Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wind Wind Wind & Speed

Will the wind ever stop. No flying not even a sledder from the Bob’s bump. When it is windy play with your gear.

After a fair amount of frustration and displeasure with my stirrup and speed bar system I am going to try something new.

My old system was a standard stirrup with a bungee tied between the stirrup and the first step. – This worked ok but always seemed clunky in transition. My big feet in boots couldn’t jump from Stirrup to bar and back with ease. The second thing that I didn’t like was how it was adjusted that is how my knees were totally bent at the start of speed and how I could just make full pulleys with full leg stretch.

I really think I need three steps. – The first with just a bit of speed potential, say 5 to 10%. From conversations with Brad my SIV instructor and some other pilots I have come to the understanding that my wings best glide is tied to a bit more pressure. The goal here is to have a bar that I can rest on either full locked or w/ just a touch of pressure so I can feel the wing with my feet as well as my hands. The speed system is tied to the A/B risers which catch the first of a whack. Always on or touching speed also gets me ready to move right to step 2 if I want more. My goal is to be constantly aware of and in control of my pressure.

The second step is for normal flying w/ various speed and step 3 will get me pulley to pulley.

What I came up with was a simple “rope ladder” using 1/8” steel cable and 1/2” aluminum dowel stock. I am sure it has been done before.Reports and pictures will follow. I will let you know how well this new system works.

The other reason for the change is a discussion regarding launch styles with Doug. While not changing their beginner instruction Doug felt leaving both legs out of the stirrup adds a safety factor in regards to tripping. This only works if you are doing good torpedo launches. No leg through requires a good launch form which is really a good thing. You have to lean forward with proper form to catch the stirrup. – In my case I will catch step one of my speed system. - One question I have is while I am doing this will I be loading/speed as I push back into my harness? – I don’t think so but looking at that is part of my testing plan.

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