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forever2wheels

A license and done

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Decided to start skydiving earlier this year around the March/April timeframe. Figured that I already do enough "dangerous" stuff, what's one more on the list. Paid for my AFF upfront and got that knocked out no problem. It seemed that the dropzone I was getting my training at paid all the attention in the world to me while in my AFF progression and once I was on "solo student" status the accountability fell out. I am currently on jump 23 with only 1 coached jump and not for a lack of trying.

At the DZ I got my AFF from, it seemed all the coaches wanted to do tandems or video for tandems and I just went about my merry way jumping solo. And, was told that I need more experience in the air before I can start learning more advanced maneuvers. I then decided to take what I learned to another DZ.

At this new DZ I was initially welcomed with open arms and paired with static line and instructor assist students for some category ground training. I will say that the ST&A giving the instruction was rude, abrasive and very confrontational. He even booted one student from our "class" because he stated he was taught in the army to approach a helicopter from a 90 degree angle and just wanted clarification because the ST&A gloated about how far superior he was with his x,xxx jumps. I kindly mentioned that the tip path of a H-60 Black Hawk's main rotor can droop as low as 4 feet and that regardless of what direction you think you know, you should always take guidance and direction from the crew members of that particular airframe. We finished our "class" which was more or less us being told we are inferior students to his expertise. I learned nothing. But, did get one coached jump in, YAY! Made an appointment for the following weekend and left.

In only 23 civilian freefall jumps ( I have over 60 military static line), I have jumped at 4 different dropzones and have had overwhelming conflicts with the bravado and cocky attitudes that most of the skydivers I have met carry. My latest "adventure"(the following weekend from a previously productive one) involved a 3 hour drive to the DZ with the abrasive ST&A. I arrived when they opened, got some category quizzes and showed the owner/instructor that I did the homework he asked of me, took my written test and passed, then was bounced around between several coaches, put on a weather hold (funny that tandems were still going up and coming down), then was told to get ready because I was manifested, then my coach vanished. At about the 6 hour mark I packed my stuff up and left.

At this point I plan on obtaining my A license and walking away from this activity. At jump 23 I honestly cannot find the "fun" in belly flying and doing backflips until I am "cool" enough and can afford a pair of $300 freefly shorts(capris) to learn more advanced skills. I get more nervous and feel more alive before dropping in on a expert level downhill mountain bike trail than I do jumping out of an airplane. Heck, I still get to jump out of planes for work.

I won't share the names of the dropzones afore mentioned out of respect for them as a business. I will just say that they are in the greater KY/TN region.

To all of you avid skydivers; I wish you blue skies and full canopies.

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sounds to me ike you need to find a better dropzone and some better people to be around.

Solo bellies can get a little tired after a while. you should find someone to go do some 2 way fun jumps with. My instructor is amazing and we have become friends now and she has show me some of the more fun sides of the sport already.

Hate to see a fellow brother get too disgruntled to continue. Look at is as if it were a change of command. New leadership typically resulted in a new atmosphere in the command. Go find yourself a new CO and a new command.

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At my DZ students are often put on weather holds while tandems still jump. That's becuse TM's have experience and students don't.

Some Skydivers are quiet and some skydivers are loud and everywhere inbetween. You're probably difficult to deal with as well. Get over it.

Once you get your A you eliminate almost every thing you are complaining about. Why would you quit then?

Anyway it's your life, do what you want and good luck.

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put on a weather hold (funny that tandems were still going up and coming down),



Plenty of time winds are too high for students but OK for tandems and experienced jumpers.

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At jump 23 I honestly cannot find the "fun" in belly flying and doing backflips until I am "cool" enough



If you aren't interested in working on those kind of basic skills that make you safe to skydive with other people, then skydiving isn't for you.

Getting the different jumpsuits for different skydiving activities can be expensive although there are ways to save -- one doesn't usually need the latest greatest jumpsuits to participate in a discipline.

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I get more nervous and feel more alive before dropping in on a expert level downhill mountain bike trail than I do jumping out of an airplane.



Good for you that you aren't one of those super nervous students. But if you need more excitement, try russian roulette or maybe just getting deployed to some hellhole spot in the world.

I find bicycling downtown is sometimes more exciting than a skydive, but I prefer the environment, the control, and the skills practice in skydiving. One isn't supposed to be close to crashing every moment of a skydive.

But as for your dislike of some DZ's customer service, egos in the sport, occasional cliquishness, lack of interest of DZ's and instructors in low paying work with students instead of chasing the tandem dollar.... I can't disagree with you there. Those are common problems in the industry. It's almost like some hazing or rite of passage to be able to make it through those long tedious days as a student when one is lucky to get one jump or have anyone give a damn about you.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do in your life.

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I don't know you, but reading your story makes me think of a saying from the show Justified. "If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole." -Raylan Givens.

Take it for what you will. You make it sound as if you are surrounded by assholes at every DZ, and I find that impossible. Maybe you need to do better research on this site and go to a top rated DZ. That's the point of this site after all.

Also your AFF training doesn't sound right at all. 23 jumps and not ONE was coached? What are you doing? Static line only? At 23 jumps you should only be 2 to 3 jumps from an A. I don't get the issue here at all.

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I read thru your post. My first thought was that you need to find a DZ that has "dedicated" load organizers that really want to work with newly minted A license jumpers to bring them along in the sport.

I also, by the end of your post, began to feel that maybe you are part of the problem. It's not uncommon that students feel they are moving too slow in their progression. It's hard for them to be grounded when others (instructors with many thousands of jumps) are allowed to jump. And, being told that you need to develop better "belly" skills before you try free flying, wing suiting, or other advanced disciplines is not easy to hear.

Get over yourself! Regardless how much you know about helicopters or how many military static line jumps you have, your still a student and NEED to be treated that way. Sometimes, good instructors need to tell you that to keep you safe and bring you back to earth (in more ways than one).

I hope you stick with the sport long enough to learn why I say this to you. Good luck with your future training. B|
Birdshit & Fools Productions

"Son, only two things fall from the sky."

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Jumping is what you make of it. If you're running into rude and confrontational instructors everywhere you go then you are the problem. Skydiving has its own culture and sometimes young Army guys have a hard time dealing with it. Some of us figure out how, we are the largest demographic in the sport.

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"It seemed that the dropzone I was getting my training at paid all the attention in the world to me while in my AFF progression and once I was on "solo student" status the accountability fell out.

At the dropzone I started at, after the 7 AFF levels it became MY responsibility as a student to ask the coaches to jump with me. The DZ would help on occasion, but for the most part it was MY job to find a coach, let them know what I needed, and get the jumps done. If all the coaches are working staff it can be tough, but you try to catch them first thing in the morning or last load at night. If you are willing to make the effort, more likely than not, they try to help you.

"I need more experience in the air before I can start learning more advanced maneuvers"

Yes, you do need to learn the basics before doing all the advanced stuff. You need to have a solid skillset on your belly and you will not have that at 23 jumps no matter what else you have done via static line or anything else. You have to learn to walk before you can run. There is a progression for a reason. At 23 jumps you haven't even begun to scratch the surface.

"I have jumped at 4 different dropzones and have had overwhelming conflicts with the bravado and cocky attitudes that most of the skydivers I have met carry"

Yes, skydivers can have an attitude and an ego. I find it VERY hard to believe that at 4 DIFFERENT DROPZONES you met nothing but complete assholes. This sport is full of amazing people who will usually bend over backwards to help each other out. There are the occasional DZ or person with a problem, but I find this description very unlikely.

"put on a weather hold (funny that tandems were still going up and coming down)"

Welcome to skydiving. As a student you have much stricter limits than a licensed jumper. Tandems can/will go when there are D license holds. You will spend a lot of time on the ground. Get used to it. Its for your safety. If you can't wrap your head around that, then this isn't a sport for you.

"At jump 23 I honestly cannot find the "fun" in belly flying and doing backflips until I am "cool" enough and can afford a pair of $300 freefly shorts(capris) to learn more advanced skills."

If you can't find the "fun" in this, then why do it? We don't care what you wear, but until you have the skills to safely do the basics, you shouldn't be doing the advanced skills. This isn't bowling, this sport can, and will, kill you. If you don't like it, then don't jump, and why bother getting your A license?

Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

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At jump 23 I honestly cannot find the "fun" in belly flying and doing backflips until I am "cool" enough and can afford a pair of $300 freefly shorts(capris) to learn more advanced skills.



Take this with a grain of salt, as I'm still a student (Just got my A license a few weeks ago, 39 jumps into the sport).

If the belly flying isn't fun enough for you (it should be, although I do much less solo stuff now and would prefer to work on my RW skills with a coach or a friend), pull high or buy hop & pop tickets and work on your canopy control.

My solo dive profiles right now (and exactly what I was doing at jump 23): Try different exits and quick returns to stability (front loops out of a plane are super fun), do some turn practice, get myself perpendicular to jump run, maybe a little light horizontal tracking, maybe some loops or spins or trying new rolls (I learned I can barrel roll with only arm input OR leg input, that's fun to work on), get steady, pull (often high -- always coordinate with your load), and then do a ton of canopy work. Harness turns, braked turns, whatever!

God I could do that 10 times a day and not get bored... add in a coach jump when/if you find the right person and you'll be licensed in no time and having a ton of fun.

...or just go ride a bike, those are fun too.

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This sport's not for everyone. Good luck with whatever you choose to do next. :)
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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So let me get this straight. You created a profile, waited the 3 days, then posted a novel to a community of skydivers telling them that their sport sucks and you are quitting. I'm starting to see how maybe you were part of the problem at the DZ's. As I write to my clients when they piss me off and I no longer wish to work with them...... "best of luck"
*If you fail to plan, you plan to fail*
*It's not flair, it's flare*
*Please use "your" and "you're" responsibly*

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As in any sport you get out of it what you put into it. Solo's suck, but you only get a minute at a time to learn unlike other sport's. Nobody I know has done 20 jumps and then becomes part of the red bull air force. Find another DZ and maybe hit some tunnel if you can to fine tune those "advanced" maneuvers. GOOD LUCK!!

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I only agree with him on one point. If the instructors are avoiding him, and it's not because he is an asshole but the jump just pays less, then the DZ needs to rectify that. He entered in a paid contract up front with them and they failed to provide him with the jumps and instructors as agreed to. If they want him to leave, they need to refund the part of the money he paid up front for those jumps. That is a shitty way to do business and word spreads fast on the internet. I actually drove 4 hours to a different DZ rather than go to one an hour from home. Why? They had a reputation for this exact bullshit. Willing to take your money, don't care if it takes a year to certify you.

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JohnnyBoulder

It does seems a little odd that 4 DZ's would match the OP's description. That said, not all DZ's are the same. Mile Hi Skydiving in Colorado maintains a very robust coaching staff. Coaches are paid, they are scheduled just like TI's and AFFI's, etc.



you also have to pay for coach jumps till you get your A license yes?
BASE 1519

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wasatchrider

***It does seems a little odd that 4 DZ's would match the OP's description. That said, not all DZ's are the same. Mile Hi Skydiving in Colorado maintains a very robust coaching staff. Coaches are paid, they are scheduled just like TI's and AFFI's, etc.



you also have to pay for coach jumps till you get your A license yes?

Isn't that the case at 90% of DZs? Or am I just set in our Canadian ways?

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Kalrigan

******It does seems a little odd that 4 DZ's would match the OP's description. That said, not all DZ's are the same. Mile Hi Skydiving in Colorado maintains a very robust coaching staff. Coaches are paid, they are scheduled just like TI's and AFFI's, etc.



you also have to pay for coach jumps till you get your A license yes?
Isn't that the case at 90% of DZs? Or am I just set in our Canadian ways?

The OP never bitched about the cost. His beef was with the people and their inability to see him as important. Not just a few, but everyone at 4 different DZ's. [:/] I suspect his self worth is over priced? ;)
Birdshit & Fools Productions

"Son, only two things fall from the sky."

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MrGrumpie

The fact that this is his one and only post, and he hasn't responded to any follow up posts on the thread kind of sum it up.

Sounds like a troll to me...



Shhhhhh... I haven't finished my popcorn yet.
"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."
~mom

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Baksteen

***The fact that this is his one and only post, and he hasn't responded to any follow up posts on the thread kind of sum it up.

Sounds like a troll to me...



Shhhhhh... I haven't finished my popcorn yet.

just getting mine
who put out the troll food for this post?
If you hate the sport, why join the message board... just get your A and bail.
Its fine.
NObody will care.
Seriously.
I love the thought of flying my body, even more flying my canopy. If freefall isn't cool then do some H&Ps and learn the awesome that canopy flight is.
I dunno... I guess I can see some people not "getting it", but if you don't like it... joining to tell everyone... maybe I just don't understand people.
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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