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Spicy Mozarella

Bad Tandem Experience - Need Advice

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Had my first tandem today. I got very nauseous and dizzy. I tried very hard not to pass out. I don't get motion sick in a car or in a boat either. But this was really uncomfortable and scary. I got when sick doing turns also. Luckily I didn't throw up, thanks to my instructor who took great care of me.

Before doing the tandem I was thinking of maybe going for a license but now I think this sport is not for me. My instructor said I may have felt that way because I didn't have anything to eat in the last three hours but I had a whole pizza in the morning (about 5-6 hours before the jump). They told me to try again after eating and getting my blood sugar up.

Anyway just wanted to share my experience and see if anyone has gone through a similar experience / have any tips.

I also now have a free jump because I bought a special package lol. But I don't think I'm doing that jump anytime soon.

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(edited)
16 hours ago, Spicy Mozarella said:

Had my first tandem today. I got very nauseous and dizzy. I tried very hard not to pass out. I don't get motion sick in a car or in a boat either. But this was really uncomfortable and scary. I got when sick doing turns also. Luckily I didn't throw up, thanks to my instructor who took great care of me.

Before doing the tandem I was thinking of maybe going for a license but now I think this sport is not for me. My instructor said I may have felt that way because I didn't have anything to eat in the last three hours but I had a whole pizza in the morning (about 5-6 hours before the jump). They told me to try again after eating and getting my blood sugar up.

Anyway just wanted to share my experience and see if anyone has gone through a similar experience / have any tips.

I also now have a free jump because I bought a special package lol. But I don't think I'm doing that jump anytime soon.

Tandems can be uncomfortable and lead to nauseousness or faintness in certain circumstances.

It could have been the way the instructor adjusted the harness. Some body types are less forgiving of a misadjusted harness, weight and body composition are the main reasons, and if you don't fit the harness a certain wait it impacts blood flow to the lower legs and makes the student feel lousy.

It could have just been adrenaline, the initial jumps are overwhelming for some people, lots of sensory overload.

It could be passenger experience of doing a tandem. Think of people that get motion sick sitting in the back of a car, but can be the driver with no issues.

Hard to put a handle on it without having been your actual instructor.

All that being said I have taken several students over my years of doing tandem jumps who were experiencing bad motion sickness who went on to be solo jumps with no problems. Solo jumps are much less likely to result in the same feelings.

I would be very surprised if this continue on to your solo jumps, so give it another shot if the only thing that is holding you back is the motion sickness.

Edited by DougH
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6 hours ago, DougH said:

It could have been the way the instructor adjusted the harness. Some body types are less forgiving of a misadjusted harness, weight and body composition are the main reasons, and if you don't fit the harness a certain wait it impacts blood flow to the lower legs and makes the student feel lousy.

Yeah, my instructor also talked about the leg strap being too tight. In fact when I touch my inner thighs now it hurts. I'm planning to give it one more shot in a month or two and see how it goes then. I also bought dramamine non-drowsy, will make sure to take that before. I mean the freefall wasn't very bad, I even managed to open the parachute and took control of the handles for a few seconds. Then we made a sharp right turn and that's when it got really bad. After I got nauseous my instructor told me to look at the horizon, so I didn't look down anymore.

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I experienced nausea and many of the other symptoms you are describing on my first tandem jump and it wasn't a very positive experience.  I had no desire to jump again anytime soon afterwords.  Cut to 3 years later and a group of friends decided to go through AFF and I tagged along and completed the course.  Through all of my AFF jumps and 800+ subsequent jumps I have never experienced those nausea/dizziness issues again.  For me it was strictly related to the tandem experience: harness sizing, awkward swinging below the instructor, spiraling turns, whatever.   My humble advice would be to bypass the second tandem jump and go straight into the AFF level one course and see how it goes.  Then you'll really know if it was a tandem harness issue and if you decide to continue to get licensed you'll already be past step one.  Saves on the cost of the extra tandem jump as well.

Just my 2 cents.

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Something to think about, this is the first time your body has experienced freefall. It could be multiple factors that made you nauseous. Some of the combination factors could be blood sugar, nerves, your nervous system being overloaded, adrenaline rush, and emotions. So, give yourself some time to process all of that and then try it again.

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