The Pivot Turn // SUP Skills

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If you want to progress in the sport of Stand Up Paddling – pivot turns are essential. It is a key skill used in SUP racing and paddle surfing, plus they work on your coordination, leg strength, and balance! Check out this step by step on how to get started, this description is for a regular foot (left foot forward, right foot back) paddler.

  1. Step the right foot back towards the tail of the board so that the nose rises out of the water. You can stagger your feet on opposite sides of the center line to keep the board more stable when your starting out. (As opposed to standing directly on the center line.) Bend your knees and stay low for more stability.
  2. Place the paddle at the center of the right rail and use a sweeping stroke away from the board towards the tail, which will turn the board counter clockwise. You should start turning 360 degrees!
  3. It helps your balance to keep your eyes on one point of focus, try looking at the logo near the nose of your board. If you find yourself off balance, use your paddle to ‘slap’ the water (called bracing) for added support. You can put more weight on your paddle than you think!
  4. As you progress, you can bring your back foot closer to the tail by shuffling or cross stepping for a faster pivot turn. The nose will be higher out of the water, and it will be more difficult to balance. This turn is tricky and takes time to master.  Try and wait for a warm day to practice this in case you fall in!

Happy paddling!

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