In this series Peter Kosinski, Starboard Team Rider, will be talking you through what it takes to be a top SUP racer! Buoy turns, sprinting techniques, paddle grips, training ideas & racing tactics… Peter will explain them all and show you himself how they’re done. So whether you’re a first time racer or already a die hard racer, Peter’s tips will definitely help you to be fast and get to the front of that racing pack! (But sorry he can’t always guarantee you a first over the line!)
“When SUPboarder asked me to create a number of feature articles all about the essential skills for SUP racing I had to step back a bit and look at how I race and how others race. Every single SUP racer has a slightly different technique when it comes to everything from sprinting to buoy turns. However the common denominator is getting around the course as fast as possible!” – Peter Kosinski.
Getting around a buoy quickly is just as important as being able to go in a straight line fast, when racing! But before you start thinking about doing a buoy turn you need to first find your preferred stance. Are you a ‘Goofy'( right foot forward) or ‘Regular’ ( left foot forward)? What feels more comfortable and stable?
Once you have figured that out you can start thinking about your buoy turns. There are a number of ways to get your board around a buoy but the key to all buoy turns is keeping speed through the turn and being quick on your feet. Some of the best buoy turns can be seen here by Kai Lenny, Conner Baxter and Danny Ching at the ‘Battle of the Paddle‘ event in California.
This video is a really good insight into goofy and regular plus it demonstrates some really clean buoy turns.
The Frontside Stepback Turn
In this feature I will be talking you through the frontside stepback turn, and offering afew top tips. The frontside stepback turn is the most important turn you can learn once you have mastered the basics.
So how do you do it? Before you go into the turn you want to take a good few powerful strokes to get your board moving through the first part of the turn. Then cross step back to get the tail of the board sunk. While moving back start placing the paddle forward in front of you and then pivot around your paddle. When you are finished with your pivot come back into your standing position with light feet while loading up for a stroke.
There are many variations of the frontside stepback turn, with many people preferring to take a lot of smaller strokes to get the board around. Try both ways and find whats most comfortable for you. Plus find the balance point of the board and where it sinks on the tail. It varies for everybody.
Speed into the turn
The cross step
Try and put the paddle in only once
Come out of the turn low to keep your balance
Try and play around with some variations
So, all that’s left to do now is grab your board and give the frontside stepback turn a go! Next time I’ll be talking you through the backside stepback turn.