Sit to Head-Down Front Flip
Brought to you by AXIS Flight School Instructors Niklas Daniel at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Iveta Muravyeva. For more information visit axisflightschool.com or search “Axis Flight School” on Facebook.
- Learn a basic transition for the 2-way mixed formation skydiving dive pool
- Get an introduction to the half-eagle move
- Proficiency in the neutral sit-fly and head-down orientations (particularly the shelf position)
- Ability to perform sit-to-sit front flips slowly
- Proficiency at back-flying
Start in a comfortable, neutral sit-fly position while facing perpendicularly to the aircraft’s line of flight. Begin by slowly bringing your torso down by bringing your head between your knees with your chin toward your chest. Try to look at the horizon behind you through your legs. As you do so, keep your arms wide and behind you with your palms into the wind for stability.
Keep your legs bent at the knee and allow your legs to unfurl symmetrically. Your goal is to engage your hips by squeezing your seat at the moment your knees, hips and shoulders become vertically aligned. Getting your hips involved at the finish will stop you in the head-down orientation and prevent over-rotation and falling to your back.
Jumpers commonly make the mistake of keeping their arms wide as they arrive at the head-down position, causing an unwanted forward drive. To prevent this, bring your arms in front of your torso on the finish. Think of bringing your hands together in front of your torso with your elbows at shoulder width, and move your head back. The shelf leg position will be easier for you to transition into than the daffy position, as it allows your legs to stay symmetrical throughout the transition. (See “Foundations of Flight—Head-Down Variations,” March 2013 Parachutist.)
Maintaining a steady fall rate can be tricky when transitioning over the belly at freefly speeds. To prevent drastic level changes (corking), adjust your body-surface exposure to the relative wind: Keep your legs wide during the transition for a slower fall rate, and keep your legs narrow for a faster fall rate.