How to Stern Stall a Kayak

How to Stern Stall a Kayak
Kayakers who wish to emulate the acrobatic moves of skaters and snowboarders should look no further than playboating. This style of kayaking involves performing tricks in white water, such as becoming airborne or balancing a kayak boat to the stern end, known as "stern stalling." A successful stern stall requires the kayaker to balance his body weight and movements and to strategically use the paddle. To avoid injuries such as shoulder dislocation, get to know the correct way to stern stall a kayak.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Paddle
Step 1
Shift your weight to one side of the boat. Lift one knee up and push down with the other. Doing so will tilt the kayak onto its edge.
Step 2
Take a big forward stroke to push the stern underwater. When the bow reaches its vertical peak and begins to fall back toward the water, switch to a backward stroke to pull the bow under the water. Repeat these motions until you are bobbing up and down.
Step 3
Take a powerful forward stroke. Lift up the knee that is pressing down and press down with the knee that was previously lifted.
Step 4
Place the paddle blades behind your head as you reach a vertical position in order to prevent the boat from tipping to the side. Lean back as if you are lying on top of the water and looking at the sky.
Step 5
Keep in mind that stalling a kayak involves doing the opposite of what seems logical. Leaning forward will tip the kayak even farther back, while leaning back will cause the kayak to move toward a horizontal position.

Tips & Warnings

Kayakers who have mastered the basics of stalling can make the experience more challenging by moving the paddle onto their chests while stalling. Not being able to use the paddle blades to manipulate the angle of the boat means kayakers can control the stall only with well-balanced body movements.

Article Written By Aksana Nikolai

Aksana Nikolai is a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in language studies and international affairs. Nikolai is currently working in online marketing and communications. She has been writing since 2008, specializing in made-for-Web content and maintaining her fashion and beauty blog.

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