Over the winter months SUPboarder will be continuing with their Zero 2 Hero SUP Surfing Series of articles to help you make the most out of that winter swell! Experienced surfer and SUP surfer Lee Norris from North Cornwall, will be talking you through all the essential SUP surfing maneuvers. Starting at the basics, to help you catch that first wave. And then moving on to those intermediate and advanced SUP surfers who no doubt want to perfect that epic top turn and get more from their wave.
Lee starts off with the basic flat water sup surf maneuver, which is well worth mastering before you try and catch that first wave.
You can learn flat water SUP maneuvers anywhere, and at any time. So don’t worry if you live miles away from the surf. This maneuver is perfect to practice on your local canal/lake/estuary, and means you’ll have the maneuver sorted for when you do get to the beach! Mastering these flat water SUP maneuvers will help you make the most out of your surf session and catch twice as many waves. So it’s well worth starting at the beginning and practicing on the flat.
How to do it?
To start with we will use a big arcing turn to turn yourself around so you are facing the beach.
Step 1, part a) Stand with your feet side by side and practice changing hands with the paddle as much as possible. Putting wider strokes in with the paddle will help to turn the board.
Imagine one-side of you is the wave and the other side is the beach at about 180° from each other. Try turning 180° and then paddling straight whilst putting power into the stroke.
Step 1, part b) After you have tried this a couple of times, step your back leg back about a foot. This will help your stability when the wave pushes you from behind and will also help you with Step 2.
This is a more advanced but quicker way of getting you around and into the wave.
Step 2) Start by stepping the back foot back like in step 1b and then step back a little further until your back foot is near the back of the board. This will help to turn the board much faster. The longer your board, the further your back leg will have to go back.
You want the nose of the board to come up in the air and the back of the board to sink slightly into the water, so you’ll need to find the balance point of your board. If you put too much weight into your back leg it will sink the tail. It can take time (and practice!) to find the balance point.
When you have achieved a good balance point, practice the wide stroke at the same time. Practice turning both ways. You will find one way will be a lot easier than the other but keep practicing both as this will really help in the surf.
After you have done this turn you will be in a surf stance ready to catch the wave. Apply a little more weight to the front leg and paddle out of the turn in a straight direction as if you were paddling onto a wave.
These two steps will really help you in the surf… so get practicing. And remember to have fun! – Lee Norris