Nov 7, 2001, 1:59 AM
Post #1 of 8
Swooping with rear risers?
I picked up on this in another thread (Cobaltdan). Could someone please explain this. How (and when) do you switch smoothly from your front risers to your rear risers to your toggles? Is this something only experienced canopy pilots under highly loaded ellipticals would get a noticeably longer swoop from?
In the interests of finding new ways to biff in, I am keen to know more.
Will, there are at least three different ways currently in use to swoop with rear risers with two being the most common. All are tremendously sensitive to stalling under small elipticals, but in the proper hands do wonders to length of swoop. The two common methods are "pushing" and "pulling".
Pushing is accomplished in one of two methods: whole-handed or just thumbs. Thumbs only makes for a more seamless transition in my opinion, but whole-hand looks like it gives better control in a carve. Both methods have you pushing out on the risers to get your canopy "around the corner" and floating along. Transition to toggles is conducted at such a point that you know you are getting near rear-riser stall. Using thumbs only, you merely let them slip off the risers and go to your flare, back and to the rear.
The "pulling" method has you grabbing the risers from the back with the toggles fully over your palm. This method seems to give the best control in carving courses, but leads to the most spectacular wipeouts when people over-amp and stall their parachutes. This is what Jay Moledski does and he is currently kicking ass. Check out the cover of last month's parachutist to see a full-on frontal shot of this. Transition is just the same as pushing, but you must take extra care not to drop your toggles in the process.
Now, is there an application for bigger parachutes? You bet! Is it a good idea for everyone to learn these techniques? I think so. If any of you have ever had your toggles come off in your hand and had to determine whether or not you could land your main, then you know where I am coming from. The smallest main I ever had to land over hard surface was a Monarch 135. I swooped it right over the peas and did fine. This is one of those skills that you want to practice up high. Get out, fly straight, do a 180 riser dive (or 270, whatever your current preference is) then reach back to your rear risers and dial in enough pressure to get around the corner. As you get flying straight for a bit, just pop your hands off AT THE SAME TIME and go to your toggles. Letting go unevenly will spank you in a millisecond. Practicing this technique "for sport" might certainly pay off in the future should you ever have a broken steering line or toggle. Hope that helps.
As always, thanks for the comprehensive advice Chuck. I can see that there is a lot of timing involved in this and can't wait to have a go. I can also see some spectacular biffs in my near future, but I reckon I'll get it sussed eventually.BTW am I right in thinking that the rear risers take the place of the toggles in the first stage of the two stage flare? In other words, the rear risers plane out the canopy without deforming it the way the brakes do, hence giving a longer swoop? Then you only use the toggles for the final input when you lower your landing gear?
Not quite sure I understand the "pushing" method. Are you pushing the riser apart and back a little?
This raises another question I was discussing with someone a few weeks ago - how do you hold your toggles? I've seen a few different methods. Probably the most popular, the toggle around all your fingers. I've also see people hold the toggles sort of upside-down, with the line coming out of the fist between the middle and ring finger. The other one someone told me they picked up from riding horses, where the toggle was held between their first three fingers (excluding the pinky) which they felt more comfortable then grabbing the front riser loop with their index and middle finger. Anyone else have something different they do? How do you hold your toggles? And then how do you pull on your risers?
I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad I got sunshine, in a bag
Will, you are exactly correct. Once you are planed out and are slowing to a point where you would normally put down your landing gear, you transfer to your toggles. Remember, your toggles are ALWAYS over your hands.
My toggles are always over all four of my fingers. When I front-riser, I hold the toggle in place with my pinkie and grab my dive loop(s) with my other three (index, middle, ring). Transitioning to rears and using the "thumb" method, one maintains the toggles in place with fingertips and hooks the thumbs back and away from you on the rear risers, just as you thought.
Watching the best do rear riser carves/swoops suggests that anybody can do it!Wrong!Learning a step at a time, without short cuts, is going to save you down the road.Take a High Performance canopy class and ask those who do this stuff everyday what is the right way to approach trying rear riser swoops.Please do not experiment on your own without asking the right questions to the right people.Learning the hard way puts too many people out to recover or six feet under.