• 0
0
sweetpinkgrapefruit

a newbie looking for orientation

Question

Hi everyone!

I'm a 27 year old newbie to the sports. I did my AFF in 2019 and last summer I got my license.

Now I'm looking for advice on how to choose what to work on, in what area to set my goals. There's so many possibilities, disciplines and things to know... I'm overwhelmed.

What I've seen about freeflying, tracking, formation is all really teasing, still I don't know where to start.

Are there any experienced flyers among us that feel like sharing their thoughts and experiences on what's making sense to focus onto first?

Like should I make sure that I can track on my back, or sit properly, or... canopy control? :)

I'm not looking for a recipe, but I would love to hear your thoughts on what does make sense, what doesn't, and what's a total waste of time if I focus on it right now... Got me? ;)

Blue skies!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Canopy control is always worth the time and effort. Whatever you do high up in the air is just fun and games, but safely landing a parachute is a necessity. Knowing how to handle your canopy is essential, and gets more essential the more 'aggressive' your canopy gets.

For the fun and games part, choose whatever discipline you want to maximize the fun (while keeping it safe). And the choices you make now are by no means permanent, switching to another discipline is always a possibility once your current chosen type of fun ceases to be fun enough. Then, within that discipline find someone to teach you the basics and the discipline-specific safety requirements. Use their advice to determine whether to learn A or B or C first.

And don't forget to smile =).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

IJskonijn is right that canopy control is always worth your time.

Also, RW (belly, formation skydiving) covers maneuvering with your body mostly in one position (flat); there are fewer variables than when freeflying. Most people suggest starting with that, because of the smaller number of variables to figure out. Once you've mastered it (i.e. you can consistently fly relative with others who are at your skill level and maybe even a notch less skilled), then add more to it.

It's the same thought process as learning how to fly your current larger canopy really well before downsizing or changing planform.

Wendy P.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Ok, a good first priority is canopy control. No matter how you 'play in the sky' during freefall, you have to safely fly and land the canopy EVERY jump. 
A canopy course is a good idea, but even without that, making an effort to have a consistent, correct pattern; and working on landing accuracy is something that will be beneficial. Keep in mind that swoopers have to have a consistent, precise and accurate pattern. If they don't hit the same 'spot' to initiate their turn every time, they won't have a consistent swoop. 

While you are working on your canopy, you are still going to be playing up in the sky. 
Personally, I'd focus on belly skills. Get reasonably decent at them before moving on to freeflying or 'angley' stuff. There was a fairly well known fella on here a while ago that was quoted saying something along the lines of "get good on your belly before moving onto your butt".
Every jump ends on your belly. If you want to get into coaching and instruction, you need to be good on your belly. If you want to become a videographer, you will need to be good on your belly.
There's a ton of fun stuff you can do on your belly. Some of the best jumpers in the world organize some really cool stuff at a variety of boogies (I've got jumps with everyone on Rhythm at SDC). The ability to 'be where you need to be when you need to be there' is something they will want. You don't have to be the best in the world, but you should be reasonably competent. 
At the same time, you can be working on your tracking. Not the 'group tracking' stuff, but the 'get the hell away from everyone else at the end of the freefall' tracking. 
If I'm doing 'bigger way' stuff (more than 5 or 6), the organizer usually ends the dirt dive with a breakoff altitude and an admonition to 'watch your quadrants (keep an eye out for other jumpers tracking near you) and track like your life depends on it... Because it does."

I'm fortunate enough that my body shape gives me an advantage in tracking. Not too many can keep up with me when I'm really trying to get away from the group. That's been helpful on jumps where others end up tracking under me. I've had people do that, where they don't realize how close we are to each other, they end up lower and I'm going fast enough that I'm able to outrun them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
(edited)

I’ll agree that canopy flying skills are very important. There are lots of good suggestions for that. I’ll add that you can get canopy and tracking experience on every jump as long as you plan ahead of time what you want to practice.

Here is a link to Norman Kent and Guy Manos’ Kinesthesia, The Art of Body Flight.  It is a series of drills you can do in free fall or in a wind tunnel. Memorize the concepts. You should have demonstrated the basic maneuvers during your journey to A license, but, I recommend you revisit those translations and movements in a wind tunnel (fall rate, forward/back, side to side and heading control/eye contact). Then, work your way through the progression with a coach or experienced skydiver and ultimately with another pup in three-way RW jumps. I went through the progression myself and have successfully coached many through the program. It may look outdated, but, the concepts and information is timeless and I haven’t found anything updated that does a better job.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BACK, SIT OR ANGLE/HEAD DOWN until you’ve at least been through the Kinesthesia program and have at least 100 jumps and have practiced back flying in the tunnel. 

Edited by BMAC615

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0