Starboard and FCS SUP athlete Sean Poynter lays out some tips on how to do a frontside cutback on your standup paddleboard. When doing a frontside cutback there are a few key motions that you need to do in order to successfully execute one and here, Sean lays them all out on the table.
Make sure you have speed. Having speed coming into the turn is going to better prepare you for your set up bottom turn, weight shifting, and paddle transition. Having speed ensures that you won't fall flat as you do all of these actions.
This is the first step in performing a proper cutback. With speed, bottom turn as you normally would with shifting weight onto your toe side rail, sinking that inside rail and leaning onto the paddle that is placed down in front of you on the water. With the right foot positioning, (back foot back towards the tail and front foot centered on stringer near the midpoint of board) the amount of weight you shift onto your blade face as it's set in the water is going to determine how hard of a bottom turn you will execute.
Coming out of the bottom turn with speed, while going upwards up the face of the wave, you want to transition your paddle from your frontside to your backside. Just as you shifted weight onto your paddle in the frontside bottom turn you are going to do the same for the second portion of the cutback which is turning down the wave face. In doing so, you need to transition your paddle onto your inside. The best way of doing this is swinging the shaft where your lower hand is across the board as you simultaneously switch your hands on the paddle from grip to shaft. Once you've made the switch, you want to start the motion of turning down the wave face, meaning, shifting your weight to your heels, sinking your outside rail, and then gradually past your heels and onto your paddle that should now be in the water. This will initiate your downward carve.
Transition your paddle from your frontside to your backside. Once you've made the switch, you want to start the motion of turning down the wave face, meaning, shifting your weight to your heels, sinking your outside rail, and then gradually past your heels and onto your paddle that should now be in the water.
Turning around your paddle. With your paddle set in the water as it is, your weight overtop of it, this is going to naturally turn you and your board around it. It's the anchor point for which you will pivot around. You will continue with this gradual arcing around your blade face until you need to redirect.
Redirecting is the last portion of the maneuver. The best way to quickly redirect and turn your board back down the line is to again shift the weight back onto your toes but also to plant your paddle in the water across your board, with the same hand positioning as your downward carve. Basically, this a crossbow paddle plant. The combination of both weight shifted on toes and this crossbow paddle plant is going to turn you back down the line as quick as possible . Redirecting is different with everyone. Depending on how maneuverable you are with your board or how little, will determine how late or early you need to start your process of redirecting. For more advanced riders they may be able to redirect later in their downward carve, and may even turn back all the way to the whitewater and redirect off that. The more novice riders though, will probably want to be done earlier. If saying from bottom turn to downward turn and all the way around to the whitewater is a full circle, I would recommend with doing half of that, so maybe just as you near the bottom of the wave face, redirect.