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Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license.

 

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VTmotoMike08  (D 30399)

Aug 23, 2017, 7:55 PM
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Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. Can't Post

I've been in the sport for about 12 years but took a (mostly) break for about 4 of those. When I started, most people got their license then did a couple hundred belly jumps to get to the point where they could at least reliably turn a bunch of points on a 4-way and easily swoop to their slot on a bigger (8+) way. From there, if you wanted to branch out and get into FF, swooping, wingsuits, or whatever then go for it but at least you knew the fundamentals!

When I recently came back, it seems like everyone at the DZ has about 300 jumps but still can't do anything but sitfly around a loose circle (orbiting and undocked) and make faces at each other. I have nothing against freefly, I enjoy it too, but I'm kinda irked by the fact that no one wants to actually plan a jump with multiple points and to work on developing any meaningful relative work skills (on belly or vertical). And I have been to a couple dropzones, not just basing this on one.


Good luck just showing up at a dropzone anymore, looking for someone organizing RW (or even VFS if you can), introducing yourself while being candid about your experience, and getting on a well planned skydive. All anyone wants to do is jump out with about 6 random people who might not have a thousand jumps combined, be goofy for 45 seconds, then weak track away and hope some guy who went low out the door and was never seen again isn't near you. It's like everyone just gets together at the 5 minute calls and someone says "what are we doing" and whoever happens to be on that load gets to be on the zoo diveCrazy

What do you think? Do fewer people these days have the patience to learn the finer skills of relative work? Or is this just not considered fun anymore? Thanks for any input.


flyhi  (D License)

Aug 24, 2017, 4:12 AM
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

Agree

If we could track it, I would not be surprised if those were the people we lose first, because they got bored with the sport.

If you want to know the sport, compete, or at least train to compete, in a discipline. You will never pick up all the nuances by yourself.

Worked very hard to avoid saying, "participation trophies" in this response.


IJskonijn  (B License)

Aug 24, 2017, 4:15 AM
Post #3 of 34 (5874 views)
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Re: [flyhi] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

flyhi wrote:
Worked very hard to avoid saying, "participation trophies" in this response.
So close...Wink


jacketsdb23  (D 29802)

Aug 24, 2017, 8:11 AM
Post #4 of 34 (5633 views)
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

VTmotoMike08 wrote:
I've been in the sport for about 12 years but took a (mostly) break for about 4 of those. When I started, most people got their license then did a couple hundred belly jumps to get to the point where they could at least reliably turn a bunch of points on a 4-way and easily swoop to their slot on a bigger (8+) way. From there, if you wanted to branch out and get into FF, swooping, wingsuits, or whatever then go for it but at least you knew the fundamentals!

When I recently came back, it seems like everyone at the DZ has about 300 jumps but still can't do anything but sitfly around a loose circle (orbiting and undocked) and make faces at each other. I have nothing against freefly, I enjoy it too, but I'm kinda irked by the fact that no one wants to actually plan a jump with multiple points and to work on developing any meaningful relative work skills (on belly or vertical). And I have been to a couple dropzones, not just basing this on one.


Good luck just showing up at a dropzone anymore, looking for someone organizing RW (or even VFS if you can), introducing yourself while being candid about your experience, and getting on a well planned skydive. All anyone wants to do is jump out with about 6 random people who might not have a thousand jumps combined, be goofy for 45 seconds, then weak track away and hope some guy who went low out the door and was never seen again isn't near you. It's like everyone just gets together at the 5 minute calls and someone says "what are we doing" and whoever happens to be on that load gets to be on the zoo diveCrazy

What do you think? Do fewer people these days have the patience to learn the finer skills of relative work? Or is this just not considered fun anymore? Thanks for any input.

It takes two forces: 1) Experienced jumpers willing to dedicate time to smaller groups, briefs, and debriefs to develop the skills of the new jumpers and 2) new jumpers willing to be taught.

There are few experienced jumpers with the necessary skills to teach that don't want to be paid for their efforts. The ones with enough experience are doing their own thing or working doing Tandems and AFF's. The gap between 25 jumps and 200 jumps has always been tough for the sport.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Aug 24, 2017, 9:53 AM
Post #5 of 34 (5526 views)
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I've been in the sport for about 12 years but took a (mostly) break for about 4 of those. When I started, most people got their license then did a couple hundred belly jumps to get to the point where they could at least reliably turn a bunch of points on a 4-way and easily swoop to their slot on a bigger (8+) way. From there, if you wanted to branch out and get into FF, swooping, wingsuits, or whatever then go for it but at least you knew the fundamentals!

When I recently came back, it seems like everyone at the DZ has about 300 jumps but still can't do anything but sitfly around a loose circle (orbiting and undocked) and make faces at each other. I have nothing against freefly, I enjoy it too, but I'm kinda irked by the fact that no one wants to actually plan a jump with multiple points and to work on developing any meaningful relative work skills (on belly or vertical). And I have been to a couple dropzones, not just basing this on one.

Funny, I experienced the exact opposite. I started at a small DZ in NY, and once you were off student status you were pretty much on your own. There were a lot of fun dives to be had, and a lot of beer was drunk, but to actually (for example) try to learn 4-way you had to deal and wheedle to get one 4-way load up in the morning before the tandems/SL's showed up.

Then I visited Perris, where everyone was always doing something - coaching, or training, or doing competitions, or learning to freefly or something. It was a big change.

When I first moved to San Diego I spent most of my time teaching at Air Adventures. And that was closer to the DZ in NY. Most of the day would be spent working with students, with an occasional 12 way or something at the end of the day.

After a few years there I moved on to Perris and learned 4-way and 8-way, learned to fly a wingsuit, learned to do camera etc.

I don't think either way is inherently better than the other. There's room in the sport for people who just like jumping and who will never get any better (nor do they want to), and there's room in the sport for people to progress fast at big DZ's with a lot of opportunities to learn.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Aug 24, 2017, 10:48 AM
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

Out of curiosity, where do you see the problem?

Is it a lack of motivation to get better on the part of the newer jumpers? Fear of trying to get in with the better jumpers?
Or lack of coaching/organizing at the DZ?

Starting off at a smaller DZ, I had a hard time getting better. Many of my jumps were solos, riding up with a tandem pair.

Fortunately, there were a few experienced jumpers who were willing to do a "small way" with me and maybe another jumper. And there were a couple newer jumpers who would want to "get up and do badly together", so I gained some belly skills.

Currently, I'm at a bigger DZ, with a decent sized belly crowd and a DZO that really takes care of the fun jumpers.
There's usually some level of 'official' organizing (both belly and FF) on weekends. The 4 way team is usually training hard on weekends, but if one or two are out during the week, they'll jump with fun jumpers.

And for those not good enough to get on the 'official' organized belly jumps (some go upwards of 10 or 12), there's almost always someone who is willing to add to a group.

Yet some newer jumpers still don't seem to do much with others. I jumped with someone a few weeks ago. She is up around 70-80 jumps, yet many are solos. The ones that aren't are mostly coached. She really doesn't have many fun jumps with other people.
I wanted to jump with "somebody, anybody", so I grabbed her and said "let's do something". We put together a simple "dive out unlinked, get together in a pin, sidebody on each other in turn and back to the pin" plan.

It went reasonably well, all things considered. Levels were an issue (she falls a good bit faster than me), making the points was challenging, but we got together and turned 3 or 4 points. Not at all bad for her skill level (and mine).
We got down and she said something to the effect of "That's the most points I've turned on a fun jump so far." I asked why she had so few fun jumps and got the vague "I don't like asking to join because I'm afraid of messing up everyone's jump" answer that is all too common.

I will usually include newer jumpers if at all possible. I plan a simple jump, and have an alternate plan if the new guy is waaaayyy out in the 'boonies' (and make sure everyone knows to stay as close to the group as possible until breakoff so we can all know where each other is if possible).

But I'm kind of an anomaly. I'm a "halfway decent" belly flier, but I know I don't jump enough to get really good, or progress to FF or angles or that sort of thing. My life simply doesn't allow me to jump that much.
But as long as I can stay reasonably safe, not funnel the exit, make my slot, and have fun, I'm ok with that.


kallend  (D 23151)

Aug 24, 2017, 11:06 AM
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Re: [jacketsdb23] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

jacketsdb23 wrote:

It takes two forces: 1) Experienced jumpers willing to dedicate time to smaller groups, briefs, and debriefs to develop the skills of the new jumpers and 2) new jumpers willing to be taught.

There are few experienced jumpers with the necessary skills to teach that don't want to be paid for their efforts. The ones with enough experience are doing their own thing or working doing Tandems and AFF's. The gap between 25 jumps and 200 jumps has always been tough for the sport.

There are a lot of experienced jumpers (say >1000 jumps, competition experience...) who would be happy to coach newbies. Many even have bona-fide teaching credentials. However, because they haven't paid to take USPA's coach course they aren't allowed to do this.

However, someone with 200 jumps who can barely dock on a 16-way but spent a weekend learning how to "teach" is considered well qualified.


(This post was edited by kallend on Aug 24, 2017, 11:13 AM)


jackwallace  (Student)

Aug 24, 2017, 11:18 AM
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

So these jumpers, jump out of the plane, giggle, laugh, look at each other and geek the camera. Then land drink beer and go home (added that part myself) So what's the problem? I always thought skydiving was FUN.


VTmotoMike08  (D 30399)

Aug 24, 2017, 11:33 AM
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Re: [jackwallace] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

jackwallace wrote:
So these jumpers, jump out of the plane, giggle, laugh, look at each other and geek the camera. Then land drink beer and go home (added that part myself) So what's the problem? I always thought skydiving was FUN.

Right, its supposed to be fun, I just can't understand how that is fun after you have done it more than a handful of times. To me, it used to seem that most people enjoyed a hot, multi point 4-way or smooth big way with a couple points. Developing this level of skill was the goal for most jumpers and how they had fun. Now it seems like most people definition of fun has changed in the last couple of years and I'm trying to understand why. It seems what used to be considered an unsuccessful jump (just fly around trying to be near to some random guy and making goofy faces) is now almost what people try to do.


jeffrey27rj  (D 36689)

Aug 24, 2017, 11:44 AM
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Re: [kallend] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

kallend wrote:
jacketsdb23 wrote:

However, someone with 200 jumps who can barely dock on a 16-way but spent a weekend learning how to "teach" is considered well qualified.

It's actually 100 jumps but don't get me started on that soapbox......


VTmotoMike08  (D 30399)

Aug 24, 2017, 11:49 AM
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

wolfriverjoe wrote:
Out of curiosity, where do you see the problem?

Is it a lack of motivation to get better on the part of the newer jumpers? Fear of trying to get in with the better jumpers?
Or lack of coaching/organizing at the DZ?

Probably a little bit of all of that. First, newer jumpers seem less interested in getting on more technical jumps and also more experienced jumpers seem less interested in bringing along a newer guy who might screw it up. I'm more confused as to why newer jumpers seem to be less interested in challenging skydives and more content to just flounder around in the sky. But I guess more of the "blame" lies with experienced jumpers who don't reach out to newbies. Everyone was new once and it can indeed be hard to reach out to someone much more experienced than you and ask to be on their jump that you might screw up.

It just seems to be there are fewer intermediate and advanced skydivers reaching out to newbies and also fewer newbies that actually want to learn technical skills than there used to be. Classic chicken and egg problem, I'm not sure which came first.


(This post was edited by VTmotoMike08 on Aug 24, 2017, 11:51 AM)


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Aug 24, 2017, 12:55 PM
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

This is one of the reasons I have a total of 15 jumps in the last 12 months. I used to be able to go to a DZ and get some great skydives in either with other jumpers that had similar goals or I would work with newer jumpers to do some basic 4 way organizing. In the last few years the trend locally has been to get as many of those newer jumpers in as coaches so they can start to pay for their own skydives and then make more skydivers. The downside is that you don't really learn any of the skills needed to do formations or other group jumps when you are chasing someone around with a gopro strapped to your head. The investment in the 2 hour drive each way to the DZ, sitting around for 3-4 hours to get a group together to do a good jump and then another 1-2 hours to get on a load are just not a good enough use of my time anymore... I figured out there is more to weekends than just sitting at DZ's ;)

My last major trip to a local DZ involved sitting on the ground for 6 hours waiting on someone to decide they really wanted to pay for a skydive (students ended for the day basically then everyone would jump) and being told by a group of 4 that had a combined experience of less than 600 jumps (1 had 400) that they were going to plan it on the ride up and I could join them later in the day - I asked about dirt diving and they just laughed and said they didn't need to do that. I saw parts of their video after and it was a typical only 2-3 made it in and the fourth was either under spinning around looking at the formation or no where to be found.... I could have hopped on an end of the day tracking load with 14 people with experience from 28 jumps to 5000+, issue was looking at the load I knew 2/3's of them were not going to be part of the skydive for more than 10 seconds before they were out tracked and were then just lost. Those types of issues are on the LO - they were getting free slots so they would just throw everyone on the load and then would just track with the better flyers with everyone else left looking at the group 1/2 mile away at opening.

The issue on the freefly side is that there are two general levels of abilities in freeflying. Fairly new - Sitflyers at this level can just do some campfire style jumps and that's about it. Putting to many of them at this skill level on a jump just leads to a game of chase the fastest faller and with a lot of backsliding occurring the entire skydives tend to be spent just keeping track of someone. Head down at this level is only really safe one on one with the zoominess and the corking that happens at that skill level. Most jumpers that can push someone through this level are actually at the next level. The other main level of skill is those that have done lots of investment in the tunnel / skydives to be able to do high quality jumps. This crowd tends to stick together to push their own skills and it leaves a lot of people that are in that middle ground with out too much else to do except to either spend the time and money at the tunnel or just find one or two others that have a similar desire to then just jump only with them.

To be fair - when I was a newer jumper I did my share of campfire and stupidly planned jumps as well as a decent number of novelty jumps like Tubes, Rafts, etc. I was having a blast at it and left the DZ happy every weekend. After seeing some of the local jumpers that seemly got really good in a single season I eventually decided I wanted to get good at something myself and spent my time and effort working on a few skills instead of just burning a lot of holes in the sky. This meant for me not trying to do a tandem video, then a wingsuit then a few freefly and then back to a Wingsuit for the end of the day. Working on just one specific discipline and getting the finer details of it worked out helped things click for me. The big change for me was working with an RW organizer on a regular basis and then starting to get into a group that was working towards specific goals of things like 8 point 8 ways or 4 point 16 ways.

Find some like minded jumpers and look at doing a 4 way team or a 2 way freefly team - jumping with the same consistent people every time is the best way to improve. Just randomly showing up on a random weekend is always a crapshoot in term of finding people to jump with that are at a skill level that can challenge you.


jacketsdb23  (D 29802)

Aug 24, 2017, 1:42 PM
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Re: [kallend] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

kallend wrote:

There are a lot of experienced jumpers (say >1000 jumps, competition experience...) who would be happy to coach newbies. Many even have bona-fide teaching credentials. However, because they haven't paid to take USPA's coach course they aren't allowed to do this.

However, someone with 200 jumps who can barely dock on a 16-way but spent a weekend learning how to "teach" is considered well qualified.

You don't need an instructor rating to do a 3way or 4way with A-Licensed newbies to teach them critical skills. Most qualified people don't or won't do this unless their slot is paid for or they are getting paid as an organizer.


gowlerk  (C 3196)

Aug 24, 2017, 3:02 PM
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Re: [jeffrey27rj] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
It's actually 100 jumps but don't get me started on that soapbox......

Strongly disagree on this being a problem. It's only an beginner coach rating. It's not an advanced rating and no one thinks it is. But it does start people on a journey toward the thing that is most likely going to keep them active in the sport and therefore advance it in general.

Learning to coach and to instruct are about far more than ratings. They are about the future of the sport. The sooner people get involved with coaching the better it will be for everyone.

Teaching is not the same skill as skydiving. I could get up on a soapbox and go on about this........


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Aug 24, 2017, 4:38 PM
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Re: [kallend] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
There are a lot of experienced jumpers (say >1000 jumps, competition experience...) who would be happy to coach newbies. Many even have bona-fide teaching credentials. However, because they haven't paid to take USPA's coach course they aren't allowed to do this.

However, someone with 200 jumps who can barely dock on a 16-way but spent a weekend learning how to "teach" is considered well qualified.

Often they are. At my AFF JCC I saw two candidates who were both amazing flyers - thousands of jumps each, in contention for gold in 4-way open. Their preferred instruction method seemed to be "wander around and talk about stuff." One night the course director said something like "you know, some of the people in this course are amazing skydivers and really nice people but it seems like they can't teach. I'd strongly recommend getting with someone who CAN teach, soon. Like tonight. Because you can fail if you can't teach, even if you get all the air points." They took the warning seriously, spent that night with one of the better instructors and passed (barely.)

About a year later I met someone with about 300 jumps who was working towards her AFF JCC. (She was already a static line I.) She produced some of the best students I worked with there, and was one of the people always willing to jump with new grads after they had graduated.

That doesn't mean that getting a coach rating makes you a good instructor, of course. But experience means very little if you can't teach - and for most recent grads, there is effectively no difference in what they can learn from someone who can turn 30 points in time and someone who can barely dock on a 16 way. If the "lousy" skydiver is a good teacher, they are better off with him (or her.)


Lawndarter  (B 45763)

Aug 25, 2017, 8:17 AM
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

I've read this threat with a lot of interest.

I'm really new - I started two years ago and got injured during my course, was out for a year and came back.

My first bunch of jumps off student status were mostly solo just trying to get more relaxed in the air, because having hurt myself, I tended to get nervous having anything more to do than just that, and trying to fly my canopy better.

I got my A right at the end of the season here and went to Elsinore in December to do Flight 101-102, but it was cancelled, and instead I joined one of their (amazing) EXCEL camps. Winds kept us from doing more than one jump, but even still I learned a lot about RW, about how to plan and log jumps better, and how to build some skills.

Back home, there's a lot of those freeflyers you describe, but there's also some really good bellyflyers, and so I signed up for some coaching on 4-way and had an absolute blast - it was completely worth the slots I paid for to get some idea about RW. Landing after turning six points was really cool, and having done that little bit I now get invited to do more of them, from people with way more experience who are helping my dial in a lot of skills. Some of the jumps are comical for what goes wrong, but even then it's so much more fun.

So I don't think it's that RW is not "fun" anymore, but it's similarly not the only thing - lots of people just want to go do tracking or angle jumps or just pile on jumps until they can learn to wingsuit or swoop or whatever, and some don't. It doesn't much matter though, does it? I'm getting to enjoy RW even though I'm mediocre still, but just like every time I golf (which isn't often) I have one shot that keeps me thinking I'll go back, every jump I've been with others comes with some lesson or coaching or positive reinforcement to do it again. The last one we did, it was terrible. I was falling fastest, but decided to try to chase the others instead of laying the base, and it turned into what was described as a "dogfight" until we got a dock and pretty much ran out of altitude for anything else. I felt discouraged as hell until watching some video, seeing that my exit was actually really good, that we figured levels out quick, and then the guy who organized it said he couldn't wait to do another to fix some of it up.

All that to say I guess it's a matter of making sure to find people with the same interests in that crowd, which is not all the same (and maybe it was a few years ago, I wasn't there to know) - some people don't find RW interesting. I don't have any real interest in learning to swoop. It's just preferences.


tred  (B License)

Aug 25, 2017, 8:54 AM
Post #17 of 34 (4590 views)
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

most big DZ's have "camps".

you get coaching/organizing and the cost is split between the group 4,6,8 ways etc.

everyone there has similar goals and more focus then pick up jumps


billeisele  (A 5643)

Aug 27, 2017, 5:28 AM
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

Some DZs have a formal training program to get the new jumpers from just-off-student-status to a level where they can be successful in larger groups.

Skydive Carolina has the New Heights program. The goal is to provide new jumpers with a solid foundation of knowledge and experience so they can be safe with themselves and others without supervision in all aspects of the sport. We don't want them being coached by those with undeveloped skills and bad habits.

We discuss each jumpers personal goals, safety, manifesting, gear selection, avoiding DZ predators and not being a predator, where to sit in the plane for a safe and efficient exit, managing the door, proper climb outs, exits, the skydiving techniques that change from being an AFF/AFP student to "big boy" skydiving - primarily turns and tracking, and canopy flight. We focus on 3 three basic foundation skills: matching fall rate, maintaining proximity and turns - at the basic level that's what the great teams do. The 3 skills are practiced in no-contact skydives. It's our belief that constantly hanging on to someone develops bad habits. Once a jumper is comfortable with no-contact they will fly with looser grips, be in their slot and not back out doing multi-point jumps.

We provide a 2.5 hour training class then get in the air. The first jump is one-on-one with an experienced skydiver that can perform the skills and coach. After this evaluation jump we determine what skills each jumper needs to work on and move them to the appropriate jump or level in the program. Each subsequent jump enhances the 3 foundation skills and increases in difficulty. The jumper receives pre-jump training and a debrief, much like when they were an AFF/AFP student.

We're in our second year and the results are amazing. We have low-number jumpers doing multi-point jumps in progressively larger groups. We recently did a 3-point 9-way with two of the young jumpers. It built smoothly, on time, and stayed on level. That jump was preceded by a 10-point 6-way, 7-pt 7-way and 13-pt 5-way. These jumps are being done by free flying the exit and building to a center point. It's fairly normal to build the first point inside of 15 seconds. With the right jumpers in the right slots we'll build an 8-way inside of 10-seconds.

We're having fun, the young jumpers are learning and the more experienced jumpers have more qualified jumpers to jump with.

Did I mention the class and coaching are free? They pay for their slot and gear rental, if needed. The experienced jumper slots are paid by the DZ. Our DZO team believes this is smart business as it retains younger jumpers, they jump more and reduces the potential for accidents.


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Aug 27, 2017, 6:28 AM
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

I did a shit ton of zoo dives, goofing around, stupid shit in my first 300 jumps.

we called it 'having fun'.

There is definitely a split in the sport with those that think most dives should be serious training exercises with every jump resulting in an improvement of skills, and those that just are having fun with their friends.

And as long as no one gets hurt or killed, who gives a shit. not me.

Try to eat an apple in freefall one in a while. It is actually fun and accomplishes absolutely nothing.

When I first moved to Z-Hills in 1995 to take over operations, I was approached by an old-timer, big way skygod that I had known for years. conversation something like this:

"Y'know TK, I know you are trying to do something with Z-Hills and I know it has all this history, but Z-Hills will never amount to anything....it will always just be a fun dropzone..."

I paused and said "....geez....Thanks man!"

People need to chill the fuck out and smell the roses once in a while.


VTmotoMike08  (D 30399)

Aug 27, 2017, 10:46 AM
Post #20 of 34 (3677 views)
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Re: [billeisele] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

That sounds like a really great program that I wish more DZs had. Unfortunately, most are too cheap to throw an occasional free slot to experienced jumpers who would like to mentor others who actually want to improve.


heavision  (A License)

Aug 27, 2017, 5:18 PM
Post #21 of 34 (3519 views)
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

Noobie here. If we're talking about ways to expose new jumpers to all the different disciplines in skydiving, I have some thoughts.

I know there's tons of great courses and coaches; but after AFF, renting gear, paying for jumps, then buying a rig, paying for jumps, helmet, altimeter, goggles etc, paying for jumps, take a road trip to cool DZ, pay for jumps, etc etc etc one's bank account has dwindled.

So when experienced jumpers approach me--or vice versa--and offer advice or even to jump with me I feel very excited, lucky and happy. But, and I think I speak for a lot of us, we are scared of fucking up your skydive--this shit's expensive! Like, I'll be on the flight line or even in the plane and someone will say 'hey wanna jump together?' and I say 'Oh, I'm new, I don't know if I can keep up!' and they reassure me oh it'll be fine, which is super kind and magnanimous of them. Then we jump and I flail all over and look like a doofus. Then they avoid me on the ground. Actually thats not true, usually everyone's really cool, but I still feel like they wasted a jump--even though I probably learned something.

I have an idea: color coded arm-bands. New jumpers could wear them and it would be a signal; "I'm new and I really wanna learn." It could also mean; "jump master, please tell me where to sit and when I should exit. And everyone, feel free to double check my rig." I would wear one proudly.

And there could be a system: Red = just off student status. Orange = got some jumps, not B licensed yet. Yellow = I can do SOME shit but I'm still learning, feel free to offer advice. Blue = ....I don't know, but you get the idea. I'm just brainstorming.

And it could improve safety: you see a Red arm band on your load, pay special attention to them; did they get a gear check? A double check? Did they set altimeter at ground level and double check? Got your goggles, helmet? Did they double check the wind, landing pattern? Do you know where to sit on the plane, Mr Red, and when you get out? All that kinda stuff.

A number of those things have happened to me. Like I'm about to board the plane and a bunch of super pro dudes are there, plane pulls up and I have to raise my hand and say "excuse me, sorry, I'm new, gonna jump solo belly, could someone tell me what the exit order should be?" And there's that collective sigh, like, "aw man a frikkin noobie on our super awesome Red Bull skydive we had planned." 95% of the time people are really cool but when this does happen, it sucks. And it makes us new people wary about approaching the Cs and Ds for guidance.

Holy shit, I just realized that I'm babbling, sorry.


jumpsracer  (D 33650)

Aug 27, 2017, 6:39 PM
Post #22 of 34 (3465 views)
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Re: [tkhayes] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

I couldn't agree with you more, Skydiving is supposed to be fun!!


pms07  (D 7571)

Aug 27, 2017, 6:56 PM
Post #23 of 34 (3442 views)
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Right, its supposed to be fun, I just can't understand how that is fun after you have done it more than a handful of times. To me, it used to seem that most people enjoyed a hot, multi point 4-way or smooth big way with a couple points. Developing this level of skill was the goal for most jumpers and how they had fun. Now it seems like most people definition of fun has changed in the last couple of years and I'm trying to understand why. It seems what used to be considered an unsuccessful jump (just fly around trying to be near to some random guy and making goofy faces) is now almost what people try to do.

Well, different people have different motivations for why they skydive, what they want to accomplish, and what their goals are. It's always been that way but when I started skydiving there were 2 disciplines; S&A, and RW. Now there are many and the sport is more complex; vfs, ff, fs, each with various sub disciplines like 4-way, 8-way, big ways, team, then there are CF, CP, sport accuracy, classic accuracy, angle flying, tracking dives, wingsuit flying with sub disciplines like flocking, carving, performance, xrw. And the professional instructor staff. You are free to choose your own path.

There have always been some in the sport that want to make a few jumps and basically survive, while others want to make a million jumps and achieve world-class status, and stretch the boundaries of flight. And everything in between. One person's "unsuccessful jump" might be another's greatest feat in the sport.

Everyone has their own motivation, best to accept that and gravitate toward the drop zone, people and dives that coincide with your own.


julius  (D License)

Aug 27, 2017, 9:51 PM
Post #24 of 34 (3331 views)
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Re: [kallend] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

kallend wrote:
jacketsdb23 wrote:

It takes two forces: 1) Experienced jumpers willing to dedicate time to smaller groups, briefs, and debriefs to develop the skills of the new jumpers and 2) new jumpers willing to be taught.

There are few experienced jumpers with the necessary skills to teach that don't want to be paid for their efforts. The ones with enough experience are doing their own thing or working doing Tandems and AFF's. The gap between 25 jumps and 200 jumps has always been tough for the sport.

There are a lot of experienced jumpers (say >1000 jumps, competition experience...) who would be happy to coach newbies. Many even have bona-fide teaching credentials. However, because they haven't paid to take USPA's coach course they aren't allowed to do this.

However, someone with 200 jumps who can barely dock on a 16-way but spent a weekend learning how to "teach" is considered well qualified.

Yup, I agree (uspa coach rating = well qualified)!


Croc  (D 29552)

Aug 28, 2017, 4:05 AM
Post #25 of 34 (3219 views)
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Re: [jackwallace] Seems like so many jumpers these days have a couple hundred jumps and have done nothing but zoo dives and campfires since they got their license. [In reply to] Can't Post

jackwallace wrote:
So these jumpers, jump out of the plane, giggle, laugh, look at each other and geek the camera. Then land drink beer and go home (added that part myself) So what's the problem? I always thought skydiving was FUN.



My thoughts exactly. I get bored out of my mind with RW. Why do they call it "work"? Not the way I want to spend my time relaxing at the DZ.


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