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hparrish

Is Freeflying Dying Off ???

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I hear what you're saying man..... but we're now talking about two completely different scenarios.

I was quite aware of the level of skills that the group in general had and I was not asking to be on something that I haven't done before. I was qualified to participate in the dives that they were dirt diving. They were not doing high level Arsenal/Mandarin type VRW dives. Basically, this guy just wanted to organize his friends, that simple.

But aside from not getting a decent chance to get on... it's also the way that it was done. There's no room in this sport for that kind of disrespectful attitude. And to get back to what Harry was asking, this negative experience has definitely jaded me to some extent when it comes to participating in any organized freefly events where I will not be "known" initially. And as previously mentioned, this kind of experience may very well have happened to other experienced freeflyers and could be a factor in the lack of participation in organized freefly events.
Time's flying, and so am I...
(69-way, 108-way and 138/142-way Freefly World Records)


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Well i suggest you quit Bitchin about it and come to Jive Jam.

Thats what Jive Jam is all about. But I have very light turnouts.

The original purose of this thread was to point out that even when events are organized, people don't take advantage of it.

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Not bitching bro, just giving my 0.02... which I thought was pertinent to the purpose of your thread... apologies if I misunderstood.

If that is what Jive Jam is all about, I will deff look into it. Kudos on taking the initiative.

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


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Well I can say that freeflying was pretty healthy over at SKydive Chicago for Summerfest 2008. I just posted a short video from it. Check it out:

http://www.skydivingmovies.com/ver2/pafiledb.php?action=file&id=7213

And don't forget to give it 5 stars and a nice comment ;)
108 way head down world record!!!
http://www.simonbones.com
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I was at Summerfest in Chicago this year...loved it! With only 100 RW jumps to my name, I was hardly even invited to join the 108-way VRW debrief! :( But just seeing all the great talent around made me want to try FF.

I have done 50 solo FF since. I don't see FF as dying, but expanding...however, I have been playing around with mixing FF/FS and belly in a single jump. Dive off the plane on my belly, hop into a sit, do some ballet type moves and get back into my sit to do a backward dive (almost gettting headdown) going into a back track, barrelroll, and then pulling high to play with canopy.....fun stuff!! Now if only I can find a way of doing this with a wingsuit on...hummmmm

The biggest problem I have...where to fit into the exit sequence??? :)

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The main point of the OP was that move from intermediate to advanced. FF is what 95% of the students wanna do at my DZ...so definitely not dead...but:

I remember reading that sitfly was easy to learn, hard to master while HD was the opposite (hard to learn, easy to master).

Put that in parallel with the MTV generation (mine - growing up in the 80s - 90s) that wants instant gratification and you have your problem.

Getting off AFF or A-level, people get into FF, start obviously with sitfly, stick to it until they get a good decent numbers of jumps where they can sitfly the entire time and have "control" and then the frustration starts. It took me 4-5 jumps to sit most of the duration of one jump. I have done a handful of other sit attempts and it aint that bad...but i don't go around saying: I can sit! I'm a wonderkid. I do realize it will take me the next 100-200 jumps to be able to do some points with a friend or two and after that i should spend few hundred more jumps just to get HD.

Whereas with FS, after a 100 jumps or so you shouldnt have too much problems making few points with 3 friends and having a blast at it.

And on the long run, can anyone be a good FFer if jumping say 50 times a year (over 10-20 years)? whereas with 50 jumps a year in FS you can still jumps with a bunch of people and have more fun.

My guess is FF is alive until people get to 100 FF jumps and start hitting that wall. Then they see people that focused on FS for 100 jumps and how they have fun jumping with large numbers of people and they decided to tag along.

My 2c.

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And on the long run, can anyone be a good FFer if jumping say 50 times a year (over 10-20 years)? whereas with 50 jumps a year in FS you can still jumps with a bunch of people and have more fun.

My guess is FF is alive until people get to 100 FF jumps and start hitting that wall. Then they see people that focused on FS for 100 jumps and how they have fun jumping with large numbers of people and they decided to tag along.

My 2c.



I'll disagree - a little bit

it's easier to do trash dives with 4 people on your belly than with 3 people upright/headdown, but the math is the same - and if you don't advance, you won't get invited on many 4/3 ways after a while

I see it all the time - a good skydiver will on invest so much energy on someone that's a hack - especially if the hack has an ego about it. if you are not current - you will not advance to the next level of body control in either discipline

100 jumps a year? if you do RW - you'll do 100 hack jumps - and your attitude will define if you have fun with that or not

100 jumps a year? if you do FF - you'll do 100 hack jumps - and your attitude will define if you find that fun or not, either

skill progression in any freefall discipline (RW, VRW, wingsuits, etc) is not about the size of groups you are invited on, it's about more and more control, precision and power - that takes a commit. If you have an exceptional level of control, then it's not much different to fly a slot in a 4 way or a 100 way. The bigger groups need more people with that level of control, not just one guy to be a little better.

or, if progression doesn't matter, you can still have fun, just don't expect to be invited on more advanced stuff

FF is alive and well - but the hacks will be left behind and they shouldn't complain if it's their own fault - they can stick with boogie jumps and still have a different kind of fun

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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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.



this is absolutely spot on

(there is nothing in this thread that isn't in many RW threads - and stuff I'm hearing from more serious wingsuiters too for that matter)

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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freeflying is the future, but RW will never be extinct.

Seems just like surfing. In the 60's and 70's, long board surfing was very popular. When short board surfing was introduced, newer surfers entering the sport chose that "discipline" because it was more challenging and expressive. Now today, more surfers are on short boards and that will continue to rise as the older guys retire from the sport.

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freeflying is the future, but RW will never be extinct.



when we incorporate all the orientations in a good competitive sport then we'll have some really cool and true "body flying" - we're seeing that emerge in the tunnels even now

The difference you perceive isn't freefall discipline or age, it's attitude.....(and it shifts every 10 years or so)

Group 1 - we have people that want to excel and compete - they'll be great at any discipline - they'll smile at the other group and jump with them at boogies, but not much any other time

Group 2 - we have people that just want to play and goof around - they'll be hacks, mostly. But they'll have a different kind of smile on their faces. They'll also mock the other group because they don't understand them but are secretly jealous of their performance :P

the specific discipline has next to nothing to do with it.

Did you see? 35 points for two teams in VFS - that's exciting - those darn Group 1 people keep raising the bar

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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freeflying is the future, but RW will never be extinct.



when we incorporate all the orientations in a good competitive sport then we'll have some really cool and true "body flying" - we're seeing that emerge in the tunnels even now

The difference you perceive isn't freefall discipline or age, it's attitude.....(and it shifts every 10 years or so)

Group 1 - we have people that want to excel and compete - they'll be great at any discipline - they'll smile at the other group and jump with them at boogies, but not much any other time

Group 2 - we have people that just want to play and goof around - they'll be hacks, mostly. But they'll have a different kind of smile on their faces. They'll also mock the other group because they don't understand them but are secretly jealous of their performance :P

the specific discipline has next to nothing to do with it.

Did you see? 35 points for two teams in VFS - that's exciting - those darn Group 1 people keep raising the bar



I'd love to see 35 points in a 3d skydive. Exit HD, next point sit, next point belly, next point back. That would be the ultimate challenge.

And we're almost there.
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. --Douglas Adams

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Given the very small number of teams doing VRW or FF at Nationals, how is it justified to have 2 classes (Open and Advanced) in each event?



I guess if they want more teams, they'll have to make it easier - .....

Maybe just require the teams to fly near each other and not allow grips..

We could graphically lay a "grid" over the "formation" and then count points that way :o...:P.....:D

(I think encouraging these disciplines while they are new with a couple skills classes is appropriate right now to encourage building a competition base. It's a bit different from Freestyle or skysurf which had a good base and then dwindled to a small number of teams. We should expect the FF and VRW to grow, not shrink.

although,,,, at 6 teams this year and one class, it seems that freestyle might be coming back up)

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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100 jumps a year? if you do RW - you'll do 100 hack jumps - and your attitude will define if you have fun with that or not

Hey, I went into my first Perris 50-way at only 100 jumps per year (started 2005, then first 50-way camp in May 2008 at jump #253), succesfully doing my first 49-way and then doing my first 100-way only 6 months after (though I did 100 jumps in that period)

It's possible to have the beginnings of a good RW jumper at only 100 jumps per year or slightly less -- without becoming a hack.

Although I needed to plan in the short refamiliarization periods, I could score about 14 points in a 35-second period in a 4-way at one time (right after a busy 15-jump weekend and a 1-hour tunnel camp weekend) which is not that good, but pretty decent for a 100-jump-per-year 'hack' ;)

I am a low-timer in the big way leagues right now and my jumping pace, has, indeed accelerated to approximately 200 per trailing-12-month period. Just 1.5 years ago before my first 49way. Just 18 months ago, I had only 243 jumps (as longtime dropzone.com may remember in my jump profile) So I don't qualify as a 100-jump-per-year guy, but more of an approximately 200-jump per year. But to become a good RW flyer at only 100 jumps per annum, requires tunnel time and the layover-then-refamiliarize-then-big-surge method rather than the very-few-every-weekend method.

While not enough for World Team leagues, 100 jumps is good enough to make some people a good 100-way jumper if you're very selective and persistent: Go to the right events, keep going back to them, the best events, throw in good tunnel ime, make it intense (i.e. going once a month and doing 10-15 jumps at a big way camp, and going to a 1-to-2-hour of 4-way tunnel camp in between, will always advance you a hell lot more in the 'bigways discipine' specifically, than going to the dropzone every weekend and doing intermittent RW) ... The winter-layover-then-massive-surge method actually worked out okay, as long as there's a 10-to-20 jump warmup (4-ways, 20-ways etc at home drpozone) and 2-hour tunnel camp warmup -- bang -- I can be part of a successful 50-way (er, 49-way) like I did. I did list my 6-month jump total from right before the winter layover when I applied, then I ended up with a 6-month winter layover. Almost two years ago I went from 6-month Canadian winter layover to successful participant of complete 49-way in less than 30 jumps (including the 17 camp jumps immediately preceding the 18th jump that was a 49-way). Still, I am now attempting to eliminate my winter layovers now and travelling, as that's necessary if I want to be part of World Team. Tunnel, obviously, and a bunch of tracking-practice/canopy training jumps as part of the post-winter warmup ramp-up is an absolute must if you don't want to be a hack...and to be safe at bigway events, because long period of layovers need a rapid jumping weekend/tunnel camp 'wakeup' period to quickly reset your last fall's skills after a winter layover.

The magic event of more easily transitioning from 100 jumps per year to 200 jumps per year, is that I am now being invited to major sequentials (Confirmed Z-Team 2010 invite, etc) which afford me more plenty of efficient bigway-jumping opportunities.

It's sorta been my formula to juggle my better half, my work life, and my aspiration to become a World Team member eventually -- with maybe decent chances of becoming one of the few sub-1000-jumpers at the next World Record (there was only 9 in the last 400-way record). I've been making my jumps 'efficient' in the big way discipline with all the fun roadtrips, with a good dose of tunnel time thrown in, too, and careful not to allow my flying, tracing, canopy skills to suffer by doing an appropriate healthy balance between tunnel and skydiving too...

Sure, it made my freefly skills deficient (self-admitted total freefly hack), with the over-reliance on RW, but I can at least now sitfly and djust my sit without tumbling -- a skill I will continue to expand, tunnel-assisted, to help me be a better RW jumper.

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So here is the current position of freeflying, pay attention for all you kids who keep believing that freefly is the way of the future and all that nonsense.

2008 Nationals VFS:
6 teams entered open class
10 teams entered advanced class

2009 Nationals VFS:
3 teams entered open class
3 teams entered advanced class

2008 Nationals artistic 3way freefly:
3 teams entered open class
6 teams entered intermediate class

2009 Nationals artistic 3way freefly:
4 teams entered open class
5 teams* entered intermediate class

*Some background: USPA scheduled 4 days to complete VFS competition this year. Because so few teams showed up, it was all pretty much done in one day.

There is a rule in competition that says that if an event goes two years in a row with less than 4 teams entering, it is removed as a competitive event. When we finished VFS competition for the day, we saw that 4 teams had entered artistic freefly open (one team only being a guest since not all members were US citizens) and only 3 had entered intermediate. In order to prevent the first strike against intermediate freefly some of us threw together last minute artistic FF intermediate teams moments before registration closed. We were able to do this only because VFS was over.

I'm not sure if a guest team counts towards the minimum of 4 rule, but if it doesn't, there will be no freefly artistic open competition anymore. It will be dead.

Both open and advanced class VFS have first strikes against them. Each only had 3 teams show up this year (one in open was a throw together because only two teams showed up for open class). This means that unless at least 4 teams each show up for VFS open and advanced class next Nationals, then VFS will be a dead competition discipline. Or they will merge the classes into one class and any weekend jumper team you put together will have to compete against Arsenal and Standard (good luck).

There are only two classes of competition in freefly because so few teams show up. VFS has open and advanced. Artistic has open and intermediate. Freestyle only has one class.

BELLY 4 way on the other hand, has 3 national level classes: open, advanced, and intermediate. Between the three, 57 teams showed up. That's right, 57. That means at least 285 people (not including alternates) showed up to keep belly 4 way alive. Many states even have a rookie class. 16 teams showed up for 8 way.

Belly also has multiple competitions with several classes: 4way, 8way, 10way, and 16way.

A belly 4way team requires 5 people to compete. 4way Belly flyers pulled 57 teams. 8way requires 9 people, they pulled 16 teams. Artistic freefly only requires 3 to compete. We pulled 6 teams, 1 guest, and two last second throw together teams from VFS competitors (only made possible by the lack of VFS teams showing up).

People don't show up. Freeflying is dying. Almost every state has regional belly 4way competitions. Some have tried 2 way VFS competitions, but almost always, the events get canceled because nobody shows up.

I've heard from more than one competitor at Nationals that they are going to stop competing in freeflying because it's dying off and that they're going to start competing in belly 4way, because that's where the action is. Unfortunately, they're right. It is dying and the action is apparently in belly 4way.

But that's just competition. What about freefly events? Almost every boogie has some belly bigway organizing. I've seen many times freeflyers trying to host a freefly event, but nobody shows up and the event is eventually canceled. Almost every state has a belly formation record and womens belly formation record. Few states have freefly formation records and even fewer (if any) have womens formation records.

There will always be people who play with sitflying at their home dropzones. This does not mean that freeflying as a discipline isn't dying off as a whole.

Do you love freeflying? Do you want to do your part to not only keep the discipline alive, but grow? If so, then I'll see you at Nationals next year in Chicago, and at the bigway events, and at the freefly boogies.

2010 Nationals, Dates: September 11-24, 2010
Location: Skydive Chicago, Ottawa, Illinois

Stop being a hypocrite. You've got 11 months to save up for airfare and some jump tickets. Be there.
108 way head down world record!!!
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As someone who has competed in freeflying I hate seeing this trend.
Freeflying has a much higher barrier to entry than RW so you automatically have a smaller pool of potential competitors.
On the artistic side, I know there has been a lot of dissatisfaction with how subjective the judging is. Others complained that (especially on the international level) it was turning into 2-way freestyle. Although I never felt that way myself.

VFS was supposed to be the great equalizer. I’m not sure why there are so few VFS teams. I think that it is still a new discipline and its going to take a few more years for it to really come into its own.
The proliferation of wind tunnels will help, but again it takes quite a while to get proficient enough to even attempt vertical 4-ways.
I would be curious how many of the 57 FS 4-way teams were pickup or only a few weekends of training.
That being said, freeflying is most certainly not dead. Recently at my own dropzone we held a freefly skills camp and the turn out was so overwhelming we had to call in additional organizers and coaches.

Things go in cycles. I recall some seasons were everyone was freeflying and others where I had the choice of putting on my belly suit or doing a solo. The economic times aren’t helping matters either as freeflyers are often, but not always, a younger group more susceptible to things like swings in employment.

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freeflying is most certainly not dead.



I agree, it will never full die, but it is certainly dying and on the downward trend.

Here is a thought, belly flyers lose the resources to make their records any bigger, but their is no shortage of people. The head down records will only get big enough until there just aren't enough freeflyers to go bigger.
108 way head down world record!!!
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I agree, it will never full die, but it is certainly dying and on the downward trend.



As far as competition you might be right. Don't think I have enough data to say beyond that.

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Here is a thought, belly flyers lose the resources to make their records any bigger, but their is no shortage of people. The head down records will only get big enough until there just aren't enough freeflyers to go bigger.



There are definitely more fliers that could have been on the HD record this year that just didn't have the resources to go to Chicago. And from what I hear lift capacity was a limiting factor this past summer.

I'm curious as to why you (SimonBones) thinks this "downward trend" is happening? We can encourage people to compete to keep the discipline from being dropped, but that will only postpone the inevitable. That is unless the underlying problem gets addressed.

Look at skysurfing. It hung on a little while longer than it probably should have because people like Sean McCormick would enter at the last minute to keep the number of competitors above the threshold. While they should be commended for their efforts, in the end it didn't really help.
A lot more people still freefly than ever skysurfed, that lets me to believe its not a totally lost cause.

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Some observations from a die-hard FS competitor. (I can hold my own in a sit, but don't ask me to try and fly on my head unless i'm diving down to a 100-way)

1. I am not sure that judging the health of freeflying based on competition entries is going to give the best picture. As a matter of fact, i'm not entirely sure this is a "freeflying vs. belly" debate at all. This is a "competitor vs. non-competitor" discussion. Shit, we have the same arguments in the belly flying world. Those who are driven to improve and naturally gravitate toward competition vs. those who are content to do 3 flail jumps on a saturday and be done with it.

I'm not saying that belly fliers as a whole are more driven than freefliers, but you have to admit, the stereotype of the "dark side" exists for a reason. Many many freefliers i know are of the "go out and have fun on the weekend" mindset, and tend to shy away from the "driven to improve and compete" mindset. I mean, let's just take it easy, dude.... :P

2. Ok, at the risk of sounding like a wimp: freeflying is HARD. If i could draw a picture of the learning curves of freeflying vs. belly flying, the belly flying one would look like a gentle sand dune, and the freeflying one would look like, oh...i dunno....the cliffs at Brento, maybe. :P Once you get up into the national champion level in both, i think it tends to even out a bit, but climbing that cliff is daunting for a lot of new freefliers, i would bet.

ok, so the real question becomes, how can you guys and gals, the world-class, most experienced freefliers, lay some lead lines to help the new folks up that cliff? (gawd, i'm mixing metaphors. it's late!) From what i've observed and experienced in my journey (both in skydiving and in life just by observing people around me), i might offer some suggestions. Who knows, this stuff may exist...but the point is if it does, i, as an inexperienced freeflier (for the purposes of this discussion) have never heard of them.

First, I think 4-way belly does a great job of pulling in new folks not because it's easy, but because there's this amazing STRUCTURE in place out there in the FS world. People need and crave structure. Yes, i would venture to guess that even freefliers would benefit from it, especially those wanting to get better. ;) By structure, i mean there's kind of a standard path, and a standard way of doing things that pretty much every person, and consequently every team, follows.

This isn't the post to describe that all, but suffice it to say, I think you guys should STEAL it! USE the information that the belly flying teams have put out there to start establishing a path, a structure, for new freefliers to hang on to while they are learning. Trust me, a lot, probably the vast majority, of it is applicable to any discipline. Stuff like how to prep a skydive, how to debrief a skydive, how to visualize, etc. By the way, when i say "new freefliers" i don't necessarily mean those with 50 jumps. I mean those with the new mindset of wanting to improve to the point where they could compete or do world records, etc. I didn't find that mindset for 4-way FS until i already had about 500 jumps and could hold my own in a weekend zoo dive.

Another BIG part of this is name recognition. Obviously you can't MAKE people do anything, but I can tell you, without a doubt, there is no fucking WAY 4-way FS would be where it is today without Arizona Airspeed, DanBC, and a few other major names. It's not just that they won golds. it's that they won golds then went out and shared their knowledge with everyone else in a structured format that made 4-way accessible to everyone.

I guess what i mean is, freefliers need their own "Airspeed". A group of people who kick ass, then take the time and effort to disseminate their knowledge to the rest of us. Who are willing to take the lead in the freeflying world, hold camps, tunnel sessions, write articles, organize at boogies, coach, etc.

Ask yourself this: How many freefliers have heard of DanBC, or even Arizona Airspeed? Most of them, would be my guess.

Now flip it around. How many 4-way or belly fliers have heard of Jason Peters or Amy Chmelecki? (I don't count, i used to jump at SDAZ :P) My guess would be....not so many. Many of heard of Rook Nelson, but that's probably about it...and i'd say he's got his hands full, heh.

ok, it's late, i need sleep, just wanted to put down a few thoughts i had after coming home from nationals and reading this thread :)
Andi
Never meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!

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2008 Nationals VFS:
6 teams entered open class
10 teams entered advanced class

2009 Nationals VFS:
3 teams entered open class
3 teams entered advanced class



2008 Nationals held in Eloy : lots of seriously skilled local teams besides Arsenal (Drive, Dysfunction, Gabe & JDog's team [sorry can't remember their name]) entered

2009 nationals in Spaceland : how many local Spaceland VFS teams entered?

Eloy has a large concentration of the world's best flyers but most of them are working skydivers and can't afford to travel to compete.

I reckon hold an annual VFS money meet in Eloy, it'll overshadow the VFS nationals entirely.

Judging the state of freeflying by attendance at a national meet that moves around is not really fair. Fact is right now Eloy is the world capital of VFS.

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Simon.... I see the problem being that if I want to get good at 4 way belly then I can because I have people at my DZ that are really good and actually have a team that competes in 8 way. Any DZ around me has very good belly fliers. Can they take me to the national comp. level? Maybe but I promise that working on my skills with them would get me far enough to start working on the higher level skills through tunnel and coaching. As for freeflying.... there is not much around. I have just over 250 jumps and I am driven to be great at freeflying. I want to do VFS but from day one I started working with a coach. It is hard and I love that about freeflying but not many around can get me to a point in freeflying that I can make it cheap until I need to really get the higher skillset. In belly I could easily do that then start paying for coaching but would already be pretty damn good. I don't know if thats possible with freeflying. I have taken the step to spend the money this season and have 2 tunnel trips planned with my coach this winter. Can everyone do that? That's a lot of money and a lot of hard work from the start. I am not saying one is better than the other but I do know that I can crank out a decent number of good points on my belly but would I be able to do that in VFS... no freakin way. Bottom line... its more work in the beginning, not many people around locally to teach or mentor. So for someone like me to get to that level I have to really get out there and spend the money early on. I am blessed that I can do that but there are quite a few that just cannot do that. I think this makes some content with doing a zoo freefly dive or just campfire and cheese and if they want to compete they can do belly. I really do think its more work in the beginning and there are not many around to help advance someone like me. To get someone you gotta pay.

All that being said I hope to be at nationals in a season or two :)
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
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2008 Nationals VFS:
6 teams entered open class
10 teams entered advanced class

2009 Nationals VFS:
3 teams entered open class
3 teams entered advanced class



2008 Nationals held in Eloy : lots of seriously skilled local teams besides Arsenal (Drive, Dysfunction, Gabe & JDog's team [sorry can't remember their name]) entered

2009 nationals in Spaceland : how many local Spaceland VFS teams entered?

Eloy has a large concentration of the world's best flyers but most of them are working skydivers and can't afford to travel to compete.

I reckon hold an annual VFS money meet in Eloy, it'll overshadow the VFS nationals entirely.

Judging the state of freeflying by attendance at a national meet that moves around is not really fair. Fact is right now Eloy is the world capital of VFS.



Belly fliers come from all over to nationals. I even hear that there are some good belly fliers at Eloy. Your argument is not convincing.
...

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I agree, it will never full die, but it is certainly dying and on the downward trend.



As far as competition you might be right. Don't think I have enough data to say beyond that.

Quote


Here is a thought, belly flyers lose the resources to make their records any bigger, but their is no shortage of people. The head down records will only get big enough until there just aren't enough freeflyers to go bigger.



There are definitely more fliers that could have been on the HD record this year that just didn't have the resources to go to Chicago. And from what I hear lift capacity was a limiting factor this past summer.



There are lots of excellent belly fliers who don't have the resources to spend 3 weeks in Thailand with the World Team. Chicago is rather more accessible to the majority of the world's skydivers than is Thailand, and it's easier to take off 4 days than 3 weeks.
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The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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Maybe 4-way VFS is just too difficult for the weekend warrior.

How about an event corresponding to 10-way speed in FS? The good teams still win, but weekend warriors can compete without embarrassing themselves and have a lot of fun doing it.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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