Knee flying is a skill that will be vital in your success in learning transitions over the feet and also for learning low speed head up out face carving. Mastering how to balance this position will be the foundation for some of the more advanced skills.
Before attempting to knee fly, it is idael that you're comfortable belly and back flying and have some experience transitioning between the two. There is a potential to lose stability and understanding how to control either of the positions will be important. It will also be beneficial for you to have good range of motion in both of these body positions, being able to fly one knee raised and one lowered, arms out to the side and close in a narrow position along with other motion areas deemed appropriate by your coach. These skills will help prepare you in learning how to knee fly.
Your objectives to properly fly this maneuver should be the following:
o Perform this maneuver initially on the net to get a good feel for the position and then increase the speed of the wind to fly approxiamtely chest height above the net
o Maintain positive arm pressure against the wind similar to an advanced belly flying position, this will help you control your heading and altitude
o A wide base with your knees spread and toes pointed outwards will help give you the necessary stability
You will begin learning this skill at low wind speeds to ensure proper form. You will set yourself up on your belly in the center of the tunnel and then, low to the net, bring both knees toward your chest, breaking at the waist. With your knees wide and toes pointed to the sides, you should land on the net on your knees. From here you'll become familiar with the correct arm position and how the pressure should feel. This position will almost feel like you're "hugging" a large ball. As you become comfortable, the Instructor will increase the speed of the wind in order to help raise you off the net.
Technique and Drills
To ensure a smooth, controlled knee flying position, use the following techniques:
o Start on the net, breaking at the hips with a slight cup/de-arch in your chest
o Keep your knees wide to provide a solid base and your feet opened up so that your toes are pointed outwards
o You should feel pressure on the wind like hugging a ball with your arms and upper chest
o Use a delicate balance of each piece of the position when moving in order to control yourself to remain in the center of the tunnel
Post-flight questions / suggestions
· Are you in the correct position at all times?
· Are you able to maintain balance when lifting off the net?
· Do you return to a belly flying position at any time during the flight?
· Can you control your heading and relative position inside the tunnel?
· What techniques do you think you could improve on during the next session?
What skill level is next?
Belly to Back Transition
To tie in with the other transitions from your back to your belly and vice versa, the Belly to Back transition uses a different set of skills than the barrel roll moves. While the flips are slightly more challenging than the barrel rolls, this skill will help you understand the correct use of the airflow on your body, an important aspect of learning to Free Fly.