Learning The Back Side Turn With Connor Baxter
Before we get into the specific points of the movement we must first talk about one key factor. Just like when Connor Baxter covered frontside turns we are looking to minimize our movement as much as possible. The less movement we can make during the backside turn the more efficient we will be on our SUP boards out on the water.
Step 1: Hop Back
Connor’s very first movement in preparation for a backside turn is to hop back on the board.
Notice here how as he gets set for the hop he loads his legs and sets into a semi squat position. When we are ready to hop we want to hop up and not back. As we hop up the board continues forward so we will naturally end up further back on the board simply by jumping up.
As we land we want to take another one or two additional strokes to keep up our board speed.
Step 2: Big Step Back & Cross Bow Turn
At this point, we need to take one big step back with one foot all the way to the tail of the board. As Connor steps back he also likes to incorporate a cross bow turn, so as he steps back notice how his paddle comes up and over his Starboard SUP board without switching his hand.
Step 3: The Rainbow Stroke
From the back of the board we want to ensure we have a wide and balanced stance while keeping our chest nice and open.
Connor then reaches his paddle as far back as he can while staying balanced to start his rainbow stroke. Once the paddle hits the water we want a big rainbow stroke from the tail of the board to the nose of the board.
Step 4: The Hidden Gem (Switch Sides)
As the front of our board starts to come off the water and the rotation really starts to accelerate we want to work on getting our paddle to the other side of the board before the backside turn is even complete.
This forces us to ensure that we can get our full 180 degree backside turn done in just one single stroke. As soon as the paddle reaches the other side Connor is immediately back to paddling to keep the momentum up. He treats the switch and paddle almost as if it is a continuation of his rainbow stroke that got the board rotation.
Step 5: The Hop Forward
Just like in our hop back we want to do this in one motion. We leave and land with both of our feet and immediately get back to paddling to keep our momentum up.
Always Focus On Your Vision
As SUP athletes we need to be hyper focused on having our eyes focused on the right things. We always need to be looking at where we want to go.
As Connor is in the middle of his buoy turn you will see his head is turned and his eyes are focused on where he wants to go. We don’t want to be looking down at the board, or down at the water.
- Keep Your Speed Up! We want to treat our SUP board like a bicycle, when you slow down it gets more unstable. So, keeping your speed up will make it easier to keep balanced.
- Reduce The Movement by making fewer moves we are not only becoming more efficient we are also reducing the chances of falling in the water.