surfing pop up

The Surfing Pop Up - Are You Weak Or Slow?
The Pop Up is arguably THE critical movement in surfing, certainly for most of us.

Depending on what board you’re riding and the conditions, you have in the region of 0.5-0.8 seconds to get to your feet.

This requires you to produce approx 1.16x your own bodyweight in peak force (Parsonage, 2018), so there is a baseline level of STRENGTH required to pop up.

You also need to express your strength / reach this peak force QUICKLY to avoid falling off the back, or over the falls.

Ballistic push up variations are an effective method of increasing your rate of force development

These qualities require their own training interventions, so it’s important that you understand where your deficiencies lie if your pop up is regularly failing. Ask yourself the following question:

Can You Perform 8-10 Strict Push Ups?

● If YES, then strength MAY not be your limiting factor and you may need to spend more time focusing on your RATE of force development (RFD). You can still work on your strength, but ‘Med Ball Chest Pass’ and ‘Push Up Throw’ variations are your go to interventions for emphasising RFD within your training. ● If NO, then you should aim to build up to 8-10 strict push ups as a priority, then we can progress from there. You can also work on RFD at the same time, but you’ll initially see the biggest improvement in pop-up performance by simply improving your peak force.

Can’t Do A Push Up?

That’s fine, just start with the Eccentric Push Up and progress from there.

The ‘Eccentric Push Up’ can form the start of a progression serious for surfers who struggle to perform strict push ups

As always, give me a shout if you have any questions.  You can download my FREE Surfing Mobility Manual here.



Don’t allow a lack of mobility to limit your surfing, or your life! ‘The Surfing Mobility Manual’ was written by a coach working in professional sport. 

“Adrenaline Athlete was a complete game changer. Alan’s approach is so professional and not at all overwhelming…I’ve never felt so energised and confident in the line up and it’s all down to hard work and the correct guidance from Alan.” 

Chris / Longboarder