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Why is static line a dying discipline?

 

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kmills0705  (D 21696)

Jun 8, 2009, 10:44 AM
Post #76 of 127 (4846 views)
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Re: [billvon] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Then shouldn't it be generalized to "Students trying to kill themselves"?


pilotpilot57  (Student)

Jun 13, 2009, 10:20 AM
Post #77 of 127 (4761 views)
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Re: [billvon] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, I've struggled over time to get to level 4 aff, and the reason is I ain't rich. I'm a middle aged dude that drives a truck for a livin', but I love the sky. There are no dz's in the So. Cal. area that does S/L. I was looking at web sites of other dz's where S/L cost as low as 40 bucks a jump right through A lic. I would be able to jump way more, period. I made my very 1st jump, 34 years ago under a round, via S/L , it was just as fun to me then as my aff jumps are now, except I didn't have to explain to the Ol' lady why I blew almost 300 bucks away in the wind....literally! Wanna grow the sport? make it affordable for more folks.


stratostar  (Student)

Jun 13, 2009, 10:45 AM
Post #78 of 127 (4755 views)
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Re: [pilotpilot57] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

That your problem, you jump in SOCAL, quit doing that and stop that truck more in states where you can do SL. While it's getting harder to find those types of dz's there are a few still around or those who do IAD, still the same progression over all.

Also with the USPA ISP you can more over to the other programs and lower your cost, that is if your current and with 2yrs and only 6 jump I didn't think your very current and I would guess that is due to your work and the VERY high cost of jumping in SOCAL.


dks13827  (C 9293)

Jun 13, 2009, 6:38 PM
Post #79 of 127 (4706 views)
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Re: [kmills0705] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

what I was trying to convey is that AAF has been proven to be much safer than S/L ( or IAD ) as 1st jump students can really get into a world of hurt right off the step.. however my view is that the old Cessna drop zones where your instructors quickly became your buddy and that the hangar talk after hours and learning to spot starting on jump 7 or 8 was a great way to really really learn. I think some of that is missing these days.. IMO


Sangi

Jun 13, 2009, 8:14 PM
Post #80 of 127 (4688 views)
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Re: [dks13827] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Everything is evolving, people have to realize that old things won't stay forever, there will always be something that will replace them..

Some DZ's still operate SL courses, but still, most of them do AFF's.. In a way you can learn more during an SL course, but I believe that AFF is more efficient and shit loads more fun (you're going to learn stuff while skydiving anyway)..


Andy9o8  (D License)

Jun 14, 2009, 4:15 AM
Post #81 of 127 (4662 views)
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Re: [dks13827] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
AAF has been proven to be much safer than S/L ( or IAD )

A lot of people who are highly knowledgeable about the sport would disagree with that.


(This post was edited by Andy9o8 on Jun 14, 2009, 4:15 AM)


dks13827  (C 9293)

Jun 14, 2009, 4:52 AM
Post #82 of 127 (4654 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

my understanding is that AAF has a really low fatal accident rate.... correct me if I am wrong. Note that I was saying that SL has many pluses, however, anyone watching SL or IAD students for long will get the hell scared out of them watching near disasters and close calls.


JohanW  (D 86318)

Jun 14, 2009, 10:19 PM
Post #83 of 127 (4603 views)
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Re: [dks13827] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Students have a really low fatal accident rate. I'd like to see hard numbers, for AFF and SL both.

Anyone watching AFF students, even for short, will get the hell scared out of them watching near disasters and close calls. They get two chances to fuck up: freefall and canopy flight. And canopy flight can never get all the focus it gets with SL because attention has to be paid to the freefall part as well.

(Can you tell I was reared on a static line and enjoy canopy flying? Smile)

The numbers I could find on short notice, for the Netherlands only, counting injuries only (it's been a while since a students died. I remember 1 incident in the past ten years. no way to base statistics on 1 in a million, literally). AFF 1 injury per 250-800 jumps (last year ~ 1800 total jumps). SL 1 injury per 250-450 jumps (last year ~ 4500 jumps). (For comparison: experienced jumpers injure themselves 1 in 2000-3000 jumps. Sample size ~ 50 000.) Given the limited sample size, I would not say one or the other is more accident-prone. SL'ers sometimes hurt an arm because it collides with a static line; AFF'ers sometimes get roughed up by a bridle after an unstable opening.

Would you like to have the dog or the cat bite you?


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Jun 15, 2009, 7:38 AM
Post #84 of 127 (4577 views)
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Re: [kmills0705] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't read through the whole thread.

Method is driven by economics. Also, in areas where the population is less dense, maintaining staff is an issue. I'd struggle like hell to staff for AFF, it would mean 2 or 3 Instructors being at the DZ every weekend from 8 am till 8 pm, oh, and do that 40 hr day job thing.

Quality in my opinion has more to do with the quality of instruction than method. We had a student travel to Florida, train AFF, then do 10 +/- solo jumps. When he showed up at our DZ i asked to see his A card, he didn't know what I was talking about.

Dollar for dollar, a SL/IAD student Will have 50+ jumps, while the AFF guy has 20.

Then there's the culture. Once students at small 182 DZs complete their license, the staff and up jumpers still will jump with them! Wow!

The USPA seems somewhat bent on killing SL too. If it weren't for a few on the BOD like Peek, and Mullins carrying the water for the "Mom and pop operations" (Mullins term) maintaining a small DZ would be harder yet! The USPA BOD is dominated by large DZ guys who have forgotten, or never had exposure to how a small operation works. The ISP was designed around AFF, with the "second rate" methods worked in as an after thought.

Obviously all the above is my opinion, and from my perspective.

Martin


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jun 15, 2009, 9:06 AM
Post #85 of 127 (4547 views)
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Re: [skydived19006] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

"Method is driven by economics."

........................................................................

Agreed!
Just yesterday morning I had a chat with a student who was struggling with the decision whether to go PFF or gradual freefall.
I told him that if money was tight (e.g. he could only afford one PFF jump per month) he was better off witht he gradual method.
At sunset we celebrated his first 3 second freefall!

For the record, I have taught skydiving since 1982. Yesterday I did three tandems, a PFF and some rigging.
In previous years I dropped hundreds of static-liners, so I have no bias towards one method over another ... was there a pun in that last sentence?????


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Jun 15, 2009, 9:17 AM
Post #86 of 127 (4539 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
... was there a pun in that last sentence?????

Though I do tend to be quite satirical, no pun intended.

I'm very tempted to go into another USPA rant, but primarily do to one finger typing (broken arm, roller skating incident) I won't.

Martin


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jun 15, 2009, 10:35 AM
Post #87 of 127 (4526 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

>A lot of people who are highly knowledgeable about the sport
>would disagree with that.

Statistically it is safer. However, that is not due to the inherent superiority of either method; rather, it is due to the fact that AFF is fairly new, and thus all AFF jumps have been made with modern gear.

If you took AFF from, say, 1994 to today and SL from 1994 to today and compared just those injury rates they'd probably be quite similar. The one difference I would note is that SLers tend to get minor injuries more often due to getting hands/feet hung up in the deploying canopy. (That's more a problem with direct bag than with PC assist tho.)


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Jun 15, 2009, 11:58 PM
Post #88 of 127 (4488 views)
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Re: [skydived19006] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quality in my opinion has more to do with the quality of instruction than method.

Worth repeating.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jun 16, 2009, 5:25 AM
Post #89 of 127 (4470 views)
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Re: [skydived19006] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Dollar for dollar, a SL/IAD student Will have 50+ jumps, while the AFF guy has 20.

This is an issue I brought up with the management at my DZ this winter. We will do static line, but it's never offered and not advertised. If a customer calls up and already knows about SL, and is set on that, they will do an SL class for them. I think we did about 4 SL students last year.

With the state of the economy, I couldn't help but think that offering the SL course up front would be a good idea. For half the price of a tandem, and 1/3 the cost of AFF lv 1, you get a customer onto the DZ and they get to make a solo jump.

A big issue people throw around is retaining new jumpers, and turning them from 'customers' into 'jumpers'. My opinion is that the investment in time and personal accomplishment involved from taking the FJC tends to push people more in the direction of making a second jump, however with AFF, the cost of lv 1, and the return jump is close to $500. That's a steep price for two jumps.

With SL, you could just about make three jumps for $200. Not only a big savings, but more importantly, it represents additional return trips to the DZ, and additional opportunities to involve these new jumpers in the 'DZ family'.

I started with SL, and had to make 5 SL jumps with three good dummy ripcord pulls. I was then cleared for an AFF lv. 1 style jump. Seeing as I had five SL jumps, the training for the first freefall was limited to freefall stuff, so the cost was far less than an actual AFF lv 1.

With this type of program, the $500 that gets an AFF student two jumps (and two trips to the DZ) would get the SL student the FJC, 4 additional SL jumps, and a modified AFF lv 1 (totaling 6 trips to the DZ).

Now I understand the argument that skydiving is expensive, and if you can't afford AFF you can't afford to skydive, but there's also merit to the thought that you need to get somebody in the door, and show them what skydiving is all about. Once they have handful of jumps, and see what the deal is, they might be more likely to spend more their money on skydiving. I'm not the least bit surprised to see the younger guys with 100 jumps who spend every cent they have on jumps, and can barely afford to eat. I'd more surprised to hear that a tandem student spent every cent they had on their first jump.


(This post was edited by davelepka on Jun 16, 2009, 5:26 AM)


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Jun 16, 2009, 5:35 AM
Post #90 of 127 (4462 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Now I understand the argument that skydiving is expensive, and if you can't afford AFF you can't afford to skydive.

I don't. Not from the students perspective (or best interest) anyway.
Every individual student will have a method that's best suited for them. The argument as you quoted iit only makes sense from a cash-cow perspective:
'If only ten percent of students continues to make even a second jump, we'd better have them pay $1000 instead of $300. For the student both methods average out if they do continue to skydive'.

But I'm not slamming you buddy - I'm slamming the ones who made up said argument. Smile


virgin-burner

Jun 16, 2009, 5:50 AM
Post #91 of 127 (4455 views)
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Re: [Baksteen] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

isnt it like that only 50% of the ones doing an AFF first jump, get to finish the whole AFF-course. and out of those, about 10% end up aqquiring a license!? those numbers i was told were quite accurate for switzerland..


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jun 16, 2009, 5:51 AM
Post #92 of 127 (4454 views)
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Re: [Baksteen] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
But I'm not slamming you buddy - I'm slamming the ones who made up said argument.

The argument has some merit in that if you could never afford to spend $300 in one day at the DZ, maybe skydiving isn't for you. Let's face it, gear will set you back a few thousand bucks, and jumps aren't free.

But I think there are plenty of people who could afford to skydive if they thought it was worth it.

I for one wouldn't hesitate to spend $300 on jumps for a busy day at a boogie. Add to that the cost of travel, food, beer, wear and tear on my gear, and it's an expensive day, but one I've paid for many, many times.

Now from what I understand, top level golf courses can have greens fees that are in that same price range, but I would never consider spending that type of money on an afternoon at a golf course. I guess if I started at a local public course, and developed my skills, and eventually wanted the challenge of a top level course, then maybe that money would be worth it, but for my first afternoon ruining a good walk, it wouldn't happen.


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Jun 16, 2009, 5:57 AM
Post #93 of 127 (4452 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

An issue that doesn’t occur to people unless you answer the phone is time. If you’re explaining one method to someone with zero knowledge, it’s a 2 to 5 minute conversation. Add a second training option and unless it’s a “Oh, we want to go attached…” conversation, it’s a 10 to 30 minute call. Now, go into a conversation on “which is better, SL, or AFF” and you’re looking at 20 min to an hour. No biggie if it’s one call a day, but even with my little one 182 DZ, it can be 20 calls a day, though the vast majority are “Oh, we want to go attached…”

Sure, you can always simply tell them to go look at the web site, but you need to be careful with that. The customer feels like their spending a lot of money, and that they should be given all the time they think they need.

Maybe that’s why SR concentrates on Tandem “Don’t spend time explaining options, just get the damn credit card info! Our business is making money, not skydiving!”

Martin


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Jun 16, 2009, 6:07 AM
Post #94 of 127 (4449 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

The "money argument."

It's generally more about priorities. Maybe choose not to drive a $30,000 vehicle, sell your jet skies, 4 wheelers, etc. That said, the prospective student has to be at a place in life where they have both the "spare" time and money. A mommy with 5 young kids, eat'n on food stamps, and any time/money expensive hobby aren't a good fit. All that said, at that point "AFF, or SL" is moot.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jun 16, 2009, 6:23 AM
Post #95 of 127 (4442 views)
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Re: [skydived19006] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I get your point about time on the phone, but that's where it's up to the DZ to staff the phones with someone who's good at dealing with people and who can stay 'on message' and give just enough time to each call to satisfy the customer.

The other point is that if you're trying to get and retain students, then they are worth the extra time you'll spend on the phone. Yeah, it might take extra time to speak to them, but you're after a long term relationship with these people, and there's no such thing as a free lunch. If you want a cookie cutter tandem student, they can make a reservation online. If you want to make a new jumper, you might need to work for it.

As I replied to another post, the money thing is only part of it. Of course you need the 'perfect storm' of a student with time, money, and desire, but when you look at the ratio of 5 SL jumps + one freefall to 2 AFF jumps for the same money, the value is on the side of SL.

Let's keep in mind were talking about $500. If that's a weeks take-hone pay for a guy, it's a big slice of the pie to drop on a new, unknown hobby, but if you can hook that guy, bringing home $500 a week is enough income for a guy to become a skydiver.

All of this is leaving out the basic concept that the SL FJC is half the price of a tandem, and afforable to a wider variety of people. Even if they don't make jump #2 or beyond, you get them to the DZ and make money off of people you might never get out there for twice the price.

Again, let's keep in mind what a guy can get for $200 or $225 these days. That's a (small) car payment, a months grocery bill for a small family, utilities for a month, things that people need way more than a 'ride' at a DZ. Cut the price in half, and it's much easier pill to swallow.


(This post was edited by davelepka on Jun 16, 2009, 6:26 AM)


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Jun 16, 2009, 6:56 AM
Post #96 of 127 (4431 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The other point is that if you're trying to get and retain students, then they are worth the extra time you'll spend on the phone.

We (my wife) do take/give the time. For our "mom and pop DZ" time on the phone equates to one additional reason not to attempt to offer AFF. We train IAD, and tandem.

From a 1-182 DZO standpoint, I "need" to bring enough new people into the sport to maintain future staff. I have no aspirations of growing into a turbine, or for that matter a 2-182 DZ. I train "too many" new skydivers, and it would just back up the manifest. Not that this has ever really been much of an issue, at least to me (some fun jumpers don't like to spend all day at the DZ to make their 3 or 5 jumps).


eightate8at8  (A License)

Jun 16, 2009, 11:26 AM
Post #97 of 127 (4386 views)
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Re: [skydived19006] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Am I missing something? I always thought SL was essentially like you see in the army. You jump out, your canopy is yanked out. If there are other ways, correct me please. But with this way, there is no freefall!? It's like a hop and pop, you shouldn't be able to get your license doing hop n pops. In my opinion, that minute of freefall and ALL of the variables that you must control are the most important. Anyone can steer a canopy down (for the most part.) But it's the stability and freefall skills such as turning etc. that are the most important


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Jun 16, 2009, 11:40 AM
Post #98 of 127 (4378 views)
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Re: [eightate8at8] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, you're missing something. Static line jumps are only the beginning of the student progression. Most programs have a student do five static line jumps before they move to their first delay, generally 5 seconds. The student then works up to 10 second and 15 second delays before going to full altitude.

Both AFF and Static Line students have to demonstrate all the skills on the A license progression card to become licensed - they just do them in a different order.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Jun 16, 2009, 11:40 AM
Post #99 of 127 (4376 views)
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Re: [eightate8at8] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Am I missing something?
Sure. Static line program is not just having static line jumps only.


dragon2  (D 101989)

Jun 16, 2009, 11:42 AM
Post #100 of 127 (4373 views)
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Re: [eightate8at8] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah you're missing the rest of the SL progression part Crazy

SL (and IAD) follow a whole progression, which over here is 3 good SL exits followed by 2 consecutive dummy pulls, first freefall within 24 hrs after last dummy, first freefall is 10 secs, if that goes well you go on to do longer freefalls and get more freefall and other tasks, until you completed everything on your A card, same as a AFF student has to to earn his/her A.


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