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AFF vs S/L?

 

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wildfan75  (D 29536)

Jul 20, 2006, 10:22 AM
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AFF vs S/L? Can't Post

In the recent thread on the drop in number of skydivers (registered with USPA), the subject of cost (especially those associated with AFF) came up.

I'm curious...

Which FJC did you take (AFF or Static Line)?

What did getting to your Class A license cost you?

If you're an instructor, what are the advantages/disadvantages of each?

Not sure where this thread will go but as a static liner, I'm not completely sold that AFF is "the way". From what I've seen people pay for just the seven or eight AFF jumps, I did 5 static line jumps, 20 FF, got my class A license AND bought a used rig.

Your thoughts?


skydivermom  (C 36927)

Jul 20, 2006, 10:37 AM
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Re: [wildfan75] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a Static Line graduate, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have become a skydiver any other way. AFF would have stressed me out, mentally and financially. I never paid for coach jumps and got a used rig from my instructor as well. It's not the newest and prettiest, but it works great.

Some people will swear AFF is the way to go, others say the same thing about Satic Line. I think it depends on the person.


Chris-Ottawa  (A License)

Jul 20, 2006, 10:39 AM
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Re: [wildfan75] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey,

I'm an AFF graduate. I graduated fairly recently and yes it was costly. I haven't gotten my A yet but I'm just 5 RW jumps away. To get to this point, I've spent about $2400 CDN, not including my recent gear purchase. I should be about $2700 (CDN) by the time I get my A.

I think AFF (or PFF for us Northerners) is the way to go. I really didn't enjoy the 2 prerequesite IAD's before starting PFF. It was kindof like an amusement park ride that I got to control. n I really felt nothing for the IAD's. It was the freefall that got me excited, and with PFF you get that much sooner than on a static line progression.

My vote is for PFF.

Chris


ChrisL  (C 35323)

Jul 20, 2006, 10:47 AM
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Re: [Chris-Ottawa] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

There is no "better" way.

My vote is for whatever gets you to the point that you are a safe, responsible, licensed skydiver.

I myself followed the [crackle hissss hisss crackle] method and that worked just fine for me Cool


(This post was edited by ChrisL on Jul 20, 2006, 10:49 AM)


kenneth21441  (B License)

Jul 20, 2006, 11:14 AM
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Re: [wildfan75] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

Each area has its own pros and cons:

In respective AFF is faster chance of getting to free fall on jump one. This faster also does not come cheap. Each level builds up to that level of being a certified skydiver.

We also have jumps where you do four tandems and the rest under AFF. First Tandem is basically the just a ride. 2nd jump you do things up to the 4th jump. After you complete these four jumps you do the AFF part that should have built up on what you learned with the tandem jumps. Cost goes down verses the AFF complet course.

Static line of course starts out with five static line jumps. With at least three "go" dummy rigcord pulls... Then you build up from there to a 5sec hop and pop. 10, 20's, 30's, and 45 sec free falls each jump with certain task to perform. that meet the same requirements of the other programs. Cost is neg. but can take longer at times. Since you have the static line deployment. Correct me if im wrong but these static line jumps count towards the lic requirements as does the tandems.

Either way it is your decision to make and I would recommenc checking with the DZ with what they offer and cost etc..... If you want in the air today then try a tandem with little class work to start...

Unlike the sea the sky is even more unforgiving.......

hope this helps..


wildfan75  (D 29536)

Jul 20, 2006, 11:24 AM
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Re: [kenneth21441] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, static line and tandem jumps count towards your class A requirements.

I would argue that if they were the same cost, AFF all the way, but there is a huge difference in price between AFF and S/L and if you end up at the same place (class A license at or around 25 jumps) why would anyone want to dish out that kind of money on a few jumps?

I know one guy with the same number of jumps as I do that went through AFF that is scared to do hop 'n pops because he never had to do them in AFF. He always had the extra time to get stable. I would be nervous if I couldn't leave a plane stable.


psipike02  (B 29211)

Jul 20, 2006, 11:58 AM
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Re: [wildfan75] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I know one guy with the same number of jumps as I do that went through AFF that is scared to do hop 'n pops because he never had to do them in AFF. He always had the extra time to get stable. I would be nervous if I couldn't leave a plane stable.

I had the same fear when I was getting my A and had to do my two h&p's from 5.5 and 3.5 K. Reason is, for static line, you guys start low, so it wasn't new to you. For us, the idea of getting out of plane and pulling at pull altitude and then lower than that doesnt seem inviting to us...at least for me...

I saved my H&P's for my last few jumps. I even got my checkout dive done before them too...its just part of progression...now they're no big deal...

But frankly, I enjoyed AFF, and even though it was costly, I feel like on each level I learned so much and that my instructors made sure I was solid on every point before they moved me to the next level. I wanna do the same when I become an instructor Wink


Zipp0  (Student)

Jul 20, 2006, 12:33 PM
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Re: [kenneth21441] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

Current IAD student. I like the fact that I can space the expense out over time and do everything on my own. Although, I might throw an AFF jump in somewhere if I get stuck on something.

Even if it takes me 40 jumps for my A, I'm only looking at $2000. I hope it doesn't take me that many though.....Smile


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Jul 20, 2006, 1:00 PM
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Re: [wildfan75] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In the recent thread on the drop in number of skydivers (registered with USPA), the subject of cost (especially those associated with AFF) came up.

I'm curious...

Which FJC did you take (AFF or Static Line)?

What did getting to your Class A license cost you?

If you're an instructor, what are the advantages/disadvantages of each?

Not sure where this thread will go but as a static liner, I'm not completely sold that AFF is "the way". From what I've seen people pay for just the seven or eight AFF jumps, I did 5 static line jumps, 20 FF, got my class A license AND bought a used rig.

Your thoughts?

The price difference might not exist.

I did AFF 10 years ago and don't think I spent much over $1200, plus an extra $25 per jump for the next 5 on gear rental.

My old home DZ now charges $1340 for the complete AFF program without repeats.

A local DZ here charges $1970 for their static line progression totaling 25 jumps (including 4 RW jumps).

As long as you do enough hop-and-pops following the AFF program and RW jumps following the static line program you should end up in the same place.


(This post was edited by DrewEckhardt on Jul 20, 2006, 1:04 PM)


wildfan75  (D 29536)

Jul 20, 2006, 1:28 PM
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

A local DZ here charges $1970 for their static line progression totaling 25 jumps (including 4 RW jumps).

Holy Sh*t!! $1970 for 25 jumps! That's outrageous!!! My "package" was $730 total (in which I did several 2 ways, 2 or 3 three ways, and 2 or 3 four ways).

Do students who jump there walk away holding their a$$e$?!


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Jul 20, 2006, 1:37 PM
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Re: [wildfan75] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

That is partially due to the size of the DZ. Someone needs to pay for those turbines, the pools, the manicured grass.. etc. Lesser facalities can reduce the cost of the jumps for jumpers and students. Altitude is also in there, you did your jumps in a 182 at 10k, outside of a 182 most students are going to 13k for their jumps.


jacketsdb23  (D 29802)

Jul 20, 2006, 4:03 PM
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Re: [wildfan75] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

I took the static line course and at the time didn't know much about AFF. I learned just fine and spent a fraction of the money it would have cost to do AFF at another drop zone. This drop zone that I started at (Malone Parachute Club in NY) didn't offer AFF. It helped also that my dad was my jump master and instructor.

I think from a money stand point static line is the way to go. If money isn't an issue, I think you can learn to fly/fall through the sky faster with AFF. I base this on the fact that you have an instructor falling with you (2 of them for the first few levels) watching you...not just watching from the plane.

Biggest con of static line...those damn line twists. Had bad line twists a couple weeks ago ( body position when opening maybe?) and it brought me right back to those static line days. I don't miss those. Also, unless the student gear has changed much over the past few years most static line programs teach the RCP - Ripcord pull. If you aren't familiar with modern skydiving gear when you start the sport, you've started to teach your muscle's how to deploy your main parachute that are no longer valid when you purchase your own gear. That can be a bit challenging when going to BOC.

Just my $0.02

marcel


kenneth21441  (B License)

Jul 20, 2006, 4:49 PM
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Re: [jacketsdb23] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

I started out on the static line program back in 1990. At brag, there we usually jumped uh-60 blackhawks and UH-1 Hueys. Got up to 45 secound delays and went to work in the middle east. Upon returning to the USA I had to basically start at stage two... as they did not offer Static line where I went.. So finished it all with the AFF... Do I like hop and pops?? No I dont as I have done alot of those 800 feet drops and one at 450 feet.. To this day it still gets to me but I have somewhat over come this by just doing it... You never know when you may need it... Just will not go lower then 3500 feet for H/P's...

Maybe one day soon Ill take it down to 2500.

I guess for me I did not have that big expense from learning as alot of it was covered with membership in the GB club.. including A/C support that also helped the crews keep there flying hours up there...

Just another day..Smile


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Jul 20, 2006, 5:53 PM
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Re: [wildfan75] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Not sure where this thread will go but as a static liner, I'm not completely sold that AFF is "the way". From what I've seen people pay for just the seven or eight AFF jumps, I did 5 static line jumps, 20 FF, got my class A license AND bought a used rig.

Your experience is non existent for most. I haven't seen any rigs remotely close to the cost of AFF, and the cheapest (and only) SL option in the Bay Area will still run about or above the cost of AFF to get the A.

The gain doesn't seem great in absolute dollars but rather you don't have the hugely expensive days at the beginning. Much better for paying as you go over 3 months.


Ron

Jul 20, 2006, 6:19 PM
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Re: [wildfan75] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

Went SL myself.

Hold SL, Tandem, and AFF "I's"...so I know a bit of both even if I only learned SL.

I like the SL method.

1. It costs less.

2. People are not afraid of low exits. Take an AFF guy with 20 jumps and a SL guy with 20 jumps and have the plane level off at 2 grand with an engine problem. See which one gets out of the plane faster.

3. You need 9,500 feet for an AFF jump. If the clouds are at 8 grand or less, you can still put the SL program delays out.

4. Due to the extended time under supervision, I think the SL folks have better canopy control.

5. In my experince most SL student learn how to pack.

6. Most SL grads can spot better than AFF grads.

Now MOST of this is due to the longer amount of time that SL students are under supervision and the fact that SL is most often done at smaller DZ's where things like spotting and packing are still considered important.

The USPA had no need for a "coach" rating when most people did SL....It might be because the SL folks were under supervision longer and learned more. Now AFF folks can do 7 jumps and then they are on their own. The most often bitch about skydiving (Other than cost) seems to be that once people get off student status they are left alone. That was not the way back in the old SL days.

There was no need for packing courses, spotting lessons, or basic canopy control coaches since the SL folks got that all in the SL program.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Jul 20, 2006, 9:54 PM
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Re: [Ron] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with a lot of that, Ron. Most S/L training is done from a C-182 with the jumpmaster, then later the student, doing the spotting. Now it's becoming a very lost art. Unsure

I like that S/L lets you concentrate on the 2 most important things in skydiving . . . .

1-Getting a good canopy over your head.

2-Making a safe landing with that canopy.

I eased into the sport as a static line student. Of course, that's all there was back then. But as a teenager, I could never have afforded the AFF program. The S/L program let me keep in the air, even with crappy teenager paychecks. Smile


Andy9o8  (D License)

Jul 21, 2006, 8:04 AM
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Re: [Ron & JohnMitchell] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

My own experience as a S/L student, and positive opinion about it, are the same as Ron and John's. I, too, did it back when that's all there was. It's a great way to teach a student to feel self-reliant, as well as canopy skills.

My only qualifier to that is that AFF (or even tandem progression, of which I'm no huge fan) helps the raw student more quickly get past the sensory overload of being in freefall. I was one of those S/L progression students that got stuck forever on the sub-terminal delays because I had stability problems and sensory overload. I kept kicking my legs (so they tell me) but I was pretty oblivious to what my body was doing. On early jumps, each time my brain started to acclimate to freefall, it was pull time already and too late to just "relax" and let my (tumbling) self get stable. So back up I went to do it again. Over and over. Very frustrating. In retrospect, after my first 2 or 3 hop & pops I really could have benefited from 2 or 3 AFF-type jumps from full altitude to get past the overload and learn to relax in a boxman (instead of a stiff spread-eagle) and then returned to my S/L progression. Would probably have knocked a good 10 or 15 jumps off what it took me to get my A license. If I were an instructor (I'm not) I'd consider using a hybrid program that combined the two methods.


Armour666  (B 30794)

Jul 21, 2006, 8:22 AM
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Re: [wildfan75] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

I saved up to do my AFF cource witch cost me $950 for 10 jumps plus $440 for my firs jump , In between my firs jump (after I found out I liked it and would continue I bought my Altimiter and AltiTrack $300US and Jumptrack software $100US

After doing 7 jumps in one weekend got a chance to buy a Used Talon for $1300 with saber a 190 and Raven IV 280. It came with a FXC so it was off to find a cypres found one paid $435US and it's in for it's 4 year check as we speak.

So in total I'm in for $2523.90 for gear $1390 for jumps with a grand Total of 3913.90. Thats not including travel cost, beer , food , beer , this and that costs more beer Sly

But having my own gear now and finishing my A will be a lot less without gear rental cost.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Jul 21, 2006, 4:17 PM
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Re: [Ron] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

S/L with a square parachute is a lot different than my S/L under rounds...canopy control was not a big issue under rounds...spotting and PLF was the big issues.

LaughLaugh

My S/L was much cheaper even after adjusting for '77 $$ to '00 $$. I learned equipment, spotting, pulling a ripcord and not much more that I can point to with pride. Oh, and a little about canopy control once I got under a Paracommander.

I spent way much more money on AFF than S/L but I learned much more about flying my body, relaxing, and canopy flight/control. Good thing I had the old-school S/L though...spotting and PLF was only mentioned in passing...almost as an after-thought.

I like the idea someone already mentioned about a melding of the two in order to get the benefits of both.


chopchop  (D 25001)

Jul 21, 2006, 4:26 PM
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Re: [wildfan75] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

I did AFF.. I liked it.. i still like doing AFF jumps.. Tongue I've got no experience with S/L. Either way you go, you end up a skydiver. Have fun!Wink


Ron

Jul 21, 2006, 4:27 PM
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Re: [popsjumper] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
S/L with a square parachute is a lot different than my S/L under rounds...canopy control was not a big issue under rounds...spotting and PLF was the big issues.

I meant today with modern gear....Not that crap you used to jump Shocked

In reply to:
I like the idea someone already mentioned about a melding of the two in order to get the benefits of both.

I had a dream of:

1. A tandem to serve 90% of the people who want to jump and pay the bills. This would also be the BEST way to teach canopy flight.

2. 5 SL jumps to teach independance, canopy control, and spotting basics.

3. Two hop n pops to teach independance, more spotting, and basic save your life stuff.

4. Then transition to AFF style single JM jumps.


velvetjo  (D License)

Jul 21, 2006, 7:57 PM
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Re: [Ron] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ron, that sounds a lot like this program. I understand that CSPA's PFF is also similar in concept. I mostly trained in a straight S/L program, and I wish that I had the advantages of all three methods like the students I work with now. The big advantage of IAD instead of S/L in an integrated student program is not having to change student gear rigging for any type of solo jump - everything gets packed as BOC.

Lance


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Jul 22, 2006, 12:23 AM
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Re: [Ron] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...I meant today with modern gear....Not that crap you used to jump Shocked

Of course you did and I understood that.

LaughLaughLaugh
You've been there, I'm sure, and yes, crap is the operative word (when compared to modern equipment).


tbrown  (D 6533)

Jul 22, 2006, 12:54 PM
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Re: [wildfan75] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

I came up through static line, but that was thirty years ago, when there was no other way. Same as the prices, which if I told you would make you sick to your stomach, though it was a struggle for me at the time - it's NEVER been cheap. Licenses weren't strictly enforced in those days either and I took 3 years before getting a C license and have no idea what it cost me by then.

I have one friend who was not doing well with AFF and only made real progress after switching to a SL program. And then I have another friend who went through AFF so fast he actually got skipped over a jump after taking a tunnel session and he just got his "A" last weekend. So I believe in "different strokes for different folks".

That said, I'm also VERY impressed with how quickly AFF students learn skills that it used to take us a very long time to learn in the old days - f'rinstance I didn't make human contact with another skydiver in freefall until my 51st jump, which would be unheard of now. I'm making the hopeful assumption that SL training has come a long way over the years and that SL students are getting moved on & up to the good stuff a lot faster than we were back in the day.

The biggest bone I have to pick with AFF is the residual paranoia it seems to breed of being in freefall anywhere below 5 grand. I'm told that SL has moved up from 2500 to 3500 ft, which I suppose is a good thing. But the BENEFIT you get from that is that you started out at 3500 ft and you're not afraid of it, it's like a baseline to your experience. Have any of your friends told you they don't want to pull below 4 grand yet ??? Bet some of them have.... I don't think it's intentional, but it is an unfortunate side effect that AFF has bred a whole generation of altitude weenies. And you've managed to avoid that. Everybody needs to get comfy with 3 grand if they're going to play with 6 or more of their friends at once, and you've got a real advantage there, so go get 'em kid.

Oh and by the way, I checked your profile & that's one NICE rig you got yourself ! Way to go !


(This post was edited by tbrown on Jul 22, 2006, 12:58 PM)


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Jul 22, 2006, 6:30 PM
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Re: [tbrown] AFF vs S/L? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Everybody needs to get comfy with 3 grand if they're going to play with 6 or more of their friends at once,

Why? With airplanes going routinely to 15k, do we have to burn up every bit? Those still on a decision height of 2500 (As) shouldn't be opening at 3. Bill Dause, btw, uses 4k after 10s of thousands of jumps.
People shouldn't view the min deploy heights like speed limits - as a starting point to be pushed.

You are right - AFFs don't like that first hnp at 3500. (equilivent to terminal pull at 4k). It took a bit longer than the 30 jumps I did to get the A before I could be immediately stable on exit. That skill is required of static liners, but fairly ignored for AFF. A couple months past student training I was doing a 7k hnp for Germain's class when I rushed the throw and wrapped the bridle on my ankle. Kicked it free, but I'm glad I didn't do that on my first 3.5 - would have been in the saddle around 2.

It nice to be able to practice hnps routinely, though some DZs make it relatively expensive (same price or close) or impractical. To date I probably still only have as many (7?) as any SL student.


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