If you've seen surfers when they are beyond the breaking waves, waiting for their next wave, you may have noticed that they are no longer lying prone on their surfboards but are sitting up on them. This is to enable a surfer to get a better look at the oncoming waves. The next thing to learn is how to sit up on your board and how to prepare to paddle for a wave from this sitting-up position.
Lie on your surfboard in the paddling position as if you've just paddled to the lineup. When you are comfortably balanced, take hold of your board with both hands, one on each rail, as if you were getting ready to do a press-up. Draw the board from underneath you, pulling it forward through your legs.
As the board is sliding underneath you, bring your knees up and arch your back into a sitting position. (Make sure that you do not let go - your surfboard will ping out in front of you as if it had a mind of its own.) Here, as with everything else in surfing, it is a question of practising balance. Smoothly sitting up on your surfboard as the waves are rolling past you takes practice.
Shift your legs on either side of the surfboard to aid your balance and hold yourself upright. Lean too far to the left or right, and you'll fall off your board. If you lean too far forward, the surfboard will disappear out behind you. (Make sure you've got your mouth closed if that happens!) Lean too far back and we encounter that torpedo effect again. After a little practice you'll soon be competent at getting into the sitting position.
Once you get the hang of this, you'll be zipping up and down the beach wowing everyone watching from the shore.