Icarian Journal Episode 2: Adapting Castaway

Icarian Journal Episode 2: Adapting Castaway

Courtney and I trained in Los Angeles on the legendary Acro Green, where professional and recreational acrobats have been working out since the 1930’s. There’s a deep feeling of community and a solid knowledge base that resides here. The acro people showed up in force, the tunes were bumping when we arrived, and it felt like a great day to put some hours into leveling up with friends. 

 

Overview: 

The main focus for the day was getting ¾ front handspring from Plank (Castaway) on the cradle. I’m comfortable basing (and flying!) it with a wide variety of people/body types/heights and basing/flying techniques in a sacrum support format. There were many similarities and some major differences in the cradle, and I’m feeling really happy overall with the learning we had from the session. 

 

Similarities: 

  • For the base, the timing of the throw is similar. The base throws with their legs, wait to let the flyer rotate, assist the flyer’s shoulders opening by waiting with the arms and giving a platform with the hands, then the arms throw. 
  • Flyer technique is pretty much the same as L-Basing or sacrum supported castaway.

 

Differences: 

  • Far less knee bend for the base’s load phase. I started by trying to throw similar to my L-Base style, using a little more than a ½ knee bend. It made it much more difficult to load the flyers arms and it was much more throw than is needed so it felt pretty wild. I found that a ¼ bend or even less is plenty and feels explosive for the throw. It’s going to take some adjusting to get used to bending so little. I’ll include a video of an attempt (thanks Jonathan Rea for the spot and tip) that shows me bending a little more than a 1/4, but I still need to do even less. 
  • The directional throw is a bit different. I found my usual backwards leg throw getting blocked by the angle of the back support, so I had to throw straight, flick back a bit at the end of the throw, and give much more direction to the flyer’s flight with my arms so it landed on top. I usually just chase with my arms and give an arm pop at the last moment to add height, but I found myself needing to steer more from my arms to make sure Courtney stayed on top. 

 

Training for Day 2 in LA on the Green

  • Warm up with H2H and F2H 
  • 3 sets of Throne straight throws
  • 3 sets of Front plank to Throne no base hands, Throne to Front Plank no base hands for catching after the first 2 reps of the first set
  • 7 sets of Castaway with a spot, feeling comfortable to train with a mat setup by the end
  • Seated toss to Bed, Straight throws and tempo straight throws
  • 2 sets of Bed 360 Twist to tempo straight throw
  • 2 sets of Bed 360 tempo (got 2 consecutive tempos today!)
  • 1 set of Dinner at Hi Ho in Santa Monica 🙂

 

Thoughts:

  • For my second day training in the new cradle setup, I’m feeling great that we’re transferring the L-Base skills at a faster pace than I expected, but that it all feels safe too. 
  • I’m still feeling like a beginner at this, it’s a pretty different setup from L-Basing. I’m going to keep working skills on my blanket roll so I keep the muscle memory for that setup as I add skills in the cradle. I love to play with people at jams, and the cradle can be intimidating, so I prefer to use the more familiar setup for community play and the cradle for serious training. 
  • The throwing lines are still feeling a bit off, and some of my straight throws gainer (fly forward) or release unevenly. I always warm up with a couple sets of straight throws for any Icarian practice, but I think for consistency and predictability in bigger skills, we’re going to have to commit to a regular conditioning practice consisting of straight throws and tempo work a few times a week to get the muscle memory down. 

 

That’s it for today, I’m doing my best to document each session as we train. I hope that the info is useful and is as much fun to read through as it is for me to share. Feel free to comment on this page and let me know what else you’re interested in hearing about from me! 

 

 

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