Dec 9, 2001, 9:35 PM
Post #1 of 26
I read in Parachutist MAg. the article on going low. i have to say it really does offer good advice for those with out a lot of jumps. On sat i had my first 10 way that actually happend.. No one went low. I even stayed with the formation, although i flew the wrong slot.. i was second out the door so i flew to the guy right in front of me, well i should hae been on the other side. i looked up and saw 2 other people waving at me and realized i was about to dock on the wrong grey jumpsuit.. I did get to my slot before the rest of the group made it to the formation so i didnt slow anything down though. we did hit to points and went for the round but a couple people just barely missed so it stayed at a 2 pt 10 way it was still an awsome feeling.. blue skies joe
Anticipation, and not reaction, work all the time. You should feel like if you let go you won't go anywhere, if you don't feel that, it needs to be fixed before you're ready for the next move. If you can "anticipate" the next move, its done. Hope this helps a little.
Have yet to received my Parachutist so I'm behind on my reading. One of the best tips someone ever gave me on going low (and for all I know it was mentioned in Parachutist but let's get it on here anyway) is to turn your side to the formation when trying to pop back up.
I used to face the formation, look up at it and try to de-arch at the same time. Looking up at a formation when you're facing straight forward forces your body back into an arch again though! Defeats the purpose of the exercise...
So turn sideways, look up and to the side at the formation above you and the de-arch will be much easier and much more successful.
I was taught the same thing about turning your side to look up. I was told that when you look up you move your head and spill the air you'd normally be catching. It's important on those bigger ways cuz they tend to float more than, say, a 4 way.
Something that Rick Duran showed me was to put my arms not in the box man, but hold them sort of above my head like I was holding a basketball. Not lower, as if you were resting your head on your hands. Do that, dearch, really hard, almost sticking your butt in the air and straighten your legs. Since your arms are up higher then usual, you have to straighten your legs to keep from back sliding and it presents more surface area into the relative wind. The keeping sideways trick instead of looking at the formation directly is also a big big key.
In the end, though, if you have a big/heavy build, like myself, you'll need to buy a larger jump suit. No, they don't look as cool as those suits that *fit* real well, but you do what you can do. As one coach put it: "dress for sucess."
AggieDave '02 ------------- Blue Skies and Gig'em Ags! BTHO t.u.
billvon (D 16479)
Dec 11, 2001, 8:46 AM
Post #7 of 26
>In the end, though, if you have a big/heavy build, like myself, you'll need to buy a larger jump suit. No, they don't look as cool as those suits that *fit* real well, but you do what you can do. As one coach put it: "dress for sucess."
Another option are swoop cords. Even a little bit of swoop cord can make a big difference in recovery and slow fall. I have a Bodysport with swoop cords that looks like any other RW suit, but I can get a tremendous amount of drag by extending the cords when I need to. (Swoop cords are lines that go from your hands to your waist, usually, and when your arms are fully extended in front of you they pull loose fabric from under your armpits into the air.)
A third option is fabric. You can get a tight suit made out of polycotton that will fall more slowly than a looser suit made from nylon. There are materials that give you even more drag (corduroy) but they aren't too popular.
A final option are sleeves or gaiters. They are just floppy sleeves that fit over a regular jumpsuit and increase your drag by a significant amount. I use them pretty often on big-ways, because I can add them quickly, and they don't change the color of my suit (a problem if someone is docking on you and they remember your colors.)
I agree with that to a point, though. I've jumped with them and think they're great, although if someone started doing faster RW turning a few more points and the such there may be a slight problem. People tend to move their arms more when they're turning points faster and that could lead to becoming unstable due to the swoop cord moving with the arm.
Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I thought.
AggieDave '02 ------------- Blue Skies and Gig'em Ags! BTHO t.u.
billvon (D 16479)
Dec 11, 2001, 1:52 PM
Post #9 of 26
>I agree with that to a point, though. I've jumped with them and think they're great, > although if someone started doing faster RW turning a few more points and the > such there may be a slight problem.
Agreed. For serious RW, generally the objective is to increase fall rate, not decrease it - so the lighter jumpers wear weight rather than the heavier jumpers adding drag.
Another point is: What do you do if you Go Low, and can't get up in time? I have been with guys (not pejorative, I call everyone guys) who, once low and thinking they can't get back to the formation, track off and "safely open away from the formation". I say, this is wrong as the people in the formation don't know where the low people are. If you're low, you try to get back until the break off altitude and then, turn and track. Then, you are committed to the lowest pull altitude you are willing to accept; I would say between 2500 and 2000 feet. If you are not willing to pull this low, you are endangering everyone else in the formation.
And everyone in the dive needs to discuss this before the dive. If you track off early and open at 3500 to 3000, you are an unanticipated target for everyone else. Ask the people who were at the World Record Attempt at Chicago.
I have removed the kevlar, so go ahead and take a shot at this philosophy.
nope, that is correct. you find yourself below the formation, cup air, ride the beach ball, do the dead spider, whatever it takes to try to get bck "up", until breakoff. it is hard to define a "safe" distance shoot, you could be tracking right into the group that left before (or after) you. Not a good idea. another little trick - if you're wearing booties, do a toe tap (so you're making an "A" with your shins, the inside of the booties will catch copious amounts of air and slow you down - works pretty good.
>Another point is: What do you do if you Go Low, and can't >get up in time? I have been with guys (not pejorative, I >call everyone guys) who, once low and thinking they can't >get back to the formation, track off and "safely open away f >rom the formation". I say, this is wrong as the people in >the formation don't know where the low people are.
Agreed. Not only will the people in the dive not know where you are, but if you take off at 7000 feet, you may well track into the next group.
Then, you are committed to the lowest pull altitude you are willing to accept; I would say between 2500 and 2000 feet. If you are not willing to pull this low, you are endangering everyone else in the formation.
While I agree that you should spend the rest of the skydive keeping an eye on the formation and fighting to get back up, I COMPLETELY disagree that going low means I should pull low. When I hit break off altitude, I will turn from the center of the formation and track til my pull altitude. I check the air above and below me everytime I open.
Why should I have to pull low?
"by stitches, cloth, and cord,...a god of the sky for those immortal moments."-Lindbergh
billvon (D 16479)
Dec 16, 2001, 8:42 PM
Post #15 of 26
>While I agree that you should spend the rest of the skydive keeping an eye on > the formation and fighting to get back up, I COMPLETELY disagree that >going low means I should pull low. When I hit break off altitude, I will turn >from the center of the formation and track til my pull altitude. I check the >air above and below me everytime I open.
>Why should I have to pull low?
You don't have to pull at 1000 feet. You do have to pull at the absolute bottom of the pull range for the dive. If that's 2500 feet, great. If it's 2000 feet, you better not pull above 2000 feet unless you are positive you can out-track everyone else in your area. In my experience, this is difficult for people who go low.
During a normal breakoff, it's possible to see people to either side of you, even above or below you, because you're close to them. If you're 1000 feet below the dive, I can almost guarantee that you cannot keep all of them in view and track at the same time. If you do a good track, and look above you and see a lot of dots, you have several choices:
1) Hope your deploying parachute goes between two of the dots. This is nearly impossible to judge accurately at 1000 feet, and really isn't fair to the person you might kill.
2.) Keep tracking until you're clear of them (may not be possible in the remaining altitude.)
3.) Track as far as possible, then pull lower than the lowest puller in your area. This gives you some vertical separation, as a backup to the standard horizontal separation - and if you're 1000 feet below the formation, you will need that extra buffer.
There are times when it can be deadly to pull too high - Quincy, or any large boogie, is one good example. Being low on a big-way is another. If you feel uncomfortable pulling lower than everyone else, and you feel you might go low, do the smart thing and pass on the big ways. There's that old saying that you'd rather be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than in the air wishing you were on the ground - and being low in a big way, but pulling at your normal (not low) altitude, definitely falls into the latter category.
Or just track on your back so you aren't guessing if the air is clear above you. I have heard people say that they "check the air above before you clear." Ummmm...last I remember I can't see much directly above me while in a track.....
Adding my 2 cents on the notion of it being O.K. to pull near the top of the pull range. My observation from tracking in big ways is that once someone has 10-15' of vertical advantage over you they will most likely out track you and since you might not know who is tracking in your direction you should assume that they will track right over you and PULL LOWER than if you were breaking wiht the group.
God bless us and God Bless America Albatross
billvon (D 16479)
Dec 16, 2001, 9:38 PM
Post #18 of 26
>Or just track on your back so you aren't guessing if the air is clear above you.
Except then you can't see people below you, and they are more likely to be pulling than people above you. In addition, you can't see the ground, and many people still rely on their eyes as their primary altitude indication. Finally, you can't pull like that, so you have to stop tracking sooner. Sometimes I do a barrel roll during the track if I'm really worried about what's above me - that lets me see while leaving me on my belly during most of the track and during pull.
Also, this doesn't help if you're 1000 feet below everyone else. Even if you have a perfect view above you, you can't see ten dots and determine which is directly above you. You have no references as to what "straight up" is.
> I have heard people say that they "check the air above before you clear." Ummmm...last I remember I can't see much directly above me while in a track.....
Generally I look behind me once as I'm waving off. Even an inflexible person should be able to see most of what's behind him if he turns his head in both directions before he pulls.
There is another to reason to stay near the formation and keep trying if you go low. There have been many occasions when I went low and thought "this is hopeless." But I did my best slow fall off to the side of the formation and eventually got back up to my slot. "Never give"
I struggled with slowing my fall and anticipating when I was going to go low. I did everything that everyone talked about turn to the side, get big, cup your body and it didn't seem to help that much, I was one person trying to be big and fall slower than three or more people who were together. I got help and the one thing that seemed to make a difference was how I moved or transitioned into a slower posture. It didn't really have any success until I took a more aggressive move into a cupping position. Almost like I was slamming my forearms against the air and cupping my body. This gave me the feeling as if I hopped back up to the formation rather than it slowly catching back up to me.
For not going low, first of all you should know your rate of fall and the range of speeds you can work with (eg. between 115 and 123 mph). Secondly, you choose the right jumpsuit which allows you to do that, if needed. Third : when diving, use the stair step approach which means that you do a short stop at say 20-30 feet higher and away from the red zone to check your rate of fall with respect to the formation. Fourth : after docking in the formation like everybody in, you should contribute to keep a good fall rate by arching and flying small in order to match your clone in the formation (the jumper the other side who is symmetrical with respect to you on a line passing by the center), fifth : when there is several points, anticipate a change of level when the signal is done and change your body attitude accordingly. It is easier and faster to go down than going up.
Holy crap have things changed, we would throw out the pilot chute @ 2200 to be in the saddle by at least 1700, but we flat packed with non zero p, used to get a solid sixty seconds of freefall unless some homegirl flashed her titty's to the pilot...