Mar 13, 2002, 10:25 PM
Post #1 of 13
Help with technique...
Okay, here's the dealio. I have been getting some pretty good landings under my Stiletto 190 (loaded just under 1.4). My background: I have about 50 eliptical jumps (190's) and the ones before that were on my Sabre 210. I have 170-ish jumps total.
The problem: I have been getting some pretty good landings, not great landings. I'm not biffing them in but I know I could be a lot better, smoother and that I am missing some technique.
In short, I would like to get some coaching. I come from a small DZ that I work at so I don't have time to ditch my students during the day. I try to get advice from the better canopy pilots at my DZ but they are hard to come by and I try to keep working on my skills on student jumps.
Does anyone know of a DZ within reasonable driving distance from Oklahoma that I can go to in order to just spend a day or two with a canopy coach doing nothing but learning how me and my wing fly? I would like to get in at least 15-20 jumps to begin with and go from there.
Right now, I am practing flat & flare turns, milking my flare for the best amount of lift and I am getting ready to start working with small double-front riser input. Before I get to that point I want to get some of my landing techniques worked out. I did a jump three weeks ago that I did a little (15-20 degree) carve on final and although the canopy had a lot of speed, I had a hard time keeping it flying (used up my toggle range too soon I think) and had to slide out the landing on my feet for about 25 feet.
If not, hell, I will buy a case for someone to look at a weekend's worth of video of my landings if I have to. I'm not worried about hurting myself or anything like that, I just want to be more efficient and controlled.
Post the Video, if you dare. You will get a lot of help.
Beyond that the most common thing I see is not finishing the flair. Force yourself to push those toggles to their limits on landing. Don't bow tie it, but as your feet get on the ground, don't forget to keep on going down with the toggles, until the canopy falls on your head. You see people all the time, as soon as they touch the ground, the toggles go up, and they fall down.
I don't know if this is what you meant. But, as I always say, swooping is the same as any landing. Downwind, base, final, then complete the landing sequnce. It aint rocket science, and is not even as hard as landing a stinking Cessna. Just fly the canopy until it stops moving.
Oh, and no, I don't think anything is within driving distance from Oklahoma
Kris, there is absolutely no problem in sliding your landings out on the bottoms of your feet; as a matter of fact it's quite stylish! You reach a point during your flare that your canopy is going to stop flying. Some wings, like your Stiletto, have a pretty high stall speed, so you have a choice to make: Do I want to stop completely and have a shorter surf, or do I want to go farther and then either run it out or slide it out. I don't recommend running to anyone, but some people (like Luis "Luigi" Cani) do it on every jump. If you MUST jump barefoot for vanity's sake, then I guess you are going to have to do that.
Smarter people wear shoes with slick bottom soles and slide. I personally normally wear either an old pair of Navy coral dive booties or a pair of US Postal Service high-top athletic shoes given to me by Ray Porterfield. Those things have fairly hard, slick soles and are very unlikely to "grab" when I lower my landing gear. I wear Tevas sometimes too, but only with my bootie suit, so I don't rip off the soles if they catch on anything.
Someone has already talked about flaring all the way and the possibility of "bowtieing" your main. Flaring all the way on a Stiletto while you still are over your "stall speed" will generally give you a nice stand-up landing. Flare that much after you are below your stall speed and your are going to bowtie that rascal. It's the same with any canopy really, but much more so with a Stiletto since the brakes are set so high and tight from the factory. When I was jumping Stilettos (a 107 and a 97), I added six inches to the brake lines on both of them. This made the stall point down around my hip bones as opposed to my belly. I am not saying that is what you need to do, but I really liked mine better that way. Toggle hookers can get away with high, tight brakes, but riser divers cannot since the canopy bucks in turns with your hands in the toggles.
All this being said, you come back to your choice. You either stop your main completely by flaring all the way when your canopy is above stall speed, or glide farther then having to slide or run it out at the end to avoid the inevitable bowtie. Your call.
As for canopy coaching: I recommend coming to a major boogie or a swoop competition. Both are places where you will be able to get your style critiqued. There is always a week-long camp prior to the start of any "regular" PPPB meet, WFFC included, so that may be your best bet.
Kris I don't know how far Dallas is for you, but Hooknswoop and myself seem to be up there atleast once a month if not more. PM him, he may be able to work something out with you. He was starting a canopy school here in Houston, but that ended up not working out with us going to Dallas so often.
Flare that much after you are below your stall speed and your are going to bowtie that rascal. It's the same with any canopy really, but much more so with a Stiletto since the brakes are set so high and tight from the factory.
Monkey, I gotta check on this. What does any canopy's brake setting have to do with the way it flies AFTER the brakes are released (hopefully long before landing)?
The freak formerly known as Mike Farmer. Sky World
SkyMonkeyOne, as for the sliding, I was just worried because the canopy still had a lot of forward speed that I should have been able to use to keep it flying. A little more efficient on the flare, etc. I will keep plugging away and see if I can get my butt to a DZ that might have some coaching.
I do agree that sliding is better than trying to run it out and that is one of the things that a swooper (Brandon Chouinard) at my DZ has told me to work on.
In reply to:
What do you do that you have students with only 170 jumps under your belt?
I am staff at a small but extremely busy DZ. We have a huge amount of students to handle and I am also one of the people who helps teach the FJC.