Full Stall

This article was originally posted on  justACRO. I’ve made a few minor corrections to the translation for readability.


The Full Stall (stalling the whole glider) is one of the most important maneuvers, you have to practice it a lot if you want to learn other acro tricks.  Many times when you make a mistake, there’s no other fast and safe way to get back  control of  the glider. It’s also a very good way to get to know the limits of your wing. By learning and becoming confident with the Full Stall, you will fly and do acro much safer!


To prevent riser twisting, set your harness to the full sitting position, open the chest strap as much as possible and put your legs under the harness. Take one wrap if the brake lines are long.


Slow down the glider to minimum speed by gently and symmetrical braking. When it’s stabilized above you (it doesn’t swing anymore), immediately pull down the brakes as much as you can. As the airflow on the whole glider is gone, the wing stalls and falls back behind you. Don’t be afraid, you will feel like somebody pull you back. KEEP the brakes locked at least until you swing back under the glider.

At the beginning the glider will pulse heavily (because you keep the brakes very deep) and it’s quite difficult to control the Full Stall like this. To stabilize it slowly and symmetrically release the brakes to around the level of your elbows (of course it really depends on the type of the glider and your brake setting!), until you notice the canopy calms down, doesn’t pulse anymore, the brakes don’t yank, and it’s much easier to keep them under control. This position is called Stabilized Full Stall. Now the glider is mostly opened, only the wingtips are collapsed and facing to the front, whilst you are flying backwards (almost as a Tail Slide). You may need a little bit of  practice to find this point.


During the Full Stall if it is not stabilized, the glider is pulsing and the pilot also swinging a little bit underneath the canopy. When the glider is above, or a little bit in front of you, quickly release the brakes up to slightly braked position By this the glider starts to re-inflate and shoot forward as it picks up speed. Just after the glider started to surge, brake it carefully to prevent collapses. The more violent it shoots forward, the stronger you have to brake to stop it.

From a stabilized Full Stall, it’s very easy to exit, because the glider is smoothly over your head. Just release the brakes quickly, than control the following surge by gently braking.

If you see the glider will shoots forward asymmetrically, brake only the faster side (which is lower) until the slower one accelerates and comes down to the same level. Than stop it with symmetrical braking, as usual.


When the glider stalls because of your pendulum you will go further than your wing (the glider slows down faster than you can) and it will be far behind you for few moments. NEVER EVER RELEASE THE BRAKES WHEN THE GLIDER IS BEHIND YOU, BECAUSE THE FOLLOWING SURGE CAN BE SO STRONG, YOU CAN EVEN FALL INTO THE CANOPY!!! It’s easy to imagine why: the glider starts to fly and shoots forward very violently at the same moment you swing back from a big pendulum. This two effects together generates the dynamic movement, which can be easily strong enough to fall into, or even behind the wing!

It can also happens that one of your hands goes up unintended because of the heavy brakes (especially when the glider is pulsing). In this case you have to choose what to do. You can release the other brake immediately and lead out the Full Stall, or you can also try to pull it back quickly, but if you are not fast enough, the glider starts to Spin very fast and you can easily end up in a riser twist. Please read also the dangers of Spin and riser twisting. Anyway, the amount of the brake pressure during the Full Stall is various, from glider to glider.

Maybe the most critical part of the Full Stall is the exit. The glider has no horizontal speed (actually it’s even sliding backwards!) and it has to accelerate. Be careful, if you brake the glider too hard when it shoots forward, it can easily stall again (usually asymmetrically!), however if you don’t brake it enough you could get VERY big collapses and cravats! If you start to spiraling down with a cravatted wing, and you don’t have hundreds of meters below you, don’t hesitate to throw your reserve!

Don’t practice this manouvre if your glider is overused and its porosity is bad (anyway, don’t do ANY aerobatics with wings like that!), because you can easily end up in deep stall (parachutage) after the exit, especially if you release the brakes too slow, and you don’t let the glider to pick up speed! However if it happens, pull out your speed bar, or if it’s not prepared, gently pull forward the „A” straps with your palms to accelerate the glider and get out from the deep stall.