I have been having a lot of difficulty with popping up. It was surprising as I am very athletic, do yoga and weight training and in the past was sponsored for skateboarding.
When popping up, I am regular footed, but my front left toes always drag on the board as I pop up. This happens regardless of what I try. I just cant get high enough to lift my foot so it doesn't drag. Often, I also end up with my back right knee kneeling on the tail and my front left foot pointing forward and not sideways. I was trying to diagnose which muscles may be tight and contributing to this, then I realised that my external hip rotation flexor muscles were extremely tight. Interally, I can rotate about 45 degrees, but can barely go past 5-10 degrees the other way. I realised that this may be making it more difficult to twist when popping up.
I haven't found any other websites which detail the important of external hip rotation in flexibility for surfing. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and how they overcame it? I have been looking for a yoga pose or stretch which isolates these muscles but haven't been able to find any.
I have tried popping up using the 'step up' method, but find it very slow and actualy harder. I lose balance a lot easier doing it that way. Occasionaly I do pop up perfectly, but it is very occasional, and usualy after a long spell of not paddling and very rare.