Photo: Dana Edmunds

How to SUP: The Frontside Cutback

Oahu's Kekoa Auwae is a professional longboarder, an accomplished waterman and a ridiculously sick surfer. Here, the 25-year-old walks us through one of the most fundamental yet difficult-to-master maneuvers in the standup surfing game.
— As told to Joe Carberry

The board is so big, the turn all comes down to how you work your paddle. The more you use your paddle, the more forceful the turn will be. Really use that paddle to your advantage.

Riding down the line, you come off the bottom turn using a stroke on the toe side to gain speed as you head for the top of the wave. This extra stroke that I throw in is super-important. If you don't come off the bottom hard, with speed, your cutback isn't going to be as strong. If you want a big carve, you really want speed, especially with standup boards.

Heading toward the top of the wave, looking to do your cutback, you want to try and stay as low as you can, bending your knees in an athletic position. Once you're coming off the top, you get low and do another big toe-side stroke, really digging deep to turn your board and leaning into your turn while leading with your shoulder.

Once I'm turning, I open my body into the turn, leaving my paddle in the water until I hit the whitewater. The whitewater hits the bottom of your board and you carve back to regular position on your toe side. Now you're set up to go back down the line and do the same move again. The beautiful thing is that you can practice this move on any size wave as long as it has a good section.

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