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Dewbee

Helluva time deciding

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Hey folks, I’m having a helluva time deciding between Spacelands STP course to get my A or Perris’ AFF program. I have to take time off and try to bang it out in 11 days this July. I like that Perris has a tunnel, but how important is that really? I like that Spaceland says they can get me done in a week and that a spot at the bunkhouse is included. The STP at Spaceland requires 2 “orientation” tandems. Not stoked on that. I’ve done a tandem before, but it was 15 yrs ago. Perris has been around longer, both have many positive online reviews. Is there anyone out there that can realistically compare both the places from a training perspective?

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I had experience with both and I would recommend the STP program over AFF. I passed my first 7 levels with AFF, then they pretty much left me alone to do solo jumps where I didn't learn much. I went to Spaceland Florida to finish and they had a coach jump with me every time. I had three excellent coaches for seven jumps and they told me they would do all they could to get me my A license in the five days I had there. They also filmed me (no video at my AFF program) which helped me see my mistakes in freefall. I liked the attitude of all the employees there and that they gave STP students priority on loads and with rental gear & packing. They also included skills my AFF program didn't (barrel rolls, leg turns, side slides, etc.) The Super Caravan plane was awesome-fast and wide doors, and they took us up to 14K feet most jumps. I did get my license while I was there and plan on going back there, and to the Dallas location. 

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@skybytch that’s a great question and one that I knew was coming.  I live in SLC, UT.  The DZ’s around here have weight limits below what I am. I’m 6’2” and 240lbs.  The field elevations are pretty high around here. The local schools don’t have equipment (300 square-foot canopies) for my big ass. I’m fit BTW, just a large person.  They also mentioned that they are worried that I would break my ankle or something because of the field elevation. I did mention that I am a paraglider pilot that’s been at it for 10 years but that didn’t seem to assuage their fears.  Believe me I would love to do it locally, but it just isn’t in the cards I guess.

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The perris tunnel is nice.  They require you to spend some time in it before jumping which lets you simulate a lot of the early jump portions.  If you are from utah you could do some of that in the tunnel there as prep.  In the end, both methods get you to the same end goal of 25 jumps and an A license.  The STP tandems are more involved than your basic tandem and force you to learn some basics like altitude awareness all while having the instructor right there.

I personally love perris and the instructors are amazing.  I'm sure spaceland is great too.  The only downside to Perris in July is the heat which in turn causes dust devils and some stiff afternoon winds.  Dust Devils are easy to avoid but if the winds get over 14 mph then students are put on hold.  Its very predictable and mainly a mid afternoon thing but it is something to keep in mind.

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Houston will also be hot and humid in July, but they do have air-conditioned packing (you'll be learning how to pack at the very least), and dust devils are rare. I've been to Perris a number of times, and used to jump at Spaceland. I know both have excellent student programs. I also do know that Spaceland has a very active coach program as you transition beyond AFF status. I don't know how Perris works.

Wendy

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On ‎4‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 7:44 AM, Dewbee said:

@skybytch that’s a great question and one that I knew was coming.  I live in SLC, UT.  The DZ’s around here have weight limits below what I am. I’m 6’2” and 240lbs.  The field elevations are pretty high around here. The local schools don’t have equipment (300 square-foot canopies) for my big ass. I’m fit BTW, just a large person.  They also mentioned that they are worried that I would break my ankle or something because of the field elevation. I did mention that I am a paraglider pilot that’s been at it for 10 years but that didn’t seem to assuage their fears.  Believe me I would love to do it locally, but it just isn’t in the cards I guess.

Makes total sense. :-)

AFAIK, both Perris and Spaceland have excellent instructors and produce safe skydivers. Because you will be jumping at high msl altitudes, I'd lean toward Perris since they are at 1500 feet msl, which may make the transition to your home altitude a bit easier.

The tunnel is also a good reason to go to Perris.  Invaluable learning tool.  

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