The Magic of the Point/Tail Line

Monday, November 9, 2020

Chris Farina creeps a springbok with his Fury 8-way team

Ever watch a team creep and wonder how they know where to move for the billions of different combinations? Read on for the magic trick!

Magic Line Trick

To understand the most efficient move between two formations, mentally craft an imaginary line between the centers of the Point and the Tail. By seeing this path, you can correctly move between any two given formations. Once you have this line, adhere to the rules listed here, and you will seem like an engineering genius.

Point is red, Tail is yellow. The purple line is the line between their centerpoints.
Point is red, Tail is yellow. The purple line is the line between their centerpoints.

How to see this “invisible” line

You can see this line by visualizing it, looking at diagrams, drawing it on a screen, using paper dolls, or by creeping with your team. No matter how you are attempting to see the magic line, impose that make-believe string between the point and tail in the first formation.

Super cheater hint: You can set up on a straight-line crack in the creeper pad to literally see it. Or get some tape and make a line!

 

 

Rule 1: Pont and tail can slide

The first rule is that the Point and Tail can slide along the line. Their belly buttons never move off this line, but they can move toward and away from each other all they want. By doing this they can go from long formations to short formations while creating the perfect amount of space for the centers.

The point and tail can move farther/closer together along the line.
The point and tail can move farther/closer together along the line.

Rule 2: Point and tail can rotate

The second rule is that the Point and Tail can rotate. Their center point remains on the line, but they can turn any direction between formations.

The point and tail can rotate with their centers on the line.
The point and tail can rotate with their centers on the line.

 

WRONG! The point and tail can not leave the line.
WRONG! The point and tail can not leave the line.

Rule 3: Centers fit the middle

Now that the two outside flyers have moved to the next shape while staying on their line, the two centers fill the gap in between with any amount of rotation and translation required. This movement all happens at the same time with practice and results in super-efficient movements.

Continuity Secret

Most continuities have a crosshair in the background. This symbol can help you apply the magic trick! Check out the star and the sidebody in the continuity shots below.

Point is red, Tail is yellow. The purple line is the line between their centerpoints.
Point is red, Tail is yellow. The purple line is the line between their centerpoints.
P-Sidebody

Notice how the line stays through the red and yellow center points? That is the line between the point and tail!

By imagining this helpful line while prepping and flying, you can always nail the most efficient build. Happy creeping and happy jumping!

 

Looking for a coach who can help your group take a deep dive into engineering? Contact Christy about team coaching options at Skydive Perris, Skydive Elsinore, Skydive Chicago, Skydive Sebastian, or your home DZ!

 

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