Fast Descending


In case of problems with getting down, when the lift situation is very good or when the weather changes unexpectedly. There are three possibilities of rapidly reducing altitude in such situations.

Spiral Dive

The spiral dive is the most effective form of fast descent: With a little bit of practice you will achieve a sink rate of 15 m/s and more. It is absolutely necessary that you gradually approach these values the first few times! Constant pulling on one brake narrows the radius of the turn and forms a spiral rotation in which high sink rates can be reached. As soon as the glider is in a spiral dive (clear increase of sink rate and turn bank), the outside wing should always be stabilised with the outside brake and the desired sink rate should be controlled with great delicacy.


Out of unaccelerated normal flight, it is best to grasp the B-lines on both sides above the line links and pull them down. There is no need to release the toggles while B-stalling. Then a full stall will occur, the canopy bunches up in the direction of the profile and by pulling down further you will achieve a high sink rate while keeping a completely stable “flight” position. Pulling the B-lines even further down will not enhance the sink rate but lead to a more unstable flight position and turning away of the canopy. By releasing the risers the canopy will accelerate immediately without strong oscillation effects. Should it not catch up right away, a simultaneous push on the A-risers will remedy this condition.

Big Ears

By pulling on the rear (outer) A-riser and holding down the outer A-lines the wing tips of the glider can be folded in. This method drastically deteriorates the glide angle but without being an effective method for descending. The use of big-ears is only sensible for getting away horizontally out of moderate thermals without gaining more altitude (such as at cloud base or at risk of being blown backwards into lee). The effectiveness of this technique can be increased by using the speed system at the same time. To reinflate it is simply necessary to release the line – only in exceptional cases is it necessary to help the reinflation with brief, deep pumps of the brake on the deflated side.