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Snwboardr9876

How long to wait before starting back fly?

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Hey there!

First time poster, long time lurker!

My fiancée and I have been working on level 1 belly, and have most lately done some 2-way flying/verticals, and super positioning. We have had one hour total in the tunnel(slow learners lol). I feel pretty confident in my belly skills, she’s maybe just a tad bit behind me in her progression so far.

My question is how long should one generally wait to start working on back? We’re not very interested in the formation path, although I do understand the importance of them to learn control and discipline of 2-way flying, we just find the Freefly path much more enticing!

Ofcourse I realize that we could continue to perfect our belly flying much much further...just excited to learn a new orientation!

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Only 13 hours of tunnel time (level 2 although not current due to injury) but I'll try to help.

Belly and Back flying are 2 Different worlds. IMHO both of you could start back flying easily anytime considering you both have an hour in tunnel.

Back flying took me much more time to get comfortable with than belly BUT back flying is a critical skill as ones begins more difficult skills since when one gets out of control - going to back is the main safe escape route.

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Hey Wan! Thanks for the advice! Sorry to hear about the injury, pretty sure I remember reading the thread about it actually...delayed reaction right? Sounds painful. Wishing ya a speedy recovery!

Yeah that totally makes sense what you’re saying, that there’s no reason to wait since it’s like two totally different worlds. We were slow learners with belly so I’m expecting to spend ages trying to learn back haha it looks sooo tough!

For belly we did 5 minutes each once a week but we are now starting 10 minutes each once a week. Do you think this method is fine or would it be better to save up, wait for once a month and do a longer block of time all at once?

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Injury pretty well all better - trouble now remembering which shoulder was in pain.

Currency is an important word in skydiving and tunnel flying. In this context it means the longer between flight sessions causes loss of some skills one has learned.

I had a 2 month break in flying once but it didn't cause any major problem. I flew 30 min per month for my 1st 3 years but always wished I could go weekly but the tunnel was 220 miles away. Then iFLY Lauderdale was built within 20 miles of me and I figured I'd go weekly but the price almost doubled which slowed me way down.

After shoulder injury I was out 6 months - maybe due to age maybe not - went back in for 4 1/2 min and knew I was way out of practice - very big Currency problems that will take quite a bit of time to get back.

It's hard to learn much IMO in 10 minutes - I mean you're just getting into it and you are done for the week.

Maybe try 30 or 40 minutes each one month to learn more during the session (e.g. back flying) then the next month or two go flying weekly to perfect what U learned during the longer session + belly fly to maintain that skill - then repeat as fits your needs.

Some advise on back fly - keep your head bent way back from the start of training no matter how weird and scary it feels - learning how to view the tunnel upside down is important for navigating when on your back, try to maintain some back arch when on back since it will make flight easier - main thing is to do exactly what the coach shows you and consider private coach sessions for back flying.

Good Luck

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Hi Snwboardr9876,

I will add my 5 pence to the conversation. As someone who started tunnel flying 1 year ago and currently have 8,5 hours. I was pretty quick on my belly, it took me 45 mins (see a little video of what I could do before I moved to backflying, I found videos like that from other flying usper helpful! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_rQW74sALg&t=55s) before I moved to the back flying, not because I was super confident on my belly, but because I wanted the progression. It all really depends what you want to do in the tunnel, is it to learn skills that you take with you in the sky? I am more of a tunnel rat, not interested in skydiving per se, but super keen on dynamic flying.

The progression also depends on your physical strength, ability to learn, ability to read instructor's hand signals, ability to actually feel what your body does, ability to overcome the fear (if you have any). Few things that I noted for myself, might not be accurate for others, but this is my experience:
- You learn quicker if you relax, the more you fight the air and panic, the harder it is for the body to work out what it should do.
- You learn quicker if you watch your own videos and try and analyse then what you do wrong
- You learn quicker sitfly and headdown, if you have strong arms and shoulders, but most likely you will learn it the wrong way as you would overcompensate the poor body position with arm strength.
- You will learn slow sitfly and headdown (I can't yet get headdown at all), if you have no arm or shoulder strength... my case lol, but with sitflying I had to learn to have a proper body position, in fact you should be able to sit fly without use of arms.... and because my arms could not handle the wind pressure, I had to find the different way not to use them that much:)

I usually fly one every months or 2 months, but I do 30 mins (10 mins per session, then at least 30 mins break in between). The longer I flied in one day, the more things clicked in my head and my body. The best investment ever was to go on a week long camp, I did 5 hours and while I thought I could've progressed (in terms of new skills) more if I spread those 5 hours across few months, I actually learnt to fly with less effort, since in the last 15 mins of flying of the day, when you already did 45 mins, your body is so exhausted, that you have to figure out the less strenuous way to flying.

Oh, another thing, unless rented suit sits well on you (not baggy) and you get the same one every time, I would suggest investing in your own suit, it will make a huge difference to fly your body and not your suit (if you have baggy suit).

Good luck with your progression, it is so much fun!!

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Wan, dang man it’s crazy how much difference a few months of not flying will make. I can totally understand, I do a lot of wake boarding and snowboarding and even though there is a bit of crossover skill it still feels like you have to relearn a decent chunk every time you start the new season. Of course recovering from an injury just adds to that equation.

My fiancée is worried that by only going once a month and doing a large block that we will fall behind but I don’t think it will be as detrimental as she thinks. It makes the most sense to me to do it that way when learning a new skill/orientation.

Our first month we did five 1 minute sessions and then when we had more endurance we did two 2 minutes and one 1 minute rotation...when we switched I noticed that we progressed quicker so I know that doing larger blocks together will be the way to go for learning new skills and then like you said go back to weekly for fine tuning and working on everything.

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Hey Dolphin! Thanks for the reply, some good points in there for sure! Very nice progression in that video man! I wish we could’ve done longer rotations in the beginning like that, I feel as if we would’ve picked it up way quicker. We both feel like the slowest learners ever haha but it’s all good we’re having a blast no matter what.

As far as intentions, I made 4 AFF jumps seven years ago but had to stop due to financial reasons, I would definitely love to go back and get certified eventually but I honestly don’t see it happening anytime soon. My fiancée is fairly scared of jumping so I’m just thrilled for her to be the one encouraging us to continue with this. I have a feeling we will be solely flying tunnel for a while to come and we definitely want to venture down the dynamic path as well!

Not gonna lie the mentions of upper body strength is slightly worrying haha it’s funny though because we actually started an exercise routine to try and help our progression rate. We’ve been focusing on core workouts and definitely have noticed a difference with that so it looks like we will be adding to our current workout move list haha. Very good info to know though.

Question...what do you mean by it’ll make a big difference to fly our bodies instead of the suits?

Thanks again for the advice guys, I will definitely be starting on back as soon as my coach is back from holiday vaca!

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I can agree with your fiancé, I not big fun of a skydiving idea yet either, why risk your life if you can enjoy the free fall in the tunnel with minimal risk (excluding risk of injury of course).

Hey, don’t worry about body strength, it helps, but as I said I have non and still able to sit fly well:)

What I mean about the suit is that if your suit is loose on your body it help your lift, watch your videos how suit flaps around your legs and arms and it has more surface to lift you, and help you when turning and side sliding. If you check my other videos on my channel you’ll see I have changed the suit when I got mine and the skills I could do well (backflying) was all over the place in a new suit. Because the new one was so tight in comparison it didn’t help me fly, I had to relearn how to do it with my body only. Hope it makes sense:)

Happy flying!

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Hey guys! Finally took the plunge and began working on some back fly today! Jeez you all weren't kidding when ya said it's a total different world haha! It was definitely a hot mess but damn if it wasn't a blast as always!

https://youtu.be/O87ePFjFzM0

I'm actually scheduled tmrw for a 20 minute block so I'm psyched to give it another go!!

Thank you guys again for all the advice![/url]

P.S. my Fiancé is right behind me, our Coach said maybe one or two more belly sets and he'll be comfortable with her moving onto back as well.

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Looks like you're on a good learning curve.

Not sure if this is best advise but when I was learning back fly someone suggested I should focus on a center point at the top of the tunnel which helped me hold a more stable position as I ascended from the mat when on my back.

Maybe check with your coach b4 doing it - they may have a better technique.

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Wan that totally makes sense, that’s essentially what my coach kept telling me was to just stare at the top of the tunnel. It’s just crazy how I naturally kept tilting my head up and not even noticing it. 

Btw the idea of going for a larger block of time made a huge difference in my opinion. After a 20 minute block I was feeling fairly stable lifting up off the net and doing turns. Interested to see how much I retain on the next session. 

Hope the shoulder is still treating you well!

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Thanks, shoulder fine now.

Guess what - When U get good at looking up it may get harder/crazier when coach says "OK now put head way back and look at tunnel wall in order to navigate around the tunnel when on your back" - really really tricky.  :):) Putting head way back also generates more lift when on back.

Edited by wan2doit

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That’s awesome news that you started back flying, and video looks great too! Some good moves, very controller! I remember my first attempt was all over the place.

Wan2doit have a good tip for sure, it’s so important to keep your head back when you start... there will be time once you progressed further when it won’t matter that back for backflying and you can be sloppy.... but most of dynamic flying needs a good handle on the head position:) 

check here my bad head position hehe... from 00:48

I miss tunnel so much.... I’d be in New York next Monday/Tuesday and was thinking of visiting the tunnel, but it is quite far away from Manhattan and maybe I should spend time exploring the city and not thinking only about flying ahahaha

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Wan, dude you are 100% right, he had me do that for a quick bit during one rotation last session and man was it tough! Just staying stable while looking upside down was a struggle haha!

Thanks Elena, it really has been a blast! My fiancée actually got a few minutes in on her back last time as well so now we can share the awkwardness! I can definitely understand what you mean about the head back issue becoming less important once you have more control, although I’m trying to avoid as many bad habits as possible haha.

That little dynamic session looked awesome by the way, over/unders on back look so intimidating!

 

 

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I had my first tunnel experience recently. Did 20 mins belly last week and 10 mins belly then 10 back right after. By the end of the 10 mins I could hold position on my back for most of the 2 min block but still got a bit wobbly at times for sure. Just send it there is no harm trying. It does feels pretty opposite compared to belly. 

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