I use my toes to pop-up. Most surfers have no idea what that means because they're probably popping up the correct way. On a longboard, my toe-popping style doesn't matter and probably isn't even noticeable. On a shorter board, it's problematic.
I switched boards briefly with D and found that with his 6'6", my toes had nowhere to pop when taking off on a wave, so there was no popping-up.
I don't know if I'm going to fix this problem, since my toes have a tail to touch at 7'0", but I have noticed that I'm raking my toenails across the deck when I pop-up, sometimes slowing me down. Part of the reason I do this is my toes keep the tail in the wave. Part of the reason I do this is because I'm not sure the board is going to stay underneath me when I pop-up.
Yup. I probably should fix this problem.