Foundations of Flight—Double Spock

Axis Flight LogoBrought to you by Niklas Daniel of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy with Arizona Arsenal’s Steve Curtis. Photos by Travis Mills.

The double spock is a competitive freefly maneuver found in the open-class compulsory dive pool. It consists of a head-down flyer and a head-up flyer facing one another and docking with a single hand on each other’s heads.


As with formation skydiving, the jumpers should not reach for grips. Rather, they should adjust headings, levels and proximity to get into the proper slots. To set up a successful dock with minimal reaching, each flyer should keep his head on level with his partner’s belly button and maintain eye contact throughout the maneuver.

The head-down flyer should take the first dock and should not be afraid of getting too close.

The sit-flyer should attempt to take the dock only when he feels that he will not compromise his stability by doing so. By flying predominantly with his legs, his arms will become more maneuverable. He should take the dock with his palm facing up and his elbow close to his torso. This causes his elbow to point straight down, which ensures a good shoulder and upper-back position.

Both docking jumpers should feel very little tension and should apply just enough pressure on the other jumper’s helmet to create stationary contact. Once the dock is in place, continue flying the formation for a few seconds to learn how it feels and reacts to inputs.

To further expand on the double-spock maneuver, the jumpers can increase the difficulty level by attempting to rotate the 2-way piece in a predetermined direction or by moving forward and backward across the sky. To take it another step further, the jumpers can attempt to flip the formation 180 degrees on the vertical axis, switching head-up and head-down positions.

Helpful Hints

The head-down flyer will want to pay close attention to his partner’s burble. He may find that he needs to position his legs differently to maintain lift as his partner docks.

The sit-flyer will need to maintain a fast fall rate. If the fall rate slows down or fluctuates, it will make it difficult for the head-down flyer to stay on level.




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