Aug 31, 2009, 1:59 PM
Post #1 of 2
Hips in daffy
I've spent about 75-100 jumps working on my hd now. I'm not sure about the normal speed of progression, but when you are from a small cessna dz where absolutely no one can fly head down, it makes the learning curve pretty shallow. The only people I personally know that fly hd only show up at boogies, and all 3 of them primarily fly daffy, so likewise that is what I started to learn first.
I am pretty comfortable in it and can change my fallrate pretty easily now, although sometimes having a problem getting REALLY slow. I've gotten cartwheel transitions somewhat down, to the point where I don't really slide during it. The problem now is moving forward and closing the gap. I've been playing with the back leg but don't see much progress with it. And like what alot of people say, it seems like I try to stick it so far out there that i get asymmetrical in my core and stiffen up, then shit gets all wobbly
My question is, is it possible to use your hips, like in the straddle position, but in the daffy position too for forward movement, or should I go spend some time broadening my leg position and learn to fly straddle too? I know the couple times when I'd be sitting and a hd flyer docked on me, I notice they close big gaps with their hips in the straddle position then revert to a daffy style when they are in close. Ultimately I want that ability. But in the mean time, just curious if hip movement was worth experimenting with in the daffy position.
Being aware of your hips and what they’re doing in skydiving is crucial. This holds true in belly flying and head down. To be honest you probably should learn to fly a “straddle” position better since it typically allows you to fly with “quieter” legs vs. flailing around in a daffy. It also allows you to use your legs more efficiently and take up less space in the sky. Quieter legs and less space both come in handy on bigger formations and tunnel flying… But I still fly a big fat daffy most of the time so take my advice with a grain of salt.
To answer your original question though, yes you can (and should) use your hips to drive forward (or backward for that matter). Think about pivoting your lower body just below your belly button but keeping your legs in whatever position they currently are in. Your upper body, arms, and head should remain the same as well, so the only thing that changes is the angle of your lower body. If you’re trying to close the gap between you and someone else be careful about throwing both legs back and putting your hips too far into it though. This is a great way to move across the sky very quickly, but you can easily pick up a lot of horizontal speed and change your vertical fall rate. The end result can be you quickly shooting towards and above the person you’re trying to get a little closer to. One other thing to be aware of is that when you “arch” your lower body like that it’s easy for that arch to creep up the rest of your body so be aware of your head position and keep your head straight (chin just a little bit down).
You hips play a major part in exits as well. Not so much from a Cessna with slower air speeds, but out of an Otter they can be the different between a clean 4-way exit and a spinning funneling mess. It’s all in the hips baby!
Although it’s been said a thousand times before on this site, I would also recommend getting some basic coaching from someone you trust if you can. It can cut that learning curve down very quickly. After jumping for almost 15 years (with a lot of those jumps out of 182s on KS DZs) I thought I had a pretty good handle on freeflying. After talking with some of the Arsenal guys and girls in Eloy I realized that I had only scratched the surface of what could be done and had developed some bad habits in the process. If you ever make it down to Eloy try to get a jump in with Steve or Amy, or any of the coaches down there. Even just one or two jumps can help you see a lot of little things and be a real eye opener.
Or go to Couch Freaks and hit up one of the Colorado Tunnel guys.