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hparrish

Is Freeflying Dying Off ???

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Its helps when your at a dz that has good freeflyers that will actually jump with you. I live in fl but have had some of my best ever freefly jumps at css. I never got the skygod vibe from anyone up there. Hell I almosted moved there just because of the great jumps.

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All I can say in response to this is (going back to a previous point) that dedicated training and imrpovement in freeflying does require a lot of solos and small ways. Many skydivers when getting into freeflying will avoid solos at all cost and would rather try and rope people into a big "sitfly" zoo dive. I still take the opportunity to do solo jumps (when I can) because there is ALWAYS something I can work on to improve my freefly skills. Getting good takes time and dedication. There is no shortcut.

Lots of times I just manifest myself and go to the loading area ready for anything. I try and be on every load of the day if I can. I'll go solo if I can, backfly with a tandem if there is one, or just hook up with whoever is there and wants to jump with me. But sometimes that newer up and coming freeflyer asks me to jump with them (happy to) and before you know it, 3 or 4 of his other 'learning to sitfly' buddies pop up and say "sweet let's make it a 5 way (zoo)". This is when I feel like groaning and either step away from the dive or insist on keeping it a 2 way. Either way I look like the bad guy.

Am I acting like a skygod who won't jump with newer jumpers or am I just wanting to take my jumps more seriously? I've got no problem jumping with anyone. I'd rather not be on unproductive and dangerous dives. I'd rather not throw away my jump dodging a zoo of corking sitfliers hoping one won't kill me, knock me out, paralyze me, open up next to me and entangle into my canopy, etc.
108 way head down world record!!!
http://www.simonbones.com
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Am I acting like a skygod who won't jump with newer jumpers or am I just wanting to take my jumps more seriously? I've got no problem jumping with anyone. I'd rather not be on unproductive and dangerous dives. I'd rather not throw away my jump dodging a zoo of corking sitfliers hoping one won't kill me, knock me out, paralyze me, open up next to me and entangle into my canopy, etc.

I know exactly what you mean, i think we all do.

I share all your concerns. But to me it's not just the safety issues, as valid as they are - I just dont have enough money to waste it on a zoo dive. For 25 bucks i want to have fun and dodging and chasing bodies in the sky is not it.

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I agree I wont just go freefly with anyone. And I wont do zoo loads with low experience jumpers. But when you show up at a dz that you have been jumping at for years and you have over 2000 freefly jumps and still get the skygod vibe from the local free fly guys is just bs.

This is one of the reasons I stoped jumping in deland years ago. I have been to css more than deland over the years and deland is 30 minutes from my house. I felt more at home up there with total strangers than any dz I have been to in florida. And I have been to all of them. I here things are differnet in dleand now. But I am just starting to jump alot again so deland may be my new home dz.

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I here things are differnet in dleand now. But I am just starting to jump alot again so deland may be my new home dz.



There does seem to be more freefliers hanging out these days and it will be interesting to see how it might change with the new team coming. The hardest part seems to be getting everyone there at the same time. I finally decided to e-mail my friends and get people there one Saturday a few weeks ago. We had some nice jumps with 4-8 people in them. Most of us are in the 500-1000 jump range and not quite at your level, but you're welcome to join us anytime. There have also been tracking days that have been posted in the Events Forum. I agree that freeflying slowed down there (after Jimmy T and Hunter left), but hopefully things are looking up!
She is Da Man, and you better not mess with Da Man,
because she will lay some keepdown on you faster than, well, really fast. ~Billvon

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Scott,

Whats up man........It would be great to see you up this way a couple times a year. Check out the Jive Jam thread and schedule and see if you can make any of them. There sure were some good vibes back when you came up for the Boogies.

CSS aint what it used to be.........But that is in all disciplines at that DZ, not just Freeflying. If I want to get allot of jumping in nowadays, I go to Raeford.

Jon Randolph, Joey Costa, Dave Sampson, Peter Matos, Brandon Vigesa, Steve Lee, Alex Macc, Jerry, etc...... are all gone now. There is a grass roots effort there for up and coming freeflyers, but as far as anything Advanced Jive Jam is it........and turnout is relatively small to date, but growing.

I think I miss the people more than the advanced jumping. Most of my good friends that I came up with in the sport are no longer jumping.

Just wondering if this is the case eleswhere or just isolated to the Carolina's. With the Economy I'm assuming its more widespread.

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truthfully I definitely tend to jump more when I am getting paid to do it as life has a way of being expensive

I am trying to get out to freefly this weekend and even do some straight training jumps so when I cone down that away I aint sucking like I haven't been freeflying all year

Dave
http://www.skyjunky.com

CSpenceFLY - I can't believe the number of people willing to bet their life on someone else doing the right thing.

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The freefly scene in Sebastian is great! There is high quality freeflying going on there most weekends. There's a really good crowd of locals and there are often organizers for all skill levels.

We've got a VRW skills camp going on July 26-27. You should come check it out.
Wind Tunnel and Skydiving Coach http://www.ariperelman.com

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Hey everyone,

I'm with Ari, if you are in FL or around, or just wanna have a good weekend of freeflying come to Sebastian.

Great freeflying going on pretty much every weekend, from beginner to advance, Look me up if you are in the area.

Here are some videos in case you are bored at the computer jeje http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sebastian+sequentials+luis+prinetto&search_type=&aq=f

Hope to c ya around, keep on flying!!!

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Competition 3way freefly in usa is dying off because people have reallized that art is very subjective, and teams that train all year and compete for purpose of winning gold got pissed when they thought they were judged poorly.

I think the competition is ony justification for training, and the end result your finished baddas routine is yours , to show people, just like a painting some people will love it and some people will hate it. As long as you are happy with what you made i say fuck em...

VFS is in my oppinion designed for freeflyers that want to win, or at least beat someone else, it is black and white you got the point or you didn't.

This option is great for competition as it is easy to score and judge.

artistic freefly competition will dwindle in usa as long as people are preoccupied with winning instead of making somethig cool.

i like flying with spontaneity and feeling not on a predetermined path of numbers and blocks , we can hold hands on the ground and make pretty shapes, which is also fun ie . twister,

but many people fly to do the things they can't do on the ground, for me i wish i was a ninja gymnast race car driver so when i fly i like spinning flipping and hauling ass... i think that freedom is why freelying will never die, only become overshadowed by sequentials and vfs ....

when your tired of beating people lets do something cool.

one love
selwyn

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Freeflying is alive and well here at Skydive Dallas. We have two VFS teams and pretty good size group of freefliers jumping for fun. This next weekend Team Vibe is putting on a head down skills camp for anyone wanting to learn head down and anyone wanting to improve their head down skills.

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I totally agree Selwyn. I'd much rather be doing artistic team stuff then VFS. The whole blocks and points thing is what turned me away from belly flying in the first place. I would however like to see competition alive and strong in the artistic field because it keeps fresh and awesome ideas and routines coming. Maybe we need to change the way that artistic freefly is judged and find a more objective way to do it. Maybe more qualified artistic freefliers need to pursue a national judge rating to do that (I vote for you). Email me when you get some camps together this fall, looking forward to it.

Looks like I need to find some time to put Sebastian in my schedule. But it's soo far away! I only end up going to Florida for the Zhills New Years stuff. If you promise to keep it going through December I'll try and swing by :)
108 way head down world record!!!
http://www.simonbones.com
Hit me up on Facebook

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I just really think that a new skydiver like myself needs support from the advanced skydivers. I only have 47 jumps and all I keep hearing is that it is way to soon to try freefly. I want to learn and I will do what it takes to get good at it. I enjoy solo jumps still and the rw people keep telling me its because its all still new. There may be some truth to that but eveytime I do a solo I learn a new way to move my body in the relative wind and that is what makes me smile. I hope freefly is not dying and I hope all who are experienced look for a newbie that wants to learn! I would kill for someone to be willing to work with me! Remeber that the only way anything dies off in the sport is if new skydivers are not being mentored enough! I think rw is cool too but I get the same thing generally.... no one really wants to work with me..... a lot of that has to do with the really good skydivers. At my dz they are all working.... camera, tandem, aff, etc. so the only time I really get work is on the last jump. Right now I rely on videos and just try the stuff from what I see. I think it is just tough right now because upjumpers don't pay the bills...... we all know what does. Just make sure you reach out to a newbie like someone did for you!
Life is all about ass....either you're kicking it, kissing it, working it off, or trying to get a piece of it.
Muff Brother #4382 Dudeist Skydiver #000
www.fundraiseadventure.com

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I'm not going to debate when someone should start down a distinct discipline path, but I know, even with students, there is no psychological block to trying almost anything new.

Around the time freeflying was first gaining momentum at Perris Steve Clark and I were getting an AFF student ready for his level six jump. We had examples of all the AFF levels on video tape and we showed them to students as part of the briefing. But instead of showing him AFF level six we showed him someone doing Vrw, sitflying, and so on.

After the tape ended I said, "Have you got that, or do you want to see it again?" And he said, "Sure, I got it, but we're gonna practice that on the ground a little bit aren't we?"

NickD :)

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Ya.... that is very true and a good story too! I have always been a focused guy and freeflying is the discipline I want to do so until someone steps up and helps me I guess I will be learning it any way I can and really paying attention the the videos I have. :ph34r:
Life is all about ass....either you're kicking it, kissing it, working it off, or trying to get a piece of it.
Muff Brother #4382 Dudeist Skydiver #000
www.fundraiseadventure.com

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Whether or not a new jumper wants to learn freeflying is not really the focus of the subject. The question is whether or not freeflying as a discipline on its own is starting to reach the beginning of its end. Advanced freeflyers have limited places to go in the discipline. Once you get those freefly skills, there seem to be less and less things you can do with it. Fewer competitions. Fewer advanced freeflyers to create something with. Fewer advanced freefly organized events. Fewer freeflyers showing up to them. There are loads and loads of people who want to learn advanced freefly, but it takes sooo long. For one reason or another, very few of those jumpers who really wanted to learn actually stick with it.
108 way head down world record!!!
http://www.simonbones.com
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Simon.... I get that because it seems very difficult. I am just saying that encouraging new jumpers and teaching them will help keep it alive and going. It will also open the door to new events, competitions, and jumps that the thread says are dying off.
Life is all about ass....either you're kicking it, kissing it, working it off, or trying to get a piece of it.
Muff Brother #4382 Dudeist Skydiver #000
www.fundraiseadventure.com

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Rstanley-

I think Simon was just trying to refocus the thread a little bit. There are plenty of freeflyers on these forums and even Simon himself who pay it forward all the time by jumping with newcomers to the field.

The discussion is more pointed towards advanced, competitive VRW & VFS.

Freeflying in general will most likely never die off since there will always be someone trying to fly off-axis or vertical and try something different.

my 2cts

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Is freeflying dying off?



Oh, God, I hope so. You guys are starting to piss me off.

OK, seriously, I'm glad to see serious freeflyers addressing the "zoo dive" problem. Yes, "problem". Having come up when there was only belly-flying, I initially didn't see the big attraction to freeflying, as it seemed not much more than everyone just looking at each other in freefall. I mean, that's how RW got started in the 60's, because people got bored with doing just that. Now that freeflying has gotten more intricate -in other words, it's "matured" - it's getting a lot more of my (and other long-time RW-ers') attention.

Rock on.

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Yes, just like RW, it has been "maturing"... and the unfortunate part is that freefly has also inherited some of the "snob/elite" attitudes that have existed in that discipline. And to re-focus on the topic of this thread... here's one reason why freefly just may be dying off a little.

I am somewhat of an experienced/intermediate freeflyer and last year I planned a visit during the winter to one of Florida's top freeflying DZs with the intent to stay current and train for the upcoming freefly world record. I spent 3 very frustrating days there doing nothing but solos and 'coach' type dives with lesser experienced freeflyers, while all the regular experienced locals & their friends did the interesting VRW/big way dives. I introduced myself on day one, signed up for load organizing, etc... and on day 3 I got tired of waiting so I attempted to 'invite' myself on one of their organized dives, at which point I was told (quite loudly in front of the group and with very much attitude) by the DZ appointed load organizer: "Duuuuude.... not unless you can honestly tell me that you can consistently pull off high level head-up & head-down 4-way VRW type dives... yadda-yadda..."

Ya, ok, I got the point. So I turned around, packed my shit and drove to another DZ. I unfortunately didn't find the high level VRW dives that I was looking for, but at least I felt welcome and had fun.

Still, there went another lost opportunity for me to grow and to better my freeflying skills... and I can honestly tell you that as much as I would like to participate in one of these boogies or freefly events at this or any other DZ where I am "unknown", I am very apprehensive about doing so.

I can't imagine that I am the only such victim from this kind of negative experience. With much skill comes much attitude in some cases... and this can surely affect the sport.

My 0.02
Time's flying, and so am I...
(69-way, 108-way and 138/142-way Freefly World Records)


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You are not the only one. I've seen a lot of attitudes from "local" organizers in VRW. Although, the big time VRW load organizers don't have those attitudes and are open to organizing all different levels of VRW.

I've found the best way to go about this is to have someone in the group vouch for your skills (from another event, dropzone, et c). Or, I show up at events early to get jumps in with the locals. I never show up somewhere unless I have a contact that is there. Otherwise, you're right, you end up standing around doing solos or doing "zoo dives". Either way, you might as well have stayed home and spent your money on jumps with friends. It's a shame we can't be more welcoming at those levels. And it's a shame some of these "local LOs" don't go out of their way to include people other than their local jumping buddies, the ones who were lucky enough to have a home dropzone that retains good flyers, so they don't have to travel to get what they need.

Good luck bro.

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Good call. I've seen this before at several events. I think what causes a situation like that is a lack of organizers. A dropzone/boogie/event can't just assign one freefly organizer. There are different levels or organization needed. An organizer will very quickly get grabbed up by the advanced group to do 8way VFS (which he will be happy to do so because he'd rather organize that than 3 way sitfly jumps). This leaves all the intermediate and beginner freefliers SOL. There needs to be at least two groups of organizers available. One for intermediate/advanced and one for beginner/intermediate. Ideally there would be an organizer for each level but it's tough for a DZ to shell out the costs of three organizers for freeflying.

I would say that a good solution is for you to press your DZ management to have more than one FF organizer available to keep the separate groups happy. And make sure the organizers know their assignment! They'll all want to be the one organizing the big cool kid stuff. I've seen far too many boogies/events where there is only one FF organizer. Freefliers get left out as a result and in the long run, threads like this start popping up :(
108 way head down world record!!!
http://www.simonbones.com
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I've seen some larger events with multiple organizers, and you're right, they tend to "spread the love" more across the different levels of freeflying.

However, I think that Al was referring to breaking into the 8 way VRW, or even maybe getting involved in something smaller (4 way VRW). What I was trying to say was if the organizers don't know you and don't know your skills, they are less likely to invite you on these challenging jumps because 1: its an obvious safety reason and 2: they want the jump to be successful.

Sure, if you get the chance you can prove your skills, but with the attitudes, like Al said he described, why would you put yourself through that kind of scrutiny just to earn a slot on a FUN jump. And he says he was told "unless you can consistently pull off head up head down VRW dives et c". How many people actually have the opportunity to do this consistently (certainly not every dropzone in the US).

He's looking for the opportunity to increase his skills by joining jumps that are challenging to him. And it seemed to me that the organizers are telling him, "unless this is a cakewalk to you, don't bother". Which I think is the wrong attitude to retain good freeflyers.

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He's looking for the opportunity to increase his skills by joining jumps that are challenging to him. And it seemed to me that the organizers are telling him, "unless this is a cakewalk to you, don't bother". Which I think is the wrong attitude to retain good freeflyers.



Exactly. Bang on.
Time's flying, and so am I...
(69-way, 108-way and 138/142-way Freefly World Records)


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Yeah it can be an awkward situation. Imagine this scenario. A group of advanced freeflyers ask an organizer to put together some difficult and challenging points for some 8way VRW because they want to give themselves a good challenge. Along comes an intermediate freeflyer who wants to move up to a more advanced level and asks the organizer if he can be organized. The LO is being paid by the DZ to organize the jumpers who want it and is obligated to do so. All he can do is warn the jumper that the next dive is going to be some really difficult points. The jumper insists to be on it. The jumper drops his $24 ticket, the LO gets his free, and the other 6 pay their $144 and the dive is planned.

On the dive the newer freeflyer never makes it in and the other seven hold the initial incomplete formation waiting for the newer freeflyer to get in so they can move on to the second point. They wait for the entire duration of the freefall. On the ground the six freeflyers are annoyed, but used to it. Some freeflyers get together and ask the organizer to put the same dive together as they want to try it again. Again the newer freeflyer brings over his ticket and wants on.

What should the organizer do? If he allows the jumper on the dive, he knowingly throws the other jumpers $144 away. If he turns the jumper away, he's a dick, he's not helping out newer freeflyers, and he's not doing his job right? It's kind of a sticky situation. Should the LO change the dive to make it easier for the newer freeflyer? Should all the other freeflyers spend the rest of the day catering their dives to the one guy? Some of them traveled long distances, paid hefty registration fees, and then throw $144 per dive on top of that.

Since the DZ can't have 50 organizers, the LOs that they do have should keep switching up the dives for flyers of all levels. But by the same token, the freeflyers have to honestly examine their own skill and not get on dives they know is too advanced for them when the dives come up. That's a selfish thing to do and wastes the money of all the other skydivers who came to seek challenge and improvement as well. So when will they get a chance to do their challenging 8way? Ever? Those guys want to challenge themselves too. Is that a wrong attitude? I certainly get annoyed when I drive 16 hours to an expensive boogie for some challenging stuff and the same person keeps taking out the formation every time.

It's hard to make everybody happy I guess.

-Simon
108 way head down world record!!!
http://www.simonbones.com
Hit me up on Facebook

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