When first learning to freefly the members of the Avalore Freefly School received a lot of 'coaching' from small freefly schools that offered little more than a good video of flailing attempts of headup flying. This gave them the idea of running a freefly school that provides a high level of customer service and support. They aim to help students with every aspect of their coaching trips from booking hotels to getting a reserve repack as well as supporting them after their coaching as much as possible.
The school has spent a considerable amount of time improving their flying and coaching technique from the likes of Max Cohn, Chris Fiala and the UK Sports Council. They have developed numerous resources to help their students from written articles to training videos.
As well as the normal coaching jump options the Avalore Freefly School (http://www.avalorefreefly.com) offers freefly courses aimed at beginner freeflyers as well as the more advanced freeflyer.
The courses are for the individual wanting to learn to fly in a headup orientation or wanting to gain their BPA (British Parachute Association) FF1 qualification. Much like an AFF course, they are split up into levels to learn different skills. Courses usually last 4 days and consist of an average of 20 coached jumps, which can take you from having done no freeflying to having your FF1 qualification.
The advantage of running courses is that as well as covering all the skills needed to fly in a headup orientation you also learn every other aspect of freeflying over the duration of the course. Everything is covered from exit orders, group separation and gear issues to planning successful safe freefly jumps with your friends.
The courses include thorough briefs/debriefs, a copy of your coaching jumps on DVD and a comprehensive course manual covering everything you need to know. Your coach is always on hand after the course for continuous advice and support.
The school has received excellent testimonials from their students all of which have returned or have booked to return in the near future. Some comments from their students are quoted below:
Billy Gibbons, January 2006: "Contact was established quickly and maintained right through up until my visit, even with Louis taking time to offer hints and tips via e-mail for me to try at home and in the air which I found invaluable and which in my mind displayed excellent customer commitment."
Kevin Dawes, November 2005: "During these jumps my coach quickly helped me overcome some of the bad habits I had obtained over the years. The detailed briefs he gave me before and after each jump helped improve my understanding a great deal. He also ensured that before we exited the plane I was in a relaxed state and was not rushing. This made all the difference and helped focus my mind."
The Avalore Freefly School has locations in Ocana, Spain and also at the Black Knights Parachute Centre in UK. The head coach is Louis Harwood who is based in Spain and Rob McVey is the UK coach. All of the coaches have been trained as coaches by the UKCC.
Coaches from the school Louis Harwood and Rob McVey train along with David Downham to form the Avalore Freefly team. They don't claim to be champions but enjoy competing and use it to improve their own skills and also their coaching. They believe you don't have to be a world champion to run a successful freefly school. They have worked hard to become good coaches and run the school the way they wanted to be coached when they first started. It goes to show that commitment and hard work does pay off!
Feel free to contact the school to book your course or ask any questions you might have. You can also have a look at the website for more information.