How to Check-Stall for the Tube

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.