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dzswoop717

History of swooping

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In 1972 the first square parachute showed up at our DZ, I was 10 years old and completely enfactuated with it. It was A Baby Para Plane. All the experienced guys started to experiment with it. One 16 year old D licence holder, George Whittington, Experimented the most and started messing with front riser turns and double front riser input to penetrate heavy winds. We often talked about how he was sure that the canopy gained a few feet of altitude when coming out of a turn or when flairing from a front riser dive. Back then he didn't dare try any of these techniques while landing.

A few years later the Strato Star came out and George started using a toggle turn to gain speed to get a better flair out of the canopy. He used this method until he got a 7 Cell at which time he got serious about deep brake accuracy and the different modifications to make a canopy more stable in deep brakes.

Fast fwd to 1981, I had just bought my first very used square canopy. It was a worn out Unit 1. It didn't have much flare when you flew in at full flight and flared . I talked with George and started experimenting with what he had been trying a few years earlier. I put about 100 jumps on that rag and could get a standup most of the time by pulling both front risers down and letting them go a little before it was time to flare, there was no surf or altitude gain, It just helped enough to make the landings a little softer. I bought a new Unit 2 and on the first jump used the double front riser trick and experienced my first surf and staged flair because I felt like I was going back up when I flared so I held what I had and flew 10' across the ground before finishing my flare. I was on to something. I jumped at a small dz and didn't even know if anyone else was using this technique for landing. Several canopy changes later and after discovering the front riser hook turn on my 9 cell I was getting 50 feet or more swoops.
I met Bill Legard at the Herd Boogie. I saw him come in for the first swoop landing I had ever witnessed, the rest I had done myself and no one in my little world of jumping did this kind of dangerous stuff. I watched Bill and realized he was leaps and bounds ahead of me with his technique. I talked with him and watched and learned.
A couple of years later the Xcaliber crossed braced canopy came out then shortly after that Zero P material was invented. Swooping was being perfected by many people all over the world.
I never got into competition but, have had a great time swooping my different canopies over the last 30 plus years.

My question is Who were the real pioneers of swooping and where and when did it originate. I consider Bill to be my first commrade of this type of canopy flight and a pioneer, but I am sure there were many more way more advanced than us.

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dzswoop717

My question is Who were the real pioneers of swooping and where and when did it originate?



My first exposure to it was in 1982 when Roger Nelson and a bunch of experienced jumpers brought the "Mr. Douglas" DC-3 to Archway Skydiving in Sparta, IL for an event.

I saw a guy (name unknown) do a hook turn and it scared the shit out of me. I thought he was going to crash. Then again, I don't recall much of a "swoop" or planing out. It just went fast and then he landed.

I recall that when I got my new Raven 3 canopy that it would plane out well, but after a few hundred jumps it no longer did.

I think that what we call "swooping" now started with zero porosity fabric canopies and better airfoil designs, perhaps with the original Sabre canopy.

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dqpacker

I always heard Rickster Powell (sp) was one of the first to do modern hook turns.



Hooks date back to PC's, but DQ has this one.

Rickster was absolutely one of if not "the guy" that kicked off swooping as we know it today. He was pulling off stuff in the late 80's and early 90's that seemed impossible and his style was emulated by many who would become the early pioneers.

In all fairness though, JC Colclasure needs some credit too. His killer work in the early Ranch pond swoop meets and throughout the discipline in general were epic. Even today the best in the world are glad he is retired from competition.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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stayhigh

Cool. Never thought that someone was using rear back in 80's....

hell I used to use the rears. all the time back in the eighties. but that was usually because my ragged out heavyweight Strato cloud had broken the steering line.;)
i have on occasion been accused of pulling low . My response. Naw I wasn't low I'm just such a big guy I look closer than I really am .


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dqpacker

Blindman was Jeffro Provenzano I thought. If it wasn't him, he perfected it. And I think he was the first to do a miracle man. I know those Frenchies Fred and Vince have been doing them forever too.

I think if you ask Jeffro he will tell you that Andy Farrington was his inspiration
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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