Pop-up techniques to catch green waves
Once you've got the hang of surfing in the whitewash, its time to upgrade your surf skills to catching green waves. So if you can read the waves, feel confident catching broken waves and are riding straight, it's time to take your surfing to the next level by catching green waves and surfing down the line.
Having the right foundations and applying good techniques will make a big difference on how long it takes you to feel confident in a new, more complex environment. Reading unbroken waves, finding the sweet spot for take-off, correct paddling, basic pop-up technique, and standing posture will be crucial skills to succeed.
Picking the right wave
Once you’re sitting in the lineup and have identified where the wave breaks, it’s the moment to pick the right wave and figure out your timing. When you see the wave coming and start paddling, make sure you keep glancing over your shoulder and keep looking at the wave to make sure you’re in the right spot (the peak of the wave) and have the right speed to match the wave you're paddling for at the right time.
Tip: Paddle perpendicular to the wave for until you’re on the last couple of strokes, then you want to angle the board slightly by paddling sideways. Do not angle too much, as this will make you paddle over the shoulder and lose the wave.
Once the wave catches you, you must take the drop from the top of the wave. The take-off is one of the main changes with catching whitewash waves, as you're now facing a quicker take-off. You’ll have to take off right at the peak and get ready to go down the line and follow the face of the wave.
Let's start with the basics - look where you want to go. This rule applies to any wave and at any stage of your surfing journey. If you’re catching a right-hand wave, you’ll want to be looking towards the right, focusing on that part of the wave where you want to be riding (along the face/shoulder).
Once you get on your prawn position, with your board slightly angled and looking at where you want to go, apply a bit more pressure on the inside rail to mark the angling and make sure you’re sticking to the wave and not going down straight. If you don't, chances are you'll lose the wave and get caught in the whitewash.
Make sure that when you stand up, your feet are correctly positioned in the centre of the board or even slightly towards the inside rail to help with positioning. If your feet end up closer to the outside rail, no matter how much you're looking at the wave or have your body well positioned, the board will steer towards the other side and make you miss the wave.
Once you’re going down the line, stay compressed and find your way along the face of the wave. You want to stay closer to the pocket of the wave as it’s where most of the energy and speed of the wave generates.
Tip: If you surf too far forward along the face of the wave, it will eventually lose energy and you’ll lose speed and balance, most likely falling off.
If you're struggling to take your surfing to the next level and catch green waves consistently, our team of female coaches are ready to help you at any time. Join our Intermediate Surf Clinics or come to one of our Surf Getaways to drastically improve your surfing. You can also join us for a week of surf heaven in tropical destinations such as the Maldives, Mexico, Bali or Morocco.