Taking ownership of your flying

As you make your way through our curriculum, you have the opportunity to learn a variety of skills and tricks. Early on in your progression towards Level 2 status, you learn to take your safety lines off in the net. A quick etiquette note: before you walk your lines back towards the board, look up to see if the Board Instructor has hooked the bar. Walking back too soon can result in the bar getting tangled in the lines—which means more work for the Instructor on the Board.

One of the more critical skills we teach is the one-handed takeoff (a Level 2 requirement). The goal, of course, is for you to become proficient enough to take-off without the assistance of the Instructor on the Board (a Level 3 requirement). The significance of this step is often overlooked: this skill represents your first major step towards independence as a flyer.

At this stage in your flying career, it is time to begin taking some ownership. While all of our Instructors are taught to only serve you the bar once the Lines Instructor is ready, a good habit to get into is to make eye-contact with the person on Lines—or give them a nod. This establishes a connection with your spotter. Given that it’s their job to help you land safely, it’s not a bad idea to check in with them before you hop-off the platform.

Doing this represents a level of awareness on your part of the role that both you and your spotter play in keeping you safe. Later, if you decide to pursue flying out of lines, you’ll begin taking a whole new kind of ownership of your flying and your own safety. Much of this will be covered in the conversation you have with the manager before you take your swing OOL.