Patrick Kaye is a member of the Skydive Dubai Swoop Team and a seasoned canopy pilot. He helps organize the Dubai International Swoop League and takes a logical approach to surviving the comp. Check out his advice below.
Don’t make changes Pre-Comp: As much as we’d like to think flying something smaller, adding a bunch of weight or changing our turn last minute will increase our performance, it won’t.
Know your current ability: Stay true to your turn and make realistic goals for yourself. The safest way you can improve your swooping is in a controlled environment with a coach, not on comp day.
Be mentally and physically prepared: This goes for any sport, but especially high-speed sports such as swooping. Each individual should take steps to prepare prior to competition – some good music and stretching seems to be a favorite among competitors. On comp day, flip the switch, keep focused on good performance, survive the comp and have a good time with your swoop buddies. Nothing else matters!
Have a post-comp routine: Competition is done, it’s beer time! After we’ve cured our ails from having one too many frosty beverages with our friends the night before, choose a time to reflect on your performance in the comp. Look at some video, check your scores for the 100th time, and start thinking of your next set of goals and how to achieve them.
Make long-term goals: Swooping is a long-term commitment. You’re not going to get there in just one: competition. The glory of proving yourself right now is not worth the pain you’ll likely incur while doing so. Set realistic goals for yourself and take your time in achieving them.
Fly hard – fly safe.