This is a short series of articles that will help you break down and understand how 8-ways are built. While we are focusing on the formations in the competition pool, the skills and tools shown here are highly transferable to general formation skydiving.
8-way Basics: Finding your slot
8-way Basics: Finding your clone
8-way Basics: Finding the centers
8-way Basics: Build the center first
8-way Basics: In-facing strategy
8-way Basics: Staged setups
8-way Basics: Round formations
8-way Basics: Fall rate
8-way Basics: Shared keying
8-way Basics: Line between point and tail
8-way Basics: Block inters
I Think I’m a Clone Now
Hopefully, within your skydiving experience, you have been exposed to cross-referencing and looking at your clone. As a formation grows in size the concept becomes more important. Looking at your clone provides the information needed to match fall rate, anticipate where to move, see the key, and deal with any unexpected issues.
Luckily in 8-way finding your clone is a snap! The formations are frequently symmetrical and you are doing the same job. The clone pairs on a standard 8way are Point/Tail; Outside Front/Inside Rear; Outside Center/Inside Center; Outside Rear/Inside Rear. If you are in the center your clone will often be near you, contrasted with the outside flyers who may be far away.
Now for a formation! Check out this Diamond Flake. This formation is symmetrical, so notice how the clones are all doing the same job.
This formation tests a group’s ability to cross-reference. If the Outside Front(yellow) and Inside Rear(red) do not look across before looking out for their compressed grip, the center will not build correctly and the formation will probably burst apart. If the Point (green) and Tail (purple) do not look through the center at each other they will probably turn to the compressed too soon and will have difficulty maintaining their set up. The Inside Front (cyan) and Outside Rear(gray) are challenged with a cat grip which limits vision if they are not vigilant. If this pair spends too much time looking at their grips, they experience fall rate issues!
The solution is to keep looking at your clone. If you are not looking at your clone, bad things are gonna happen.
|Point and Tail can face into the center in a sidebody picture until the center Stairstep Diamond is complete.|