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jers119  (A 65105)

Apr 28, 2012, 11:15 PM
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Hey everyone! Well, this is my first post and all. I am going to be a new student at the local AFF school in one month. Skydiving is something I've always wanted to do. My questions is this, do most students do at least one tandem before they do AFF school? And those that have done a tandem jump, on average do better than those who haven't? In your opinions, should a student buy some gear to use during and after their school such as an altimeter, helmet and goggles? Or do most schools/instructors advise not to buy your own gear because the school wants students to use their gear? Thanks for the responses!


dontlikemustard  (B License)

Apr 29, 2012, 12:10 AM
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In reply to:
Hey everyone! Well, this is my first post and all. I am going to be a new student at the local AFF school in one month. Skydiving is something I've always wanted to do. My questions is this, do most students do at least one tandem before they do AFF school? And those that have done a tandem jump, on average do better than those who haven't? In your opinions, should a student buy some gear to use during and after their school such as an altimeter, helmet and goggles? Or do most schools/instructors advise not to buy your own gear because the school wants students to use their gear? Thanks for the responses!

I did a tandem + 5 minutes of wind tunnel before I started aff, and I am glad I did it.

When I did my AFF1, there was a guy in my class who made his first jump an AFF jump, and he completely froze during the skydive. It can get very overwhelming, and its hard to process the routine that they teach you while going through that crazy sensory overload, that's why a tandem helps, it gives you an idea as to what its like, without much responsibility.

just my .02, for what its worth.


(This post was edited by dontlikemustard on Apr 29, 2012, 12:11 AM)


dthames  (B 37674)

Apr 29, 2012, 1:05 AM
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Re: [jers119] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

My first jump was my first AFF jump. It went very well from a technical point of view. However, I took zero time for sight seeing. I enjoyed the experience but there was not the freedom to enjoy the moment. I mean my focus was to do the jump as trained.

I am not looking back and wishing I started with a tandem. But I can see where a person might get more fun by starting with a tandem. Do you want to see the earth coming up to meet you? I really didn't see the ground until I was under canopy. I was too focused on the tasks at hand to bother looking during freefall.

Dan


Skyper

Apr 29, 2012, 3:28 AM
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Re: [jers119] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Hey everyone! Well, this is my first post and all. I am going to be a new student at the local AFF school in one month. Skydiving is something I've always wanted to do. My questions is this, do most students do at least one tandem before they do AFF school? And those that have done a tandem jump, on average do better than those who haven't? In your opinions, should a student buy some gear to use during and after their school such as an altimeter, helmet and goggles? Or do most schools/instructors advise not to buy your own gear because the school wants students to use their gear? Thanks for the responses!

Save your time and money by avoiding tandem. If you want some experience prior your first jump - take 10-15 minutes of the tunnel time for the same money of only 1 tandem jump. The first 15min of the tunnel time will be worth every penny of it. Regarding the gear - buy only the googles that fit well on your face and buy the clear ones so that instructor can see your eyes during the free fall. You don't know yet if you ll really like skydiving or not, so rent that basic gear for your AFF jumps and if you want to have more... buy your own.


cheese1178

Apr 29, 2012, 7:25 AM
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Re: [jers119] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

As a current AFF student, I highly recommend the tandem before ground school (especially if you do the tandem at the same drop zone you're doing AFF). You're learning one of the most extreme sports in the most intense unnatural environments for human. The tandem (with the plane ride, exit out of the door and freefall) will help you get familiar with that environment so you might not feel so much sensory overload during your Cat A.

I had a guy in my ground school that never tried a tandem before he did his cat A jump. Unfortunately, the plane ride up and the plane threshold was a bit much for him and upon exit, he didn't jump but fell. His instructors were attached to him and able to stabilize him but he couldn't complete his dive flow (no check in with the instructors, altitude or heading check or practice touches) and his jumpmaster had to pull for him. I'm not saying this will happen to you or happens to everyone that doesn't do a tandem. I just think the tandem helps you get familiar with very unfamiliar surroundings.

As for gear rental, just use the stuff the drop zone provides you with. If they are teaching AFF, they will have student gear for you to use. At my drop zone, students are welcome to bring their own goggles and altimeter but we definitely can't bring our own rigs and must use the ones provided. Not only is buying your own rig $$$, but the student rig is way bigger and has an AAD. Save the money towards purchasing more jump tickets :-)


(This post was edited by cheese1178 on Apr 29, 2012, 7:40 AM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Apr 29, 2012, 7:32 AM
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Re: [jers119] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

1) A tandem can help get you used to the skydiving environment but is generally not necessary before starting AFF. However some DZ's require tandems as part of a tandem progression - 2-3 tandems then an advanced AFF progression.

2) Don't buy anything before your first jump. Once you have a few jumps ask your instructors about buying your own stuff; this can be a good idea especially if you have an odd sized head or something. In general most people use all school gear until they are off student status.


jers119  (A 65105)

Apr 29, 2012, 9:10 AM
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Thanks everyone for the replies! Could someone explain the term "environment" more specifically? Is it the air moving around a skydiver at 120 mph that takes people by surprise? What would be most comparable thing to the skydiving environment in your opinion?

As far as the gear goes, I will be sure to speak with my instructors about gear. I was thinking of buying my own helmet soon after my first few jumps because I personally don't like wearing helmets that I don't know who wore them before and all. I know, pretty lame but that's just me.

However, I'm very excited to start my training, I've been on the USPA site reading and trying to understand the online ground school just to get familiarized with terminology and what's expected from a skydiver. I do understand that the reading I've been doing doesn't replace going through the actual school and all, but it's the best I can do to familiarize myself with everything.

Thanks again for all the information and opinions you all are providing!


UliToo  (Student)

Apr 29, 2012, 9:28 AM
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Re: [jers119] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Is it the air moving around a skydiver at 120 mph that takes people by surprise? What would be most comparable thing to the skydiving environment in your opinion?

However, I'm very excited to start my training, I've been on the USPA site reading and trying to understand the online ground school just to get familiarized with terminology and what's expected from a skydiver. I do understand that the reading I've been doing doesn't replace going through the actual school and all, but it's the best I can do to familiarize myself with everything.

Yes, the falling-to-earth-at-120-mph part takes a first time jumper by surprise. During my first tandem I remember thinking Holy Sh*t, over and over again. My 3 tandems and 15 minutes in the tunnel definitely helped me be ready.

Trying to explain what it's like.....you're thrown into very unfamiliar territory with extreme winds blowing at you at 120 mph. Trying to do what you've been taught in ground school will go out the window cause you're too busy trying to make sense of what's happening. A tandem will provide a glimpse of what it's like.

Reading the SIM and paying attention in the class will teach you a lot of very useful info, but doesn't touch on the actual experience of the freefall.


mjl06750

Apr 29, 2012, 1:46 PM
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I dealt with the same situation a month ago. I was wondering if I should go ahead and use the money I had saved for AFF to do a tandem first to see what skydiving was all about. Everybody is different and as much as I wanted to think I was capable of pulling off a perfect solo jump my first time I really do doubt it would have been enjoyable. You only get your first jump one time so I decided to make it as fun as possible and not have to worry about anything other than "relaxing" and enjoying the ride and let the instructor handle the rest. I really can say I feel like I made the right decision. Instead of sitting in the plane on the way up worrying about my gear me and my friends joked with the instructors and enjoyed the view out the window. However knowing later on I wanted to do AFF I knew on the way down I wanted to experiment with simple hand motions to feel the air against my arms to later give me a idea of how it may feel solo. In no way did I have any real control but as we jumped from 18000 ft I was able to relax and "remember" the jump instead of flailing around worrying about checking in and hand signals. It was a life changing mind blowing experience but now that I have had a simply fun no worries jump it I feel much better and confident going into AFF. It may be a totally different on my first solo but we shall hopefully soon see. Good luch whatever way you go.


jers119  (A 65105)

Apr 29, 2012, 1:57 PM
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Re: [mjl06750] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks guys for the response! Yes, I'm kicking around the idea about doing a tandem jump before I start AFF, hence the reason I posted here. I wanted to see what other people think and all. I was wondering also, what other extreme sports other people have done before skydiving and all?


scottd818  (C 41314)

Apr 30, 2012, 7:04 AM
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Re: [jers119] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

do a tandem so you can get the pure experience of it first. theres alot todo on your first aff. i also recommend staying of dropzone.com until your in AFF. Dont take it personally but trust me it will do you good. Just listen to your instructors and what they tell you and NOT the internet!


Scrumpot  (D License)

Apr 30, 2012, 8:02 AM
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Re: [jers119] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

Like others have already said - everyone, and what may or may not work best for them, is different.

Personally, I've NEVER done a Tandem. On either side of the equation. My 1st jump was AFF, and I am glad it was. For me, I think - if I did my 1st jump as a tandem, I may have actually run the "risk" of never even bothering to ever do it again. AFF - for me, gave me the appreciation of learning and understanding all those "nuances" of what was going on, and that I would have to (relatively anyway) fly my OWN body, and my OWN parachute, along with just the "experience". I fear that if (again, just for me - YMMV) - rather I had experienced my 1st jump as nothing more than a "relaxed" "carnival ride", I would have then been maybe even a just "one & done". I mean, after all, you can certainly experience the thrills of a carnival ride by well... going to the carnival, and riding some of the rides - for a heck of a lot cheaper too!

Skydiving is NOT a "carnival ride", and to me anyway - I don't think it really SHOULD be (or approached as such) either.

There is nothing wrong with ANY of the approaches already mentioned by others in here. Pick whichever is best for YOU - and good luck with it, whichever you decide!! Smile

Edit to add: I'm surprised that nobody has yet mentioned you can also look into even OTHER methods even still as well. For yet others - either static-line or IAD first-jump methods and progression are still also perfectly valid ways to make a first jump, and even get further into it as however you please from there as well.

Just because one person or another says "I did mine this way, or that way - and it's the best" - trust me, ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL - and once again - your own aptitude, perception(s) and personal needs may vary. There are values and benefits, and legitimate perspectives to any of the currently available 1st jump program methods. Good on you for researching and seeking deeper insight in advance. One size does NOT fit all! Come back in here after you've made your 1st jump, and let us know how it goes.

Blue Skies!


(This post was edited by Scrumpot on Apr 30, 2012, 8:16 AM)


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

Apr 30, 2012, 9:20 AM
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I have had AFF first jump students do great both with and without doing a tandem first. However, if you are a nervous, anxious, high stress sort of person I would highly reccommend a tandem first. Almost all serious AFF first jump student errors are related to nerves. If you are cool-headed do whatever you like!

What is it like? ..... Nothing that I know of!


peregrinerose  (D 28983)

Apr 30, 2012, 11:25 AM
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Re: [Scrumpot] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Like others have already said - everyone, and what may or may not work best for them, is different.

Personally, I've NEVER done a Tandem. On either side of the equation. My 1st jump was AFF, and I am glad it was. For me, I think - if I did my 1st jump as a tandem, I may have actually run the "risk" of never even bothering to ever do it again. AFF - for me, gave me the appreciation of learning and understanding all those "nuances" of what was going on, and that I would have to (relatively anyway) fly my OWN body, and my OWN parachute, along with just the "experience". I fear that if (again, just for me - YMMV) - rather I had experienced my 1st jump as nothing more than a "relaxed" "carnival ride", I would have then been maybe even a just "one & done". I mean, after all, you can certainly experience the thrills of a carnival ride by well... going to the carnival, and riding some of the rides - for a heck of a lot cheaper too!

Skydiving is NOT a "carnival ride", and to me anyway - I don't think it really SHOULD be (or approached as such) either.

There is nothing wrong with ANY of the approaches already mentioned by others in here. Pick whichever is best for YOU - and good luck with it, whichever you decide!! Smile

Edit to add: I'm surprised that nobody has yet mentioned you can also look into even OTHER methods even still as well. For yet others - either static-line or IAD first-jump methods and progression are still also perfectly valid ways to make a first jump, and even get further into it as however you please from there as well.

Just because one person or another says "I did mine this way, or that way - and it's the best" - trust me, ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL - and once again - your own aptitude, perception(s) and personal needs may vary. There are values and benefits, and legitimate perspectives to any of the currently available 1st jump program methods. Good on you for researching and seeking deeper insight in advance. One size does NOT fit all! Come back in here after you've made your 1st jump, and let us know how it goes.

Blue Skies!

Quoting this all because it's the best post on this thread. I personally did a tandem first, was completely unimpressed, and if it wasn't for my husband being a skydiver, I never would have done AFF because the Tandem was no different than any other thrill ride for me. I had a student Saturday that completely overloaded on his AFF first jump (no tandems) as it was just too much new sensation for him to handle, and probably would have done much better and enjoyed it more had he done a tandem first.

Every person is different, and realistically, it's really impossible to know which way is 'best' for any individual person until they make a jump.


cavscout73  (C 40414)

Apr 30, 2012, 11:27 AM
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

As another poster stated, i had the same thought process doing a tandem seemed more like going to an amusement park than becoming a skydiver, So i took the AFF approach ,did really well on everything but stability on exit, switched to static line and got tjrough just fine.
I doubt i would have seen it through if i had started with the tandem. My young opinion would mirror a few others, dont buy any gear yet. And use your tandem money for some tunnel time.. regardless what you choose. Your in for a great but expensive adventure . And each jump just gets better!! Just my .02


jers119  (A 65105)

Apr 30, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for all the replies and what I am thinking is that I will be able to handle the AFF course. I want to become a skydiver and learn as I go through all levels of AFF AND as I progress towards different licenses.

I like to think I won't freak out too much at least with the wind factor. I know my experiences aren't actual skydiving but I have been a pro licensed motorcycle racer and did a lot of motocross also. But I have been clocked at 176 mph when I popped out of the bubble and the wind was really strong as it almost blew me off the back of the bike. I grew up doing gymnastics and martial arts so I believe I have a good feel for body orientation in space.

But I KNOW and expect that the actual jumping out of a plane will be totally different and I like to think I will really like the feeling too. I will definitely keep you posted as to how my first jump goes! I'm excited to get back into something that gives me such a rush!!!!


lookoutbelow  (A 63826)

Apr 30, 2012, 2:05 PM
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Another vote to skip the tandem. If your goal is to get licensed, you don't need a tandem. Unless maybe you are completely scared out of your wits at the thought of your first jump. Which you aren't.

I did an AFF level 1 jump first, then did a tandem after that because a friend wanted to go, but didn't want to go AFF. So I figured a tandem might be a fun co-experience. Completely different experiences. AFF 1 jump wasn't "fun". The tandem was. The difference simply being having the time to smell the roses and look around and not worry about procedures. Not saying it wasn't a great AFF 1 jump, because it was. But it is an all work jump.


nigel99  (D 1)

Apr 30, 2012, 3:56 PM
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Re: [jers119] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Thanks guys for the response! Yes, I'm kicking around the idea about doing a tandem jump before I start AFF, hence the reason I posted here. I wanted to see what other people think and all. I was wondering also, what other extreme sports other people have done before skydiving and all?

I would suggest a tandem first. Most tandem students have no intention of ever jumping on their own. This means that often tandem instructors focus on the fun and don't spend much time teaching. Make sure that you make it clear you intend to do AFF. Ask if you can deploy the parachute. Most importantly ask the tandem instructor to show you how to fly the parachute, turns, flaring and the proper landing pattern. The canopy flight is the one area where in AFF you won't have anyone to help (although you will be taught what you need to know).


Blamey  (A 56669)

Apr 30, 2012, 5:20 PM
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Where are you going to do your AFF? Some place will do the first three jumps as tandems instead of jumping with two instructors for the first three jumps. Then jump 4 onwards will be the same (one instructor).


jers119  (A 65105)

Apr 30, 2012, 5:35 PM
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In reply to:
Where are you going to do your AFF? Some place will do the first three jumps as tandems instead of jumping with two instructors for the first three jumps. Then jump 4 onwards will be the same (one instructor).

I'm doing my AFF at Mile-Hi Skydiving Center. I had asked if they required tandems or anything else to take the AFF school and they said nope, just show up, register and pay the school for the first jump. Smile


Lukasz_Se  (A License)

May 1, 2012, 3:11 PM
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Did my first tandem today, I was thinking like you, I really wanted my first jump to be on my own but then I started thinking "what if i dont like it"??? I ride sportbikes so to be honest I was ALMOST dissapointed how UN-scary it was to jumpTongue But still it was the most mindblowing thing ever, the enviroment did take me by suprise. I was reading/watching movies and gathering as much info as I could in last 2-3 years so I thought I know whats coming but DAMN that was way different than I thought :) Its your own personal decision what your going to do but I am very happy I did a tandem jump, this definetly will take some of the stress of me before my AFF1 jump :) Im not the most confident person and I always fear the worst so I decided to take the safe approach :P The only problem is that first course I can attend is in AUGUST and i have no freaking idea how Im gonna make it that far, since I jumped I only have one thing on my mind, I want to be in that open door 4 km up in the sky againSmile Im in love, thats for sure :)


zerospinskier  (D License)

May 3, 2012, 2:40 PM
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Re: [jers119] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

I did 1 tandem + 10 min in the wind tunnel before AFF, and am very glad I did. If you don't want/need to do the tandems before AFF, I would really recommend a few minutes of wind tunnel time. You can get an idea of what the arch you are going to need to do feels like. And you'll be much more prepared to be stable and relaxed once you leave the plane, rather than figuring it out on the way down.


jers119  (A 65105)

May 3, 2012, 4:24 PM
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Re: [zerospinskier] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I did 1 tandem + 10 min in the wind tunnel before AFF, and am very glad I did. If you don't want/need to do the tandems before AFF, I would really recommend a few minutes of wind tunnel time. You can get an idea of what the arch you are going to need to do feels like. And you'll be much more prepared to be stable and relaxed once you leave the plane, rather than figuring it out on the way down.

I agree, I have been planning on the wind tunnel and doing that the weekend after this one coming up. I figured it would be best and all.


dirtbox  (D 31759)

May 3, 2012, 4:54 PM
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Re: [jers119] Question on Most AFF Students [In reply to] Can't Post

hogwash! Disclaimer, anyone who knows me knows I am anti tunnel for AFF students. I am an AFF+I but I have never been in a tunnel.

If for no other reason I feel you robbed yourself of the experience of learning to skydive BY skydiving, which I feel is a lot of what you are paying for... sad that people keep pushing to make something that should be exciting and all less than what it was when I learned. There are a million other reasons not to do tunnel but they are for another place.

But then AFF deminished the experience from the days my father learned (early 70's... how many 23yro's know about Pope Valley or have original 8mm footage of people sliding into eacothers cells, before it was called CRW PirateSly His stories sound cooler than mine somehow, less deaths in mine thoughCrazyFrown)


jers119  (A 65105)

May 3, 2012, 5:10 PM
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In reply to:
hogwash! Disclaimer, anyone who knows me knows I am anti tunnel for AFF students. I am an AFF+I but I have never been in a tunnel.

If for no other reason I feel you robbed yourself of the experience of learning to skydive BY skydiving, which I feel is a lot of what you are paying for... sad that people keep pushing to make something that should be exciting and all less than what it was when I learned. There are a million other reasons not to do tunnel but they are for another place.

But then AFF deminished the experience from the days my father learned (early 70's... how many 23yro's know about Pope Valley or have original 8mm footage of people sliding into eacothers cells, before it was called CRW PirateSly His stories sound cooler than mine somehow, less deaths in mine thoughCrazyFrown)

So maybe just go for it? My first goal is to get my A license, then work from there. I'd also like to do this as cost effectively as possible.


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