The bow stall is one of the fundamental freestyle skills that is not only awesome fun just to do but that also opens the door to many other moves including the loop. The bow stall involves balancing on the bow of your boat whilst it is stood vertically on one end.
How to do the Bow stall
1. Do a double pump or plowing ender to initiate the bow and get it to vertical as hard and fast as you can.
2. If you use a double pump use the opposite blade to push on the water and stop your rotation whilst your boats vertical
3. Use your paddle and small body adjustments to hold your boat vertical.
Hold your paddle out in front of you to help create a balance point. Have both blades in the water and your paddles flat. Use your feet and hips to control the boats swing side to side. Lean backwards or crunch forwards slowly (and only a little bit) to help adjust the verticality of the boat.
If you stand up or lean backwards the boat will go more vertical. If you lean forwards or crunch your knees in the boat will flatten out.
There are many ways to practice getting into a bow stall and learning how to hold your boat on one end. Have a go at using the side of a pool or the edge of a dock or jetty to help you lift the boat into position and then try and take the weight of your arms and hands. Finding the balance point is key. If you are over relying on your arms to hold you in position you will find it super tiring and you won’t be able to hold it for very long.
The ideal position is to create a tripod out of your boat and hands (aka two paddles blades). To do this place your paddle out in front of you with both blades in the water so it creates the forward to feet of a tripod with you boat as the third balance point. Try and work out the best position where you can hold your boat with very little movement.
Your boat will want to travel side to side, backwards and forwards and up and down. Try and use only small (tiny) movements to control the boat otherwise it will bounce or respond to fast and fall out of control.
Initially if it helps fill your boat with water to help you get it vertical. Use this to learn how to hold the boat on end and how the boat responds to movements. You can also get someone to help hold the boat vertical whilst you figure it out.
Have fun and once you can bow stall consistently have a go at bouncing on the spot and doing some pirouettes. This is the first step to flat water loops and a great way to practice for other moves such as pirouettes, phonic monkeys, space godzillas and macho moves.