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TomAiello

Boyfriends and BASE

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>If she really wants to get into BASE she's going to
>do it whether you offer guidence or not.

Exactly! I totally agree with you. You have to make sure this is what SHE wants to do herself. It is up to her to start jumping, and you shouldn't encourage her. Now if after all the fatality videos and broken bones you've shown her, she's still out to jump - the best you can do is to pass on whatever knowledge you have, and to point her to people who have more.

The point was not to use BASE as an attraction to score. Once you are already involved with somebody and she wants to jump, there is a whole different set of issues. Actually the picture changes upside-down: you probably won't want her to jump. The honest thing here is to swallow your fear and let her decide. You also have to understand that in this case you may not be the best teacher - and you have to be grown-up enough to accept it.

bsbd!

Yuri.

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Tom can correct me if I'm wrong here, but I don't think he's saying women shouldn't BASE jump.

I think he's saying don't mix business with pleasure. Especially when the stakes are high.

You want someone who is willing to say things that you don't want to hear. If you're romantically involved (or are trying to be) you are less likely to do that for obvious reasons. And that can lead to disastrous results.

So if you're romantically involved with someone and they really want to take up BASE, send them to a qualified mentor that you would trust their (and your own) life with.



I completely agree with that. Good Advice.

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Hey Skydivegirl,
I would second the opinion that a good instructor might say:
Do what I say, not what I do.
My mentor went stowed. Should I go stowed my first jump? NO WAY! So I didn't, and was glad I listened. Thanks.
Peace,
Thomas

a wise man once said something like:

"BASE jumpers are rebels more than freedom fighters. The good ones seek neither publicity, permission, or support. They are the last cowboys of parachuting and when they disappear BASE jumping will be just another pastime like golf and bowling." - Nick Di Giovanni

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Tom, i have been thinking... maybe we should keep it simple and do what men always do: lie! Promise them a great BASE career, score and then when it comes to the first jump say "Sorry babe, this is really not for you!". The fact you have just saved her life will by far outweigh any traces of guilt ;-)

bsbd!

Yuri.

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The problem with this 'do what I say, not what I do' thing is you might be comparing apples to oranges... If the guy has 1000 skydives and his girlfriend has 58, then it;s a valid argument...

I hate to seem like I'm harping, but when I started BASE jumping in the '80's people had generally a lot of experience skydiving before they even considered BASE jumping (I had over 1000 and a rigger/inst rating, most of the guys in my group had at minimum 400/inst ratings - I say this because you did learn some rigging knowledge in the instructor courses).

Nowadays, because of media exposure, many people are getting into BASE with absolutely minimal experience skydiving... Now considering if the guy only has 100 - 400 jumps, he's probably dating a girl with less experience then him...

I would personally say in many cases a guy with less than 400 jumps shouldn't be BASE jumping (I could be wrong) but then add to that that his girlfriend with even fewer jumps wants him to train her - this can be a recipe for disaster...

There has to be a minimum experience level established and people really have to stick to it and work hard at the skills they will need before they try to advance... Even some of the First Base Jump courses out there make it too easy (in my opinion) for low-timers to get into the sport... That's not to say that because someone has 2000 skydives he's not going to screw up and kill himself, but why in God's name stack the odds???

Does that make any sense...

Skypuppy
'a skydiving and base jump anachronism' - ie - I may be so old that I'm missing the point entirely...
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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I would personally say in many cases a guy with less than 400 jumps shouldn't be BASE jumping (I could be wrong)



I agree,i had 500plus skydives,before i got into it.BUT we all know that if you have wanted to do it for long,then you may puch it a bit more for getting what you want(know what im saying?).

Im probaly the wrong guy telling it while my mentor have been whith me for 2 jumps(s/l)the rest i have done afther talking to him in phone and reading on the web..

Stay safe
Stefan Faber

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There is a saying among BASE jumpers: “Girlfriends Die.” This is not a joke. Why?

Women have a disproportionately high rate of injury and death as student (sub-50 jumps) BASE jumpers. Although there are no definite statistics, I would estimate that while 10-15% of BASE students are women, something like 35% of student accidents happen to women. This is a terrible trend, and the key to changing it lies with the women who are prospective BASE jumpers.


Your statement is so shocking that i had to check. I went on the BASE fatalities list and here are the numbers:
- 67 fatalities listed
- 9 females (this is 13%) but maybe i missed a few (10, 15, 24, 27, 30, 35, 43, 52, 60)
- 1 references (43) where you mention the relationship
- 1 reference (27) where the "pretty girl thing" is mentionned as a side issue

Obviously, there are some hidden informations that you have and that i don't. So what's the explanation for the huge difference between your claims ("35% of student accidents happen to women" and "girlfriends die") and the info in the fatalities list ("13% of reported fatalities happen to women" and "2 reported fatality where the relationship might be a side issue").
2 fatalities out of 67 is 3%. If there are more than 3% of the BASE students who are pretty girls or starting with their bf as BASE instructor, then it would mean that pretty girls and girlfriends survive. So what's the missing information?

bb
--
Come
Skydive Asia

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So what's the missing information?



Tom's estimate was that 35% of student accidents were female. He never claimed 35% of all base fatalities were female.

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2 fatalities out of 67 is 3%. If there are more than 3% of the BASE students who are pretty girls or starting with their bf as BASE instructor, then it would mean that pretty girls and girlfriends survive.



3% of the total maybe, but how many active female BASE jumpers are there? Skydiving is a predominantly male sport, I'd hazard a guess that this is even more the case with BASE. Taking female BASE fatalities as a percent of the total BASE fatalities is not very accurate if the vast majority of BASE jumpers are male.

It would be great if we could get info from the people who actually do the BASE FJCs as to percentage female students attending, percentage accidents involving female students etc. This might give an objective overview.

Will

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If there are more than 3% of the BASE students who are pretty girls



That just mean that only pretty girls BASE,in my world the other 97%will be pretty boys(if you look at the like a girl):P

Tom just trying to say that gf-bf student-instructer are dangerus..Rember that there also are women that instruct in BASE,that are the same fact maybe even more dangerus,while boys lways want to inpress girls..

Stay safe
Stefan Faber

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Isn't this just common sense????

I think most women who would get themselves in this situation must know what they are doing and what the consequences are - and therefore it is no one else's business. If they want to use their "feminine charms" to learn BASE then that is their decision, and if they want to jump only because their boyfriend does then that is also their decision. BASE can kill you no matter what your reasons for doing it are, and who is to say which reasons are right or wrong?

And as a woman, yes I have had many unqualified (and some qualified) dudes offer to teach me to BASE jump - and I was definitely put off by how eager they were to help me kill myself. But I should point out that I have seen these same dudes offer to teach other dudes how to BASE jump as well. This type of person I think just needs to feed his ego and impress SOMEONE, male or female. (And unfortunately, both skydiving and BASE seem to attract a lot of these people.)

The few qualified BASE jumper friends I have were very reluctant to teach me, which made me have even more respect for them. In the end, I decided to learn from Anne Helliwell - not because she's a woman, but because I felt she was the most qualified person to learn from in my area (highly experienced in not only BASE jumping but also in TEACHING BASE jumping).

Anyhow, I'm sure Tom's post was well-intended, but I felt it was a bit condescending towards women. We are all adults and we all make our own decisions. The fact that there are people out there who want to teach others to BASE jump just to feed their own ego is scary, but this applies to men and women alike.

Just my 2 cents...

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Anyhow, I'm sure Tom's post was well-intended, but I felt it was a bit condescending towards women.



He wasn't saying anything condescending about female's at all, just the propensity for guys to think with their penises. Also, it may not even be that they're trying to "get some" but just that they're trying to be cool with the chicks. You KNOW that females is where the center of attention is in any social setting. Tom's just saying that they can't depend on guys to treat them as equals, that they have to be extra carefull that they know their own limitations.

-Doug
"I encourage all awesome dangerous behavior." - Jeffro Fincher

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Anyhow, I'm sure Tom's post was well-intended, but I felt it was a bit condescending towards women. We are all adults and we all make our own decisions. The fact that there are people out there who want to teach others to BASE jump just to feed their own ego is scary, but this applies to men and women alike.



I had this reaction too. I was a little put off.

But I can see why Tom would want to address this issue. It's sad if a woman gets into BASE with underestimated risk due to a b/f wanting and/or pressuring her to jump. (after all... you trust your boyfriend)

Actually, this past weekend I did groundcrew for my b/f & one other guy (whom I had just met). After picking them up & leaving site... the guy commented that he "needed to get himself a BASE babe". Maybe he just meant to do groundcrew for him :S.

Anyway... it obviously happens often enough to be a problem. And people's lives are at stake here. There's no harm in discussing it... there might be harm in not discussing it.

I agree that this is not just a problem women have. I'm sure men are introduced to this sport by unqualified guys who don't talk about what real risk is involved. Lets be honest here! But this thread is specifically on boyfriends & BASE. Maybe there needs to be a thread on unqualified guys teaching BASE in general.

~Samantha

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Obviously, there are some hidden informations that you have and that i don't. So what's the missing information?



Student injuries. An underprepared student is far more likely to be injured than killed.

Also, people tend to under-emphasize certain factors after a fatality, especially in official reports. I've been close enough to several different fatalities to know that the printed reports rarely give a complete set of facts, and never give the "feel" of the situation.

I very purposely did not include statistics in my rant, because (a) our statistics are incomplete, (b) accident reports are often skewed, especially as to motivations, and (c) there are no reliable injury statistics.

As I stated at the outset

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Although there are no definite statistics, I would estimate...



this is largely based on what I have seen, and know about, and a review of the (limited) sample of incidents that I have an in-depth (more than just web research) knowledge of.

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...it would mean that pretty girls and girlfriends survive.



I guess we'd better all get out there and find some pretty girls to take jumping, then. ;)
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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>I guess we'd better all get out there and find some pretty girls to take jumping, then.

A solution for any smart girl that came up in PM exchange:

If you let them score upfront before it even comes to BASE, the whole "using BASE to get laid" becomes irrelevant. Further on, even if you kept having sex with a typical BASE jumper (a male chauvinist pig) there shouldn't be any love-feelings-relationship BS, thus by definition you are not romantically involved. You will get objective high-quality instructions, lots of jumps and plenty of complimentary sex ;)

bsbd!

Yuri.

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I felt it was a bit condescending towards women.



I apologize for giving that impression. I did not intend to offend anyone.

I asked four different women to review my posting before I put it on the forum. My goal was to reduce offensiveness. I then wrote a second draft based on their (excellent) feed back. Obviously, my writing skills were inadequate to my goal.

I was not trying to say that all men are going about this BASE thing correctly. I'm sure that in a while (once we've finished this discussion), I'll probably write rant #2, about ego and instruction, and follow that up with rant #3, on destructive competition. But I only have so much energy at a time (and I'm sure no one wants to read a 30 page rant), so I started with this one, because another thread triggered most of the writing.

Again, apologies for offending you, or sounding condescending.
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Thanks, Tom - I wasn't really THAT offended. I was just pointing out that this SHOULD be common sense to any woman. And unfortunately, any woman who might actually need this advice is probably not reading this forum because she is probably the kind of woman who does not think for herself and therefore does not seek out information for herself.

But, as Samantha pointed out, there is no harm in discussing it... And if just one person reads this who might benefit from it then it could save someone's life. (But I do think it should be a topic on "Unqualified BASE Instructors" rather than "Boyfriends and BASE")

I just happen to know a LOT more men who are interested in BASE for the "wrong" reasons (in my opinion) and who are willing to learn from someone who is inadequate to teach them... and most of the women I know who are interested in BASE tend to be more cautious than men and therefore more likely to seek "proper instruction" (and well aware that most potential male "instructors" will be "thinking with their penises")... so I was just wondering why this post was directed at women - that's all...

I know... you just can't please everyone, can you? Sorry for being difficult... ;)

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Tom, i have been thinking... maybe we should keep it simple and do what men always do: lie! Promise them a great BASE career, score and then when it comes to the first jump say "Sorry babe, this is really not for you!". The fact you have just saved her life will by far outweigh any traces of guilt ;-)



Ah ha! Now I'm on to your tricks, Yuri! And you better watch out 'cause I AM big enough to kick your ass! :P

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Isn't this just common sense????

I think most women who would get themselves in this situation must know what they are doing and what the consequences are - and therefore it is no one else's business.



THIS IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION BY INSTRUCTORS!!!!!
The student does NOT know what they are getting into.
Just like AFF, the student is relying on the instructor for most everything. Or they rely on the AAD.

A student is assuming that the instructor knows best and would tell them if there is something they really need to know.
Mick Knutson
* BLiNC Magazine "Everything you ever wanted to know about Parachuting, but didn't know whom to ask."

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Interestingly enough, skydiving accidents are also skewed in this manner. Women have a disproportionately high rate of injury and death in skydiving as well. On rec.skydiving the reason proposed was very similar too. (search rec.skydiving for more info)

That may be offensive to women, but it's true and worth addressing.

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:S..interesting for sure.

My boyfriend started skydiving 2 yrs. before I did (1985)
He tried extremely hard to "get me into the sport, at this point in our relationship it would be awesome to be doing something we enjoyed together- but skydiving wasn't my choice. For my birthday I was handed a red rose & envelope..opening it I was thinking "a gift certificate?"....oh no- a tandem gift certificate...shit, just wanted him to step back.
Carried that around in my purse for at least 1 year... I did want to try, but only because I wanted to- not because "he" wanted me to.
Out of the blue one day- I decided to make that tandem jump, ...and went to the d.z. by myself and made it (he was so so upset because he wanted to be there)... Long story short- I decided I wanted to skydive and the only way I was comfortable taking my training was if he wasn't around- he started jumping at another d.z.

Damn- looking back I love the guy to death for being a skydiver and putting up with me! We do jump together sometimes now but mostly he may be manifested on the same load- but not on the same dive. Some how our relationship has worked, we are both skydivers but separate people in the sport. Might even get married one day!!

--my goal is to experience cave BASE- this is even more so- definately something I want to experience myself.

Smiles;)
eustress. : a positive form of stress having a beneficial effect on health, motivation, performance, and emotional well-being.

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There are no statistics that say women get injured more in skydiving or BASE. To have these kind of statistics, first of all we would need a complete list of ALL jumpers including gender, and then every dropzone and every BASE jumper would need to keep records of how many jumps are made and how many injuries result from these jumps and then all of this information would need to be kept in one place and analyzed. (But most dropzones don't even keep records of injuries, much less report them to anyone else... And BASE of course is even LESS organized than that.)

If I took statistics from what I have seen myself, I would have to say that women have a lower injury rate than men in either sport (especially skydiving, where swooping is the biggest injury factor nowadays, and there are still very few women who try swooping) - but again these statistics would be inaccurate because it is only based on a very small portion of jumpers.

Yes, there is no harm in discussing women getting injured in the sport (or people who may "help" them get injured), but please don't use statistics that simply don't exist!

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