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Message started by Tomas on Aug 6th, 2013 at 3:12pm

Title: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Tomas on Aug 6th, 2013 at 3:12pm
Hi all,
When I first started slinging last year I mostly used the figure eight technique and had great success with it compared to other styles. Since then I have gravitated more towards the helicopter techniques(Byzantine, heli, Balearic). I Don't remember why I changed since then but I did. Anyway, now that I tried to use it again I suck. I used to think it was more powerful and accurate but I'm better with other styles now.
Has anybody experienced this as well? I think fig-8 is probably the best form and powerful and quick but I know that's only my inexperienced opinion.
Do any other helicopter based slingers find the figure eight awkward or vice versa?
Also I know jaegoor says fig-8 is unhealthy(if you're reading this Jaegoor please could you elaborate?). I wonder which is harder on the body...and which technique is a better investment of my time!
Tomas

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Dan on Aug 6th, 2013 at 3:22pm
I can sling well with both and I use a variation on helicopter very often.

Figure 8 is definitely the peak of sling styles. Fast, accurate, consistent, takes up minimal space, and applies a fantastic rifle to your shot.

Initially, I can be more accurate with my helicopter variant than figure because it feels a little more natural. Helicopter is also a little better with heavy ammo IME.

Here's a vid of me using both.  8-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7EW3zflrfY

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Masiakasaurus on Aug 6th, 2013 at 5:03pm
Figure 8 is the most awkward to me and I quickly lose the technique when I stop practicing it. As with everything else in slinging, it's up to personal preference.

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by squirrelslinger on Aug 6th, 2013 at 8:24pm
never did really get fig 8. I really cannot seem to understand it.
nice link- A modest proposal
interesting read.

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by lobohunter on Aug 6th, 2013 at 8:51pm
figure for my normal slings helicopter for longer slings I use a overhand release for the helicopter helps me out a lot with acuracy. also a big fan of the apache for quick throws

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Donnerschlag on Aug 6th, 2013 at 9:02pm
I recently did a few shots with figure-8 for the first time in almost a year, and had no problems. Then again, it's always been my dedicated distance technique, so I can't speak for my accuracy with it. (Except that I'm conditioned to release far too early to hit anything that walks the earth with a flat trajectory, lol.)

If anything, overhand is less stressful on the body than sidearm throws. If I push it with a Heli, Greek, or Byzantine, I end up feeling it in my elbow for several days. I don't recall any such problems with overhand releases. If you think about it, pro athletes use throwing methods 80-90% similar to the Figure-8 all the time, and apparently without much in the way of problems. (Last I checked, pitchers actively avoid and discourage sidearm throws.)

I just don't use it much anymore because it thrashes my release cords too easily  ;D

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by freyem on Aug 7th, 2013 at 11:38am
That's funny, for me it seems like helicopter-like techniques are much better for my arms and elbows than other styles. I mainly practice a helicopter with sidearm release like camo-sling often does, and i don't put too much power into the shots (after all i want to become accurate). Also when slinging for range (and thus giving a lil more power) I hardly feel any strain from that technique.

When I do a 'traditional' sidearm, i.e. no rotations but just throwing the projectile into the half swing and directly letting it go hurts much more, same for overhand an fig 8.

Maybe I should practise those more :)

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by timann on Aug 7th, 2013 at 1:48pm
In the beginning I used Apache style while testing out other styles.† For some time my choice was between figure8 and helicopter (seems like a common dilemma).† I ended up with figure8 but for some time I was equally good (or lousy) with both styles.† When I try helicopter now I`m totally useless, with neither power or accuracy.† This is obviously not because of the style itself but only my lack of training.
I choose figure8 part because it was working best with my body.† Helicopter hurt my shoulder, figure8 is usually painless

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Camo-sling on Aug 7th, 2013 at 6:48pm
Figure Eight never really caught on as an accurate style for me. I always found more success with sidearm techniques, however with that being said I haven't devoted the same amount of time developing it!

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by squirrelslinger on Aug 7th, 2013 at 6:54pm
heli hurts one's elbow... but my fig 8 throws go about as far as my heli throws right now(haven't slung in about 3 weeks minus today)... but heli is rapidly gaining.
fig 8 seems a tad more accurate... in the horizontal plane cause its overhand.
if there were a line of enemies i would choose helicopter cause I have signifigantly more accuracy- plus I would almost garunteed hit one of them...

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Tomas on Aug 9th, 2013 at 5:21am
Interesting answers you guys.
I went out yesterday and slung almost exclusively figure 8 with a few heli shots for comparison. I think even out of practice my accuracy was better than my usual heli style blunderings lol not that I don't blunder with the f-8! I definitely tend to release too early as a lot of my shots went high. I don't want to let one day decide my slinging fate but the figure 8 is back in my repertoire.
As for tennis elbow? Never had it but I do get shoulder pain sometimes from overdoing it. My friend Matt always says the pitcher is the hardest working man on the team and I know what he means when I feel that way!

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by squirrelslinger on Aug 9th, 2013 at 9:43am
yea... i spent approx 4 hours teaching my friend's little bro to sling(he isn't that much younger.. i think I probably went through ... maybe 3-400 stones... he went through (i am guessing) about 100-200... he really likes that apache you gave me donnershalg!!!!

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Rat Man on Aug 11th, 2013 at 3:40pm
† †I prefer Helicopter based styles to Figure 8.† I don't hate Figure 8 but the Helicopter based styles seem more natural to me.† I generally use Balearic, Helicopter, Byzantine, Apache, and Underarm.  There is no right or wrong answer of course.† It's a matter of personal preference.†

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Donnerschlag on Aug 11th, 2013 at 5:42pm
Glad to hear it, Squirrel  8-)

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Arcane Tinker on Aug 11th, 2013 at 7:01pm
I try and try..oh how I try to love figure 8. It looks so cool, it cancels cord twist, it makes lots of sense...my upper torso just does not want to cooperate. I am far too tight and inflexible for it to be accurate. All my shots are high and my windage is inconsistent.

Byzantine and Greek especially are my strong suits for explosive power and underhand is my go to technique for accuracy. ...weird huh? 

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Masiakasaurus on Aug 11th, 2013 at 10:20pm

Arcane Tinker wrote on Aug 11th, 2013 at 7:01pm:
I try and try..oh how I try to love figure 8. It looks so cool, it cancels cord twist, it makes lots of sense...my upper torso just does not want to cooperate. I am far too tight and inflexible for it to be accurate. All my shots are high and my windage is inconsistent.

Byzantine and Greek especially are my strong suits for explosive power and underhand is my go to technique for accuracy. ...weird huh?†


That's me to a T.

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Donnerschlag on Aug 12th, 2013 at 4:32am
Eww, underhand?!
You sicken me... :P

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Masiakasaurus on Aug 12th, 2013 at 9:46am
Good. [smiley=evil.gif]

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Arcane Tinker on Aug 12th, 2013 at 11:01am
I prefer an artillery style attack.  With cestros, I could be Extreme lawn darts champion material.  Maybe I played too much EGA Bomb on DOS as a kid.

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Rat Man on Aug 12th, 2013 at 4:06pm
Underhand is my most accurate also. I get the best power from Balearic or Helicopter. 

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by The_Peltast on Aug 12th, 2013 at 4:10pm
I personally find the Fig 8 more fluid and relaxing. It's the most efficient if done properly in my opinion for power/accuracy vs effort. It seems to be more timing than muscle force to get it right. That's just my experience though...

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by David Morningstar on Aug 14th, 2013 at 2:38pm

It took me a long time to 'get' the figure-8, but now it is probably my first choice. They key to getting it right is really dynamic body movement. Also, dont bend your elbow into the windup too much, leave your arm long so your hand covers lots of distance in a wide arc during the throw. Nowadays I bend my arm less than I did in this movie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJjXXnDSB4s

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by squirrelslinger on Aug 14th, 2013 at 5:30pm
figure 8.
I learned it about a week ago. I still use heli for close range accuracy, but fig 8 is rapidly gaining on it.
Nuff said.

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Brett on Aug 20th, 2013 at 10:47am
Have recently slung for the first time after having done about 250 hours of home maintenance (painting, etc...) and so my throwing shoulder is kind of not right and I have tingling in my fingers, etc...

I found the apache style to be the easiest on my shoulder, but the Fig 8 wasn't bad either although I noticed it in my shoulder on the first throw (only).  The apache is almost no-impact as far as I can tell.

It does seem that the Fig 8 does provide a lot more power.

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by J on Jul 18th, 2021 at 9:28am
figure 8 is truly a fascinating style, since it allows me to use such thin slings equally well !
On the other hand whenever I get a beefy sling my instinct is to use balaeric. Whenever I get a very thin sling my instinct is to use figure 8 or Greek

When I use Figure 8 + ring finger loop it really gives me a most excellent point forward spiral spin, even on very thin and floppy slings and +200g stones.

but when I use Balaeric style with many rotations with the same very thin sling and stone the release becomes inconsistent due cord twist.

Figure 8 doesn't rotate the sling initially with a static arm. The whole throw is one fluid motion and the arm doesn't stop. This means that tension on the cords alone is enough for pouch angle control, and the cords themselves need not be stiff, and the sling can be very thin without problems, this is the greatest USP of figure 8 in my view.

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Morphy on Jul 18th, 2021 at 4:08pm
Although I think most agree that more pliable slings work better with the fig-8 Ive yet to see anyone explain exactly why in such a way that we can reasonably accept the question as solved.

Such a basic thing and we dont really have a great answer. At least not one that Ive seen.

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by JudoP on Jul 19th, 2021 at 5:23am

Morphy wrote on Jul 18th, 2021 at 4:08pm:
Although I think most agree that more pliable slings work better with the fig-8 Ive yet to see anyone explain exactly why in such a way that we can reasonably accept the question as solved.

Such a basic thing and we dont really have a great answer. At least not one that Ive seen.


For me it feels like the muscles you use during fig-8 (shoulder a lot), are effective at producing high speed but can't deal with a high load. I've slung fig 8 with balearic slings before but I wouldn't do it with 200g rocks.

The sidearm (balearic) style of slinging I feel is more robust against high loads through your arm and shoulder, but perhaps does not produce as much speed as the very large action of the figure 8. Hence fig 8 can get more out of lighter and thinner slings and smaller ammo, whilst using such slings sidearm feel too light and too fast.

It's like different gears for different ammo weights.

The sling choice then naturally arises from the ammo choice.

Another point is the release type. Maybe it's just familiarity but I've never felt comfortable with figure 8 and a full hand release. A knot seems much better for that style

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Morphy on Jul 19th, 2021 at 6:38am

JudoP wrote on Jul 19th, 2021 at 5:23am:

Morphy wrote on Jul 18th, 2021 at 4:08pm:
Although I think most agree that more pliable slings work better with the fig-8 Ive yet to see anyone explain exactly why in such a way that we can reasonably accept the question as solved.

Such a basic thing and we dont really have a great answer. At least not one that Ive seen.


For me it feels like the muscles you use during fig-8 (shoulder a lot), are effective at producing high speed but can't deal with a high load. I've slung fig 8 with balearic slings before but I wouldn't do it with 200g rocks.

The sidearm (balearic) style of slinging I feel is more robust against high loads through your arm and shoulder, but perhaps does not produce as much speed as the very large action of the figure 8. Hence fig 8 can get more out of lighter and thinner slings and smaller ammo, whilst using such slings sidearm feel too light and too fast.

It's like different gears for different ammo weights.

The sling choice then naturally arises from the ammo choice.

Another point is the release type. Maybe it's just familiarity but I've never felt comfortable with figure 8 and a full hand release. A knot seems much better for that style



I agree there is definitely different muscle groups involved. And itís true that thatís probably a big part of it. It certainly seems to define more of the specialty of each in terms of what itís best suited for, if nothing else.

I also think that the angle the sling makes next to the hand is probably much lower than a balearic sling with a side arm throw. This would account for the awkwardness when using very thick, stiff cords. And why a pliable sling just feels better even during the beginning of the throw.

So hereís another question:

If a side arm throw engages the core muscles more effectively is there any benefit to using the figure 8? I personally tend to think there is.

But one thing I donít like about it is the crossover. At the pull point you are on the far side of your body. That sling pouch is then going to crossover to the other side before release. Some slingers might assume that all that is affecting the throw is the mostly vertical movement of the pitch at release.

I donít think this is the case. The angular momentum during the crossover horizontally also translates to horizontal movement causing the pouch to sweep out too far past the throwing arm shoulder than a pure vertical pitch would seem to dictate. Is this making any sense at all? This would mean that when you pull vertically downwards into the final portion of the pitch the pouch is not making a straight up and down movement but itís starting more to the right of your throwing side shoulder and then sharply angling left and vertically down. Not only would this lower power some since you canít accelerate through sharp changes in direction as easily it also could cause pouch orientation issues and therefore spin issues. And Iíve definitely seen the spin issues so that part at least can happen for sure.

One potential way to fix this is to simply use a diagonal pitch, which might actually end up being the only way to fix it. But then we lose the benefit of a pure vertical pitch which leads me back to my original question of ďis there a benefit to the fig-8?Ē

Most importantly to me is it shows that no movement in a sling throw is isolated. If your wind-up is off position then it can lead to a pull point which is off, which then translates into a position that is slightly off in the pitch and then the release. Or it leads to you trying to fix position mid-throw which is a recipe for failure in imo. And this domino effect goes all the way back to your initial stance so nothing is separate in the sling throw.




Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Curious Aardvark on Jul 19th, 2021 at 8:16am

Quote:
Or it leads to you trying to fix position mid-throw which is a recipe for failure in imo. And this domino effect goes all the way back to your initial stance so nothing is separate in the sling throw.


yeah, absolutely.
My biggest problem is actually thinking about the throw.
I generally find that the first dozen throws of any session are pretty much perfect, then I start thinking about what I'm doing and it all goes to hell.

I think the main reason people think sidearm is better for larger rocks, is mainly that you use shorter slings.
A standard sidearm throw just does not suit a long sling.

An overhead helicopter throw is more suited to a longer sling than a sidearm style, but still not as good as a fig 8 windup which suits longer slings much better.

The other thing to bear in mind is that the windup and the throw - are largely independant.

You can use a helicopter windup to vertical release (mainly what jaegoor uses) just as easily as you can use a helicopter windup to a more horizontal style release.

Likewise it's possible to use a fig 8 windup to a verticalm horizontal and - with a little joint gymnastics - even a an underarm release.
I admit the latter takes some thinking through - But it is doable.

The other main difference between a balaeric target style and fig 8 and helicopter is that the sling does very little work.

With styles that suit longer slings you find that the sling does a lot more work and the windup takes advantage of the slings very length.

The whole body, particularly the hips, legs and waist all contribute to accelerating the sling in a fig 8 throw.

Whereas with a shorter sling and a sidearm throw. The final effort emphasis is mainly on the elbow and arm, with a passing nod to the waist.

It's one reason you can throw fig 8 hard all day with barely a muscle twinge, but a long sidearm session will always make itself felt.   

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Morphy on Jul 19th, 2021 at 10:56am
@CA- you and I have been pretty hardcore fig-8 users for a long time and that might have something to do with why so much of what youve said sounds familiar from my own experiences.

I agree fig-8 works great with long slings and takes hardly any force to get it out there. And a long sling actually also might solve the problem I proposed on the crossover. Ill have to look at that some more.

One thing I feel differently about is that while wind-up and throw are separate and its true that you can mix and match any pitch with the fig-8 wind up, I dont necessarily rhink the one doesnt affect the other. I think whatever you choose for your pitch angle is going to be affected to some extent by the pouch position as immediately before the pull point.

Now you may have not been referring to that but I figured I would put it out there.

Oh as far as the underhand fig-8 absolutely man. Have you tried starting the wind up on your figure 8 with the rotation in the opposite direction?

Puts you in a perfect position to pitch underhand. I would say this fig-8 could have serious target potential but damn that forward spin lol.

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by J on Jul 19th, 2021 at 11:55am
I can not vouch figure 8 being bad for heavy rocks. I slung + 50, 200-300 gram rocks with my sling yesterday with a lot of power and didn't feel any soreness and the distance was greater than slung with sidearm. In fact with my light sling it felt like the only right style suited for this rock and sling. aside from Greek. Figure 8 gives a perfect spiral spin on the rocks every time. Even when slinging square brick rubble.† I did feel some soreness after rocks that were too light. Because there was not enough resistance to pull against, that's why I don't like short to medium slings and sub 100 g rocks. Those type of rocks need a long sling to shine imo.

I see it like this -- thin slings, that rely mostly on tension for pouch orientation - use figure 8 or Greek/Byzantine
thicks slings -- more suitable for rotation styles like Balearic and Helicopter and a narrow grip. Because styles that rotate the sling a few times prior to the powerstroke require more than just tension alone to control the pouch orientation. They need some stiffness imo. At least for a consistent orientation control.
But for figure 8 tension (and a wide grip) is plenty sufficient, but there is a smaller  limit to the length of the sling that is possible with figure 8 because it's a vertical style.


Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by J on Jul 19th, 2021 at 12:09pm
The only reason imo its often stated to use thick slings for heavy rocks is because that slinger likes to use sling rotations prior to the powerstroke. When I use heavy stone with my thin 2mm slings and Balearic style more often than not the cords will twist at least to some degree on the second rotation or more. The release then starts to feel really bad and erratic.
While a heavier and or stiffer sling will not twist like this and give consistent pouch angle control with Balearic w heavy rocks

The question then arises for me. Is it really worth opting for a thicker and stiffer sling solely to use static rotations before the powerstroke, as is the case with balearic?
I am really starting to think it is not. The benefit of thin slings are very great. And now I can sling them big rocks, even the worst type of rubble, 250+ grams in a sub 10 gram sling with a perfect spiral every time, by using figure 8. That's pretty amazing I think. Previously I still had a place for thicker slings with heavy rocks but now that's also gone for me.
Everyones free to sling as they please of course.† :) I found a new favorite method for myself. It felt so good to get that level of consistency with heavy rocks and such a simple, thin, floppy sling. Slinging 200 g rocks becomes near effortless with this style and sling, and the velocity is high up there too. This backcountry style is my new favorite for sure. Time for a new video?

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by J on Jul 19th, 2021 at 12:25pm

Quote:
Another point is the release type. Maybe it's just familiarity but I've never felt comfortable with figure 8 and a full hand release. A knot seems much better for that style


This has to do with the grip style for me. Narrow grio = full hand release. Wide grip = tab or knot
A wide grip doesn't feel great with a full hand release cord because it bends the release cord around in the hand. This bend interferes with the release of the cord from the hand I believe due to the bend. While with a narrow grip the release cord stays straight in the hand and this means its releases easier out from the releasing hand.

Either way a thin sling needs a tab or knot, because the cord becomes too thin to hold on to


Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Thearos on Jul 20th, 2021 at 4:36am
I find classic helo.(overhead rotations, then downwards slashing release) OK with left-right alignment, but often shoots high, so that I dial it down and end up lobbing (which some people here consider cheating). With sidearm, I can get a good flat trajectory, often at the right hight, but the challenge is of course left-right alignment. I also have a problem with height when shooting fig-8 (either shoot high, or plow the shot too low). Somehow it also hurts my elbow.

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by El_Jefe on Jul 24th, 2021 at 4:38am
I'm a beginner slinger and for what it's worth, I felt that with the Byzantine or any side arm technique , you really can add that twist in your hips and your long outstretched arm for maximum power, it's really quite satisfying

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by J on Jul 25th, 2021 at 11:42am
not the best background but my velocity guess is 35 m/s with 300g stone. Distance to the right edge of the video is 20 meters. Im quickly becoming a figure 8 purist. It's even better for pouch orientation control than Greek in my recent experiences

https://youtu.be/_0T5CbhPvM0

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by J on Jul 26th, 2021 at 12:18pm
figure 8 clip
https://youtu.be/c-638HNc_cw

Title: Re: Figure eight vs helicopter based styles
Post by Morphy on Jul 26th, 2021 at 4:17pm

J wrote on Jul 19th, 2021 at 11:55am:
I can not vouch figure 8 being bad for heavy rocks. I slung + 50, 200-300 gram rocks with my sling yesterday with a lot of power and didn't feel any soreness and the distance was greater than slung with sidearm. In fact with my light sling it felt like the only right style suited for this rock and sling. aside from Greek. Figure 8 gives a perfect spiral spin on the rocks every time. Even when slinging square brick rubble.† I did feel some soreness after rocks that were too light. Because there was not enough resistance to pull against, that's why I don't like short to medium slings and sub 100 g rocks. Those type of rocks need a long sling to shine imo.

I see it like this -- thin slings, that rely mostly on tension for pouch orientation - use figure 8 or Greek/Byzantine thicks slings -- more suitable for rotation styles like Balearic and Helicopter and a narrow grip. Because styles that rotate the sling a few times prior to the powerstroke require more than just tension alone to control the pouch orientation. They need some stiffness imo. At least for a consistent orientation control.
But for figure 8 tension (and a wide grip) is plenty sufficient, but there is a smaller† limit to the length of the sling that is possible with figure 8 because it's a vertical style.



While I would never sling stones in the 1lb or above range with the figure-8 other than that my experience has been the same as yours J. I think if you are using the figure 8 with a thick stiff sling you are never going to see why some like it. With a supple thin sling though it practically throws with no effort. Especially with a sling in the 27" or above range.

My experience with the side arm is that paracord and wide grip actually work just fine for side arm. By wide grip I mean ring finger. I was always really happy with the power and accuracy I got with that combo. But i also see why people like very thick/stiff slings. They definitely feel really consistent.

And thats the difficulty. Those balearics feel great but I have yet to see any evidence that a balearic sling acts different under tension vs a paracord one. Obviously when not under high tension they feel drastically different. But during maximum prerelease cord tension im not sure either sling can resist the forces acting on them enough to make a huge difference.

Balearics often feel better but the end results of ADI seems to be the same. At least this is my preliminary theory.

There is a fairly straightforward way to figure this out. Use both with optimum stone weight for each and run a thousand shots through each. Keep detailed scores.

I may be wrong about all of this. Actually really hope I am because it means we are making progress but yea thats how I would approach this.

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