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Mdecker04

Things to do before AFF

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After wanting to do it for many many years I finally went skydiving this summer. I did the typical tandem jump. It was a life changing experience! The whole time I was absolutely at a loss for words with how amazing it was. As loud as it was it was the most quiet and zen experience. As soon as my feet hit the ground I knew I needed to do it again. I immediately bought another jump. I’ve jumped 4 times this summer and am definitely looking to do aff next year(time to save some money). Any recommendations on things to do to prepare between now and then. I have been reading the SIM and watching a ton on aff videos on YouTube, the success and the failures. I’ve also booked myself some tunnel time. Anything else I should consider?

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Read the SIM a time or two, but don't be "that guy" when you go to your first jump course. Shut up and listen. There's more than one way to skin a cat, so when in doubt, go with what your instructors tell you and once you're off student status you can start to form your own opinions about things you may have read differently in the SIM.

Go to the tunnel for 10-15 minutes, and tell them you're going to do AFF soon. They'll start you on the net and do more drills than just "fly flat as fuck and we'll do a high flight." I would not do any more tunnel time than that. Save your money for jumping.

Do not practice anything on your own. Don't practice arch, don't practice PLF, don't practice pull, don't practice EP's until you're taught them. Bad habits are a bitch to break, and you have no idea what you're doing wrong until you actually start jumping.

I would recommend watching "Cutaway!" the video series from the Australian version of the USPA. Don't look at their EP portion, let an instructor teach you that on the gear at the DZ, but know the different malfunctions so you can recognize them if/when you see them.

Have fun, crush it, and whatever you're planning on spending on skydiving next year, double it.

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As veazer pointed out, you don't want to go to AFF training and have to "un-learn" things. I studied a lot and forced myself to keep my mouth shut (mostly) in the first jump course.

I have flown RC aircraft in my younger days and understanding landing patterns, low turns, how to crash during a landing were things that I considered valuable to me when learning to fly the parachute. I am not saying go fly model planes, but knowing about canopy flight is another thing you can study. There are a couple of books out there on canopy flight that are worthwhile.

A lot of people do a few jumps and then after a few jumps start worrying (more) about things. I often say, "When you go jump, you are putting your trust in the equipment and the guy operating it." Learn about the equipment during your training, learn you can trust it by understanding how it works. Learn how to use it. Those two factors always gave me a lot of confidence when I had the thought....."should I be doing this?" If you haven't learned it yet the common skydiving answer is,...."you will probably be okay."
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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On my DZ, we had to do a sport test before AFF, so during winter I was exercising to be prepared. But it was lot easier than expected :D

They wanted me also to show a landing roll....I was not really able to do it because I never learned it....you could learn that in advance?

Maybe try meditation and learn how you can calm yourself down before the jump?

Tunnel will help you so much.

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If you have time try to improve flexibility for your arch. It doesn't hurt to be a little more limber.

If you are saving try and also get time off so you can focus on skydiving for a week or two and get the license. Account for the possibility of redoing a level, buying a helmet & altimeter and renting gear too.

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kat00

If you have time try to improve flexibility for your arch. It doesn't hurt to be a little more limber.

If you are saving try and also get time off so you can focus on skydiving for a week or two and get the license. Account for the possibility of redoing a level, buying a helmet & altimeter and renting gear too.



I was 54 when I started. My arch was poor and it hurt my progression. Yes work to be flexible in your arch. I did specific stretches twice a day for 10 weeks, which got me over the hump.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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kat00

If you have time try to improve flexibility for your arch. ... Account for the possibility of redoing a level, buying a helmet & altimeter and renting gear too.



Hey OP I'm on the back end of my AFF at the moment. My progression has been both terrible and great, with instructors having to pull for me (because I forgot :ph34r:) on some jumps, and other jumps going near perfectly with instructors saying I've been one of their best students.

I agree with the comments above - also ensure you check the weather before you take time off to jump!

All in all, what really helped me was practising my arch, and the tunnel. Before I started the course, I would spend about five minutes every time I went to the gym, lying face down on a bench holding an arch (in 50 second sets - to imitate freefall). I was self conscious so I did this when nobody was around lol. I think it helped me in the sky during my first jump - my arch was described as "beautiful". LOL. Also I spent twenty minutes in the tunnel before Stages 3/4 where they begin letting you go. I was very stable. I'd recommend that too!

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mzanghetti

Where did you find the right stretches to do?



I was 54 when I started jumping and almost 61 now. My strength and stamina were good but my arch (back) was not. So naturally being stable in freefall was not happening. You can do Cobra stretches for your arch.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjZi6vu_7rdAhXNt1kKHVoAAxAQyCkwAHoECAAQBA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DJDcdhTuycOI&usg=AOvVaw1VQAkPU_RJUiIhc6Cc9iQS

I also get on all fours, lift one leg, raise my foot far behind/above me, and then back to try to bring my knee toward my chest. I do that about 20 times (each leg) to keep tone in my lower back and my butt. That strength helps the arch as well.

I also stretch my hamstrings and do lunges. I don't know that this helps in freefall but it is pretty easy to slip on landing and if you are limber, maybe less chance of pulling something.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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mzanghetti

Where did you find the right stretches to do?



I told you what stretches you might do but I failed to answer your question.

An older instructor showed me some stretches that he does every day. In addition to that I had a skydive friend that was in the medical field that helped me. He has a back problem and exercises keep him in shape so his back is less of an issue. I combined those people's input and added some things that might help me in certain areas.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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Thank you, all this information helps quite a bit to heighten my chances of success when I do finally get into the air for a jump, that is very much appreciated. BTW, my apologies to the OP for hijacking their thread!:$
Mark P. Zanghetti
‘Don’t for one second long for who you were, but recklessly pursue who you can become.’ … We can learn from the past but we can’t get it back.”

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