1. Get better at paddling
    Paddle like you can't paddle any faster when catching a wave. When you think you've paddled enough, paddle some more. Be more efficient at paddling.
  2. Practice reading the waves
    Go body surfing or boogie boarding so you get a feel for the waves and how they form and where the power is. The timing of catching a wave is 90% of surfing.
  3. Pop up - don't go to your knees
    It's hard to get from your knees to standing up. Pop up from lying down straight to your feet. Aim to put your front foot where your hands are planted. That point is a central balancing point and will keep you balanced forward. Once your going you can shift weight to your back foot.
  4. Get a big board
    They're easier to paddle and more stable. Once you can catch waves easily with a big board get one slightly smaller.