SUP tips: How to Pivot Turn a Stand Up Paddleboard
The pivot turn or step back turn is a great maneuver to practice in flat water that will help prepare you for SUP surfing, SUP racing and downwinders on a Stand Up Paddle board. It will help you improve footwork, balance and steering strokes.
The basic steps are:
1) moving from parallel stance to surf stance with the feet placed on the centerline of the board.
2) moving back on the board to a blanched position where the tail sinks but the tilt of the board can be controlled by moving body weight forward or backward.
3) Taking wide sweeping strokes, angling the blade to the side, away from the nose to maximize the effectiveness of the steering strokes.
4) As the board approaches the new direction, step or jump back into a parallel stance at the center of the board to paddle in the new direction.
Also covered: first practice pivot turns by sitting on board and kneeling before trying it standing up. A more advanced version of the pivot turn is to put weight on the nose and pivot the board with the fins out of the water.
Good footwork and balance is the key to success, so have fun practicing.
Robert Stehlik, Honolulu
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