Aug 23, 2001, 9:47 PM
Post #1 of 7
Back on target...
Woohoo! I'm moving up the program again.
I'm on a S/L course at my dropzone, and cruised through the first 6 jumps without incident. A lot of people seem to miss their first practice pull, but I got it, and I was feeling on top of the world. Then came the 10 seconds last weekend.
First, I had a bit of a cold. I was a little congested, and definately not in top shape. Second, I was dragging my (ex-)whuffo friend to take the FJC, which meant I had to get out of bed at obscene hours of the morning to get there.
But hell, he's got to sit through his class, I might as well jump. It was my first 10 second freefall, and I was feeling all high and mighty (well, that might be an exageration... I'm actually nervous on every jump, but I didn't think that 10 seconds would be a big deal).
Well, I got up there, climbed onto the wing, and let go. I counted, and wobbled quite a bit (is this potato chipping? I'm not sure on the terms). I pulled after my 10 count, and had a nice ride down. I wasn't sure if I'd passed or not, but thought I had a decent chance at it.
Well, the JM said that I had a beautiful arch when I let go, and as the 6 seconds passed before I pulled (Apparently I was counting a bit fast), I lost my arch.
No biggie. I knew I'd fail one of my student jumps, at least I'm freefalling, right?
So, I sit on the ground for a couple hours and talk to the rigger (I got to pull a reserve on the ground, that was pretty neat), and I'm getting advice from everybody on how to arch and stay stable.
I finally manifest to go up with my friend during his first jump. He goes out, and I can't get a good look at him (I'm still nervous on the plane), and my turn comes along.
I get out onto the wing, let go, and all the advice runs through my mind. I bend my knees a little, I put my arms in 101 different positions, I try to relax, I try to arch hard. Then, it occurs to me: "I'm not counting."
So I pull. The Jumpmaster would later tell me that I pulled after about 4 seconds, in an unstable freefall, leaning left, and turning right.
... a week passes ...
I reserve two spots for tonight, since this weekend is probably going to be rainy.
First jump, I get out on the wing, and get the "go" order. I look up at the wing and remind myself of the three things I need to fix: Keep my eyes open, maintain a solid arch, and count.
And I let go. I fall for a bit, and start looking down. (1 one-thousand 2 onethousand). I catch it, and I look up. (3 onethousand). And my head creeps downward (4, 5). Snap it back up. I don't know how many times I caught myself looking down. I know that I pulled on 10 seconds, but I was in a forward dive. That pull hurt.
Honestly, I probably wouldn't have passed me. My JM talked it over with a couple others, and did send me on to my second 10, but I wasn't feeling too confident.
I went up again. I got out on the wing, and let go. And I just started staring out over the clouds. There were some low clouds coming in, and I just kept my head up and staired over them. I took one glance at my altimeter (although, I failed to actually look at the needle, more just a check to see if it was there), and it was smooth. I wasn't turning, wasn't wobbling, and just felt great. I had time enough to realize, "Yes. This is what I'm supposed to be doing."
And I was counting. I hit 10, reached, and pulled. JM says I pulled at about 8 seconds, but it was beautiful.
My frustration with it is gone. I can do this.
Of course, now I've got to do turns. And, something thats more stressful to me, I've got to guide myself in for landings. I can flare by myself (In fact, I'd rather do my own timing than have the coach tell me, he has me flare too high), but guiding myself in for landing is a scary, scary thing.
Sounds great, fred. It's tough to learn how to fly 10 seconds at a time, no doubt. Static line is a challenge like this.
It sounds like you have the attention to what you are doing, and are committing yourself to learning. This is great. It never ends in this sport. Some humility and modesty, especially at the beginning, are good things to have. It opens your mind to the advice and guidance of your instructors, mentors, peers, by-standers... Well, maybe not by-standers, but you never know!
Sounds great, dude! I know exactly what you're going through, I had a VERY similar experience in S/L training... I tended to flip over, one one 10 second delay I did a complete barrel roll and came back to my belly in time to pull. Even thought about quitting for a while, I didn't know if I was really cut out for this, so to speak. Then when it all clicked, you get that one perfect skydive where you're stable, you're thinking clearly, you're having fun... that's what it's all about! Here's to many more for ya...
I never liked counting unless I was on a 4 second static line and didnt have any other choice. It may help things if you and your instructor just choose a deployment altitude rather than trying to remember to count. Plus this gets you used to keeping an eye on on your altitude.
one 36 thousand.....one 37 thousand.....one thirty....shit where was I....Oh yeah.....one 27 thousand.... LMAO
"Don't give a F$#ck if I'm comin or leavin"-Pappa Roach Clay
I think that freefall gets easier when you are not counting anymore. You do have to learn to read your altimeter w/o turning, which was a challenge for me!!! I was much more relaxed in freefall, though, because that was all I had to focus on.
Sounds like you are doing great and have the right attitude!!