Mar 8, 2002, 3:27 PM
Post #1 of 9
Next Step...90 Degree Front Riser
We all were instructed with the expert feedback from Chuck on front riser approaches now let's take it to the next step! Chuck, or anyone else with expert swooping skills please provide us an education for beginning the 90, 180 & 360 degree front riser turns into the swoop.
Riser dives to final- we don't toggle hook for any reason on the circuit- are learned at altitude, just like everything else. To figure your turn-in height for whatever degree of turn you want to do, do a hop and pop at altitude. Once you are open and are done stowing your slider, etc, take up a heading across the ground. Reach up with both hands in your toggles and grab both front dive loops. It does not matter that you only plan to turn one way; grabbing both loops will keep your body square in the harness. Once aligned with something on the ground, check your altitude and pull your riser (no matter which one) down far enough that you initiate a steeply diving carve. Hold that carve until you are 90, 180, whatever degrees from your start point and release the riser. Next, wait until your canopy "comes around the corner" and levels out with the ground. Check your altimeter again, do the math, and the difference in altitude is the altitude above ground level that you ought to be able to accomplish the same move safely.
If you do what I said and your canopy comes around the corner too high and leaves you planed out too high off the ground to drag a toe, then the next time you do it bring it down a tad, or just transition to double fronts BEFORE you come around the corner. Wait too late to transition to double fronts and you will not be able to pull your dive loops back down due to the centrifugal force of your body swinging under the canopy. This is the main reason you have both hands in your dive loops when you throw a turn; that way you have the ability to crank it back the other way really quick, go to double fronts, or even better: moderate the degree of your turn.
Every canopy has a riser-pull "sweet spot". That is the degree that you can pull a riser down to make that perfect, carving dive. Pull farther than the sweet spot and your canopy will spin quickly on it's axis, almost exactly like doing a toggle hook. Don't pull far enough and the riser pressure will become too great to hold it down, plus the canopy will barely be turning. Keeping your dive in the sweet spot is the very best way to build real, usable speed for the longer surfs. A snapping turn will initially dive very fast, but will also come around the corner too fast and cause shortened surfs. The only real caveat to that statement is that some canopies will continue to dive at the ground no matter what, so it doesn't matter TOO much how sloppy you are. The intent is to build clean speed and have your canopy come close to being around the corner on it's own at a height that you can drag your feet if you wanted to. In a pond swoop meet, that is critical. In a PPPB meet, it's only critical in the Acuracy event, and to a degree, in the Pro Distance where you only have five foot entrance blades. I generally only have to tap my brakes to finish coming around the corner, but I have a little bit of practice. Once around the corner, most canopies are going to have three or four seconds where they need no input whatsoever to just cruise along. This is called "ground effect". After they slow to a certain speed, they will start to sink out. At that point, you just start adding little bits on brake input until such a time as it is safe to lower your landing gear (feet) and either step out of it, or slide to a stop like I do. Pilots will understand this as the old "I don't want to land, I don't want to land" lesson where you are taught to slowly ease back on the yoke until your main gear lightly touches down.
After a while you will cease having to look at your altimeter to get your turn-in point dialed. Eventually, you will just "feel" that you are at the right altitude to throw your turn. Normally, I like to do a long carving right 180. If I am too high to make my turn and still land along my desired "runway", I will rurn up to 90 degrees left, then go right 270. If I am too low for some reason, I will crank the turn tighter to make the same landing zone. Bottom line is that you need to practice accuracy on every skydive; swoops included. State clearly ahead of time that "I am swooping the beer line from road to runway" or whatever it is at your DZ. Try not to deviate from that course. Instead, vary the rate and degree of your turn to get you to that spot. A swooper must really be on his toes and cognizant of what others are doing around him. Getting your swoops on target will really help you later when and if you ever care to join me on the circuit. A person might be billy bad-ass at home without any blades to go through, but let me assure you that you must REALLY be on your game to fly through a course of 14 foot high airblades, or drag your toe the length of a pond on a course that is only four and a half feet wide. Practice, practice, practice. Ask questions of the smooth guys, and come on out to the competitions and watch for a while to see what it's like.
In my opinion, your a highly skilled, experienced canopy pilot. What advice would you have for the newer canopy pilots? Before they even entertain the idea of swooping, what was your criteria that you personally had to meet before attempting swooping? just curious.............
I spent three years at a DZ that was, by all definitions, a tandem factory. They did student instruction, then put them out to fend for themselves. Experienced jumpers were more than happy to tell you when you did something wrong (Well, you fucked that one up!), but that was the extent of their input.
After three years there and 700 jumps, I have received more and better training from you in two posts than at my first DZ. I hope the newbies here know how valuable this info is and take it to heart. If we ever meet at a boogie or DZ, beers on me. Thanks, dude.
Just take it one day at a time, like the drunks do. flyhi
BWAHAHAHA! At first, I thought the picture really sucked because it didn't show any rooster tail or indication of how far I had swooped. I looked more closely and saw the error: I had skewed sideways at the very end, so my tracks are not directly behind me. The very-long indention that trails out behind me and to the left (as viewed) is how far I went on my belly. Oddly, my jumpsuit and rig didn't even really get wet all day. I simply jumped up and dusted of the snow every time.