In the UK and other locations, it can get very cold. So, get yourself the correct equipment for such a climate, such as a wetsuit or a drysuit.

Cheeky Snickers. During a long day of surfing, you might find that your blood sugar starts to get low. You could end up feeling tired or otherwise having trouble while out on the waves. 

If you are liable to do this, pack yourself your favourite snack. Not sure where to keep it? Stick it up your wetsuit's forearm, then when you feel peckish, paddle to behind the wave break and chow down.

Get Surfing Help

Now you understand how to start surfing; you can get going on the waves. If you think you still need help, though, you can always get yourself some surf lessons.

Our instructors are ready to help you out and are in a range of different locations. Check them out, and see who you want to hire to help you get out on the waves. 

Name your sporting or fitness goal - we'll help you smash it. Personal Training, Yoga, Pilates, HIIT, Boxing and SO MUCH MORE. With an irresistible 30% OFF your first session!


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