Forums: General: Introductions and Greets:
How old is too old?

 


Dodge62

Oct 7, 2012, 7:04 PM
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How old is too old? Can't Post

Hi folks - quick introduction, I'm from London, UK and I'm 50 years old, married with two youngish children.

I've done some pretty crazy stuff in the past - I raced motorcycles with moderate success for 10 years. I gave that up after the third time I broke my leg, and have been racing cars (Caterhams) ever since (with much less success!)

I've always wanted to do a parachute jump, but never got around to it. For my 50th birthday, I decided it was about time and booked a tandem jump. You can guess the result of that...

So I booked AFF level 1, but (1) my instructor wasn't happy with my ability to hold an arch, and (2) I wasn't happy with the amount or quality of instruction. The DZ had screwed up the bookings, and our "6 hours of training" turned into a quick 5 minutes now and then when someone was available. So by mutual consent I did another tandem, but with an altimeter and with the tandem instructor taking me through the AFF moves.

Now I'm out in California for business, and I just had to do the 18,000 tandem jump at Monterey Bay. Twice.

Since I'm out here quite often, I thought maybe I could do the full AFF course here. No problem, they said, so long as you're under 40. 40??? Come on guys, under 50 would have disqualified me, but I could have understood it. But 40 seems ridiculous. Is it just that the sport's so full of youngsters that 40 seems ancient?

I also did a windtunnel "skydive" here, and to be honest I struggled a bit. I found it hard to keep a strong arch and stable position. Any advice for someone in my position? Perhaps I should mention that I broke both shoulder blades in the bike racing years as well, which means my shoulder muscles are much weaker than they otherwise might be.


CarpeDiem3  (D License)

Oct 7, 2012, 7:09 PM
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Re: [Dodge62] How old is too old? [In reply to] Can't Post

123.


Lazarus_762  (A 67183)

Oct 7, 2012, 7:20 PM
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2 weeks after you are dead...but you do need to be physically functional. no need for extreme fitness, but you need to be in decent condition...as for an age limit, I've never heard of one. It must be that DZs local rule.


dthames  (B 37674)

Oct 7, 2012, 7:29 PM
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Re: [Dodge62] How old is too old? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am 55 today and started in late Oct last year. I had the same problem with a weak arch and the resulting reduced stability.

I stretched and worked out my back and butt. I also ended up doing Static Line so that I could better learn at my own pace. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

Also, a few months ago a similar thread was started. 50 is not too old by any means. There are many students in their 50s.


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Oct 8, 2012, 12:28 AM
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Re: [Lazarus_762] How old is too old? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
2 weeks after you are dead...but you do need to be physically functional. no need for extreme fitness, but you need to be in decent condition...as for an age limit, I've never heard of one. It must be that DZs local rule.

Shit. Now I'm going to have to have someone chuck me out of the Otter three days after I'm dead! Thanks. I'm sure that will end well...

But yeah, if you aten't dead (Or maybe just recently dead) you aten't too old. Weak arch, bah! No one went into AFF with a good arch! You'll learn, and you'll get more stable!

Couple minutes in the wind tunnel helped with my stability, too. They "highly suggested" it after I failed my AFF 2 jump. And then admitted later that they pretty much set me up for failure with that one, trying to get 3 guys out the door of a king air like that. Hah! We all learned a lot during MY AFF training!


RickieD  (Student)

Oct 8, 2012, 4:51 AM
Post #6 of 25 (1908 views)
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Re: [Dodge62] How old is too old? [In reply to] Can't Post

I started AFF in September and I am 52. Never too old as long as you have the desire and some mobility. My wife takes the AFF with me...


adagen

Oct 8, 2012, 6:05 AM
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BPA appear to have a hard and fast 'no-one over 50' rule for people doing their first solo jump in the UK. Several AFF instructors will take you through the AFF course outside the UK and that will give you an AFF qualification which is valid in the UK.

Tunnel time is very good for developing the right muscles if you're struggling to hold an arch. If you tell the tunnel instructor you're aiming to do AFF they will be helpful. Some tunnels do specific courses for people planning to do AFF.


hub1100  (C 41319)

Oct 8, 2012, 6:31 AM
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I'm 52, stopped 20 years to have a family and restarted this year. Now 179 jumps, 57 this year and 5 this weekend ( wind issues). NO age is too old I'm not even close to my elder skydivers!


skygypsie  (B License)

Oct 8, 2012, 6:32 AM
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Did my 1st jump ( tandem ) a month before my 50th Birthday, continued jumping, quit my full time Nursing job to become Lead Staff DZ Tandem & Student Rig Packer.
That was 6 years ago, Oct. 14th, 2006 !!!.
Since, went through AFF Progression, got my A license at 52, married my Instructor ( who's in his 30's), still jumping & packing tandems & circles around the youngsters in their 20's-30's...NEVER too old !


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
Moderator
Oct 8, 2012, 7:20 AM
Post #10 of 25 (1893 views)
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Welcome to the forums! Smile I'm very surprised to hear of a US dropzone turning someone away who is only 50. We have groups that celebrate skydivers over 40, 50, 60 and 70! I think you should visit another dz in the area and see what they say. Good luck!


Dodge62

Oct 8, 2012, 9:33 AM
Post #11 of 25 (1883 views)
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Thanks all, some good food for thought. I think I'll try to get some more tunnel time (any Brits know somewhere in the south-east other than Milton Keynes? I'm in West London/Middlesex), then go for the full AFF next spring or summer. The two UK DZs I've spoken to haven't mentioned a blanket 50-limit, but if there is one I'll sort something abroad - perhaps a different California DZ.


devildog  (C 40302)

Oct 8, 2012, 4:20 PM
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Earlier this year, at my DZ a dozen or so little old ladies in their 70s and 80s came out and all jumped (tandem). I can't see 50 being "too" old at all :)


Boomerdog  (A 66054)

Oct 8, 2012, 4:38 PM
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I'm 57 and started about two months ago. If I were 30 years younger I might have my "A" ticket by now but I'm not and that's OK. I'm jumping, training and acquiring skills. My wife is doing the same and we are having the time of our lives. What I find is that after 50 and given a sport like skydiving, diet and exercise are important. Get on a good diet and work out to develop your strength and endurance. A couple of weeks ago, I finished my "D" jumps and riser turns can be done but they take a degree of strength and I was tired when I landed but I landed well. The point i that you made a level of strength and endurance to use your risers if presented with an emergency where the risers are needed to get down safely. Age is a number. If you're realistic about your strengths and weaknesses and work with your instructors this could end up being a good time for you. Finally, chances are you'll need some tunnel time and the tunnel is a great trainer.


FlyingPortagee  (A 64429)

Oct 8, 2012, 5:06 PM
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Re: [Boomerdog] How old is too old? [In reply to] Can't Post

Age means NOTHING. Age is a state of mind. Want to wingsuitBASEjump? Not too late. you choose your path.
In reply to:


BKS60  (C 41583)

Oct 8, 2012, 5:17 PM
Post #15 of 25 (1848 views)
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Re: [Dodge62] How old is too old? [In reply to] Can't Post

Started jumping this summer at 52. Did not have a problem with a weak arch since I did not have one at all!!!!
Instructors helped a lot and with a little wind tunnel time now I'm soloing and about to get my A.
You make a long weekend trip here and I bet they would get you through it weather permitting!
Don't let anyone stop you if you want it!


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
Moderator
Oct 8, 2012, 5:31 PM
Post #16 of 25 (1846 views)
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Someone told me that Monterey Bay is a tandem factory. That might explain why they didn't want to take someone over 40; some places try to discourage fun jumpers. You might want to try a different dropzone because fun jumpers often lose their slots anyway in places that make tandems a priority.


Lazarus_762  (A 67183)

Oct 8, 2012, 6:59 PM
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Re: [FlyingRhenquest] How old is too old? [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Shit. Now I'm going to have to have someone chuck me out of the Otter three days after I'm dead! Thanks. I'm sure that will end well...


can you really think of a better funeral? They wouldn't even have to dig a hole for you...you would auger in your own grave! I honestly hope to the Skygod that I do hammer in at about 102 years old....CoolCoolCool

age is NOT a factor, if you want it, go for it!!


adagen

Oct 10, 2012, 5:46 AM
Post #18 of 25 (1798 views)
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There are 3 UK tunnels. Biggest is http://www.bodyflight.co.uk/ off the A6 outside Bedford. Most of the instructors there jump. All are very helpful. They will on request do AFF specific training for you.

MK you know about. the 3rd tunnel is another Airkix tunnel in Manchester. Haven't flown there but I have heard it's good.

Given that you're London based, Bedford is probably your best bet. If you don't want to drive there, taxi from Bedford station is reasonable.


andy061  (Student)

Oct 19, 2012, 2:14 PM
Post #19 of 25 (1669 views)
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Re: [Dodge62] How old is too old? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm 51 and started my aff course a few weeks ago. Like you, I used to race motorcycles and have a few injuries, broken arm. collarbones, and while there is some discomfort it is not unsurmountable.

Do some stretching, take up Yoga, You can appreciate racing motorcycles we are very "hunched up", for skydiving we need to be the complete opposite!

Best of luck!


grannyinthesky  (D 30311)

Oct 19, 2012, 3:30 PM
Post #20 of 25 (1651 views)
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I did my first jump at 57 and five years later, I just got my gold wings for having made 1000 jumps. Sure glad no one tried to tell me I was too old!!! Cool


gregpso  (Student)

Oct 19, 2012, 4:24 PM
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I did the AFF at 52 no problems. Broken shoulder blades in the past prob do not help. Just practice your arch. Once you get qualified most experienced jumpers (I am not) do not even arch they just frog as they have learned to balance with experience (without a hard arch)


Lots of jumpers in their 50s

Good luck


Dodge62

Oct 20, 2012, 3:29 PM
Post #22 of 25 (1619 views)
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I've now done a couple of wind tunnel sessions and I'm a lot more comfortable with "the position". So all I need now is some decent weather. That'll be next summer, then, if I'm lucky!


Squeak  (E 1313)

Oct 23, 2012, 5:46 PM
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Re: [grannyinthesky] How old is too old? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I did my first jump at 57 and five years later, I just got my gold wings for having made 1000 jumps. Sure glad no one tried to tell me I was too old!!! Cool
UPDATE ya damned profile woman Tongue


airtwardo  (D License)

Oct 23, 2012, 10:26 PM
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Re: [Lazarus_762] How old is too old? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

Shit. Now I'm going to have to have someone chuck me out of the Otter three days after I'm dead! Thanks. I'm sure that will end well...


can you really think of a better funeral? They wouldn't even have to dig a hole for you...


Ummm...Ya don't need an Otter, a 180 will do, and it's much more advisable to do it over an ocean - not land. Angelic

'Certain' religions don't allow for an 'ash' dive, hopefully Atlantic Cod like kosher food.Wink


lekstrom10k  (D 3001)

Nov 16, 2012, 7:09 AM
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 I made 70 jumps on my 70th birthday that turned into 71 as my ground crew wanted to do one with me . Pat Moorehead my hero made 80 on his 80th earlier. in California . Mike Spurgeon should be aroun 73 or 74 still doing tandems at Lodi CA . another of my heros too with Jerry Bird out of FL. jumps ocassionally



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