SUP Basics: The Sweep Turn

Learn how to turn your board with these paddleboard basics.

When you hit the water on your stand up paddleboard, you’re going to want to be able to maneuver in the water with ease. Once you’ve master the forward stroke, you’ll want to be able to turn your board. The sweep stroke is the most common way to turn your board and is fairly easy to learn.

To execute this, get your paddle blade as close to the water level as possible — you may have to bend your knees to accomplish this. Then, extend the paddle all the way to the front (or nose) of the board and then make a smooth, semi-circular arc to the tail of the board.

When you want to go to the right, paddle on the left side of the board. To go left, paddle to the right.

“A few things to keep in mind: the farther your paddle is from the board, the better your turn,” says Senior American Canoe Association SUP Instructor Seth Bloomgarden. “Also, the closer your angle is to parallel with the water, the better your turn will be as well.”

You can do the sweep turn in reverse by starting with your paddle at the tail end of the board and bringing it forward to the nose.

Mastering these two strokes can really help you maneuver on the water, leading to an overall better SUP experience.