You have to just go for it and step back - pivot turns are about commitment!

Let’s give you a quick step-by-step guide to doing a pivot turn on a paddleboard, and hopefully you will find them easier than ever, with some tips and tricks.

Step 1

Paddle into the turn at speed, as the more a board is moving, the more stable it will be underfoot.

Step 2

You will have a preferred foot to move back, so you need to work that one out by moving around the board. I like to step back by left foot as I feel most balanced that way, which means, when I step back with my left foot I put my paddle onto my left side.

Step 3

The foot you’re leaving up front needs to rotate inwards, so your toes cross into the centreline of the board. This happens before you step back, as it allows you to reduce the board tipping.

learn to step back turn

Step 4

Once you’ve rotated that foot inwards, drop low on your knees, and take a stroke. Once the paddle is in the water, and you can feel the power of the stroke, you can step back with your free foot.   Don’t lunge all of your weight back, keep it balanced between front and back for a moment, then gently lean back onto the back leg.

Note: It is worth practising this movement when generally paddling, as the more you feel comfortable with it, the better.

Step 5

Keeping a low stance, sweep the paddle wide and powerful, so you turn in 2 or 3 strokes. Just stay LOW…

Step 6

Your final paddle stroke literally pulls you back forwards and upright.  The sweep of the blade helps to pull you upwards, so make sure you put power into it.