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shorehambeach

How (and when) to pay it back in this sport

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Brothers and Sisters

I am 4 years and nearly 400 jumps in this sport.

I've happily paid for 180 coach jumps and done several canopy courses and several hours in the tunnel........ But I've never really passed on my (little) knowledge in the sky to any newbies.

What's the best way (at a DZ) to pass on very basic skills to new people in this sport ?

Thanks :)

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This is a great thing to bring up, honestly. I remember being even more newbie than I am now and not being able to get to the formation on 8-way RW jumps and feeling like shit for "ruining" someone else's jump and wasting their money. I still said yes when people invited me on jumps and paid attention to everything they said, and when I improved, they noticed and I think they took some small satisfaction in that. Other jumpers were too shy--I know a couple who kept doing solos because of the fear of "wasting" someone else's jump.

At my level I don't feel comfortable giving much advice, but I do things within my comfort zone that will help. Like asking younger jumpers for gear checks--I've already checked everything (and in many cases had someone else check it too) so I lose nothing and the student gains some knowledge and good habits. Or, take them out on a two-way and help them work on their levels or just give them a point of reference so they're not falling aimlessly. Or, if they have a question, find someone who knows more than me and introduce them. Sometimes the best I can do is say "I don't know, but here's so and so and she's a rigger who can answer your question." Now they know a rigger and get their question answered reliably.

Failing that, always bring beer. And smiles and high-fives never hurt. It can be a little isolating to be a student, and an encouraging smile and banter on the plane made me feel really included.

Now that some of my mentors have joined me at my new home DZ, and they have electronic manifest, I can just ask manifest to throw their slot onto my account every so often. A lot of them are too generous to let me cover their slots, but I can go around them if I need to.
I'm not a lady, I'm a skydiver.

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chuckakers

Grab a newbie. Make a jump. Give pointers along the way and a positive critique afterward.

Repeat.



^This. Big time.

I mentioned in the "What discipline" thread that jumping with new people is always fun and challenging.

If I'm doing a two or three way, and there's a new guy standing in the loading area, I ask what he's doing. If he says "just a solo", I grab him, we sort out a quick & simple dive plan* and go.

If he says "But I don't want to screw up you guys' jump", I give him (or her) a very stern look and say "You better not screw it up, that's my job!!" I then explain that if he gets so far out that there's no hope of him making the formation, then we will simply keep an eye on him and revert to our previous dive plan.

*Quick and simple is usually a three way fly through (build a round, take turns going forward through the other two, turning around and come back to the round - all anyone needs to know is who goes next) or a 4 way round, two go in and the other two sidebody, back to round and switch pairs. Even easier is "not slot specific, where the first pair to go in is based on only one person (and whoever ends up across from them).
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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The time between when a person gets their A and jump 100 is when most skydivers quit. They might be uncomfortable approaching more experienced skydivers, they might be unsure about what to do on any particular jump, or how to figure out what to do on any particular jump. I try to be proactive about approaching these guys. I often take them tracking, as I didn't feel comfortable with my tracking skills just after I got my A. Sometimes we'll collect or or two other guys and try to get a belly formation going. This is much more fun than doing a solo jump (even a wingsuit jump) and I can work on my video skills. And they make some friends that they'll feel much more comfortable approaching on future trips to the DZ. That in turn might help them decide what they want to do in the sport and keep them from getting bored. Everybody wins!
I'm trying to teach myself how to set things on fire with my mind. Hey... is it hot in here?

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Chuck is a master. Only suggestion is not too many pointers. Think about one or two for them to think about in the air, and make everything else happen in the dirt dive.

A dive where the newbie(s) remember what happened, and can identify something specific they did right, or something specific they could improve (not "I went low again," but "I stopped too late" or "I tried to close when I was level and lost altitude" etc).

It's magic.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Give a newb a new experience. Do a funjump, with a different exit. Guarilla, or carthweel or something.

They all want to do those odd jumps, and probably will, but without thinking about the risk, or with another newb.:|

You are definitely getting beer after that. Win win.
You have the right to your opinion, and I have the right to tell you how Fu***** stupid it is.
Davelepka - "This isn't an x-box, or a Chevy truck forum"
Whatever you do, don't listen to ChrisD.

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chuckakers

Grab a newbie. Make a jump. Give pointers along the way and a positive critique afterward.

Repeat.

Absolutely perfect. B|

I like to ask them what skills they've been wanting to develop and give them a chance to do just that, such as linked exits, diving to dock, floating, tracking. :)

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I'll never forget the kindness of a bunch a RW hotshots at Elsinore who in 1973 pushed a visiting low skills kid (me) onto a DC 3 and built a 13 way star around me. Not only that, they followed up with an SCR sign up sheet and I got the patch.

It was quite a canopy show after opening. Mostly squares, a couple of PCs and me under my 1951 vintage surplus orange and white candy striped C9 round.

When I returned to my DZ (Pope Valley) the locals thought I had stolen the SCR. They knew my RW skills. ;)

377
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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377

I'll never forget the kindness of a bunch a RW hotshots at Elsinore who in 1973 pushed a visiting low skills kid (me) onto a DC 3 and built a 13 way star around me. Not only that, they followed up with an SCR sign up sheet and I got the patch.



:)
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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