(c) 1997 by Pat Works
vRW How To:
Started with Vertical RW (Freeflying)
dives for freeflyers
Newbees to the vRW modes benefit from mental
visualization and physical position-practice. The idea is
to save yourself time, money and embarrassment by dirt
dive practicing unconventional skydive
positions before trying them in the air. This discusses
that: how to get ready to get ready to get down!
A Basic Head-Down
The basic leg position practice the Romeo-position. To
get an idea of the mechanics, let's start in a
"normal" kneeling position: upright and
head-up. Later, we will imagine this same position
head-down, in the air. To take the basic leg position for
down right (head-down vRW) imagine Romeo on one knee; his
other leg out front. Specifically, Stand upright. Throw
one leg back behind you. The
toe and knee touch the ground. Ok? Now, flex the other
leg at the knee and let the thigh be parallel to the
ground. Just the sole of the foot is on the ground. The
spine is rather straight. To position the hands,
start with them outstreached in a "T" or
"jesus" position. Keeping the arms parallel to
the shoulders, drop the elbows down nearly to the waist.
Hold your hands as if you were supporting a basket ball
palm of each hand. Look earnest. Say loudly:
"But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and
Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and
kill the envious moon . . . "
If anyone happens by whilst you are sorting all of this
"With love's light wings did I o'er pearch these
walls; viva the
FreeFly Revolution! VIVA!!"
Still with me? Lost? Well, if you were in the military,
this "Romeo" position looks like the end point
of the Queen Ann Salute. In high school gym, the coaches
called it squat thrusts. Yes, this is similar to the
Hatha Yoga suryanamaskara position (Salute the Sun-4).
Ok? So, you are in this Romeo-position. Look in a mirror.
Imagine you are still in this position, but head-down.
The wind is storming up as you hang
there inverted in the air. Look Ma! I'm Olav! You are
actually suspended from both your front thigh-leg and
your the back of your rear-calf. Note that it is this
rear-thrust leg which provides forward
movement. To advance on a target press down HARD with the
rear ankle and calf. To retreat or slow down forward
horizontal movement, press with the front thigh whilst
relaxing the other leg. This is not
intuitive, so ground practice will eventually get your
brain to force the legs to cooperate. Give your self a
good mental image on the ground. Now your ready to try
What about the hands and arms? Stick 'em in a dark place.
Seriously, do NOT learn head-down vRW relying on the arms
and hands to maintain the position. In order to do
radical and awesome stuff you
have to have the hands free!
Solo Jumps: Playing with yourself
In order to break in to vertical freeflying, nearly
everyone has to make some solo jumps. Downright vRW is a
touchy-feely sort of position. Experiencing It is way
more important than intellectualizing it. The
crucial sensory inputs are subtle. Your learned flying
reflexes may not translate as expected. It is very
difficult to both apprehend the strange signals of
downright vertical RW and at the same time be aware of
or keep your eyes on, another flyer.
On the other hand, under the right conditions, many
people can do upright standups with out a lot of
preparation. Nevertheless, For both upright and downright
vRW, solo drills ere both effective and
entertaining. Here, some solo-dive drills have proven
effective in getting good sooner. Get up there and play
with yourself! To practice downright vRW, most of us just
go into the head down position right
out of the plane. No sense in preliminary awkward
flailing to get head-down: just relax and start out that
way. However, if you need to transition into or out of a
head down, use the Sit-Fly-stable position
(AKA vRW Stable. Avoid the urge to use your arms! By
using the legs and torso, the arms are free for other
more entertaining activities. Not use (much) arm? Yep.
Prove it to yourself. Look in a full length
mirror. Notice that relative to the size area of other
body parts such as the legs, hips, torso, shoulders,
head, and neck that the arms do not count for all that
Another Head-Down Position That Is
Easy To Learn:
Another position is visualized as hanging from the sky by
one foot, or foot-to-the-sun. Visualize yourself being
suspended from the center of the sky by one ankle. The
relative wind is blasting up at you as if
pushed by the earth. Thus suspended in the wind blast,
fine movement is can be accomplished using the free leg.
To advance, press the free leg into the wind behind you
by bending the knee. Keep the pelvis
thrust Forward! To retreat, press the shin of the free
leg in front of you. To understand this better stand in
front of a mirror. Pretend you are inverted/head down.
Imagine that one of your feet is nailed to the
ceiling; the other is free to move. Move the free leg.
Wave it around through its entire potential range of
motion. When it is in front of the fixed foot, you are
retreating; moving back t your rear, away from a
target to your front. When the free leg is behind the
fixed foot, you are advancing towards a target in front
of you. To advance faster, push harder against the
uprushing wind. Compared to the Romeo
position discussed above, this foot-to-the-sun position
has a fairly fast fall rate. (Good if you are a
Rev. 10/02/98 E-Mail me
if you dig this!