How to Stand up on a Surfboard
Surf’s Up: Here’s How to Stand up on a Surfboard
It seems like just yesterday when I was surfing for the first time ever in Costa Rica. I wasn’t worried about being thrashed by a wave, I was intimidated by standing up on the board. Like, come on, I did not want to fail in front of everyone who was watching on the shore. But you know the amazing part of my experience surfing for the first time ever? I stood up on that board and surfed a small wave on the first try! And guess what else? No one watched me fail. Now that’s a win.
Of course, in order to actually surf, you need to know how to stand up on a surfboard. I was fortunate to have surfing instructors walk me through that process and now, courtesy of my instructors, I’m sharing all the tips on how to stand on a surfboard. Oh, and don’t forget to grab your rashguard or wetsuit and surfboard!
The key here is to practice your form on land first. I repeat, practice this on land first! Or else bad things could happen when you just run into the ocean and hope for the best.
To start, lay on the board on your stomach with your feet at the end of the board and start paddling. Make sure you keep your head up, because looking straight down at the board won’t do you much good. Once you see a wave coming, paddle to turn yourself around so your back is facing the wave and your head is towards the shore. Now, this next part is important – this is when you get up and ride the wave. This is what you should have practiced while on land to get the technique down.
Place your hands by your chest (with elbows bent) on the board and then literally jump up to stand on the board. And when I say jump, I mean, hop up quickly and smoothly. Stance and the placement of your legs is all about what feels ‘right’ to you. Your dominant leg may be at the tail end of the board or vice versa. Practice which stance feels right to you while on land. Once you’re up on the board, bend your knees and put your arms out. Keeping your arms out will help with balance. Also, make sure that your legs are shoulder’s distance or more apart as that helps with gravity and balance. And just like that you know how to stand up on a surfboard!
It’s pretty intimidating when you catch your first wave ever so don’t be discouraged if you don’t successfully get up on the first, second or even fifth shot. It just takes time, skill and practice!