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Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving

 

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OHCHUTE

Dec 9, 2012, 6:04 AM
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Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving Can't Post

Is doing a back flip the same while skydiving as it is on a high diving board, less the wind of course. Head back and knees into the chin? Or do you need do something completely different to achieve the same maneuver? Same with front flip, chin tucks down into chest and knees up to chin. Just wondering.


dthames  (B 37674)

Dec 9, 2012, 6:15 AM
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Not an expert but I think the answer would be yes. Your arms help you a lot. There may be a difference in what you do with your arms as they catch a lot of wind.very helpful.

I knew a young women skydiving student that was also a gymnast growing up. She was a natural in flips in the air.

Many will be quick to point out that in training jumps the flips are not what you are being challenged to do. The challenge is to recover from being unstable. My friend did perfect flips but never was really unstable. Maybe they should tell you to flop rather than to flip. Tongue


pchapman  (D 1014)

Dec 9, 2012, 6:18 AM
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Awareness of body position, orientation, and movement will certainly help in skydiving. In freefall we rely a lot more on aerodynamic forces, rather than the initial impulse of momentum like in gymnastic sports.

The momentum aspect still matters (eg, tuck up tight to carry through) but aerodynamics matters too for the start of the maneuver (eg, legs are still out while upper body tucks down, if one wants to start the flipping forward motion), and aerodynamics matters for stopping a maneuver (eg, arms forward to stop a front flip)

Of course the aerodynamics are always there throughout the maneuver, but the gymnastic momentum aspect becomes relatively more important during the middle of a maneuver.

I'll let others address the details of front and back loop technique.


OHCHUTE

Dec 9, 2012, 7:36 AM
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Re: [pchapman] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

How important is viewing (seeing) the horizon in ending any maneuver or is relative wind (feeling) more of an indication? If seeing is more, then are hazy days problematic in doing these maneuvers where you can't see the horizon? Plus how unstable could you be if you assume a stable body posture upon entry to ending the maneuver: fists in front of face, body arched, and knees bent 90 degrees?


Austintxflight

Dec 9, 2012, 8:03 AM
Post #5 of 31 (2565 views)
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

I think body awareness, and having experience understanding where your body and limbs are at all times will be the biggest take away.

As said before, in Diving or gymnastics, you are to some degree getting all your motion, power and rotation from the launch. With skydiving, you are constantly engaging the wind to create the motion. Therefore you can do it slower, (doing a maneuver very slow is skydiving is usually harder than doing it quickly) and with more control throughout the entire maneuver.

It will take a little time to adjust to not having to huck everything, but with your body awareness, you should pick it up quickly.


chutem  (A 45827)

Dec 9, 2012, 8:27 AM
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

I think diving/gymnastics experience would translate over to base jump exits as both are "dead air" skills.
I have no base experience so could be in left field here.


airtwardo  (D License)

Dec 9, 2012, 8:33 AM
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

 
...it would be most beneficial if ya made a ton of money doing it as a professional.


Sly


davelepka  (D 21448)

Dec 9, 2012, 8:36 AM
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I have jumped with both gymnasts and divers before, and it does seem to help just with the basis of body awareness and being comforatable with rotational movements.

However, in skydiving the manuvers are more a function of playing the relative wind as opposed to the 'self-propelled' movements you make in those other sports.

For example, you do tuck your knees to your chest to do a back loop, but the motivational force is when the wind hits your calves/feet, and blows you over backwards. When you go to stop, it's not a matter of timing the relaese so you run out of 'loop' when you're back on heading, it's a matter of coming around and returning to the arch and letting the wind stop you and hold you back in place on your belly.

Yes, the visual is a part of the manuver, and it does help with things like head position and holding a heading in the beginning of the learning process, but that goes away eventaully. Since the wind is both the 'home' position and the motivating force in the manuvers, it's possible to do them blindfolded and just use the feel of the wind to guide you.

Think about when you leave the plane and are on 'the hill'. You're stable and facing your belly into the relative wind, but your body is not paralell to the ground, it's up at a 45-ish degree angle due to the forward movement of the plane. Anyway, you can easliy do flips, rolls, and turns on the hill, with the horizon being on a different 'plane' than you are. Again, it's because you're working with the wind, not gravity and your own motivation (as in gymnastics or diving).


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Dec 9, 2012, 8:56 AM
Post #9 of 31 (2519 views)
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Flips kind of reminded me of flips I did off the diving board as a kid, except you don't have to worry about a back or belly flop if you screw it up (Which is why I stopped doing them off a diving board heh heh heh)

A lot of the forces and issues you deal with in skydiving are similar to ones you find in gymnastics, ice skating and ballet. I'd think that any sport that requires you to be in good physical condition, be aware of your body orientation and which requires extreme precision would help you with skydiving.

Funnily enough, since I started skydiving, I've had more motivation than I've ever had before to get in shape. And I've been looking at gymnastics, parquor and rock climbing and thinking "I think I could do that now..." Hell master the PLF and that's like 2/3rds of parquor right there! Well probably not that much, but it seems like a fundamental skill you'd need for the sport.


OHCHUTE

Dec 9, 2012, 9:33 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
For example, you do tuck your knees to your chest to do a back loop, but the motivational force is when the wind hits your calves/feet, and blows you over backwards. When you go to stop, it's not a matter of timing the relaese so you run out of 'loop' when you're back on heading, it's a matter of coming around and returning to the arch and letting the wind stop you and hold you back in place on your belly.

Yes, the visual is a part of the manuver, and it does help with things like head position and holding a heading in the beginning of the learning process, but that goes away eventaully. Since the wind is both the 'home' position and the motivating force in the manuvers, it's possible to do them blindfolded and just use the feel of the wind to guide you.
In reply to:

OK so in doing back flip, when you see straight down you're commensing level fight belly down position? as relative wind starts at eyes and works down to belly. Yes I can see where you could do this blind folded. Those sit position/roll, sit must be a bear to get right. Is it possible to do sit/back flip/sit? Actually what is the most difficult maneuver to do right?


AggieDave  (D License)

Dec 9, 2012, 9:43 AM
Post #11 of 31 (2472 views)
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Actually what is the most difficult maneuver to do right?

The most difficult thing to learn first is how to fall straight down in a good neutral body position at a good relative speed. It takes time to learn how to fly with out moving forward or backward or side to side.


jonstark  (D 8298)

Dec 9, 2012, 9:45 AM
Post #12 of 31 (2468 views)
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Is doing a back flip the same while skydiving as it is on a high diving board, less the wind of course. Head back and knees into the chin? Or do you need do something completely different to achieve the same maneuver? Same with front flip, chin tucks down into chest and knees up to chin. Just wondering.

A back loop in skydiving has little in common with that off a diving board. In the first place you use less momentum from your body mass in motion. Just pushing down on the relative wind and pulling your knees up to your belly quickly is plenty to get you going. If you tip your head back it may tend to make the loop much larger. When you tuck your head down to your chest the loop will be smaller, tighter and quicker with less likelihood of becoming off heading. There is so much relative wind that you would have a very hard tome becoming disoriented as to which way is up/down. Down is always blowing up at you.

One fun aspect of back loops is holding the position for a while. You accelerate! Man-oh-man can you get ripping around FAST! Whew! Recovery is nothing but there may be some nystagmus for a few seconds.

Front loops don't act anything like back loops after the first rotation. Your feet act as a stop or big air brake to the rotation.

Being a diver or gymnast is definitely good for kinesthesia or body awareness. Any athleticism helps with flexibility and injury resistance. To finally answer your question, Yes, being a diver or gymnast helps in skydiving.

jon


fanya  (D License)

Dec 9, 2012, 9:54 AM
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

It will help with general body awareness.

It will be a greater help in BASE if you decide to do aerials, I know BASE jumpers that have gone and gotten diving coaching to work on still air maneuvers. And I know for me personally when I started BASE I felt it helped having been in diving for years in high school and countless still air exits off bridges.


petejones45  (C License)

Dec 9, 2012, 10:10 AM
Post #14 of 31 (2446 views)
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

no


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Dec 9, 2012, 10:10 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The most difficult thing to learn first is how to fall straight down in a good neutral body position at a good relative speed. It takes time to learn how to fly with out moving forward or backward or side to side.
Just like learning to fly a helicopter, hovering is the hardest part. Wink


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Dec 9, 2012, 10:12 AM
Post #16 of 31 (2442 views)
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Re: [petejones45] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
no
You're wrong, because gymnasts and divers are usually smokin' hot and get lots of extra instruction. TongueLaugh


Mr_Polite  (D 420)

Dec 9, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
no
You're wrong, because gymnasts and divers are usually smokin' hot and get lots of extra instruction. TongueLaugh

^This!! :)


TampaPete  (B License)

Dec 9, 2012, 1:24 PM
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Re: [davelepka] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI0xa4xAZa8

Back flips are like swinging cody's on a trampoline.

You push against the air the same way you push against the trampoline bed, look back and tuck.


Lonestar  (B 37660)

Dec 9, 2012, 1:49 PM
Post #19 of 31 (2331 views)
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

I was a gymnast for around 13 years, and everyone pretty much hit the nail on the head with the previous comments. It helped with things like body awareness, and being comfortable flipping and rolling, but other than that skydiving is a pretty different feeling.


OHCHUTE

Dec 9, 2012, 3:00 PM
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Re: [jonstark] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
One fun aspect of back loops is holding the position for a while. You accelerate! Man-oh-man can you get ripping around FAST! Whew! Recovery is nothing but there may be some nystagmus for a few seconds.

That's a back layout. Body is more prone with outstretched arms. That must be fun doing it as slow as you can.

Fella at wind tunnel told me it took him about an hour of wind tunnel time to learn to sit fly. Now that's about 60 jumps or more trying to get the hang of it. Is it that hard really to balance sitting? How important are your hands in feathering wind while sitting? Also what is the number one hardest maneuver to do? Just curious.


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Dec 9, 2012, 3:55 PM
Post #21 of 31 (2252 views)
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Is doing a back flip the same while skydiving as it is on a high diving board, less the wind of course. Head back and knees into the chin? Or do you need do something completely different to achieve the same maneuver? Same with front flip, chin tucks down into chest and knees up to chin. Just wondering.

I'm sure this was before you were born, but, I was a national champion gymnast. When I started skydiving, it was a huge advantage. Not because I got extra attention, but because I had the air sense that a gymnast/diver developes along with fear of nothing (which is not always a good thing).

I was able to do things that others had no idea how to do. I enjoyed tumbling on the grass landing areas which drew a lot of attention. And, that got me invited on dives I had no business being on.

I think that most "gymnasts turn skydiver" will tell you that the biggest advantage is the way we're able (due to formal training) to break down a movement pattern and learn it. A big part of which is visualization.

Back Loops... A gymnast initiates a salto by punching with the legs, reaching with his arms, driving his chest and pulling the knees thru. Skydivers initiate back loops by reaching for air with the hands/arms and driving the knees. It seems to me, that once initiated, a back loop is a back loop.

You'll find that after the first 1/2 somersalt, you can go to the layout and initiate a twist just the same as you've learned as a gymnast. Divers... pike kick somersalts work very well to initiate forward twists. Same in skydiving.

Divers and gymnasts initiate twists differently. Divers wrap the arms to the head (higher) while gymnasts wrap the arms to the body (lower). The reason for this is that gymnasts usually land feet first while divers always enter the water head first. Both methods work well for skydiving.

To stop any somersault/twist, Flare and arch. Eventually, you'll fall flat and stable. When you get lost (and you will), Flare and arch. If you're a skilled gymnast, be carefull not to "Z" out. Cool


nigel99  (D 1)

Dec 9, 2012, 4:03 PM
Post #22 of 31 (2241 views)
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

FWIW I think discussing manoeuvres when you haven't jumped, is like discussing your favourite sexual position with a virgin.

You simply don't have a frame of reference to work from, and to some extent different people have different challenges. In skydiving I'd say the hard part is being smooth and controlled.


Squeak  (E 1313)

Dec 9, 2012, 4:31 PM
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Re: [nigel99] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
FWIW I think discussing manoeuvres when you haven't jumped, is like discussing your favourite sexual position with a virgin.

You simply don't have a frame of reference to work from, and to some extent different people have different challenges. In skydiving I'd say the hard part is being smooth and controlled.

^this but moreover,
If you are talking about the flips invloved in youre AFF course then I would suggest that the performing a back or front flip with a score of 10 is missing the point entirely. Front and back flips in the course are there to help you learn how to recover from instability. MOST people are not proficient at gymnastics when they start jumping.
The AFF course was not designed with perfect acrobatics in mindWink.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Dec 9, 2012, 4:42 PM
Post #24 of 31 (2216 views)
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

It helps in terms of giving a jumper better body awareness, specifically better awareness of where your feet are.

It helps in terms of general conditioning and flexibility. Flexible people generally do better in AFF.

It hurts because the reactions you learn in gymnastics are completely different than the reactions you need in skydiving, so some unlearning has to be done.


airtwardo  (D License)

Dec 9, 2012, 6:12 PM
Post #25 of 31 (2154 views)
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Re: [Squeak] Is being a gymnast or competitive diver help while skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38rpoSXOyY0


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