Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Relative Work:
How fast is fast?

 


fred  (A 44905)

Jul 29, 2002, 7:52 PM
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How fast is fast? Can't Post

I'm still a lowbie, so maybe this should be in the training forum, but since I'm belly flying, I thought I'd post it here.

I'm wondering how fast is fast for RW.

Backstory: Soon after I graduated, I did a coached jump with an instructor who should fall pretty fast. We had planned to do some docking practice. We'd exit, attempt to match fall rates, and then he'd back up, and I'd move forward and dock. What I found was that after exit I was much lower then him. I did my best dearch (first time trying to slow myself down), and we managed to fall at the same level, but I was feeling awful unstable and not near what I was used to falling at. We docked once, and that was mostly him, he backed up, and I attempted to move forward. As soon as I started forward motion, I could tell I was dropping. I dearched, and ... well, I think that killed my forward motion. I was chasing him around the sky, and finally thought, "Relax, get comfortable, and try again." As I thought this, I went into my normal arch, and suddenly he was way above me. I just shot down from him when I was flying "normal". (This was in a rental RW jumpsuit).

... So, time goes by, and I get a really baggy freefly suit. It's Kris's old purple and green one, for those who know it. Suffice it to say, it's really, really baggy. I also got a protrack, so I did two jumps. The first, I just fell normal, and the second I tried to dearch and fall as slowly as possible. (Solo jumps)

On the first jump, according to my protrack, I averaged 132MPH (TAS). Top speed of 141MPH. This is on my belly, with few maneuvres (just a couple turns and such). On the jump where I was dearching to the best of my ability (n.b. I haven't done this much, so I can probably improve), the protrack clocked me at an average of 128MPH, Max 134.

This seems really fast to me, especially for being in such a big jumpsuit. The thing is, when I'm slowing down as much as I can, I feel like I have almost no control. Clearly, I would like to get on some loads where I don't have to worry so much about fall rate, and can just relax and practice/learn other stuff.

Is this really fast? Or is this just good base material?

For what it's worth, I'm 5'11", and between 210-215 without gear. I inquired with Tony Suits about getting an RW suit, and their first question was, "Have you talked to your instructor about your fall rate?" And I have briefly, but I'd like to get your comments as well.


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Jul 29, 2002, 8:06 PM
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Re: [fred] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

I won't bullshit you, 135 is an extreemely fast fallrate for RW.

The best RW teams turning dozens of points rarely get that fast.

I did a rw jump with a friend a few monthes ago, and we did 138 TAS... I was practically curled up into a ball to keep up with him, it made turning points very dificult.

An average RW jump (around here) is about 118... I'm a big guy too, so I have to fly pretty big to be at that speed. I've had a lot of fallrate issues, too.

There's two answers to a fast fallrate, the first it seems that you've got, which is a good baggy jumpsuit. The second is a lot of training and practice at falling slowly. I RARELY arch. Practicing flying big has given me the ability to control myself at the slower speeds.

So, I'd recomend coaching. Lots and lots of coaching. If you're near a wind tunnel, spending some time there would be very worthwhile.

Now what this does mean, is you'll make a SCREAMING base in big ways. This is a good thing.

It also mean you could easily do some interesting hybrid jumps... you'd be able to be on your belly with people that are in a sit. This is a good thing, too.

I also wonder about the suit.... since I haven't seen it. "real baggy" is relative. A good suit manufacturer can make you a REAL baggy suit that will slow you down even more...

_Am


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Jul 29, 2002, 8:36 PM
Post #3 of 19 (1528 views)
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Re: [fred] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

Our DZ average is about 118-124 just depending on the group going up. I like filming the 118's better then the 124 group Wink I'm in the midwest and we have lots of big boys to speed up the formations around here. On option that you might like to look at is swoop cords on the RW suit, having all the materal in the world does little to help unless it can all get exposed to the air at the same time. Swoop cords will make all that extra materal in the arm become a wing. And booties will slow you down a touch too.

Toss the protrack on a jumptrack to see your speeds through out the skydive, the averages can be weird some times. I did a coach jump that funneled out the door and it read us at 170 but we could'nt have got abovre 130. Also is it set to TAS or SAS?


ernokaikkonen  (D 12)

Jul 30, 2002, 2:11 AM
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Re: [fred] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

132MPH is fast... very fast.

Most recreational FS on my DZ tends to fall at about 180KPH(112MPH), and my team falls about 190-200KPH (119-125MPH). I have to wear 7kg(15lbs) of lead to keep up with my team...

Erno


Zoltan  (D License)

Jul 30, 2002, 5:43 AM
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Re: [fred] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

fred,

do not be afraid... almost all the beginner FS jumpers have the same problem. I have seen 110-130 lb hevy weight girls lurking under a 4way and i also know experienced 200-220 lb butterflies who are able to dock easily last to big ways what normally has a very low fall rate.

By my opinion there is nothing to do with jumpsuit, it is all about body position and experience.
There is no use of doing FS in baggy suit.. First of all it is sucks to do FS in freefly suit and vice versa :) second if you use baggy suit you will not learn that good leg and arm work which is needed for FS. If you want top slow yourself down with suit then use regular FS suit and take an extra t-shirt ... but leave your arms and legs free, you need them.

So i suggest you to jump two ways with experienced FS jumpers and learn your own comfortable body position and get used to the feeling that sometimes you need to be faster or slower :)

z


Michele  (B 26874)

Jul 30, 2002, 6:39 AM
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Re: [Zoltan] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

hey, Fred - it's a pity you jump in Michigan, because you and I'd be able to jump together really well...

Just checked my log book, and top speed was 141. Then, several jumps later, top speed was 136, and now, I generally run around 124 (once I went 121, but that was slowest, and the comments in my book was "totally out of control")...these were in several different "baggy" suits. What I do know that I practiced a lot on solos is, like Andy said, flying big...solo-ing so that I can work on that without hurting anyone if I get out of control. During one of my AFF jumps, I lost my JM - he never got back to me (really funny video - I have no idea where he is, and keep turning around looking for him. He wore weights from there on in...)

I only have a few jumps, so I am definately not the person to listen to for advice - but I thought I'd share my "slowing" experience with you. There is a point that I reached where I don't arch into a "U" any more, and am more flat, and still can maintain control. I know I spent several jumps just arching hard, and then de-arching, to feel the difference and learn where my out-of-control point is...so despite being short and "chubby", I can slow enough for some fast belly fliers to stay with me.

Ciels and Pinks-
Michele


tigra  (C 27417)

Jul 30, 2002, 2:48 PM
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Re: [Michele] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Michele,

Quit calling yourself chubby! Your fall rate has a lot more to do with your body position than your weight. I'm guessing Fred has a pretty good arch as well.

I also agree with what Zoltan said. Too many people think a baggy suit is the answer to fall rate problems, and it isn't. What you need is a RW suit that fits you, made from a higher drag fabric, possibly with swoop chords and/ or booties. A baggy suit MIGHT slow you down, but really, what happens is that the excess material catches air in places where you don't necessarily want it to catch air, and can cause some instability problems. And if you are already trying to de-arch and stressing over fall rate, the instability just gets worse.

So, hang in there, get a suit that fits, and work on relaxing that arch. Things will get better. And there are times when the ability to fall fast without weights can come in really handy. A hybrid dive is a good example of that! Being in the base on a big way is another!

maura


Zennie

Jul 30, 2002, 4:53 PM
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Re: [AndyMan] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
It also mean you could easily do some interesting hybrid jumps... you'd be able to be on your belly with people that are in a sit.

There's a couple of guys at out DZ who can easily break 140 on their belly. I love going up with those guys.

You are an ideal base guy for a hybrid. Hook up with some other fast RW folks and some freefliers. Hybrid jumps are a blast! Smile

Just don't let me be hanger. Tongue


jceman  (D 19212)

Jul 30, 2002, 7:14 PM
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Re: [Zennie] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
It also mean you could easily do some interesting hybrid jumps... you'd be able to be on your belly with people that are in a sit.

There's a couple of guys at out DZ who can easily break 140 on their belly. I love going up with those guys.

You are an ideal base guy for a hybrid. Hook up with some other fast RW folks and some freefliers. Hybrid jumps are a blast! Smile

Just don't let me be hanger. Tongue

Are you people serious when you advise a 40-jump jumper to do hybrid dives? I don't think a person at that skill level has either the air skills or the safety mondset to be doing such advanced jumps.

In order to do hybrid jumps safely, you need to be very aware of your position relative to all others on the jump. There is major chance of high speed collisions in jumps with such varied fall rates.

I agree that he has potential to have a ball on hybrids, but he has to learn how to really fly relative to others first.

Someone needs to take Fred along on some good drill dives and get hime used to varying his fall rate and hone his docking skills.

Fred, I'm 5' 91/2" and weigh in at 260. I heard all the stuff like, "God, you fall fast", but I had folks that were willing to work with me and taught me how to fly my body in control. First was falling straight down the pipe, then came the relative work. I jumped again and again with kids half my weight until we could repeatedly turn 4-point 4-ways in shorts and shirts. Yes, it was hard, I was at one end of my rnge, they were ate the other, but we could do it every time out. At that point I got a jump suit with swoop cords. That put me in a mid=point of my range and allowed them to slow down. Mrs DZO said my suit was my gift to the rest of the jumpers!

Keep at it, keep learning, and you will have a ball. Then come do hybrid dives with us -- they are a blast.


Zennie

Jul 30, 2002, 8:38 PM
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Re: [jceman] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Are you people serious when you advise a 40-jump jumper to do hybrid dives

To tell you the truth I hadn't looked at his numbers. But given his post I prolly should have figured it out.

Still, I agree that hybrid jumps are pretty advanced. But generally the belly base is not too difficult compared to standard RW jumps. You just need a clean exit (yeah, easier said than done) and remember to take high grips.

For the freefliers, especially the stingers, that's a different story. I have 350 jumps and I wouldn't even consider myself close to being a stinger. My hanging skills ain't that great either. Tongue

But you're right. Some drill dives would be very helpful.


tigra  (C 27417)

Jul 31, 2002, 6:40 AM
Post #11 of 19 (1399 views)
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Re: [jceman] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

I was actually thinking down the road with a bit more experience, after learning to control fall rate, not right away. Sorry if that wasn't more clear, but I was just trying to make the point that sometimes being able to fall fast has its advantages.

my bad......

maura


Viking  (B 30397)

Jul 31, 2002, 9:19 PM
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Re: [tigra] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

i have maxed out at 151 on my belly. I have never once been called slow. One of the Camera guys called my fallrate "Nice and Comfy" I am not a heavy person (6'3" and 215 out the door) i am just very flexible.


fred  (A 44905)

Jul 31, 2002, 9:54 PM
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Re: [tigra] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, haven't been religiously reading lately, so I have to catch up... I'll respond to quotes in turn.

Quote:
I also wonder about the suit.... since I haven't seen it. "real baggy" is relative. A good suit manufacturer can make you a REAL baggy suit that will slow you down even more...

It definately gets comments on how baggy it is, but I'm certainly planning on getting a good, custom RW suit. It may slow me down more, and I definately don't want to do much RW in this suit. Others' points about the disadvantage of a FF suit for FS is pretty clear.

Quote:
Toss the protrack on a jumptrack to see your speeds through out the skydive, the averages can be weird some times.

I have jumptrack, and the averages are right. The graphs do seem to show a pretty inconsistent fall rate, but I expect that's normal for somebody of my experience. I can post some of the graphs if people would like (and a good method of exporting the graphs with jumptrack would be helpful, as well). (Also, to answer your other question, I'm reporting TAS, which is slightly higher than SAS).

Quote:
What I do know that I practiced a lot on solos is, like Andy said, flying big...solo-ing so that I can work on that without hurting anyone if I get out of control.

I've spent a couple jumps now working on dearching/falling slow. I don't like the monotony of it, or the feeling of not being in a "good stable arch", so I mix it up some, but I do realize that the more I work on it, the less difficult or unnatural it's going to seem. (Not to mention, slowing my fall rate seems to make the openings nicer, but that could be my imagination)

I did a jump today where I worked on fall rate with all the advice I've received, and I actually averaged 122, which makes me feel like I'm learning something. Of course, I found myself chipping toward the end, went into my normal relaxed arch, and took off back to my top speed of 136. But I had some moments of clarity where I realized how flat or even inverted I could go and still have some semblance of control. Then again, jump before that I reached a top speed of 144, so I could still keep up with sit flyers.


Michele  (B 26874)

Aug 1, 2002, 9:11 AM
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Re: [fred] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I did a jump today where I worked on fall rate with all the advice I've received, and I actually averaged 122, which makes me feel like I'm learning something

Good deal, Fred! You are learning something, each and every time. Keep practicing, even if it's monotonous...that way, when you do go play with others, you will be in control, and able to match fall rates without whizzbanging into people (which is one of my biggest fears).

Keep on keeping on, as they say.

Congratulations!

Ciels and Pinks-
Michele


Staso  (D 24665)

Aug 2, 2002, 8:10 AM
Post #15 of 19 (1312 views)
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Re: [fred] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I did a jump today where I worked on fall rate with all the advice I've received, and I actually averaged 122, which makes me feel like I'm learning something. Of course, I found myself chipping toward the end, went into my normal relaxed arch, and took off back to my top speed of 136. But I had some moments of clarity where I realized how flat or even inverted I could go and still have some semblance of control. Then again, jump before that I reached a top speed of 144, so I could still keep up with sit flyers.

being less stable is actually advansed rw technique. if one is very balanced it's much harder to
do quick turns. the less balance you are, the less efforts it takes to get you aout of balance and turn,
the quicker all your maneuvers are.

as for the jumptrack, you can right click on free fall graph, select advanced or 3d features (don't
remember exactly) and new toolbar appear. the very righ button will copy the image to clipboard
and you can paste it to any graph editor.

stan


brianthomas1966  (C 34084)

Sep 5, 2002, 10:25 PM
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Re: [Zoltan] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been dubbed as a medium-fast faller now.

Used to be faster.

Best practice for me was wearing normal jumpsuit without booties. Doing 2 ways with a stable, consistant, fall-rate friend. We wouldn't take grips, we'd just fall in proximaty (sp?), close enough to take grips but not. If he'd slow down, I have to correct. If he'd speed up, I'd have to match. Makes you think about your flying.

Something I noticed about myself in video - I'd tuck my legs up too far towards my butt while in my arch. Seemed to add to my fall rate because I wasn't as flat.

Another thing I discovered from video was my swooping to dock is ill timed and causes me to pass the target. I'm in my dive too long, then you can never get back up!


Zoltan  (D License)

Sep 6, 2002, 3:37 AM
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Re: [brianthomas1966] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

Brian,

use booties :), it is not a a question, if you are planing to do formation skydive you must learn to control your speed with booties.

The practice you do is good, but do not forget that every manouver can be done in a way to change your fall rate. Specialy turns and dockings.

Going low has nothing to do with the fall rate (even if folks like to blame the fallrate instead of accepting the fact that they just went low). Going low is about "braking in time" and "flying relxed". If you have problem with dockings then you shoul fly more relaxed and break earlier.

blue skies.

z


Chief  (D 25365)

Sep 18, 2002, 11:36 AM
Post #18 of 19 (1074 views)
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Re: [fred] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Fred: I feel fast when I started. Time and experience helped alot. Mostly body position and very patient experienced jumpers. Hang in there, it gets better.


wegates  (B License)

Sep 21, 2002, 6:26 AM
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Re: [Michele] How fast is fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe a "fastboys" team should be set up Wink

My record so far is 151 on my belly! Even with a baggy suit, swoop cords, and dearching so hard I can see my toes the slowest Ive been able to do is 121.

Ive been told by several Freefly coaches that Im gonna be a natural at head down....



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