Buoy Turn Basics—Part 1

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Daylight saving time has arrived and for many of us, that means more time to train and practice after work! Here are some drills to add to your training routine that works on essentials skills for mastering a buoy turn.

Foot placement, body position as well as paddle placement and stroke are all important aspects of a successful turn.

One of the most important skills is feeling comfortable moving around your board. It’s an essential first step to be in control in all conditions and eventually mastering a buoy turn.

Working on the following drills from JP Ambassador and Team Rider Packet Casey has helped me feel more comfortable moving around the deck. Working on both body and foot position has increased my stability and understanding of the balance limits of my board.

3 & 3 Step Drill: 
Take 3 strokes then practice taking 3 steps back (for some it may be 4) and stopping your board by shifting your weight to your back foot. Once you lose momentum, step back to your default position and start paddling again. Do this 10 times down, then back.

Sink & Recover Balance Drill:
Take 3-4 steps to back of your board (the last step large) ending up in a surf stance—with your toes facing the side of your board. Practice sinking the tail and raising the nose. Just when you start to feel the board going too far, bring it back and find the sweet spot. Do this 5 times at the beginning and end of your workout.

Be prepared to get wet and push your limits! Falling in the water during training really helps clarify the limits of both balance and recovery position your board.

Practicing these skills will help you charge the buoy without hesitation and give you the edge you need:

• Confidence and control of your board
• Efficiency and speed when you approach a crowded buoy
• Time saver (5-10 seconds on every turn can really add up!)

Come join the 954 race league every Wednesday for the next 10 weeks for the first race series of the season. All levels and abilities welcome! Great workout, great people, and lots of chances to work on your buoy turns!

For more detailed techniques, classes and instruction, contact Packet Casey @ Packet31@gmail.com

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Jen is a SUP fanatic and masters swimmer living in South Florida who is dedicated to a healthy lifestyle and is on a quest to be in the best shape of her life. Whether it’s stand up paddling, surfing or swimming, she takes advantage of any chance to get outside and on the water.