Forums: Skydiving: General Skydiving Discussions:
# of hobbies VS staying current

 


jumpslo  (Student)

Sep 28, 2012, 10:57 AM
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# of hobbies VS staying current Can't Post

I have 2 tandoms over the last year or two. I have wanted to get into skydiving for a long time now.

The biggest issue I foresee is time. I guess $ is an issue, but all my hobbies are expensive Tongue. Between surfing, scuba, wakeboarding, snowboarding, Crossfit competitions, motorcycle racing.. And those are just my hobbies. Family, girlfriends and friends are loaded on top as well.

Being a Whuffo, I didn't realize there was such a big aspect to "staying current" after AFF, coached jumps and getting an 'A' until I started to discuss this with jumpers. It's not like not surfing or being on the bike for a few months and then paddling back out or gearing up for a track day.

I'd really just like to hear your thoughts and stories on this topic. If you have a ton of hobbies and make it work or if you are hobby ADD like me and how you go about doing things. Also, how often are you jumping to truly stay current for safety? Any help from those who have been there or are there would be appreciated. Thanks folks!

#adrenalinejunkieproblems


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Sep 28, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Re: [jumpslo] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

This sport, especially in the beginning, requires a pretty big investment - both in time, and in money, to get to the point where it's possible to participate more casually and intermittently and still be safe and aware. Sure, you can be an intermittent skydiver for your first few years, but you'll need to limit what you do and it's not going to allow you to progress all that quickly in the sport. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it's something to consider before you decide to make the up-front investments of time & money in your student program and gear, etc.

I started skydiving and scuba diving at the same time and decided I couldn't deal with two money- and time-intensive sports at the same time, so I chose to participate in scuba diving more casually. Partly because I felt like when I did decide to scuba dive, I could control more of the variables to make my casual participation still a safe participation.

In skydiving, you can control some of the risk variables, but the inherent risk is still quite high and being current does make a difference in how you manage that risk. After 8 years in the sport I can comfortably take a few months off and focus on other things in my life, and I still feel safe and comfortable when I come back. But in my first couple years in the sport, more than a few weeks had me nervous.


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Sep 28, 2012, 11:44 AM
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Re: [jumpslo] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

I would also be considered an adrenaline junkie. My other hobbies used to be flying, skiing, and scuba diving. I did some fairly advanced deep wreck penetrations. Not even that compares to the possibility of serious or fatal injury if you don't completely have your shit together when skydiving. Skydivers with thousands of jumps and all the ratings are getting seriously injured and dying due to a single microsecond brain fart.

That isn't to say you can't be a safe and occasional skydiver. You just have to make sure you don't even come close to pushing the limits. Stay at a 1:1 wing loading, pull at 4K, don't swoop and you would probably be ok just jumping occasionally. YMMV


aatif96  (B 37252)

Sep 28, 2012, 11:48 AM
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Re: [jumpslo] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

Dude where do you WOD, me and a buddy opened a box in manchester NH. Granite state Crossfit, look us up if your in the area.

As for Hobby ADD, you wont need to worry about it. sign up for AFF and its going to take over. You dont really think about other drugs when your addicted to heroine Tongue. bust your ass and get your A as quickly as possible. i did it in two months going every weekend and blowing sickdays at work. Once your licensed you can take your time jumping to stay current, but honely you are going to drop a few of those hobbies anywas when you expience the community behind skydiving.

WOD like you normally do, wakeboard on windy days, ride the motorcycle at night, and snowboard in the winter. Either get your GF into skydiving or let her know about your other mistress, and your wuffo friends and family are going to be seeing a lot less of you.

This is my first year jumping and i love it. i still WOD and ski and play soccer and ride my motorcycle, but every weekend im at the DZ. you make new friends, go to boogies across the country and never look back to when you were a wuffo. just be prepared to cut back on the hobbies when in AFF


LiborJanicek  (A 28574)

Sep 28, 2012, 12:55 PM
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Re: [aatif96] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

My wife likes to call me the husband with many hobbies and projects. I've been skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, and wakeboarding since the age of 10. In 1995 I started skydiving and got out of the sport in 1999. Roughly the same time I stated scuba diving. Reason for leaving the sport was I got married and bought a motocross bike. Once I bought my moto, I slowed way down on the other sports I was doing. Just cause riding moto is constant adrenaline fix for as long as you can hold onto your bars. Plus best time to ride is in the winter and I was done with paying high coin for a lift tickets.

This past April I got back into the sport of skydiving with a goal to fly a wingsuit. Bought a tracking suit and fly it on all most every jump I do so I can get my body trained for wingsuit. I wish I could jump every weekend but with 2 kids and my wife I bust out 3-5 jumps every 2 weeks.

Plus over the last 5 years I've been building a desert race truck which is closing in to becoming finished. Now that's a cash cow. Can't wait to get it out racing.

I'm lucky enough to live in SoCal where I can do what ever sport I want with in a few hours of driving. I live 5 minutes from the beach, I try and surf one morning during the week. One the weekends surf as well but it's with my kids. Super cool they are at the age where I can do sports with my kids. I ride moto about once a month. We hit the skatepark with the kids but don't skate much now, I ride a bmx bike. Plus we have a half-pipe in our backyard. Don't wakeboard much due to not having many lake around like I did growing up in NorCal. Bummer but what can I do.

One of the coolest things I'm waiting to experience in one day is the facilities at Elsinore. Right next to Skydive Elsinore is the motorsports complex which I can ride moto and drive my truck on a short course track. Plus there also a lake right there where I could go wakeboarding if I had a boat or knew anyone with a boat.

I'm creating a new event called "Quatro-24", which is 4 sports in 24 hour time span. Dawn patrol surfing, morning skydiving, afternoon moto, and then at night skate/bmx at a park. Could throw in snowboarding or other sports.

So if I was in your shoes, I'd start skydiving. Hands down for that 60 seconds of flight, it's the only sport where I'm in the moment 100% of the time. Just go out to the Parachute Center in Lodi and bust out your AFF in a weekend. Plus it's the cheapest place to do it.


blueblur  (A 64923)

Sep 28, 2012, 1:04 PM
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Re: [jumpslo] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, as a former motorcycle racer and motorcycle salesman (8 years) myself, I can tell you for me, nothing has touched skydiving! I'm recently off my A license and there is nothing else I can think of (aside from golf when I can't get to the DZ 2 hours away on a mid-week day off) that I want to do as a hobby. Go AFF, you'll sell the track bike and scuba gear, probably keep the snowboarding for winter and never look back!


airtwardo  (D License)

Sep 28, 2012, 1:39 PM
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Re: [jumpslo] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

I can be done, at the start you'll wanna hit the skydiving hard and get proficient...if it's a passion the other things will take a backseat, at least for a while.

I use to race bikes, I scuba, fly, workout daily, travel extensively.
I've run a few businesses, raised some kids...perform demonstration jumps at airshows and special events nationwide, and have done so for the past 30 years.

My 'standard' for currency has always been jump at least 100 times a year, stay involved regarding changes in the sport, maintaining your emergency procedures, be focused on only skydiving WHEN skydiving and be both conservative & methodical every time I jump.

This is a wonderful 'sport' and yes it can become a lifestyle for some...many find a balance and participate on different levels, at different times of their life.

As with any rewarding endeavor one must get proficient, competent and comfortable in order to succeed, it takes a degree of commitment to maintain that...but you don't have to be a one trick pony and dissolve yourself from all other interests.

Variety IS the spice of life!


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 28, 2012, 1:43 PM
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Re: [airtwardo] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I can be done, at the start you'll wanna hit the skydiving hard and get proficient...if it's a passion the other things will take a backseat, at least for a while.

I use to race bikes, I scuba, fly, workout daily, travel extensively.
I've run a few businesses, raised some kids...perform demonstration jumps at airshows and special events nationwide, and have done so for the past 30 years.

My 'standard' for currency has always been jump at least 100 times a year, stay involved regarding changes in the sport, maintaining your emergency procedures, be focused on only skydiving WHEN skydiving and be both conservative & methodical every time I jump.

This is a wonderful 'sport' and yes it can become a lifestyle for some...many find a balance and participate on different levels, at different times of their life.

As with any rewarding endeavor one must get proficient, competent and comfortable in order to succeed, it takes a degree of commitment to maintain that...but you don't have to be a one trick pony and dissolve yourself from all other interests.

Variety IS the spice of life!

Living to a ripe old age is an indication that you're doing something right.


AggieDave  (D License)

Sep 28, 2012, 1:47 PM
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Re: [airtwardo] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As with any rewarding endeavor one must get proficient, competent and comfortable in order to succeed, it takes a degree of commitment to maintain that...

For me, a large part of the joy I found in skydiving was a high level of proficiency in swooping and competitive swooping. Competitive swooping aside, even just recreational swooping takes a level of currency I am currently unable to maintain (minimum 500 dedicated jumps a year). For me, the other hobbies were always around, but the "hobby" of raising a family takes priority over blowing off 20-30 weekends a year to jump.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Sep 28, 2012, 1:53 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
For me, a large part of the joy I found in skydiving was a high level of proficiency in swooping and competitive swooping.

That's a really good point, Dave. I don't swoop, but I do try to build my proficiency in FS, and I find I enjoy skydiving less when I jump less frequently and my skills stagnate or even degrade. I've never ever been a "natural" at this sport, so I need to jump frequently to maintain the level of mediocrity I've worked hard to build. LaughLaugh

But seriously, for the newer folks chiming in, for a lot of people, the "OMG adrenaline junkie" part of this sport wears off fairly quickly, and you find your thing - or things - within the sport that you want to get better at. Maybe you want to compete, maybe you want to be on bigway records, maybe you want to instruct, maybe you just want to be really solid in your chosen discipline. That takes some level of focus and commitment.

Or you do it for a while and decide you're cool with being an occasional jumper that shows up every few months and gets some airtime then does a bunch of other things in between, too. That's cool too, but I personally find I need more to motivate myself to continue to stay involved and take on the risk.


cocheese  (D 24000)

Sep 28, 2012, 2:11 PM
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Re: [jumpslo] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

Some days it's hard to decide what to do. The weather usually plays a big role in the decisions.

Windy? Go surfing.
Cloudy? Wake board/scuba.
Good enough to jump? Go jump!
Can't jump? Motorcycle.Cool

If you're not going to be current at any of your hobbies that can hurt ya, you better be tough. ATGATT. All the gear all the time.Pirate


airtwardo  (D License)

Sep 28, 2012, 3:19 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
As with any rewarding endeavor one must get proficient, competent and comfortable in order to succeed, it takes a degree of commitment to maintain that...

For me, a large part of the joy I found in skydiving was a high level of proficiency in swooping and competitive swooping. Competitive swooping aside, even just recreational swooping takes a level of currency I am currently unable to maintain (minimum 500 dedicated jumps a year). For me, the other hobbies were always around, but the "hobby" of raising a family takes priority over blowing off 20-30 weekends a year to jump.


I doubt anybody could maintain the level of proficiency & skill you 'had' holding down your job and raising a family...one or more of those would surely have to suffer.

You've made a wise choice, difficult one I'm sure but a smart move...and ya didn't have to 'get bit' in any area to prompt you.

I've enjoyed watching you excel in the sport and succeed in life Tackleberry...you're one of the good ones! Cool


AggieDave  (D License)

Sep 28, 2012, 8:12 PM
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Re: [airtwardo] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I doubt anybody could maintain the level of proficiency & skill you 'had' holding down your job and raising a family...one or more of those would surely have to suffer.


Thanks buddy.

That was the point I was going for but didn't really articulate well, that life ebbs and flows and skydiving is an important part, but there is always room for other things. Also that there are different levels of being a skydiver and different people are happy with being at whatever level in the sport they wish to be at and are willing to strive to achieve. Some people can be happy making a handful of jumps a year, some people won't be happy unless they're cranking world record points in time on a world class team...

some people will simply never be happy in the sport regardless.


(This post was edited by AggieDave on Sep 28, 2012, 8:23 PM)


surfbum5411

Sep 28, 2012, 10:06 PM
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Re: [DiverMike] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I would also be considered an adrenaline junkie. My other hobbies used to be flying, skiing, and scuba diving. I did some fairly advanced deep wreck penetrations. Not even that compares to the possibility of serious or fatal injury if you don't completely have your shit together when skydiving. Skydivers with thousands of jumps and all the ratings are getting seriously injured and dying due to a single microsecond brain fart.

That isn't to say you can't be a safe and occasional skydiver. You just have to make sure you don't even come close to pushing the limits. Stay at a 1:1 wing loading, pull at 4K, don't swoop and you would probably be ok just jumping occasionally. YMMV

Good post and good evidence-based approach


Lindenwood  (Student)

Sep 30, 2012, 5:45 AM
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Re: [aatif96] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As for Hobby ADD, you wont need to worry about it. sign up for AFF and its going to take over. You dont really think about other drugs when your addicted to heroine Tongue.

This. Stopped SCUBA diving, most all Mt Biking, and pretty much every other activity and expense once I got into skydiving :P .


rss_v

Oct 1, 2012, 2:46 AM
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Re: [Lindenwood] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a <50 jumps beginner and I've taken 6-week breaks and not felt any problem. I didn't lose my nerve or get scared, and to be honest I was flying better than I could before. I wouldn't want to leave it longer than 6 weeks as I'd worry my instructors might start worrying about my currency, but personally I felt fine. I have other quite dangerous sports I do only once a year or so and I never forget what I'm doing. I don't get much better, but I don't get worse either.

Stick to the advice a bit further above about being sensible in the air and not doing anything crazy. Which, if you're not jumping very often, will probably remain interesting and fun enough anyway.


airtwardo  (D License)

Oct 1, 2012, 6:49 AM
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Re: [rss_v] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I have other quite dangerous sports I do only once a year or so...



In reply to:

Me too...well wait, ~ Is Cheese Rolling a sport? Blush


LyraM45  (B 26378)

Oct 1, 2012, 5:17 PM
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Re: [jumpslo] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

I call it my first world problems, but one of the issues I have (especially since moving to CA which offers a lot of my activities) with jumping is I will never be a hardcore weekend warrior for two reasons-- one, my career field keeps me shift working wacky hours, so I'm not always off on the weekends, and two, I have so many other competing things I like to do. Many of which are the same you listed, plus a few more. So, you have to pick and choose your battles. I just recently became more comfortable with knowing I will never be the person to rack up jumps in the hundreds each year after jumping every weekend. BUT, I know I also jump enough that I don't feel sketched out or un-current. And flying in the wind tunnel helps a little too, but it's no substitute for situational awareness and things you only get through an actual jump.

Anyway.... if you enjoy all of that stuff, then you'll find a way to get it done. Plenty of us do. Just go for it!


Ron

Oct 2, 2012, 10:09 AM
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Re: [jumpslo] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

When you are new, currency is a MUST in skydiving. Wanna take a guess how many people die a year that make 1,000 jumps a year vs 50 jumps a year? When I was new I incorrectly assumed that guys that made 1k jumps a year had to have a higher death rate than people that make fewer jumps. My more experienced buddy corrected me.

Currency is important in any high risk sport.... More so when you are new.
And with every activity, you can control your risk exposure a bit.

Surfing: If you are not current, maybe you should avoid 10 foot waves till you are current.

SCUBA: A 30 foot reef dive is far different that being 300 feet down 800 feet back in a cave.

Me, I skydive, Cave dive, and fly. Skydiving coaching jobs and flying have pretty much pushed cave diving out of the way. So if I go cave diving after the nationals, I plan on making the first few dives basic 'beginner caves' till my skills and comfort are back up.

And with experience, the standard for currency changes. With almost 6k jumps, I can go much longer between jumps with an acceptable comfort and performance level than when I had 10, 100, or even 1,000 jumps.

Someone already mentioned that you can skydive infrequently with some degree of safety.... BUT you really have to control the TYPES of dives you do.

For example, I am not current cave diving. But I went out a few weeks ago to a 30 foot reef and the next day to an 80 foot wreck. That was within an acceptable safety limit.

If you are going to make 50 jumps a year, they had better be under big canopies and two and three ways. you should not even think about freeflying, wing suits, shooting video, big ways, or swooping till you are able to commit more time and effort into skydiving.


Whamie  (No License)

Oct 2, 2012, 3:04 PM
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Re: [jumpslo] # of hobbies VS staying current [In reply to] Can't Post

Greetings.
I'm by no means an expert as I have just finished AFF; basically means i'm cleared for solo and can work on getting more jumps to get the A license.
Sounds like you have the same hobbies as i do; girlfiend, scuba, snowboarding, motorcyle.

From my experience, the past 3 months was dedicated to doing AFF; for me, which also included over 30 mins of tunnel time since i didn't want to retake and repay for a repeat AFF jump. And to be current I had to jump every 30 days, which is not too long from jump to jump if you think about it. I momentarily put scuba diving on hold because my weekends were spent at the DZ...not to mention I only had a cash flow that would allow me to pick one or the other.

In short, the AFF course is really what you want to put into it. I think the extra time i put into the tunnels helped me out but at the same time it costs time and money. With a full time job i really had only weekends to do a jump or do some practice tunnel runs.

Good luck and hope to see ya out there. I think you'll love the sport and community.



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