This article is intended to describe a way of getting started in basic 2-way VRW whilst NEGLECTING details that may be important for insuring your safety and accelerating your learning curve. Certain details are left out for the purposes of putting together a short, but hopefully helpful, article. All the necessary details would fill a 100 page book.
Before beginning any dives described in this article, you should have completed all the necessary solo exercises. If you will be flying upright, you should have completed all the solo exercises described in the document titled, Standing Solo Drills for Learning Headup VRW. If you will be flying head-down, you should have completed all the solo exercises described in the document titled, Solo Drills for Learning Basic Head-down Flight. During the solo drills, you will realize that the transition from the second series to the third series of exercises is an important and critical transition point. Whilst practicing the third series of exercises, it is crucial to the success of this program that you are able to practice changing the drag on your body whilst you are in precise control of your pitch and balance.
Once you have practiced the solo drills to proficiency, you are ready to begin 2-way training with another partner who has also practiced the same solo drills to proficiency. You should concentrate on 2-way drills for many jumps to come as increasing the group size in VRW can be very dangerous due to the high potential of high speed collisions.
In general, angling your body such that the wind strikes your back will cause you to front slide and angling your body such that the wind strikes your chest will cause you to backslide in either the upright or head-down position. Be very gentle with your actions in angling your body. Decreasing the drag on your body will increase your fallrate and increasing the drag on your body will decrease your fallrate. You have already practiced these actions to control your relativity on the solo drills.
2-way Drill 1: The Zen Dive. Exit the plane in the same timing and assume the basic flying stance. Both partners should be either both upright or both head-down. Using the skills learned in the first, second and third series of solo drills, both partners fly together and hold a no contact configuration facing one another and holding a ground heading. Always keep eye contact with each other. Remember slow and smooth is the best way to perform any initial RW training and will go a long why to help prevent zooming past one another throughout the dive. It's better to take nearly the entire freefall to get together than to zoom past each other several times. The objective of this drill is to practice holding a completely stationary no contact 2-way configuration and will require a number of jumps to perfect. On the first jump or so, you may find that you barely get to one another before the end of the dive. But after several dives, this will improve. If improvement is extremely slow, this is a sign that you and your partner have not practiced the solo drills to proficiency. In this case, return to practicing the solo drills.
If you find yourself orbiting, it is most likely that either one or both partners are continuously driving forward and directing that forward motion slightly off to the side. Be sure that you and your partner concentrate more on truly stopping the forward sliding by using a slight backslide action if necessary. This is more common while flying head-down. This is a clue that both partners will benefit from resuming once again the solo drills.
2-way Drill 2: Alternating 360s. Both partners establish a no contact configuration facing one another and holding a ground heading, the Zen dive. Both partners should be either both upright or both head-down. Each takes turns, performing a well balanced 360 degree pirouette. This dive will confirm whether or not you can perform the Zen dive whilst falling straight down. If one partner is backsliding with the other moving forward, the partners will separate, collide or the person performing the pirouette will lose balance when a pirouette is attempted by one or the other partner. (A collision or lose of balance is likely if the person performing the pirouette was backsliding. Separation is likely to result if the partner watching the other perform the pirouette is backsliding.) Falling straight down is important for several reasons: 1) It will be easier to learn additional skills such as holding formations, rotating pieces and/or to act as a 2-way base for a third person to approach. This dive will probably take many jumps to master, however, once you master this dive, you know you have a 2-way that is falling reasonably straight down and you can continue to learn additional skills.
Additional 2-way Drills: With one partner falling steady, the other partner can practice refining his relative moves. For example, he can practice moving backwards and forwards within 6 feet in front of his partner, or he can practice adjusting the fallrate in precise increments such as ascending one body length and stopping to hold the new relative position and then returning to an on-level position again. All such drills should be slowly and smoothly performed. For further ideas and specific skill dives to work on you can refer to the Skydive 100: Basic Body Flight package developed and published by the Skydive University.
VRW is very challenging so take it slow and be patient with yourself. Commit many dives to it and concentrate on the quality on each dive. At this early stage, it is very important to not move onto the next skill too soon. Your careful attention to your initial development in this discipline will reward you with safer dives and the potential to improve rapidly when you get to more complex skills as complex skills are simple skills put together in various combinations.