Feb 2, 2002, 7:45 PM
Post #1 of 12
I have a couple of questions about freeflying. How many jumps should I have when I start learning how to freefly? What are the first maneuvers I should learn? Should the Head-Down position be the last to learn?
Learn sit, stand then and only then head down......the skills I learned in the sit/stand did help me when I started head down....plus if you lose head down you want to be able to transition back to a fast position as you dont wanna cork and kill kenny!!!!!! flat bastards!!!.....all joking aside..this is very serious..
marc "...a mind stretched with new idea's will never regain its shape"
When should you start? It depends who you ask. Skydive Chicago won't let you get your 'A' licence until you've demonstrated a sit. There's people with 50 jumps working on head down.
I say that you should wait until you're proficient on your belly.
Start with your sit, it's the easiest. People will argue this, but I'd suggest you start with a shirt with real baggy sleaves and shorts, if you can. Once you've got the sit stable, take off the baggy sweatshirt and figure out how do to turns (it's instinctual), then figure out how to do forward movement (not so instinctual).
Once you've got that to a comforatble place, figure out how to do stand. You use stand to go seriously down. Try flying on your back, you use this to go seriously up. Try finding the varying degrees between stand and back flying, so that you can vary your fallrate to your partner.
Once you've figure out all of this, we can talk about head down.
Skydive Chicago won't let you get your 'A' licence until you've demonstrated a sit."
Umm, not quite - they teach a sit as the exit for like 3 of the higher level jumps for intentionally unstable exit. Trust me, you don't need to nail it to graduate and get the 'A' - else I might still be doing AFP.
"There's people with 50 jumps working on head down."
And we stay VERY far away from them in freefall - Me, I waited till my 70th to try it, once I got it, I went, "Wow that was freaky" and went back to flat and sit. I demonstrated to one of my friends my version of the vRW Stable for starting a sit - if you are on your back (which you will be when starting out) - keep your arms out, get your knees to your chest and your feet to your butt. You should roll upright fairly easily. Then slowly lower the legs into a sit position, don't force it - feel it. The wind does the work, you don't - you simply are altering your presentation to that wind to encourage it to work in a different manner. Easier said than done. Freeflying seems to be remarkably like the softer martial arts like tai-chi and aikido, where fluidity and the ability to blend are the keys to accomplishing the desired end.
I am finding stand to be tricky - like trying to stand on a really deep waterbed, squishy and never quite stable. Practice, practice, practice they say.
If you are looking to try freeflying, there seems to be a growing concensus with AndyMan's statement -> work on the belly skills - you will need them. Just a suggestion - but why not set Saturday as freeflying day and Sunday as belly flying day, or something like that. *shrug*
Note: I suck at it *heh* See a qualified coach or instructor if you have questions - just remember, keep an eye on the altimeter.
And please. Check your gear. Tighten your loop. Don't use ROL because the wind could snap the bridle and open your pod. Fasten your straps tighter than usual. Be sure the leg straps can't slip unto your knees. If you wear a jumpsuit, be sure the zipper is secured so it can't open when you are zooming through space. Get an audible like the pro-dytter or pro-track. Wear a helmet. Tell the others what you plan to do in freefall, you will kind of need quite a lot of space for yourself. Don't try too hard - but try again. Talk to freefly instructors, to everyone at your dz who seems to be involved in freeflying. Everyone - beginner or pro - can give you something you could need. Share your experience. Jump as often as you can. You will learn that you'll never stop learning. That's great ;-)
Stay calm. Breathe. Relax. And have fun! Blues Marcus
there seems to be a growing concensus with AndyMan's statement -> work on the belly skills - you will need them
Funny you mention this. A couple of my belly flying friends asked me yesterday if I wanted to do some RW. I said sure, what the heck it's all flying. We wound up pounding out about 15-20 points in a fairly complex drill dive that included block moves. I was as shocked as they were at how well I was able to keep up.
No matter what you do, you're learning skills that will serve you well in any other discipline. And really whether you freefly or do RW, the main skill you are learning is how to fly your body relative to one or more other people.
The even funnier part is that that was my best jump of the day. I wasn't too happy with my performance in my "regular" freefly jumps. Don't limit yourself by arbitrary "disipline" boundaries. Go out & have fun with your friends and you'll be amazed at the things you learn.
Oh, and if you watch the Nationals tape, every one of the top teams incorporated belly flying into their routines at one point or another.
"Zero Tolerance: the politically correct term for zero thought, zero common sense."
Maybe the next step in the evolution of the sport will be the merger of the two as an accepted discipline - rather than hybrids being a funky thing freeflier and flats do together for fun, they transform into a serious aspect of competition - where it would require a 4-way group to turn 3-D points - like the USPA 3D/Millenium award requires? Who knows.
Wow...this thread was just what I was thinking about today on my flight home from Eloy.
I had 300 belly-fly/RW jumps, and I decided I wanted to learn (or at least try) freeflying.
My advice would be (LOL...I just mastered a sit/stand this weekend, so take it for what it's worth), find someone who is really good, can wear a camera, and is willing to coach you.
I made 7 coach dives this weekend (call up AZ Freeflight if you can get out there), and I went from not even being able to hold a sit on the first jump to a stable sit with 360's, flips, and cartwheels, as well as a stable stand. In 7 jumps!
Now, I'll admit, since I had 300 jumps beforehand, my air sense might be better than someone starting to freefly with 50 jumps. But a good coach, with video, can tell you what you're doing right and wrong.
I decided I want to become an all-around skydiver...I'll admit, freeflying is great when you go to a new DZ and don't have anyone to jump with.
That being said, I'm also going to the Airspeed 4-way skills camp at the end of the month! ITA with AndyMan...being a good all-around flier is what we should strive for.
Jumping at Eloy this weekend...Airspeed Vertical did a bunch of training jumps, but on the last two loads of the day, those guys were up there freeflying, too. Besides, if you've ever closely watched Airspeed turning points, a lot of time they are not flat on their belly by any means...those vertical transitions require skills that might best be learned by freeflying.
This is what I'm going for: To be fully qualified in any position.
Same here. I heard a fairly new jumper comment on the plane today as Albatross' four way team was getting ready to exit that RW "looks like too much work." Eli (Flyboyz) and my friend Jackie both agreed with me that while RW may be more work than freeflying, the goal should be to be really good at flying our bodies regardless of the body position. So I'm going to keep switching between RW and freefly jumps; someday I'm gonna be really good at all of it!
After my AFF I worked a lot on tracking because it gave me the most trouble. I tracked so hard one day I went head down for a few seconds and stayed there. Right after getting my A and a used freefly safe rig to trash and call my own I got a GOOD fitting freefly suit and started learning to sit, do transitions and better headown. All solo at first. I was lucky to find people who had experience to jump with. Not just too jump but whom would really watch ME and tell me whats up, what to do,what to change. With enough experience that I wouldn't be a threat to their safety. I watched a ton of video, not just entertaining myself but really disecting every action, body position, exits etc. At first not every freeflyer is going to want to jump with you being a low time jumper. And you cant blame them. On my second sit fly another low timer wanted to join me. We had no business being up there together. It really impressed upon me the dangers of the relative speeds, changes of velocities and vectors. Most of my jumps since getting my A are freefly. And thanks to the people that have helped me, I get positive comments from very experienced freeflyers about my flying. A while ago I was asked If wanted to join a loose group of relatively fresh (100-200jumps)RW jumpers. They were gonna have some very good coaching and it was going to be an ongoing thing I had to say yes. But I was worried that I couldn't hold my own considering I only have a handful of RW jumps. Well I held my own and also learned that we all have alot to learn. IT is all about flying our bodies and it doesn't matter what position we all have to keep learning. Of coarse now i'm spending twice as much time and money at the DZ.