Sit-Up Stern Stall How-To

 The Sit-up Stern Stall is an explosive flatwater trick that has recently become my new favorite. Now that boat design has distributed volume in all the right places we can use our power and body positioning to get our kayaks vertical.

I have written down a few pointers along with a sequence photo of how this flatwater technique works.


Step 1.

With your kayak sitting still, your first task is to get all your weight and body mass to the bow of the kayak. Think about bending at the hips and stretching your arms and paddle forward—way forward.


Step 2.  

Throw your entire upper body and weight to the stern of your kayak. Again make sure to reach with your arms and paddle. Your entire body should be on the back deck and stretched out. This will also lock your knees into your thigh braces and set you up for your next step.


Step 3.

With your upper body stretched out start to pull up on your knees/thighs while sitting up. Your body should be doing a sit-up but focus on keeping your upper body stretched out so you are using all your upper body muscles and not just your lower crunch abs. You should be trying to pull your feet and hands together to get the maximum leverage to force the stern of your kayak under the water!

Note: If you try to crunch your torso to bend forward you will simply push your kayak back to flat. Remember stay stretched out with your torso and use your leg muscles as well.


Step 4.

Once you have finished your sit-up and your boat starts to approach vertical, you can once again lay your body toward the back deck (stern of your kayak). Reach your paddle blades toward the stern and into the water. By lying back at this point you will help the momentum of your kayak and add weight to the stern to get the volume of the boat under water. Continue to pull with your legs to get the boat fully vertical.


Step 5.

Once the boat is vertical your can start to sit forward again to find your neutral body position and balance point of your stern stall.

Note: If you continue to lie back after step 4 your boat will be pulled over vertical. You need to sit back neutral to stop the momentum and establish your stern stall by finding the balance point. It may also help to push your legs away from you to stop the momentum.


Step 6.

Now that you have found your balance and neutral position you can chill out in a stern stall and keep working on your paddler six pack abs.

This technique takes some serious explosive power and some time to perfect. Try it out and add something new to your bag of tricks.


—Tyler Curtis,


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