To tie in with the other transitions from your back to your belly and vice versa, the Back to Belly transition uses a different set of skills than the barrel roll moves and is slightly more challenging. It utilizes body movements important to Free Flying and will help you understand the correct use of the airflow on your body.
Before you begin to learn transitions between orientations you should be comfortable and balanced in each of the orientations themselves. To learn to do this transition, you should be stable and aware in both Belly flying and Back flying orientations. It’s not necessary, but ideal, if you are also comfortable Knee flying as well. Knowing how to Knee fly will help break down the transition and allow you to fly it much more smoothly.
o You should aim to fly this transition with as much control as possible.
o Try to imagine an arc of momentum to give you the time necessary to fly through the transition.
o Begin and end the technique on the same level.
o Try to avoid the natural tendency to lift your head as you begin the transition. Let the wind do the work for you.
In this transition, you want to imagine an arc of momentum. Knowing how to use this momentum will give you the time necessary to develop the correct body position. You should set up in the center of the tunnel, at roughly hip height of the Instructor, and aim to finish at the same level.
Technique and Drills
o Begin this transition by first going up slightly on your back. Creating this vertical energy is necessary to manage the momentum. Push your head back, arch your chest, push slightly on the back of your hands and arms, and begin to hook your legs under your body to create the rotation.
o As you pass through the vertical section of the transition, use the Knee flying position to break down the maneuver and fly it more smoothly.
o As you reach your belly, keep your arch and find your balance in the Belly flying orientation.
Post-flight questions / suggestions
· Were you able to remain stable as you moved between orientations?
· Did you start and finish the maneuver on the same level?
· Were you able to use the Knee fly technique to break down the transition?
· Did you keep your head back and allow the wind to push you through the technique?
Now that you have balance in Belly and Back-flying, and can make transitions safely between orientations, you can begin to learn one of the various low speed carving techniques along with learning the Belly-to-Back Front Flip transition.
What skill level is next?
There are many scenarios that would deem it necessary to learn this unique skill, most notably, if you are or are planning on being a belly fly coach, understanding this skill will be a great asset for your ability to work with your students, also as a new free flyer this skill is most often used to set yourself up inside the flight chamber to begin certain moves.