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Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently?

 

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Namowal  (A 63059)

Dec 5, 2011, 11:49 AM
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Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? Can't Post

Hi there,
Now that I've passed AFF level 8 and ready to start solo and coach dives, I'm curious about the learning progression of experienced divers as they went from where I am now to where they are now.

  • What did you learn the hard way?

  • What did you wish you'd focused more on at the beginning?

  • Did you have any bad habits? "Blind spots" in your skills and knowledge?

  • If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently?


  • p.s. While I'm truly curious about this, I still plan to run any advice (including "I should have done X" anecdotes) by the instructors before trying them out.


    Para5-0  (D 19054)

    Dec 5, 2011, 12:24 PM
    Post #2 of 44 (2175 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    Enjpy every jump! the first 200 are so much fun and will give you a lifetime of memories.

    Always expect the unexpected, when you least expect it murphy will show up unannounced.


    beowulf  (C License)

    Dec 5, 2011, 12:31 PM
    Post #3 of 44 (2165 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    Do more tunnel time earlier. I learned a lot of bad habits learning to freefly in the sky that I am working to undo in the tunnel.


    ghost47  (A License)

    Dec 5, 2011, 12:41 PM
    Post #4 of 44 (2159 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    In reply to:
    What did you learn the hard way?
    That packjobs really, really matter, and that no one else is packing my gear for me, ever again. I wouldn't worry about this as a student. But after you take your packing class, and learn how to pack, I'd say pack your own from then on, even if it takes you an hour.

    In reply to:
    What did you wish you'd focused more on at the beginning?
    Body position. But I wouldn't worry overmuch about this until you get your own jumpsuit. Then get in the tunnel with a coach for a session or two.

    In reply to:
    If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently?
    Pack for myself. Not have jumped on November 5 ;)


    Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

    Dec 5, 2011, 12:47 PM
    Post #5 of 44 (2150 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    Not compare myself to others. There will always be people who are better and worse than I am. Just work on learning from and enjoying each jump for its own (and my own) sake.

    That way you can enjoy the journey, and not just the (hoped-for) destination.

    Wendy P.


    Skyper

    Dec 5, 2011, 1:10 PM
    Post #6 of 44 (2136 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    In reply to:
  • If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently?

  • would not start jumping in the first place...

    it sucks your time, it sucks your money, you get something back - but most of all you can get addicted and you're fucked up for your entire life...


    NovaTTT  (D 17887)

    Dec 5, 2011, 1:35 PM
    Post #7 of 44 (2109 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    Jump more! Wink


    DvK  (B License)

    Dec 5, 2011, 3:01 PM
    Post #8 of 44 (2067 views)
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    Re: [Skyper] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    In reply to:
    In reply to:
  • If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently?

  • would not start jumping in the first place...

    it sucks your time, it sucks your money, you get something back - but most of all you can get addicted and you're fucked up for your entire life...

    And yet that moment when you're giving each other the high-fives just prior to exit and wish each other a safe, fun jump makes it all so real and so worth itWink
    Code:


    bucketlistpilot  (C 1204)

    Dec 5, 2011, 4:45 PM
    Post #9 of 44 (2041 views)
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    Re: [DvK] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    Start at 25 not 45


    VTmotoMike08  (D 30399)

    Dec 5, 2011, 5:19 PM
    Post #10 of 44 (2027 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    I would have taken a canopy course earlier. I didn't take one until I had 500+ jumps, and it really humbled me. I should have taken it at 50 jumps.


    popsjumper  (D 999999999)

    Dec 5, 2011, 6:34 PM
    Post #11 of 44 (2001 views)
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    Re: [wmw999] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    In reply to:
    Not compare myself to others.

    I emphatically agree with Wendy on this.

    I suffered severe performance anxiety and it took a lot of the fun out of jumping.

    What got me over that was this:

    Being invited to my first real bigway. I was the low-jump-number guy and I just knew everyone was waiting for the FNG to screw up the jump.

    First jump...I'm in my slot and flying well and I saw guys with thousands of jumps going low, orbiting, running into each other etc.

    It made me realize...Hey! Wait a minute here, Andy. If THOSE guys can screw up, ANYBODY can screw up and it WILL happen sooner or later so why worry about it?.

    THAT'S when the fun came back and it's been one helluva ride since.


    bodypilot90  (D 24249)

    Dec 5, 2011, 6:49 PM
    Post #12 of 44 (1991 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    Slow down and enjoy, relax and listen and learn. Be nice to the old guys, they can save your bacon. Get good used gear not worn out black death gear. Fly your canopy like your life depends on it.....Cause it does. Welcome to the greatest sport on earth. Congrats be safe and have fun. Lastly, don't be afraid of mistakes cause that's how you learn.


    popsjumper  (D 999999999)

    Dec 5, 2011, 6:54 PM
    Post #13 of 44 (1989 views)
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    Re: [bodypilot90] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    In reply to:
    Be nice to the old guys

    SmileSmileSmile


    airborne47  (A 43475)

    Dec 5, 2011, 7:18 PM
    Post #14 of 44 (1972 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    Not a direct answer to your question. But a word of advice. Practice PLFs! Check out my post. (Please learn from my stupidity) I am apsolutly positive that the only thing that kept me from rideing off of the dropzone in an ambulance was my PLF ability! At the time i thought it was overkill and bullshit. But i had a 3 week jump school curtosy of Uncle sam. For the first week all i did was PLFs. Mockup door exits. And thousands of pushups! Frown 20 some years later doing A GOOD PLF was as natural as scratching my nose. And when i screwed up recently and was hurting. I walked off of the dropzone on my own because of it!


    kallend  (D 23151)

    Dec 5, 2011, 8:20 PM
    Post #15 of 44 (1942 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

     
    I would have started younger, and joined a team sooner.


    monkycndo  (D License)

    Dec 5, 2011, 9:13 PM
    Post #16 of 44 (1926 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    I would have taken the red pill instead of the green one.Unsure


    riggerrob  (D 14840)

    Dec 5, 2011, 9:35 PM
    Post #17 of 44 (1916 views)
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    Re: [airborne47] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    Agreed!
    Thirty years ago, I took the Canadian Army's first jump course ... you know that course that includes two weeks worth of push-ups and two days of jumping!

    Yes! The Canadian Army needed any entire two weeks to pound PLFs into my thick head, but the skill has saved my bacon more times than I can count!
    After several bad landings, I have rolled in the dirt and stood up to the shock and amazement of civilian ground crew who were busy dialing for an ambulance!
    Hah!
    Hah!


    manseman  (D License)

    Dec 6, 2011, 1:52 AM
    Post #18 of 44 (1877 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    I would have:

    - started a few years earlier (but still not before I had a decent income).
    - bought a good first canopy and not the cheapest rag I could find
    - made more organized jumping/coached jumps rather than mostly fun jumping with friends of similar jump experience
    - gotten more tunnel time early


    (This post was edited by manseman on Dec 6, 2011, 1:53 AM)


    airborne47  (A 43475)

    Dec 6, 2011, 4:54 AM
    Post #19 of 44 (1833 views)
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    Re: [riggerrob] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    Haha!. Yeah i think we're the reason for climate warming. I think all them pushups we did moved the earth over a bit from it's alingment! We had Ground week with PLFs and mockup door exits. Then tower week with more mockup door exits from an elavated tower. (With harness and zip line) Then jump week with 1 jump per day (and one at night) But We still did spur of the moment PLFs (and pushups) constantly all the way through. I was amazed when i took up skydiving how natural PLFs still were! And that 1200 feet really wasn't that high! Roflmfao!!!! AirBorne!


    Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

    Dec 6, 2011, 5:14 AM
    Post #20 of 44 (1823 views)
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    Re: [airborne47] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    When I decided to start jumping, I took the longest class I could find; somehow I thought that would be safer. 6 weeks, 3 hours a week or something like that.

    So we learned how to pack our mains (round), and did seemingly thousands of PLF's. Yeah, PLF's are definitely not overrated. In fact, when I took a Scott Miller canopy control class, the first thing he did was have us go out to the peas and demonstrate PLF's.

    Wendy P.


    Joellercoaster  (D 105792)

    Dec 6, 2011, 5:31 AM
    Post #21 of 44 (1812 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    I agree with all the people who said "started younger".

    I even had a chance, but let a SO talk me out of jumping when I had nearly finished AFF. That cost me three years I wish I had back.

    Other than that? I'm pretty happy. Some things I'm really glad I did:

    1) Got in the tunnel early, even though I hated it at first. After the first hour, it got better. Now I have no idea how much tunnel time I have, but I know I need more.

    2) Joined a 4-way team early. Not because it got me on the competition path (which I love), but because it made my learning curve so much steeper. I would feel this way even if my eventual discipline was freefly (which was actually the original plan)!

    3) Got a lot of coaching (canopy and freefall). I look back and regret none of it, though it cost me a fair bit.

    4) Only pushed hard on the pushable things. You can't replace jump numbers, so downsize carefully. But if you focus on one discipline (I fell in love with 8-way) you can make rapid progress, with the right coaching and training plan.

    5) Was nice to the old guys :)


    Namowal  (A 63059)

    Dec 6, 2011, 8:24 AM
    Post #22 of 44 (1759 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    Thanks for all the responses. You guys (and gals) rock! Cool


    Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

    Dec 6, 2011, 8:29 AM
    Post #23 of 44 (1754 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    Some of what I wish I'd done is things that you can learn "in theory" but the reality of it sometimes doesn't hit home unless you have experience. You can understand the risks of a particular way to injure or kill yourself in this sport, but it's often not until you see that scenario play out (or see a close call) that it really hits home. A lot of learning is recognizing how very little you know at every stage of the game. Right now you're pretty cognizant of that, but 100 or 200 jumps from now, you'll start to feel like you know a lot. And, relative to you now, you do know a lot. But relative to those who've been around a while and seen the myriad ways there are to hurt or kill yourself, you don't know squat. I've been around just over 7 years and I'm just starting to have a sense of how much there is that I don't know, and that increases my respect for the risks I take.

    Unlike others, I'm actually happy I started when I did. I started at an age where I was over my impressionable days, where I was confident in myself and in my ability to make the right decisions for me, and not give in to peer pressure just to feel part of the crowd. And I started at a time when I was established in my career so not only can I afford this sport, I have important things like health insurance and disability insurance in case things go wrong.

    Things I wish I'd done: Joined a team earlier. I learned SO much training and competing in 2010, and hope to do it again next year (2011 I started the year with an injury and ended up taking a pretty slack year, which was also nice, but I'm looking forward to getting back into it again).

    Really understood flying in traffic earlier. I thought I understood it, but when I think back, oh wow. I thought I had my head on a swivel, but in reality (at least relative to how I am now) back then I was a fairly myopic flyer, focused on my pattern to the detriment of focusing on traffic. The "big sky" theory kept me safe, but it's not something to rely on when you're landing with 20+ other people into a crowded landing area. The more I jump, the more likely I am to land far away from other people, and the more likely I am to presume every other canopy in the sky could kill me.

    Things I'm happy I did: took a canopy control class early (at just over 100 jumps), and I've taken two more since then (one at around 200 jumps, one at around 500 jumps). Great refreshers every time, and I always learn at least one new thing, too.

    Listened to the old farts guys. One of my very early mentors is a guy who started his skydiving and rigging career before I was born. He helped me get through some tough student times, and I've always valued that. Helped me realize early on that there's a lot of wisdom to be tapped in the jumpers of his generation.

    Didn't substantially downsize. I realized early on that I'm not a naturally gifted canopy pilot. No Mad Skillz here. So I've done what I can to improve my skills and force what doesn't come naturally, but I've also stayed on a conservative wing and conservative wingloading. I know for a fact that's made the difference between a dirty jumpsuit and a bloody one, between a minor injury and a major one.

    Decided to own my identity as a conservative skydiver. It means that I know my limits and I enforce them despite any peer pressure. I'm okay not being one of the cool kids with big cojonesLaugh. I know where my line is and I'm willing to say "no." That knowledge takes a while to develop, but while you're developing it, one way to decide if something is a good idea is to look who's doing it. For example, jumping in high or gusty winds. If the only people jumping are tandems and guys with under 100 jumps, that's a pretty good indication that you probably want to sit down. If the DZ has put out a student wind hold, even after you have your license, that's probably a good indication to sit your ass down too.

    Ask a lot of questions, especially when you're trying something new. If you're going to have to buy beer for what you're doing, figure there's probably something you don't know you don't know, so ask questions before you do it. Even if you don't know what questions to ask you can ask "what's different about this type of jump?" or "Is there anything about this new piece of equipment I need to think about?"


    (This post was edited by NWFlyer on Dec 6, 2011, 8:32 AM)


    Andy9o8  (D License)

    Dec 6, 2011, 10:03 AM
    Post #24 of 44 (1725 views)
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    Re: [Namowal] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    In reply to:
    What did you learn the hard way?

    That while I am (was) a student/novice, not to give advice to, or take advice from, my fellow noobs. (Even though the "sharing of ideas and suggestions" is very common among noobs.)
    - If you take advice from an under-qualified person, it could be wrong, and thus dangerous.
    - If you as an under-qualified person are seen to be giving advice to a fellow noob, you could wind up getting some DZO's or instructor's foot up the ass. (Got the t-shirt. The hard way.)

    And since you're female, here's something I don't want you to learn the hard way: getting taken advantage of by some guy because you're a rare commodity on the DZ: a female jumper. I don't just mean taken advantage of romantically or physically, although that's certainly a big part of it. I also mean to not let guys persuade you to let them take you on jumps that are outside the safety zone of your current experience and skill set. Believe me, that happens a lot to female noob jumpers on the DZ.

    There are a couple of excellent threads in the Women's Forum about how to stay safe at the DZ. Read each of them, from end to end.


    (This post was edited by Andy9o8 on Dec 6, 2011, 10:05 AM)


    Namowal  (A 63059)

    Dec 6, 2011, 11:10 AM
    Post #25 of 44 (1707 views)
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    Re: [Andy9o8] Noob question: If you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? [In reply to] Can't Post

    In reply to:
    - If you as an under-qualified person are seen to be giving advice to a fellow noob, you could wind up getting some DZO's or instructor's foot up the ass. (Got the t-shirt. The hard way.)
    Uh oh, what happened?
    In reply to:
    And since you're female, here's something I don't want you to learn the hard way: getting taken advantage of by some guy because you're a rare commodity on the DZ: a female jumper. I don't just mean taken advantage of romantically or physically, although that's certainly a big part of it. I also mean to not let guys persuade you to let them take you on jumps that are outside the safety zone of your current experience and skill set. Believe me, that happens a lot to female noob jumpers on the DZ.

    There are a couple of excellent threads in the Women's Forum about how to stay safe at the DZ. Read each of them, from end to end.
    Good point. I've heard about this kind of thing.Unsure


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