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JohnMitchell

How do you teach turns?

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hookitt



This is going to be our new method (little do the folks at the dz know). This is what I do in the tunnel for turns, or side sliding. It's how I teach in the sky now. It is very easy and it works well.The instructor can exaggerate this method as they demonstrate it.

I'm glad for your students. But will you be able to get the other instructors on board with this? It can be confusing to students when they are taught different ways at the same school.

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JohnMitchell

It can be confusing to students when they are taught different ways at the same school.



Not only that, but if they are taught different ways at different DZs, or taught one way at one DZ and go to another, and are told that a particular method is wrong.

I just called Michael Wadkins and he told me that he refers to the single-arm turn as an "alternate method", not "new", because he has been teaching it for a while now.

He also told me of still seeing people teach turns by twisting their body, not like a propeller, but like if you were standing straight up and leaned over to the side. He says he corrects them when he sees that. I have to agree.

I just hope that instructors do not contradict each other, but are instead open-minded about "alternatives".

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JohnMitchell

***

This is going to be our new method (little do the folks at the dz know). This is what I do in the tunnel for turns, or side sliding. It's how I teach in the sky now. It is very easy and it works well.The instructor can exaggerate this method as they demonstrate it.

I'm glad for your students. But will you be able to get the other instructors on board with this? It can be confusing to students when they are taught different ways at the same school.

Absolutely. They're very open minded because the place is new, and small still.

Besides, Mike Wadkins is doing a course there soon so I'll bet there will be zero resistance!
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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I go with what they know unless it's tilting the body to the side. I fix that immediately. f they don't know anything yet, then I teach them how I feel is appropriate. They all figure out their own method after AFF anyway so teach them as well as you can.

I now like the salute method after reading about it I definitely like the one arm method after performing it. Twisting the body has never seemed appropriate but it does work.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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peek

***It can be confusing to students when they are taught different ways at the same school.



Not only that, but if they are taught different ways at different DZs, or taught one way at one DZ and go to another, and are told that a particular method is wrong.

I just called Michael Wadkins and he told me that he refers to the single-arm turn as an "alternate method", not "new", because he has been teaching it for a while now.That's why I put new in quotation marks. It's actually a variation on the "reach out with one arm straight and push down on the air" technique that I was taught 25 years ago. Used it with a Cat D S/L student last Saturday who was having trouble with turns off the aircraft.
Did he also tell you about the "left arm straight out" during deployment?
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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ufk22

Did he also tell you about the "left arm straight out" during deployment?



He didn't, but I have been noticing a slow evolution toward having the student have their hand further forward rather than on their helmet. I don't correct a student if their hand is "close enough".

What matters more anyway is how good of an arch or hips-down body position they have while reaching and throwing. Whenever I have taught the initial first AFF jump deployment, I have told them to use "arch, reach, throw".

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peek

***Did he also tell you about the "left arm straight out" during deployment?



He didn't, but I have been noticing a slow evolution toward having the student have their hand further forward rather than on their helmet. I don't correct a student if their hand is "close enough".

What matters more anyway is how good of an arch or hips-down body position they have while reaching and throwing. Whenever I have taught the initial first AFF jump deployment, I have told them to use "arch, reach, throw".Agree totally that the arch is most important.
We first taught the "hand on the helmet" for years, then went to the "open palm with thumb on helmet", which helped with the head-low, but now do extended arm (almost straight) open palm, which helps even more to combat head-low. Another "new" (alternate) technique from Michael Wadkin's Xcel Skydiving program.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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For deployment, I taught "cheating" with thumb to forehead for many years.
Generally, I avoid criticizing other instructors' teaching techniques. Rather, I say something like "There are 6 or more ways to turn. This other technique might work better for you."

Returning to the OP, I recently chatted with the DZO from Edmonton Skydive and he teaches another turn technique to AFF students. He starts them with both arms in front of their face, hands close, but not over-lapping. He tells them to keep their elbows stationary while lifting one hand and tilting the other hand down.
I will have to experiment with the "Edmonton technique" next time I do a solo skydive.

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ufk22



We first taught the "hand on the helmet" for years, then went to the "open palm with thumb on helmet", which helped with the head-low, but now do extended arm (almost straight) open palm, which helps even more to combat head-low.

If jumpers deconstruct how they ACTUALLY do things, then teach that way to students, the "extended arm up" would be taught universally.

At my DZ, I see a lot of variance. The one I hate the most is "hand in front of your face so you can see your altimeter when you pull." Does any experienced jumper in the world do that?

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peek

***I had dinner with a tunnel instructor tonight and the talk turned to our AFF students visiting the tunnel to work on their belly flying skills. He said our teaching of tipping the shoulders in the direction you want to turn is too much for the tunnel. They teach using the hands alone a turning vanes.



What did he mean by "too much for the tunnel"? Too fast of a turn?

If so, we can simply adjust how much we train to "tip the shoulders", just like we teach them to turn during "team turns", then tell them that during the release dive they don't want to do it so much.

Teaching both methods in the tunnel sounds great. I think they would learn a lot by turning too fast and learning what caused it.


Hi Gary, hola from Dallas!

why don't I like teaching turns at the shoulders?

Your concept is pretty much correct. It is too much input, and it generally gets the wrong result.

When I teach hands as rudders, using them to pull you around, maintaining good surface area up front, I can generally produce a relatively centerpoint turn.

When I teach thinking about using the entire arm (by articulating at the shoulder), which is how I have seen it taught in AFF, what you end up getting is a diving, carving turn. One that tracks down, forward, and in the direction of the change in body pitch.

So, why do tunnel instructors teach using hands first?

In my limited exp, it is because that is the most useful way to teach students to feel the inputs, feel the results, and stay in control, stable and on level.

As they progress you can teach leg inputs, and advanced arm turns, using the entire forearm for direction, etc.


P.S.

Gary, Come fly with me in OKC ;]

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Bignugget


When I teach hands as rudders, using them to pull you around,



Huh! Sounds almost like the 1960's "hand turns"? Is it just rotating hands at wrists from some sort of box position?

@ the thread in general:

With a maneuver like turns, it seems like one area of debate is how many variations to teach. Teach just one way? An 'advanced' way or a 'simple' way? Or teach a simple way first, and later progress to a more advanced way? Or is the simple way really just an outdated way?

Just as an observation, I've seen a DZ where they had chosen to keep using the traditional 'stay arched and twist the upper body', or possibly allow just lowering one arm. In any case, keeping the box position and not doing any mantis.

Their rationale was that it was all fine and good to do mantis style positions in the tunnel, where there's plenty of quick feedback, but when doing AFF with no tunnel component, the more important thing is to maintain a good arch and thus keep the arms up.

Some instructors were more liberal with the box position, allowing arms to be up at whatever level was comfortable (eg, chin level), while other were all about the arch (closer to a traditional 'imagine a broomstick behind your neck and under your wrists').

It's not easy to get everyone on the same page as to what method should be taught...

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pchapman

***
When I teach hands as rudders, using them to pull you around,



Huh! Sounds almost like the 1960's "hand turns"? Is it just rotating hands at wrists from some sort of box position?



I dunno if thats how they taught it as I wasn't around to learn in the 60's....but yea your description sounds right.

IME a 45 degree or less rotation at the wrist to get the hands pitched and leaving the body alone is plenty plenty fast for a student to be turning.

ETA:

Here is a video of a student I took in last week, I remember him because he flew well for a first timer, so he is definitely above average as far as learning in the wind, but I would say I get a few of these guys a week.

1st time in the tunnel (video picks up 15 sec in to his first flight when they reset the timer), you can see him pick up on turns pretty quick, but still nowhere near center point, and if he had been using his entire forearm he would have been ripping around all over.

https://youtu.be/AtXlOA0roCQ

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I think it's more and more common now to go with the elbow drop. " Dipping the shoulder" translates to too much torso rotation, causing movement to transfer directly down to the hips and actually has more of a tendency to flip a student on their back if their a bit too overzealous with it or in lesser cases, still battling a stability issue to not flip over, while still trying to perform a turn.

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First: Look 90 degrees in the direction the student going to turn with their chin up and both eyes focused on the desired new heading. (The student should be looking above and over their arm.)

Second: Push the elbow down that is to the direction they wish to turn and raising the opposite while eyes remain focused on their desired new heading. The spine does not twist.


When a student maintains the Lazy-W and twisting the upper body, using their spine, into the direction they wish to turn, like an airplane banks left for a left turn. I have found the student has the tendency to do any or all the following that counter act the input of the upper body, drop a knee, skew the lower legs, and twisting at the hips.
Memento Mori

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ufk22

******Did he also tell you about the "left arm straight out" during deployment?



He didn't, but I have been noticing a slow evolution toward having the student have their hand further forward rather than on their helmet. I don't correct a student if their hand is "close enough".

What matters more anyway is how good of an arch or hips-down body position they have while reaching and throwing. Whenever I have taught the initial first AFF jump deployment, I have told them to use "arch, reach, throw".Agree totally that the arch is most important.
We first taught the "hand on the helmet" for years, then went to the "open palm with thumb on helmet", which helped with the head-low, but now do extended arm (almost straight) open palm, which helps even more to combat head-low. Another "new" (alternate) technique from Michael Wadkin's Xcel Skydiving program.

Just got my A, and I struggled with stability on my practice touches and actual deployments with my left hand on/near my helmet trying to mirror image my right arm reaching for the hackey. One instructor had me reach out straight towards the horizon. Once I started doing that, I stayed nice and stable.

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