The quick way to learn how to turn a SUP properly – Part 1 – the “Big Stick” approach
Watch a good SUP surfer on a wave and you will notice just how much they use the paddle to help turn the board. If you asked them if they wanted to ditch the paddle once they were on the wave, you would probably get the response ‘ No way’!
Now watch almost all SUP surfers who have just started riding waves, particularly those that have come from a surfing background and you will more than likely see one thing. The implement that helped them paddle out the back and catch the wave now becomes a piece of baggage they are carrying in their hand – like a handbag!
Check out these videos/ shots as comparison.
The question becomes, how do you learn to initiate and crank turns harder using your paddle out there in the surf?
Things happen in the surf very quickly and unless you have your surf coach or SUP surf instructor right there beside you on the same wave, you’re not going to get the real time feedback to help you make the transition quickly and easily.
Of course you could spend hours watching online videos, get the mental picture and then spend even more hours out in the water mastering the technique. There is much easier and faster way however. You could try land SUPing with a Kahuna Big Stick and a longboard street SUP.
At Peninsula Stand Up Paddle, once we have taught our students how to paddle properly and how to apply those paddling techniques to catching waves, we then move to the exciting bit, how to turn the SUP on the wave. We have found that by using the Kahuna Sticks and longboard street SUPs, we have been able to greatly reduce the learning curve.
On land, we can break down the skill to bite sized chunks that are easy to master. Even better still, we can walk beside a student and help them place the Kahuna Stick in the right way to mimic what needs to happen in the surf. What’s more, we can repeat the exercises over and over again without having the delay of waiting for the next wave. In a half hour session, we can repeat the exercises more times that most people would spend in a year of weekend surfing in the water.
Once the skills are honed on land, they transfer really quickly in the surf. Just like in snow skiing, where it is natural to use the stick to initiate a turn and help maintain your balance, you will be surprised at how natural it feels to turn the board on a wave once you master the art of using the paddle.
Drop us a line or book a lesson if you need any more help by calling us on 03 59 864 557 or 0448 56 33 39