Group Tracking Tips – 3

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Tracking Tips 3 by Tex

Jesse ‘Tex’ Leos provides the wisdom for the third in our Angle Flying skills series to help you progress… Interviewed by Alethia Austin…

Who are you, name of skydiver, hours in tunnel, jumps, working where? 

Jesse ‘Tex’ Leos – a big, hairy American winning machine
Photo by Nicholas Lott

Who am I? I’m just a big, hairy American winning machine. And my name is Jesse Leos, nickname “Tex”.

I have 3,000 skydives and 1,000+ hours over 7 years as an instructor and now strictly a tunnel coach.

I’m based out of Skydive Spaceland, Houston, Texas, USA at home and spend as much time these days coaching at events around the US and Europe. I’ll be based at Skydive Spain this winter season.

Tell me about your favorite style of flying and coaching

My favorite style of flying is using as much of the sky as possible. I don’t want to turn the sky into a tunnel, I want to feel completely released to fly my body with giant lines. I would describe my coaching style as trying to take my flying experience and combine it with approaches I learned from my previous life as a multi-sport athlete, coach and interest in sport psychology to share with my students.

Who are your mentors and people you love to fly with?

My most influential mentor and brother is Ryan Risberg. He really showed me how to take my talent, focus on flying and turn it into a career and tool for freedom to pursue all sorts of passions beyond just skydiving. Definitely the Fly4Life boys who I believe absolutely set the standard for the style of flying and professionalism in coaching I gravitate towards. Of course, I love 2-ways above all. The list of my favorite people I’ve flown 2-ways with would be too long but some of my favorite jumps just this year have been with Oscar Asfura, Keith Creedy, Roy Wimmer, Manfi Hernandez, Tim Douglas, Nick Lott, Dave Hyndman and my smoking hot girlfriend, to name just a few. It’s been a good year.

“I love 2-ways above all” – Tex
Photo by Nicholas Lott

What kind of tips can you offer on progression for tracking, head-up movement and breakoffs?

Flat tracking is the best thing most angle flyers can do for themselves at any point in their progression. It teaches them the most about using their entire body and the pressure necessary on different surface areas for our body type at different speeds and pitch. This applies to head-up flying, too. I try and teach HU movement whenever possible from flat flying the same way we use it in the tunnel via slow speed. It shows us how different our center of gravity is compared to head-first movement in a much more controllable way.

What are some commonly overlooked things happening when people are learning how to fly angles? 

One of the first things I do with students new to tracking is simply focus on proper body position on its own. Most people have the physical ability necessary to do most things higher level flyers are doing, but it doesn’t matter until you understand some of the obvious physics of movement in the sky. How many flyers can explain what is making them move forward efficiently? Where is their center of gravity and how does that control speed and pitch? Before getting too deep into the theory of movement jumps, a philosophy that combines the ‘just feel the wind and relax’ approach with this basic understanding has been the most helpful.

What kind of things are you going to bring to Trackdayz in Spain that are unique to your skill set? 

A real emphasis on seeing our progression when we’re training within a group as both individual and team player skills. We are not just working on our own skills within a group. We are learning how to contribute to the group’s flow and chemistry in the sky that makes us fly tighter and safer.

Any final words?

Looking forward to vibing and cruising with all y’all at Trackdayz!


Jesse cruisin’ at LSD Get Sideways Camp at Skydive Spaceland, photo by Josh Hawkins

Tracking Tips Series

Read more from the world’s top coaches on getting started and learning safely with group tracking jumps.

Tracking Tips 1 – by Efraim Folgerts

Tracking Tips 2 – by Matti Miilumäki

Tracking Tips 3 – by Tex

Tracking Tips 4 – by Harry & Alabama Shanker

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Meet: Alethia Austin

Alethia is a passionate skydiver whose love of flying has helped her dream world in skydiving.  As Marketing Director of Skydive Spain, Skydive Algarve and Skydive Hibaldstow, Alethia gets to work at three of the biggest DZs in Europe. Alethia created the popular LSD Bigway camps, focusing on vertical flying skill building in big groups as well as her latest spin off, LSD Get Sideways angle camps. With nearly 3k jumps in the past few years, Alethia is a coach and load organiser at events around the world, bringing her love of flying and learning to students and skydivers of all levels. 

Currently, she is training hard for the Women's Vertical World Record which is happening in July 2020. 

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