If you're slow, start with 6 or 8 lbs (if you can do it safely landing wise). Any less is more psychological than anything. Add 2 lbs at a time to get to your middle range.
A good drill for all of you to go up together and get in a fairly loose circle. Now (if you are all decent enough to hold a column of air)
signal from the IC everyone close your eyes and relax into a comfortable, middle of your range, mantis posture slowly count to 5 or 10 open your eyes and find each other
it'll be pretty clear who needs more lead and who needs to start exercising and eating better
actually, video is good here to identify if anyone 'relaxes' into a really crappy body position - they might need to 'fix' that before anyone adjusts lead (someone might just 'relax' into a heels on butt backslide or something....that would just mess up the exercise and require more basic training first)
edit: tunnel time is different, it's a VERY quick and effective exercise and not need to do the eyes closed thing at all - just get in there and see who's straining slow and fast and get the fixes done real time. I'd hesitate to put 4 people in a tunnel with eyes closed at the same time
(This post was edited by rehmwa on Feb 25, 2013, 7:17 AM)
Something we are struggling with is that OC (me) and point fall a faster than IC and Tail (tail is the lightest and wears the most lead). Even with ~16 pounds of lead on tail, we are struggling with levels issues on certain blocks. We're considering switching slots so that each piece has one heavier and one lighter person just to try to balance some things out a bit.
I only include this anecdote to illustrate that it's not often just individual fall rates you have to take into account, but how pieces fly when you have different people paired.
Yeah we're going to try several combinations to see how it works. the levels issues are all in the tunnel, in the sky things don't seem as bad though we haven't put this particular 4 way group in the sky much yet so we will see.
Not to hijack the thread, I just wanted to put it out there that sometimes determining weights is a group not an individual thing once you start flying as pieces (each piece has a fall rate and adding or removing weight from one person in that piece can change how the piece flys)
You make very good points - I eat like crap. I will suggest we keep working on moving lead around while I work on flying slower and see how far that gets us. Our latest efforts have been in the tunnel so I'm really curious if it will be as big of an issue in the air.
I don't know your skill levels. BUT, there's an AH Ha! moment when you get good enough.
IMHO - 1 - it's easier in the tunnel than in the sky. but the tunnel does highlight mistakes more blatantly
2 - while getting weighted to each other.....you'll see a dramatic increase in scores when you guys are able to fly the blocks in the tunnel without taking grips (no grip block drills). It'll open your eyes.
it takes a lot of time and practice - but it's very fun. good luck
I was just teasing and being wry about the salad comment. It is a big challenge to get fall rates cleaned up when you have a team of very disproportionate flyers. But....I do find that people don't really have a as much differences as they initially think at first. Get a good mantis camp for everyone and you might find your differences aren't as bad as you think.....
The last camp I taught, a couple brothers thought they were real heavy weights. They weren't - though it was quite a challenge to get the one to fly in an arch instead of dearching as was his habit. (just last week, an Airspeed member told him the exact same thing I was coaching him on and that topic - now THAT's good reinforcement).
(This post was edited by rehmwa on May 24, 2013, 5:56 AM)
I haven't studied the physics of this in any detail, but it seems to me that while you can use weights, suit fabric, etc. to match fall rates of highly mismatched body types in a no-contact situation, this is a kind of "static balancing". Once you start turning points, piece moves, etc., you are in a dynamic situation and the static balance may not be enough.