Head Up Forward & Backward
Once you can control a neutral, stable head up position, you will understand the basics of how your body, while in the vertical orientation, can be affected with slight body pitch changes. This will mean that controlling forward and backward movement is not unusual at this stage. Learning to balance these inputs to demonstrate controlled and defined forward and backward movements, is described in this technique.
Prior to learning Sit-Fly forward and backward, you will need to have learned all of the required Belly-Flying and Back-Flying skills. You will also need to have a stable neutral Sit-Flying position prior to introducing movement while in this position.
While you are learning the neutral Sit-Fly position, your coach might also teach you how to transition from your Back-Fly to Sit-Fly and also from your Sit-Fly to your Back-Fly positions. Although not necessary, knowing these movements can be helpful when it comes time for you to learn forward and backward moves, as you have had practice controlling the upper surface of your back.
The primary objective is to be able to safely and successfully begin in a neutral Sit-Flying position off the net, move forward, stop and move backward, and stop, returning to neutral.
You will begin on one side of the tunnel, in your neutral Sit-Fly position, at a wind speed that will allow you to leave the net comfortably. Your back should be close to the wall, leaving the majority of the tunnel in front of you available for movement. Once you have completed your forward movement, you will want to stop on the opposite side of the tunnel, leaving space between you and the wall in front of you, then moving backward to return to your original position.
Technique and Drills
- From a neutral position, your lower body will remain neutral until you are comfortable and have shown proficiency with the movement
- Push your shoulders back, placing your upper back more into the airflow to produce drive
- Legs/knees stay shoulder-width apart
- Your arms will remain in a neutral position throughout
- Keep your head rotated back with your eyes looking forward
- To stop the forward drive, you will move your upper body forward past neutral, leaning your chest into the airflow to oppose the input, as you would to start a backward movement
- To increase the speed of the movement, push your heels down and slightly forward (to help create more of a wing) during the forward movement
- Begin in a neutral position, similar to the Forward. You will only use your upper body and keep your lower body neutral until you have learned the movement and are comfortable enough to introduce more power
- You will need to spread your knees slightly wider than shoulder-width apart in order to allow the airflow to meet your chest
- Lean your body forward, presenting your chest to the airflow
- Your arms will remain out in their neutral position to begin
- As you lean forward, you will need to rotate your head back slightly so that you can look forward and not down
- To stop the movement, you will push your upper body back past neutral, leaning your upper back in to the airflow, similar to beginning a forward movement
- To increase the speed of the movement once you have demonstrated the ability to do so, you can push your heels down and slightly backward, exposing the inside of your legs to the airflow (to help create more of a wing) during the backward movement
Post-flight questions / suggestions
- How did your performance match the initial objectives?
- Were you able to maintain stability throughout each movement without gaining or losing altitude, or changing heading?
- Are you ready to increase the speed of the movements by applying more advanced techniques?
- What can you work on to improve the movements or the stop?
As you become comfortable controlling yourself in a Sit Flying position, moving forward and backward, you will progress on to the next skill. While doing so, continue to challenge yourself on this maneuver, increasing wind speed where it is appropriate to do so, flying faster movements and stronger stops.