Fancy Flatwater Footwork

Monday, February 8, 12021 HE

My downwinding experience yesterday confirmed what I already knew about my footwork on my board. It needs work. The highlighting of my lack of comfort to move forward and backward and more particularly my complete unwillingness to cross-step yesterday provided the needed motivation to change this.

I’ve known for some time that my footwork needs work. In fact, wanting to work on step-back/pivot turns through the fall and winter was part of the impetus in getting a semi-dry suit. Though sadly I can say that I have not put in the effort that I had hoped. And I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that the barrier has been cowardice. If I’m being honest, I have been a chicken to fall into the water in the cooler weather. A terrible excuse as I do have a dry-suit as mentioned.

But, falling in yesterday was a nice reminder that a dry-suit keeps you dry, and warm for that matter. So today’s paddle plan was to push my cross-steps and pivot turns.

And what better way to put my dry-suit to the test than in true winter conditions. As I pumped up my board in the parking lot at Jericho Beach it started to hail and snow.

My board scattered with a light dusting of hall and snow. Photo by Mon Jef Peeters.

The water was not as flat as I had anticipated. Though this would only help with conquering my unfounded fear of falling in. The photo below shows the light dusting of snow that was accumulating on the shoreline during my quick paddle.

The view from the water with a bit of snow accumulating on the shoreline. Photo by Mon Jef Peeters.

The following are some great resources that I have come across. They provide a great starting point to put theory into practice. You need to get out on the water and try this stuff to master it.

Below is a great overview of how to move around on your board from what was Bic Sport’s Paddle TV and is now TAHE.

Below is a great tutorial on how to move forward and backward on your board with shuffle and cross steps from SUPBoarder.

And below is an aspirational video on fancy footwork from SUPBoarder.

And my goal video tutorial is below from Red Paddle Co. Being able to do a nose side 360 turn. It was a goal for the summer/fall, but it was not achieved so hopefully, I can get it down by the winter/spring.

My Route

A whole lot of turns, shuffling, and cross stepping. I feel like I made some good progress and more important broke through the barrier on my reluctance to practice these manoeuvre in less hospitable weather.

Screenshot of Google Fit activity tracker.

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