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How to exit a Bow

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Training different 4-way exits can take time you haven’t got!

The solution – launch a Bow every time. It’s easy to fly and transition to every formation. The French ladies team used this exit at the World Championships in Tanay as they had only limited training jumps on the Turbolet

A good Bow exit for Christy’s team
Photo courtesy of Fury Coaching

Understand the Basic Exit Principles

Presentation, placement, timing, and fixing! Before you start with a Bow (H) exit, you should learn about these critical concepts. We will be referring to them in the context of this particular exit.

I will also be using names for four-way slots – inside center, outside center, tail, and point.

The exit described here works out of an Otter or a Caravan.

Force H exit over Skydive Perris

Climb Out

When it is time to climb out, the video (if you have one) will climb out first with the outside center. The tail will follow the video. After this, the point and inside center will step forward into position.

For the outside center, remember the wind can be strong out there! Make sure you climb out into position. Lean forward and keep your wait on your feet to keep things toward the front of the door frame.

Foot and Arm Placement

We want this exit to be closer to the pilot than the tail of the plane. Leaving enough room at the back of the plane for the inside center to get out makes for a cleaner exit and avoids a dangerous collision with the back of the door frame.

The outside center should have both of their hands 1-2 feet from the front of the door. Their leading foot should be just behind their hands.

Rhythm mocks up a bow
Photo courtesy of Fury Coaching

Headjam or Not To Headjam

The tail has an option to headjam – or hook their head under the bar – to have both grips. It looks more precarious than it is to execute.

To perform this, climb ALL THE WAY OUT first, find your balance, then tuck your neck back under the bar. Then target both grips. Once the count begins, you will “unhook” your head by dropping slightly on “set.” From there you will balance for a brief second and exit downward.

If that looks too sketchy for you or IF YOU HAVE A CAMERA, use just one grip.

Ideally, you would hold the bar with your right and have the inside center’s leg. If you can’t reach that, you can keep the bar with your right hand and have the outside center’s leg.

Back portion of bow – Mikhail demonstrating a head jam
Photo courtesy of Fury Coaching

Presentation

The secret to the bow’s enduring magic is that everyone lines up almost presented in the door frame. The flyers can have their hips pointed in the right direction while still on the plane, making presentation easier.

Fury’s bow line up from the inside
Photo courtesy of Fury Coaching

Placement

The outside center pushes away and up. The inside center pushes the lower body through the outside center aiming to be side by side. The point jumps up above the bow. The tail drops below and away.

Count and Timing

The count can come from the outside or inside center. If you are inexperienced, give the count from the outside. The outside center will swing their leg and hip “out-in-out”. Don’t forget to rock together.

Those of you who have gotten coaching from me know that I dislike describing exit timing as “leave on set” or “leave on go”. I instead focus on placement and a smooth count and let the exact timing be an outshoot.

However, if you are tail, you are going to lead the exit timing. If you are the point you will lag the timing. Inside center critically must push through and commit to the count to avoid getting drug out.

H exit over Skydive Perris

Fixing

And of course, look! The outside center, inside center, and tail have this dialed since they are already facing the right way. The point has a challenging requirement. They must exit fully presented with their hips and shoulder towards the wing while their head looks over their left shoulder at the formation. It can be hard to separate these two body parts, but the reward is a perfect bow.

That should do the trick! You know some of the gritty details of launching a bow.

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Meet: Christy Frikken

Christy Frikken teaches and competes in 4-way skydiving almost every day. She has been on many teams, including but not limited to SDC Rhythm XP, Perris Fury, Perris Wicked, Perris Force, and Perris Moxie. When she is not going fast herself, she is coaching others to go faster in the tunnel and sky. Check out furycoaching.com for more helpful articles.

Christy is proudly sponsored by Sun Path, PD, Skydive Perris, Kiss, Vigil, Larsen & Brusgaard

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