Oct 20, 2008

"Un-Banked" Bottom Turns

Photo by Wardie

A mat's trim speed can sometimes be maintained, or even increased, with a yaw turn off the bottom...rather than a banked turn.

By running along the bottom and easing the nose back up the face just a few degrees, while leaving the mat level, the tail will drift out a bit, and you can take a natural track back up the face and into the power.

The flat turn in the top photo was initiated to keep the camera angle level while shooting point-of-view footage for Innermost Limits...but the turning principle is the same.

The middle photo was taken in weak windswell -- you can see the short wave frequency in the photo -- but no speed was scrubbed off in the turn. A banked turn would have bogged the rider down.

The bottom photo is a textbook "flat" bottom turn. Look how little the water is disturbed as the mat changes direction.

An analogy between the two styles of bottom turn would be a car versus a motorcycle, both racing on dirt. Each would drift and hunt for the right line, but the motorcycle would bank over into the turn and the car wouldn't. Neither is inherently better, but with a mat, you can execute both kinds of turns as the wave and your mood dictate.

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