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bodypilot90

Small jumper not being strong enough to flare

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Spoke to a rookie jumper and she was thinking about down sizing from a 150 saber 1 to a 135 of some kind so she could flare better. Other than some arm training any idea how to help. she is about 100 lbs w/o gear about 5 foot.

Is not currently standing up many of her landings and takes forever to land.

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I think the first thing to do is get someone who knows what they are looking at to watch/video some landings.

It could be a number of problems not associated with equipment such as not finishing the flare, asymmetric flaring, reaching for the ground, flaring too slowly etc, etc.
"The ground does not care who you are. It will always be tougher than the human behind the controls."

~ CanuckInUSA

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i dont think downsizing will help with this particular problem.

I had to jump a 270 or 250 as a student and didn't load it much different than this. It took some practice but I learned how to land it.

The only other question I have to ask is what she is flying now. If she is flying a relatively docile canopy (which I assume she is) she should be ok, unless she is quite weak. I really dont see how a smaller canopy will help. Perhaps she should be taught how to properly perform a 2 stage flare.

My personal fear with downsizing at this stage is this. What if she still doesnt have the strength to flare a smaller canopy either. Now she cant stand up a landing, cant judge a flare properly, and cant pull the flare down far enough....... at a HIGHER RATE OF SPEED. Isn't this what is hurting/killing so many of us?

Id rather land softly on my face, than very quickly on it.

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Noob opinion here, buuuuut...

Why are we looking at the shortcut option rather than the arm training you mention? I don't weigh a great deal more than that for a guy (10kg/20lbs or so, plus 9 inches in height) and I stood up a 250 Safire unassisted on my second attempt. I might've had more trouble without all the time I'd spent at the gym the last 6 months though... :P I prescribe chinups and lat pulldowns, and plenty of 'em.
You are playing chicken with a planet - you can't dodge and planets don't blink. Act accordingly.

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She is currently working on some physical training. I am leery of her down sizing until she can stand up her current canopy. As a diesel mechanic flaring was not much of a issue. She is tinkerbelle sized ;) maybe I should put this in the ladies forum. But i have never run across this issue before. Thanks

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Without seeing video or knowing much about the canopy she's currently flying, I'd err on the side of caution and not jump faster equipment when her ability to perform a basic flight maneuver (flaring) is in question. The safest thing would be to take a look at her technique or her equipment to find an issue, not buy faster equipment. If it turns out to be a simple line length issue, for example, it's better to get the flare down pat on the 150!!

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Making the assumption that she is jumping rental kit and as she is as you describe petite and proportioned having a shorter overall arm length in comparison to a person of average height and build is the reason why you should A. Watch her landing to observe whether she is flaring as deep as she can given her overall arm length, also observe the timing of the flare i.e.not too high/low.
If all is good and the canopy is not shutting down then i suspect the brake line setting/length.
If that's the case downsizing will make her situation worse and she will simply face plant at a greater rate.
Another worthwhile exercise, explain the 'stall' and stall recovery.
At altitude is it possible for her to fly the canopy to a stall.
I'm sorry but i find the physical strength argument unlikely and like others have said including myself either poor technique or brake line settings, possibly both.
.CHOP WOOD COLLECT WATER.

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It has been my experience that when people struggle with this, it has almost everything to do with their mechanical flare technique and simply adjusting the way they use their leverage fixes the problem.

For example lots of people flare with their arms in front of them in a downward tricep motion. Simply moving their arms closer to them helps (hard to explain without pictures)
Performance Designs Factory Team

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I don't see how she is too weak to flare? Too weak to do a front riser turn maybe, but flaring requires little to no strength at all. I'm a smaller guy at 5'6 120 lbs and fly a 149 with no issues, even jumped a 215 with no landing issues. Like everyone else said video the landings and asses the technique. Maybe have her put her hands thru the toggles and wrap the brake lines to get a deeper flare when landing? If that solves the problem, shorten the brake lines.

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bodypilot90

I understand what you are saying. I'll have a look new weekend and post a update



Has anyone asked about her practice flares at altitude? Can she touch her thighs, as an example?
C
But what do I know, "I only have one tandem jump."

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If someone is that weak, check that they can 'actually' cut-away. Believe it or not, we had a tiny woman who didn't have the strength to cut-away a normal student rig:(
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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andrewehlinger

I don't see how she is too weak to flare? Too weak to do a front riser turn maybe, but flaring requires little to no strength at all. I'm a smaller guy at 5'6 120 lbs and fly a 149 with no issues, even jumped a 215 with no landing issues. Like everyone else said video the landings and asses the technique. Maybe have her put her hands thru the toggles and wrap the brake lines to get a deeper flare when landing? If that solves the problem, shorten the brake lines.



I STRONGLY advise against wrapping the brake lines/shortening the brake lines. Especially if this canopy is ever used by anyone other than this person. If somebody else ever used the canopy and wasnt warned for some reason this could very quickly lead to a toggle stall on landing that could prove deadly or worse. Also if for some reason its a technique issue and the normal used changes her flare style to something different this could also lead to a toggle stall on landing. Way too dangerous of a fix IMO.

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While I agree with your idea (don't go around shortening lines willy nilly), I have to take issue with your reasoning (because someone else might then stall the canopy on landing).

Main canopies exhibit a *wide* variety of flare behaviours. If someone is jumping a new-to-them canopy and hasn't tried some practice flares high up to see what the story is, then they are at risk of a bad outcome at landing time regardless. Someone being surprised by the toggle stroke isn't a very good reason.

The lines might genuinely be too long for this person. Examining some of her landings in detail is the only way to really know, though.

[edit to add:

Quote

deadly or worse



Worse in what way?!

]
--
"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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I'd suggest getting someone with a fair amount of skill under a canopy to coach her through a high pull or two. Maybe not from full altitude to save some strength but it's all about technique. Every time I've seen this it's almost always been a matter of how the person flared and not always and issue of strength or line length, etc.

Practice several flares up high and have someone follow along that can provide feedback/video for debriefing.

I'm not the strongest guy by any means (6'2" 160lbs, tall and lankey...), and I'm a TI. I've taken passengers up to 245 lbs and it's all about technique. I had to learn to flare differently on a tandem than what I'm used to on my own gear. On my main, my hands are typically out to the side as I flare. With tandems though, you can't (at least I can't) get nearly as much leverage flaring out this way; instead I was taught and have honed my flare on tandems to be much closer to my body, flaring with my hands more or less directly under my shoulders, down past my hips.

Leverage and technique :)

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Downsizing would not be a solution in this case. If she is having trouble flaring, going faster is not a good idea.

Exercising is key, and she needs to be doing it in such a way to build strength. Higher weights and lower reps are going to get her the results she needs, she is looking to build muscle for power, not endurance, she only needs to fly a canopy for a few minutes at a time, and only needs to flare once.

That said, work on her technique as well. I've worked with several ladies who have had this problem, and one solution that helped them was to keep the toggles close to their bodies and rotate their elbows upward for the last part of the flare so they're pushing straight down on the toggles. They have more leverage/power in that position, and can generally finish the flare better as opposed to what most jumpers do which is holding the toggles out away from their body and flaring with a straight arm.

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bodypilot90

Spoke to a rookie jumper and she was thinking about down sizing from a 150 saber 1 to a 135 of some kind so she could flare better.



That's not going to help.

In a steady state configuration tension on the four risers and two brake lines all add up to the total suspended weight. The suspended weight is the same under a smaller canopy and control pressures remain about the same unless you change the design.

Tandems have high pressures because they have two people under them not because they're large. My Stiletto 120 also had high toggle pressure when I used it for a Mr. Bill.

Quote


poke to a rookie jumper and she was thinking about down sizing from a 150 saber 1 to a 135 of some kind so she could flare better. Other than some arm training any idea how to help. she is about 100 lbs w/o gear about 5 foot.



At 150 pounds I was jumping a 245 for accuracy at a .73 wing loading which would be like a 160 for a 100 pound woman with a 20 pound rig. It worked great.

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Has this thread become a "sticky" because of some of the monumentally bad advice being diapensed within it? ...So it can be used as some sort of example/illustration of how NOT to post, if you don't even have the 1st F*cking clue?

"Have her take a few wraps" - :S
"Tell her to run out and get a (ground-hungry, high performance in ANY size) Katana" - :S:S [:/]

Look who is replying what, and at what experience levels. Your best answers are already provided. Along though, unfortunately, with some of the worst I have ever seen.

SMH, here. SMH hard. [:/]
coitus non circum - Moab Stone

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Correction: small jumper not being taught how to correctly flare

The solution to landing problems is always coaching and sometimes up-sizing (slow it all down), not speed it up by downsizing.

I don't know this person, her personality, experience, or coaching history, however there is sometimes a phenomenon with some females who play the "I can't" card, in life and sometimes in skydiving. I can't flare, I can't pack, I can't arch, I can't practice, I can't yell my count... so help me, show me, do it for me, or pass me on my jumps. I will admit I'm totally biased against this behavior and believe that when people really want something they will work and fight for it. The solution may be to get her a different instructor/coach who can work with her in a different way and push her to toughen up. If she wants it, she'll work on it. If not, she'll quit or continue to land on her face.

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Do a simple test, make her do one pull up and one full triceps dip. If she can do it the problem lies elsewhere.

This really isn't rocket science. If the above is completed, there is probably some gear compatibility issue or the fact she is scared to run it out and thinks the full flare landing looks like a feather drop. I know jumpers who after many jumps still don't land on their feet because of fear.

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Note for some who may be unaware, most women can't do a pull up unless they do upper body strength exercises regularly whereas most guys who don't even exercise can do at least one. If strength is still an issue for a jumper I've found that hanging exercise bands over a pull up bar and pulling the bands down can build muscle in a way that simulates flaring a canopy.

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