Dynamic Flocking

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What is Dynamic Flocking? 

Broadly speaking, flying canopies around each other with a pre-determined choreographed dive flow. Pete Allum explains…

Dynamic flocking by Roy Wimmer Jaglom

If we were to look at any group discipline within our sport, we can see a fairly standard path of progression that runs through them.
In the beginning we learn to fly our own bodies, hopefully acquiring some decent skills so that we are safe before we start mixing with others. The next step is normally to work on our approach and proximity skills in small static groups. Then as we progress the groups may increase in size, and we start to get a little more adventurous around each other.
Of course we are always moving in our sport, even if we feel like we are working on static formations; in whatever discipline, gravity takes care of the direction!

Dynamic Flocking

Flocking is the same and, once we have learned the basics, we want to start to explore that space around each other. Like ‘moving’ or ‘tracking’ jumps and wingsuiting, where the general direction is forward, we have constant forward momentum that our wings give us.
The first steps with making flocking dynamic could be as simple as moving from one static formation to another, similar to a sequential sequence in other disciplines. Here we look at changing our flight paths to create a different shape relative to each other. The sensations, visuals and dangers here are very similar to formation aircraft as they fly through their various maneuvers.


Then as our skills and confidence increase, we get more creative, designing dive flows that have multiple groups moving apart and then interacting together again in various shapes and on differing levels. If you have been keeping an eye on the dynamic freefly events or the more creative ‘movement’ jumps then you can start to see what is possible also under canopy!
The first moves are normally small and done in parallel, breaking the group into two and flying relative before rejoining. Then we can start to play on different levels, passing groups through, and around each other. As the experience grows, we can take groups away and then back towards each other, giving some interesting visuals as the groups pass by with closing speeds of over 70 kmph! As individual skills are increasing, we are also starting to barrel-roll over and around each other.
This is a brand-new discipline, the range of our canopies is huge, so the possibilities are open-ended. I truly hope that we have not even scratched the surface of what is possible in this environment.

Photo by Mikeal Stevens

Different wing loadings

One of the truly fun facts about flocking, especially dynamic flocking, is that you don’t need to be on a loaded VK, Leia or similar wing to make it happen. Actually, these moves are completely possible on lighter wing loadings and more regular shaped wings, making this a truly inclusive discipline.
The prerequisite for joining any flocking event is experience; build your skills individually and then in smaller groups with someone qualified. Please do not try this for the first time at home alone folks! 
Your value for money on a flocking jump is huge, as you have more time in the air for your $!

Dynamic Flocking Video

Dynamic Flocking in action

What are the dangers?

As with any jump we need to be aware of the potential dangers, especially as we are aiming to fly close and fast. Here are some, but not all, of the areas to be aware of.

Take it slowly

This is a new discipline, be wary of just giving the dynamic flow a go, be structured with your acquisition of skills first.

Wake turbulence

Think about wake turbulence, yours and other people’s, so work out the no -fly zones.

Photo by Julian Barthel


CF canopies have thick suspension lines and those things will do a lot of damage to you in a wrap, so imagine what the skinny HMA/Vectran lines on the modern tiny wings could do to you.


Have a solid plan at break off altitude and focus on individual landings.

Other traffic

Just because you opened high, does not mean that you are on your own come landing time. A highly loaded group flying dynamically, can be landing at the same time as the tandem or student on your load.

Flight box

Figure out where you want to play so that you can make it safely home and not get in the way of other aerial activities.

Photo by Roy Wimmer Jaglom

How do I get to this level?

Take the first step and start learning how your canopy flies on your own, a canopy course will unlock that first level. Then when you are ready, Flight-1 has an air-to-air module where you and your coach fly 1-on-1 with radios to guide you through the basic skills in a controlled, progressive environment. The next step is flying in smaller groups building confidence, this can be done on the lighter or heavier loaded wings at the camps that are running throughout the season.

Invest Time

Like anything in our sport, it’s not just a question of ‘checking the box’ and moving on. Spend time at each stage and really own your skill set before moving progressively onwards and upwards!

Feel Like Flocking?

Flight-1 has worked on a progression system for introducing and teaching/sharing flocking knowledge that starts with their 201/202A courses and moves onto the 301A Flocking camps. Click here for the current list of Flight-1 2023 Flocking events

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Meet: Pete Allum

36,000+ jumps
FS and CP national teams, world meet podium in both disciplines.
Flight-1 coach
FS indoor/outdoor coach
Baby free flyer

Pete is proud to be sponsored by UPT, PD, Cookie, Cypres, L&B and Sonic Flywear

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