18: Advanced Maneuvers
Various maneuvers help us lose altitude, change flight path, practice skill enhancement, look good in demonstrations, and others. The more extreme variations are risky beyond appearances and should be learned only special courses taught by highly competent coaches. Survival suggests doing them over water with appropriate flotation and other precautions.
Our gliders can mis-behave wildly if sufficiently provoked, and handling what nature doles out can be worse than pilot-induced tomfoolery—either way you can get wrapped up in your wing. That can happen even with coaching but is less likely. Still, do it over water.
Techniques change with technology. What you read here or in the PPG bible or even in a maneuvers clinic may become dated as knowledge and gear improves. The techniques recommended by experienced maneuvers coaches differ slightly, too. It’s not a hard, cold science despite what some would lead you to believe.
Doing steep turns, intentional wing deformations or other steep maneuvering should never be just tried without first attending a maneuvers clinic. Doing so means you willingly take an enormous risk.