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The_Digger

New to the sport (AFF student) - need some help.

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Hey all,

First off, I want to thank all members of dropzone.com and dropzone.com staff for this great site! It's been helping me a lot.

I've already done two 18k feet tandems and and 3 AFF's.
AFF Cat C 1 = Passed.
AFF Cat C 2 = Failed twice.

The story of the first of two AFF Cat C2 was - I was waiting on my jumpmaster to give me the ok to turn around. Looking afterwards at the video, even if he had, my legs were like jelly. Arch was perfect, arms were great, etc. etc. was great. I didn't know that I had to do them without his signal.

The story of the second AFF Cat C2 was pretty confusing. I meet my right jumpmaster 2 hours before the jump (all good so far). Get called in, but can't find my 240 parachute (there was one but the harness was too big). Waited another ~30 minutes. Got my parachute on and get called in again. At this point I had no idea who my left jumpmaster was.

5 minutes before boarding - I meet my left jumpmaster, who looseness my chest strap (which my right jumpmaster made tighter cos the bag shoulders were going to the edge of my shoulders) that got me pretty nervous.

In those 5 minutes we go to the exit mockup and my left jumpmaster is giving me a total different check during freefall (now that got me really confused) my right comes and says no to the left jumpmaster - that I should I do what he told me. Great!

In the meantime, I tell my right jumpmaster that my left jumpmaster loosened my chest strap - he makes it tighter again.

On board and up we go. Prop, in-out-in and jesus! my jumpmasters are both pushed on me tumbling around with me with my back to ground. At this point I am arching like there is a gun to my back - legs at 45, arms at 90! I am still stable in-between this cirque du soleil 12k feet un-planned show.

Back belly to earth - left jumpmaster falls on my back and then on my right jumpmaster back/legs - he lets go and almost drags my right jumpmaster with him.

My heading was the camera man who I only saw in front of me at 6500 feet :( (the rest of the dive flow was perfect and got praised for staying cool, relaxed and stable during the mid air collision)

Off course I didn't pass, neither jumpmaster watched the video. I watched it over and over again, when we exited, one of them was in siting position (yes, this was after I checked in). So, when I exited I sort of pulled him out. It also seems that my other jumpmaster thought I wasn't going to jump after the prop-out-in-out. All in and all it looks as if I was the only one ready to do the exit. Yet, I failed my cat c 2 again :(

I am not pissed nor bothered, I know that those same 2 jumpmasters would have saved my life had something gone wrong. I just felt un-fairness and yes I know they are humans after all. I still tipped my jumpmaster and the camera man cos I truly feel they're paid very little for the joy they bring to me and to many others seeking this life changing sport.

I was told that I jumped with my head down (thanks to the camera man for the great video) that was not the case at all. And I sure hope they watch the video.

So, they suggested wind tunnel time. So, after a long day waterskiing and under the sun - off the boat and to the tunnel. I was awful by all means and imagination, hitting walls in every direction, it was so bad that I asked to stop by mid 3rd (had paid for 5 two minutes). And that's when it hit me, the feeling that maybe this sport is not meant for me.

Don't get me wrong, I've fallen in love with this sport. And would love to learn it. But it seems the odds have been against me for the last 3 attempts.

Any advice on what I should do next? Take a break? Take another Cat C 2 jump?

Again, thanks to all members of this site, jumpmasters, instructors and everyone involved in this sport for helping others make their dreams come true.

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I had a few failures during levels 3,4, but basically for the same reasons. 3,4 are kind of like 1,2 again but with the instructor(s) completely releasing you.

a few tips that hopefully will help:
- clap your feet (aka toe tap) a few times, this kind of resets your legs to be parallel
- after clapping, push down a bit on the feet to feel some air on it.
- I was told to relax while arching. However, relaxing turned out to be a flat body for me. To get a proper arch (from video replay), I had to bend over backwards till the threshold of pain. Maybe it feels relaxed for the instructors but for me as a beginner, "relaxed" definitely wasn't the best description.
- use up the rest of your tunnel time! If you haven't, tell the tunnel instructor what you're trying to learn. My tunnel instructor spent the entire time teaching me stability and turning. It felt better learning it there than during freefall.

Take it easy, focus on 1 thing at a time. GL!

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So, they suggested wind tunnel time. So, after a long day waterskiing and under the sun - off the boat and to the tunnel. I was awful by all means and imagination, hitting walls in every direction, it was so bad that I asked to stop by mid 3rd (had paid for 5 two minutes). And that's when it hit me, the feeling that maybe this sport is not meant for me.




I'd suggest finishing your tunnel time when your fresh. You might have been more wore out then you realized and made it difficult for you to stay stable.

Watersports and sun will drain your energy quite a bit. I was an avid wakeboarder and played baseball in the summer and if I went boarding with in 3-4 hours of a game or practice I had very little reserve energy left for running the bases, moving around as a catcher, or even getting a good solid swing.

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Also gotta say don't get discouraged. Things come in time and yes I'm still very new too but in my limited experience I can say skydiving is like a lot of things in that the more you do it the better you'll get and the more comfortable you'll be which adds up to more fun and more learning.

Keep at it!!
_______________________________________

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