7 Easy Steps on How to Stand Up on a Surfboard: 2022 Guide

Flo Farmer
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How to Stand Up on a Surfboard

The Simple 3-Step Process To Get Up On Your Next Ride

You know that there are a host of reasons why you should try stand up paddle boarding, and you’re willing to learn how to do it. You’ve got your board and your paddle. Now that you’re on the water, it’s time to hit the waves. But how do you stand up on a surfboard?

When you first get on your board, it’s important to remember that body, board, and paddle will feel a little unbalanced. The only way to avoid turning over is to keep low, and keep your center of gravity low.

Since you’re trying to balance on a narrow board that’s bobbing around in the waves, and also trying to keep your center of gravity low, you may find that it’s easier to stand on your board if you're already sitting on the board.

No matter what position you're holding on to the board, always try to keep your core tight. This will help you maintain your balance on the board, and you'll also be able to position yourself quickly.

Even when you're trying to stand up, keep your core tight, and you have a solid hold on the board. Your legs should be locked.

#1. Practice your proper position on land.

For your first surf lesson, first practice standing up on a surfboard on the beach. You can use two empty water bottles or another board to simulate the proper stance. Look for an instructor who will be able to teach you the position at the same time as teaching you riding forward. Standing up is all about having a stable base to push off of, and this skill is practiced on land. Also, practice paddling with the paddle straight out in front of you.

#2. Slide your knees.

The most important thing when you are stuck on the bottom is to relax. In this situation, your board and body are doing some serious work, so you should do yours: slide your knees up your chest.

It looks pretty funny, but it's a very efficient way to generate speed down your board.

Keep sliding back and forth until you finally get enough speed to stand up.

#3. Shift your palms up and rest it on your fingertips

Most beginners tend to put their hands on the rails of the surfboard. But if you ask any pro surfer, they will tell you to put it in a way that you can use the side of your palms to touch the top of the board. This helps to achieve balance and an easier time standing up.

As a beginner, you’re likely to find balance hard and you might fall off the board right when you’re about to stand up. But this trick should help you with that.

#4. Bring your dominant foot forward.

In front of the tail.

You have now switched your dominant side and can be positive you're on your front foot.

#5. Twist your hips, then stand!

Now that you have all your weight off your board, it should be fairly easy to twist your hips, bringing the board parallel with the water. Be aware that this action pushes the board down towards your feet, so if you are not ready, the board will pull you down. Practicing will help you to get this down.

#6. Ride the waves.

This is a skill that may take a while to master, but if can do it, big scores will come in the future. One must know how to ride the waves in order to win the big contests. To catch the wave at the right moment is the key to catching a lot of waves.

#7. Catch the broken waves.

How to Stand Up like a Professional Surfer?

Buying a surfboard can be an exciting endeavor and standing up on your new board is the ultimate goal for many surfers. But some people dread the moment while others enjoy it. Whether you love it or hate it, the time will come when you must learn how to stand up on your surfboard.

I remember my first time on a surfboard. I remember the excitement, the fear, the confusion and the embarrassment when I wiped out. The embarrassment came mostly from standing up in front of all my friends and wiping out. The fear that I would wipe out and drown was a given, I was just a rookie.

Ultimately, I got over it and now standing up on a surfboard is, well…, totally rad. It's the fastest way to my awesomeness status on the beach. Learning how to stand up on a surfboard is a rite of passage that must be accomplished no matter what.

I can guarantee that whether you stand up on the first wave or the hundredth wave, relief will come to you when you finally get your first wave up. Learning how to stand up on the surfboard can be a challenging task, but it's also a lot of fun, and once you get it, you'll be glad you did. The process can be broken down into 8 easy steps.

#1. Practice angling your board.

Stand up practice may seem pointless when you’re just about to spend another day on the boat, but the truth is you will need as much practice as possible to make this as smooth as possible when you do it on the beach.

You practice angling your body by shifting your weight over the nose of the board. Practicing this before you actually ride the board will greatly increase your chances of doing it successfully since you won’t have to focus on your body positioning right then.

TIP: Try practicing this on a smaller board, preferably, a paddle board. This will really help you learn the process of not only angling, but also bending your knees to get your weight over the nose of the board, and the process of shifting to stand up.

TIP: Power up and jump up at the same time. There are times when you will want to practice this off a dive platform or a paddle board, but neither of those are stable enough to allow you to get a firm grip on the board. If you just practice it off the end of the board then you will be more susceptible to falling back on your backside as you try to stand up.

TIP: Practice your jump at least 50 times before you practice it on the actual board.

#2. Take time to study the waves.

The waves in the ocean make their own patterns. You can identify the best time to catch a wave by studying the patterns and movement of the sea. You can see if the waves are increasing or decreasing in size. You can see how long a wave will last and how the wave will behave thereafter.

Additional Expert Tips

If you're still struggling to get up on a board, you're probably in one of these groups:


If you have never ridden a surfboard before, you're obviously lacking the necessary balance, stability, and ability to ride a surfboard with a lot of confidence. The solution to this problem, as I already mentioned, is simply to practice, practice, practice as much as you can. Build up your basic foundation in getting up on a surfboard and you'll begin to see improvements in no time.

Intermediate Surfers

If you're an intermediate surfer, you probably already know how to stand up on a surfboard. But you might want to refine your technique and focus on developing your ability to consistently perform with more elegance and finesse.

You might even want to check out these surfing books and videos that can help you accelerate your progress in becoming a surf pro. Regardless of whether you're a beginner or an intermediate surfer, if there's one thing you need to do, it's practice, practice, practice!

As far as this article is concerned, here's my 10 best surfing tips to help you get up on a surfboard as quickly as possible:

{1}. Get some skills in the water. Knowing how to body surf can help you significantly with your balance and confidence.
{2}. Practice at the beach when the surf is flat.

Common Mistakes While Surfing

How to Ride a Surfboard Even If You Don't Know How to Stand-Up Yet

Surfing is a thrilling sport, which you have to master in order to be able to enjoy the fun of it. There are many varieties of surfing, and once you understand how to stand up on a surfboard, you will be able to recognize the different types of surfing.

Surfing is not all fun and games, as you have to know how to stand up on a surfboard and how to execute other tricks as well. It might at times seem complicated to stand up on a surfboard, but if you understand and remember a few easy-to-follow steps, it will be no time before you are surfing like a pro.

Keep in mind that the key to surfing is to relax and let the wave carry you. Of course, your stance and position on the surfboard will affect how easy it is for you to stand up on a surfboard. In order to understand how to do that, you must first explore all the mistakes you can make while you are learning to ride a surfboard. When you have a clear understanding of how you should be positioned on a surfboard, it will be easier for you to learn to stand up on a surfboard.

Here are a few of the most common mistakes that commonly occur while a person is seeking how to stand up on a surfboard.

#1. Positioning your push-up hands in front of you.

To ensure your stability, even on a soft bottom surf, take a look at the tips of your surfboard. Ideally, it’s a good sign if your hands are positioned between the fins. That way, pressure is neutralized by the fins as you’re making your first step.

#2. Bringing your knees in front of your surfboard.

Now that you are up, you need to focus on both your balance and the position of your body.

In order to maintain your balance, make sure that your feet are not too far apart and then bring your knees close to the board.

For ease of balance, it is important to ensure that your legs are not too far apart. The cue to keep your knees in front is to point your toes.

Once this is done, maintain the balance by leaning slightly forward.

#3. Not positioning your dominant foot first.

Now the right hand side of the surfboard just have your dominant foot. When you stand up with your hands, the first thing you'll be doing is putting your right foot on top of the surfboard.

When you do this, the only reason is your right foot creates a good base for your body to stay balanced while you're standing up. Your left foot is going to go right below your right foot just like the picture.

Your left foot should go right below your right foot so it's a little forward of your right foot because you're going to have a little bit of an angle and you want to spread your legs to the outside of the surfboard.

Your body is going to be balanced because it has a good surfboard and you're going to be able to balance your body just like that.

Once you get up, you're going to have a good surf experience.

Hope that helps.

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q: What is the most important surfing tip to follow?

A: Take it slow.

Moves have to be thought out and executed in tiny stages. You can't change your position quickly because you'll fall off. Change your position slowly and surely and that way you'll master the moves faster.

You'll start off learning to balance.

If someone's there to spot you (and if you're at the beach and you are going to learn it properly, a surfer will be there to watch you fall – he'll be your partner in this process), position your hands on your partner's shoulder. There are a few different stances you can start learning in, I use the traditional crossed feet.

But whether you're in a crossed feet position or you in a surfing stance, you need to get to the point where you can balance on the board and your feet are comfortably on the board and your knees are bent with your weight evenly distributed between your feet and your knees.

This is really hard to balance so if you're a beginner you're probably going to need your hands to help you balance and in this case you just need to self spot. You surf parallel to the shore with someone else on each end of the board helping you balance by supporting you with their hands on your wrists. If you're not comfortable in the water or on the surfboard, you can use the paddle.

Q: Should I start with a shortboard or longboard?

A: The short answer is shortboard, but the long answer is:

  • You're better off with a shortboard for your first board.
  • Eventually you will want a which involves a shorter board but a thinner bottom with more rocker.
  • As with all things surfing, don't listen to anyone but yourself and each board is unique, so try as many as you can before deciding if you a shortboard or longboard is for you.
  • Or it's better to find a local surfboard shop and see if they'll take you on and offer an hour or two of coaching. You'll want someone there to help you on your first few sessions.

Q: What is the ideal age for surfing?

A: Every child is different. Obviously, little kids can stand up on their own and are naturally very active. Whether they will do it in the water is the question.

Generally, it's recommended that kids start surfing when they're at least around 5 years old. The peak ages for learning to surf are between 7 and 12 years old.

Children at this age are at a stage of their development where they are full of energy and naturally curious about things.

If you have a young child who isn't interested in surfing at all, but you want them to love it, the best thing you can do is to keep it fun! Take them to the beach often, set up a special kid's surf board, pack an insulated lunch, make it a special outing.

Let them be the captain and do things like paddling out, dropping them off in the surf, car-surfing, etc.

The more they surf, the more they will memorize the act and love it!

Many people have kids and carry them around on the board or a surf leash. I'm all for helping kids learn how to surf, but you should also expect to take them out on a surfboard and let them try to stand up. Rather than being afraid and asking for help, let them be the captain.