Tits over tips, aka hand placement for the pop up

Look, I’m only going to talk about this if everyone promises to remain very calm and to agree with me.  In most surf conditions the only place to put your hands during the pop up is flat on the deck, by the ribs or under the chest, or tits over fingertips….

 

I once had a man who did the dirty on me with another woman.  I’ll call him ‘Steve’ (even though his real name is Matt).  It’s always good to respond to emotionally challenging situations with grace and compassion, but on that day I opted for yelling and cursing.  Of the many insults I threw at him – including the customary “YOU’VE GOT A TINY PENIS” and “YOU AIN’T WURF IT” – my most malicious insult was “AND YOU GRAB THE RAILS WHEN YOU POP UP!!”  To be fair I was very cross and the only other time I’ve been that cross was that time I entered a surf contest and got knocked out in the first round by someone who didn’t make it to the outside and caught whitewater waves instead.  At least I was catching green waves!

 

But the point of my story is that hand placement in the pop up is very important.  I don’t want to sound like a pedant but you can’t just put your hands anywhere willy nilly on the board when you do your pop up.  The hands must be flat on the deck of the board pressed against your ribs or under the chest.  The thumbs are like an underwired bra.   The fingertips are pointing forwards and directly under the chest, hence TITS OVER TIPS.

 

I’m no saint and I’m guilty of a bit of rail grabbing myself, usually when I’m nervous or when I’ve positioned myself too close to the beach.  Gopro footage can be really useful for highlighting this error.  Here’s a good example of what can happen if you grab the rails on the pop up….

Grabbing the rails is, for many reasons, a risky business….

  • If you put weight on the rails of a surfboard you’re making it very tippy and you’re likely to do a James Bond style roll off the board, it’s much more stable to press down on the deck. Rail grabbing will also create water turbulence around the hands, so not very conducive to popping up.
  • Grabbing the rails is actually how you stop the board and you don’t want to stop the board at this point in the game, you wanna get on that train.
  • By grabbing the rails you will reduce the amount of space under the chest, you can lift the chest higher if the hands are flat

 

I know there will be some clever clogs out there who will say that grabbing the rails is fine if you’re an advanced surfer and you’re surfing a really steep wave that requires you to stick the inside edge of the board into the wave face.  To you I say go ahead.  But 95 percent of the general surfing populace is not going to reach that level of ability, or have plans to surf Pipeline.

 

Another hand placement misdemeanor is putting the hands out in front of the shoulders in an effort to pop up.  But with the hands in this position you will have very little leverage to lift the body up, and you’re likely to use the knees.  The final hand offence is the staggered hands.   This is normally perpetrated by men with stiff hips because it helps them to twist their hips.  It’s not really a huge violation, but eventually the staggered handers should work on getting their hands in line with each other.

3 Comments

  1. DontWorryBoutWhoIIs

    Helen Rail Grabber is right up there with James Comey Leaker in the most basic, but effective nicknames I’ve ever heard. Though I have to disagree with trump (lowercase purposeful since proper nouns are reserved for the respected and honorable).

    Like

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