You might need video and coaching to resolve the problem. I know of a woman who had problems landing 9 cell canopies, but she switched to a 7 cell canopy (Triathlon) and the steeper decent angle allowed her to judge her altitude better and land without biffing in.
Well....your profile says you have 62 jumps and fly a Triathalon. Other than vision problems I would say coaching and video is your next step. It really can help a lot. In fact...most people with landing problems can fix it in as little 2-3 jumps with proper coaching.
In fact...most people with landing problems can fix it in as little 2-3 jumps with proper coaching.
Clay is absolutely right on with this statement! I waited waaayy too long to get some expert coaching with my landings. At 140 jumps I was on the edge of quitting the sport out of frustration over constant plf's and my lack of understanding about what I was doing wrong. Finally, I took a few days off work, arranged ahead of time to have someone work with me, video the landings, etc.
Others kept telling me I was flaring too high or too low. My coach identified the problem on the first landing...the minute I was within a few feet of the ground, my eyes would shift from the horizon to the ground, I would reach out with my foot. That would steer the canopy right into the ground because of my shift in the harness, and simultaneously I stopped flying the canopy (some wierd connection between my feet and my hands) Seeing it on video and having an expert work with me made all the difference in the world!
So, 35 jumps later, I am doing much better...I keep my eyes forward at flare-time, keep my knees bent & feet up (so that my hands will keep the flare going...seems strange but it's true!), and I feel the response from the canopy as I apply brakes and I can tell just when to put my feet down.
My point is 2 things: first, it may not be the timing of your flare at all, but a combination of actions that are putting you in the ground on landing. And secondly, patient, experienced coaches are worth their weight in gold! (btw, mine didn't charge me anything for his time...he works at the dz and just coordinated with me to come out on a typically slow day)
When your brain tells you to flare just wait! Remember that flaring is dynamic in nature. Flare just enough to reduce vertical speed at around 15'. As you re-gain vertical speed flare some more. Eventually you have close to zero vertical and horizontal speed and it's time to put your feet down. Don't be eager to put your feet down. If you are low and still have too much horizontal speed just lift your legs and flare some more. At times I slide my butt and still make a soft stand up landing. Also, every landing is different: air pressure, humidity, wind... It takes time. My landings still suck too! Good luck
Hmmm..... I remember landing a Triathlon. Get rid of it and buy a Spectre. If you're doing a student flare, wait until 10' agl (3m) and stab them all the way. If you feel comfortable using front risers, pull them both down a few inches at 50' until 15' agl and flare. The extra speed from the front risering will give you more lift.
The Triathlon is a good, safe, all around canopy. I was tired of it 20 jumps after I learned how to safely land it. It's too docile to swoop. Buy a Spectre, than buy an airlocked canopy.
I can't really see how far above the ground I am which usually makes me flare too late... It's really bad when I'm going down steep (strong wind, etc.). Somebody told me that I have to look at the horizon (I'm looking at the ground), but I didn't really help so far. And there's no real coach around at the DZ where I'm jumping now.
There was a good article in Parachutist about canopy control in I believe the May issue. There was a description in there that really made it click for me. I'll see if I can remember the gist of it.
Everyone always says you should be able to feel the proper flare in your leg straps and judge it that way, but I wasn't sure what I was supposed to feel. What the article said and what helped me was that during the first part of your flare when you first pull the toggles down you will swing out slightly in front of your canopy. That's where you want to be for a proper landing. Once you swing out in front a little, you want to stay in that position, so continue pulling down on the toggles so that you remain in that position until you are all the way to the ground and your flare has been completed. The keys to this are 1) look out at the horizon or at least out on a 45 deg. angle, not down at that ground, 2) the input should be smooth. A 2 stage flare is not yank once, yank twice. Rather give a tug at the start to swing out then smoothly continue steady input to stay slightly in front of the canopy. 3) Practice it up high. Go to full flight the start your flare, feel your self swing out then continue input to stay in that position until your hands are all the way down. You'll feel what you're supposed to...now you just want to do the same thing close to the ground.
Kevin made a good point. You need to do two things: Get an experienced jumper with good canopy skills to observe some of your landings and critique you, and you need to work on your landings at altitude. There are plenty of threads on this subject buried in this forum. Every parachute lands differently, that is the reason we do practices at altitude. If after being observed several times and making the recommended changes to your style, nothing changes, then let an experienced jumper try your main to see if he or she thinks there is a problem with it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a Triathalon, so you ought not be having problems with it at this point in your jumping carreer.
There was a 2-part article in the April and May 1999 issues of Parachutist on landing Ram-Airs. It was part of the "Jumping the Ram-Air" series and was written by Kevin Gibson. Those two articles focus on normal, conservative, natural speed landings and are where I learned the basics of landing. I thought they were quite good. See if you can find a copy.
The other suggestions given are very good, too. Having an experienced jumper video and critique your landings will help. Review the video and debrief immediately after landing, when it is still fresh in your mind. Pick an experieneced jumper who always gets soft landings. Also, practicing the flare up high is always a good. I still do it on almost every jump.
Hmmm..... I remember landing a Triathlon. Get rid of it and buy a Spectre.
There's NOTHING wrong with a triathlon.
If you're doing a student flare, wait until 10' agl (3m) and stab them all the way.
?!?!?!? If you're at about 60 jumps, you can start to think about slowing down your flare and seeing how the canopy will plane out. Some DZ's get people into this by doing 'two-stage' or 'three-stage' flares, where you pause briefly at different flare points. The "standard" three-stage flare is shoulders, chest, groin. These are all bouncing around the real idea when landing, which is to give a smooth slow flare, which you're able to use in reaction to how the canopy is flying. The only important key is that you want to keep your toggles even, so that you don't have unintentional turns. You'll find that once you build the confidence to give a smooth slow flare, you should be able to get some really fun, really smooth landings out of it.
I have a Sabre 2 135 loaded at about .9........In the past I was jumping a Sabre 150.........I used to stand up my landings on the 150 Now all I do is say ouch every time I land the Sabre 2. I like the canopy but I sure wish I could get the flare down......... The Sabre 2 is a great canopy. I know I will land it standing up someday. I am a little scared on final however if I do not flare all the way into my brakes I do land on my butt Pratice practice..thats the key
I may have made the wrong choice.I only have 63 jumps...Im being very careful though. I know at least if I do not flare the worse thing that happened was I had a sore butt for a couple of days.....I actually did not flare on my last jump. I only got my toggles to my shoulders.......It is going so fast on final ( it seems so any way ) I just droped dowm even though I REALLY thought I had it.
if I do not flare all the way into my brakes I do land on my butt
I'm just a newbie with fewer jumps than you (39), but it sounds like you really need to start practicing your PLF's. Landing on your butt is dangerous, and you can really injure your back that way. Knees together and roll...
As far as flaring, I'm probably not anybody to listen to, but what I've started doing is flaring a little higher than I think I need to, and starting the flare slowly. I'm starting to get it dialed in a lot better, and am learning the feel for the affect of the flare.
if I do not flare all the way into my brakes I do land on my butt
so do flare ! why wouldn't you want to flare ?
In reply to:
I actually did not flare on my last jump. I only got my toggles to my shoulders.......It is going so fast on final ( it seems so any way )
that seems to be very common especailly for girls (i'm not trying to start any flame, just my opinion). with relatively smaller canopy forward speed increases and it scares some people. as a remedy they fly on half brakes which slows down the canopy and makes it "less" scary. as a result there is no enough speed and not enough flare ! let it fly and you will get better landings.
Hi Flyhi, I had that problem for a while longer than most students. I finally realized that I was having depth perception problems that are a part of my overall vision problem. I learned to overcome it by a visual trick I learned driving in bumper to bumper traffic. I look ahead (at the horizon) then down at the ground, back and forth, constantly on final. I'm sure it looks like I'm nodding to some hallucinated voice or something, butt :) I don't biff in anymore! I also agree with one of the previous posts. On MY canopy, you do have to aggressively "bump" the toggles to shoulder level in order to swing out ahead of the canopy. Pulling them down gradually will not do it, so I think you have to feel this part out for yourself (at altitude). Good luck and blue skies N.B. only 72 jumps here- take with appropriately sized grain of salt