Back Fly Turns


As part of mastering the basics of back flying, understanding and being controlled while turning is a key element. You will use this skill every time you are back flying in order to maintain a heading and to control turns and maneuver yourself when flying with a partner. The techniques described here will outline what is necessary to be successful at turning on your back.

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In order to begin learning back-flying left and right turns, you must be proficient in the neutral back-fly position. “Proficient” means that you can fly the neutral back-fly position in a controlled and stable way and you can control both forward and backward movement.


The primary objective is to be able to safely and successfully control both left turns and right turns and to be able to stop the turns on a pre-designated heading.


At the beginning, you will start on the net to demonstrate the correct neutral body position. Following the neutral position, you’ll adjust your body position to start a turn in a specific direction. Then once you’ve completed the rotation, you will adjust your position to stop the turn. You’ll practice this on the net, rotating in both directions. Then we’ll increase the wind speed, allowing you to perform the same skill off the net.

Post-flight questions / suggestions

  • How did your performance match your initial objectives?
  • Were you able to maintain control throughout each turn? Were you able to stop with control on the correct heading?
  • What techniques did you feel comfortable with and what can you improve on during the next session?
  • Increase the difficulty level from beginner to intermediate or from intermediate to advance.
  • Try multiple turns in succession – e.g. 90º left, 90º right, 90º right, 90º left.


Once you are able to turn left and right with control and you are able to stop on heading with control every time, the next step in the progression is to learn back-flying up and down movements (fall rate).