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International, independent, e-magazine on skydiving, BASE & tunnel

Barrel Roll Belly to Back

Initiating the barrel roll with the legs&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;by <a href='' class='captionLink'>The International Bodyflight Association</a>
Initiating the barrel roll with the legs — by The International Bodyflight Association

The Belly to Back barrel roll is the first “transition” you will learn during your flight progression. It is important to note that no transitions should be performed without careful discussion with your instructor on the safety requirements and specific technical details required. Before you learn the Belly to Back barrel roll transition, you will need to be proficient in performing the eight points of motion in both the belly-flying and the back-flying orientations.


The primary objective is to be able to safely and successfully start in a neutral Belly Fly body position in the center of the tunnel and perform a half-barrel roll transition from your belly to your back, ending in a neutral Back Fly position, still in the center of the tunnel, and at the same altitude that you started.


  • Begin in the center of the tunnel in the neutral Belly Fly position
  • Initiate the transition using the lower half of your body and allow your upper body to follow
  • Pick a preferred direction to rotate as this will determine how you will initiate the maneuver
  • For a barrel roll to the right, you will drop your right knee and cross that knee in front of your left leg to start the roll. For a barrel roll to the left, initiate with the left knee.
  • Allow your hips to follow as your legs begin to rotate, and then finally your upper body will follow last
  • As you roll to your back aim to enter a neutral Back Fly body position promptly
  • During the rotation, your arms will remain neutral throughout
  • Once you finish on your back, you may need to make small position adjustments to maintain heading and altitude and remain in the center of the tunnel
  • Aim to keep eye contact with a reference point in front of you; this will assist in maintaining a heading and altitude
  • You will need to focus on keeping your legs bent throughout this maneuver to ensure you don’t create any unwanted forward drive
  • For a barrel roll in the opposite direction, utilize opposite inputs

Check In

  • Do you feel more comfortable going one direction? What can you do differently to improve your weaker direction?

Visit the IBA Skills page to download the full lesson plan and to find additional post-flight evaluation questions and suggestions.

More Tutorial Videos

Previous tutorial, Entering the tunnel HERE

Next tutorial, Barrel roll, Back to belly HERE

Other IBA Back Fly Tutorials HERE

IBA Dynamic Progression series HERE