Low speed training with Mark Meadowcroft

Last weekend Mark Meadowcroft stopped by at Wind-o-bona in order to teach us how to carve and fly dynamic moves properly. It was a camp focused on training the skills of staff and other interested people and since I had masses of staff time left, I seized the chance to improve my skills.

When they told me, be aware he loves low speed I had absolutely no idea what low speed is for him. When I went in with him for the first time and saw the crazy number of 50% (!!!) for carving, I doubted I could even lift up. Usually I have around 60% for carving and when we started moving I had the feeling I started all over again like a beginner.

But: when there is no speed that helps you, you have help yourself with skills. We trained little movements, lifting, going down and he completely changed my stiff body position. And he wanted me to carve in the “bad” direction too. He had some let’s say interesting exercises for me, which should help me to be more relaxed and get a better body position. Everything was different to what I’ve been told the last let’s say 5 hs of flying when we worked on my carving. It felt absolutely weird and even though all the other instructors told me, hey there is a lot of improvement and you’re doing so much better, I couldn’t really believe it. I had three training days with him, alltogether we flew 1,25 hs. At the end I felt a little better but still doubted that there was any progress.

Until I was flying with Felix, one of the more experienced instructors, on Sunday night. I was bored and he was too so we went in and baaaaam… I carved like never before (ok on 60% but a lot more secure and with the comfortable feeling that I have a lot of range up and down). It just was a natural movement and not a stiff try to fly rounds anymore. Also the dynamic movements were heaps better. I was super stoked and happy when we walked out.

On Monday, when my brother stopped by to go flying with his boyfriend, Hofi and I practiced what Mark taught us, super slow carving and changing directions. And – it worked! It wasn’t perfect, but it worked and we both were super motivated to go on like this. Since all the high speed flying both of us did (and which is super exhausting) we enjoyed the slow motions. Even though I believe we think a little bit too much about body positions and movements now, it is a good change to the stuff we normally do.

Soooo… I think when I go to Prague at the end of February, I will tell Mox that I want to do more low speed stuff. Guess he will be surprised :-D So whenever you get the chance to fly with someone who is that experienced and forces you to fly low speeds – go for it. You will feel like a little horse making the first steps, but believe me – it’s worth the hard work!

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