Canopy Flocking: How to Get Started, by Zack Rosser

Last updated 16 Sep 2023

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Keen to learn more about flocking? Here are some tips from top canopy coach, Zack Rosser, to get you started!

ZCC What The Flock at Jurien Bay by Cameron Puttee

First, Talk to the DZSO

With anything new we try in the sky, talk first to your DZSO about your intentions and then seek out an experienced canopy coach or instructor who has done some one-on-one canopy jumps. Aside from having respect, good communication and keeping safety first, the main reason for including your DZSO, instructor or local canopy coach is because they can assist you with deciding on a spot for your descent, so you get out in a position that's going to set you up for success and get you landing back on to the DZ.

Wing Loading

Make sure whoever you're flying with has a similar type of wing and wing loading as you.

Start Small

Like other disciplines, start small with some 2-ways. This way you will know that there is no one else around you who could potentially get in the way, and you have a lot more room for mistakes if they are about to happen.

ZCC What The Flock at Jurien Bay by Cameron Puttee

Start with the Basics

Start with learning the basics of how your canopy inputs respond in relative flight. Try doing a 'monkey-see-monkey-do' scenario. Let one person be a leader, copy the inputs they do and see what happens, or better yet, use different inputs to try to stay relative to them.


Once you can safely approach the base flyer, adapt to descent rate changes and hold your slot through turns, then you can start to move up to 3-ways. From there you can start having some fun with changing slots around, getting used to having a canopy either side of you, and approaching a slightly bigger formation in the sky.

When you think you're ready, look out for an upcoming flocking camp on Zack's Canopy Course Facebook page, to find out when you can be a part of bigger formations and exciting static and dynamic jumps!


About the Author

Niall Saunders and Zack Rosser by Cameron Puttee

Zack Rosser is a tandem instructor, canopy coach and athlete, based in South Australia. He started skydiving in 2016 and his favourite discipline is - yes, you guessed it - canopy piloting. Since his first flocking camp in South Australia in 2021, 'Zack's Canopy Course' has evolved from a small camp format with basic formations, into something bigger than he ever expected. With camps currently running around Australia and New Zealand, Zack and his team (Niall Saunders, Cam Puttee and Matty Walker) all share the same passion to further educate skydivers to improve their canopy skills, progress canopy flight and create technical and visually pleasing dive flows.

[Photo Sources: Cameron Puttee]