2 2
Howeller

What was your first jump? And another question

Recommended Posts

hello. i was wondering what everyones first jump was?
ill add abit of a story to this question, i have always said i wanted to skydive but havent been able to due to being too heavy. i have been working hard for the last 6 months and am starting to get close to my target and can actually see myself being under the weight limit for the first time since i was 16. now i am getting close i am starting to research into the idea actually being able to skydive. I am predicting spring is when i will be at my target weight and so thats when i plan on doing ny first skydive. this also adds another target to achieve
i was wondering what you would recommend doing as a first skydive now as a more experienced skydiver if you could go back and do it again?
i was looking at a stagic line as my local center has what i think is a good price on a first jump static line course. i wanted do do a jump to make sure i like it before committing the money to possibly do the aff course? or do i need to do a tandem first?
sorry of this is a stupid question or had been asked before, i did search for a similar tgread but coukdnt find one, and thanks for any advive in advance
thanks
Alex

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's up to the DZ whether you have to do a tandem first; regardless, I'd recommend it, because it's a lower-stress way to enjoy your first jump than being in charge of everything. If the DZ knows you're interested in continuing, most will let you do some steering of the parachute, demonstrate altitude awareness, and do some coaching on other aspects of canopy control (which is harder to teach on a solo jump like a static line).

I made my first jump 45 years ago, when I was 20. It was static line, simply because there really weren't any other options then.  And congratulations on getting close to your weight goal; remember you're getting close to a lifestyle goal, too, because each weight has a lifestyle that goes along with it -- enjoy the increased energy you're probably feeling!

Wendy P.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, wmw999 said:

It's up to the DZ whether you have to do a tandem first; regardless, I'd recommend it, because it's a lower-stress way to enjoy your first jump than being in charge of everything. If the DZ knows you're interested in continuing, most will let you do some steering of the parachute, demonstrate altitude awareness, and do some coaching on other aspects of canopy control (which is harder to teach on a solo jump like a static line).

I made my first jump 45 years ago, when I was 20. It was static line, simply because there really weren't any other options then.  And congratulations on getting close to your weight goal; remember you're getting close to a lifestyle goal, too, because each weight has a lifestyle that goes along with it -- enjoy the increased energy you're probably feeling!

Wendy P.

Hi thanks for the response, I think I will look into a tandem then for my first jump, I wasn't sure what the rules was regarding fly and canopy control during a tandem that's why I looked at static line. 

I am really excited at the possibly of actually being able to do this now, is amazing how much more energy and enthusiasm I have for stuff now

Thanks for the response

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, congrats on getting to the point where you can jump.

Losing that much weight that you've had for that long is a truly impressive accomplishment. 

For your first jump, a tandem is actually a good choice. It lets you get a full altitude exit, freefall and canopy ride. The 'full experience' if you will.

If you make it very clear that you plan on going forward and getting licensed, the instructor can teach you a lot more than the typical 'carnival ride' students learn (more on that below).

 

For the actual student progression towards your license, static line or AFF will get you there. It's just a somewhat different route. 

You might take a look at what each course offers & requires, and go from there. S/L is usually cheaper for the initial jumps, but keep in mind that you'll end up spending a similar amount to get licensed and to acquire your first set of gear. The overall cost won't be a whole lot different.

 

As far as the "tandem progression to AFF", it's actually a pretty good idea. The bigger DZ I usually jump at suggests it, but doesn't require it.
One thing that has gotten lost in the transition to 'carnival ride' is that tandems were originally intended to be similar to 'dual instruction' in airplanes. For example, having the instructor right behind you, coaching you through the landing pattern while under canopy is a big help, as opposed to the instructor standing on the ground using a radio.
The tandem progression I'm familiar with has the student go through the first jump course (classroom), then do 2 tandems. These tandems are not just 'rides'. There are required tasks that the student must accomplish to progress. After the tandems, 10 minutes in the tunnel. Then, if the student is doing ok, a one instructor AFF jump. If either the TI or tunnel instructor (both of whom are AFF-I qualified) aren't happy with the student's performance, repeats of tandems or tunnel, or a two instructor AFF jump can be done. 
This training setup has been pretty successful, and the students are usually quite happy with what they learn prior to that first AFF jump.

BUT... 

All of this is dependent on what the DZ you go to chooses to offer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, wolfriverjoe said:

First off, congrats on getting to the point where you can jump.

Losing that much weight that you've had for that long is a truly impressive accomplishment. 

For your first jump, a tandem is actually a good choice. It lets you get a full altitude exit, freefall and canopy ride. The 'full experience' if you will.

If you make it very clear that you plan on going forward and getting licensed, the instructor can teach you a lot more than the typical 'carnival ride' students learn (more on that below).

 

For the actual student progression towards your license, static line or AFF will get you there. It's just a somewhat different route. 

You might take a look at what each course offers & requires, and go from there. S/L is usually cheaper for the initial jumps, but keep in mind that you'll end up spending a similar amount to get licensed and to acquire your first set of gear. The overall cost won't be a whole lot different.

 

As far as the "tandem progression to AFF", it's actually a pretty good idea. The bigger DZ I usually jump at suggests it, but doesn't require it.
One thing that has gotten lost in the transition to 'carnival ride' is that tandems were originally intended to be similar to 'dual instruction' in airplanes. For example, having the instructor right behind you, coaching you through the landing pattern while under canopy is a big help, as opposed to the instructor standing on the ground using a radio.
The tandem progression I'm familiar with has the student go through the first jump course (classroom), then do 2 tandems. These tandems are not just 'rides'. There are required tasks that the student must accomplish to progress. After the tandems, 10 minutes in the tunnel. Then, if the student is doing ok, a one instructor AFF jump. If either the TI or tunnel instructor (both of whom are AFF-I qualified) aren't happy with the student's performance, repeats of tandems or tunnel, or a two instructor AFF jump can be done. 
This training setup has been pretty successful, and the students are usually quite happy with what they learn prior to that first AFF jump.

BUT... 

All of this is dependent on what the DZ you go to chooses to offer. 

Hi, thanks for a great reply, you've actually cleared alot of my questions up. I think what you've said about 'carnival ride tandem' is what was making me look at the static line course. It's good to know you can actually learn from them, I thought they were just so people could jump from a plane without doing any learning or work. 

My local dz offers both course and I wasn't really looking at it from a financial stand point, I have until atleast spring to save the money. I guess what I'm getting from both responses is that it depends mostly on the dz way of doing thing, i will contact them closer to the time to chat with them about it. 

Thanks again for a great response

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, countzero said:

You've gotten some great responses. I'd like to add, take a trip out to the DZ. Watch landings, ask questions, and learn a bit more about skydiving.

 

I will definitely do this in the future when we are allowed to again, I'm not sure what the rules are at the minute with covid lockdowns in place. Especially with my nearest dz being in the highest level of lockdown. 

Thanks for the response though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first jump was level 1 tandem of IAF at Skydive Miami. Didn’t regret it a bit. 
actually I signed up for a tandem, and when I landed I asked for another one. They asked me if I wanted to do the same or level 2, and congratulated me for my level 1. Did level 3 the same day. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(edited)
On 10/20/2020 at 12:48 PM, Howeller said:

hello. i was wondering what everyones first jump was?
ill add abit of a story to this question, i have always said i wanted to skydive but havent been able to due to being too heavy. i have been working hard for the last 6 months and am starting to get close to my target and can actually see myself being under the weight limit for the first time since i was 16. now i am getting close i am starting to research into the idea actually being able to skydive. I am predicting spring is when i will be at my target weight and so thats when i plan on doing ny first skydive. this also adds another target to achieve
i was wondering what you would recommend doing as a first skydive now as a more experienced skydiver if you could go back and do it again?
i was looking at a stagic line as my local center has what i think is a good price on a first jump static line course. i wanted do do a jump to make sure i like it before committing the money to possibly do the aff course? or do i need to do a tandem first?
sorry of this is a stupid question or had been asked before, i did search for a similar tgread but coukdnt find one, and thanks for any advive in advance
thanks
Alex

I never did a tandem before signing up for the static line course and never regretted it.

My reasoning back then was simple: Fourteen years ago, a tandem cost €200, while a five jump static-line course cost €335,-. If I did the tandem first and wanted to keep jumping I'd 'lose' more money than when I just went for the static-line course and decided after one jump to call it quits.
Nowadays both the course and the tandem are much more expensive - that much more money which could go to extra jumps after you finish your course.

Also, jumping by myself would allow me to do all the fun stuff myself, instead of having someone do that for me.Lastly, though many on here will disagree with me, tandem jumps are most often treated as nothing more than a carnival ride by both the tandem master and the tandem passenger.

Is a tandem jump awesome?
Sure.

Is it comparable to jumping all by yourself?
I doubt it.

Can it be a great introduction to skydiving?
It very much depends on where you make the tandem jump. You at least have to let them know about your intentions.

Am I old school?
Definitely.

BUT... 

All of this is dependent on what the DZ you go to chooses to offer. 


And more to the point, how much money you can invest upfront.

Edited by Baksteen
add quote

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

first, congrats on having your goal in sight! That is awesome!

My first jump was a static line. I considered a Tandem, but I had a feeling I was going to love it, and would have to do the static line progression to learn, so I decided to save the hundred+ bucks.

I did a tandem on the front later on, as part of a Tandem Instructor course, and it was overwhelming for me personally, even as an experienced jumper. I think if I had done a tandem for jump #1, I would've been one-and-done. Static line was perfect for me, because it essentially broke skydiving into bite-sized pieces that I could digest at my own pace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, betzilla said:

first, congrats on having your goal in sight! That is awesome!

My first jump was a static line. I considered a Tandem, but I had a feeling I was going to love it, and would have to do the static line progression to learn, so I decided to save the hundred+ bucks.

I did a tandem on the front later on, as part of a Tandem Instructor course, and it was overwhelming for me personally, even as an experienced jumper. I think if I had done a tandem for jump #1, I would've been one-and-done. Static line was perfect for me, because it essentially broke skydiving into bite-sized pieces that I could digest at my own pace.

Thanks for the reply. I haven't really been looking at it from a financial point of view. It's interesting to hear someone say they wouldn't recommend a tandem. Can I ask what you found overwhelming about a tandem in comparison to a static line if that's not too intrusive?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/7/2020 at 9:42 AM, Howeller said:

It's interesting to hear someone say they wouldn't recommend a tandem.

That's not what I said. I said FOR ME, I think static line was the right choice. I do recommend tandems frequently. It's a great way to make a first jump.

The difference is essentially: tandem = jumping from the 10m platform; static line = wading into the water; knowing in each case that people swim without drowning all the time. When I was kid learning to swim, I literally had to prove to myself that MY body could float, like, one limb at a time in the bathtub, before I dared to try actual swimming in the pool. Static line allowed me to do the same with skydiving. Some people don't need that slow pace. I guess I do...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, betzilla said:

That's not what I said. I said FOR ME, I think static line was the right choice. I do recommend tandems frequently. It's a great way to make a first jump.

The difference is essentially: tandem = jumping from the 10m platform; static line = wading into the water; knowing in each case that people swim without drowning all the time. When I was kid learning to swim, I literally had to prove to myself that MY body could float, like, one limb at a time in the bathtub, before I dared to try actual swimming in the pool. Static line allowed me to do the same with skydiving. Some people don't need that slow pace. I guess I do...

Sorry I was aware that you didn't mean not to tandem for everyone and you were talking about personal experience I didn't respond very well. I apologise for that. I replied because you are the first person out of any that had a experience that static line was better and I just wanted a little but more of your opinion as to why. Thanks for the response though

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, betzilla said:

That's not what I said. I said FOR ME, I think static line was the right choice. I do recommend tandems frequently. It's a great way to make a first jump.

The difference is essentially: tandem = jumping from the 10m platform; static line = wading into the water; knowing in each case that people swim without drowning all the time. When I was kid learning to swim, I literally had to prove to myself that MY body could float, like, one limb at a time in the bathtub, before I dared to try actual swimming in the pool. Static line allowed me to do the same with skydiving. Some people don't need that slow pace. I guess I do...

I would compare tandem with a person jumping in the water with a life vest on while the attendant keeps the person above water with a long stick. :)

I do not recommend tandems since most often they are just carnival rides. the good TMs aside (who will protest this rather grim picture I'm painting), there are any folks who will not give you a good introduction in skydiving anyway, since the less time they spend with a passenger, the more chance they have of churning out one extra jump and hence earn extra cash.

If you (not you personally) are just looking for the experience of skydiving with minimal preparation and commitment on your part, by all means do a tandem and call it quits.

If you are inclined to think that static line/AFF is your thing, just go for it. Which program you should actually choose depends on you and what is available to you. I was drawn to the more gradual progression of static-line. In hindsight I think I would not have done very well with AFF since there are more tasks to complete on a single jump. Also, I didn't have that much cash to invest upfront - and that is not even taking into account the price of a 'redo' of one or more levels.

So, only for the small group who likes to have their toe in the water before making the plunge I would say that maybe a tandem is of added value for you; carnival ride or no.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Howeller said:

I replied because you are the first person out of any that had a experience that static line was better and I just wanted a little but more of your opinion as to why. Thanks for the response though

In 1992 I could have done a tandem first jump but I chose a traditional IAD first jump instead. The idea of jumping as a passenger strapped to an instructor with little to no personal control had no appeal to me at all. I wanted to do a parachute jump, not go for a carnival ride.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/20/2020 at 3:48 AM, Howeller said:

hello. i was wondering what everyones first jump was?
ill add abit of a story to this question, i have always said i wanted to skydive but havent been able to due to being too heavy. i have been working hard for the last 6 months and am starting to get close to my target and can actually see myself being under the weight limit for the first time since i was 16. now i am getting close i am starting to research into the idea actually being able to skydive. I am predicting spring is when i will be at my target weight and so thats when i plan on doing ny first skydive. this also adds another target to achieve
i was wondering what you would recommend doing as a first skydive now as a more experienced skydiver if you could go back and do it again?
i was looking at a stagic line as my local center has what i think is a good price on a first jump static line course. i wanted do do a jump to make sure i like it before committing the money to possibly do the aff course? or do i need to do a tandem first?
sorry of this is a stupid question or had been asked before, i did search for a similar tgread but coukdnt find one, and thanks for any advive in advance
thanks
Alex

December 7, 1972. Static line on a round. After researching all of the possibilities I selected the only choice available. Today's a different day. In my opinion there is no better way to make a first skydive than a Tandem out of a Turbine aircraft from 12.5K or higher. No diss to the small a/c dz's (I've taken 100's of Tandems out of my own 182's) it's just that an exit from a large door is easier for both parties and higher is better. It's a true freefall skydive, you can slap hands and talk rap with your buddies in the airplane, it's lower stress and, just like learning to fly an airplane, there is a personal flight instructor there to show you how to fly the thing. If you love it the rest of the skydiving world will still be open to you. Also, the day's of saving up 30 bucks to make a static line jump or clear and pull every month or so are over. So if price is driving your selection save up a bit more first so you can push straight through after you start. Trust me, the cost of a Tandem at the start of the journey won't even be a measurable amount of the total spent after a few years. Just don't think about it, money has never been better wasted than on skydiving.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, gowlerk said:

In 1992 I could have done a tandem first jump but I chose a traditional IAD first jump instead. The idea of jumping as a passenger strapped to an instructor with little to no personal control had no appeal to me at all. I wanted to do a parachute jump, not go for a carnival ride.

'97 static line from a 182.  i agree with this 100%.  no way in hell would i ever allow myself to be that out of control to be strapped on someone.  has nothing to do with anything rational, just is what it is.  it's a control thing, not a safety thing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a tandem about 10yrs prior to signing up for an AFF course.

 

If I had never done the tandem, that would have been where I would have started.

 

Having done the tandem, despite it being 10yrs prior, I felt as if I knew what to expect. I was already extremely determined to get my license as it had been a life long dream that was always on the back burner...one of those "I'm doing it no matter what" moments hit me one night... So I went straight to AFF that same week.

 

My first jump, the tandem, I didn't really enjoy. I was constantly trying to learn what I could and pinpoint the DZ as we fell...I was trying to take too much in, since I wanted to learn to jump solo.

 

Do the tandem. Ask questions. Relax and enjoy it. Don't try to learn to skydive from your tandem, like I had tried(it's why it wasn't as thrilling for me)!

 

You need 25 jumps minimum to get an A-License. Your tandem will count, long as you get going on training relatively soon after. So the tandem gets your feet wet at minimal cost and counts as an A-License jump. You'll know much better what to expect when it's your turn to pull, steer, and land. I'd also venture to say that your ground training will make better sense having recently done a jump as well.

 

After your first tandem, write down a description of what happened. From suiting up, to seatbelts, to exiting, the freefall, chute opening, landing.... everything you can recollect step by step. This will not only help you recall what went down, but this is an important skill to build on for your actual training. Many instructors ask for a breakdown after your jump, then you watch the video to see if what your remember is true/accurate! The more you do this memory jogging, the easier it gets...also,the more you jump, the more you start to remember about the jump.

Edited by Cocowheats

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plenty of good advice above.

I did my first static-line jump back in 1977 on a military-surplus round parachute. Four years later I did the Canadian Army's Basic Parachutist Course (static-line). Then I earned a civilian instructor rating and dropped students with a variety of static-line and instructor-assisted-deployment systems.

I did my first tandem jump in 1984. Even strapped to Rob Laidlaw (world champion 8-Way Team) is was still scared to jump without a ripcord or altimeter!

A few years later I earned tandem and freefall instructor ratings. Then I worked full-time as a skydiving instructor for 18 years. When they moved a portable wind tunnel to Vancouver, I insisted that my students have a few minutes experience in the wind tunnel before I would do harness-hold jumps with them.

Bottom line: no single method is ideal for learning how to skydive, because each method is "best" at teaching specific skills. I recommend that students do their first jump as a tandem. However, the teaching value of tandems diminishes after the third jump. Then a few IAD jumps - from 3,000 feet (1,000 metres) are the best way to learn the basics of steering a parachuite and landing on the correct field. Then a few minutes in the wind tunnel to learn the basics of freefall stability and control. Finally, combine all those skills during a few harness-hold jumps. After a few more coached dives, you are ready to write your A license exam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

2 2