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Pawwwla

Newbie, only 2 tandems, how did you decide?

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Hello everyone!

I’m a total newbie here, I’ve been trying to decide if I should start the AFF for the past year. I’ll give y’all a little back story...

 

My husband and I did our first tandem for my 30th bday in the spring. As I landed I literally said to myself, “the ground is stupid”. I fell in L.O.V.E. I could not get skydiving out of my mind, trying to learn everything I can online. We went a 2nd time in the fall. I knew I didn’t want to jump (no pun intended) into anything with haste... I got a new job, spent the next 8 months saving up, and told myself to wait 1 year to weigh the pros and cons but I’m still left with questions and doubt. 

So!

Do you think about it all the time?

Was it hard for you to make the decision to start?

How do you pay/afford it?

 

How do you juggle your life outside of this community, family, wanting to travel, fixing up the house, hanging with other friends?

 

Lastly, and mostly importantly, if I decide to start I’m left not knowing if I’ll complete or continue on, which I’m ok with but 

Have y’all ever know someone to stop, and if they’ve regretted their decision or not?

 

Thank you so much!

Paula G.

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Yes. Most of the time anyway.

No. Landed after the first one and said "I have GOT to do that again.

Cut back on other things. I don't eat out much, I don't go out to movies, my vacations are to other DZs. 

Prioritize. I have every other weekend off. So my free weekends from April to October are spent at the DZ. Other stuff gets done during the week. Or during the winter. 

Yes. Lots of folks start and stop before getting their license. Some jump for a year or two and move on. The ones who stick it out for a long time are actually the rare ones. 

 

What does your husband think of this?

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Thanks for your feedback, this really helps!

He is completely supportive, just wants me to be happy, but he won't be joining me on this journey...He's mostly concerned about the price of it all and not wanting me to get hurt etc. 

To me it's something I at least need to try, even if I don't do it for the rest of my life.

I will have every other Friday off for me to go to the closest DZ (they are open only thurs-sun) just waiting on when they will schedule the next class!

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Yeah Once I did my tandem that was it . Think about it ALLLL the time . I'm now on level 4 AFF

I'm single though and have no kids. Make decent money as a UPS driver so I get to play . 

And It has been extremely aggravating trying to do it during this season between the cold and rain its almost impossible. Its been over a month since I was able to do a jump. Im planning on sticking with it for a long time.  

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Do you think about it all the time?
yes

Was it hard for you to make the decision to start?
no, wanted to go up right away

How do you pay/afford it?
AFF I thought about it for a week and said fuck sound financial advice
I have to budget myself during summer and not just dump cash into it like there's no tomorrow

How do you juggle your life outside of this community, family, wanting to travel, fixing up the house, hanging with other friends?
Life is about balance, don't put all your eggs in one basket. My girlfriend doesn't jump, for her 1 tandem and it was ok. We plan for activities for her also and we block certain weekends for those activities. In the summer I try to go only 1 day during the weekend so the other day is free for something else and yes it's hard to plan sometimes when the weather is not cooperating.

Have y’all ever know someone to stop, and if they’ve regretted their decision or not?
I know a few people that stopped after completing AFF. They miss it but I don't think they regret their decision. They put effort into something else. As I said life is about balance.

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No. Too much other stuff to think about. But my first jump was almost 30 years ago; I've had plenty of time to get over the beginning of the addiction phase.

No, although took a few years before a dz opened in my area and I was too broke to travel.

Since my job paid far less than it was worth, I did a lot of packing and instructing and not paying utilities and eating mac and cheese.

Balance. It's all about balance. I am not jumping now but my husband does. So we have found things that we can do together other than jumping. There are 52 weekends in a year.  Not all of them need to be spent at the dz.

I stopped five years ago for medical reasons after 1200 jumps.  Regret? No, pissed off is a better description.  I will be back in the air this year.

One thing I would suggest before starting AFF is looking into what gear is going to cost you - figure at least $5k new, less but still at least a couple grand for used. Not much worse than spending loads on your student jumps only to find out that you can't afford gear.

Most of all, have a blast. Don't forget to smile. :)

 

.

 

 

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1 hour ago, skybytch said:

One thing I would suggest before starting AFF is looking into what gear is going to cost you - figure at least $5k new, less but still at least a couple grand for used. Not much worse than spending loads on your student jumps only to find out that you can't afford gear. 

One day I was figuring how much I had spent skydiving, training and traveling for skydiving over 18 years. It turns out it was around the same amount as a really nice new car. Math was showing I was at 50k in 9 years so I just quit counting since it was going to be more than I cared to know at that point. Was it worth it? Absolutely! I enjoyed every dollar spent but you need to know your limits going in. Don't have a spare 3k laying around for a rig and another 5k for the A license up front then you need to know you will probably be on rental gear for a while and you might have more failures on the student jumps since it takes muscle memory and more frequent jumping helps that. Renting puts the cost per jump around $50-60 usually after getting licensed so you might only be able to 50-60 jumps a year instead of a 100+. That also means you need to go slower and do smaller jumps than the people that are cranking out 300 jumps a year.

I've haven't jumped for 2 years and so has my wife. Kids and other things are now a better use of my time. Do i miss it? Some but my weekend balance is now way better.

 

Stats used to be only like 10% of tandems students will do a second jump, and only like 20% of those will get a license and only about 25% of that ground will get more than 200 jumps and only a small portion of that will still be jumping 10 years later, (Basically about <1% will be around in 10 years out of everyone that makes more than 2 jumps) not sure if thats still the case.

 

Have fun while you are doing it since its a blast and you will meet some great people!

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I started AFF with my brother two weeks after my first tandem in April of 2018. Almost one year later I own all my own gear, have 132 jumps and counting, and have plans to become a coach/AFF instructor in the near future. I was addicted after the first jump and haven't looked back. I picked up a second job working nights as a server at a restaurant so that all my tips can go toward funding my goals of being a great skydiver. For the first 3 or 4 months i dedicated a lot of time going to the DZ, sometimes 4 days a week in between jobs, learning everything I could and making friends with some experienced jumpers. This, for me, has been the journey of a lifetime. I enjoy the challenge of learning new skills both in free fall and under canopy. I enjoy everything skydiving related. I do think about it all the time. My girlfriend is not a skydiver, did one tandem and has no desire to do it again. She supports my goals, and understands this is not an overnight accomplishment and it requires a dedication of time and expenses. I try to only jump one or two days a week when she is working, making sure to give her the time she deserves to do other stuff.  My best advice is to be fully prepared to invest alot of time and money learning this sport. You don't necessarily have to spend every weekend at the DZ jumping, but I would suggest going the distance while going for your license. Try not to take too much time off. It help you to accomplish the necessary goals required to be a decent skydiver, not just someone who falls out of a plane. You will also experience some disappointments along the way, especially if you have to repeat a level or don't accomplish a goal you have set for yourself immediately. That's ok! Life is full of ups and downs, don't beat yourself up too much. You'll get it on the next try, or maybe the one after that!

Once I got my license, all my own gear and became an independent skydiver , I focused on balancing the rest of my life. I am much more careful with my money; eating out less, cutting out unnecessary spending and I still have my second job to help pay for my skydiving :) I love what I do and I couldn't be more happy. The people are great, the thrill is amazing, and the feeling of accomplishment and pride is never ending. Each time I nail something I have been working on, it fuels my desire to continue learning and accomplish more.

In summary, my two cents is GO FOR IT! I haven't regretted my decision for a second. I hope that I can be one of the few who dedicates the time and effort to enjoy this for years to come! For me, life is too short to not be adventurous, a little crazy, and shoot for the stars. I wish you the best in making your decision!

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Thank you all so much for your responses, it really does help.

I will be starting the FJC on April 13th! I'm super nervous since I've built it up in my mind for the past year and kind of intimidated by the price tag but i think it will be an exhilarating time.

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Good luck with your AFF and progression.

Once you get the first jump out of the way you will feel ACCOMPLISHED.

One of the best decisions of my life was to do it and i hope it stays in my life for as long as i am in it :) 

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