Feb 15, 2004, 2:47 PM
Post #1 of 11
Orlando Wind Tunnel Camps
Well, it's still cold up here in the the Northeast and I'm itching for some skydiving. But I thought that I could use this time to work on my RW skills. I recently got my A, and I've done a couple 3-ways with experiences jumpers (thank god for their patience) and although it was fun, I was flailiing all over the sky!
That being said, I'm thinking about heading to Orlando to try one of the Wind Tunnel camps. But in looking at the tunnelcamp.com website, I'm more confused than ever! I'm looking for some coaching in belly flying, to help me get more control out there with my friends! Any recommendations, experiences, warnings, etc?
I've got about 42 minutes in the tunnel so far, but I can't really help you decipher what camp would be appropriate for tuning your RW skills since I've never actually attended one. Of my 42 minutes, 20 were part of the AFF training I got through Skydive University and the rest went directly through Skyventure. Out of the additional 22 minutes I got in the tunnel, only 10 of those were really coached. For that I just purchased a 10 minute coaching package through skyventure.
I'm not sure how much you are looking to get out of this or how advanced your flying is, but from my point of view the instructors with skyventure were more than qualified to help me improve my skills and you can pretty much make your own schedule for training rather than being forced to come when a specific camp is offered. Don't get me wrong or anything, I'm absolutely positive that the camps would be an awesome benefit to anyone who attends, but I just wanted to point out that you don't have to go to one to get some good training.
I attended the Skyventure camp for two days last weekend. I didn't know what to expect, and was concerned that I'd get with a group more experienced than I, and hold everyone back, or get left behind. With 95 jumps I figured I'd be the rookie in whatever camp I chose. The experience was completly the opposite. The coach I had worked with of us (there were three of us assigned to one coach) as individuals, working with us based on our abilities and catering to our individual goals. It was kind of like the old Burger King tag line "have it your way". I 'm sure I improved my flying 100%. I saw great progress in the other campers as well. I'm sold on the concept and intend (if I can swing the $$) to go back another time this year. Do it! You won't be disappointed.
If you want to be coached by some of the best coaches in the world, then try an Airspeed camp. Their camps range from 3 (basic camps) to 6 (mega camps) days. You will learn a lot in either one and return to your home dz an entirely different skydiver. If you have the money I would say go for the mega camp. With that you will get about 2 hours of coached tunnel time. A basic camp is about 1 hour of tunnel time and you will still learn a lot, no doubt. Airspeed camps run like clock work. There are 18 campers and 4-6 coaches. These 18 campers are divided into 3 groups of 6. There are usually 2 coaches to a group, each coach having his/her own sub-group of 3 campers who they are with the entire camp. Each day begins with stretching and from there each of the groups of 6 take turns flying 1/2 flights. So, within your 1/2 hour block you will fly 2or3 two minute flights with your coach. You will work through various skills, building as you go. After each flight in the tunnel you will have another 1/2hour to debrief with your coach, and the debriefs are thorough. After that you will prep for you next flight for a 1/2 hour while one of the other groups is flying and this rotation continues throughout the day. Airspeed supplies lunch and food and drinks to "graze" on all day, so you don't need to worry about that. Each day ends with a very insightful lecture and then evening tunnel time. Not a second of the day is wasted and if you go, not a cent of your money will be wasted. There are people in these camps that range in jumps from just a few AFF jumps to thousands of jumps, and let me tell you that all of them learn and improve. It is remarkable and well worth it. If you do decide to go to an Airspeed camp, or any camp for that matter, I would highly recommend working out a little before you go. The better shape you are in and the more you increase your flexibility, the more it will enhance your skydiving. That and the fact that you will be sore in places you never imagined before. (take some pain relievers) Also, if you really want to make it worth your while, budget for evening flight time. Even if it is 15 min. a night, it is completely worth it. The training during the day teaches you the skill, but with only 2 mins. per skill, you don't have a lot of time to really get it as good as you would like. Whereas the evening flight times allow you to work on anything you want. You could spend the entire time working on turns or bootie flying or whatever combination you would like, and it just really helps to drill the skills in. If you are unsure about evening time, just watch some of the other campers fly in the evening on the first night, and after that you will probably be the first to book time for the second night. Airspeed camps are topnotch and the coaches are amazing. You will learn more in 3 or 6 days than you ever imagined you could. Good luck, and congrats to you for wanting to improve your skills and for doing so before you form poor habits that will be hard to break.
I know Team Synchronicity is having a camp in March, 13-14 I believe. I think it is about $700 total and includes an hour of tunnel flying in 2ways and up, depending on skill level and desires, and coaching by, well, skychicks. there may be other things included as well http://www.teamsynchronicity.com/2004/main.html for more info.
Wow, this is all great info. I knew that I wanted to go. I'm one of those "just off AFF", well sort of. But I know I do need work on my belly flying! I want to get the most out of my jumps and I want my friends to get the most out of them too. Maybe they'll want to jump with me more!
I think it really depends on where you are in Orlando. Seb I believe is about an hour from the tunnel. Don't quote me on that exactly (it's been a while since i did that drive), but 100 miles seems a bit off.
Mapquest is misleading as well and often gives strange routes. It tells me it takes 5 hours to get to ZHills (3.5). Ask a local for directions and travel times, Bendywendy is from Sebastian, or call the tunnel.