Half Breakers

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Description

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.

Pre-requisites

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.

Being comfortable with the following skills will be important to the success of completing the half breaker maneuver:

  • In-face and Out-face carving head-down
  • In-face and Out-face carving head up
  • Basic half and full barrel roll transitions
  • Flying back layouts

Objectives

Your objectives to fly a smooth half-breaker should be the following:

o   The half breaker should take place as you cross the half-way point across the tunnel.

o   As you prepare to perform the maneuver, make sure you direct your head towards the center of the tunnel by slightly carving alongside the wall as you descend from the back layout.

o   Avoid performing what looks more like a bottom loop by returning briefly to a head-up orientation. You want to make sure you stay in a belly orientation as you bring your trailing arm across and in front of you to perform the roll before returning to a head-down carve.

Preparation

For the head down half breaker, you will  begin by performing a back-layout. As you descend back to your belly, begin to rotate in order to point your head towards the center of the tunnel. As you approach the half-way point across the tunnel, begin to bring your trailing arm across your body and out in front of you to perform the roll to your back. As soon as you find yourself ending the roll, transition back to a head-down carve.

To initiate a head-up half breaker, you will usually begin from an out-facing carve while head-up and then begin the descent feet first down in the to the maneuver. As you approach the center of the tunnel, continuing the carving rotation and laying down toward your belly, bring your trailing arm across your body to perform a belly to back barrel roll. As you approach your back and continuing to use the rotating momentum, form a good head-up carving body position, raise up and continue a smooth motion.

Technique and Drills

Basic

For a smooth half-breaker, make sure to follow this technique:

Head-down:

  • Make sure you are facing the center of the tunnel as you prepare to perform the breaker.
  • Keep your hips out and your chin up as you perform the roll.
  • Bring you trailing arm across your body and out in front of you to initiate the barrel roll to your back.
  • Keep your hips out as you end the breaker to “pop up” back into a head-down orientation and follow with a carve.

Head-up:

  • Make sure your feet are toward the center of the tunnel as you prepare to perform the breaker.
  • Keep your chin up and arch your hips are you roll.
  • Move your trailing arm across your body to become your lead arm once the breaker is complete and you continue the carve motion.

Post-flight questions / suggestions

·      Did you perform the breaker while keeping your chin up, facing the center of the tunnel?

·      Did you keep your hips out during the entire maneuver, or do you find yourself transitioning momentarily to a head-up orientation with your hips bent?

·      Did you find yourself smoothly keeping the momentum, or slowing down to perform the breaker?

·      What could you improve on during the next session?

 

Once you learn to fly half-breakers, you will begin to experiment with other dynamic transitions, such as full breakers or bottom loops. Once you know how to in-face and out-face carve both head-up and head-down and perform layouts, all these transitional maneuvers will serve to ensure a smooth dynamic flow to your flying. 

What skill level is next?

Breakers Head Down

A full head down breaker is when a flyer can, from either a carve or layout, dive toward the center of the tunnel, facing the center throughout and perform a 540º barrel roll type maneuver and finish in a head down orientation, either to a carving movement and to a layout maneuver.