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2nd FAI World Cup of Wingsuit Flying

The TOP Wingsuit flyers from around the globe will get together at Skydive Fyrosity℠, Overton, NV to compete in one of the most challenging skydiving competition – 2nd FAI World cup of Wingsuit Flying.
Nov 1-9, 2017 50-70 athletes from over 10 countries and five continents will test their mental and physical strength against each other in two disciplines – Performance Flying and Acrobatic Flying.
For years, wingsuit flying has allowed humans to realize the age-old dream of personal human flight - Zipping through the air like Superman. With the invention of the modern wingsuit, growth of pilot skills and wingsuit technology in the last 2 decades, now this dream is a reality.
Today, we live in spectacular and adventurous new era of aerial sports and Wingsuit flying history – World level competition!
The 2nd FAI World Cup of Wingsuit flying will crown the best wingsuit pilot – the fastest, the toughest and the most accurate one will take the gold.
The Event
2nd FAI World Cup of Wingsuit Flying 2017 will be held at Skydive Fyrosity℠ . The skydiving Drop Zone is located at Overton-Perkins Field, NV only 60 miles NE of Las Vegas directly east to the Valley of Fire and North of Lake Mead National Park.
The official bid to host the Event, was presented by Randy Connell – Director of Competition USPA and an Alternate USA Delegate to IPC on behalf of USA / USPA (United States Parachute Association) and Skydive Fyrosity℠ at the 67th IPC (International Parachuting Commission) meeting held in Faro, Portugal – Jan 25 – 29, 2017. The bid was voted and approved on Jan 29th, 2017 - http://www.fai.org/parachuting.
IPC (International Parachuting Commission) is the world governing body of competitions skydiving under the umbrella of the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale).
50 to 70 of the world’s best wing suit flyers and competitors, plus head of international delegations, judges, FAI / IPC officials USPA Officials, family, friends, skydivers, and guests from around the world are expected to descend upon Overton, NV from Nov 1 – 9, 2017 to compete for the gold in one of the most physically and mentally challenging sporting competition – Wingsuit Flying. Overton will be renamed to “Wingsuit City” for the duration of the event and will forever be recorded into the skydiving history as the home of the 2nd FAI World Cup of Wingsuit Flying - 2017.
Marilyn Kirkpatrick, the Clark County Commissioner for this area, is so excited to have Skydive Fyrosity℠ as part of the Clark County family and sees great potential benefits for the northeast area as this thrilling sport continues to grow.
Wing suiting development and Las Vegas have a long history together going back to 1996 – 97, one of the original developers of the modern wingsuit is a local Las Vegas resident and current Drop Zone owner of Skydive Fyrosity℠ – Sammy Vassilev.
“It is an incredible honor to have been part of the wing suiting from the very beginning and now to be able to host the 2nd FAI World Cup Wingsuit Flying at our home DZ here in NV is just the most incredible feeling”.
One of the original modern wingsuit designs is on a display at Skydive Fyrosity℠ and is available for anyone to see.
The Disciplines
The 2nd FAI World Cup of Wingsuit Flying consists of 2 separate events: Acrobatic Event and Performance Events.
The acrobatic competition event consists of team of 3 people, 2 acrobatic performers and a 1 camera man capturing the performance on video. The team of 3 will exit the aircraft at 12,500 above the ground and the performers have a working time of 65 seconds to demonstrate to the judges their ability and acrobatic skills, consisting of flyovers, flips, turns, relative flight. The Artistic event has 7 rounds (jumps) and is judged for accuracy of performance, artistic performance, completion of the formations, grips, and quality of the camera work. The camera man and the image the competitor camera person delivers is part of the acrobatic performance. Each jump is considered 1 round, 1 round is considered complete when all competitors have successfully completed the jump for each round including re-jumps.

The Performance Event is an individual competitor event consisting of 3 tasks – Speed, Time and Distance. Each task consists of 3 rounds (jumps) for the total of 9 competition rounds (jumps). The performance event does not have aerial video, however ground-to-air video can be used if such equipment is available. Therefore, the performance event is judged by state of the art GPS system which records the performance of each competitor delivered to the judges after each jump for evaluation. Once the data is downloaded into the software and evaluated the person going the fastest, furthest and spends the most time in the air is declared the winter in each task. The aircraft exit altitude is 12,500 above the ground up to 4 miles away from the landing area and the beginning of the performance evaluation starts at 3000 meters / 9,842.5 ft above the ground and ends at 2000 meters / 6,561.6 ft. The competitor performing the best within the 1000 meter / 3,280 ft evaluation window gets the gold medal.
2016 World Champions of Wingsuit Performance Flying:

1. Chris Geiler – USA - View profile
2. Travis Mickle- USA - View profile
3. Espen Fadnes – NOR - MView profile

2016 World Champions of Wingsuit Acrobatic Flying:


1. USA TEAM
2. USA TEAM
3. RUSSIA

The History of Wingsuit And How It Is Related to Las Vegas
An early attempt at wingsuit flying was made on 4 February 1912 by a 33-year-old tailor, Franz Reichelt, who jumped from the Eiffel Tower to test his invention of a combination of parachute and wing, which was similar to modern wingsuits. He misled the guards by saying that the experiment was going to be conducted with a dummy. He hesitated quite a long time before he jumped, and was killed when he hit the ground head first, opening a measurable hole in the frozen ground.
A wingsuit was first used in 1930 by a 19-year-old American, Rex Finney of Los Angeles, California, as an attempt to increase horizontal movement and maneuverability during a parachute jump.
These early wingsuits were made of materials such as canvas, wood, silk, steel, and whalebone. They were not very reliable, although some "birdmen", notably Clem Sohn and Leo Valentin, claimed to have glided for miles.
Las Vegas
In the mid-1990s, the modern wingsuit was developed by the French skydiver Patrick de Gayardon, adapted from the model used by John Carta. Patrick loved Las Vegas and few people know that he did a lot of jumps testing his suit and prepping it for the Grand Canyon flights in Las Vegas.
In 1997, in Las Vegas the Bulgarian second generation skydiver Sammy Vassilev a.k.a (Popov) designed and built a wingsuit which had a larger wing between the legs and longer wings on the arms. His prototype was developed at Boulder City, Nevada. Testing was conducted in a vertical wind tunnel in Las Vegas at Flyaway Las Vegas. Vassilev’s (Popov's) wingsuit first flew in October 1998 over Jean, Nevada, but it never went into commercial production. Vassilev’s (Popov's) design was a great improvement in creating lift; it was able to slow the vertical speed to 30 km/h while gliding horizontally at speeds over 200 km/h.
Today exactly 20 years later Sammy Vassilev is one of the co-founders of Skydive Fyrosity Las Vegas and will be hosting the 2nd FAI World Cup of Wingsuit flying!
The original wing suit built by Sammy Vassilev will be exhibited during the World Cup at Skydive Fyrosity℠. The suit was jumped during the World Championships of Wingsuit flying from the test pilot for INTRUDAIR - Benedikt Hovelmann and it is still flying fast and stable.
More history:
In 1998, Chuck "Da Kine" Raggs built a version which incorporated hard ribs inside the wing airfoils. Although these more rigid wings were better able to keep their shape in flight, this made the wingsuit heavier and more difficult to fly. Raggs' design also never went into commercial production. Flying together for the first time, Popov and Raggs showcased their designs side-by-side at the World Free-fall Convention at Quincy, Illinois, in August 1999. Both designs performed well. At the same event, multiple-formation wingsuit skydives were made which included de Gayardon's, Vassilev’s (Popov's), and Raggs' suits.
Commercial era
In 1999, Jari Kuosma of Finland and Robert Pečnik of Croatia teamed up to create a wingsuit that was safe and accessible to all skydivers. Kuosma established Bird-Man International Ltd. the same year. Birdman’s "Classic", designed by Pečnik, was the first wingsuit offered to the general skydiving public. Birdman was the first manufacturer to advocate the safe use of wingsuits by creating an instructor program. Created by Kuosma, the instructor program's aim was to remove the stigma that wingsuits were dangerous and to provide wingsuit beginners (generally, skydivers with a minimum of 200 jumps) with a way to safely enjoy what was once considered the most dangerous feat in the skydiving world. With the help of Birdman instructors Scott Campos, Chuck Blue and Kim Griffin, a standardized program of instruction was developed that prepared instructors.[4] Wingsuit manufacturers Squirrel Wingsuits, TonySuits Wingsuits, Phoenix-Fly, Fly Your Body, and Nitro Rigging have also instituted coach training programs.
The Host
Skydive Fyrosity
Located at Overton- Perkins field Airport about 55-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip, North-East of Las Vegas in one of the most beautiful locations in Nevada, Skydive Fyrosity℠ offers the most incredible views of Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, Grand Canyon, Moapa Valley Indian Reservation, Mormon Mesa, Mormon Peak, Virgin & Colorado Rivers, Zion National Park, City of Las Vegas, City of Mesquite, City of St. George, UT and 3 US states, Arizona, Utah & Nevada. The most breathtaking view of your Las Vegas tandem skydiving experience are at Skydive Fyrosity™.
Skydive Fyrosity℠ is the only full-service Drop Zone in Southern Nevada and the Las Vegas area. Offering the best skydiving facility and state of the art tandem skydiving equipment in Las Vegas. Skydive Fyrosity℠ specializes in 1st time tandem skydive students and complete skydive training to all looking to learn to and become skydivers. Skydive Fyrosity℠ is the only certified Skydive Training Center (TC) by USPA in Nevada. We provide the most exclusive, personal and exhilarating tandem skydiving experience to first time tandem students, licensed and experienced skydivers, athletes, skydiving competitors, students, life lovers, adventurers, thrill seekers looking to live their lives to the fullest.
Skydive Fyrosity℠ offers the most advanced and complete skydive training via the exclusive AFP Training program, (Accelerated Freefall Progression Program) and skydiving education for the active and extreme sports adventurers looking to become licensed skydivers.

Skydive Fyrosity℠ welcomes all licensed skydivers, pro skydiving teams and athletes from around the world to enjoy our beautiful year-round Las Vegas Drop Zone.
More: www.SkydiveFyrosityLasVegas.com

By admin, in Events,

Insights in Head Up Records - Interview with Fly Warriors

Last June a new European head up record was set. 43 skydivers (plus 2
cameramen) in the sky of Empuriabrava broke the previous 21-way record. Fly
Warriors, a team of 4 talented freeflyers, was behind that achievement. Three of
them, David Nimmo, Luis Adolfo Lopez-Mendez and Gustavo Cabana visited the
Belgian sky during the Flanders Boogie. I had the opportunity to interview them
and get some insight of how this was done. After thanking them for accepting
the interview, this is how the conversation went like.
Who are Fly Warriors? Tell me a bit of your history, previous teams, how you've gotten together...Nimmo: Luis and I were both members of Babylon freefly for
many many years. Around 2015 this was coming to an end, the end of an era, and
being still very keen to push the sport and not to pull back the reins in and
slow down, we combined with a 3rd guy -Raph Coudray-. He had just finished competing in VFS in one back to back world championship. It was kind of a natural
thing forming something together. And then we added a couple of young guys -Leo and Gyzmo- into
the team with similar ideas and did a 4 way dynamic team, which actually won the
world championship together. That kind of was the first year. Then Leo and Gyzmo wanted to focus on tunneling. And with Gus, we needed
video with obviously steady imaging and high quality. His level in freefly has
improved a lot in the last years, he has put a lot of effort on in, and we
asked him to join. And that's how we've got on. Real
professionals, independent, autonomous, all of us doing our own thing, but we
come together to do advanced and worthy stuff. So these jumps (head up European record) is how we do it.
Luis: One of the rules to become a Fly Warrior is that you need to be
over 40 (laughs).
Damian: So if you guys meet somebody young but really great... he
simply has to wait.
Nimmo: Too immature. At 40 you start to be a man maybe (laughs).

Fly
Warriors (From left to right: Gustavo Cabana, Raphael Coudray, Luis Adolfo Lopez-Mendez, David
Nimmo) with the record holders and the rest of the crew. Photo: Mariana
Franceschetto

Empuria seems to be
Europe's skydiving capital. What is the reason for that, what makes it so
special in your opinion?Gustavo Cabana: Empuria has over 30 years of history and during that time
they had many events and teams who train there because of the
weather and the aircrafts. It is just the best place in Europe to skydive, the
weather, the aircrafts...
Luis: And the location.
Gustavo: And the location! The location is incredible. I think it is
the only dropzone in the world that is in the town. It is not in an airfield,
in the middle of nowhere, it is really in the side of the town. Every time
you go away to jump somewhere else and you come back you can't believe that.
As a photographer to have the chance to jump there, to have the sea, the mountains,
you know, it is kind of the perfect background.
You were the
organizing team for the recent European head up record. Congratulations for
that fantastic achievement. What drove you to take on that challenge? At which
point did you decide "we have to do this"?Luis: Nimmo and myself, when we were in Babylon, we were involved in
other European records, head down. Head up started to wake up and become what it
is today (with respect to records). So when we went from Babylon to the
Fly Warriors Nimmo said to me that we should organize a head up record. And so
we decided to start with the first one, two years ago. We did a 21 way.
The problem is that the capacity of the planes is
limited. It is too expensive to have that many planes and to make it happen. So
being in Empuria with 3 planes made it easier to organize and we decided to put
the full fleet into work. And then we were thinking in starting a bit smaller,
but the two camps we organize in Empuria were really good and big and then the
feedback and registration for the record... we had to tell people to stop,
there was a waiting list. So we went for go big or go home, and we started with
slots and 2 camera flyers, which is the capability of the planes.
Nimmo: We basically maxed it out. To go any bigger we
would have to find money for other aircraft or another location. Europe or South
America don't have 5 Twin Otters or 7 Skyvans in the garage like in Eloy. So, it
is harder go to massiver. Shame.
How did you
organize the try-outs to attract jumpers from all over Europe? How was the
process of organizing the try-outs to select who is going to be part of it or
not. Was it enough with the camps you had in Empuria, or did you try to have
other people that you trust to organize some other camps, somewhere else in
Europe?Nimmo: To try and make it work, there is some smooth out. We had
different areas within Europe, like the German speaking section, the
Scandinavians, the English, the French... and for each area we had a team
captain. He was allowed to do some kind of trials to find out people of
this area that he would recommend to come to the record. So those 5 guys that
were part of that team had their job to do in the jump, and also to bring
people to us. It's helped to some degree but the biggest thing we did was some
try-out camps last year and 2 camps this year. We had a big interest in people
wanted to do head up, and we had the capacity maxed out in those camps. Most
people came from there. It worked out well. The
dropzone wants to do formation records. That's an offer than other places can't
do, that's a premium product that we have, and they are happy to that in the
future. So of course in the future if we can we will keep doing this up to 40
ways.

Base exiting from Twin Otter. Photo: Gustavo Cabana

The level has to be
super high once you select jumpers in the try-outs. How do you organize the
jump then? How do you decide who goes in which airplane, who is on base, who is
gonna sting it...?Luis: We try to find a slot for specific qualities. Maybe you are a
heavy person and fly strong, so we put you in the base. The first stingers are
people that can fly fast to get there. And then who closes
the pod needs to have the ability to grab 2 hands and then give shape to the pod. So we kind of
assess the people and give them a slot. We also had Antonio Aria taking care of
the bench. He is a very good organizer and part of the world record crew. And
in the last world record met with Raph Coudray and David Nimmo in Eloy. So that, combined with
our experience, the experience of the world record, and Antonio taking care of
the bench helped us to take decisions. When we needed to have a change we would come to Antonio and
say "we need a second stinger", and he would say "ok, from the
bench, this guy is rock solid. Now. Today". Because sometimes you have the
issue that you know people that are good flyers, but maybe they are having a
bad week or a bad day. And there is some other people that might not be that
strong, in paper, but that day they are on and then get on it. We had issues
with some flyers that were really good, but they had to be cut off, which it
was a surprise for me, and for sure for him. But then other people did their
job and at the end it is not a personal thing, we have a job to be done, and is
to get a record. It is a common goal
and not a personal goal. Which sometimes people don't understand. At the end,
after every record I tell Nimmo I won't never do this again -and then we do
another one-. Because you have 45 people that love you, then 15 that understand
that they had a very good training with the bench group, and 10 that don't like you
Damian: I guess it is also difficult if you have the level to be
there but are kicked out because you are not being consistent enough, I
guess... you know, it has to hurt your ego as well.
Luis: That's the biggest problem in skydiving at the end.
Damian: Ego?
Luis: Ego. Ego is a bitch. And it can kill you.
How did you decide
in other factors like altitude (did you take it as high as possible, decided to
do something lower...), speed (does the base accelerates or slows down, how
much...), shape of the formation, number of people on base, number of people on
base during exit.... How do you decide about all those details?Nimmo: Experience. We have done it enough and we trust that gut.
The formation is just a standard formation, a round thing with
round things attached to it. The base of whatever size and then you connect
pods like doing Lego. So there is nothing really to think about. And with Luis'
experience and Raph's, we look at people and we decide where they are gonna be.
Then you make mistakes and they might not be in their best place so you move
them around. But the most important thing for me is that we had a good base.
This is the key. If you have planes doing their job, the base doing
its job then you just have to take the picture. That's it. If the planes make a
mistake, they are too far away, whatever. The timing of the exit. Or the base
makes a mistake. Then for sure I guarantee nothing is gonna happen.
Luis: But everything starts from the number of people we are gonna
use. Nimmo and myself were discussing for a few months already about how much
people we are going to have in the base, if it is going to be 6 or 8 or 10. If
we have enough people to do that base, to do the pods, what is going to be the
shape... Like he says, we kind of go with the feeling. We can do this and we
put it on paper. We do on the first attempt what we think is best, and then you
realize that this person can be better here or there. So you start moving
pieces around so the structure is more solid.
Nimmo: We had a struggle with the beat. We did 6 jumps a day, which
is a lot to 18000 feet. In the 2 and a half days that took us to do the record
we did 16 attempts. Which is a lot of fucking work. So we really pushed it when
we had the conditions. We could have problems with the weather... there
are so many variables.
Gustavo: The thing with a record is that you need more time, no? So
why don't you go to 20000 or 25000? The problem when you go past 15000 is that
there is less oxygen and people are more prone to have hypoxia. For that we use
oxygen onboard, which helps you to keep sharp. But also because the planes need to climb
in formation, it takes longer to go up and it is kind of... I think we found
over the years that going to 18000 or 19000 maximum is a good compromise between
the effort to climb and what you are going to get for the extra time in
freefall. Also in the head down and head up world records we went to 18000-19000.

The challengers getting together during one of the attempts. Photo: Gustavo Cabana

It took 16 jumps to
get the formation completed. How was the atmosphere before that? Were you
absolutely confident you would make it?Nimmo: I mean, yeah. For sure the last 2 jumps... in the last one
too... we were flying very strong. We knew we would get a record. We started to
cut. We said 45... now we need to get a result. 44. We didn't get it. 43. Done.

The head up world
record is a 72 way, done in Skydive Arizona. Do you see that as an attainable
number in Europe? Or are we limited because of the size of the dropzones and
the number of planes there?Nimmo: It is logistics. You need to get sponsors that say "fuck
let's make this happen, here you have 20 grand, two more planes". Hell
yeah. But otherwise we have to pay. We, as the flyers. And there is a point
where you go "I rather spend that money doing other cool shit". The
record is very cool and it goes in the history books. It is an
achievement for all the participants. But you are still limited by how much you
have to pay for that. So yes, it is possible, but you need some extra sponsors.
Gustavo: 3 years ago we did a world
record with 106 people (FS sequential). But the thing is that bringing the
planes there is super expensive. And if that money has to come from the pocket
of the skydivers... it is too much money. It is really expensive to fly a plane
to a dropzone.
Luis: And it was happening, this 100+ way because Dubai helped financially to make it happen.
Gustavo: If not it is impossible.
Nimmo: It is possible, but we need someone to support it. But, why not?
Shall we look? Maybe we get hungry in a year or two.
Luis: That's why we stopped with the head down once. Basically.
Nimmo: Logistics. That's about flying at the end of the day. Because
if you have to choose between logistics and not flying you go "fuck this,
I want to fly". So there is also that trade off in the equation as well.
How much you want to work on the ground to make it happen, but all you want to
do is flying.
Luis: There is a lot of work behind the scenes. Registrations,
payments, getting everything done... The good thing about our team is that
everyone has a speciallity. And we combined them, and we do whatever we do
strong. We are lucky that we have a very experienced camera flyer plus he is
really experience with oxygen. So we have that part covered. Nimmo and me don't
have to think about it. Nimmo has a lot of experience organizing big ways. And that experience helps you to do the
things. Me and Nimmo are taking care of the administration as well. Receiving
and sending emails. Nimmo was talking to the captains, I was organizing the
payments...
Nimmo: Judges, T-shirts.... Bullshits that are just as important. And
we all do that without effort. You don't have to grab anyone and tell them
"do this" like a child. It is just "Hey, could you do this?
-Yeah, sure". And it gets done. So this
also makes the team mature enough to realize you have to do something to make it
work and to do that without having to be hit with a stick.
Luis: And how it works, I don't know. Because we are 4 alpha...
Nimmo: Yeah, 4 alpha males, and we don't kill each other, that's rough.
Damian: That's already an achievement (laughs).
Luis: That's an achievement right there.
Nimmo: Because we are more than 40. After 40 you can work together.
Luis: But I think that's the key, you know? You have things that
bother you about each other, because we are humans. But we are old enough to
either talk about it or understand that no one is perfect and you have to deal
with humanity.
Initial
attempt diagram. 44 and 45 were cut off for the final record. One of the mottos
of the record was "make head up great again". Why did you came up
with it? When did it stop being great?Nimmo: That was because head up was kind of neglected. Head down
records started in whatever it was... 21-way in Florida in 2001... when the 1st
head up world record was in 2015 or something. That's 14 years neglected. For
no reason. Head down has got massive, 164. Head up was nothing. So I was
talking with Steve Curtis, a good friend of mine from Eloy. He thought "let's do a 30 way" the first one. They
did 52! You couldn't believe it! Because it was just left on the
shelf, blow the dust off and it was ready to go. So make head up great, bring
it to the level it deserves. It is even more fun to fly, easier visually, it is
more of human kind of orientation, it is better, for sure, its fun.

Damian: That's funny that you chose the word "neglected"
because I had a follow up question that used that word. Do you think it has
been neglected in favor of head down?
Nimmo: Head down is easier to build. Head up for sure its hard. You have to get
in there, be humble and give it a try, and you have to work much harder. But
visually it is easier, its more natural. People look like human beings not
assholes and feet (laughs). But to be
there you have to put a lot of work. Work really hard. But then it is super
good. And it is so small! There is the 72-way, so we can get a head up record
every year to get it up to 150 or something. I mean, it won't be like that
but...
What was in your
opinion the biggest challenge of the record? What's the part that you've found
more difficult? Was it the flying, finding the right people, nothing of it was
really a challenge?Nimmo: The whole thing is this one big fucking package. So you just
have to do it all. Was this harder than that? It doesn't matter, you have to do
it anyway.
Luis: The situation with the record is that it doesn't matter if we
flew 42 way for 20 seconds and one person is missing. There is no record. Or 43
flew for one minute but the camera didn't work, you know? Or 2 planes were
super good and then one plane just lost it and people don't arrive. So at the
end everything has to work, like Nimmo says. The pilots need to work together
so we have a good drop, then the base has to be solid and then from there you
start to construct. The camera needs to be in the right place, take the right
shot so the judges can validate it. So, I would say, there is nothing more
important than other things, because without the pilots we could not do it,
without the base we could not do it, without stingers we could not do it,
without the second stingers we could not do it, without the pod closers as
well, without the cameras you can not, without the oxygen....
Nimmo: Just before, until
Sunday it was fucked up weather. And then hallelujah, we had blue sky. We were blessed with the
weather. Again, that's another factor and you can't control it. But it would
have been very frustrating that being the fucked up. But it wasn't.
Luis: And then everyday you need a lot of work after the jump and
before the jump. At nights, Gus can tell you, how much work he has to do to
prepare the planes to be ready to go.
Gustavo: Yes, because after every couple of jumps we need to exchange the
oxygen bottles. Attach them to the plane, the regulators. And sometimes the plane runs out of oxygen,
and people are waiting... It is kind of stressing, but at the
end of the day you have to do it, and when it works it is very satisfactory.
I was on the boarding area with my rig and I had to
check and make sure that every airplane had oxygen to go up. Because I've been
in many occasions in other records when you go to altitude, and they cancel the
jump because one plane run out of oxygen. And we had all to come down. It
happened many times. Minimum 4 times in 4 different events.
Damian: It has to be frustrating.
Gustavo: Specially if you are the responsible for that. Everybody
wants to kill you (laughs).

43-way formation completed. Photo: Gustavo Cabana
Who do you think is
going to organize the record that will break yours? When and by how much? If
that happens!Luis: What do you mean? In Europe?
Damian: Yes.
Luis: We will try to organize all the records in Europe.
Nimmo: This is the best you could do. So if somebody wants to do it
again... well, show me. In the history of records normally the dropzone or
group that organized the previous one they do it again. The Arizona crew do the head up records.
Rook Nelson does it with the head down records. Not because nobody else can do it,
but because these guys really do it. If Rook said "fuck head down I am not going
to do it" for sure someone will pick it up and try to run with it. But
then, they don't have the experience. So it also makes sense to go with the
guys who have done it once, twice, or five, six times.
If somebody else tried to organize it I would never try to do anything against it, you've got to
respect it. But the record is coming together, unified. We have to work
together or we are going to get nothing. Unified, together, big. Not your own
little shit.
Question for Gus.
The record is 43 people, plus cameramen. Gustavo, you were the wizard behind
the lens -with Will Penny as second cameraman-. You were also in other records.
How did you live each one of them?Gustavo: I always think that the cameramen are under pressure, but
not the same kind of pressure as the participants. Normally in a record we
have several cameras, so if one fucks up, the other one can have the shot. But
in the formation if one fucks up there is no record. Our pressure is more about
trying to be happy with us, with our job. The participants need to do their job
to get the record, and I feel like I need to take the best picture I can to be
happy with me. Also, I've been involved in records since many years, and what I
like about them is that everyone come together, to do something together. It
is not like in a competition where people compete against each other, and some
are going to be happy and some are going to be losers. And not only jumpers,
also people on the ground are helping you, your wife, your girlfriend, your
boyfriend, whatever, are there to help you to make it happen. The feeling you
have when is done is very unique. The feeling of unity and working together. I shoot almost every
discipline in skydiving: Belly, canopy formation, head down and head up. And at
the end I think that everyone has his own pace and feelings, but one feeling
that for sure is great is that you are taking a picture of the best skydivers
at that time in history. And it is a very good feeling to be part of that. It
is cool. Everyone there worked hard to be there. It is not like "I want to
do a record because I want to be cool". No, you need to work your ass off
to be a record holder.
European HeadUp Record 43 Way, June 23th 2017, Skydive Empuriabrava, Spain from Gustavo Cabana
Assuming each one
of these records is special, what made this one special for you?Gustavo: For me the most important record is the next one. It is not
like this one is special, and the other one was less special. The record
happened and it happened, it is in the past. Now you are looking forward to do
something more. I think all of us are looking for that, looking to improve, to
do it better, or bigger, or whatever, but looking forward, not backwards.
Damian: Do you still see room for improvements, seeing that you are
current record holders, that you have so much experience, and you are among the
best in the world, do you still see room for improvement for what you do? Gus
behind the camera, you guys load organizing...
Nimmo: 100% man
Luis: 100%
Gustavo: If not you quit.
Nimmo: We don't know shit. 20000 jumps and we feel like we know
nothing. Sure.
Luis: I learn everyday, even in these events (boogies). From the
people, what I am doing. How did it work? What line I chose? Why I did that?
How can I make it better, get it tighter? And that's how we do it, we think how
to improve it, make it better, more efficient, we can dive better, we can build
better, how can the base fly better, how can we fly better. Everyone for sure
is looking at themselves in that video. And you are like "ok, I could have
done this better, I shouldn't have gone that far, I need to do it earlier, the
transition later". So I think everyone is criticizing themselves. At least
me. I am looking at myself. I am looking at the picture, but I am looking at
myself to see if I did a good job. How can I do it better next time?
Nimmo: When you stop that shit you are getting old, and next step is
death. So I am not going to stop that (laughs). You must keep doing this or you
die.
Luis: Or retire.
Nimmo: Or retire. Play golf or some shit.
Luis: And then you think about your swing (laughs).
So, after this
record, what is next? Is there any other challenge in the pipeline? Or are you
taking a break? Was it enough for the moment?Nimmo: We never take a break, we are constantly freeflying and along
the way we do these things. What is the next thing? I don't know, but there is
always something coming up.
Luis: I would say that record wise probably Nimmo would like to go to
the next head down record. Not me, I don't like head down
anymore. But for head up, when they decide to organize another world record I
think we are going to put an effort, probably the whole team, to go there and
be part of it.
Damian: I suppose that being the organizers of the European record
it is kind of natural for Fly Warriors to be part of the world record if
they organize it somewhere else.
Luis: Yes, well, we did a try-out camp for the world record in
Empuria. In partnership with Steve Curtis, Sara Curtis and Antonio Aria.
We saw how they organize it, and they saw us. And I think we've learned a lot. And they invited us to go there and help them organize. I didn't go, because I had other priorities financially at that moment, but the dropzone supported us. Nimmo and Raph went there and they were part of the organization of the world record. So I think that yes, we are going to be involved as Fly Warriors, even if it is only one or two.
Gustavo: Or 4
Nimmo: Gus shot the fucking record. So it was 3 out of 4 of us in the
record. I still like head down. Raph has lost a bit of the interest in big
stuff. You've done it, you've done it. But there is always another one to do.
You can always go a little bigger. Same shit, different day. Make it a bit better.
I missed one and wish I've gone. So if they do another one for sure, I'll try
to go. If I am not broke I'll go.
Gustavo: The plan I think it is 200 for the head down next year. And
the following year they are going to do a 100 for head up, for sure. One thing
funny about freefly is that they never did a round number. In belly it was 100,
200, 300 and 400 which is the last one. But in freefly they went with 108,
one hundred forty something, 164?. I hope this time they will do a fucking 200 and fucking
100. Why they can't be like the normal people? (laughs). Hopefully, let's hope
for the best.
The last question:
Would you like to say something that I haven't asked about?Nimmo: We've been talking for a long time here. It is good that we
are finished (laughs).
Gustavo: It is the longest interview ever (more laughs).

By admin, in News,

It’s Not Your Imagination. Skydiving Actually Changes the Shape of Time

"We live longer in three seconds than some people live their entire lives."
That's one of my favorite quotes from a fellow BASE jumper, and it was at the forefront of my mind as I read BBC broadcaster and psychology writer Claudia Hammond's new book, "Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception." The book tackles the alternately baffling and encouraging science behind our brains' relationship with the arbitrary measurements of our wristwatches.
More to the point: It puts that information in a framework that makes total sense for an airsports athlete. Time works a little differently for us, after all. Linear time lies at the heart of the way we organize life, sure--but it also lies at the heart of the way we experience it. This might be the bigger concept--because what's within our own minds is under our own control.
Skydivers--especially in high-stakes moments, like competitions and records--can relate to the curiously changing shape of time. Saturated with focus, it feels as though some experiences are being scrubbed through in super-fast-forward, while others are playing out almost frame-by-frame. It turns out that fluxes in time perception aren't simply an athletic and personal deficiency; these mental gymnastics around the concept of time's passage are a "defining feature of how the human mind works."It turns out that, in a physiological sense, the "slow-motion car crash" isn't a myth -- it's "a cognitive reality."
Hammond's hypothesis is compelling in its simplicity: that the way we experience the passage of time is not an external process we're subjected to. Instead, time as we know it is actively created by our own minds. It isn't reliable and it is certainly not objective. Neuroscientists and psychologists call this "mind time," and Hammond describes how we as humans -- and, by extension, we as extreme athletes -- can shape it and use it to our own benefit.
Much of the challenge we face as airsports athletes is exerting a practical amount of control over our physical and mental responses to overwhelming stimuli. No amount of mental gymnastics will turn a BASE exit with a seven-second rock drop into an exit with a 12-second rock drop; however, if we can start to see "mind time" as flexible and ourselves as active participants in our experience of it, Hammond suggests that we can stay in flight just a little longer in our own minds. (This is a deeply appealing and useful thought experiment for athletes who practice a sport that often requires us to dedicate days of our time for scant minutes of freefall.)
"Time Warped" is a profoundly conceptual but still, somehow, practical book. It addresses the way our internal clocks dictate our lives and the ways in which mindfulness works as a tool to master that internal clock.
One of the book's most beautiful passages sums it up brilliantly:
"We will never have total control over this extraordinary dimension. Time will warp and confuse and baffle and entertain however much we learn about its capacities. But the more we learn, the more we can shape it to our will and destiny. We can slow it down or speed it up. We can hold on to the past more securely and predict the future more accurately. Mental time-travel is one of the greatest gifts of the mind. It makes us human, and it makes us special."
Other Resources:
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Felt Time: The Science of How We Experience Time by Marc Wittmann

By admin, in General,

Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championship Program

When Copenhagen hosts parachuting's inaugural Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championship August 25th & 26th, not only will it set the scene for the best athletes in the world but turn one of the oldest and most historic European capitals into an urban sports festival.
Combining world class sport with DJ's, live music, street food, air shows and various activities for all ages, will create a great festival feel around the World Championships. It is expected that over 200,000 spectators will visit the event at Peblinge Lake, downtown Copenhagen during the two event days. It will be possible to try tandem jumping over the city, bungee jumping, virtual reality parachuting and running across the lake in Fun Ballz.
"We want to create a festival feel around a world class sport by offering a host of activities and giving the audience a full Swoop Freestyle event experience. With different activations and touch points, the spectators will get opportunities to connect with the sport in an engaging way. We believe that by mixing world class sport with, great activities, music and street food, it will set the scene for future events in major cities where a broad activation is key," says George Blythe, CEO of A. Sports, the organizer of the Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championships.
Adrenaline packed sports festival in the heart of major cities
By taking the sport of parachuting, which is usually performed in small air fields, and bringing it into major cities, it gives the host city and local partners a great opportunity to work with potential clients and businesses.
 
Highlights from the 2016 CPH Invitational  
"With the help from one of our partners, all spectators can download an app and send out their own live feed experience with a chance to be featured in different videos with other spectators both on the big screen at the venue and at the live feed going out to millions around the world," George Blythe adds and points out the mission for Swoop Freestyle: To build a world championship series in major cities worldwide such as Formula 1.

"The Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championship 2017 will not only be the first ever World Championship in urban parachuting in the heart of Copenhagen – it will also form the basis of a genuine festive celebration combining sport and spectators with a festival of side activities embracing the championship – an approach which is typically Danish," says Lars Lundov, CEO, Sport Event Denmark, the national sporting event organization that partners the event.
THE ATHLETES:
18 pilots from 10 different countries and with a total of 150,000 jumps between them:
#1 Curt Bartholomew, 31 years old, USA, 8000 jumps
#2 Nick Batsch, 35 years old, USA, 8500 jumps
#3 Claudio Cagnasso, 28 years old, Venezuela, 6500 jumps
#4 Ian Bobo, 46 years old, USA, 20000 jumps
#5 Cornelia Mihai, 32 years old, UAE, 10000 jumps
#6 Pablo Hernandez, 31 years old, Spain, 15000 jumps
#7 David Ludvik Junior, 38 years old, USA, 16000 jumps
#8 Marco Fürst, 26 years old, Austria, 4000 jumps
#9 Tom Baker, 27 years old, USA, 7000 jumps
#10 Chris Stewart, 28 years old, New Zealand, 7000 jumps
#11 Aurel Marquet, 34 years old, France, 2900 jumps
#12 Ulisse Idra, 27 years old, Italy, 7000 jumps
#13 Jeannie Bartholomew, 36 years old, USA, 4000 jumps
#14 Max Manow, 28 years old, Germany, 5000 jumps
#15 Mario Fattoruso, 30 years old, Italy, 6000 jumps
#16 Christian Webber, 30 years old, Denmark, 3400 jumps
#17 Abdulbari Qubaisi, 29 years old, UAE, 6300 jumps
#18 Travis Mills, 35 years old, USA, 13500 jumps PROGRAM - FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championship 2017:
Friday August 25th - Swoop Training and Swoop Night Lights
3.00-3.30pm (15.00-15.30): Highlights from 2016 on big screen
4.00-6.00pm (16.00-18.00): Swoop Training - Round 1 and 2
6.00-6.15pm (18.00-18.15): Fly Boards show
6.15-9.00pm (18.15-21.00): Swoop Sessions, live music
9.15-9.45pm (21.15-21.45) - Swoop Night Lights (airshow with night jumps, lighted suits and pyro) Saturday August 26th - Swoop Qualifying of Swoop Finals
12.00-12.30pm: Swoop Sessions, live music
12.30-12.45pm: Fly Boards show
1.00-3.00pm (13.00-15.00): Swoop Qualifying, Round 1 and 2
3.30-3.45pm (15.30-15.45): Show with wingsuits, BASE and Acro paragliding
4.00-6.00pm (16.00-18.00): Swoop Finals, Round 1 and 2 + medal ceremony. Who will be the first world champion?
6.15-9.00pm (18.15-21.00): Swoop Sessions live music, and meet'n'greet with the athletes Other activities both days:
Tandem jumps over Copenhagen (For booking link and prices - click here)
Water blob (rental)
Floading couches (rental)
Fun ballz (rental)
Virtual Reality parachuting (rental)
Bungeejump (rental) FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships 2017
Training and Swoop Night Lights Friday August 25, Qualifying and Finals Saturday August 26 2017.
Location: Peblinge Lake, Queen Louise's Bridge, central Copenhagen.
18 parachute pilots from 10 countries.
It's the first swoop freestyle world championships ever in freestyle swooping (canopy piloting), sanctioned under the FAI, Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Website and social media:
Website: http://www.swoopfreestyle.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/swoopfreestyle/
Instagram: instagram.com/swoopfreestyle
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1888604534750053/  

By admin, in News,

Jump-Tandem Festival 2017 Report

The first annual JUMP-TANDEM V.I.P. FESTIVAL took place at the Dropzone Prostejov in the Czech Republic on July 11-16 2017.
As the coaches arrived, there was nobody smaller than Léo Blanchon of the Bro’s (FF) and Kim Törnwall (FF), Rolf Brombach (WS), Regan Tetlow (FS), David Nimmo and Luis Adolfo Lopez-Mendez of Fly Warriors (FF).
Each of them trained a small group of skydivers 4,200 meters in V.I.P. style so that everybody made great progress in their skills during the festival. There were also jumps made from two hot air balloons hovering at 4000 meters! Everybody landed safely in the drop zone.




There was a party every night with happy hour, live bands and DJs. The final night featured a raffle with prizes in value of more than € 7,000.
JUMP-TANDEM Dropzone Prostejov has already organized two Vector Festivals (2011, 2012), World Parachuting Championships (2014) and many World Cups and European Championships (2005-2013), for which it has become well-known.


Plans are for only one V.I.P. mark in Europe next year too, which means that there is going to be very limited space available for registrations. If you don’t want to miss your slot on the very special 2018 JT V.I.P. FESTIVAL, check either the website or Facebook page regularly for more information about the event.
More available at www.jumptandemfestival.com or www.facebook.com/jumptandem1/.
Special thanks to festival partners Aerodyne and Cypres for their support.

By admin, in Events,

Indoors Outdoors - Translating Between The Tunnel & The Sky (Part 5)

Part Five: Head Down
Learning to fly upside down can be tough. Once a student reaches the point at which the coaches and instructors in charge of their progression and safety invite them to start, he or she should be suitably skilled in the other main orientations of flight in order to manage the variables involved in practicing head down with confidence. However, all too often this is not the case - and although things are improving as training methodology evolves and becomes more widely understood - too few students invest as much time as they should in the right foundational skills in their big rush to get to head down.
The main thrust of these articles is to highlight some of the many ways that various elements of freefly training feed into and stack upon each other to create a deeper understanding of how flying actually works. The process of learning head down is a great example of exactly how many things someone could and should be able to do before they begin with those expensive headstands on the net - in order to make the whole endeavour much smoother, easier, cheaper, and vitally - more fun.
Safety First!
On the most basic level, good backflying and sitflying skills will keep you safe while learning head down. The ability to properly control yourself in these positions on high windspeeds is the minimum by which you should be allowed to get started. Even for those us totally devoid of maths, the ability to reset yourself onto the net in just a handful of seconds after needing to bail instead of fifteen or twenty (or more) spent bouncing around the top of the tube is clear to see.
Investing in your backfly and sitfly early on will save you a great deal of time and money down the road.
In addition, every bit of progress you make in the other areas of your training feeds directly back into your ability to fly head down. Doing this other stuff is more fun and easier on your body than spending hour after hour on the net.
How Does Head Up Help?
Aside from simply being able to safely get in the tube on wind speeds high enough for head down flying, many of the ways you sitfly about the place can be practiced and then switched the other way up as a means of making you brain understand what is going on. The most efficient way to figure out a line or a sequence of moves when you are first learning on your head can be to get it right with some sitfly first where it is easier to maintain awareness and fly with a position in which you are stronger - then flip it over. The way movements are flown from the one orientation to its opposite can be very similar - the space, the lines and the subtleties are very often one and the same.
How Does Carving Help?
Carving your way up from low wind speeds on both your belly and back help your head down flying from the very start by helping your brain to recognise the single most important rule to maintaining positional awareness:
When you go from head up to head down - left is right and right is left.
Once you have got the hang of static head down, moving around is next. Understanding how carving works and practicing it on low speeds is the way to both good technique and a much quicker mastery of it on high speeds. The best way to frame the process is to think of carving in the tunnel as learning the ability to fly at any angle and velocity as opposed to separating high speed and low speed into two categories. Once you get steep enough, the skill set you need to apply to carving becomes closer to that of head down flying - but the most important thing to understand is the fluidity. The golden moment is when your carving drills and your head down meet in the middle.
How Do Layouts Help?
Proper layouts are tough to get right. Frequently people have to do a great many, working through the smallest refinements in technique before nailing them. Training layouts teaches you body many things, but within the context of this article the most prescient value they have for helping with your head down skills is to get your body up over your head and travelling through the axis you need the most control of when flying (or transitioning through) a head down position. Head down is scary at the start - the wind is fast and is hitting your control surfaces from the wrong sides - having some layouts under your belt will help with being relaxed at the idea of your feet being high up and your body low down.
The thing to remember is that all the pieces matter. While it is entirely possible to learn how to fly head down buy achieving the minimum possible requirements to be allowed to try, and then spend a great deal of time and money hammering away at it the way people used to do all the time - there is now a way that is more fun, less tiring, and that will ultimately give you a stronger skill set, better understanding and more useable tools for skydiving.

By admin, in Disciplines,

Skydiver's Anonymous

For the average weekend-warrior, skydiving is the great escape. The end of each dreary workweek is met with excitement and anticipation. Time to skydive! This is our chance to be with friends who share our passion, and escape the mundane, while we embrace life on our own terms. But with every wild weekend at the dz come the frustrations of another Monday morning…back to “reality”.
And as the weekend highs become increasingly potent, so, too, do the lows of the following week back in the “real world”. This is a problem. Or at least is has been for me.
Skydiving is so much more than the physical act of each jump. It’s exciting, challenging, rewarding, and – at times – incredibly fulfilling. It also brings a sense of community, place, and purpose to the lives of many of us. The bonds created at the dz are strong, and the times spent together with friends in the mutual pursuit of pleasure can be as rich and vital as nearly any other human experience. This is why we jump.

But not everyone has something equally rewarding or exciting waiting for them at home. In fact, many of the dedicated skydivers I’ve known sacrifice a substantial amount of their time, energy, and resources in support of those two sacred days each week that they get to spend doing what they love. In many ways, it’s like a drug.
The comparisons are obvious:

It’s expensive
It’s exciting and intoxicating
It’s quite addictive
It leaves you in withdrawal when you’re unable to jump
It’s not always socially acceptable (sometimes even forbidden by friends / loved ones)
It can eventually have negative effects on other parts of your life (relationships, finances, etc.)
It can consume your mind and thoughts even when you’re not jumping
It can begin to rule your life, as you reshape your time, energy and resources to better support your habit
What, then, becomes of our prior reality? It’s hard to replicate the floods of dopamine and surges of endorphins unleashed over the course of a weekend in the sky. And as you progress in skydiving towards more demanding disciplines that require greater focus and dedication, all else can become comparatively dull and uninspired.
But there are no support groups for us crazy few. No meetings to attend with mantras to repeat aloud in sober solidarity. We’re left to our own devices – bored and daydreaming about our next fix. This duality doesn’t sit well. At least not with me. I’ve had a very difficult time adjusting to a life split between two utterly separate and diametrically opposed worlds – one of hedonism and excitement, and the other of drudgery and toil.


For me, these two paths could no longer be bridged. I’ve had to choose. And I’ve always been a much more talented hedonist than I have a cubicle-rat, so my choice was fairly clear. Granted, not everyone is in a position to completely cutaway. Some of you have spouses, kids, mortgages, magazine subscriptions, softball practices, and various other entanglements with which to contend.
These types of responsibility have always terrified me. But I’m very interested in hearing from you! How is it that you, the reader, who I presume lives to some extent in both of these worlds at once, is able to reconcile them? What sacrifices must you make? How do you divide your time between the sky (the friends, the bonfires and other sanctioned mayhem) and the so-called “real world”? Perhaps there’s something I’ve missed in my pursuit of balance. And I’d love to hear what that might be. Your thoughts and personal insights are welcomed and invited below!

By admin, in General,

World Championships in Freestyle Swooping Coming This August

FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships 2017 will be the first ever World Championships in the urban parachuting discipline, freestyle swooping, and it will take place in the heart of Denmark's capital, Copenhagen, August 25 and 26 2017 - making this the premiere of a whole new urban world championship settings: Taking world class air sport to the people in the middle of great cities.
18 of the best canopy piloting athletes in the world will battle it out for the first ever world championship title in the freestyle discipline over two phenomenal days of high octane parachuting athleticism in the centre of Copenhagen. Over 100.000 spectators will be watching the event live with millions watching online and behind the screens worldwide.
The event format is the idea of two Danish entrepreneurs and in only three years, the event has grown massively and has revolutionised the sport.

Swooping is the new darling of parachuting and the freestyle discipline is the most spectator friendly and adrenaline seeking within human flight.The high-impact, adrenalin-fuelled discipline of Freestyle Canopy Piloting is known as Swooping, and involves parachutists flying at high-speed across a ‘Swooping Pond’ to score points based on style and execution.
Canopy pilots jump out of a plane or helicopter in 1,500 m/5,000 feet altitude, release the canopy straight away and start to navigate towards the surface immediately. To gain great speed, they make a series of turns before reaching ground level, and right before they make contact with the surface, they straighten out and with speeds up to 150 km/90 miles per hour, they do their freestyle trick on the water surface before landing on a platform on the water right in front of the spectators.
From local pilot project to official world championships
With the world championship stamp from the The World Air Sports Federation, FAI, the Danish organizers have gone from an idea and a pilot project to an official world championship in only three years.
"In the space of three years we have gone from an idea and pilot project with 10,000 spectators to an internationally recognised platform with hundreds of thousands now following live and behind screens across the globe. We have taken the sport on a journey, with the athletes now seeing themselves in a professional light and professional settings in the heart of major cities whereas they before were used to competing in small airports without spectators or media coverage. We have managed to bring the environment and talent together in a major project within the city and now with official recognition and the World Championship we are a step closer to realising our dream of a World Series," George Blythe, CEO of A. Sports, the organisers of the FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships says.
International federation: We could not have a better venue than Copenhagen
"Freestyle Swooping really is one of the most exciting and dynamic air sports to watch. So it is very exciting, and my genuine pleasure, to welcome the athletes to the very first FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships in Copenhagen. There couldn’t be a better venue than in the heart of this great city. It really is unique, and will help bring this rapidly growing sport to thousands of spectators both in the city and through the media. I would like to wish all the competitors, organisers, and volunteers a fun, safe and fair competition. I am looking forward to following this amazing event," FAI President Frits Brink said.
"The FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships adds another dimension to our work with sporting events. Here we are talking about an event that has been developed in Denmark and now has been appointed official world championships. That fact is a cadeau to the organisers and the partners behind," says Lars Lundov, CEO, Sport Event Denmark which partners the event.
FACTS:
FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships 2017
Training and Swoop Night Lights Friday August 25, Qualifying and Finals Saturday August 26 2017.
Location: Peblinge Lake, Queen Louise's Bridge, central Copenhagen.
18 parachute pilots from 12 countries.
It's the first swoop freestyle world championships ever in freestyle swooping (canopy piloting).

Website
Facebook page
Instagram
Facebook event

By admin, in News,

Indoors Outdoors - Translating Between The Tunnel & The Sky (Part 4)

Part Four: Belly Flying

It is probably important clarify exactly what we are talking about when referring to belly positions. Not to be confused with ‘Relative Work’ or ’Formation Skydiving’ or whatever saucy nomenclature is used in your part of the world for gathering up your bootie friends and doing as many doughnuts and thingys as you can - within the sphere of freefly training ‘belly’ means the various forms in which the side of your body with your belly on it is presented towards the wind.
An important part of evolving into a wise and learned freefly type is the difference between merely teasing belly flyers for being lame and actually meaning it. Serious flat flying is very technical and contained within it are many of the concepts it is crucial to understand to fly competently in other orientations - such as developing spacial awareness, using multiple surfaces of your body at the same time to control both place and position, and the processes of planning and executing bigger, more complex skydives.
The better you are at one element of flying the easier the others are to learn.
Freefly is about mastering movement across all three axis, any way up and at any angle, and learning to fly with the wind hitting the front parts of your body is not only as important as any and all of the other parts - it is available right from the start. There are a couple of very good reasons why good belly basics are not something to dismiss or overlook. Firstly, the circumstances you are training under (indoors or from aircraft) require you to achieve some kind of basic proficiency anyway - so why not use the opportunity to cram as much of it into your brain as possible? Secondly - down the road when you are ready to attempt some of the more advanced tricks and transitions, understanding more advanced methods of how to fly on your belly will help a great deal.
How Does Belly Carving Work?
The general rules about learning to carve in (or from) a belly position are the same as doing so on your back. The mechanics of carving do not change wether you are head up or head down, facing inwards or outwards, and if flying on high speeds or low speeds:
The combination of a drive and a turn creates a carve.
When carving, the input with your body required to generate the turn part of the equation is small. Controlling everything else is the same - the surfaces you apply to the wind to alter your speed both horizontally and vertically remain constant, so when you are learning to carve in the tunnel you are training the same movements and positions that you use for tracking and angle jumps. You start flat and work up through to higher speeds and steeper angles - which is directly reflected by the skydives you perform as you build your confidence with tracking jumps.
Orientation and Awareness
It cannot be overstated how important spacial awareness is. As you work through the various stages in a training programme there are drills in which you are re-programming your muscle memory to do the exact opposite of what it has normally done every time in your life up to this point. Up is down, left is right, forwards is backwards. It takes time and is frequently frustrating, so anywhere you can find the opportunity to gain a head start is valuable. The same drill we discussed in the last chapter - where you can fly in a flat orientation (on your back) and switch (as far as your brain is concerned) between a head up and a head down position simply by moving your head is also applicable when on your belly. The opposite version of the same procedure has a comparable outcome and similar advantages:

Helping you to fly an outface carve in the tube without losing control or getting dizzy.
Setting you up for learning to fly head down positions and then perform transitions between head up and head down without being bamboozled by it.
Progressing your angle skydives into steeper and steeper positions while maintaining safety and awareness.
As we touched upon in the previous chapters, as you push through the training stages the symbiosis not only between each orientation of flight but that of the indoor and outdoor environments becomes more and more apparent. Knowing some details of how things all work together with each other hopefully de-mystifies the process somewhat and puts you on the good foot from the start. Getting to where your ambitions lie is a long road and the key to a more rewarding and fulfilling time with it is to recognise each step of the way as being of equal value. Every small push forwards is an important victory and an essential part of the bigger picture.

By joelstrickland, in Disciplines,