How to Do Belly Flying Leg Turns

#TipTuesday: How to Do Belly Flying Leg Turns

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

With Andrew Happick

Welcome back to Skydive Paraclete XP’s #TipTuesday! Our educational tutorials are for most levels and disciplines of tunnel flyers to hone in their skills as they learn to perfect their flight in the wind tunnel. Stay tuned, as each month we will introduce a new tip from various instructors in different disciplines. This month, Andrew Happick, a national champion from the SDC Rhythm XP, demonstrates how to perfect leg turns using your knees from a belly-to-earth orientation.

* Note: please confer with your tunnel instructor before trying any new skills; they will provide tailored instruction because each flyer is unique and all tutorials and skills may not be suitable for each flyer.

The Set-Up

First, approach the chamber door and pause. Then, with bent knees and a little forward momentum, enter the column of wind onto your stomach, in an arched position and your arms and legs symmetrical, so you are in a stable, belly-down position. Once you have control, then you can begin your leg turn drills.

  • Approach door, pause
  • Enter wind tunnel in a belly-down orientation
  • Maintain control in the belly orientation before beginning leg turn drills

How to do Belly-Leg Turns

It’s straightforward to remember which leg does what during leg turns. However, visualizing and practicing before you enter the chamber will help you maximize training time in the wind tunnel. Here’s how to do a belly orientation leg turn:

  • Put your knee down in the desired turning direction, so that it exposes inside of thigh and bootie (the bottom portion of jumpsuit that covers that shin down to foot) into the wind
  • Knee position should be slow and concise, only moving it slowly until you feel the turn begin

Center-Point Turn: a center point turn is one in which a flyer moves their body so as to take up little space, staying in the same column of air

  • To make a Center-Point Turn: in a controlled fashion, throughout the leg turn, switch places with your head and feet

To stop the turn, simply return the knee and legs into the neutral position.

It is easy to have wiggly legs or too powerful of leg input – especially with performance jumpsuits. Since our legs are the biggest surface area, they control much of our movement. If we want to maintain control, we must be in a good body position to start and move intentionally and smoothly as you make small adjustments with the various leg positions.

Benefits of This Drill

This drill allows you to fly in a controlled and efficient manner, taking up little space in the wind column. Essentially, efficient moves like this will allow space for other flyers in the tunnel, allowing you to create formations. This is great training for those interested in 4-Way FS, 8-Way FS or just becoming proficient in their belly orientation or formation skydiving skills.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to indoor skydive, be sure to check us out and book a flight today!

Young boy smiles while flying in the tunnel at the Paraclete XP youth league.

I was also shocked to see children, barely old enough to go to school, doing great in the wind tunnel! When the instructors take a minute to show off, you’ll be amazed.

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