Aug 17, 2017, 1:11 PM
Post #1 of 7
On my first 2 or 3 IAD jumps, as I cannot remember how many I was able to complete. (I digress already) I had trouble with body position specifically my arch.
As I was clinging for dear life to the strut of the aircraft. One issue I think I had was that my legs were not extended while hanging, thus I was not creating drag for a good exit..
Because. When I did let go, I basically fell like a ton of bricks. Mostly feet first. My arms were spread as I was instructed and the second and third time I remembered to keep my head back towards the horizon.
But all of that did not stop my body from falling feet first..
Any suggestions or was it just the lack of freefall time coupled with the low drag from having my legs already curled back while hanging on the strut to help facilitate a good arch before exiting
(This post was edited by Zachanonymous on Aug 17, 2017, 1:25 PM)
Think about you're describing... you're hanging from the wing strut of an aircraft a mile above the ground.
It's normal to be a bit tense!
Just listen to your instructors - they'll tell you if there's anything about your form you need to change. Trust them to help you through this, but believe me, it's absolutely normal.
It's counter intuitive when you start, but one of the big secrets to learning to skydive is being able to relax, that and arching well. Seriously. There is no possibility of skydiving well if you're all tense.
Give it your best arch (really important), take a deep breath in, let it out, look up at the plane and SMILE. (The act of smiling actually changes the neurochemistry in your brain, reducing stress.)
(This post was edited by yoink on Aug 17, 2017, 7:34 PM)
Were you able to keep the plane in sight? If YES then you described good, stable exits.
It is all about flying the relative wind. For the first few seconds - after letting go - relative wind is still blowing (almost horizontal) from the front of the airplane. For the first few seconds (say 4 seconds) a stable arch will hold your spine perpendicular to the relative wind .... er ...... Part way between vertical and horizontal, but relative wind is blowing almost horizontally.
The confusing part is that eyeballs tell you that your spine is still near vertical. After eight seconds, you will see your spine gradually rotating til it lays parallel with the horizon. Then things start to make sense. Your belly is still pointed into the relative wind, but the relative wind has changed to blowing from straight below. Now the wind, horizon and eyeballs are all aligned.
Remember that you are new to this. You don't yet know what it feels like in your body to "exit stable". Accept that. The only way you'll learn that is experience, so actually learning to tell if you are stable or not is not on your list of things to figure out in your first few jumps. You can't practice it or analyze your memory of your exit into knowledge in your body of how to do it, do set that goal aside for now. Your instructors will tell you what you actually did (and if there's video you can watch yourself) but the experience of doing it from your perspective is still developing.
Your goal right now is to learn to arch. Thankfully that can be learned on the ground and practice is free. You can practice your current exit about 100 times in 5 minutes - and practice absolutely pays off in the sky. Get some direct coaching from your instructor on what you should practice for your next jump, and then go practice it at least 100 times. When you have days you're not jumping, practice your exit at least 5x per day. I used to practice while I waited for my coffee to brew in the morning and anytime I was waiting for my food to cook.
Practice the whole thing: climb out, hang, exit, after exit count, etc, watching your canopy open, controllability check, canopy fligt, landing pattern, flare, plf, 10 times. This visual/mental practice will help prepare your body for all the unknowns - what it feels like, what it looks like, what are your legs doing??? :) etc. Practice practice, listen to your instructors, and then go jump. You're doing fine for where you are, you're just new.
Even when you do mostly what you are told (for me) there was some learning before I could feel the air and use it to keep me stable. The first few are often a but clumsy.
One thing that worked to help me was when I was given the "go" to just hand there for about 3 seconds and remind myself that I was going to release and watch the plane (really watch it) as I fell away. Watching the plane will make you arch. Looking anywhere else will tend to make you de-arch and be less stable.