Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Relative Work:
Heavier people sinking out when tracking

 


SkydiveUranus  (B License)

Mar 21, 2017, 10:08 AM
Post #1 of 11 (6299 views)
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Heavier people sinking out when tracking Can't Post

I'm sure it happens to a lot of other people. Often, I find myself sinking out or falling behind on tracking jumps, especially with a relatively light person leading. If I wear a t-shirt and regular pants I'm usually pretty screwed.

I've been working on some things like making sure I don't hesitate at all when getting into the track and trying to get slightly ahead of the leader.
It took a couple videos of myself to see my ugly delta track and fix that, so now l make sure I cup my chest and make sure my arms stay in front of my body.

I fell behind a couple times and thought I was turning my head to the side to catch more air, but I was also looking so far ahead at the group that my chin was more up and I was just sinking out further. So I'll work on keeping my chin closer to my shoulder when that happens. I guess a lot of the lighter people are more "floaty" and they can get the extra momentum from leaning in and coming down?


For now I'll stick with wearing a jacket and pants but, are more experienced people that weigh 210+ able to keep up with lighter trackers?
Summer months are coming up here in California and it would be nice to know if I'll be able to get by in a t-shirt eventually.

I'm still a "baby bird" and know that I need a lot more practice and jumps to get better, but anybody got any other tips or advice?


Anachronist

Mar 21, 2017, 3:27 PM
Post #2 of 11 (6150 views)
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Re: [SkydiveUranus] Heavier people sinking out when tracking [In reply to] Can't Post

Weight is always going to be a disadvantage. If you can lose some (i.e. not a bodybuilder or something) that is your best bet, even 10-15lbs can make a difference.

If you are tracking with less experienced people that might be a problem too, they might not know how to fly fast with you and are just flying what feels comfortable to them. You should try leading and letting them chase you.

Everyone has a "range" per their body type, short and fat has the smallest and tall and skinny has the biggest. But they all overlap to some degree, just takes both parties flying in that overlap.

Practice will of course help but won't fix everything.

If you are interested in wingsuiting (baby bird comment), lay off the tracking and build up your belly and freefly skills. Tracking is a completely different position and basically only teaches you to start thinking "forward" rather than "down," and to pull without going into box-man position. It is about navigation more than anything else. You've learned 90% of what you are going to about wingsuiting after your 5th track jump without actually putting a wingsuit on.

Belly and freefall skills teach you how to move and feel the air stream better. The smoothest transitions to wingsuiting I've seen were competent freeflyers.


SkydiveUranus  (B License)

Mar 22, 2017, 8:25 AM
Post #3 of 11 (6021 views)
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Re: [Anachronist] Heavier people sinking out when tracking [In reply to] Can't Post

I've already lost 10 lbs in two months and I'm aiming for another 10, that's good to know it will help even more. I was losing weight because I had a minor knee injury a year ago from work and figured it would be much better in the event that something happens and I dont end up having a good landing (did flight 1 and 2 already, I'm pretty confident in landing in various conditions)

I'm surprised I haven't heard that wingsuiting is completely different from tracking. I would like to try wingsuiting eventually, not necessarily around jump 200 but maybe further in the future when I get more experience.
Good info!
Thanks


Anachronist

Mar 22, 2017, 8:50 AM
Post #4 of 11 (6015 views)
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Re: [SkydiveUranus] Heavier people sinking out when tracking [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice work, yeah weight makes a big difference for everything. Say you get down to 180 or so, now you can jump a smaller main and reserve at the same WL which means a smaller rig (another 5 to 10lbs lighter just in equipment) so it is a snowball effect. It is also better for landing like you said (nice job taking canopy courses, everyone should) as well as flexibility, and it takes less force to move your body around so endurance increases. It is really a win, win, win situation. The only folks that start running into "I can't keep up with people" are when you drop to 150lbs or less, and even then, with practice they can indeed keep up.

Tracking in relation to WS has been discussed here a lot, but the threads become hard to find and the title doesn't always relate to the content of what is being discussed. Anyway, a little tracking is good but the benefits become minimal after only a few jumps. I would say this opinion is not uncommon. Learning to "feel" the air on all parts of your body and coming from multiple directions is good for every aspect of skydiving, tracking just doesn't do that very well. Angle flying (extreme tracking) on the other hand does, but that is a very advanced skill, well beyond entry level WS stuff. Another benefit to good belly and freefly skills are for when you aren't flying a wingsuit straight and level, which is a lot, especially when you become unstable, which you will.

The tracking body position doesn't really relate to WS very well other than "hands below your shoulders and elbows." There is also a lot of control using your knees and arm sweep, not applicable to tracking in the same way, more akin to angle flying but still pretty different. In a WS you are also using small movement of your feet, hips, and shoulders to create a LOT of control, again in a whole other ballpark from tracking. And when you aren't flying normal and relaxed you have to do a lot of weird body stuff, which can only relate to having a good "feel" for the air.

So whether you want to WS or become a angle flyer, freeflying is important. For angle flying it is absolutely necessary as a prerequisite, for WS it just makes everything easier. And before you learn to freefly strong belly and back skills will help you out a lot. So anyway, unless you just love traditional tracking and that is what you're most interested in, your best skills are going to be belly and freeflying for moving on to other things.

Anecdotally, I've seen some high end angle flyers put on a wingsuit for the first time and be more agile and comfortable in just a few jumps than I was after 100 on a WS (It is kind of infuriating Frown ). I too am a 200lb+ guy and I came into WS with decent belly and back skills but very little freeflying experience.


SkydiveUranus  (B License)

May 17, 2017, 9:26 AM
Post #5 of 11 (5516 views)
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Re: [Anachronist] Heavier people sinking out when tracking [In reply to] Can't Post

I indeed have been working on my belly skills. Some of my friends like to track all the time and have 1.5-2x my jump numbers. We just did some formation practice and a couple of them didn't want to join because they were afraid of messing it up. I keep telling them that's why they need to practice and just to get in there and try!! (then they ask why i hardly jump with them any more lol)

At 135 jumps I'm finally feeling really confident in docking wherever I need to dock. I don't really have to think too much like before. I kinda just fly.

I do a little backfly/sitfly practice in the air but I know I'm not really learning much without a proper coach. I'm still looking for a freefly suit before i head to the tunnel for freefly practice, and I'd rather spend my money on jumps and practicing belly for now.

I could keep going on and on, but you heard enough for now....blue skies!!


Rstanley0312  (D 31900)

May 25, 2017, 8:05 AM
Post #6 of 11 (5126 views)
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Re: [Anachronist] Heavier people sinking out when tracking [In reply to] Can't Post

Anachronist wrote:
Weight is always going to be a disadvantage. If you can lose some (i.e. not a bodybuilder or something) that is your best bet, even 10-15lbs can make a difference.

If you are tracking with less experienced people that might be a problem too, they might not know how to fly fast with you and are just flying what feels comfortable to them. You should try leading and letting them chase you.

Everyone has a "range" per their body type, short and fat has the smallest and tall and skinny has the biggest. But they all overlap to some degree, just takes both parties flying in that overlap.

Practice will of course help but won't fix everything.

If you are interested in wingsuiting (baby bird comment), lay off the tracking and build up your belly and freefly skills. Tracking is a completely different position and basically only teaches you to start thinking "forward" rather than "down," and to pull without going into box-man position. It is about navigation more than anything else. You've learned 90% of what you are going to about wingsuiting after your 5th track jump without actually putting a wingsuit on.

Belly and freefall skills teach you how to move and feel the air stream better. The smoothest transitions to wingsuiting I've seen were competent freeflyers.

Freeflyers also do a lot of tracking/angle jumps and transition a lot during those jumps. I agree with you on the belly and ff skills overall but I think there is a reason that FF's transition to WS better. We are more used to dynamic flight as a whole and that includes tracking jumps. Many tracking jumps I see that are not freeflyer heavy are just flat tracking and not much else. Great advice to the "baby bird" you just got me thinking... Wink


Rstanley0312  (D 31900)

May 25, 2017, 8:08 AM
Post #7 of 11 (5123 views)
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Re: [SkydiveUranus] Heavier people sinking out when tracking [In reply to] Can't Post

SkydiveUranus wrote:
I indeed have been working on my belly skills. Some of my friends like to track all the time and have 1.5-2x my jump numbers. We just did some formation practice and a couple of them didn't want to join because they were afraid of messing it up. I keep telling them that's why they need to practice and just to get in there and try!! (then they ask why i hardly jump with them any more lol)

At 135 jumps I'm finally feeling really confident in docking wherever I need to dock. I don't really have to think too much like before. I kinda just fly.

I do a little backfly/sitfly practice in the air but I know I'm not really learning much without a proper coach. I'm still looking for a freefly suit before i head to the tunnel for freefly practice, and I'd rather spend my money on jumps and practicing belly for now.

I could keep going on and on, but you heard enough for now....blue skies!!

You don't need a suit for the tunnel. They will give you one to use that will work fine. I encourage you to hit the tunnel.


CrashProne  (C License)

May 25, 2017, 9:53 AM
Post #8 of 11 (5066 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] Heavier people sinking out when tracking [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a bigger guy at 6'1" and 240 out the door, but I don't find myself sinking out of tracking jumps now that I've done a few and learned some technique.

First, just like any other jump, dressing for success will help. If everyone else is wearing a suit, you should too. If you're the heaviest on the load, wearing something that gives you a bit more power is going to make your life easier.

Beyond that, a LOT can be done with body position to make huge changes in how your track actually flies. Initially, I think all of us spend a few jumps in a delta when we 'think' we're tracking, and that will definitely get you low and behind. Get a coach jump or two, with video, and you can get that tuned up into a much more successful track.


MikeJD  (D 10605)

Jul 11, 2017, 7:09 AM
Post #9 of 11 (4035 views)
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Re: [SkydiveUranus] Heavier people sinking out when tracking [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm pretty late to this thread, but I wanted to start by saying thank you for caring about your tracking! Too many people in the sport track poorly, and either don't know they're doing it or don't care enough to fix it. Tracking as a means of getting separation at the end of a dive - which I know you're not talking about here - is literally a life-saving skill, and everybody should learn to do it well.

I think a lot of people who track steeply do so because they get off to a bad start - often by bringing their arms in too quickly, which puts them into a head-down position, or by having their arms too high (which it sounds like you've already fixed). With an efficient tracking position, you should find you can actually reduce your fall rate relative to your regular belly-fly position.

There's a video here that I found referenced on another dz.com thread. It's specifically about tracking on break-off, but even so I think there are some useful tips in there that apply to everyone, regardless of the type of dive or the tracker's build:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Spjpu7dxfc


(This post was edited by MikeJD on Jul 11, 2017, 7:13 AM)


ouch

Aug 23, 2017, 4:16 PM
Post #10 of 11 (2641 views)
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Re: [SkydiveUranus] Heavier people sinking out when tracking [In reply to] Can't Post

I have seen heavier people sink out in a track when their weight is in their belly. No matter how hard they de-arch their chest, arms and legs, there is still a distinct centre of gravity point that is pulling them down and preventing the generation of 'lift' through a de-arched shape.
Sometimes larger people (without the belly issue) can get a better track because they are usually in a larger suit and they are often stronger in pushing into the de-arch position.


rjklein4470

Nov 21, 2017, 8:02 AM
Post #11 of 11 (770 views)
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Re: [ouch] Heavier people sinking out when tracking [In reply to] Can't Post

I am 6-7 220 without gear. And I really had to work hard on my tracking form. Cupping your shoulders and de-arching, trying to cup as much air as possible is what I try to do. Also when I wave off, I go back to the giant X vs Frog, to try to slow down as much as possible for the small wings.



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