Icarian Journal Episode 4: Bailing Foot to Foot

Icarian Journal Episode 4: Bailing Foot to Foot

Foot to Foot is an amazing skill, and an essential in the Icarian world both for it’s own sake and as a gateway to higher level throws and catches. It’s a skill that demands respect: falls, especially sideways can be dangerous and difficult to slow down. Learning how to bail safely creates confidence and a solid platform to add new skills to your repertoire.


I included a video of two ways to bail out that work for both L-Base and Cradle Icarian. The first is the most common and arguably the most important to know. If something feels off, it’s the most likely to save fails.The second bail is the carry and drop method described above, and can be trained in all directions. 


Drop save to seated method:

Iff the skill doesn’t immediately connect, it can get wobbly. There is a small range of possibility in a misaligned catch that can work with some adjusting, but if the skill doesn’t land more or less vertically, there is a chance of the flyer falling sideways. If the landing doesn’t feel right, the flyer can crumble straight down and the base can take away the platform, dropping back down to seated. This can include a missed foot connection as well. This is trained best with a spotter holding the flyer’s waist, the base intentionally missing the connection and landing safely back in seated. I learned this bail in classes with Wybren Wouda and Paul Griffioen in Holland and it’s been essential for building safety into my icarian routines. 


Carry and drop bail method: 

If the flyer is leaning in a particular direction, the base must keep the feet underneath, aligning them vertically, carrying a bit to the sides, back, or front, and then releasing the foot connection, which drops the flyer straight down to the floor. The base needs to be clear about the drop moment by sliding the flyer off their feet so the flyer can anticipate their landing. Again this should be practiced with a spotter holding the flyer’s waist until it becomes intuitive. 



Foot to Foot is an amazing skill on it’s own and a gateway to many others. Giving it the respect it’s due by practicing the bail outs goes a long way to building trust and skills with your partner. Courtney and I trained these in sets of 2 reps to minimize the stress and maximize good execution and safety. Have fun, be safe and happy training!


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