To tie in with the other transitions from your back to your belly and vice versa, the Belly to Back Back Flip 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.
Before you begin to learn transitions between orientations you should be comfortable and balanced in each of the orientations. To learn to 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.
· You should aim to fly this transition with as much control as possible.
· Try to imagine an arc of momentum to give you the time necessary to fly through the transition.
· Begin and end the technique on the same level.
With 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, roughly hip height of the instructor, and aim to finish at the same level.
Technique and Drills
o Initiate this transition by first going straight up slightly on your belly. Then begin to make the transition from Belly to Knee Fly at the apex of the maneuver. Use the deflection of your arms to start to move backward. As you pass through Knee Flying onto your back, assume a good Back Fly posture and be sure not to release your legs.
o Once you have begun to build some awareness with this transition you can begin to use more and more of the tunnel. The end goal is to be able to fly full transitions using the entire width of the tunnel.
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?
Once you become comfortable with the Belly-to-Back, Back Flip skill and you are proficient at using the whole tunnel to complete the maneuver, you will progress on to the next skill, the Back-to-Belly Front Flip. This skill is essentially the same transition in reverse.
What skill level is next?
The full Barrel Roll maneuver incorporates the techniques mastered from learning the 1/2 barrel roll transitions. Combining the two skill sets will allow you to safely understand the correct control methods to performing the full barrel roll. This skill is an important step in your progression, especially if you wish to explore the Dynamic flight progression.