Headed to a big way camp or event? Nervous about your performance?
Even if this is a beginner’s camp, you want to arrive with the flying tools you need to have a successful and stress-free event. Here are the skills you can focus on before you make jump one.
Fall rate range
Learn to fall faster and slower! Increasing your range will allow you to fly in more slots, stop more effectively, and recover from mistakes quickly. The tunnel is the best tool to perfect your body position.
Also, learn to feel when the fall rate is too fast or too slow for you. Being sensitive to when you need weights or a slow-fall suit will help you make fall rate decisions before the organizer notices your problem.
You can’t dive in a tunnel so aim to get some air time. Diving downward and forward at different angles is how you will approach your radial and stadium picture. You don’t need a group for his; two people can create horizontal and vertical distance to master this skill. Increase the space and vary the angles as you become more comfortable with your approach.
Crush the fundamentals
The basics matter in all formation skydiving, they matter in big ways more. In a 4-way, you practice looking, stopping, and docking many times each jump. If you mess up in a small group, it is easy to recover and resume your jump. In a big way you might only get one shot to demonstrate discipline. The consequences of failing the basics in a big way are an entirely failed formation.
Practice your discipline by always looking at your clone, stopping rigidly in your slot, and docking on level correctly in every skydive.
Track for your life!
In 4-way, the excitement stops at 4500’. In big ways, the adventure is just beginning.
Tracking is critical for splitting large groups of people up. Organizers watch for inadequate trackers strictly because of the safety repercussions for failing.
Learn to track “flat” – at an angle that falls slowly and moves forward quickly. Heighten your awareness of other people as you break-off. Eventually, you will need to learn to track in a team – which involves being able to control the speed and descent rate accurately.
Big ways tend to pull lower than smaller group jumps. A lower deployment allows people to have more time to get clearance from other skydivers. You may also need to problem solve on breakoff to avoid others, which may force you to pull a little lower.
This reduced altitude means you have less time to decide to cutaway in an emergency. Know your emergency procedures in and out so you can be sharp if something goes amiss.
Think your home landing area gets busy? Just wait…
You wouldn’t think canopy skills would enter into a formation skydiving event, but they are essential. Especially If you are from a smaller dropzone, having dozens of others in the air can be a shock. You might also be traveling to a new dropzone with unfamiliar landmarks and hazards.
Flying safely in crowded airspace, choosing a safe landing spot no matter what, accurately flying where you intend, and uneventfully landing will keep you safer during a big way attempt.
Hone your fall rate range, diving, tracking, emergency procedures, and canopy skills at your home before you visit for an event. Don’t miss any opportunity to have a fun, exciting, and stress-free big way camp!
If you are looking to get some wind tunnel time before your event, check out a Fury Lab!