Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Swooping and Canopy Control:
First swoop comp.

 


DocPop  (C License)

Jun 19, 2012, 9:29 AM
Post #1 of 12 (1142 views)
Shortcut
First swoop comp. Can't Post

I am considering entering a swoop comp next season and have read the rules in the USPA Comp book, but I wanted to ask here for advice on how to know whether someone (ie. me) is ready for it.

What are the minimum levels of skill/performance that should be considered for entry?


raymod2  (D 25630)

Jun 19, 2012, 10:17 AM
Post #2 of 12 (1106 views)
Shortcut
Re: [DocPop] First swoop comp. [In reply to] Can't Post

The 2011 USPA Skydiver's Competition Manual indicates that you must have at least 500 high performance landings to compete in Advanced and 1000 high performance landings to compete in Open.


DocPop  (C License)

Jun 19, 2012, 10:30 AM
Post #3 of 12 (1088 views)
Shortcut
Re: [raymod2] First swoop comp. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The 2011 USPA Skydiver's Competition Manual indicates that you must have at least 500 high performance landings to compete in Advanced and 1000 high performance landings to compete in Open.

Thanks - I missed that in the manual (it is right at the beginning, not in the CP section)

Any other advice for when I get there?


raymod2  (D 25630)

Jun 19, 2012, 10:38 AM
Post #4 of 12 (1083 views)
Shortcut
Re: [DocPop] First swoop comp. [In reply to] Can't Post

You can look at the scores from previous years to get an idea how you would stack up against the current field of competitors. You should be able to fly through a 10 foot gate and reliably go at least 44 meters (144 feet) after that. Otherwise you will likely end up getting wet frequently. It would also be great if you could get some practice on a speed carve course since it requires an awareness of your canopy disposition to avoid striking a marker.


polarbear  (D 25673)

Jun 19, 2012, 11:13 AM
Post #5 of 12 (1071 views)
Shortcut
Re: [DocPop] First swoop comp. [In reply to] Can't Post

Raymod gave some good performance criteria. From a safety standpoint, the biggest mistake I see new competitors make is get so fixated on getting in the gate that they do whatever it takes to hit the gate...even if it means hitting the ground hard.

So I would say that you need to be able to keep from getting fixated and know when to bail and save yourself, even if it means getting a zero for the round.


DocPop  (C License)

Jun 19, 2012, 12:53 PM
Post #6 of 12 (1055 views)
Shortcut
Re: [raymod2 & polarbear] First swoop comp. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks guys - good stuff for me to work on there.

I don't think the minimum distance is too much of an issue, but I have not had the chance to train with gates so that could be.

No matter - plenty of time to address those issues as I build up to the entry requirement.


AggieDave  (D License)

Jun 19, 2012, 2:11 PM
Post #7 of 12 (1036 views)
Shortcut
Re: [polarbear] First swoop comp. [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
So I would say that you need to be able to keep from getting fixated and know when to bail and save yourself, even if it means getting a zero for the round.

One of the most important skills and the absolute hardest one to get is the ability to suck up your ego and bail on a run. Many many people have hit the ground, gates or water hard enough to be hurt or killed when trying to save a swoop they should have let go.

After that one of the hardest things to learn is zone acc with a quartering downwind near competition limits...


jacketsdb23  (D 29802)

Jun 19, 2012, 3:19 PM
Post #8 of 12 (1019 views)
Shortcut
Re: [DocPop] First swoop comp. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
but I have not had the chance to train with gates so that could be.

Get ready for a whole new ball game Wink


Gates really challenge your entire flight pattern because you have to set up correctly. So be careful when you first start working with gates....and understand that for a while, you'll mostly be working on your pattern leading up to your turn.


DocPop  (C License)

Jun 19, 2012, 5:03 PM
Post #9 of 12 (991 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jacketsdb23] First swoop comp. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks again.

The pattern/set-up is by far the most challenging thing for me right now and I am not even trying to be all that specific about where on the "runway" I touch down.


AggieDave  (D License)

Jun 19, 2012, 7:01 PM
Post #10 of 12 (968 views)
Shortcut
Re: [DocPop] First swoop comp. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Thanks again.

The pattern/set-up is by far the most challenging thing for me right now and I am not even trying to be all that specific about where on the "runway" I touch down.

My suggestion for a progression to a swoop course would be that first, you have to have some sort of turn dialed in. This isn't something that you spend 10 jumps doing with a 90 and then decide that it is 270 time. Dialing in the consistency with your entry location starts with consistency with your turn altitude, type and style.

Once you have your turn consistent, then you can move on to a spot on the ground you want to swoop over. Toss out a traffic cone in the middle of the landing area, or a hulahoop, just something you can see on your downwind. Once you start flying over that object with consistency, try doing it with a light crosswind. Once you're good at that, try adding a short lane to your object. Nothing with any height yet, gate height is the last thing to fix. Just lay out some noodles flat on the ground about 40ft apart and start flying down your lane to your point on the ground. You don't have to stop there yet, just fly over it.

Once you get that, gradually make the lane longer. Once you get the lane longer and get consistent with that, now you're ready to add gates. BIG gates, 40ft apart and 15ft tall if you have them. Get your buddies to video you and try there. Gradually work your way down to where you're easily making the 10ft gates with the right course widths.

Sounds like a lot of work? It is.
Sound like a lot of jumps? It is.

Competitive swooping is hard, but it is very rewarding. It is also something that many of us have spent thousands of jumps trying to get right. Even over a large pond you can hit the water hard enough to kill yourself. You can even screw up bad enough that you skip off into other people and hurt them.

Once you get all of that down, you'll start adding variables like a pond so big that if you don't look to the side slightly, the water will suck you in from a lack of depth perception. Or a bizarre wind condition that you haven't experienced before, or you're rushed in your setup because the guy in front of you is a new competitor and hung in his brakes too long or took too long getting his RDS down.

That's part of the reason why competitive swooping is so much fun. All the guys in the open class (and I would venture to say everyone in the advanced class) can go out and toss a bomber beer line sunset swoop every time at their home DZ. Add competition courses, competition pressure and actual scoring, well then, the challenge awaits!


(This post was edited by AggieDave on Jun 19, 2012, 7:02 PM)


Premier ianmdrennan  (D 25821)
Moderator
Jun 19, 2012, 7:08 PM
Post #11 of 12 (966 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AggieDave] First swoop comp. [In reply to] Can't Post

Pretty good post Dave.

I would add that I would encourage competition entry as soon as the pilot can do so safely. There's a ton to be learned, and competitors are eager to share - even with someone "just" doing 90's.

Blues,
Ian


DocPop  (C License)

Jun 19, 2012, 7:32 PM
Post #12 of 12 (957 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AggieDave] First swoop comp. [In reply to] Can't Post

This is great advice, Dave, thank you for taking the time to type it all out. It mirrors almost exactly what I was told by a coach a couple of weeks ago.

I am going to print this post out and keep it in my log book - I think there is probably upward of 500 jumps work in there alone without even thinking about going to a bigger turn.

I am under no illusion that this is going to be a hard road, but eminently worth it! Thanks again to all for the awesome advice here.



Forums : Skydiving Disciplines : Swooping and Canopy Control

 


Search for (options)