Longboard Clinic The Stall

Longboard Clinic: The Stall #1

Picture this, Scott's Head, Monday following the wrap of the 07 Loggerheads Classic.

Somewhere about lunch time;

Yoko and I are fortunate enough to be sharing the lineup with two of the more talented yet humble elders of our chosen art form, Bob Brown and Ron Rudder.

Ronny paddles into a sweet little peeler that stands erect in a teasing fashion, when suddenly Browny bellows from out wide, "put ya head in it".

What follows is a seemingly endless moment in the space time continuum as Rudder almost imperceptibly shifts his weight. His board seems to defy physics, slows, and appears to drift backwards into the pocket. Ron ducks under the lip as it whips over his melon dispersing sun kissed droplets across his shoulders. Yoko hoots with unbridled joy, Browny beams and I just couldn't help but laugh. Now it's Bob's turn, an almost identical wave, but this time an entirely different take on the same move. Browny lifts the nose high, burying the tail deep in the pocket. Casually he strolls up the full length of his ten feet long camouflaged single fin, levelling it out as he heads for the nose. He flashes a Colgate grin, confident in the knowledge his tail has been well set.

Smiling quietly to myself, I can't help but muse, you just don't see that as much anymore, whatever happened to the stall?

The stall, for those that don't remember, can range from a gracefully sublime manoeuvre, to a wildly potent well timed stomp on the tail. The objective is to put the brakes on. Either through a controlled combination of rail to tail drift, finely refracted through the more obvious fall-line of the wave, or by lifting the nose high, burying the tail deep in the pocket. The first is an almost sensuously surreal, slow-motion act, the other, the longboarders equivalent to reining in a mustang. Either would usually be followed by a relaxed head dip, a leisurely stroll to the nose, or an inspired combination of both.

The stall was, and more importantly still must be, a highly valid move in any longboard aficionado's repertoire.

  Longboard Clinic The Stall 2