Connor Baxter stroke tips on muscular engagement from the 2017 Carolina Cup

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We asked Starboard’s team rider and World Champ Connor Baxter if we could sit in on his stroke clinic at the 2017 West Marine Carolina Cup yesterday.  As ever, the champ welcomed us. In the few short minutes we were there, he dropped a few gems on technique I’d never heard spoken before. Here’s the short view.

Connor Baxter Stroke Clinic at the 2017 Carolina Cup

There is no question that Connor Baxter is the MAN when it comes to stroke technique.  For a young, lithe, skinny guy, he is the ultimate powerhouse in paddling.  His sprints are incredible to watch and his distance game is equally impressive as he recently proved at The Ultimate Waterman competition in New Zealand.

But, what makes Connor stand out, aside from his inspiring kindness is also is ability to teach.  He is articulate and intelligent and clearly has thought through this body mechanics in such a way that he can talk about them.  He shares fully and willingly.

In this recent video (sorry about the quality, it was shot on my iPhone) Connor gives a brief overview of what muscles should be at work in stand up paddle racing and what a paddler’s stance should look like in order to get there.  He talks about the importance of the glutes, a muscle group that often gets overlooked.  At the end of the day, he says, your butt should feel it and your core.  This is not a game of shoulders and arms, as we knew, but a dynamic cross-lateral abdominal strength that comes from your hip thrust to propel the board forward.

Thanks, Connor!  This little tidbit is enough to keep our viewer’s engaged and moving forward … in the right way 😉



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Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.