Previously we gave you some tips on how to perform the 2 basic turning techniques that every newbie SUPer needs to know (C-turn and backwards-paddle). We are now shifting into 5th gear and cranking your skill set up a notch! If you are reading this blog then you may be suffering with a strong case of SUP addiction, with side effects being a strong desire to take your SUPing to the next level.
Pivot turns can be hard to master but are crucial to your paddle performance if SUP racing or even SUP surfing are your ultimate goals in your SUP journey. This is because pivot turns are the fastest and most efficient method of turning and also allow you to turn on the spot. Utilise the following tips and you will be on your way to becoming a pivot pro!
1. Get your positioning right. The pivot turn is implemented in a surfing stance, with yourself being positioned further back on your board than you would normally be. Position your back foot above the fin in order for it to be able to sink the back of the board, creating the pivot which helps lift the nose out the water. Start off with a very wide stance. Initially stepping back into position but once you are feeling more confident try jumping back as this is quicker.
2. Utilise your paddle correctly to assist with the turn. Your front foot is used to guide and spin your board but you should be implementing the correct paddle motion to assist with the stroke. Similarly to a C-turn, bring your lowest hand up the paddle slightly to narrow the distance between your top and bottom hand. Lean forward and angle the blade of your paddle 90 degrees, beginning the stroke close to the board. As soon as you initiate the paddle stroke, sink your back foot so that the nose of the board comes up further, resulting in a faster turn. Remember: when you do this, your front foot goes to the left to guide the lifted part of the board and your paddle goes to the right to assist (if turning left) and vice versa.
3. Exit the turn smoothly. Shift your weight from your back foot to your front foot in order to get the nose back down onto the water. All whilst shifting your paddle to the front of the board and into the water in order to support your weight as you walk/step/jump back to the center of your board and continue to paddle. Hint- think of your paddle as the third leg so it will help stabilise you if you keep it in the water when returning to your normal paddling position.
If you would like to practice this alongside other SUP enthusiasts who also want to build up their skill set, then our social paddles are a great opportunity to practice with some fun and like minded people. Or if you prefer our full attention, opt for a private lesson to quickly become the pivot master! Keep a lookout on all WATSSUP channels too, as we continue to share our top tips on various SUPing techniques and manoeuvres. We hope to see you on the water soon trying out your pivoting skills!
Love Team WATSSUP!