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Disciplines

    Freeflying

    Photo: Bill Beaver





    Freeflying is the ability to fly your body in any position, in any direction, at any speed at any given time. This includes, but is not limited to, headdown, sit, stand, back, belly and any kind of flying you can imagine. There are no limits to freefly except those created in your own mind.
    Freeflying Safety
    Freeflying is exciting, new and so much fun. Safety must always be an issue. By maintaining a safe flying atmosphere you allow yourself to have more fun. Flying safely relates to the level of experience of those with whom you fly. The basics of freeflight can practiced in a safe atmosphere as long as the size of the flying group does not exceed the skill level of those individuals flying together. 2-ways are the best way to train your freeflying skills.
    Freeflying involves many different flying positions which relates to many different speeds ranging from 90-300 miles an hour. There is a logical progression to safe learning of freefly. It is best to first have an understanding of how to fly your body in slower flying positions before moving on to faster ones. Learning to control speed, direction and proximity at slow speeds increases awareness and reactions. These are the methods which keep everyone safe in the sky.
    As stated earlier, smaller groups are the safest way to fly. One-on-one flying is the safest way to experience flight with someone else. It allows flyers to maintain visual contact with each other at all times. As experience increases and awareness grows, flying with more people can be fun and safe. This is dependent on the skill of the fliers and how well everyone has planned their dive. There are certain safety rules for breakoff. Once again speed is an important factor. Breakoff altitudes are slightly higher for freefly jumps, 4000ft because of higher speeds. It is also important to gently transition into a track to avoid radical changes in speed. Track for clean air and check. A slow barrel roll before deployment is highly recommended to insure clean air. Following the simple rules of small groups, planning, awareness and breakoffs, insures safety and fun for everyone.
    Freefly Safety Equipment


    Container: A tight fitting container which does not allow for exposure of risers and pins is essential to every freeflyer. Increased airspeeds and varying body positions make closure necessary.
    Altimeter: Two altimeters, visual and audible, are necessary for freeflying. Altitude awareness takes on a new importance when dealing with the faster speeds of freefly.
    Clothing: It is important to wear clothing that does not restrict movement and will not cover any handles.
    Helmet: A hard shell helmet is recommended.
    Cypres: Cypres is recommended to all those who can afford it. The potential for collisions exists. Therefore, it is best to be prepared.


    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Freestyle

    Freestyle is defined as a solo free fall discipline that involves choreographed multi-orientation static and dynamic maneuvers.
    Generally speaking, it combines the dynamics of gymnastics and ice skating with the elegance of dance. The free stylist executes precise acrobatic maneuvers including loops, spins, twists and poses while falling at speeds of up to 200+ miles per hour.
    Team Composition:
    A freestyle team consists of a performer and a videographer. Teams may consist of members of one or both genders, but the gender of the team is determined by the performer. If the videographer and performer are of the same gender, either may serve as the videographer on any particular round.
    Freestyle Competition:
    In freestyle skydiving there are seven rounds, two of which are compulsory. The remaining five are free rounds. The content of the compulsory rounds contains four compulsory sequences drawn by the Chief Judge, which must be performed in order of the draw. The compulsory rounds are performed in rounds 2 and 5. All sequences must have a static start and stop.
    The content of the free rounds is chosen entirely by the team, and there may be any number of different free routines within the set number of free rounds. Each jump is from 13,000 feet with working time beginning when the first team member leaves the aircraft and ends 45 seconds later.
    Scoring:
    The compulsory routine is scored for the quality and correctness of execution of the sequences, with 10 being a perfect score.
    The free routine is scored in four different categories: difficulty, execution, artistic impression, and camera work.
    Judging rules:
    The calculation of the official score for each round is as follows: (USPA rules 2004)
    Compulsory rounds:

    All five judges evaluate the routines. For each compulsory sequence, the highest and lowest judges' scores are discarded. The average score is calculated by adding the three judges' scores and dividing by three with no rounding applied.
    The average scores of all four compulsory sequences are added, and the result is divided by four and rounded to the first decimal place.
    Free rounds:

    Two judges evaluate the difficulty and execution criteria, with three judges evaluating the artistic and camera criteria.
    The scores for difficulty and execution are added and the result divided by four with no rounding applied. The scores for artistic and camera are added and the result divided by six with no rounding applied. The two results are then added, then divided by two and rounded to the first decimal place. The first International freestyle skydiving competition was held in 1990. In 1996 the International Aeronautical Federation (FAI) gave freestyle skydiving official recognition, and free stylists competed alongside other established skydiving events at the World Cup of Skydiving in 1996, at the World Championships in 1997. Freestyle remains one of the most appealing skydiving events to media audiences.

    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Para-ski

    Para-ski is one of the competitive disciplines in parachuting and the only one to originate outside parachuting. The sport originated in Switzerland in the early 1960’s, when Swiss skiers conceived of para-ski as a form of mountain rescue. The concept was to jump from an aircraft, parachute to an open area near the victim, strap on skis, and evacuate the casualty down the mountain. Original European meets were a timed event which included parachuting onto the mountain, donning skies, and racing a course. Today, the two events are conducted separately. Para-ski international meets and cups have been held since 1964 and World Championships since 1987. Meanwhile, the modern, turbine-powered helicopter has replaced the parachute as the aerial vehicle for transporting mountain rescuers and casualties as well as today’s para-ski competitor.
    Today’s competition consists of giant slalom (GS) skiing and precision parachuting using gliding parachutes. The GS courses are approximately 1,000 meters long with a run time of one minute and average 30-35 gates. Two GS races are conducted under FIS rules.
    Each competitor makes six jumps under FAI rules. Jumps are from 3,000 feet. The target is located in a challenging and sloping mountainside venue; competitors aim for a touch-sensative pad with a five centimeter target center.
    A system of scoring combines parachuting and skiing performance to determine combined individual and team winners.

    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Skysurfing

    Photo by Andy Boshi.





    Skysurfing is a team parachuting discipline, with each team consisting of two athletes: a Skysurfer and a Cameraflyer. The Skysurfer rides a specially designed skyboard during freefall, sliding, spinning, twisting and yes, surfing through the sky. The Cameraflyer records the performance with a helmet-mounted camcorder but also contributes to the performance interactively --and the team's overall score--through his or her own creative and athletic skills.
    All Skysurfing performances take place in the four dimensional stadium in the sky called freefall. This is the only place where you can fly your body in all three regular dimensions, up/down, left/right, forward/backward, plus the fourth dimension of relative speed. Not even NASA astronauts get to play in four dimensions. In free fall, you can cheat the boundaries of time and space, but only a minute at a time.
    Comparing Skysurfing to other board sports such as snow boarding and skate boarding is a common mistake. About the only shared trait is that all involve some kind of board. The Skysurfer's skills are much more closely related to freestyle skydiving, whose devotees perform gymnastic- and/or ballet-style maneuvers utilizing the aerodynamics created by the "relative wind" the athlete moves through during freefall. Adding a board to the equation, though, is not just a whole other ball game--it's a whole other sport.

    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Style and Accuracy

    Photo by Jaroslaw Szot.

    More commonly called Style and Accuracy, these disciplines are also referred to as the "Classics." The first skydiving competitions in the first half of the 20th Century involved landing on a target using a parachute, then the Style series was created:
    Freefall style is a sequence of six maneuvers performed in the following order: 360-degree turn, 360-degree turn, backloop, 360-degree turn, 360-degree turn, backloop. All four turns and two backloops performed in proper sequence and in the correct direction is called a "series." Each of the four series prescribes different directions for the 360 degree turns.
    For Accuracy Landing, a jumper guides his/her canopy to a precision landing on a disc, or electronic pad, with a three-centimeter diameter dead-center target. The object is to get as close to the center as possible. Accuracy landing is also part of the USPA-sanctioned championship event Para-Ski. Para-Ski combines accuracy landing with a giant slalom skiing race.

    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Performing Your Best In Competition

    For many people, there is a lot of anxiety around their personal and team’s performance in competition. Many teams have trained to a high level of performance, only to have their dreams broken by falling apart the day of the meet. There are specific reasons this happens and there is a way to avoid them.
    With proper preparation you can avoid the pitfalls encountered by these unlucky teams. There is also a lot to be done the day of the meet, to ensure you perform your best. In this section we will describe the processes to be followed in training, as well as the basic strategies to be observed the day of the meet, which will help you perform your best.
    It is important to understand that the meet is won in training. On the day of the meet everything must be automatic. You must understand your plan without thought. Your pace, engineering, how all the pictures look, must be second nature. To do this, you need to train in meet conditions for a long period of time prior to the actual meet. You must train at the same speed and intensity you will compete with. You must make no changes in technique even if it is obviously better. Change your game plan from pushing for more speed and better times to one that develops consistency in your performance. Keep detailed records so you will better understand what you are capable of. Remember: if you don’t know it, you aren’t going to learn it the day of the meet.
    The hungrier you are to jump, the better you will perform. As the meet draw is near, the team needs to rest. Make less jumps, take a day off, two or three days prior to the first round. Jump half days for the reminder, just to stay warm. Trim down the intensity, or completely cease, your fitness routines, allowing your body to fully recover and be at its strongest. Take part in healthy distractions. Get off the drop zone and engage in different sports. This will allow your mind to relax, yet keep your mind and body sharp for the meet. It is preferable to do this with your team, keeping that energy consolidated. Do not party, as it is a distraction that will dull your senses and distance you from your connection with the sport.
    The more energy we have, the better we will perform. Unfortunately, we have a finite supply of this precious commodity. There are many things we can do to gather and save energy. Come to the meet prepared. Have a place to stay that will be comfortable to you. Be sure you have or can easily get the food and water that you need. Plan to have all the equipment you may need: creepers, video gear and skydiving gear. Come to the meet early. We need a lot of time to acclimate to an area. We must get used to the aircraft, the drop zone systems, the food, the air and our own operating plan. We do not want any shocks to our system at the day of the meet. Have a specific game plan so that everyone is very clear about what is expected of him. Make it efficient and thorough, so that everything is done with the least possible expenditure of energy. It is best if the team can stick together as much as possible. People feel strong and safe when they are with their team. Know where everyone is at all the time and communicate with each other about where you are going. It will help if the team has a meeting area where everyone spends all his free time.
    During the meet, there is a lot that can be done to conserve energy. It is important that you stay relaxed between rounds or during any weather holds. You can burn a tremendous amount of energy in these times, leading to exhaustion. As you relax, you must stay mentally alert. You must be prepared to make your next round at almost any time. Try reading or playing game-boy but do not sleep, as waking completely from sleep can take more time than you have. Find distractions that work for you. Take care of your diet and be sure to eat many small meals to avoid lethargy. Avoid socializing, as it will sap a lot of energy. There will be plenty of time for socializing at the banquet.
    As the meet draw is near, people experience an unusually high level of stress. This will tend to shorten their tempers and create a general paranoia. Good communication becomes even more critical. Have very regular team meetings, preferably everyday, where one is free to speak their mind. This will alleviate fears and conflicts that could produce major problems later.
    Know the rules. Not knowing the rules at a meet is like going to court without a lawyer. Meets have been won and lost by team’s manipulation of the rules. Remember: it’s not what you do that counts, but it’s what the judges see. You must skydive for them, so train for them.
    Many competitors talk of feeling pressure or stress to such a level as to hinder their performance. This stress is something experienced when we enter into an unknown situation, one where there is a certain element of danger such as the risk of failure. When we sense danger, our body reacts in many ways to prepare itself for fight. A certain amount of this will enhance our performance; too much will negatively influence our best efforts. Much of the time, the stress is allowed to run away with itself. If you can put that energy to use for yourself, it will make you better. The first thing to do is to change what you call it. Instead of calling it pressure or stress, call it energy. Energy is something we think of as controllable. Channel that extra energy to improve your skydiving. Focus it into your anticipation or your awareness. Use it to make you stronger, giving you more endurance and a general feeling of invincibility.
    Confidence is the keystone to performing at your best. When you are confident, your mind and body are relaxed allowing them to perform at their best. Your outlook is positive, keeping you visualizing the correct action. There are a few things that can be done to ensure you have the highest level of confidence possible. First of all, engineer your competition dives so that you are doing things that you have already successfully done in the past. Just knowing that you done this kind of move before, will give you confidence. Be sure you stick to your game plan. It is a common mistake of teams to see their competition doing something, which is obviously better but something they have never done, and change their plan at the last moment. Although the move may be faster, you will be unfamiliar with it and therefore uncomfortable. To do this correctly, you must be aware of what you can do. Train properly by sticking to a plan and keeping good records, and you will know it. With deciding how to do the meet dives, the bottom line is: go with what feels comfortable. Choose a couple of different options, run through them on the creepers, and pick the one that feels good even if it is not the absolute most efficient method.
    Positive visualization is paramount for confidence. When you are reviewing the rounds in your head, see them working perfectly. If your fears intrude and start making you see mistakes, know them for what they are and put them away from your mind. Remember it is your mind, so you are in control of what you think.
    Positive support from your teammates and those close to you, will also help to cover the long way towards building your confidence. A history of positive support will relieve you from the stress of worrying about what these people will think of you if you make a mistake. When mistakes happen, realize that the person is trying his best and support him with positive reinforcement. Remember: his performance on the next round is tied to his confidence, and your success in the meet is tied to his performance. If you make a mistake, realize that you are better than that and go up on the next round determined to do your best. Let the last jump go, so you can focus on the next.
    Most people pile too much pressure on themselves. They are overly concerned with what people will think of them if they make a mistake. They will go into competition with the belief that they cannot make a single mistake. Expecting perfection from yourself, is unreasonable and unachievable. Be OK with making mistakes and be OK with your teammates making them.
    We find it very helpful to look at the meet as a series of one round’s competitions. Whether we are ahead or behind, we go at top speed. We work to not pay attention to the scores and focus solely on personal best each round. The score comes from performing so all your attention should be there. There is no defence in this game and, therefore, nothing you can do beyond to achieve your competition’s performance best. Focus on your own stuff and let the judges decide who won.
    Trust in yourself and your teammates, is a critical ingredient to success. Good trust in the team will save energy and build confidence. Not having to wonder about your teammates, gives you more energy and build confidence. Not having to wonder about your teammates, gives you more energy to spend on yourself. Knowing they will be where they say they will unloads the majority of variables and therefore the majority of worries. Trust is something that must be earned. It is important that during training, everyone practices what he preaches. Say what you mean and do what you say.
    Train to Win. Compete to do your Best.
    Airspeed 4-Way Training Work Book

    ©1998 - Jack Jefferies, Airspeed - All Rights Reserved
    Related Links:

    Airspeed.org
    Tunnelcamp.com
    Mariosantos.com

    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Keeping Good Records

    Keeping good records is a hallmark of most successful teams. It has been said that in order to manage success, you must be able to measure success. What this means is that in order to know where you are going, you need to know where you are.
    There are many different details that our team tracks: block times, exit breaks and second point times, which formations we have exited, what cross training we have done and when, meet scores and averages.
    We are diligent with the record keeping, doing it each jump or at least every day. Record each occurrence so that you know how often you have seen any given move, but only pay attention to general trends. Do not get hung up on specific times: they are only a small part of the whole picture.
    Make specific goals around these statistics, what average time or score do we want by what date. Doing this, will go far keeping the team on track.
    Airspeed 4-Way Training Work Book

    ©1998 - Jack Jefferies, Airspeed - All Rights Reserved
    Related Links:

    Airspeed.org
    Tunnelcamp.com
    Mariosantos.com

    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Goals

    Setting goals could be the single most important ingredient to success. There are basically three different types of goals: long, medium, and short-range. The long-range goal is where you need to start; everything falls in behind this one. You need to understand what you want, look at what you are willing to sacrifice, and decide on a long-range goal.
    It is helpful if each individual goes through this process for himself, before the team does it as a unit. Individual long-range goals are usually a little more far reaching that the team ones and therefore must be decided upon first. Like any important team decisions, when deciding on the team’s end goal, be sure to agree by consensus. Everyone must own this goal. It would be easy for the more dominate character to push a decision through that isn’t really what everyone wants. If this happens it is unlikely that everyone will “buy” into the plan and you have just sown a seed for future conflicts.
    Now that you know where the team is going, it is necessary to make a map on how to get there. Here you need to make a series of medium-range goals that will roughly outline your path to success. In this stage of planning, it is very helpful to have a professional with you to give expert guidance on what is necessary to reach your end goal.
    Short-range goals are better made as you go along. Your strengths and weaknesses are hard to predict and therefore must be addressed as you go. However, do be clear about what subjects you would like to make goals around and how often you will be making and debriefing them.
    Do not fear making goals because you may not reach them. This is quite normal and very OK. If a goal proves to be ambitious rethink it and adjust the goal.
    Examples of Goals:
    Block Times
    Exit Break Times
    Meet Averages
    Personal Conduct
    Team Conduct
    Second Point Times
    Personal Effort
    Team Effort
    Planning
    Communication
    (…) Airspeed 4-Way Training Work Book

    ©1998 - Jack Jefferies, Airspeed - All Rights Reserved
    Related Links:

    Airspeed.org
    Tunnelcamp.com
    Mariosantos.com

    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Debriefing Structure

    In the interest of creating a positive training environment and promoting the optimum state of mind for learning, we have developed a debriefing structure, which puts the majority of responsibility in the hands of each player.
    Coach's / Facilitator's responsibilities:
    Restate team and individual goals;
    State positive things;
    Ensure group stays on plan;
    Following each individual turn, confirming their thoughts and pointing out things that may have been missed.
    Players' responsibilities:
    Listen to each other;
    State positive things (about anyone);
    State things that need improvement (about themselves);
    Make plan on how to improve;
    Make smart goals. Working this system will steepen your team’s learning curve. Listening to each other mistakes and fixes, allows you to learn from each other, a much less painful way to learn.
    Complimenting each other performance, builds self-esteem giving confidence to push further. Reinforcing correct performance helps commit it to memory, increasing the chances of repeating it.
    Stating your own errors, avoids the pitfalls in finger pointing. Having first said it to yourself leaves no room for abusive accusations from your teammates. It will also create a deeper sense of ownership for the mistake, increasing your responsibility to get it corrected.
    Setting goals for improvement from jump to jump, will keep you clear and focused on what you are working on. The system will help you come to realize that it is OK to make mistakes, a much easier headspace to learn in.
    Airspeed 4-Way Training Work Book

    ©1998 – Jack Jefferies, Airspeed – All Rights Reserved
    Related Links:

    Airspeed.org
    Tunnelcamp.com
    Mariosantos.com

    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Briefing Structure

    When engineering a dive, find as many different reasonable possibilities as you can. First, looking to find the most efficient way from one formation to another. Then, looking at different reasonable options, again only concerned with each individual transition. Next, look at ways to link these transitions into reasonable dives. It is important at this stage that you do not attempt to judge which dive is better, because it will tie up your mind and close your imagination.
    After you have exhausted all possibilities, begin to compare and choose the best. Identify pros and cons of each possibility. Compare pros and cons, being sure to balance efficiency with comfort and familiarity.
    Throughout the entire process, give each person a chance to speak his mind. Follow each person ideas, through to their logical conclusion. You must resist interrupting when you get an idea of your own.
    DIRT DIVING
    Jump preparation can be done more efficiently and thorough if it is done with a well thought out plan. It is important things are learned completely and in the proper order.
    The camera flyer, as an important part of the team, should be aware about which type of sequence the next jump will be, in order to be prepared for exit timing, team presentation on the exit, as well as the way the team progresses during the skydive. From this last aspect will depend the way the camera flyer will position himself relative to the team, regarding the air-to-air closeness from the team and the steepness (angle) to it.
    The camera flyer should also be aware about any changes on the formation heading throughout the skydive, so he’ll be ready (if necessary) to adjust his relative positioning and place himself at the best air spot to get the best possible evidence of the team performance, regarding the judgeability of the footage.
    This is the equivalent to say that the camera flyer has to ensure a footage with the adequate angle (steepness) and closeness to the skydive formations, allowing the judges to see all of the grips as clearly as possible.
    Sequence (Stand-up)
    What formations and who goes where. Worry just about to get the sequence right. The remaining details will be analysed on creepers. Go through the sequence until everybody feels comfortable with it.
    Angles (Creepers)
    Specific angles (3 times each transition between random formations, this is, between randoms, between a random and the first point of a block, between the second point of a block and a random or between the second point of a block and the first point of a block, whichever happens during a sequence; angles for blocks’ inter are not analysed at this phase), keys, flashes and technique reviews.
    Pauses (Creepers)
    Hold each formation long enough to bring up a complete picture of the next formation before keying. You should really feel that pause (as a time reference and depending on the team feeling, use 3 up to 5 seconds on transitions holding). Repeat until all the details of the dive are second nature (usually 3 pages should be enough). This phase includes blocks creeping if there are any at the sequence.
    Eyes Closed (Creepers)
    A few times through (usually 3 pages), to ensure each person knows well what his move is and how it feels. This phase is for working the confidence building on your moves.
    The key person should say “eyes closed” and then “go”. Do your move with eyes closed and stop. Then open your eyes, adjust your relative position in the formation (if necessary) and only then pick up your grips (if you have them), looking at the grips (to avoid the usually unsuccessful “blind reaching”). After pick up grips, look again at the key person for the next transition (or be ready to key it, if that’s your task) and be prepared to go.
    Repeat this process for each transition. Where you find that creeping collisions might occur, keep your eyes open but do your move feeling your body without the input given by your vision.
    At Speed (Creepers)
    At least, 40 seconds (1 minute maximum) of uninterrupted creeping at speed. No talking. No stopping. Practicing the mental process we use in free fall.
    Usually, the camera flyer measures 35” (4-Way) or 50” (8-Way) and counts the number of formations within that amount of time, providing the team with an approximate idea about how good (in points) the team performance is. This will permit a comparison after the jump, to conclude about any slowing or rushing on the team’s performance.
    Mock-up
    After creeping at speed, go to the mock-up to practice the door/ramp positioning for the exit, exactly as you’ll do in the aircraft.
    From inside the mock-up, move to the door/ramp as if you were climbing out the aircraft’s door/ramp at the altitude jump-run, using the same order between team members, and positioning relative to the aircraft’s door/ramp exactly as it will be up there.
    The picture you get at mock-up, should be the same picture as the one you’ll get when climbing out the aircraft for the exit.
    The team should use a counting procedure for the exit, where everybody feels comfortable with it. Depending on the exit, the counting responsibility may switch from team member to team member, but the same counting procedure should always be used. This counting procedure varies from team to team. Any counting procedure is good since it works on ensuring the team synchronicity at the exit (for example, something like “Ready” – “Set” – “Go”).
    After the exit, always transition to the next point. Repeat the exit at least once, but the team may repeat as many times as the team feels it’s required, at least until everybody is comfortable with the exit procedure for that specific jump (no problem on repeating, as it is “much cheaper” that the jump cost itself).
    Just before boarding the aircraft and with rigs on, the team should practice the mock-up exit again (1 or 2 times).
    It’s important that the team’s camera flyer practice the exit with his team, due to the different aspects related with each possible exit from the dive pool (positioning of team members before the exit, counting procedure, exit timing for the camera flyer, type of formation on the exit – round, long, etc. – as well as any changes on formations heading during the skydive, among other possible aspects).
    Airspeed 4-Way Training Work Book

    © 1998 – Jack Jefferies, Airspeed – All Rights Reserved
    Related Links:

    Airspeed.org
    Tunnelcamp.com
    Mariosantos.com

    By admin, in Disciplines,

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