Prone Pop Up -Steps plus Video. More on Volume.

Erik Antonson
Erik Antonson
May 16, 2016

Morning folks!  Is this a strange year for weather where you live too?  May is supposed to be a rainy, pretty bad month for surf.  I usually tell folks to avoid it, and we’re not running any camps right now because of that risk…  that’s whats giving me the time to dive into these tutorials.  But, this year May has been stellar!  This morning we had another day of overhead , offshore wind surf.  Got some clips, maybe we’ll post those up later.

Lower tide this morning — steeper waves.  Rode the starboard.  I’ve never really thought about specific standups for conditions… not sure why.  Normally I’m trying to learn a board and have felt that each board is a step closer to the pinnacle of performance. What’s strange is that in short boarding, I always have 2 or 3 boards.  One for fat waves, one for punchy surf and one for when it gets really big.

I’m realizing that the starboard is an incredible board, but it definitely has a set of conditions it thrives in and some conditions where it struggles.  It’s more like a shortboard, a true, good wave shortboard.  I wonder, if in a year or so, I’ll be traveling with 2 SUPs, like I do with shortboards…

Here’s a few pics from the morning –

Harvey emailed in with a note on volume.  I thought it was helpful, so I’ll post it here:

When you are considering the amount of litres you need to support a paddler I think you need to factor in the weight of the board, paddle and wet suit. So for me in full winter mode in a 6/5 hooded wet surf , under vest , boots, and soaking wet I think that might weigh 2 kg poss 3. Add the board and paddle could add over 10kg to my body weight. I think you  need to consider adding that to the your weight to get the neutral bouyancy. 

In practice it means small boards are a bit smaller people might think. Weight of the board and what you wear can have an influence. Thought might be worth mentioning as I think in non perfect conditions a few extra litres can really make a big difference to having a fun session and the last thing I want to see is people going too small and loosing the fun.

Agreed Harvey.  That said, I have more trouble riding a board a bit bigger than closer to my V/W ratio.  It’s nice to be below the chop.  But, it’s a new still set, and will take some practice to get it.

On to today’s tip.  How to get up from prone position.  Like I said yesterday, I don’t favor this method, but when you’re paddling back out and a set pops up it’s faster to pop right up instead of going to seated position.  You also lose momentum when you sit.

One tip, something you can try as you’re getting used to riding smaller boards, but that I would quit ASAP, is go use incoming waves or chop to help you get up.  One of the problems of popping up on a small board is that the force you’re using to get up on the board will sink your board a bit.  I found that if you paddle at an oncoming wave and pop up right as your going over the back of it, so descending down the back of it, you can pop up without nearly as much sinking.  You shouldn’t get used to this method is that when you want to pop up, you’ll be looking for oncoming bumps, and if nothings coming it will delay your pop up.  It was my first trip with Kieran and Fisher here in Costa Rica that I was still popping up by paddling over waves and Kieren was beating me to every wave by coming up from seated.

How to get up from prone paddling. Coming up on the progression journal on in about 30 minutes.

A video posted by paddlewoo (@paddlewoo) on


Prone Pop Up - 1

Alright!!!  So, you’re prone paddling.  I like to chamber my paddle under my left shoulder, peck.  I don’t think right/left matters, I just feel more comfortable there.  I find I have great control of the paddle.  No problem punching through waves.  Also, as I talk about, it helps you assimilate in lineups.  No one knows you’re a paddle surfer until you want to show them.

Prone Pop Up - 2

The first move to standing is grabbing the shaft of the paddle.  I naturally do this after a stoke on the paddle side.

Prone Pop Up - 3

After you grab the paddle, you place both hands on the board near the rails, just like you’d get up riding a surfboard.  It helps to have surfed with this pop up.  The only thing that gives me an issue is at times I grab a bit of shirt, then you go to pop and your stuck to your board.

Prone Pop Up - 4

Notice here that the weight is coming forward, and your creating space for the front foot.  You leverage your knees for that pop, and your back foot will come up first.  You’ll be landing in surf stance, the goal is to have  your weight a touch back on the board.

Prone Pop Up - 5

Back foot has found the board, knee outside of arm.  This is very similar to the seated pop up we covered yesterday.  If you didn’t read that yet, make sure you check it out now.  Front foot comes straight through the arms.

Prone Pop Up - 6

Notice that your butt is down.  You should always default to butt down, bend at the knees in all of surfing (or life really if you listen to Eric Goodman and Foundation Training.  He’s coming back on the show next week!!!  And has a new book out, True to Form.)

Wrong posture is one of the ugliest things in surfing.  Ever watch someone trying to get barreled bending at the waist and trying to stick their head in the tube?  Doesn’t look right.  Go watch some Kelly Slater footage and notice where he bends.

Prone Pop Up - 7

Surf stance.  Weight is back, tail low in the water.  You’ll have a bit more time to get your paddle in the water with this pop up vs. the seated pop up because of the velocity you’ll have from paddling.  The faster you paddle into the pop up, the more time you’ll have.

Prone Pop Up - 8

The first stroke is the most important.  If you can get good stroke from your nose you should be fine from that point forward.

Now, if I were catching a wave here, I would just turn and go.  Stance is perfect to take off.

Prone Pop Up - 9

But, since I’m paddling around, on the next stoke I move my back foot up.  It requires less energy to stand in a more parallel stance and you have more reach on your stoke.  Can also paddle both sides.

Now that we’ve got you up and paddling a smaller board, tomorrow I’ll tell you what to practice to get better faster!

Come see us in Costa Rica to work on this and really get your surfing dialed in!  Check out our setup here.

Progression JournalUncategorized


  • John Cawrse

    If you paddled with your paddle under your right pec, you’d save half a second.

    • Erik -- PaddleWoo

      Haha. You’re right. But I prefer to control my board with my right hand in whitewater. I do a longboard style sit to pop over whitewater -Blog about it is coming up in the next day or so -feel more confident holding my board with my right hand.

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