How to Check-Stall for the Tube

| posted on June 13, 2011

Alek Parker, pulling the e-brake to check-stall for the tube. Photo: Burkard

Can we be honest for a second? We know that Dane Reynolds’ How To Pull a Slob Grab may have gone a bit over your head. And while we’re at it, Andrew Doheny’s insight into nailing a fin-waft was probably a bit technical for most of us as well (it’s totally cool, we’re in the same boat here). So for this installment, we’re dropping an Everyman’s version of the How-To Blog as we walk you through the check-stall.

At its most basic level, the check-stall is surfing’s equivalent to pulling the e-brake. When you need to slow down and allow the tube to catch up to you, a check-stall can be your best friend. Broken into two parts, the move is an exercise in surfing’s fundamentals, but it is important to remember with check-stalls that less is often more.

The key to the perfect check-stall is in finding a happy medium between the two basic turns that compose the move. Essentially the stall is a short, quick bottom turn that leads into a light mid-face snap. It may sound simple, but the move has led to many a wasted tube. If you bottom turn too hard and/or perform your check-snap too high, you’re going to end up pearling in the barrel, which is typically frowned upon.

When done properly, you will execute a soft bottom turn at the very trough of the wave and perform your snap-stall about halfway up the face. Remember: The key here is not to do your check-stall above the halfway point. If you can weave these two turns together on a barreling wave, you should find yourself closer to—and hopefully squarely inside—the tube. Now do yourself a favor and go get shacked.

  • mick

    thanks! love it!!! next blog suggestion: how to gain speed when the barrel is about to close out.

  • Mentaloaf

    “How to” sections in surf magazines are utterly worthless. Surfing is too fluid and dynamic to pin down in any step by step instructions….especially something like getting barreled. You either know how to get barreled or you don’t, and if you don’t, then go find some hollow waves and figure it out…