Apr 24, 2006, 5:54 AM
Post #1 of 6
Hey guys n gals, the names Alex from london & ive been interested in this sport for a few years now but being a little scared of heights & not having the cash has stopped me in my tracks...anyway! moneys not a problem now & the best way to get over my fear is to face it head on... as soon as the weathers a little better im gonna go for it but not sure where to start..should i do a tandem first or should i go for the AFF course .(this is the one i think is right). & where should i go for my training. the nearest to me that is open 7days is headcorn, but ive read some off putting reviews.. ive taken this summer off so ive got the time to put in & could travel to the right DZ if needed. any advice most appriciated
ps..i think this could become my way of life...he he
Tandem or AFF is a debate topic, but the general consensus is that if you really think that this sport is for you, and you have the cash, go for AFF straight away. A tandem jump is a great way to experience your first freefall (I started off with a tandem), but does cost over £200 (More than 10 jump tickets when you're qualified) and does not qualify as a jump towards any future ratings.
A big advantage to doing a tandem before AFF is that the freefall experience will not be a new thing when you get onto your level 1 AFF - which may make the experience even easier. I would personally recommend that you travel up to either Bedford or Milton Keynes to do a bit of tunnel time before your AFF course - doing that helped me tremendously and I didn't fail any AFF levels. Being able to keep stability and do turns before your AFF course will make the entire thing a breeze.
Being pretty new to the scene, I can't really offer any DZ reviews. You may find it cheaper (and get better weather) going abroad to either the USA or Spain for example - plus you get a holiday abroad to boot! Word of warning on doing this is to ensure that you are trained by a qualified BPA instructor and that any qualifications you get abroad will transfer over to the UK. I did my AFF, Consols and CH1 at the Freefall University near Madrid. You could read the DZ reviews section for more of an idea what the dropzones are like around your area.
Hope all goes well with your skydive(s), let us all know how it turns out!
skymama (D 26699)
Apr 24, 2006, 8:48 AM
Post #3 of 6
Welcome to the forums! I always recommend a tandem for your first jump and it might be good in your case since you do have a fear of heights. There's nothing wrong with starting AFF right away, you just won't have as much sensory overload if you let someone else do all the work on your first jump.
There are many Brits who come over to FL to train. They say that it is cheaper to do it over here. If you have the time, you could take a couple of weeks and get your A license. I know they are very expereinced in Deland with helping people from overseas get their training this way.
OK, in my personal opinion, AFF is the way to go. If a DZ doesn't require a tandem, i'd say do AFF right off the bat. That's the way i did it. As for DZ's, i don't know much about the UK jumping scene but if travelling is an option you might even look at going to Spain to do your training, somewhere like Empuriabrava maybe.
As already said here spain is cheaper than getting Aff in the UK. you can do this anywhere as long as you have a bpa instructor who will supply and sign your logbook which makes it easier for you on return to the UK. there are a number of goodtraining schools in spain which cater for Uk student Jumpers who wish to to Aff, Seville,Lillo, Ocana or Empuria all do Aff under bpa instructors. As already said you also get a bonus holiday out of going there but they also have better weather and you could have it all rapped up in a matter of days with a A licence in your pocket on your return. As for reviews of dz this is only really a guide make up your own mind by going there and jumping, its the only way to be sure as things could have changed and if so post about your experiance. Hope you find what you are looking for, look for the London skydivers thread as there are a number of people who jump down there
as soon as the weathers a little better im gonna go for it but not sure where to start..should i do a tandem first or should i go for the AFF course.
I started in June 2005 and I started with my first AFF jump. Having done that, what I suggest to new people is that they do a tandem first. The main reason why is that when I first let go of the airplane, the only thing in my mind for the first 10 or 15 seconds was something like "oh sh-t I let go of the plane oh sh-t the ground's down there oh sh-t I'm falling oh sh-t I let go of the plane." After that I got with the program and started doing the checks with my instructors, etc. Apparently this is not an uncommon experience for first-time jumpers, and I think it would be better to have this happen when you don't have to _do_ anything.
I don't know if the UK regulations are different, but some US dropzones incorporate a couple of tandem jumps into the beginning of the AFF program, so even your first tandem can "count" towards your license requirements. Even if it won't "count", your DZ and/or tandem instructor may be willing to let you do things like wear an altimeter or fly the canopy a bit, but this is totally up to them.
In reply to:
where should i go for my training.
Straight up. :) Seriously... You might post in the "Events and Places to Jump" forum and put something like "New jumper in Somecity, UK" in the subject - you should get a lot of responses there.