Belly Fly Side Sliding

Description

Belly flying side slides will complete the basics of the "8 points of movement", as with other belly flying skills will be an integral part of making you a well rounded belly flyer. By now you will be familiar using your upper and lower body together for specific movements and side sliding will utilize those same concepts.

Pre-requisites

Learning side slides is the final part of learning the eight points of motion for the belly-fly orientation. There are, however, other skills to learn utilizing these eight points of motion which you will get to later in your progression. Prior to learning belly-flying side slides, you will need to have a fair amount of control in your neutral belly-flying position, moving forward, backward, up, down and controlling turns with ease. By knowing these moves you will have already had exposure to using more than one part of your body for control, driving and stopping. This will be a key element for learning side slides.

Objectives

The primary objective for this skill is to be able to safely control your body while side sliding from one side of the tunnel to the other and back again. Ultimately you will aim to complete this maneuver without coming into contact with the tunnel wall, while maintaining a constant heading and altitude throughout. Once you can complete this skill successfully, you can start combining your eight points of motion for other skills, such as super positioning.

Learning side slides will be one of the key belly-flying elements when it is time for you to fly with another person.

Preparation

To begin this maneuver, it is best to position yourself toward one side of the tunnel, ideally away from any of the tunnel doorways, as these can create an obstacle for you. You will also want to be at approximately waist level above the net and on a heading that will allow you to see your instructor for guidance. The size of the tunnel you are flying in will affect how much energy or speed you will be able to create before having to stop prior to contacting the wall on the opposite side.

Technique and Drills

Basic

Keep these key elements in mind when learning this skill:

  • Initiate the slide using both your upper and lower body so that you can maintain a constant heading when you move. Using only one input can typically cause a turn.
  • For a slide to the left, your left knee and your left elbow will be lowered down into the airflow to create the body pitch which will cause the drive. The opposite is true for a slide to the right.
  • Usually you will use slightly more knee input as the lower body is typically heavier than the upper body, so it will require slightly more drive.
  • Once you reach the half-way point in the tunnel, return to a neutral position and prepare to stop.
  • To stop the slide, simply lower the opposite knee and elbow (like starting a slide in the opposite direction). Once you stop, then you can return to a neutral position and set up for a slide in the opposite direction.
  • Constantly manage your arched position at your torso to maintain the desired altitude; try to avoid any altitude changes.

Advanced

Keep these key elements in mind when learning this skill:

  • Once you feel comfortable with basic side slides, you will want to introduce more of your body to the airflow which will ultimately give you more power or drive.
  • For the slide to the left, you can lower you left knee and elbow slightly more, and raise your right elbow and right knee.
  • When you un-level your elbows and knees more, you will expose more of your torso which will create more driving surface.
  • Be aware that creating more drive can quickly increase the speed of the side slide (which is the goal), so you will need to be prepared for when to stop.
  • Similar to how you stop the basic slide, you will need to oppose the entire input that you are creating to stop your side slide. Again, keep in mind that the faster you are traveling, the sooner you will need to apply the stopping input so that you can stop prior to contacting the wall.

Post-flight questions / suggestions

  • How did your performance match the initial objectives?
  • Were you able to maintain stability throughout while holding a constant speed, heading, and altitude?
  • What techniques did you feel comfortable with and what can you improve on during the next session?

As you are complete with the basic 8 points of movement, continue to develop each move so that you can increase your proficiency and ability to move quicker and stop more accurate, this will contiue to make you a well rounded belly flyer.

What skill level is next?

Belly Fly Enter

Initially as a new belly flyer, you will be provided assistance when entering the flight chamber. As you progress your ability on your belly, learning to be able to enter the tunnel with no hands on from your instructor will be key. Here you will learn what steps are necessary to execute a smooth and controlled entrance.