By: Kelsey Thompson - The bow stall is an advanced playboating move that involves balancing vertically on the bow of your kayak in flat water. This move requires amazing control and will take lots of practice to master. Mastering the bow stall will improve your vertical moves and help you better understand the balance points of your kayak.
The first thing you need to do is get your kayak vertical on the bow. There are a few ways to do this, you can double pump you bow under water or you can perform a bow plow. The bow plow is slower but technically easier, while the double pump is faster but will take more time to perfect. (If you can’t already do this take a look at the double pump article I wrote a month ago)
The most misunderstood part of bow stalling is your body positioning. When you lean back your kayak is actually pulled more vertically and when you lean forward your kayak flattens out. Although it may feel unnatural to go against this it is essential for the move. When you lean forward you can also push down with both blades to help flatten your boat out. When you lean back you can pull on both blades to help pull the boat more vertically.Combining these subtly body movements with the side to side stability your paddle offers is the key to bow stalling. Once you’ve mastered these body leans without thinking about them, you’ll be bow stalling for hours.
If you're struggling try grabbing onto a dock or the side of a pool, pulling yourself into a bow stall and using the edge to give you balance. This will help give you a better understanding of what your body movements will do to your boats angle without falling on your face right away.