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How soon is too soon to start freeflying?

 

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Poll: How soon is too soon to start freeflying?
50 jumps is enough 48 / 38%
At least 100 52 / 42%
At least 150 9 / 7%
At least 200 16 / 13%
125 total votes
 
Rstanley0312  (D 31900)

Jul 10, 2009, 10:50 AM
Post #1 of 51 (2349 views)
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How soon is too soon to start freeflying? Can't Post

Just curious what everyone thinks. I am of the mind that building air awareness and belly skills is VERY important and think around the 150-200 mark should be a general standard.


millertime24  (C 38793)

Jul 10, 2009, 11:15 AM
Post #2 of 51 (2302 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the answere is, it depends. How fast do you learn? Is your rig ff friendly? How many hours of tunnel time do you have? What do the instructors think about your skill level? Tons of things go into it IMO.

For example, if you just got off of aff and have an "A" license, but have been tunnel flying since you were 6 I would say that as soon as you have a ff friendly rig and a coach then why not 30-35 jumps?


Rstanley0312  (D 31900)

Jul 10, 2009, 11:25 AM
Post #3 of 51 (2278 views)
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Re: [millertime24] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think the answere is, it depends. How fast do you learn? Is your rig ff friendly? How many hours of tunnel time do you have? What do the instructors think about your skill level? Tons of things go into it IMO.

For example, if you just got off of aff and have an "A" license, but have been tunnel flying since you were 6 I would say that as soon as you have a ff friendly rig and a coach then why not 30-35 jumps?

I see what you are saying but the tunnel does not teach air awarness and a few other things that are important......


rlucus  (C 37442)

Jul 10, 2009, 11:28 AM
Post #4 of 51 (2267 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

I recommend my students to go off of time, no less than 30 minutes of belly time after you receive your 'A' with a coach and 2 dytters, twice that without a coach. That's just a basic standard. I'll extend it for people that jump as often or have a harder time picking things up.


Rstanley0312  (D 31900)

Jul 10, 2009, 12:37 PM
Post #5 of 51 (2218 views)
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Re: [rlucus] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

I like that as well........ after all it is the freefall time that matters! 150 jumps with half being hop and pops or exits from 5500 isn't quite the same.


countzero  (D 32712)

Jul 10, 2009, 12:58 PM
Post #6 of 51 (2196 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

i think having 150-200 jumps before FF is better. because you'll have more experience at safely breaking off and tracking away, also you'll have a better awareness for levels, proximities, and stopping and starting movment toward docks. true that in FF things happen faster. but i feel that the skills i mentioned and learned in the 200+ jumps i did on my belly have helped make me a safer jumper/ freeflier.


councilman24  (D 8631)

Jul 10, 2009, 1:45 PM
Post #7 of 51 (2153 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

Where is the greater than 500 response? Not necessarily kidding.

Ahhhh crap, never mind. When a discussion for experience recommended includes tunnel time, where you might get a rug burn, I give up.


Rstanley0312  (D 31900)

Jul 10, 2009, 1:51 PM
Post #8 of 51 (2144 views)
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Re: [councilman24] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Where is the greater than 500 response? Not necessarily kidding.

Ahhhh crap, never mind. When a discussion for experience recommended includes tunnel time, where you might get a rug burn, I give up.

Terry I actually had 500+ as an option but took it away thinking so many would think that was silly... I do not necessarily but as you can see by the people that think 50 jumps is enough which I think is CRAZY I'm not sure how many would of looked at that as reasonable. Unsure


wildcard451  (D License)

Jul 10, 2009, 2:28 PM
Post #9 of 51 (2112 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

Started FF at 30 jumps. Did just fine with it as far as FF awareness etc. Had no interest in belly flying at the time, as FF was "cooler".
I now tell my students and new jumpers to probably get at least 100 belly jumps under their belt to get a solid foundation before moving on.

Reasons why?
1) It was funny as hell watching me try to learn how to move around on my belly for coach ratings.
2) Not being able to go do a pick up 4/8 whatever way with friends cause I couldn't really fly it right.

There's nothing really wrong with doing it early other than FF awareness issues, assuming one has the right coaching (I was lucky enough to have pro coaching from my first FF jump, forgot that point)...however, you'll reach a point where you wanna join a belly jump, or make money skydiving, and find yourself woefully underprepared.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jul 10, 2009, 3:26 PM
Post #10 of 51 (2084 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's so hard to pin down a number because there are different levels and types of freeflying.

Is the person going to freefly exclusively or still pick up some solid and useful belly skills along the way?

Are they getting some sort of coaching beyond "face off the windline for god's sake", or are they picking it all up by themselves? The less coaching there is, the more likely we'd say "wait another hundred jumps", in the hope that they hear a few tips along the way before doing anything silly.

Are we talking about solo freeflying, or the more hazardous "two newbies go for a sitfly"?

It can also depend on the jurisdiction, where there may be limits on who an A licenced person can jump with. Then a newbie may be more likely to do solo jumps and play around, maybe doing more backloops, or trying to stand or sit in freefall. So it becomes natural to try some sort of basic freeflying.


Halfpastniner  (D 30747)

Jul 10, 2009, 6:01 PM
Post #11 of 51 (2035 views)
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Re: [wildcard451] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Started FF at 30 jumps. Did just fine with it as far as FF awareness etc. Had no interest in belly flying at the time, as FF was "cooler".
I now tell my students and new jumpers to probably get at least 100 belly jumps under their belt to get a solid foundation before moving on.

Reasons why?
1) It was funny as hell watching me try to learn how to move around on my belly for coach ratings.
2) Not being able to go do a pick up 4/8 whatever way with friends cause I couldn't really fly it right.

There's nothing really wrong with doing it early other than FF awareness issues, assuming one has the right coaching (I was lucky enough to have pro coaching from my first FF jump, forgot that point)...however, you'll reach a point where you wanna join a belly jump, or make money skydiving, and find yourself woefully underprepared.

Exactly! This was my experience as well


jsaxton  (D 26818)

Jul 10, 2009, 9:21 PM
Post #12 of 51 (1975 views)
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Re: [councilman24] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

Heck, I had more than 500 but meby I'm old fashioned, or is that just old?

In reply to:
Where is the greater than 500 response? Not necessarily kidding.

Ahhhh crap, never mind. When a discussion for experience recommended includes tunnel time, where you might get a rug burn, I give up.


futuredivot  (Student)

Jul 10, 2009, 10:50 PM
Post #13 of 51 (1951 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

If you asked my instructors they'd probably tell you that I was closer to ff than belly for the first 10 jumps or soBlush


Chubba  (A 10160)

Jul 10, 2009, 11:03 PM
Post #14 of 51 (1940 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

Does tracking on your back count?

I would go crazy on a small C182 DZ doing only rel work.

Majority of the time you don't even have the option of launching a 4-way... tandem here, AFF there, suddenly there's no room... there's only so much fun you can have doing RW with 2-3 people every jump.


skybill  (D 6009)

Jul 11, 2009, 6:17 AM
Post #15 of 51 (1896 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Just curious what everyone thinks. I am of the mind that building air awareness and belly skills is VERY important and think around the 150-200 mark should be a general standard.
Hi Stan,
"Should be a general standard!!....says who???" Why I've seen some people start freeflying on their very first jump!!!!* # Whether they survived or not is subject for another discussion. "Numbers" are elusive! If you can do a backloop or barrel roll (you should have already before you got your "A") 'yer freeflyn'!!!

(*) PS Why do 'ya think instructors get grey hair????
(#)PPS And some of those were on "Static Line!!!!"


(This post was edited by skybill on Jul 11, 2009, 6:22 AM)


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jul 11, 2009, 6:26 AM
Post #16 of 51 (1889 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
As soon as you are cleared to jumpmaster yourself, your skydive is your to do with as you please.

Of course, you have to take the safety of others into consideration as well, and conduct yourself in a manner that will not endanger anyone esle. That aside, what you do before you dump is your business.

All this talk about 'solid belly skills' is bullshit. If your instructors feel that your belly skills are sufficient that you are able to gain stability at any time from any body position, enabling you to safely deploy a parachute, then you have all the belly skills you need to safely complete a solo skydive.

Just because belly to earth happens to be the deployment position doesn't mean you have hone those skills to a fine point before moving on. Everyone starts on their belly becasue that's the skill you need to deploy safely. Precise fallrate control and center point turns do nothing for you at pull time.


eightate8at8  (A License)

Jul 11, 2009, 8:50 AM
Post #17 of 51 (1854 views)
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Re: [davelepka] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

Shouldn't put numbers towards it at all, it is entirely based on the individual himself. I have been doing solo's to get to 25/my A, and I have already been flying on my back. I flew through AFF and only needed a few coach jumps to knock out the proficiency card. I guess you can say I got bored on my belly so I'm working on a back to sit progression.

On the other hand, I will be back on my belly after I get my A and am jumping with others doing small 4 ways and whatnot..


skybill  (D 6009)

Jul 11, 2009, 9:54 AM
Post #18 of 51 (1832 views)
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Re: [davelepka] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As soon as you are cleared to jumpmaster yourself, your skydive is your to do with as you please.

Of course, you have to take the safety of others into consideration as well, and conduct yourself in a manner that will not endanger anyone esle. That aside, what you do before you dump is your business.

All this talk about 'solid belly skills' is bullshit. If your instructors feel that your belly skills are sufficient that you are able to gain stability at any time from any body position, enabling you to safely deploy a parachute, then you have all the belly skills you need to safely complete a solo skydive.

Just because belly to earth happens to be the deployment position doesn't mean you have hone those skills to a fine point before moving on. Everyone starts on their belly becasue that's the skill you need to deploy safely. Precise fallrate control and center point turns do nothing for you at pull time.
Hi Dave,
"Very well said!!," and I concur. "Fly While You Still Have Your Wings!!"


Stuntbabex  (B 31228)

Jul 12, 2009, 1:27 AM
Post #19 of 51 (1722 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

I started at jump 17.


pinkfairy  (C 85665)

Jul 12, 2009, 2:01 AM
Post #20 of 51 (1709 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

If they're just messing arount trying to do head up all by themselves in suitable gear at 50 jumps, I see nothing wrong with it. Participating in larger freefly group jumps would of course not be a very good idea at that experience level.

I do think that belly is a better idea for beginers, because they can actually achieve something quite fast, which is fun, If I do an FS 2-way with someone with 30 jumps, we'll score some points and have fun instead of just flailing around.


surfbum5412  (A 49444)

Jul 12, 2009, 10:04 AM
Post #21 of 51 (1656 views)
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Re: [Rstanley0312] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't see a choice for "immediately following AFF." Start flying on your back and getting comfortable with that; then sitfly; then head down. Always remember to face perpendicular to the line-of-flight.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Jul 12, 2009, 10:09 AM
Post #22 of 51 (1653 views)
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Re: [pinkfairy] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's been discussed before, but it's easier to lose altitude awareness, and altitude, in a sit or head down. Some people are more aware than others.

I do remember a freeflyer, 500+ jumps, who was going to get his tandem rating, swooping my tandem one day. He couldn't get any closer than about 15 feet away, just didn't have the belly skills to dock. I hope he practiced before getting his AFF rating.Tongue


pinkfairy  (C 85665)

Jul 12, 2009, 10:26 AM
Post #23 of 51 (1647 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

I know that, the people who start freeflying straight off AFF and never get into belly flying suck on their belly. Really, thay can't arch and will go head down to get down to the speedstar base. Crazy

But I meet many people who do it that way, and as long as they keep to what they know how to do, then I see nothing wrong with it.


surfbum5412  (A 49444)

Jul 12, 2009, 4:08 PM
Post #24 of 51 (1599 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
it's easier to lose altitude awareness, and altitude, in a sit or head down. Some people are more aware than others.

I would hope everyone this day-an-age has a dytter.

In reply to:
I do remember a freeflyer, 500+ jumps, who was going to get his tandem rating, swooping my tandem one day. He couldn't get any closer than about 15 feet away, just didn't have the belly skills to dock. I hope he practiced before getting his AFF rating.Tongue

Haha. I get a kick out that, too. Some freeflyers forget that freeflying includes all 4 orientations. If you can't belly fly too well, you probably can't back fly to well. And if you can't back fly too well, you probably can't sitfly too well...etc...


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Jul 12, 2009, 7:36 PM
Post #25 of 51 (1548 views)
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Re: [surfbum5412] How soon is too soon to start freeflying? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I would hope everyone this day-an-age has a dytter.
Not everyone. Mine disappeared after a riser strike on a tandem jump.Unsure Still haven't gotten the Neptune reprogrammed. Just using an Alti 3.

Even audibles are not total panaceas. They should only be a back up. Smile


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