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Forehand top turns

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Created by Saya suka SUP 8 months ago, 11 Jun 2023
Saya suka SUP
31 posts
11 Jun 2023 6:20PM
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Hi All
On your forehand, is it possible to do a regular surf top turn/vertical reentry using head- shoulders-hips rotation, as you would on a prone surfboard, and not the 'stick the paddle in the wave face' turn thing as done on SUPs? I can do a backhand snap on any sized SUP with my eyes closed by just whipping my body around, but forehand I can't get either technique down on a 130L board.
Do you need a low litreage board (say 100L or less) to do the forehand surf snap ie without the paddle? cheers
Lee

colas
4976 posts
11 Jun 2023 11:52PM
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In my experience, what helps tightening the bottom turn on a SUP are:

Things depending on the board:
- low volume rails in the rear section
- convex tail (round, round pin, diamond)
- rear rocker

Things you can act upon:
- small (shallow) rear fin(s)
- rear fins moved forward
- low speed compared to the "natural" speed of the board
This helps the rail penetrate the water surface.
You can either put your rear foot far on the tail to kind of stall, or shed your speed via an ample bottom turn
This was the most important trick for me: each board has a speed at which it begins to become "stiff". Trying to brake to get under this speed before tightening the turn is key. This way you can turn sharply even mini-Simmons with huge tails and fins at the tail end.
On the opposite, pros use "toothpicks" than can go very fast before stiffenning.

Surlygringo
76 posts
12 Jun 2023 6:43AM
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A frontside snap is harder than a backside snap even on a prone board. I also think the paddle gets in the way of upper body rotation more on a frontside snap. I initially found having a paddle really messed up my natural rotation and being able to lead a turn with my upper body and then snap the hips around. It helped to get a land paddle and work on it on a skateboard.I get that you won't be able to exactly mimic the pivot of a frontside snap, but If you can pattern in how to rotate and lead your turn while holding a paddle on land it makes it a lot easier to do it with power in the water. It sounds like you know how to do the turn on a regular surfboard, so I think with a little practice on a skateboard you could probably pull it off on your current sup(although a new 100ltr board would be nice)

colas
4976 posts
12 Jun 2023 1:40PM
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Also:
- turn the head to look where you want to go.

This may explain why you find it easier on the backhand, where the head is naturally turned more backwards than in frontside.

Saya suka SUP
31 posts
12 Jun 2023 5:22PM
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Thanks for the responses.
Colas, yes I try and turn my head. Just doesn't whip the board around the same way as a BS snap. Surly, I have a surf skate and can easily do the FS snap using head/shoulder/hip/feet rotation (without the paddle). have tried it with a paddle, but as you say it gets in the way. Do you still use the same toe/heel motion as you would doing a prone surf FS snap?

Surlygringo
76 posts
13 Jun 2023 10:27AM
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It is the same turn for me as on a short board in terms of everything except figuring out what is comfortable for you in terms of the paddle. One of the problems is the paddle locks your shoulders in the same plane and I think ideally on the FS snap your front shoulder is a little ahead of the back one as you open your chest and rotate around your spine. I think you can get used to that if you concentrate on it while on the surf skate.

Saya suka SUP
31 posts
13 Jun 2023 10:45AM
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So do you stick the paddle in the wave face (toeside paddle/plant)? For me, if I do this it means I can't rotate my shoulders/chest as per a shortboard snap (as you've described).?

supthecreek
2579 posts
13 Jun 2023 11:41AM
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My frontside top turns and cutbacks are weak because they require healthier knees than I have, but like you, a backside cutback or off the top is easy.

I took screen shots of these turns to help motivate me to up my game.
Not vert but show paddle options to aid shoulder rotation or overcome lack of rotation


Saya suka SUP
31 posts
13 Jun 2023 12:39PM
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Thanks Rick.
I'm basically looking for someone to tell me "yes it's possible to do a frontside snap without doing the plant paddle". As this is how I've been doing them prone surfing my whole life, albeit on a much smaller board (obviously). Every single tutorial online says that it has to be the plant paddle technique. This article says "This is the only move in SUP surfing where you will not use your shoulders to start the turn"www.itiwit.co.uk/correct-use-of-your-paddle-for-sup-surfing
Surly says above that it's basically the same turn for him as on a short board (except figuring out a way to torque shoulders/chest while holding the paddle)...so it sounds like it is possible?
hope I'm making sense.

Tardy
4906 posts
13 Jun 2023 2:58PM
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Of course you can ,

when the lip is peaking and you smash the lip your paddle hardly hits the water ,because the water is moving fast and sometimes
digging the paddle in can rip you off the board ,large waves only a quick jab in the water is only needed

however on smaller waves a paddle push adds to lots of power and big rooster tails
and it also helps you not falling off ,anyway i mostly use my paddle it just feels normal ,on a SUP .











supthecreek
2579 posts
13 Jun 2023 7:24PM
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Saya suka SUP said..
Thanks Rick.
I'm basically looking for someone to tell me "yes it's possible to do a frontside snap without doing the plant paddle". As this is how I've been doing them prone surfing my whole life, albeit on a much smaller board (obviously). Every single tutorial online says that it has to be the plant paddle technique. This article says "This is the only move in SUP surfing where you will not use your shoulders to start the turn"www.itiwit.co.uk/correct-use-of-your-paddle-for-sup-surfing
Surly says above that it's basically the same turn for him as on a short board (except figuring out a way to torque shoulders/chest while holding the paddle)...so it sounds like it is possible?
hope I'm making sense.


I find my best frontside top turns, are possible only because of a solid bottom turn snap up the face that gets me vertical enough to get my board straight up so the lip will slap the board around and complete the snap.
This one is on a 9'6 x 33.5" board... and my timing was perfect because I remember holding the bottom turn longer/tighter to get the board vertical enough to pull it off. You can see that my paddle was not involved in the turn, so I was able to get some shoulder turn to help me rotate off the top.... not as easy as prone, where I could drop my left hand down toward the bottom, as my top hand counterbalanced to the sky, in a full free bird spread.

wazza66
QLD, 606 posts
13 Jun 2023 9:57PM
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If you watch this clip by Blaine Chambers from many years ago you will learn his thoughts and tips on what your trying to achieve i believe. Pay attention too his back foot position and how much he actually uses his paddle throughout the turn. I have watch this clip many times and can turn my boards in the 7'8 - 8'6 size quite easily from putting into practice his ideas.

Too many guys aren't planting their back foot back far enough when hitting the lip and turning. Backfoot on stomp pad and your board will come alive in a hard turn.

Blaine was ahead of his time with SUP design and ability to surf and turn his Paddle Surf Hawaii boards.

Enjoy.

Surlygringo
76 posts
15 Jun 2023 2:54AM
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Saya, sorry to take so long on this. Don't plant your paddle in the conventional spot. This sets you up for a different turn than the one you want. You need to get the paddle in a position where your head and shoulders are free to lead the turn. I very much recommend getting on a skateboard and trying a bunch of different ways to use(or not use) the paddle. It is worth going through the process. I don't know what will work for you, but you can try switching the paddle grip from the start so the paddle blade is across your board pointing forward during your bottom turn. You can switch it as you climb the face. You can hold the paddle in one hand. You can hold it in the conventional position and just not plant it(this fees the most restrictive to me). Maybe one of these will feel right to you, but I encourage you to experiment. I don't think there is necessarily a "right" way to do it for all waves at all times for all people.

Kisutch
392 posts
15 Jun 2023 5:06AM
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Can you just prone surf your SUP and try the snap the way you used to but without a paddle? That would seem like the best way to figure this out

Saya suka SUP
31 posts
15 Jun 2023 12:00PM
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Thanks for all the feedback to everyone who chimed in.
I think the forward motion of the toeside paddle plant throws my rotation off, so I'm going to try and plant the paddle in the wave face beside/behind me as per the video above, and throw my head/hips/feet around as much as possible.
will also try and do my regular snap while prone surfing the SUP.
I agree w Surly that there isn't necessarily a right way.my SUP progression has been all trial and error and if I followed the rule book from the start I don't think I'd have progressed as much as I have.
cheers

Kisutch
392 posts
16 Jun 2023 2:25AM
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Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you, hope you figure it out.

One thing that confuses me a bit is what was discussed a bit on the Paddlewoo site about how intermediate turn uses paddle to set rail, advanced turn sets rail first then uses paddle to accelerate. This is because one of Erik A's videos also mentioned reaching far forward and out (i.e., away from your frontside rail) when doing a paddle assisted frontside top turn. Like you were getting at -- the body motions that set heel rail w/o paddle make it awkward to then reach forward and out w/ paddle to pull through, but I do love diagonal cutback/carve sort of turn where I set rail w/o paddle but use it as brace behind back at end of turn - like this one on 9' board.
I try to use the online info. as inspiration to try new things and then incorporate what seems to work, but a lot of stuff doesn't quite make sense when I try to think it through.

obijohn
123 posts
23 Jun 2023 1:28PM
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I would like to throw out some thoughts on an aspect of the frontside top turn that has not been mentioned yet and is the most important part for me. If you look for this, you will see it in STC's still shots and also in all of Blaine Chamber's top turns.
The difference is whether you try to plant the paddle to pry yourself around (not so good for all the reasons mentioned above), or whether you slide the paddle blade flat across the surface behind you so that you are using it to lean against as you carve on your heel rail. These moves can look similar until you have felt the difference, but they are completely different in terms of intent and results. Trying to pry yourself around a turn is sluggish and leaves your body stuck in an opposite rotation. Sliding a flat blade back behind you where it is planing on the surface is very efficient because it is helping you to use the rail to turn.
The trick to this move is a rotation of the wrist at the start so that the blade does not plant but is able to plane back along the top of the wave on its convex side. If you feel the blade skimming the surface to get behind you, you are doing it right. If you feel the blade planting and you pulling on it to turn, you are doing it wrong. Once the planing blade is behind you, you can sit a ton of weight on it in order to lean your weight (butt) back over the heel rail. Don't use the paddle to turn, use the paddle to sit on so that you can use the rail to turn. If you end up coming down with the lip, you will notice a lot of guys using the planing blade behind then as a brace in the turbulent whitewater.
Until you know the difference, someone inefficiently planting the blade on the lip and pulling it back to turn the board can look a lot like a skilled rider skimming the back of the blade along the surface to get it behind them where they can sit on it. The key lies in the wrist flipping the blade flat so it planes behind you instead of catching and digging in.
Hope this works for you. It can turn a half-turn into a full re-direct.

colas
4976 posts
24 Jun 2023 11:49AM
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obijohn said..
If you feel the blade skimming the surface to get behind you, you are doing it right.


+1

This is why good surf paddles have a very fluid blade shape, designed to "surf" on the water.

Kisutch
392 posts
28 Jun 2023 4:14AM
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obijohn said..
Trying to pry yourself around a turn is sluggish and leaves your body stuck in an opposite rotation. Sliding a flat blade back behind you where it is planing on the surface is very efficient because it is helping you to use the rail to turn.



Obijohn thanks for the insights (also, your post about bottom turns on SP25 was helping me on my new board the other day)

Here's where I get confused a little about technique

If you don't do a paddle switch (
) on a frontside turn, and you use your paddle, then aren't you sort of forced, to some extent, to do a layback type of turn where your body is counter-rotating a bit? Medina was doing these cool layback carves in opening round of WSL Rio contest and they kind of looked like SUP frontside turns.
3:28 in this vid


Watching SUP vides of pros, maybe I'm interpreting wrong, but on frontside top turns seems like they often plant paddle out in front of feet, same blade angle as if paddling, but they're going fast enough that they're not pulling much water, but perhaps making a little bit of a pivot point before they complete stroke and use paddle as a brace behind back. Maybe the frontside turns in this video of Beau Nixon show what I am talking about. Seems like with this turn there is a gradient of how much you use paddle just depending on your speed and the wave

Saya suka SUP
31 posts
28 Jun 2023 8:16PM
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And can I ask, re the flick of the wrist is it flexion (bend down at the wrist) or extension (up from the wrist, towards you), with the bottom hand?
looking at Blaine Chambers vid it looks like wrist flexion.
Once the wrist is rotated, is the blade edge parallel with, perpendicular or say 45deg with the lip?

obijohn
123 posts
7 Jul 2023 1:24PM
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Sorry I'm late about getting back on some of the questions and comments:
Colas-Thanks for the +1. I have admired your surfing for years.
Kisutch- I agree that this maneuver can get you in a countered position that conflicts with the original question. I just wanted to point out the key difference in the paddle action between burying the blade to pry the turn around, or planing the blade behind you so that you can do a more extreme layback using the rail to create a sharp and powerful turn. I agree with your point that there are variations depending on speed. As you point out, you can blend the paddle blade options so that the turn may start by reaching forward to plant the blade before the wrists flip over to plane the blade around behind us. For a long time, I made the mistake of planting the blade out in front and keeping it buried throughout the turn which prevented me from really laying back on the rail as the turn evolves.
Saya suka SUP-Thanks for bringing up the Blane Chambers video as a good example. The paddle action I am talking about during the cutback involves wrist flexion with the knuckles rolling downward so that the convex side of the blade is skimming the surface behind us. We can see this in how Blane's wrist changes from bottom turn to cutback. During the bottom turn, we see quite a bit of wrist extension (knuckles up), often exceeding 45 degrees. As he comes off the top, we see this extension disappear and go somewhat into flexion which is not as obvious in part because many of us have much less range of motion in extension than we do in flexion. The top hand really controls the blade angle much more than the bottom hand and at least in my case, it often turns the blade angle more than my lower wrist can keep up with so the top hand may be turning the shaft in the lower hand. My goal is to get the blade parallel to the lip so that it planes on the surface with maybe a slight tilt up of the leading edge to be sure that the blade continues to plane and does not dive.
A great way to get the feeling for blade angle and wrist action is to practice while standing around in the lineup. Play with skimming the blade quickly back and forth along the surface on the convex side of the blade. The part where the blade is moving back along the water imitates what I am talking about in the cutback and you can even play with swinging the blade all the way around past the tail of the board to get the full feeling. If the blade dives instead of planes, then we need to roll the wrist more to keep the leading edge climbing above the surface instead of diving. You can also practice this when bracing while riding downwind bumps on a SUP. Bracing with the paddle behind your back during a downwind glide is the same paddle and wrist action as in the cutback we are discussing. This behind-the-back bracing is also common when a snap off the top leads to dropping down with the white water and you will see the pros really sitting on that blade behind their back for stability in big whitewater.
Thanks for the conversations!

colas
4976 posts
27 Dec 2023 6:58PM
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sophie01 said..
I'm wondering if a lower litreage board (around 100L or less) is necessary for a successful forehand surf snap without relying on the paddle.


You need to rely on the paddle, that's the secret to make high volume boards turn tight. No need to brute-force your turns with the paddle like a lumberjack, the trick is just using the blade surfing on the wave surface to provide a "3rd leg" safety to stabilize you so you can use your body to its full potential: e.g. lean well into the turn.

This said, the smaller the board, the easier it is, especially because you can aim without fear to hit the critical part of the wave that will thus give you the push to complete your turn. I am afraid of hitting the lip with a high volume board, as the pushback can be violent. A smaller board will smooth the turn into the curl. Plus smaller boards are lighter.

You should aim to be able to SUP boards in the 1.2 to 1.3 guild factor (ratio board volume in liters / your weight in Kg). For instance, a board of 130 liters is a 1.3 guild factor for a 100kg rider. Lower guild factors may not be worth the trouble, but a 1.3 ratio is easily doable for most people with no physical troubles. I would keep a comfy width, try to get a board wide for comfort but with thin rails for nimbleness in the curl.

slsurf
229 posts
28 Dec 2023 2:42AM
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It's going to be tough to surf a sup at 12 o'clock straight up the face and do a forehand snap. The board is so wide and big you would have to go further in front of wave on bottom turn. Realistically this is more of a pro narrow <24 inch maneuver. Roundhouse cutback or slide, or even decent top turn off whitewater should be doable even at real world angles and waves. I would focus on paddle switch turn, it feels more intuitive to me, although I usually struggle to finish my turn into a full roundhouse, it's not easy.

slsurf
229 posts
28 Dec 2023 2:56AM
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Here's an example of another blown half cutback mostly because I tried to do it at last minute without using paddle.








Saya suka SUP
31 posts
28 Dec 2023 9:00AM
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sophie01 said..
Hey everyone,I'm wondering if any of you have experience doing a regular surf top turn or a vertical reentry on your forehand with a stand-up paddleboard. I've got the backhand snap down, but when it comes to forehand, I struggle with both the head-shoulders-hips rotation (similar to prone surfing) and the 'stick the paddle in the wave face' technique used on SUPs. My board is 130L, and I'm wondering if a lower litreage board (around 100L or less) is necessary for a successful forehand surf snap without relying on the paddle. Any insights or tips would be appreciated!


Hi Sophie. You're where I was 6 months ago. The mistake I was making was trying to use the paddle as a lever rather than just a 3rd leg..by making a slight forward toeside paddle in the wave face as you whip the board around. I can now get to about 11 o'clock on a 120L performance board. The key for me is a big wide bottom turn w speed and getting all the way back on the tail. It doesn't feel like a backside snap. Compared w a prone frontside snap, your feet are the same but you really need to get your weight on the tail to whip the board around, to compensate for no shoulder rotation.as the paddle gets in the way. The smaller the board, the more u can use your shoulders and make it feel like a prone snap IMO.

supyeah
NSW, 2 posts
29 Dec 2023 4:27PM
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Hi everyone, I have been working on this and have found by moving your right hand down toward the blade opens your wing span. This makes it easier to rotate your shoulders like when we used to surf prone. Here I'm riding a 9' 4" Acid.
cheers

supyeah
NSW, 2 posts
29 Dec 2023 4:42PM
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"Forehand top turns" started by Saya suka SUP