Sunday, August 16, 2009

Where to Begin Part IV - Advanced


The steps between grades do not get any smaller. Advanced is a big step and should not be taken lightly. A lot of preparation can and should be done while still competing at Intermediate level. This will help your Intermediate flying immensely, and lessen the (di)stress when you do decide to enter your first Advanced competition.

New figures you will need to master are: vertical down positive full and partial flicks, partial positive flicks on level and +/-45 degree lines, rolling circles (upright, inverted, inwards and outwards), inverted spins (both clockwise and counterclockwise, as viewed from above) and opposite rolls on all lines.

Oh, and a lot more pushing. Lots and lots. And then some more. A good thing to do at this stage is to fly some simple inverted stalls and reinforce in your brain exactly where the inverted stall stick position is. When you find yourself pushing out of a figure a little below your comfort altitude, you don’t want to be wondering where the inverted stall stick position is. The last thing your confidence needs at this stage is a high-speed negative flick on a down-line at low altitude. We’re not up to that part yet.

You will need to get comfortable pushing around and out of figures, and this takes time to adjust to. Talk to people, do some research, and make a plan on how you are going to approach it. Self-assess your physiological condition after negative g practice and pace your work-up based on how you feel and the signs your body gives you. When you find yourself wanting a better g meter that goes past negative 5, you’re making progress!

CIVA Section 6 will be mandatory reading – but you won’t mind (how weird are you?) and you will find an extensive list of permitted Unknown figures, and their combinations, to practice. You’ll find it hard to make petty conversation at dinner parties, and will be prone to start rap-miming pull-push-push humpties with ¾ snap down onto the b-axis while standing in queues.

Your Box-Craft and ability to handle wind in the box will need to be first-class in Advanced. Wind correction and positioning should start to become second-nature and all brain cells will need to be on duty to keep orientation, presentation and figures tidy while pushing lots of g.

Good luck! And keep smiling.

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