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stins

I'm 5'2. Is getting the tandem rating a waste of time?

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17 hours ago, stins said:

In your experience, do DZs hire short tandem instructors?

Back in the mid "00's; there was a girl ~your height at Skydive Dallas. We called her five foot nothing. She would take guys 6'4" on tandems. If you can pass the TI course - you can out-control most anyone strapped to you. Go for it.   

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(edited)

I am 5'6, and I make it work. I have seen smaller instructors.

Would it be easier at 6 foot tall and lanky sure, but you can still handle most students.

It is harder, you need to plan and fly your exits correctly, compared to the 6'2 bean pole who has much more room to get away with mediocre exits and poor student instruction. But so what, regardless of your height or experince you shouldn't just toss yourself  and the student out of the plane with no consideration given to the exit. Also as you get more experience you will have to work harder to shoot handicam footage.

I think strength matters very much. If you are short and on the weaker side I would give pause and focus on getting strong.

You should be able to fly and flare unassisted with the heaviest student your DZ allows after a long day of jumps. You should be able to deal with the uncoordinated student that is pushing against you as you make your way to the door. If your dz has a slide up door like a caravan or an otter you need to be able to operate the door with a student on the front unassisted. You should be able to get you and a student up off the foor from a seated position if you have a load where there isn't enough room on the seat/bench. Just a few strength criteria that I am making up in my mind.

All of the things above can be made easier using smart techniques, but everything is easier when you are stronger.

I can squat or deadlift my biggest possible student, that is far from winning any strengh records, but it makes getting through a day way easier.

Edited by DougH

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Back in the day shipping weight on a tandem rig with harness was 60 lb. I'm curious what the newer smaller rigs are weighing in at now? Mandy looked almost ridicules wearing those big strong rigs. I'm wondering if the smaller rigs would be any more ergonomic, better suited to some one with a shorter mlw, maybe narrower? Or are they still being built on the same long wide patterns?

 

Your also liable to get stuck with all the small Indian woman... And we all know how they are.

 

Lee

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I know a couple smaller, shorter women who are TIs. And a couple shorter guys, although they aren't that short. 

They basically say 'work smarter, not harder'. They don't have the strength to overpower people, so they need to 'outskill' them (not a real work, I know).

The smaller women are excellent jumpers overall, and say that they've gotten better doing tandems. They started off with the smaller students, but as the season went on (both got their ratings in spring and did tandems all summer) they took bigger and bigger ones. 

If you still aren't sure, talk to the course director. See what he (she?) says. 

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On 1/26/2020 at 4:04 PM, RiggerLee said:

Mandy looked almost ridicules wearing those big strong rigs.

That is true, Lee. But, she was still one of the most versatile skydivers I'd ever meet. And, the girl I was talking about was there for a short time and was even shorter than Mandy. 

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(edited)
On 1/26/2020 at 5:04 PM, RiggerLee said:

Your also liable to get stuck with all the small Indian woman... And we all know how they are.

I've never heard of this, usually the issue short TI's have is getting stuck with the beefcakes while all the big guys get the teeny students.

Edit:  Got it.  Lol. Further explanation below.  In the same token it's typically skinny little people who stick their legs straight out in front of them and try to whip you onto your back.

Edited by DJL
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The comment about Indian woman is kind of an inside joke about Mandy.

 

for a while we seemed to be getting a lot of tandem students from India. She was by far the smallest tandem master so when the Indian family's would show up she would get the small Indian woman. She was absolutely convinced that they could not arch. They always went fetal on her. She was convinced, and she had more empirical evidence then any one I know, that Indian woman were genetically, culturally incapable of arching and would always go fetal on exit. No other group exhibited this phenomenon. Indian woman can not arch. Just ask her. She'll tell you her self. Indian woman are the only cultural/racial group that can not skydive.

 

Lee

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(edited)

If I had to sterotype across gender and race  I would say that all of female Indian students I take perform excelently, and much much better on average than the males in their groups. Not that it matters gender or race, doing the opposite of what you competently instruct is just what some tandem students do.

We have a reasonable weight limit, so smaller instructors don't end up having to take the 285 couch dwellers to stay under system weight because we don't take them at all.

I do think there should be some equity here, all the instructors should be able to take any of the students that walk in the door unless there are special indications, like a disabled passanger who should be paired with the most experienced instructor.

I understand having a period for new instructors where you don't pair them with students at the edge of the weight limit, or who have a huge height diferential but eventually the kid gloves should come off and they should manage the same students as everyone else. Just my opinion.

 

Edited by DougH

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