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i feel like freefly is dead. What is your perception?

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I grew up in the infant stages of freefly, when I was going thru AFF hardly anyone knew what it was much less could even do it.

In the next few years many people on my home dropzone were very efficient freeflyers, we were closing 8 ways and there were many freefly teams in Texas.

I can't figure out what has happened to our discipline.

Over the last 5 years I have watched an aggresive decline in freeflyer skills, I have been to several dropzone and foundit very hard to even get a 3 way to close, much less do multiple points.

I was curious if this is happening anywhere else other than Central Texas. Years ago Texas had one of the largest presence at Nationals in freefly and had some of the largest headdown state records across the nation.



-- The ability of people to skydive is affected by the economy and the economy is not doing very well.

-- FF has always had a higher barrier to entry than belly flying (it takes more practice to FF and it's harder to find jump partners generally).

The combination of these two things is creating the effect you're seeing.

That said, we should realize that FF will always be a niche discipline within skydiving.

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I will have to 100% disagree with you. When the Austin area freeflyers were doing 8 ways 10 years ago, we were doing it out of twin bonanzas and wearing used gear.
4 out of 5 newbies I see on the dropzone have $6000 rigs and $700 jumpsuits on, with not one but multiple cameras and doing zoo loads from 1 million dollar twin otters.

Do you know how hard it is to take someone serious with a troll profile?

I can't take someone serious when I am not even sure if they know what they are talking about.

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from what I see Freefly (artistic) is on the down turn, everyone seems to want to do VRWs way, which is kind of disappointing because Ive been trying for years to get decent at freefly and every MoFo wants to hold hand and dosie doe.>:(

Fuckers:D:D:D
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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I think that freeflying has progressed so quickly and is so advanced now that there are fewer new people doing it. I used to be one of those, "hey lets throw a 4 way out of a plane and play head down" people, but now there are only two kind of groups, the random ill try to sitfly without corking group, and the lets turn 11 points with transitions and docking groups who spend $10k a year in the tunnel. I dont really fit in with either of those groups, so ill stick to my wingsuit.

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Glad you came to the conclusion you did, it's amazing how much difference it makes to have someone organizing at a DZ in terms of development of jumpers and having the kind of skill you're looking for. I know at the Ranch we used to have some seriously good belly organizing which meant we had a pretty good skill level all around for doing belly ways, once that stopped, the general skill level dropped off. The same happened with FF, we had (and still have) organizing going on and some friendly competitions which brought the general level up to the point where you could actually get some fun and productive skydives in.

The energy comes from people on the DZ investing in other skydivers and (usually) requires some support from the DZO/DZM. I know for me, being a relatively experienced skydiver, I'm always looking at the people who are better than me (there are a lot of them ;-) ) and forget that I can be helpful to others.

With the tunnel just opening in Austin, I can't imagine that you'll be short of skilled FF people for long.

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Glad you came to the conclusion you did, it's amazing how much difference it makes to have someone organizing at a DZ in terms of development of jumpers and having the kind of skill you're looking for. I know at the Ranch we used to have some seriously good belly organizing which meant we had a pretty good skill level all around for doing belly ways, once that stopped, the general skill level dropped off. The same happened with FF, we had (and still have) organizing going on and some friendly competitions which brought the general level up to the point where you could actually get some fun and productive skydives in.

The energy comes from people on the DZ investing in other skydivers and (usually) requires some support from the DZO/DZM. I know for me, being a relatively experienced skydiver, I'm always looking at the people who are better than me (there are a lot of them ;-) ) and forget that I can be helpful to others.

With the tunnel just opening in Austin, I can't imagine that you'll be short of skilled FF people for long.



Very well said. Although I think all the tunnel flyers go to the other dropzone. Can't do much about changing their mind.

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I think that freeflying has progressed so quickly and is so advanced now that there are fewer new people doing it. I used to be one of those, "hey lets throw a 4 way out of a plane and play head down" people, but now there are only two kind of groups, the random ill try to sitfly without corking group, and the lets turn 11 points with transitions and docking groups who spend $10k a year in the tunnel. I dont really fit in with either of those groups, so ill stick to my wingsuit.



same thing happened to belly and it's what drove the informal type to Freeflying. Now they are being driven to wing suits. (The "next thing" in the sport attracts two types of people: the cutting edge skilled limit breakers; and the slackers that want to set low expectations for themselves. Though everyone 'thinks' they are in the first group....; ). you need both types, though, for it to stick long term.)

As in belly - FF scene is already settling down and the serious skilled jumpers and the 'fun' skilled and not-so-skilled jumpers are finding their like minded buddies to play with. It's not dead by any means, multi-orientation jumping is the new norm and it's great fun to jump with people that can fly belly/back/upright/headdown.

...
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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One dz that I know, killed freeflying program by killing swooping.



freefall discipline has zero to do with canopy choice. The DZ probably just killed fun.

although, just the other day, I did see a newbie in a freefall suit was sent back to the hanger to trade out his Sabre 190 for Velo 79. They told him to change his suit or change his canopy - for the sake of the image of the discipline. Then they duct taped a Go-Pro to his forehead just to make the point. :S

...
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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I know exactly what you mean and agree with you. However I think that good freeflying is occurring in pockets where some committed folks are making it happen.

Sebastian, Chicago, Eloy, Perris / Elsinore, Bay Area, Dallas all seem to have a strong presence and all have DZ backed Organizers.

I think its alive and well at DZ's that are supporting it with LO's.

I know Raeford is much like you are experiencing in Austin. A Ton of talented Freeflyers / Tunnel Rats that rarely jump. Its maddening., for me to have to travel to get in any advanced level of flying.

The discipline is also getting a bit elitist and full of ego's. Go to any of the records / camps and you can see the big cock contests live. I think folks are so focused on perfection and execution that it has taken the fun out of it. Me personally, I'm ready to just walk away. It aint as fun as it used to be.

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folks are so focused on perfection and execution that it has taken the fun out of it



Sounds like 4-way, no?

It was inevitable that it would go that way from day one of the first freefly comp. Before that it was an 'alternative' to the rigid structure of RW, and quite frankly, almost nobody was good enough to really build too much structure into the jumps anyway.

Once it went 'mainstream', you were bound to pick up more of those type-A personalities who would bring the competitive mentality of RW into freefly. On the one hand, that (and VRW) has launched the skill levels into the stratosphere, which I guess is good. On the other hand, by pushing the top up to where it is, most people at anything less that all want to be at the new 'top'.

I've got no time in my life for tunnel camps, record attempts or competitions, so I'm strictly a 'fun' jumper. Truth is, with freefly, you can really have 'fun' just jumping with newbie/low time freeflyers. Unlike doing RW with newbies where you sort of sit there and wait for them, you can throw a couple tansitions or whip a quick orbit while they get stable and ready for a grip (or not). It's fun for everyone, and it's an easy jump to work into a day of shooting tandem vids or whatever. You don't need a ton of dirt diving or debriefing, and if you can only make one jump with them, it's just as fun as doing the same thing all day.

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there is a split between the people who learn and progress in the tunnel and those who only skydive.

There is also a huge discrepency between the number of people who can freefly and do those 8 way jumps you were taling about and the number of people who have those skills and are willing to jump with the noobs and bring them along step by step.

To an extent its understandable, people spend a lot of money in the tunnel so that they can go on these more complicated freefly jumps and they dont want to invest more time with the noobs but it is leading to this big skill gap.

In my experience experienced belly flyers are a lot more welcoming and helpful to inexperienced belly flyers than experienced free flyers are to inexperienced freeflyers.

edited to add; it seems like to the belly flyers a free slot is good enough reward to organise and jump with the noobs but that the freeflyers dont feel the same.

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We have a free fly LO every day. We host free fly skills camps every so often. We only charge $20 per day per participant for the coach and we provide a video slot free of charge. We also have a 90 degree only rule under canopy. Some of the best freeflyers in the world jump with us most weekends.

Come visit:)Tsunami Skydivers

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We have a free fly LO every day. We host free fly skills camps every so often. We only charge $20 per day per participant for the coach and we provide a video slot free of charge. We also have a 90 degree only rule under canopy. Some of the best freeflyers in the world jump with us most weekends.

Come visit:)Tsunami Skydivers

I dont have time to visit this coming trip in April but you better put on a good spread for me in December Rich ;):ph34r::ph34r:
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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well that is because your dz offers only ocean view in so-cal and much cooler temperature during summer time vs Perris and Snore.

If there was another dz right next door to you and they let people to do big turn, you will lose most of the big time freeflyers.

I remember when Perris first stopped big turns anywhere on the dz. All the cool kids went to next door.
Perris did have significant number of freeflyers and now what?? All they have is older crowd flying big ass boats.

Canopy flight doesn't have to do with anything with free flying????

Count how many freeflyer with over 1000 jumps that are still flying Sp 190 or Sa 190???

Count how many bellyflyer with over 1000 jumps that are flying Ve 90 or Vx 90??
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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We had a packed house of world class freeflyers in freezing cold December.

A lot of jumpers like our DZ because of the rocketship to 13K, less canopies in the air, $20 jump weekends and a defined pattern for canopies and fun, skilled LO's.

The really cool kids still pull off "blind mans" and some pretty nice swoops doing 90's.

I'm an old guy on a 120, does that count?:P

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Central and South Texas Freefly is growing like crazy. It was before the Austin tunnel and is even growing faster now with the tunnel.
San Marcos is where it's happening so if you're not there you probably won't see it. I can think of more than a dozen good flying regulars and another 15 less experienced that are sit flying well and on their way to head down flying. Just 2 years ago there were maybe a total of about 5 altogether. I call that growing big time.

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I grew up in the infant stages of freefly, when I was going thru AFF hardly anyone knew what it was much less could even do it.

In the next few years many people on my home dropzone were very efficient freeflyers, we were closing 8 ways and there were many freefly teams in Texas.

I can't figure out what has happened to our discipline.

Over the last 5 years I have watched an aggresive decline in freeflyer skills, I have been to several dropzone and foundit very hard to even get a 3 way to close, much less do multiple points.

I was curious if this is happening anywhere else other than Central Texas. Years ago Texas had one of the largest presence at Nationals in freefly and had some of the largest headdown state records across the nation.

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Well Greg, I would probably take you up on your offer to come see what has been happening at San Marcos but I don't own and will never own an AAD, so that will never happen. That along with several other reasons that don't need to be public.
From all of my watching and listening it just seems that it is my time to step out of the freefly scene. It was an amazing adventure and will still enjoy my occasional jump. For me it just is not as fun as it used to be.

Thank you for everyones input. It was very educational.




Quote

Central and South Texas Freefly is growing like crazy. It was before the Austin tunnel and is even growing faster now with the tunnel.
San Marcos is where it's happening so if you're not there you probably won't see it. I can think of more than a dozen good flying regulars and another 15 less experienced that are sit flying well and on their way to head down flying. Just 2 years ago there were maybe a total of about 5 altogether. I call that growing big time.

Quote

I grew up in the infant stages of freefly, when I was going thru AFF hardly anyone knew what it was much less could even do it.

In the next few years many people on my home dropzone were very efficient freeflyers, we were closing 8 ways and there were many freefly teams in Texas.

I can't figure out what has happened to our discipline.

Over the last 5 years I have watched an aggresive decline in freeflyer skills, I have been to several dropzone and foundit very hard to even get a 3 way to close, much less do multiple points.

I was curious if this is happening anywhere else other than Central Texas. Years ago Texas had one of the largest presence at Nationals in freefly and had some of the largest headdown state records across the nation.



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I'm thinking maybe it's in your area. Here in Dubai there are some incredible free flyers. Some of the best. It's definitely alive and well here. It's my preferred discipline as well and I would argue that it's sometimes more challenging to find a 4 way belly than a group that wants to do some free flying. I'm even seeing very experienced flat flyers popping up at the tunnel now to learn free fly techniques. That's just my perspective from my little bubble over here.

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WOW! What a read-trip! The thread is like having the wheel of Karma roll right by your window as part of a parade of times, feelings and events that cycle around us.

Interesting read! I started in '93 and never finished getting there. Being here I watch what tomorrow will bring.

Rock on. It is a long way to any horizon.

!Viva! FreeFly! !Viva the revolution!
Pat Works nee Madden Travis Works, Jr .B1575, C1798, D1813, Star Crest Solo#1, USPA#189,

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