Head Up, Up & Down


You will have had some exposure to the feeling of lift and understanding how to manage your position to create lift when you were learning the neutral head up position. At slower wind speeds, you were increasing surface area to get the necessary lift off the net. Now it is time to fly at higher wind speeds to learn how to use the same inputs to gain altitude and how to descend, moving to pre-determined altitudes and remaining in control.

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Like other orientations, learning fall rate control (up and down) is a key component to being a well-rounded flyer. Being proficient at this skill allows you to be able to fly with many other different individuals of different sizes and weight. Prior to learning how to go up and down in the tunnel, it is preferred that you are proficient at your neutral and stable Sit-Flying position, able to control and maintain a heading as well as turn left and right, and are able to move forward and backward under control.


The primary objective is to be able to safely and successfully adjust your body position to be able to gain altitude (slow fall rate) and then re-adjust your position to move down again (fast fall rate), while maintaining a Sit Fly position. The goal is to be able to complete these moves while maintaining the same heading and also to make each move straight up and straight down without moving forward or backward.


You will enter the flight chamber in a Sit-Flying position, facing a direction that does not place a doorway either in front or behind you. Start in the center of the tunnel slightly above the net. How much altitude you gain once you start the maneuver will depend on the speed of the wind that you are most comfortable flying in while you are Sit-Flying. Discuss with your instructor the speed of the wind that you are flying at and what to expect.

Post-flight questions / suggestions

  • How did your performance match the initial objectives?
  • Were you able to maintain stability performing both the Up and Down moves? Was one direction easier than the other to learn?
  • What techniques did you feel comfortable with and what can you improve on during the next session?


As you become comfortable controlling yourself in a Sit-Flying position, moving up and down, 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 and begin flying fast movements and stronger stops. 

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The IBA distinguishes between the sport of indoor skydiving (engaged in by patrons with IBA accounts seeking approval of flight skills though the IBA’s Flight Progression System) and recreational flying (engaged in by entertainment customers who do not intend to pursue approval of skills). While indoor skydiving is safe for all ages, the inherent risk of the activity is necessarily greater for those engaging in the sport of indoor skydiving, particularly as they progress through more sophisticated maneuvers.