8-way Block 5
The secrets of 8-way Block 5, by World Champion Martial Ferré
The news is out and people are getting excited. Yes, a new Women's World Record is being planned by the P3 Skydiving team based out of Perris, California. This team was behind the successful Jump for the Cause records, the last one being a 181 way in 2009. Prior to that they set a 151-way in 2005 and a 131-way in 2002. Now their eyes are set on a 200 way… or perhaps a 201 to set a world record, keep with the odd-1 tradition, and also break the existing California State Record!
This event will be combined with Men's World Record (the largest all-male formation, unofficial) at Perris running alongside the women's event. The previous (and only) Men's World Record was a 125-way, built in 2009 at Perris, alongside the ladies, making for a great supportive vibe as well as healthy competition. The men showed impeccable timing, building their record on the same day as the women.
Want to go? Me too! But how? Maybe you live in an area without large aircraft, or far from the known organizers? Maybe you are a bit nervous about the thought of 200+ canopies in the air? What is the best way to hone your skills? How do you learn and be seen and get invited?
Just add air. Skydiving is a sport that is learned by repeating the basics, over and over. The record is in October 2014. You have a year. Start working on it NOW.
A 200 way is large. REALLY large. For that reason we will want to see that most, if not all, of the women have been on – at a minimum – some 100+ way formations. The best way to learn this is to attend the P3 Skydiving Big-way /100-way camp series in May 2014. This will be a major try out event for the women's world record. If you can't make these events, do not despair, we are working on several events in Europe that will also work as qualifiers
Take a canopy course. Learn how to fly and land your canopy, and how to evade other canopies on opening! Do some Crew. Watch landings, listen and learn.
Big-way in a tunnel? Yes ma'am. You can learn all kinds of techniques including stability drills and perfect your slow and fast fall body positions. Most of big-way skydiving is being able to handle changes in fall rate. There are tunnels EVERYWHERE and you can tunnel in horrid weather, so make it happen.
Your brain is the most important muscle in your body. Use it. skydivingphotography.com has a ton of big-way videos that are available for viewing and download. Watch them. Learn from them. Put yourself in them. It works.
Run, climb, yoga, weights. Keep your body in fine jumping form over the winter and you will be less likely to get tired or injured during big jumping days.
It's a WORLD RECORD! Go for it. There will be jumps available for your friends, your partners, your mates. Make the goal of your World Record a family event.
I can't wait to see you in Perris in October – and hopefully many times before then.
“Everything is achievable, given that the record is a whole year away, and providing you're prepared to invest time, money and effort, like any other area of skydiving. But you have to commit. Make your own training plan based on these guidelines, and follow it. That takes a lot more discipline than when on a team with others but the rewards are out there. Keep in touch with other big-way enthusiasts via Facebook's big-way group, by reading articles in your helpful online magazine and checking Skydiving Photography. There will be a lot of competition for those slots but having a positive attitude and applying yourself to the task at hand will go a long way.“
“There has been a significant increase in the talent pool since the last men's record and we are feeling really good about options for next year. There has been an impressive list of big-way events hosted outside the United States recently and we hope to draw participants from every continent. I can think of outstanding guys from all over Europe, several from South America, a few from Asia and Africa and don't forget our mates from Down Under. Doug Forth has a list of qualified Canadians so this is going to be a great team. Of course the presence of more than 200 of our sister jumpers on the drop zone at the same time makes it a particularly attractive event. We encourage qualified men from around the world to join us. We are not yet committed to a specific size for the formation, but we may go just as big as the women.“
“I found the 100 way camps in Perris a great tool for learning more big-way skills, safety aspects and getting used to all the canopies in the sky. It really opened my eyes to see how much I could achieve having come from just 60-ways back then, which isn't many when you are wanting to be on a 181-way! These events brought my skills on as I got to try so many different slots. It took me out of my comfort zone but then let me find what I enjoyed, what I was good at and it challenged me too. We all start off low experience, seeing these fantastic pictures of big way magic and wondering if one day we will be good enough to be asked on them. Do some camps, fly in the tunnel, invest some time, and your skills will shine.“
“Dress for Success! In other words don't be afraid to put on a baggy sweat shirt over your jumpsuit, or wear over-sleeves, or even better ask the jumpsuit manufacturer (Symbiosis in my case) to build you a really slow suit, with some Zero-P lining. I was put on the bench at one of the SOS World Records because I was 'washing around' trying to get into my slot on the outside of the formation. I had not dressed for success. Silly me. Oh and by the way it might also be a good idea to 'Look at your profile in the mirror' – that's my input for the over-sixties. As a result I lost 12 pounds. That and a slow jumpsuit resulted in more money spent on a weight belt. With these three the sky is the limit.“
1-4 May, P3 Big-way Camp, Perris Valley
8-11 May, P3 100-Way Camp
28-31 August, P3 Big Way Camp
4-7 September,100-Way Camp
12-18 October, Men's and Women's World Records
See P3 Skydiving