0
wshreek

Starting AFF in two weeks. Scared AF!

Recommended Posts

I have been wanting to do AFF for 6 years. I have done 2 tandems and 8 mins in wind tunnel. Will do one more tandem this week.
I don't have much friends around me who are skydivers. All the info that I have is from the internet. Over the years, I have done extensive study of gear and procedures etc.
But at the same time, internet has a lot of malfunctions, which scare me. Especially the high speed ones. Even if you do things right, it's possible that you don't make it.
Any suggestions how I overcome the fear? Any suggestion on how I minimize the risk? How I prepare myself mentally?
[On top of that, I read there was a fatality of an AFF student last month on 3rd jump. That's scary :( ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fear is normal. What you are experiencing at this point is fear of the unknown.

However, once you have been through the training you will understand a lot more on how the equipment works, and how to deal with problems. Knowledge dispels fear. What you learn will better prepare you for the jump, and while it won't dispel the fear totally, it will reduce it to manageable levels.

If you are not ready to jump, your instructors won't let you get into the plane. Even in the plane, no one will force you out the door at the point of a gun. Jumping is voluntary.

Every skydiver in the world has experienced pre first jump nerves.

Just go for it!
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes there is risk, yes skydiving is dangerous, yes you can be killed or injured even if you do everything right. However, that said the chances of you getting killed skydiving is not very high if you take the training seriously. In the end only you can weigh the risk and reward and make a decision for yourself. A good play is to read the entire SIM and fully understand the information in there. Safety wise, almost all of the basic info you need to know is contained in the SIM. Skydiving will get less scary after you do a few jumps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wshreek

How I prepare myself mentally?


Well you're definitely not alone! I'm starting my AFF in two weeks as well. I've only done one tandem and nothing in the tunnel. As I type this up, I'm excited, but I guarantee I'll be s****ing myself when I'm on that plane - I hate heights, and am not even completely comfortable on sophisticated passenger planes at take off/climb, even though they are statistically very safe.

I would like to prematurely echo one of the responses in this thread re: knowledge. You've done a lot of research which is great, and I hope for you that during the comprehensive training, all the research you've done will come together. For me personally, this is what I'll be trying to focus on as I fall to my death. The training and the knowledge, the procedures and technical skills.

I tell myself that skydiving is like any other sport - nobody was born with the ability to jump out of planes. Superstars like Roger Federer or Usain Bolt trained their entire lives in order to dominate their sports. Skydiving is the same, you will learn and grow, and I don't even think I'll start to enjoy it until I'm many jumps in, when I've reached a level where I'm comfortable doing it - this may take a long time. But of course, nothing worth doing or having comes easy. Good luck to us both!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good luck to you too

I have another question for the experts in this forum. I m doing my AFF at skydive kapawsin. And they said that I come at 9:30 in the morning, and do my first jump by afternoon. Is that normal? I would have thought more time would be spent on ground School and practicing EP.

Also, I know Lodi has a bad reputation of not enforcing regulations. Is kapawsin good place to go AFF? I don't have much choice, coz that's the closest anyways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wshreek

Good luck to you too

I have another question for the experts in this forum. I m doing my AFF at skydive kapawsin. And they said that I come at 9:30 in the morning, and do my first jump by afternoon. Is that normal? I would have thought more time would be spent on ground School and practicing EP.

Also, I know Lodi has a bad reputation of not enforcing regulations. Is kapawsin good place to go AFF? I don't have much choice, coz that's the closest anyways.



Sounds about right. Before you do any type of solo jump you need to go through the ground school which takes a few hours, but it's not an all day thing. The EPs are the same for most malfunctions. The only malfunctions that have different EPs are horseshoe and two-out malfunctions as well as possibly pilot chute in tow depending on whether you want to go straight for the reserve or cut away first (both are technically acceptable according to the SIM).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Westerly

A good play is to read the entire SIM and fully understand the information in there. Safety wise, almost all of the basic info you need to know is contained in the SIM.



I'd argue that before you've been through ground-school and done a few jumps, you're unlikely to understand everything in the SIM. A lot of it will seem like Greek until you have a bit of practical experience.

If I would you, I would focus on the BSRs and the first few levels of student progression, but ignore all the later chapters; you're not exposed to most of those things (camera, wingsuit, etc) and your instructors are taking care of others (spot, cloud clearance, wind limits, etc) for your first few jumps. Don't overload yourself; it may make you more nervous if you're trying to deal with things you don't need to yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kapowsin is a USPA group member DZ. Meaning they have pledged to offer first jump courses taught by USPA rated instructors and to follow all USPA Basic Safety Requirements.

You'll be in good hands. If you don't fully understand something keep asking questions. Good instructors will not rush things and will take all the time you need to learn and be ready to make a skydive.
diamonds are a dawgs best friend

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
>Any suggestions how I overcome the fear? Any suggestion on how I minimize the risk?
>How I prepare myself mentally?

Suggestion for all three - practice the exit, the skydive and the opening over and over and over again. You are going to be scared (everyone is) but the more you practice the more the reactions will be automatic and you won't "freeze."

Note that you will get plenty of opportunity to do this with your instructors before you go up - they will run you through the entire skydive several times. Once you have it down, go over it yourself some more (if possible) so when the time comes you will react almost automatically.

>But at the same time, internet has a lot of malfunctions, which scare me. Especially
>the high speed ones. Even if you do things right, it's possible that you don't make it.

That's possible - there's no way to eliminate the risk - but it's unlikely.

Keep in mind that you'll be pulling at 5000 feet. So even if you have a high speed mal you have 20 seconds to deal with it. And at most you will have to pull two handles. Try counting that out - get a clock and watch how long 20 seconds are.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You might ask yourself these two questions.
1. Do I trust the equipment? (thinking that when I exit the aircraft, this backpack full of fabric is what I expect will get me safely to the ground.)
2. Do I trust the skydiver? (thinking that when I exit the aircraft, this skydiver/me is going to get me safely to the ground.)

You really should not be jumping if you are not ready to truly say yes to both questions. Look at your education process in light of those questions. Saying yes might not remove all fear. But if you can't say yes, you will most likely have fear issues. I observed someone trying to skydive that would never trust themselves. They were a mess.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the best advice I can give is just relax. AFF 1 has a simple dive flow on purpose because it is total sensory overload. You will hear this a ton about taking a breathe and it works great.

I would not read too much on the internet. Keep your mind clear and listen to the instructors. For safety, make sure you watch them check your gear and make sure they check it in the plane before jumping too. On the ground while discussing dive flow go over things like landing patterns and current winds just in case radios fail. Just breathe and relax, it makes things much easier that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wshreek

I have been wanting to do AFF for 6 years. I have done 2 tandems and 8 mins in wind tunnel. Will do one more tandem this week.
I don't have much friends around me who are skydivers. All the info that I have is from the internet. Over the years, I have done extensive study of gear and procedures etc.
But at the same time, internet has a lot of malfunctions, which scare me. Especially the high speed ones. Even if you do things right, it's possible that you don't make it.
Any suggestions how I overcome the fear? Any suggestion on how I minimize the risk? How I prepare myself mentally?
[On top of that, I read there was a fatality of an AFF student last month on 3rd jump. That's scary :( ]

mAN UP. bALLS IN HAND:P
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I spent some time out of the sport after having lot's of jumps.

My first jump back, I was nervous, but mostly because I was not jumping my gear. lol

Once I got in the plane, and situated, I almost fell asleep I was so relaxed. My point is, when I was making lot's of jumps I really tried to relax in the plane. Close your eyes think about the jump, and use that time in the plane.

The more you are relaxed and connected the better the jump will go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wshreek

... [the] internet has a lot of malfunctions, which scare me. Especially the high speed ones. Even if you do things right, it's possible that you don't make it. ...



A youtube survey of skydiving mals will be massively unrepresentative. The fraction of video'd skydives by sport jumpers that get uploaded to Youtube is probably way less than 1% of those recorded, and the ones that do are more likely to be the interesting mals. Even then, the outcome is almost always a routine cutaway and reserve landing.

Fear is useful if it motivates you to approach the sport with a mind to reduce the risk. IMO, you can likely lower the risk 10 fold from the "industry average" by how you approach the sport and by the decisions you make about what what gear you use, how you care for your gear, what activities you engage in, and what weather conditions will cause you to stand down. As a student, those decisions will be made for you, but hopefully you will come to recognize what are good practices when you are licensed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing no one has referenced is that you said you're doing another tandem first. Tell your instructor that you will be starting AFF soon, so you'd like to get a little more instruction. He or she will be happy to start educating you for your tandem jump. If you have too many questions for a tandem, you likely will be told politely that those details will be answered in your first jump course, and pull you back to what you can learn on your tandem jump.

:)
See the upside, and always wear your parachute! -- Christopher Titus

Shut Up & Jump!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Placcypaddy

How did you get on ? I am starting aff next week & also done a few tandems & about 3 hour in tunnel but have never felt this level of anxiety & fear over anything like I am at the moment :S

Well, I was scared on my first jump too. No big deal, pretty normal. Most fear comes from not knowing what's going to happen and how to deal with it. You haven't had the ground school for AFF yet. Once you've completed the class you'll have a thorough understanding of how everything works and what's expected of you. Knowledge is comfort.


It's very commonn to get nervous on the ride to altitude for your jump. I'd like to suggest that during your spare moments, you should visualize the skydive in your mind, over and over, mentally rehearsing all the tasks you have planned. Visualize yourself doing everything perfectly, smoothly, and easily, with a smile on your face. Don't 2nd guess yourself and have a bunch of "what if" negative thoughts. Those are counter productive at that point.


When you do exit the plane on that first jump, remember that you have PLENTY of time to accomplish your tasks. Don't rush. I like to tell my students "I know you have a lot on your mind, but when we exit, just make sure to arch, breathe, smile, and relax for a few seconds. Then go into the skydive. If you arch and smile, everything else will fall into place."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Westerly

***Once you've completed the class you'll have a thorough understanding of how everything works



That's pretty funny. More like an extremely basic, loose understanding of how things theoretically work in a vacuum. But yes, I get what you're saying.

How about "You'll know how to use the parachute equipment safely"? :)At least, that's the goal when I teach. :)
If you haven't achieved that goal by the end of the class, you probably shouldn't jump, should you? ;):D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was seriously frightened on the ride to altitude for dozens of jumps but never once I exited. I'll get a mild version of that occasionally on some demos. My theory is that it's my brain trying to talk me out of it, but once I've left the plane it figures there's no point arguing now and goes into full time helping me with the jump.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0