Tumblehome is the inward cant of a vessels side when viewed in transverse sections. Carried through the bow, tumblehome is the opposed of flare, and the main characteristic of wave piercing bows. By placing maximum beam near the waterline, and reducing deck sizes above, tumblehome can have positive effects of stability. In small paddled boats, tumblehome reduces obstruction of the gunwhales to the paddles motion (albeit at a cost of overall displacement/capacity). Tumblehome has also historically been used for defensive purposes, particularly against boardings and low-angle munitions.