Fall training is a very important part of bodysurfing training as a high-performance sport. At our facilities, the basics begin with judo break falls on the mat and video/whiteboard sessions. Only after mastering the basics, and acquiring a good imagery about the theme, it is possible to advance to the training of falls, in the acrobatic trampoline and the swimming pool from platforms. Note that we are not talking about acrobatic jumps, but about falls. Recreating the bodysurfing fall motor pattern has been challenging, very complex and engaging. Its biomechanics allowed countless variables.
There are many falls phases. The basics are, the suddenphase that happens in unforeseen and varied ways and is followed by the reactionphase or reaction time that can allow you (or not) to avoid a bad landing on the surface of the water and prevent serious injuries. The flightphase precedes the entry phases, that does not always even exist. The duration of the reaction time can been very short,
with the surfer immediately moving from the sudden phase to the underwater recovery phase, without hold-downs or flight phase. It may require months of hard training and lots of discipline to improve your reaction time. Its impossible to master this knowledge in one weekend class, however been aware of what can be done, can help A LOT.
Still on wipe out training: the acquisition of sensory, motor and visual memories is fundamental and come as a result of practice, technique, tactics under the guidance of coaches experts on the subject. Often the price to be paid in case of negligence or insufficiency of expertise, is life itself.
It is not enough to be an excellent swimmer, or excellent surfer, or able to stay 10 minutes submerged in static or dynamic apnea with slow and rhythmic movements. None of this is enough to prepare you for the massive hold-down that occurs after violent falls.