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Sit to Head Down Back Flip Transition

Head-up to head-down back flip
Head-up to head-down back flip

Last week we discussed the Sit to Head Down Front Flip, this week we take the transition the opposite direction. Instead of transitioning 'through your belly', you're rotating through you're back. At this point in your progression, you should be confident at flying up off the net in the Head Down orientation, controlling your movements, and also have been trained to fly both the Sit to Head Front Flip and the Sit to Head cartwheel transitions.

The Sit to Head Down Back Flip is likely the most common transition used by flyers that have mastered the stable and neutral Sit and Head Down positions. The Back Flip style is the cleanest and most effective use of the body when transitioning from Sit flying to Head Down flying, especially at higher wind speeds.


The primary objective is to be able to safely and successfully transition from a neutral Sit flying position through a backflip maneuver and finish in a neutral Head Down position in the center of the tunnel, without generating any lift or movement.


  • Start in the center of the tunnel in a neutral Sit flying position slightly off of the net
  • Allow your arms and your shoulders to relax forward slightly; this will allow your upper body to initiate the transition and fall backwards
  • Try to avoid rotating your head back or arching your chest as these may prevent your upper body from descending
  • As you start to rotate, allow the wind to lift your legs with the surface area that is presented and begin to adjust your legs toward their “daffy” position (your stronger leg forward, the other leg pointing back)
  • As you near the end of the rotation, pick a reference point on the wall of the tunnel to aid in stopping your torso from rotating
  • To stop the rotation, extend your front “daffy” leg into the airflow and also push your arms forward slightly to brake against the wind
  • You should focus on the rotation of the transition happening around your waist point; your upper and lower body should switch places
  • Assume a neutral Head Down position once the rotation has stopped

Check In

  • Were you able to consistently transition without creating any unwanted lift or drive?
  • Are you ready to perform the transitions without an assisted grip by the instructor?
  • What techniques did you feel comfortable with and what can you improve on during the next session?

This skill, while high in difficulty, will serve the most purpose for you in your Static progression. It is the best means of getting from your Sit to your Head Down position. Make sure that you are comfortable at a range of different wind speeds when flying this transition.

Learn more about the fundamentals of Sit to Head Down transitions on the IBA Skills page. Download the full lesson plan and check out the rest of the post-flight evaluation questions and suggestions.

More Tutorial Videos

Previous Tutorial, Sit to Head-down front flip

Next Tutorial, Fall Rate Control in Head-down

IBA Sit Fly Tutorials HERE

IBA Back Fly Tutorials HERE

IBA Dynamic Progression Tutorials HERE