We’re seeing a lot of people who want to also learn to do big carves in a wingsuit practice this with friends/groups. But for a lot of people its ‘learn to walk before you run’. Be careful, and take it slow!
Some important basics you need to master before progressing further.
You need to be able to fly relative to another person on your back.
And not just regulate sideways motion, but also level, and very important, forward, backward (relative) movement.
Complete control is what we’re looking for, flying a slot on your back with active dynamic adjustments, relative to another person from exit till separation time. Though tempting to move onto bigger things, this will be a basic level you need to attain before progressing onward.
It’s important to fully learn to ‘fly’ the transition. A lot of people ‘throw’ themselves on the back. You need to be able to control the transition front to back, and back to front. Fly next to another person, and transition to your back, as slow as possible. And maintain level. Transition slowly, in control and maintain proximity and level next to the other person the whole time.
The above two things are important basics, as these teach you the control you need to actually ‘fly’ around a person or (later) group. For a lot of people, their attempts at carving are steep dives, with a transition, and than trying to stay close to the group. Its important to realize, this is far removed from the actual basics you need to master to fly these smooth carves, in control, where you carry the speed of the downward motion up into the upward momentum to complete the revolution.
Try and focus on doing solo front to back and back to front transitions, and being aware, every step of the way, where you put each arm and leg. Always keep the body straight, never bend at the spine/waist. Don’t lead with the shoulders or chest. It should be the cleanest transition possible, with you being fully aware of every input you make. Never loosing control or using your weight to throw yourself over.
Once you’re able to do a smooth transition solo, you can (but don’t have to) add a single other person.
Important: This kind of practice, or any kind of thing on wingsuit jump where you combine the word ‘learning’ with ‘wingsuit jump’ it should never include the word ‘group’ as well. Practice NEVER goes beyond a two way, with another experienced wingsuit pilot.
Focus on making transitions slower and slow, until you can feel yourself flying them all the way through. Fully in control and aware where each arm and leg is.
Its not until you reach that point, that you should be making slightly larger moves. Where slightly larger means, flying a tight, 2 meter half circle as you transition from front to back. Smoothly flying the body the whole way through. Once you reach that level, its possible to go towards the next exercise. Which is still about 10 steps removed from having the awareness and skills to do this around a group of other people, where you possibly also have to avoid people mid-carve.
Though I love promoting acrobatic flying, I also want to severely urge people to be careful, and take baby steps.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. This stuff takes practice. And not a dozen jumps, but a couple of hundred jumps of methodical training to get it smooth, safe and perfect.
Keep flying, keep training, and most important, don’t forget to smile!
Text: Jarno Cordia – www.flylikebrick.com