Cloud Dancer
Take the Time to
Seat Yourself!

by Mary Vonne Simon translation by Tamara Koyn
published in "Drop Zone" Magazine No. 2 July 1995

DISCLAIMER: THE AUTHOR(S) MAKE NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS AND ASSUMES NO LIABILITY CONCERNING THE VALIDITY OF ANY ADVICE, OPINION, OR RECOMMENDATION EXPRESSED IN THE MATERIAL. ALL INDIVIDUALS RELYING UPON THE MATERIAL DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK.

This article has been translated from the July 1995 issue of Drop Zone Magazine. In June 1995, the first issue of Drop Zone was published. Drop Zone is a magazine with 52 color pages covering all sorts of topics. The format is 285 mm x 216 mm (11.2" x 8.5") and the language is French and English, however, it is sold World Wide through subscription.

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Why fall in the seated position?

Good Question...

The visual space in chute assis is very different. If not, it's better than face to wind. In fact, the position of the body which is completely obvious is perfectly controllable. Horizontal translation can be precisely performed and, vertically, there are many more possibilities.

How does one seat oneself on the celestial sofa?

During the exit, leave directly into the seated position, facing the tail of the airplane, with the chest raised, The back and arms should be pushing backward into the relative wind and the legs are naturally bent as if sitting on a chair. Starting from a position from facing the wind, you can use another technique as well. Start a back loop by tucking the legs under the body and pushing against the wind pressure with the arms and hands. Allow the thighs to come forward, slightly spread for lateral stability. The feet are directed toward the earth. To hold correctly the position, be sure that the arms and hands are pushing against the airflow behind the chest with good spread and the legs are held firmly pushing toward the ground. In doing this, the chest will naturally be raised to a vertical position.

To advance, one must incline the upper body backward seeking more air pressure with the hands behind the torso. Additionally, one can descend by forcing the legs more toward the ground and by diminishing the drag on the arms. (Thus one starts to assume a standing position). Hence, one can discover or rediscover relative work in a new dimension. Docks are made legs to legs, in train formations (feet under wings), in totems (feet on shoulders)... A multitude of possibilities are available to you as there are practically no technical restrictions to flying over or under someone. Naturally, it is very important to have cloth/drag on the arms (using webbed gloves is even better) and nothing on the legs (shorts or wearing your jumpsuit with the legs rolled up). Some prefer wings in order to increase the drag on the arms. Regardless, the techniques remain the same.

In regards to safety, students should be careful when using webbed gloves (grabbing the handles requires greater care). Remember to tighten well the leg straps as if the thighs are raised high, the leg straps can slide toward the knees.

If you jump with many others, take care to your break-off procedures—a track is less efficient in short! In general, there are people above and below you therefore you should insure that you break-off sufficiently high.

Voila, you now know the basics of chute assis that will allow you to progress rapidly. After this introduction, we will present more technical aspects of this discipline in future issues of Drop Zone.

Cloud Dancer