Cross Country Magazine Tuesday Tip

This week's tip is from a conversation we had in the Cross Country office


Re-focusing in a thermal

The usual advice is to never change direction when thermalling.

The thinking behind this advice is that it will confuse the 'mental picture' of the thermal you are building up with each turn.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you get confused in a thermal and can't find the best lift changing direction can help you re-centre and re-focus.

If you have a 'stronger' side, then switching to thermalling on that side can help make you more relaxed, which means you will thermal better.

Another reason is if it's not working in the direction you are turning, then try switching direction. It can work wonders.

Only change your turn direction in a thermal if there is no one else in the thermal with you – always obey the rules of the air. That is, when joining a thermal turn in the same direction as the glider that is already circling.


Changing direction can help you re-centre and re-focus.