After reading a post on facebook, and making some hurried arrangements, im suddenly and unexpectedly on my way to the airkix wind tunnel in basingstoke for some FS training 🙂
The main thing i want to start with is getting my co-ordination worked out for side sliding. We start with the basics, flat and stable, and working on my arch, as im moving my body, im dearching, which in the tunnel causes me to shoot up in the air (which would cause me to fall slower on an actual skydive), and while i can get back down with no problems, its something that i shouldnt really be doing, so a few sessions are used to deal with body positioning, and being aware of changing my shape to deal with whats happening. So as soon as i start to move upwards, to slightly change my body position to stop it from happening, and to start to drop back down.
We go from this to turns using only my elbows, and i find out that i can turn FAST!, really fast, so i need to slow this down a little bit. Im a bit to rigid, which is working against me. I know theres nothing to worry about, ive not even got to worry about how long the canopy will take to open etc, and none of the canopy stuff entered my mind once, not even for practice pulls, but, now i think about it, more worryingly, not even a single look at my hand for an alti check, which i do every few seconds in freefall. I know i can relax, but, i think that its once again being in the learning environment thats causing me to tense up.
As i enter the tunnel for my 5th session, i begin to turn using my legs, and start to attempt side sliding, and, once again, i completley brain fart, and arms and legs are going everywhere. I go up, i go down, i go round and round, but then, in the last minute, something clicks into place, and, im doing it, and suddenly, im flying in a box shape, sideways left, up, right, down, left, up, down, then the times up, and i fly out of the door, full of smiles, and high fives all round. It wasnt perfect, and it was shakey, but, i managed to do it
After an hour, its back in the tunnel for the next 5 sessions, but, my new found confidence from the last session is blown away by another brain fart, and im back to arms and legs going everywhere. I seem to get it, but, just as quickly as i work it out, im then all over the place again. It takes a few minutes in total, but, im making progress, and, by the last 2 sessions, a definate improvement is visable, even though im still a little shakey, but, slowly getting the hang of it.
on the last session, i was still a long way from perfect, but, im more than happy with the progress i made, especially with the knowledge that the simulated freefall time i have just had would have been around 25 skydives, with a coach, at a cost of over £1000
Now, i just need to work out how im going to get to the wind tunnel again………