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Noah1979

Looking for a tall AFF instructor(at least 6’2”) hopefully in SoCal but would consider travel.

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Hello,

I am about to give up on this because I can’t seem to find an instructor that doesn’t make me feel like a square peg going into a round hole. I’m not under 5’8” like every instructor at my DZ, and just want work with somebody who can offer real insight, and help me achieve and learn instead of Just hoping I don’t fail.

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I wasn’t trying to be funny, and I’m not blaming anyone but myself for my lack of progress. I’m a visual learner and something is not computing. I would love to see someone my size demonstrate certain aspects that I’m apparently failing to grasp. I walked away from my last jump confused and lacking the knowledge of how I personally could overcome my mistakes, and if that’s the case I’m not going to pay for another dive just hoping it will work out.

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to the OP:

I'm not sure that there's much different for a taller vs shorter student (or instructor) in terms of how to fly?!  But I'm saying this as only a moderately experienced AFF style instructor.  The basics are the same even if individuals with different bodies will have to emphasize particular things a little more or less. (Eg., someone less flexible may have to work harder at arching, or someone tall might have more issues with getting a good enough exit position in a smaller doorway.) 

Tall or short, one has to keep arms and legs in the right positions, not too stiff, but not to floppy either. Every student has to get that right, to keep from chipping, flipping, spinning, sliding away, etc.

It almost sounds more like there's a bit of a disconnect between the instructor and student in terms of teaching or learning styles and techniques? It happens. Instructors aren't all perfect either. Have you run out of other instructors to try learning from?

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Yes I am trying to move through AFF to get my A license. First my problems began at level 2, which were basic arching and leaving the cramped space of the door, Because I was much larger than the 2 instructors they couldn’t get control of my body and when I went to check in I saw terrified deer in the headlights and urgency I never anticipated seconds later they pulled for me to keep it together. My fault entirely. A few days later, I drove 300 miles round trip for 30 minutes of tunnel coaching and went back the next day much more confident and excited. We get into free fall, and I think I’m doing good but my instructor wanted my legs more extended, and a deeper arch. Which my back would NOT do. I have a herniated disk in my lumbar so that may be it. But looking at other skydivers whose BOC ends at their sacrum I feel like have an advantage. My container ends above my kidneys, and the effort involved with my legs extended to hold that super deep arch while lifting the rig instead of sort of bending around it is intense. I’m 6’4” 212 and am in good shape in case you’re wondering if it’s just a lack of fitness. When I was in the tunnel I NEVER once arched that far or with my legs fully extended unless I was trying to move on a vertical axis. Another frustrating thing is that the DZ I went to (super, super cool people, please do not think I am speaking negatively of them) operates on the “your instructors of the day is whomever doesn’t have a tandem” principle so I just keep hearing what I’m doing wrong not how I evolved, which is another thing that would help me personally, as well as consistency is important when learning anything new. I very much want to be a skydiver, the only thing I can compare it to was seeing my sons born. I still dream and flashback to the utter exhilaration of exiting that first time. It was like taking the red pill and seeing the possibilities for the very first time. But I’m also pragmatic enough to want a proper education.

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Sounds like you need a different instructor who will give you feedback from a different angle.

Speaking of different angles .... was your last jump videoed? Often a few seconds of video will teach a "visual learner" more than a hour of talk.

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Quote

I'm 6’4” 212

OK, if one is really tall and also outweighing the instructors by a fair bit, yes it does become harder for the instructors to wrangle the student if things aren't going really well.

The 'different instructor every time' is a problem at many DZs. Sometimes a DZ might be able to focus more on an individual student's progression, if they can make it out during the week rather than the weekend.

Having done the tunnel time should have helped a lot too.

There should be ways to get through the issues, but it is hard to diagnose the details at a distance (especially without the video that Riggerrob mentioned). And SoCal is one of the places on the planet where you should be able to access different DZ's and experienced instructors much better than elsewhere...

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Thanks for the input. I figured before I started blindly calling around, I would throw it out there and see if I got lucky. Regarding the video, they don’t share them or allow copies. But this is less about me not understanding how I’m falling short, and more wanting to see someone my size approach every aspect of the jump, and pick their brain.

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10 hours ago, Noah1979 said:

Regarding the video, they don’t share them or allow copies. 

What? Having a record of your jumps is super useful as a student - something to watch in between jumps helps reinforce what you're being told.

You don't need a slickly edited video, just a raw dump.

 

Which DZ? 

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4 hours ago, yoink said:

What? Having a record of your jumps is super useful as a student - something to watch in between jumps helps reinforce what you're being told.

You don't need a slickly edited video, just a raw dump.

 

Which DZ? 

I am not surprised, I went to Zhills in Feb and the instructor that did my buddy's recurrency jump wouldn't give him the video and said he would have to pay to get it.

I got mine for free (different instructor) but he asked me to be quick and discreet.... why not give them to the jumpers ? Especially OP going thru AFF and paying what we pay to get licenced.

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At West Tennessee Skydiving, near Memphis, we have a couple of AFF instructors that are 6’ and over, I’m 6’2” myself.  Also, we give the student both instructors video during the debrief. We think it a great learning tool, we think it’s important. We don’t charge.

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