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Mikelj

Hey everyone!

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Hi everyone,

I'm currently a college student in Montana.  For the past few years I have been obsessed with going skydiving and hopefully getting my A license someday.  I would have had my first tandem skydive last year, but the people I was going to go with ended up backing out, and I didn't want to go alone :( 

I was doing some research on the dz I plan on going to, and it says that a tandem jump isn't required for people to start their AFF course.  Do you think that I should spend the extra money to do a tandem jump, or should I just go for the AFF course?  I know a tandem would be a good way to make sure I like the sport as much as I think I do, but it's also a decent amount of money I could save for AFF.  

Was your first experience tandem or solo, and what did you think of it? 

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I'd steer you toward a tandem first.  And don't worry about those other losers (kidding).  But on a serious note: whether or not you have friends go with you, the experience will be no different.  You won't see them after you exit the plane until you all arrive back at the DZ.  Besides, you'll make new friends if it's a half-decent DZ. 

The reason I'd say do a tandem first is that there's a lot of nerves involved that you can't quite understand until you are sitting at the edge of the door getting ready to take the plunge.  And if you think you're going to be just fine and it won't affect you...trust me, you're wrong.  A tandem is an important first step to mitigating those nerves, because then when you go up again ready to do your first solo AFF, you're going to experience an even more overwhelming batch of "what the f*%$ am I doing?"

Do the tandem.  The licensing is going to cost you roughly $2000, and the extra $220 for a tandem is well worth the extra investment.  Talk to your instructor and see if they'll let you do a little canopy steering once they pitch.  I know some TI's are cool with that. 

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I don’t think a tandem is necessary before AFF. I went into it with no tandem or tunnel time — if I was to go back and do it all over again I’d do a short tunnel session first, just to be comfortable with what arching feels like in freefall, but wouldn’t do a tandem.

That said, if you’re on the fence about whether or not you really want to skydive, and just want to experience freefall without having to worry about doing a bunch of skill things, then sure, do the tandem. But if you’re pretty sure you want to go all the way with it, then it’s not really necessary. Once you get licensed, that $220 will go a lot further ;)

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If your doing a tandem then make sure to pay extra for a video..I did a tandem back in early 90s when I was 14yrs old.(illegal hehe) but my dad was cool and his friend had more jumps then I could count. Im on jump 9 and went thru the static line course. AFF course puts you right into the skydiving experience. I wouldn't even question it an just do it. The cost is no different then if you bought a car you didn't need. The money is well worth the experience an what you get out of the sport money cannot buy. Best of luck to you an come to Weeping Water Ne (Lincoln Sport Parachute Club) if you ever drive thru Nebraska. Blue skies my friend. Don't think about it. Just do it 

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