Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Swooping and Canopy Control:
Psychology of Big Pond Swooping

 

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NewClearSports

Jun 11, 2007, 12:48 AM
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Psychology of Big Pond Swooping Can't Post

Today was the First Canadian Ontario CPC. It was held at Skydive Burnaby over a brand new big Pond (300 x 150) just officially completed a few weeks ago. Competitors including myself were excited and nervous. A few of us regular jumpers had been practicing for the past two weeks. Of our little group one very experienced jumper with over 20 years in the sport, over 6000 jumps had fallen in love with swooping during the last couple years. Over the winter he had professional coaching, during practice he was awesome hitting the gates 9 / 10 times. His distance was also the best and most consistent of our group. He was very current, very heads up.

Well this morning my friend, my fellow jumper, my mentor (with 6000 jumps) flew his 90 Velocity straight into the pond (vertically) and suffered massive injuries.

I don’t want to give names, I’m NOT posting this as an incident.

I’m in shock, I pulled out of the comp. I just want to talk to swoopers and there experiences to try and understand what might of happened and why.

When watching the video and also watching first hand, it seems his set-up was pretty good. Nothing was rushed and altitude seemed ok. After completing his 270 turn while reaching for his rears he was maybe just a little low, probably should have went to toggles and this is where it all went bad. There seemed to be a hesitation, like he was thinking about the fact he might go swimming on this one, then for whatever reason he continued a slow rear riser turn (same direction as the 270) and towards shore thus continuing the dive right until impact. It was a near vertical impact.

I can’t help but think that the fixation of the water probably had something to do with this. It was like a “deer in the headlights” type of reaction. Competing over the pond was new to him, to me as well, to a lot of us.

Any helpfull advise from experienced swoopers will be taken seriously, thankfully and shared.

Praying for my friend and a healthy recovery.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Jun 11, 2007, 2:23 AM
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In reply to:
I can’t help but think that the fixation of the water probably had something to do with this. It was like a “deer in the headlights” type of reaction.

There are dangerous thoughts like:
Quote:
Its not perfect, a bit low....but I can do it...

Failing seems to be a state of mind.


dharma1976  (D 28634)

Jun 11, 2007, 4:08 AM
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Re: [NewClearSports] Psychology of Big Pond Swooping [In reply to] Can't Post

yeah it was definately funky on my first time...

I was a little shocked when I actually made the gate and made most of the pond before getting wet....

competitions make it a lot worse cause then you have to hit the gates...

and heres the deal...we all fuck up at some time

we are human

hopefully this person heals well brother...

Dave


marks  (D 22296)

Jun 11, 2007, 6:17 AM
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Quote:
Any helpfull advise from experienced swoopers will be taken seriously, thankfully and shared.

do not stare at the water! the princess will suck you in.

it is kinda like staring at medusa.Unimpressed


morris

Jun 11, 2007, 6:22 AM
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Dear NewClearSports,
is where any way I can get a private message to you?
Please let me know, thanks, take care and all the best, Morris


frost  (D 25011)

Jun 11, 2007, 7:00 AM
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By the topic title i am not sure if we're talking about how other competitors could cope better with an accident during a comp or about the possible causes of this particular accident.

I'd like to talk about the first part - the psychological impact of a massive injury or death during a meet. Specifically, its impact on competitors.

At the 5th final round of FL CPC in Deland we lost a fellow competitor and a friend. Some of us watched the accident first hand close up. we're still guessing what may have happened. The approach was a solid one. Then a sudden and deadly toggle input too close to the ground... You can read about the possible causes and guesses in the accident forum, i wont list them here.

It was a big psychological burden on all of the competitors, but most of us chose to finish the meet. Dale was a very close friend to a couple of guys in the circuit... They chose to continue the comp also. As difficult as it was for them - they were able to collect their mental strength and show their best results. "He'd kick me if i didnt continue", "he'd want us to go on" they said. But we all thought the same. I think that we all dedicated our efforts in this comp to his memory, even if it went unsaid.

It was a heavy burden on all of us. Some are still dealing with it. Sadly, these things have happened before and will happen again. To go on or to pull out is a personal choice. There is no right or wrong way to deal with a death of a friend - whatever works for you. But let these things be reminders of just how fragile our bodies and our efforts are... All of us, not just swoopers


Peej  (B 2456)

Jun 11, 2007, 7:13 AM
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I don't have much to add to what has already been said dude but when i started swooping our pond (roughly 100+ metres x 49 metres at the widest point) i started long before the first competition and swooped it first with no gates.

Honestly, i crapped myself in the plane. A few weeks before one of the guys from our DZ fucked himself up good and proper by slamming into the water - he fixated on it - turned low and judging by the vid his reactions were slow, much the same as your friends. However, what helped me was a proper briefing from one of our top canopy pilots in which he focused and made it very clear to me that i did not want to get focused on the water. That instead of looking down at it after the turn i should try and keep my eyes slightly towards the end of the pond rather than directly below me.

And that's all i can offer i'm afraid. This wasn't his first time swooping water though, right? By the way you describe his experience, currency and the fact that he has been into swooping for the last few years says that he has swooped water with gates before.


(This post was edited by Peej on Jun 11, 2007, 7:16 AM)


CanuckInUSA  (D 26396)

Jun 11, 2007, 7:21 AM
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Re: [NewClearSports] Psychology of Big Pond Swooping [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I can’t help but think that the fixation of the water probably had something to do with this.

As Mark has already mentioned, do not fixate on the water. The depth perception of the H2O (espcially in no wind conditions) is a lot harder to judged than over grass. Plus while it may not apply in this case, it's important to level off and slow down a tad before you attempt to touch down. I have learned the semi-hard way how much the water can hurt when either fixating on it, or not leveling off and touching down too soon.


(This post was edited by CanuckInUSA on Jun 11, 2007, 7:21 AM)


Peej  (B 2456)

Jun 11, 2007, 8:05 AM
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In reply to:
I have learned the semi-hard way how much the water can hurt when either fixating on it, or not leveling off and touching down too soon.

Amen, the first time i tried zone acc practice, got greedy and tried to drag too early and bounced off the water it gave me HUGE fright!


diablopilot  (D License)

Jun 11, 2007, 8:59 AM
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Quote:
I can’t help but think that the fixation of the water probably had something to do with this.

Maybe, but competition does some strange things to the thought process as well. People will push a bad situation harder because it "counts".

I know I've been there.


ORANGENBLUE  (D 28505)

Jun 11, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Oh boy, well a few things pop out. When someone is a "little low" rear risers are appropriate, however, if you feel that he should have bailed on toggles that means that he was probably VERY low.

As mark and others have already said it is very to look at the water coming out of the turn. The problem with this is our canopys have a happy habit of going where we are looking. If that happens to be the round then you see the result.

Remember, look at the horizon! Parachutes, unfortunately sometimes, fly where you point them.


dploi

Jun 11, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Sorry to hear that. Water fucks with your depth perception a bit. I've always felt it's best to keep my focus on the horizon with the water in my semi-peripheral. When first swooping a pond, remember that dragging a foot is a bonus, not a goal.


CanuckInUSA  (D 26396)

Jun 11, 2007, 12:21 PM
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In reply to:
When first swooping a pond, remember that dragging a foot is a bonus, not a goal.

Exactly ...


NeedToJump  (D 27247)

Jun 11, 2007, 1:54 PM
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Re: [dploi] Psychology of Big Pond Swooping [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
When first swooping a pond, remember that dragging a foot is a bonus, not a goal.

To elaborate on this just a little: try to swoop over the water the same that you would over land - don't aim for the water since you don't aim for the ground; you aim to plane out above the ground. Once you have successfully planed out above the water (and only if this has occurred) then gently extend your leg to press your foot against the water.

I practiced pond swooping by swooping next to the pond, then over the pond without even trying to make any contact. Just trying to get used to all the differences. Once I felt comfortable swooping over the pond, only then did I start trying to touch the water.


chachi  (B 3406)

Jun 11, 2007, 2:03 PM
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i would almost bet that this person was looking at the spot on the water where he wanted to put his foot down and flew right into it. the very first time i came in for waht would have been a pond clearing toe drag i ended up doing just that and getting too low catching my knee and smashing into the pond.

you MUST look at where you are flying and not where you want to touch the water. the first practice runs should be proximity vs. going big. once you fly straight and level over the water you want to PLACE your foot on the pond and not drive it in.

sorry about your friend.


NewClearSports

Jun 11, 2007, 4:56 PM
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Re: [morris] Psychology of Big Pond Swooping [In reply to] Can't Post

Morris - newclearsports@hotmail.com


NewClearSports

Jun 11, 2007, 5:30 PM
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Re: [Peej] Psychology of Big Pond Swooping [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I don't have much to add to what has already been said dude but when i started swooping our pond (roughly 100+ metres x 49 metres at the widest point) i started long before the first competition and swooped it first with no gates.

Honestly, i crapped myself in the plane. A few weeks before one of the guys from our DZ fucked himself up good and proper by slamming into the water - he fixated on it - turned low and judging by the vid his reactions were slow, much the same as your friends. However, what helped me was a proper briefing from one of our top canopy pilots in which he focused and made it very clear to me that i did not want to get focused on the water. That instead of looking down at it after the turn i should try and keep my eyes slightly towards the end of the pond rather than directly below me.

And that's all i can offer i'm afraid. This wasn't his first time swooping water though, right? By the way you describe his experience, currency and the fact that he has been into swooping for the last few years says that he has swooped water with gates before.

Peej, this was great information. I do believe this most likly was a case of fixating on the water. It was his first competition over the water, and it's a first for many of us including myself as the pond is a new addition to our DZ this season.

When talking about Psychology of pond swooping, I'm thinking that many of us may be thinking too much about things like
1. Am I going to get my new container dirty
2. Am I going to have to pay for a reserve repack
3. Am I going to ruin my AAD, my protrack or whatever
4. Are all those people lined up along the shore going to laugh at me if I chow.
5. I will look so much cooler if I drag a little water.

Ect. Ect. Ect.

I know this stuff SHOULD be out of your mind when setting up for that 270, but are we suscessful pushing it out of our minds, or is it all there effecting our decision making at the moments it is so crutial to be totaly focused on executing a good safe setup.


marks  (D 22296)

Jun 11, 2007, 6:35 PM
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Quote:
When talking about Psychology of pond swooping, I'm thinking that many of us may be thinking too much about things like
1. Am I going to get my new container dirty
2. Am I going to have to pay for a reserve repack
3. Am I going to ruin my AAD, my protrack or whatever
4. Are all those people lined up along the shore going to laugh at me if I chow.
5. I will look so much cooler if I drag a little water.

I disagree, I think it is more about personal gratification.

but it depends on the person.


ORANGENBLUE  (D 28505)

Jun 12, 2007, 10:41 AM
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Re: [marks] Psychology of Big Pond Swooping [In reply to] Can't Post

I very much agree. Some of my most satisfying swoops have been when there is no one around at all.


Peej  (B 2456)

Jun 13, 2007, 12:38 AM
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Re: [NewClearSports] Psychology of Big Pond Swooping [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
When talking about Psychology of pond swooping, I'm thinking that many of us may be thinking too much about things like
1. Am I going to get my new container dirty
2. Am I going to have to pay for a reserve repack
3. Am I going to ruin my AAD, my protrack or whatever
4. Are all those people lined up along the shore going to laugh at me if I chow.
5. I will look so much cooler if I drag a little water.

Ect. Ect. Ect.

I tend to agree with both you and Shimell here, for me the first time i ran the pond there were like 40 people standing on the egde and it freaked my head out completely, so badly that i set up and turned way high, over shot the water and landed way on the other side of the pond in the dirt, amid much laughter from the crowd.

The next time i swooped the pond i did 10 jumps in a day over her, no gates, no crowds. just me and some other swoopers and that really helped me focus. the first one i did, i swooped next to the pond. the second one i aimed to just get over the water, no dragging. then from the third one on i got level and managed to touch a toe on every one.

Like i said earlier my first real crash came in competition practice when i was too greedy and tried to drag the water zones before i was level. Definitely the wrong choice. That right there is greed and self gratification.


NewClearSports

Jun 13, 2007, 4:23 AM
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Re: [marks] Psychology of Big Pond Swooping [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
do not stare at the water! the princess will suck you in.

it is kinda like staring at medusa.Unimpressed

It was most likly this phenomina. But what is it about the water that is different then grass for this to happen?


NewClearSports

Jun 13, 2007, 4:32 AM
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Re: [marks] Psychology of Big Pond Swooping [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I disagree, I think it is more about personal gratification.

but it depends on the person.

This guy was humble, not a beer line swooper.
We practiced the past two weekends over the pond and away from the crowds. However it did seem that he might have been not all that excited of getting wet. Conditions had to be good so that he knew he would make it out or he would just practice beside the pond. He never got wet untill his accident. The rest of our group each had turns coming up short and going for a little swim.

From my list I would probably remove #5 and maybe even #4 in this case, but there are additional things we think about when swooping water, especially for the 1st time.


(This post was edited by NewClearSports on Jun 13, 2007, 4:37 AM)


BMFin

Jun 13, 2007, 6:33 AM
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Re: [NewClearSports] Psychology of Big Pond Swooping [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
do not stare at the water! the princess will suck you in.

it is kinda like staring at medusa.Unimpressed

It was most likly this phenomina. But what is it about the water that is different then grass for this to happen?

My view is that the texture of water (and snow) makes it much more difficult to evaluate the hight/speed than the texture of grass.

I think way more often these incidents happen over water than over land..


Sabre1Lucke  (D License)

Jun 13, 2007, 8:05 AM
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Re: [NewClearSports] Psychology of Big Pond Swooping [In reply to] Can't Post

Even if you can swoop very very good over land,...water will make a big difference.

It's difficult to see how low you are until you see the reflection on the water.
The princes of water sucked me in to Wink

But there is a simple solution and they also use it for people who jump from the tower in the water (10m)
Just make sure that there are rimpels on the water by spraying water over the surface of the pond.

Sorry, but I can't explain it better in English Unsure


(This post was edited by Sabre1Lucke on Jun 13, 2007, 8:07 AM)


marks  (D 22296)

Jun 13, 2007, 1:20 PM
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Re: [NewClearSports] Psychology of Big Pond Swooping [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
do not stare at the water! the princess will suck you in.

it is kinda like staring at medusa.Unimpressed

It was most likly this phenomina. But what is it about the water that is different then grass for this to happen?

well, people say it is because it is harder to judge alti over water.

I dissagree with that statement because it isn't the water that is hard to judge, it is the fact that you are staring at it. you don't stare at the grass when you land on it.

it is something different when in reality it is the same, and peoples perceptions change when it is something new and they tend to stare or get "object fixation"

but this is just my opinion.


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