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Prolly_Nervous

Aff help and advice!!

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Hello everyone , long story short I decided to take the aff class . I've never skydived before this . No tandems , SL , ect . I made my level 1 jump the other day and it went nothing like it was supposed to . I wasn't too nervous on the ride up and everything seemed fine . After my check in and check out it all changed . I don't remember leaving the plane . I remember being in freefall about 2 seconds later with my legs all bent up towards my rig , my arms not in correct position . I believe some would call it sensory overload being my first time doing it in my life . Taking in all the sights and sounds and doing something the human body tells you not to do. So basically I blacked out and didn't comprehend hand signals , didn't do my practice touches until 8 thousand feet . And didnt pull my own hackey . I locked onto my altimeter at 6,000 feet as instructed . Once I hit 5500 my brain didn't comprehend that I was supposed to wave off and pull at 5500. Once my canopy opened and everything was good i started to calm down . I can't explain how it made me feel during that jump . I was expecting my instructors to be sort of understanding being it was my first time ever jumping out of an airplane . But they were more upset with me than trying to help me relax during and after my jump . I'm going to make my next jump attempt tomorrow afternoon and I'm looking for some tips and pointers to help me relax and understand why I freaked out during the whole jump . I'm very scared and nervous about jumping and repeating the same thing all over again . I'm not a quitter so I refuse to stop after just one jump . Don't know what to do at this point 😁

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First, it's "advice" ;)

Now, onto your question- I just got my A license. I'm 30 jumps in. I failed my Cat A and I had previously done 2 tandems a few years earlier so I somewhat knew what to expect. People react different to being in freefall. Give it a few jumps to get used to it. Freefall becomes no big deal after you do it a handful of times and each dive will feel longer. As for the instructors, you have horrible instructors if they make you feel that way. I would suggest finding a new place if it's an option for you. They should be understanding and willing to spend some time with you to correct any problems.
*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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Lol my phone decided advise was better than Advice apparently haha .
But yes i understand that of course . Only reason I haven't quit . I know it will get easier the more you do it . And every instructor at my DZ is awesome . Besides the two that I just so happened to have the pleasure of jumping with for my first time . I'm hoping I get a different set tomorrow afternoon ( I'll be sure of it before I jump ) . Thank you for the advice . I've wanted to get into the sport for a while now and want to stick with it as much as I possibly can . Thanks !

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Since I'm trying to put off working for a few minutes, I'll have a go:

What to do?
Duh, go jump again. You'll get better.

Lots of threads out there by nervous students looking for help.

You jumped, you lived, the instructors were there to help out with body position and your pull. That's their job, that's why they are there.

Sure, they're going to be a little disappointed when someone couldn't follow all the stuff they taught and the jump kinda sucked. Yet they should also be supportive. You're a student, you're expected to screw up, and you'll get better. Remember that plenty of others have gone through the same process. Everyone has a first jump. Everyone has jumps that didn't meet all the hoped for goals.

Some places even like having an AFF student do another style of jump for their first jump, despite the cost, in order to make that first AFF jump a little less overwhelming.

Like you said, don't quit. That's part of skydiving, overcoming your fear. Accept that. Next time it'll be less overwhelming. There are relaxation techniques out there, tips to get more relaxed on the ride up. Some students have issues with 'the door monster' -- the plane ride is OK and freefall is OK but the transition from one to the other is the scariest part. Everyone has issues with something, whether body position awareness, freefall control, recall of planned actions, etc.


(And someone else can chip in with the URL for the skydiving duck cartoon, please.)

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I understand completely . It's like anything else , you just have to keep doing it and it will get easier. I will make a follow up post after my jump tomorrow and let you all know how it went . Relaxation is definitely key . The transition from leaving the plane and getting into freefall was mostly a blank for me . I regret doing a tandem or two before doing the aff . But hey we all regret something when it comes to skydiving right ?

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Hopefully you and your instructors will hit it off with each other better for your next jump. That said, being a new skydiving student is stressful enough without personalities adding to it. And it works both ways - sometimes instructors aren't as patient as they might be, but sometimes certain students can have particularly "needy" personalities, too. Each can be tough for the other person to deal with. None of us were there at your DZ to see it and judge for ourselves.

Every person has his own personality, and every DZ has its own culture and vibe. Sometimes new students quit the sport because of personality or culture issues, when maybe all they needed was a "change of scenery" to stick with it. If you have the same trouble clicking with your instructors the next couple of jumps - whether it's them, or it's you - maybe you might consider switching either to different instructors or to a different DZ.

======

P.S. - huge sensory overload, especially on one's first jump, is very normal. My first jump was a static line jump. I remember the jumpmaster saying "Go!", then I remember a fully-inflated canopy over my head. The 5 seconds in between are a complete blank. Very normal.

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One thing that I've been taught (adding to all of the good advice others have already contributed with) is to go through the jump from the ground back to the ground again to try and find what specifically scares you. For some it's the door, others might fret the pull or the landing. Whatever you find, ask an instructor to practice that together with you until you are so certain you know how and what to do that you don't really need to be nervous about it anymore.

For me personally, jumping with the right instructors also made a tremendous difference. Some just seem to be better at making you feel relaxed. Depending on how the student jumping is organized at your DZ, maybe you could talk to one of the instructors that you feel comfortable with, explaining what happened on your AFF 1, and try and set it up so that you make the next attempt together?

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I've met some great people and friends at my DZ the past 2 weeks I've been there on a regular basis . I think the biggest thing for me was going with instructors I didn't know at all until 10 minutes prior . They are both a lot older ( 50s) . And I'm 20 , covered in tattoos . So idk if they just think I'm some punk that's not serious about jumping or what it may be . Hopefully my second jump will go better . And for sensory overload . Same thing , I don't remember leaving the plane , I remember about 2/3 seconds into freefall and trying to comprehend everything that was going on . The noise and trying to take deep breaths and basically choking on air was putting me into a panic .

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Does your DZ offer tandem jumps? If so, there's no shame in making a tandem jump now, so you'll have nothing to do on the jump but float there and let your brain acclimate to freefall, and then the TI even takes care of flying and landing the canopy. Other students have done that during AFF for exactly the same reason; you can, too. Give it a thought.

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Prolly_Nervous

Others have recommended I do a tandem as well . I think I'll do one tomorrow before my next jump with my instructors . Get use to the freefall feeling, sights and the sounds will make it easier for my AFF for sure



Go for it, man. Remember, I'm some guy on the Internet, so it must be true! ;)

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Andy9o8


P.S. - huge sensory overload, especially on one's first jump, is very normal. My first jump was a static line jump. I remember the jumpmaster saying "Go!", then I remember a fully-inflated canopy over my head. The 5 seconds in between are a complete blank. Very normal.



You did better than me. I remember getting in the plane and that's about it! Absolutely no memory of the first jump at all. :|

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it took me a few jumps before i became relaxed enough to fully soak in everything that was occuring. Sensory overload is a very good description in my opinion. I hope they are not too hard on you but just look at their criticism as a sign that they want you to do better. Take every jump you do and roll through it in your head and with your instructor during the week and then make the adjustments you need that weekend.

It does get better. Always remember that no matter what you think you know there is always someone that has been there done that. This is a pretty good place for advice but making friends with instructors and other DZ regulars really opens up your chances for good advice.

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yoink

***
P.S. - huge sensory overload, especially on one's first jump, is very normal. My first jump was a static line jump. I remember the jumpmaster saying "Go!", then I remember a fully-inflated canopy over my head. The 5 seconds in between are a complete blank. Very normal.



You did better than me. I remember getting in the plane and that's about it! Absolutely no memory of the first jump at all. :|

My first 3 jumps ever were SL, all on the same day. I remember being in the plane for all 3 jumps, then suddenly I was under an open canopy. They could've dumped me out of the plane headdown for all I can remember :S:D

My 4th jump of that day happened to be a tandem jump-in on an island. Again, exit passed me by but I woke up in freefall to the sight of a damn small island and lots of sea, and after that, I still wasn't a great student but at least I remembered when exiting off-heading :):ph34r:

ciel bleu,
Saskia

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Prolly_Nervous

I think the biggest thing for me was going with instructors I didn't know at all until 10 minutes prior . They are both a lot older ( 50s) . And I'm 20 , covered in tattoos .



So, you might say you got a couple very "experienced" instructors who, it would seem, did a nice job of saving your life when you were not responding? You make inference to their age as though they're not capable of relating to you and your tats. When, in fact, they spent the entire skydive getting you safely to the ground.

My first recommendation is, spend some time around the campfire with these "relics" :S and enjoy (while learning) the stories they may be willing to share. They were completely in control of the skydive even when you were not. Some day, many thousand skydives from now, you'll be doing the same for some young punk who doesn't appreciate your level of skill and experience.

Second, relax and make a few more jumps. Your instructors will help you along and each jump you'll learn (and remember) more. Welcome to the sport!! B|
Birdshit & Fools Productions

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

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Others have recommended I do a tandem as well . I think I'll do one tomorrow before my next jump with my instructors . Get use to the freefall feeling, sights and the sounds will make it easier for my AFF for sure


If you're anywhere near a wind tunnel, you could also consider doing 15 minutes in there. Cost should be comparable to a tandem, and you'll have 15 minutes as opposed to 1 to get used to the sensation of floating. It'll still be different than the sky, but you'll have the ability to work on your body position and get used to the feeling without the fear of imminent death.

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I definitely mentioned their age in no form of disrespect intended believe me . From the start they just weren't very friendly with me . I'm very easy to get along with . I work for Ford motor company and talk to people all day everyday so I know it's not me lol . But I understand what you are saying . Years from now I will look back and thank them for what they did and will continue to do for me . I don't mentally think about it like that right now for obvious reasons . Looking forward to my jump tomorrow and many more to come ! :D

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I know you have other issues but....

I do better with earplugs. My hearing is sensitive and easily damaged. The noise of most student type helmets is so loud it almost is painful and very difficult for me to concentrate. I noticed this on my first jump, I need earplugs.

I wear earplugs for many things outside of skydiving and I am accustom to listening with my ears plugged. But be aware if you jump with earplugs to be sure you can easily remove them if they impact your ability to hear a radio used for canopy instructions. I had a chest mount radio and could hear just fine with my ears plugged, but that might not be the case for everyone or all radio situations.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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dthames

I know you have other issues but....

I do better with earplugs.



Great suggestion, I wear and recommend earplugs as well. However, many DZ's do not allow students to wear them. It seems they need to hear the instructors in the plane.....B| so, check with your instructors first.
Birdshit & Fools Productions

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

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Great job knocking the 2 guys who saved your life.

My advice is to do a tandem before you try AFF again (remember to arch and follow instructions) and bring those 2 AFF instructors a case of decent beer along with an apology and a thank you.

You did endanger their lives and they did manage to save yours. Seems kind of shitty to trash them now.

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P.S. - huge sensory overload, especially on one's first jump, is very normal. My first jump was a static line jump. I remember the jumpmaster saying "Go!", then I remember a fully-inflated canopy over my head. The 5 seconds in between are a complete blank. Very normal.



The exact same thing happened to me in 1978. Those are 5 seconds I will never remember.

Quote

Great job knocking the 2 guys who saved your life.



I don't know that many first time jumpers or any tandem students understand the risk and complexity involved in making sure their carnival ride goes smoothly. AFF-I and TI's are unappreciated. Get used to it and leave the newbies alone. If they stay in the sport long enough, they will learn to appreciate the skill and effort.

Having said that, I fully understand not sugar coating debriefings. The people who are making you feel bad for doing something wrong are trying to save your life.
For the same reason I jump off a perfectly good diving board.

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