Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Increase # of returning students

 

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dthames  (B 37674)

Mar 30, 2012, 4:11 AM
Post #51 of 64 (942 views)
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Re: [burd0352] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I want to see what some dropzones or instructors are doing to get their students to keep jumping. Whether it's after tandem or First Jump Course, what do you do? Handouts, discounts, mentor progam, promotional material, etc. What have you found to work the best/worst?

Thanks

The DZ where I started my AFF offered a discount on the next AFF jump if you booked and paid for it the day of the jump you just made. This was very attractive to me and I took full advantage of it.

If you want to turn a tandem ride into a student, maybe after the tandem ride, offer a discount on the FJC. If the person was in love with the canopy flight, a static line or IAD jump after a tandem ride and a FJC could put a person back in the air for a cost that might tip the scales to bring that person back.


gregpso  (Student)

Mar 31, 2012, 1:30 AM
Post #52 of 64 (873 views)
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Re: [burd0352] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

What about at the larger drop zones roster one senior skydiver to be laison Officer for the day so any tandem passengers any AFF students or anyone visiting the drop zone can go and ask any question (about skydiving) and get any info about the DZ and what it offers.

Many of the above groups feel a bit uncomfortable just asking any jumper as they feel they are interrupting.

I know when I first starting visiting DZs I was thrilled if any jumper exchanged a few sentences with me (still am)


monkycndo  (D License)

Mar 31, 2012, 5:31 AM
Post #53 of 64 (858 views)
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Re: [gregpso] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

What happens when the designated person is on a load or is busy teaching?

Instead, just put up signs saying "If you have questions, ask any skydiver you see. But you may have to ask them to STOP talking."Laugh


theplummeter  (C License)

Mar 31, 2012, 9:15 PM
Post #54 of 64 (823 views)
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Re: [monkycndo] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the biggest theme in getting people to return is simply treating them the way you would want to be treated. I regularly jump with people who have 5000 more jumps than I do. They have always gone out of their way to help me out without being condescending and included me in anything that falls within my limited skillset. From day one at my dropzone I never felt like an unwanted student, but more a member of the group that was working towards being capable of doing more with the experienced folks. When I am flying the jump plane I go out of my way to talk to the newer folks and try to convey that same attitude, and there have more jumpers every year than the year prior.


Squeak  (E 1313)

Mar 31, 2012, 10:06 PM
Post #55 of 64 (816 views)
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Re: [monkycndo] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

Instead, just put up signs saying "If you have questions, ask any skydiver you see. But you may have to ask them to STOP talking."Laugh
But what about the poor dears who are to timid and shy to just walk up to people and ask questions. Consider their feeling you mean and selfish skygod you.Mad



SlySlySly You know your an old fart when you can remember when people had enough confidence to jump out of a plane AND talk to people they don't know. Sometimes on the SAME day.


hcsvader  (E 2952)

Mar 31, 2012, 11:16 PM
Post #56 of 64 (806 views)
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Re: [Squeak] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

maybe they could text the other jumpers ]and ask them if they want to jumpSly


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Apr 11, 2012, 12:07 PM
Post #57 of 64 (689 views)
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Re: [Hellis] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
However, that was in case of AFF.
Static line students are usually sadled lower and have higher risk of beeing unstable.
Quite apart from the skyhook issue, SL students aren't saddled much lower than AFF-students.

Even jumping from a 182, SL students should be open at 3300 ft. If they are 'unstable', meh - they'll have line twists.
They know what to do about those.

I always say in the FJC that if they ride that twist down to 1000 ft before cutting away, they'll have a serious case of 'my foot up their ass' after landing.

I might just mean it too...Angelic


sebcat  (D 22826)

Apr 11, 2012, 10:11 PM
Post #58 of 64 (639 views)
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Re: [Baksteen] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Even jumping from a 182, SL students should be open at 3300 ft. If they are 'unstable', meh - they'll have line twists.
Or horse shoes... DZ jargon is one thing but complacency during student training...


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Apr 12, 2012, 10:25 AM
Post #59 of 64 (586 views)
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Re: [sebcat] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

With direct-bag?

Unlikely.

Nothing complacent about my attitude, Turbine Kid Tongue


(This post was edited by Baksteen on Apr 12, 2012, 10:26 AM)


Hellis

Apr 12, 2012, 11:46 AM
Post #60 of 64 (550 views)
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Re: [sebcat] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Even jumping from a 182, SL students should be open at 3300 ft. If they are 'unstable', meh - they'll have line twists.
Or horse shoes... DZ jargon is one thing but complacency during student training...

:facepalm:
I thought you knew all DZ have directbag.
Dissapointed in you
Laugh


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Apr 12, 2012, 12:22 PM
Post #61 of 64 (538 views)
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Re: [Baksteen] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

>With direct-bag? Unlikely.

We ended up with a fair number of horseshoes when we switched to direct bag out of the C206. The problem was that the cargo door was harder to get a good launch out of, and a direct bag deployment "sweeps" the lines from above the student (while the Dbag is still connected to the main) to behind the student (after it releases.) This larger 'sweep' of lines tended to catch arms and legs.

Fortunately most cleared quickly, but I remember at least 5 students who hung from their feet for about 5 seconds and one who had to chop as a result. The number of lost shoes definitely went up after transitioning to direct bag from PCA.


sebcat  (D 22826)

Apr 12, 2012, 4:17 PM
Post #62 of 64 (492 views)
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Re: [Baksteen] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually like the S/L progression, especially over here since it requires more jumps on a student canopy (24-ish vs. AFF's 10) and I also think it's good for the student to focus on the canopy from the beginning, as opposed to freefall skills. That's another discussion though. Bad body position during the deployment sequence is a problem and can regardless of deployment method used cause horse shoes and other problems. Proper training need to take place to mitigate that risk, and a proper attitude should be established early during student training. I'm sorry if I sound like a jerk, but I think it's important.

I say things like that too sometimes but I'm not an instructor and people really shouldn't listen to me :) I try to be good though.

And while I do prefer turbines I did my first S/L's from a C206. FWIW.

Back on topic; our DZ started a mentor thingy this year. I think it's a good idea. I started jumping with a friend and we kept each other motivated during our time as students. I think it's important to have someone to talk to, someone to motivate you, be it a fellow student or a mentor. The problem is, I guess, that you don't really know anyone in the beginning and if you're in an environment that doesn't feel warm and open then it is less fun. The whole social part of skydiving is very important, we all spend more time on the ground than in the air, a lot more.

But if a student really wants to be a licensed skydiver they usually become one. Is it really up to the DZ to motivate them? I don't know, but we, the sport, the club need fresh meat so I guess so. Someone has to fill the slots, right?

No, I think it's more than that. People are interesting, regardless if they're students or world record holders and everyone has nothing to lose and everything to gain if a DZ is warm, fuzzy and welcoming :)

Also, if skydiving was more affordable we'd have more skydivers. But that's controlled by the market and there really is not a lot of things we can do about that. I guess we just have to make sure people think it's worth it, and encourage students to make smart economic choices when it comes to buying stuff so they can spend more money on jumps.


skyguyscott  (D 13458)

Apr 12, 2012, 9:38 PM
Post #63 of 64 (449 views)
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Re: [sebcat] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

Is it me, or is it really the case that ever since Tandem really became nearly everyone's first (and usually only) jump, the number of licensed skydivers has continued to decline.

Back in the dark ages when my original DZ only offered S/L, there was a motivation to get to free fall. That and a deal they had in place where you could buy a block of 20 (or was it 25?) student jumps for $200. (yeah, that was a while back).

Anyway, back in the days before Tandem, most FJS would stick around for a few jumps, since they had already invested so much of their time in learning how to fly and land the canopy.

Just sayin.


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Apr 12, 2012, 11:57 PM
Post #64 of 64 (438 views)
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Re: [billvon] Increase # of returning students [In reply to] Can't Post

@Sebcat; I fully agree with your attitude, but your calling me a complacent instructor based on three lines I wrote on DZ.com kinda rubbed me the wrong way.Wink

In reply to:
>With direct-bag? Unlikely.

We ended up with a fair number of horseshoes when we switched to direct bag out of the C206. The problem was that the cargo door was harder to get a good launch out of, and a direct bag deployment "sweeps" the lines from above the student (while the Dbag is still connected to the main) to behind the student (after it releases.) This larger 'sweep' of lines tended to catch arms and legs.

Fortunately most cleared quickly, but I remember at least 5 students who hung from their feet for about 5 seconds and one who had to chop as a result. The number of lost shoes definitely went up after transitioning to direct bag from PCA.

I was afraid I'd get a response such as thisSmile
Technically, you're absolutely correct, of course.

But for clarity purposes, let's distinguish between
1) a horseshoe as an f'ing scary high speed mal
2) a student getting their arm/leg caught in their lines with at least some kind of parachute above their head.

---

ETA something on topic:
If you're the instructor who's going to give the FJC it's nice to have a little extra time to prepare the classroom and rehearse the lessons you are going to teach.
However, students have been known to show up as early as one hour before the scheduled start of the FJC.

So apart from the instructor(s) who'll do the actual teaching, we also have a schedule for 'FJC hosts'.

The hosts sole responsibility is to make the students feel welcome. This person can even be a student from last weeks FJC. The host is in charge of giving the students a tour of the DZ, drinking a cup of coffee with them, asking the students about themselves, introducing the students to whomever may be present etc. They are also instructed to refer any and all skydiving related questions to the FJC.

Whether or not this helps long-term retention rates I'm not sure - and frankly, we don't even care that much. To us, the important thing is that students say that they feel welcome at our DZ, and that they are approached by a friendly face as soon as they step inside. Smile


(This post was edited by Baksteen on Apr 13, 2012, 1:49 AM)


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