Stern Stall & Stern Squirts
The stern stall involves balancing on the stern of your boat whilst its stood vertically on one end.
How to do the Stern stall
There are 3 ways to initiate the stern stall on flat water.
1. Cartwheel into it. Initiate your bow, initiate your stern and then stop the rotation and try to stall it.
2. Initiate your stern with a stern double pump. Same as the double pump generate some energy and then as you go for your last pump drop your edge and lean back over the edge you want to initiate. At the same time use a strong back sweep stroke to lift your bow into the air and do an ab crunch to bring the boat vertical. This will lift your bow whilst sinking your stern. Then stop the momentum with a forwards stroke on the other side and try to balance for a stern stall.
3. Try and stern squirt into it. Do a stern squirt to wind your boat up to vertical and then use the forward stroke on the opposite side to stop your momentum and hold you vertical.
4. Once you have intuited your stern your aim is balance the boat vertical. Do this by getting your back and half your head in the water.
5. You will find the position for your hands that gives you the most control. Hands back over your head works well.
6. Use gentle pulls on the paddle blades and slightly body movements to hold your boat.
Regardless of which technique you use to initiate the move the trick is finding the balance point. If you are over relying on your arms to hold you in position or if it feels like your fighting it your not quite in the right position. Lean back slightly and let your body relax. When you find the right position it should feel relatively easy to hold.
Let your lifejacket and head rest in the water. This helps you balance as the flotation from your lifejacket will give you some support and you don’t need to counter balance the weight of your upper body and head they will just float.
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 behind your head with both blades in the water so it creates the backwards feet of a tripod with your 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.
Holding your paddle out behind your head when your vertical helps 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 lean backwards and out your head in the water your boat will flatten out. If you lean forwards and crunch your knees towards you the boat will go more vertical.
Have fun and once you can stern stall consistently have a go at doing some pirouettes and then smashing it into a cartwheel.