Are you getting ready to make your first skydive or preparing to learn to skydive?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to either question, we’d like you to read on because we’re about to teach you a fundamental skill that will a). make your first skydive safer (and fun) and, if you plan to become a skydiver, help you have a great experience as you begin your training. The arch position is one of the essential skydiving tips for beginners (and beyond).
What we want to teach you is a fundamental skill known as the ‘arch.’
The term ‘arch’ or ‘arching’ refers to the most stable body position made during a skydive. The shape of a banana resembles this desired body position whereby the skydiver pushes his/her pelvis forward while keeping their chin high. This ‘arch’ position allows for a stable free fall.
Learning to arch is a simple body position to master, but it doesn’t come completely naturally to everyone. If you’ve ever done the limbo before, this is essentially the skill required – pelvis forward while arching your back with chin high.
To feel the sensation of the arch, lay on the ground and extend your arms out while keeping them off the ground. Do the same thing with your legs – legs extended with a slight knee bend and keeping them off the floor. You’ll feel a little tension in your lower back (you’ll be engaging your lower back muscles for sure). Below is a visual of the perfect arch (a neutral body position).
Learning the arch position is simple enough with a little practice and repetition, but this simple skill shouldn’t be dismissed because of its simplicity. Having a good arch is key to your safety because a good arch equates to stability. De-arching equates to instability which makes a skydive become unsafe. Below is a video of a skydive becoming very erratic due to poor body position on exit. You’ll note that the lack of control dissipates once the skydiver arches becoming stable.
The key to a good arch is to relax – a simple concept that may feel counterintuitive when exiting an airplane from 14,000 feet. Exiting with a lot of tension in the body will cause muscles to tighten and be rigid. If students are learning to skydive and are challenged with learning to arch, additional training may be required in the wind tunnel to perfect the body position.
The arch is one of the first skills you’ll acquire when learning to skydive or making your first tandem. Master this skill along with a few others, and you’re well on your way to the time of your life or for some, your new full-time hobby!!!
If you’re ready to make your first jump in tandem with one of our instructors, let’s do it! Click here to get scheduled. If you desire to learn to skydive, click here to learn about our Accelerated Free Fall Progression training program.
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