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VTmotoMike08

Approximately how many hours to go from capable belly flying to capable head down?

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I will be returning to the sport after a couple years of minimal jumping and I want to get into freeflying and I know the quickest way to get there will be in the tunnel instead of the sky. I have about 950 jumps and 6- 8 hours in the tunnel, 90% of that has been belly flying. I can turn plenty of points on a 4 way jump, float and dive and quickly reach my slot on bigger ways and generally regarded as someone who can reliably fly their slot on a belly jump. I want to get to this same point in freeflying and trying to determine how much money this will cost me to do a lot of tunnel flying in a short amount of time. I will be working with a coach and flying a couple times per week until I get where I want to be.

Assuming I am an average speed learner, about how many hours should I be looking to purchase? Keep in mind, I'm not trying to medal at nationals, just want to be smooth and confident on my head so I can do basic VFS and bigger ways without being that guy who screwed it up.

I'm really have no idea if this is going to take me 6 hours to learn or 50 hours to learn, so I'm just trying to get a ballpark idea. About how many hours does the average flyer need to even get off the net on their head in the tunnel? Thanks for any guidance.

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As long as it takes.

Sorry mate, that's as good as I've got. I've seen people nail HD in sub 10 hours with many jumps, others struggle for sit after 10. I'm nudging 25 or so hours, HD is soooo damn close but I'm my own worst enemy.

My only advice is: get a great coach (not a good one), trust their guidance, relax and enjoy the process. Take expectations off your agenda, it will only impede your process.
It will take as long as it takes.

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On of the larger factors I have experienced is currency also. I had access for a few months to a tunnel and was doing 30-60 minutes a week and went from barely able to hold onto the net to the point of being able to get lift and hold it off the net for 5-10 seconds. That took me probally 6-7 hours in 3 months to get to that phase and I was soooooo close to the break through to fly for a whole rotation in one spot but I lost access to a local tunnel because I stopped traveling for work. Now I can only swing by only once every 3-4 months for a single 15-20 minute block and I was right back at the looking like an idiot phase. I have 20-25 hours total over 12 years and probably 50% of that is time trying to learn head down but doing 15 minutes 4 times a year was just wasting money. Pop down for 15-20 hours and knock it out in about 8 weeks and its a good start. You should be able to be static and possibly taking a few docks at that point. If you are planning on doing carving and dynamic flight that seems to be in the 50-100 hour range from the few people I've spoken to - most are staff to get that type of time.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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Trafficdiver

Being able to fly on your head in the tunnel 10-15 hours.

Being able to do basic VfS in the sky 20 hours.

Being able to do big ways 50-60 hours.

Being able to not be that guy ... I have no idea. I'm at 70+ hours and I still am that guy.
:|



This.

Getting 10 hours should see you flying on your head without killing yourself, but being able to confidently get down to a formation, fly docks/transition on level etc will take longer.

I recently got back from a tunnel camp doing approx 10 hours, out of the two who were at your stage when they started one could hold HD and just about transition, the other managed to get off the net but still needed holding.

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There are several variables:
1) The way you spread out the training will impact how efficient you learn. e.g. 15 mins every week for a few months vs 3 hours in a 4 day camp.

2) Are you learning on a big 14 feet tunnel? Many of the instructors on those tunnels will want to teach you slow speed dynamic, more like the European progression. There are a lot of people carving with 20+ hours on their back and HU but that can't stay static for shit.

3) How much do you care about your HU skills? Flying Head Up well is really hard, and you can invest on it or shortcut straight to HD as soon as you are safe.

4) Tunnels like the one in Utah that are not corporate do not need to crosscheck all requirements of corporate iFly's progression, very good instructors and spotters can keep you safe being more aggressive on how they push your progression.

So... your mileage may vary, but 15-20 hours is what I'd say is a good amount of time to be able to get in a tunnel and transition to head down with another non coach friend and have some safe fun if you don't work too much on dynamic but still have some decent head up skills (single docks, basic slow carving)

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The time that is being suggested is remarkable, if one considers how many jumps that would equate to. Am I wrong to be surprised that it would take so many jumps? I would have thought that tunnel time would be more efficient in terms of the skill acquired per time spent flying, so it should take even more than the equivalent amount of time jumping, or what is wrong with my thinking?
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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In the sky if you wobble and move back and forth a bit its not a huge deal with a single other person, in the tunnel you only have maybe 6 feet on all sides, a slight wobble will suddenly translate into a large amount of drive and there is nothing but a glass wall in front of you. Also in the sky its pretty common to have drive (forward or backward) and the partner just is chasing you. That drive in the tunnel will put you into the wall. Its as much learning to fly in one spot as it is learning to bail safely and then all the time needed to reset and try again. Its not uncommon on a 90 second rotation to spend 10 seconds walking out and getting set with the grip and flipping upside down, another 5-10 seconds to start to work on getting lift again and then spend the next 10-20 seconds balancing only to bail and need 10 seconds to transition to walking and then the cycle starts again. Out of 90 seconds you might only have spent 30-40 actually upside down flying.

Once you learn to balance you then need to learn to turn, then comes introducing drive and then putting all the elements together.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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PhreeZone

In the sky if you wobble and move back and forth a bit its not a huge deal with a single other person, in the tunnel you only have maybe 6 feet on all sides, a slight wobble will suddenly translate into a large amount of drive and there is nothing but a glass wall in front of you. Also in the sky its pretty common to have drive (forward or backward) and the partner just is chasing you. That drive in the tunnel will put you into the wall. Its as much learning to fly in one spot as it is learning to bail safely and then all the time needed to reset and try again. Its not uncommon on a 90 second rotation to spend 10 seconds walking out and getting set with the grip and flipping upside down, another 5-10 seconds to start to work on getting lift again and then spend the next 10-20 seconds balancing only to bail and need 10 seconds to transition to walking and then the cycle starts again. Out of 90 seconds you might only have spent 30-40 actually upside down flying.

Once you learn to balance you then need to learn to turn, then comes introducing drive and then putting all the elements together.



Very interesting. Do you think that a person, with 1500 jumps spread out over almost 4 decades that then decides to learn some basic competency in sit/hd/stand by doing jumps (how many it would take, I don't know, but assume 100 just for a starting point in the discussion) would get to that level of competency faster (less total air time, I know the cost would be different) than the same skydiver that has never tried anything but belly and goes to the tunnel to learn sit/hd/stand?
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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My thoughts - the sky will teach a lot of bad lessons and will need to be retrained out in the tunnel. For sit way too many people have their arms way behind them in the air and end up using some of their rig to control their body position. No rig in the tunnel means you now are having to fly more upright and controlling things a lot more with your entire body. In the tunnel you need to be able to fly on your back to a point before sit - no one ever practices that in the air.

Olav broke both of his arms in the tunnel at a time that he was one of the greatest HD flyers in the world since he just jumped in and tried to fly with out seeing the differences between the sky and the tunnel.

Sky experience will both help and hurt based on my personal learnings.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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This is an interesting thread for me. I'm coming back to the tunnel after a couple of years off, and learning to freefly. I have a bit over a hundred hours on my belly in the tunnel (mostly 4-way) and I'm 42 years old... my wife and I are doing a half hour every couple-few weeks which is not ideal, but not terrible either. My goal is not head down specifically, but it's part of the journey so I feel like I can contribute data.

Will keep posted with progress. So far, all I can say is, freeflying is hard and I have some cool bruises B|

Update 1. Time spent: 1.5 hours. Can fly on my back sorta-OK. My wife, who is younger and more talented, is picking it up faster and is starting to learn layouts with a spotter. We're back in on Friday.
--
"I'll tell you how all skydivers are judged, . They are judged by the laws of physics." - kkeenan

"You jump out, pull the string and either live or die. What's there to be good at?

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Trafficdiver

Being able to fly on your head in the tunnel 10-15 hours.

Being able to do basic VfS in the sky 20 hours.

Being able to do big ways 50-60 hours.

Being able to not be that guy ... I have no idea. I'm at 70+ hours and I still am that guy.
:|



As a total noob (yet to start AFF, did 1 tandem, 6 minutes in the tunnel) I can't wrap my head around this.

I know this is going to be an expensive hobby, but 70hours of tunnel, at a minimum of 500$/hour (tunnel time costs about €600-700 without coaching as far as I can tell in Belgium/Netherlands, so more like 800$), would mean learning head down would cost you about 35.000 USD? That's a years salary right there...

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massis


As a total noob (yet to start AFF, did 1 tandem, 6 minutes in the tunnel) I can't wrap my head around this.

I know this is going to be an expensive hobby, but 70hours of tunnel, at a minimum of 500$/hour (tunnel time costs about €600-700 without coaching as far as I can tell in Belgium/Netherlands, so more like 800$), would mean learning head down would cost you about 35.000 USD? That's a years salary right there...



once you have the basic head down and can fly with others you can share some of that time. Like a 4 way vfs can be split 4 ways for the time. You can also find camps that buy a lot of bulk time which brings costs down Standby time is also usually cheaper but harder to work with a coach in that case.

A lot depends on your goals as well. Freeflying with friends doesn't take as much perfection as say a vfs team or vertical big way. So if you want to fly in the sky then first focus on AFF and the license. Then start to look at freeflying in the tunnel if that is what you want to do.

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There is a structured learning protocol that builds skills upon on another as one progresses in tunnel flying.

May want to check it out https://tunnelflight.com/skills

There may be a different but similar skills learning sequence in Europe that coaches there follow.

Private coaching for more rapid progression may be an option - they can buy time cheaply add their fees to their cost and U pay about the same as if U bought retail time.

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massis

***Being able to fly on your head in the tunnel 10-15 hours.

Being able to do basic VfS in the sky 20 hours.

Being able to do big ways 50-60 hours.

Being able to not be that guy ... I have no idea. I'm at 70+ hours and I still am that guy.
:|



As a total noob (yet to start AFF, did 1 tandem, 6 minutes in the tunnel) I can't wrap my head around this.

I know this is going to be an expensive hobby, but 70hours of tunnel, at a minimum of 500$/hour (tunnel time costs about €600-700 without coaching as far as I can tell in Belgium/Netherlands, so more like 800$), would mean learning head down would cost you about 35.000 USD? That's a years salary right there...

OP didn’t ask about learning head down, his question was how long till he could do bigger way stuff in the sky. Just to fly off the net on your head is quite a bit less.

But yes. To be a competent HD flyer that is safe in the sky and can fly in large formations is going to cost you at least that.

Lots of the top flyers out there have spent way more than $35,000...way more.

Even if you work at the tunnel, you are going to be paying a lot in terms of making less than you could if you had a different, higher paying job for the three to four years it takes for you to get awesome.

With all that being said I still think it’s worth it, I’d piss the money away one way or another...so...at least I look sexy in a stiff breeze. ;)

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