Learn different ways to turn your stand up paddle board, from beginner to advanced techniques.
What is covered in this SUP tutorial:
- Forward Sweep Stroke (Beginner)
- Cross Bow Stroke Turning (Intermediate)
- Step Back Turn (Advanced)
How to turn: Forward Sweep Stroke
Our best SUP tip for turning your board for a beginner is to use the sweep stroke. This turning technique gives you the most stability and easy to do.
- When you are ready to turn your paddle board, begin by having a wide stance and slightly bend your knees. This will give you more balance and help you stabilize the board during your turn.
- To turn left, stretch forward and submerge the entire paddle blade in the water.
- Then, commence the ‘sweeping motion’, this is what gives the name to this turn. Rather than drawing your paddle straight from the nose towards the tail of the board like you would do for a normal stroke. You need to use a wide arching movement as if you were drawing a half-circle in the water. Start at the nose and sweep towards the tail of the board.
- You will feel your paddle board slowly turning to the left side.
How to turn: Cross Bow Turning
The cross bow turning technique is for when you want to turn your paddle board quickly.
- To turn left: twist your body to the left side and place the paddle in the water on the left side of the board
- Bend your knee and keep low stance for balance
- Sweep the paddle with wide arching stroke pass the nose through to the tail.
- You will feel your paddle board turning quickly to the left side.
How to turn: Step Back Turn or Pivot Turn
Step back turn is commonly used in SUP racing when you turn around the buoy in the racecourse.
- Prepare for the turn by making sure your paddle is off the water.
- Step one foot back and sink the tail of the board into the water. Tip: Start with a small step and practice until you feel comfortable. Then, try a further step. The further you step back, the faster and tighter the board will turn.
- Always keep your front foot close to the middle of the board.
- Place the paddle in the water and do an arching sweep toward the tail of the board.
- You will feel the board is turning fast and tight!
More Turn Tips:
- Always wear a leash to prevent the board from getting away when you fall off.
- When you feel unstable, do not stall. Keep your paddle blade in the water will help give you more stability.
- Staying low is more stable than when standing up. So, bend your knees if you feel tippy.