Belly and back flares are considered three-dimensional maneuvers. Using moving momentum and body adjustments to adjust levels typically while carving. These moves are essential skills for the dynamic progression.
Before learning a belly or a back flare, you should be comfortable carving in either orientation at a wide range of speeds. Flying these techniques correctly requires a three-dimensional maneuver. The body position required to do these flares correctly is best developed at low speeds first.
Your objectives in mastering this skill should be the following:
· As mentioned previously flares are a three-dimensional maneuver; doing these correctly means that you must understand how to use your momentum to change levels inside the tunnel.
· The goal would be to begin a carving from a lower level in the tunnel, ascend to a higher level or the apex of the maneuver and then descend again, returning to the starting level to repeat the technique.
Technique and Drills
o Start with an in-face or back-carving low and on a consistent level in the tunnel. Begin to put your chin down to allow the airflow to pass more along your upper shoulders. This along with a change to a flatter pitch of your body will generate additional lift and drag causing you to ascend in the tunnel.
o As you reach the top or apex of the maneuver, put your chin up looking down in the center of the tunnel, and pitch your body vertical, eliminating as much drag as possible to create a dive while maintaining a carve.
o As you reach the bottom of the tunnel and the dive, put your chin down and repeat the technique to ascend again.
o Start by carving out-face or belly-carving low in the tunnel on a consistent level. Begin to push your hips forward and cup the air slightly with your arms and shoulders to create lift and drag causing you to ascend in the tunnel.
o As you reach the top or apex of the maneuver put your chin up looking down in the center of the tunnel, pitch your body vertical eliminating as much drag as possible to create a dive while maintaining a carve.
o As you reach the bottom of the tunnel repeat the technique to ascend again.
Post-flight questions / suggestions
- As you were performing the flares did you start and finish on the same level?
- Was each flare move conducted smoothly?
- Were you able to create consistency between the flares?
Once you can perform the flares with some control and consistency, you should begin switching directions in the flares. This technique is the same as switching carves but with flares in the middle.
What skill level is next?
A half-breaker involves performing a smooth half barrel roll from your belly to your back as you descend from a layout or an out-face carve movement. Depending on whether you peform a head up or head down half breaker, the goal of the transition is the same, the difference being how you are entering and exiting the half breaker maneuver.