Jul 1, 2002, 9:23 AM
Post #1 of 9
freeflying = unlearning rw skills?
ok - wasn't sure which forum should go, so im trying a few.... I want to buy an RW suit so i asked on the local uk.rec site, and mentioned i didn't want anything too fancy because i wanted to learn some basic RW skills to prep me for freefly. I want to get my FS1 basically, before i even think about trying to sit. Now someone replied and said "why waste time learning RW if you want to get into freefly - you will have to unlearn everything that RW/flat flying teaches you"
Is this a valid point - obviously it seems like it, but i have done a fair bit of research and most top free flyers seem to agree its good to have RW skills, at least to FS1 level before you learn ff, just so you have an idea of how you movement affects your relationship with others in the air, which seems like another valid point. What do you guys suggest - RW or not RW? Really, i have no interest in RW at all - i mean, i think doing 10 or 20 jumps of it would be fun, espeically if i had a few mates up there with me, but i have no interest in turning points at all, so im approaching it as "something fun to, but with the emphasis being on acquiring skills that will be useful for what i really want to get into".
ANy advice from people who flat AND ff (or did flat and NOW FF) out there will be really appreciated. Thanks
No ..thats not a valid point at all. Air awareness is air awareness. Free Flying is simply an extension of that air awareness into a new axis. There are several reasons you need to learn RW first. Like..altitude awareness, spatial awareness, managing closing speeds, understanding how body flight works. Learn to crawl before you try and run a marathon.
Well, I just learned this weekend how hard it is to FF when you have developed the RW habits. It's impossible to sit fly when you have that "built in" arch. It's so hard not to use it as a crutch when you're learning to FF.
I spent my first 100 jumps or so learning RW. I can vouch for the fact that learning RW helped develop a basic, fundamental understanding of body flight that can be carried over into freefly. Learning things such as "When I push against the relative wind this way, my body does..." or "When I arch/dearch, my body does...." is very useful in freefly, even if you don't use those exact skills.
What's funny is that now that I've been freeflying for a while, I'll occasionally go back & do an RW jump and be amazed at how much better I am at it than when I stopped! Just as some of the RW skills can be carried over into freefly, freefly skills can be carried over into RW.
For example, I was doing a raft jump that went to hell and so the backup plan was to do this big-ass round. Out the door, when it was clear the raft dive was blown, we all went down for the base. I went into a hard RW-style dive, which for me was just the other side of head down and was quite comfortable. A couple of RW folks complimented me on my ability to dive hard and controlled.
At one point as I was heading into the formation, I realized I was coming in way too hot. I did this weird instinctive de-arch, grab the air thing that immediately put the brakes on. A couple RW folks had this look of "What the hell was *that*?" But it stopped me on level with the formation & I was able to back off a bit and come back in.
So the instincts in both can carry over and serve you well in the other environment.
I'd also note that the USPA Millennium Award has a belly component, and many of the top freefly teams were incorporating belly moves in their routines at this year's Nationals, so being proficient on your belly is becoming more & more important in freefly.
I started to freefly in my coach dives. I did the static line progression and now out of 150 jumps I have about 10 belly jumps. it seems to have worked for me this way... i think either way you go is good.. if you learn to freefly first it will help you with belly and vise versa. but definately keep the groups to 2 or 3 people if you learn to freefly 1st. it will make the learning curve alot quicker, and it will be much safer until you lear to fly your body with more obsticles in the air. be safe and have fun! -yoshi