After encasing a target with sand, such as by using the Sand Binding Coffin, Gaara clenches his fist to cause the sand to contract. The sand presses in on the target from all directions until they're pulverised, killing them. Although some of the target's remains burst through the sand, scattering around the area similar to rain, most of their blood is absorbed by the sand itself.
Gaara can moderate the amount of pressure used in the sand's contraction, either making death quick and painless or dragging it out to prolong their suffering. He can also stop short of killing his targets, only compressing the sand enough to break their bones. In this case, however, the damage is so severe that only Tsunade is skilled enough to mend the bones, and even then she anticipates only a 50% success rate. In Gaara Hiden, the Sand Waterfall Funeral is stated to leave no identifiable trace of its victims, making it a useful way to fake a person's death.
- "Sand waterfall" (砂瀑, sabaku) is pronounced the same as the Japanese word for "desert" (砂漠), a pun commonly used for Gaara and his jutsu.
- In the anime, Nagare modelled his Assimilation: Sand Waterfall Funeral after this technique.