Keeping Your SUP Board Going Straight

VideoJuly 24, 2013

When paddling for fitness and cruising on flatwater, you’ll want to spend a lot of time going in a straight line. It’s not as easy as it sounds. This video shows you several techniques for making it happen.

There are a lot of board and fin combinations out there and they have a dramatic effect on how your board is going to track. In this video we’ll explore various techniques for keeping your board going straight. Vertical strokes, cross-body strokes and a variety of draw strokes can be used to keep the board on the straight and narrow.

The first technique is to be sure your paddle shaft is vertical when you’re taking forward strokes. Even so, you’ll have to switch sides from time-to-time to ensure you go in that straight line.

The downside of switching hands is it kills your momentum, slowing your speed. A way to avoid that is to use a “cross forward stroke,” where instead of switching hands, you reach across the board with the paddle, while keeping it vertical and take a stroke or two to correct your line. That will feel awkward at first, and you won’t get as much power from it, but it will maintain your momentum.

To get the most power out of your strokes, remember to involve as much of your core muscles as possible. When the blade reaches your foot, raise the blade, twist your wrist to rotate the blade so it’s parallel with the board and reach out to start a new stroke.

The most efficient technique for keeping a straight line is interspersing draw strokes in with your vertical forward strokes. There are a number of different types of draw strokes but the one you’ll use for keeping straight is the closed-face nose draw.

There, when you reach forward to take a stroke, you’ll turn your wrist slightly forward to move the leading edge of the blade slightly toward the board. As you pull back, the force will correct your line and you’ll keep your momentum.