Cross Referencing: Formation Skydiving Secret to Success

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


You’ve been told you should look across. Someone has explained that you should “fly your slot.” But what does that mean? How?


Lining up with someone on the Other Side

To rock at formation skydiving, groups need to constantly meet in the middle and move most efficiently from shape to shape. Accomplish this by having every single flyer wait in a spot in the air that will result in a perfect formation.


To simplify the giant 3d puzzle of finding the exact center of four or more flyers, you can use your flyer on the opposite side of the formation to understand where to go to and wait.


If everyone is flying off their mirrored position (clone), everything will fit together like a puzzle piece. Just have the confidence to keep looking and waiting here and your grips will come to you!


In the examples below, the blue shaded flyers should use each other for their cross-referencing.

Copy of cross referene zig zag   Copy of cross reference star

There are instances where there is an odd number of skydivers in a formation or the formation is unsymmetrical.  In these cases, you can use a grip line to set up, or somebody close to this grip line.


Unsymmetrical Formations

The blue skydiver should use the grip point as his setup.  By setting off of this point, he will be aware of the light blue jumpers.


Copy of cross reference compressedCopy of cross references long openCopy of cross reference 5star Copy of cross referenece zipper

Obstructed View

Sometimes your clone is obscured by many bodies.  You should still make an effort to see that far across the formation – even if it is just a foot that you can see.  However, you can also use a closer person as a guide.

Copy of cross reference crank Copy of cross reference snowflake


Cross-referencing will help you fly in the right position, maintain levels, and be aware of important changes in your jumps.  Practice positioning yourself relative to the right person in a formation and increase your success.  This simple habit will have you rocking your jumps!



Want to cross-reference with a group? Tell me what you are looking to practice and I’ll arrange a group for the day or the whole season!


This is a summary of a previous article on



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In individual coaching, Christy has an expert eye for the most important thing to improve in your flying. When coaching a team, Christy emphasizes the basics and the repeated success of her teams shows how building from the basics leads to success.

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