Float above the world with a canopy course!
So you can now solo skydive, but before you start diving into the world of free flying how about taking some time to have a closer look at the rectangular shaped material that hangs above your head and gets you safely to the ground. Learning how to fly your canopy – and fly it well – is just as important as pulling the pilot chute in the first place.
Why is it so important?
It gets you home safely, silly! Yes, you learnt the landing patterns during your AFF and you take the time before every jump to source out the direction the wind is coming from, but how well can you really fly your canopy? If you were to open fairly low and happened to land a fair distance from your holding area, are your skills honed enough to be able to make that pattern back to your planned landing or would you have to re-strategise your track? Canopy courses can provide you with the knowledge and confidence you need in this sport.
Okay, so where can I learn this?
A canopy course is held here at Skydive Oz by our world renowned Jules McConnel. Jules has had thousands of jumps, which in turn means thousands of canopy rides that got her safely back home, so you’re in great hands. With many courses held throughout the year you can learn many different things. Once you master the basics during a series of in-flight exercises to show how inputs affect the canopy flight path you can then start looking at some canopy formation courses.
What exactly am I learning?
That’s entirely up to you! When you arrive you’ll discuss what skills you want to work on whether that be the focusing of consistent landings, harness turns or becoming a better swooper. These courses are for students, novices and instructors – you can never stop learning! You’ll provide your instructor with information on your canopy and your wing loading will be calculated (which will then turn into knowledge about how different canopies and different wing loadings can affect your flight).
Newbies, bet you’re already scratching your head at all these terms, but this is why we have these courses! In some courses Jules can be in radio contact with you after your hop ‘n’ pop and will be giving you some instructions as she plays with your canopy, creating burbles and disruptions whilst teaching you what’s happening, why and how to overcome the situation.
During these hop ‘n’ pops you can also play around with your openings and see how softly your canopy will flutter open at a sub terminal speed in comparison to a 6-second terminal speed opening. These soft openings will let you see the different cells opening and how it works. So openings are also something to discuss with your instructor should you attend.
I can touch another persons canopy?!
Yes! Of course you can and Jules is a master of canopy formations. She brings some special CRW canopies that are available to hire for these events. Thorough dirt diving is carried out and video debriefing of every jump. Each event has a limited number of attendees so you know that you will have the ultimate experience with complete undivided focus from her that you need.
So, why not enjoy that view a little longer! Or create the view in an 8-way stack. A canopy course is definitely a good investment, the confidence it can provide you is unbelievable! Which is an important aspect one needs to have in this sport. Your attitude will affect your every jump so if you’re able to attain it, why not? And you’ll also have fun doing so.
** Food for thought**
The secret of flight is this – you have to do it immediately, before your body realises it is defying the laws.
Hope to see you in the skies,
Emma Jane Warrender
Licensed Skydiver/ wind tunnel guru/ lover of words
P.s. I hope I’ve answered some of your questions, if you wish to live the experience that is skydiving you can book online now, give us a call on 1300 180 185 or keep an eye on what’s happening by following us on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter 🙂