Published: July 17, 2017
How To Sit Fly Skydiving
How do you sit-fly in skydiving? It's a simple, two-step process:
Pull up an airchair.
Just kidding. Sit-flying is actually pretty difficult for skydivers new to the freeflying skydiving discipline. The mechanics of the sitting head-up orientation are a tricky business, so we've put this little guide together to give you some material to think about while you're getting those all-important coach jumps.
Make sure you're rocking the right skydiving gear.
Not every skydiving container in the sky is ready to be hauled out for a sit-down. The higher speeds of freefall in this configuration compared to the slower fall rates of belly jumping make it necessary to check that your container won't shake its parachutes loose in the sky. Scary prospect, huh? To prevent this jangling eventuality, read up on how to make sure your skydiving rig is freefly-friendly before you jump it.
Leave your belly skydiving behind.
Before you learn to sit fly skydiving, learn to fly on your back (back fly) with stability and confidence. That will serve you enormously well in the mission to sit fly, as the best way to get into the position is from your back. The fall rate is a better match, and the back-to-sit transition will help you avoid that age-old trip-up of wannabe sit-flyers: doing a frontways crunch during which you're looking to check to see if your feet and legs are in the correct position. (Pro tip: That don't work so good.) The trick is going to be to increase the surface area of your back and arms as you decrease the surface area of your lower body while driving your heels straight down. Writing about it doesn't help much; it's hard, it takes practice and you're going to have to feel it out for yourself. Tunnel time helps a lot.
Get the lines right.
Once you're in the sit, you can start to dial it in. There are a lot of straight geometric lines in a solid sit fly that you can think about: parallel feet; shins either 90* to the earth or knees turned slightly (but perfectly symmetrically) inward in order to get a little bit of pressure on the insides of the lower legs; knees evenly as wide as the shoulders; 90-degree bend at the hips; vertical spine.
Easy on the arms.
You can easily recognize someone new to the sit flying discipline. Y'know how? Arms, arms, arms. These guys use their arms for everything: turning, levels, and most especially in doing that awkward monkey-reach for docks. Solid sit-flyers let their arms take a backseat to the action, keeping them relaxed and bent 90* at the elbow, doing the work of the jump with the legs and back. From that relaxed position, it's a lot easier to move with the upper back and keep the "grapefruit under your chin" that your coach is probably going to go on and on about.
Practice, practice, practice.
Did we mention that this is challenging stuff? It is. Doing some time in the tunnel will help you in that initial uphill battle to find and maintain the configuration, and coaching will help you iron out the details. Don't give up! Every gnar-shredder on the planet was once baffled by how to sit fly, so you're in excellent company.
...would go back again
» Bonnie M.