Forums: General: Introductions and Greets:
Greetings from Michigan and rockclimbing.com

 


styndall

Oct 18, 2012, 6:28 PM
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Greetings from Michigan and rockclimbing.com Can't Post

Hi All,

I joined this site ages ago, back when dropzone.com bought rockclimbing.com and DDT (did I get his name right?) managed us both for a while. There was a fun bit of site crossover for maybe six months, but it's long since fallen off.

Anyway, in the meantime, I've left places with mountains and rocks and moved to Michigan for grad school. I've got a while longer out here, I'd like to do something exciting, and skydiving seems like it'd scratch that itch.

I'm in SE Michigan, Ann Arbor, and I'd love to learn someplace close. I know winter is coming on fast, and I have no idea how fast the licensing process goes. With climbing, you just buy a rope and start climbing stuff. Clearly, skydiving is quite a bit different.

It looks like Skydive Tecumseh is the closest place. Any experience with that place or with others around? Also, what should I know before starting? Or what do you wish you'd known before starting?

Is it heinously expensive? I've also picked up photography, and I imagine a heroin habit would be plenty cheaper.


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Oct 18, 2012, 9:35 PM
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Re: [styndall] Greetings from Michigan and rockclimbing.com [In reply to] Can't Post

Can't tell you anything about your location, but you might want to wait until spring if it gets very cold where you live. As cold as it is on the ground, it's going to be much colder at altitude!

Skydiving is pretty expensive, yeah. You can sometimes find package deals on the AFF training. I want to say the least expensive once I've seen on here was around $1600. That's really just the first step, though. AFF is 7 jumps (or a few more if you fail a few, it was 12 for me) and you need a minimum of 25 jumps to get your A license. You'll probably need to hire a coach for those, unless you have a very good friend with a coach rating.

And of course you'll be needing gear. You can get second hand and might be able to find a good deal on some that way. If you want all new, you could drop upwards of $2000 for your rig, $2000 for a main canopy, some amount (Probably $2000 heh) on a reserve canopy and $1200 or so on an AAD. Cha-ching! Now's the time to buy secondhand gear though!

It's the most fun thing I've ever done, and in my opinion, totally worth it. *shrug* your mileage may vary.

The AFF training is pretty nice. I was really surprised at how quickly I advanced in the training. You start with a ground school and will probably do your first jump that same day. You'll have two instructors holding onto you for the first few jumps, so you don't have to worry about stability. They'll pull for you if you forget to and you'll pick up the basic skills you need.

Once you get out of the AFF program, your dropzone should have some instructors they can set you up with and you'll start checking off the boxes to get your A license.

During all this you have to jump pretty regularly. I think it was at least once every 2 weeks in my AFF training. I never bumped up against it, so I'm not positive. I get itchy if I don't jump a couple times a week Wink IIRC you need a jump every 90 days once you get your A license. I checked it once. Don't plan to bump up on it. Itchy!

The process is really pretty straight forward, and your dropzone has an interest in keeping you safe on your jumps. Once you get comfortable with your gear and the idea that it really IS going to keep you from dying, it gets a lot easier to relax on the plane and in your jumps. This is not something you can do with your conscious mind, your subconscious just has to get used to how everything works.

Hope that was useful information! Let us know how it goes!


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
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Oct 19, 2012, 4:49 AM
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Re: [styndall] Greetings from Michigan and rockclimbing.com [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to the forums! Smile Yes, Tecumseh has a good reputation and yes, skydiving is pretty expensive your first year. Go to the dz and see what training programs they offer. Static line would be cheaper than AFF, but it has different risks vs. benefits. Ask them what their season is (a lot of northern dz's close in November, but not all). Maybe you should use the winter to save up some money and start in the Spring?


skydivecat  (C License)

Oct 19, 2012, 6:07 AM
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Re: [styndall] Greetings from Michigan and rockclimbing.com [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello!

I jump out of Tecumseh and we do offer IAD (instructor assisted deployment) training and AFF (accelerated freefall). I do not believe we are offering any more First Jump Courses this season as our last weekend is Nov. 3/4. As a student you need to jump every 30 days to stay current and this late in the season, and with the weather we have been having, you would probably be lucky to make one jump before we close until April.

If you wanted to come check us out and see what it is all about, we are open Wed, Fri, Sat, and Sun, weather permitting of course. Any questions specific to Tecumseh, feel free to pm me!


(This post was edited by skydivecat on Oct 19, 2012, 8:50 AM)



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