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naples

How many tandems

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Curious as to how many tandems if any before AFF. I know everyone is different in approach. My first tandem was just to enjoy the ride with obviously little responsibility. My second tandem I told instructor goal is AFF one day. He was great went into much more detail about flight and let me pull shoot, which was great. The second time nerves were minimal, but still there obviously. I am just curious to your choice as to when AFF was right. I feel maybe one or two more I would feel ready to tackle it. Any personal experience would be great.

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did one tandem.. then 5 years later after school was finished and had good job i started AFF. I wanted to do it on my own.
I did fine under canopy but have seen students who probably benefited from having a few tandems first.

guy at the dz the other day said he plans on doing 10 before he starts AFF.. that seems excessive

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These days I always recommend a tandem first to potential skydiving students. Reason? To find out if the person is OK with getting out of an airplane at 13,000 feet. I offer every tandem student an altimeter and the opportunity to deploy the canopy, and to fly the canopy.

I've had more than a few people insist they want to go straight into the AFF FJC and then have them balk in the door on CAT A. I've never had that happen with a student with previous tandem experience.

Chuck

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SkymonkeyONE

I've had more than a few people insist they want to go straight into the AFF FJC and then have them balk in the door on CAT A. I've never had that happen with a student with previous tandem experience.

Chuck



Yep, that has been my experience too. Similarly, even if they do exit, first career jump AFF L-1's are FAR more likely to mentally "lock-up" (aka: lights on, but nobody home") in freefall.
The choices we make have consequences, for us & for others!

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My wife and I both did a tandem on a Sunday. The following Friday evening I was setting in the FJC at our local DZ. Saturday morning I was hanging off the strutt of a 182 with my instructor giving me the "go" signal (IAD).
The tandem just opened the door to the opportunity to make a dream happen. I knew when my wife and I put our feet (butt for me) back on the ground that I was going to learn how to do this!!!!!!!!!!!
My wife is a different story. She wants to do one tandem a year and thats it. I'm good with that. She incourages my pursuit of the sport (I think she likes me crawling out of bed every Saturday morning at 6:00 and leaving the house. The DZ is over 2 hours away).
Without the Tandem I probably wouldn't be jumping today.

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This is why I ask! Tandems are nerve racking to newbie with really no responsibility. When it's you on your first AFF it's all you. Second tandem for sure nerves were there as they will always be but felt good and clear headed. Checked for cord 3 times and overall felt totally different than first tandem. I realize first AFF will be very scary but goal is to limit it to a bit where I don't lock up and can clearly make safe jump and remember everything taught in training without having an oh shit moment! Enjoy your advice and am looking forward to it.

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GLIDEANGLE

***I've had more than a few people insist they want to go straight into the AFF FJC and then have them balk in the door on CAT A. I've never had that happen with a student with previous tandem experience.

Chuck



Yep, that has been my experience too. Similarly, even if they do exit, first career jump AFF L-1's are FAR more likely to mentally "lock-up" (aka: lights on, but nobody home") in freefall.

..............................................................................

Whatever Chuck said!

Seriously, I learned to freefall before tandems, AFF or wind tunnels were invented. Now I believe they are all valuable teaching tools. No single teaching tool is "best." Rather each teaching tool is "better" at one level.
For example, tandems are "best" at getting students over their fear of exiting an airplane. The second jump, they are half as scared and perform far better in freefall. Tandems are also great for demonstrating the landing pattern.

Back to the original question: the first tandem gets students past that huge psychological step.
The second tandem gives them a chance to learn freefall turns, read an altimeter, open the parachute and steer the parachute in for landing.
Third tandem might include an unstable exit, more freefall turns and burning the other skills into long-term memory.
The amount that tandems can teach diminishes rapidly after the third or fourth tandem.

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great post. Describes my first two jumps to the T. First was just overcoming the entire sensation. Second felt much much better and was excited much more and was lucky enough too have great instructor to take more time with me explaining more of the jump. I think my three working tandems which will be then 5 tandems will meet the threshold of tandem effectiveness. Glad I found this forum such great input!

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naples

great post. Describes my first two jumps to the T. First was just overcoming the entire sensation. Second felt much much better and was excited much more and was lucky enough too have great instructor to take more time with me explaining more of the jump. I think my three working tandems which will be then 5 tandems will meet the threshold of tandem effectiveness. Glad I found this forum such great input!



Do AFF on your next jump. 2 tandems is one more than you need.

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Plan on doing AFF at skydive southwest Florida. I say 5 total because not sure if previous 2 count as part of working tandems, pretty sure they do not. So my understanding part of program will be 3 working tandems as start of AFF and not include 2 previous. Honestly would be fine with me though.

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Not to get up in anybody's business but...as a future fun jumper (yay!), unless there is a serious difference in drive times I'd suggest heading to Clewiston instead. Among other things there will be a greater number of people to jump with (both instructional and licensed jumpers) and the STP program is pretty top notch.

Just a suggestion.

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Imho. If you are sure aff Is what you are working towards. The money spent on any further tandem beyond the 2 you have. Would be better spent on tunnel time. It will make aff much easier.
i have on occasion been accused of pulling low . My response. Naw I wasn't low I'm just such a big guy I look closer than I really am .


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naples

Curious as to how many tandems if any before AFF. I know everyone is different in approach. My first tandem was just to enjoy the ride with obviously little responsibility. My second tandem I told instructor goal is AFF one day. He was great went into much more detail about flight and let me pull shoot, which was great. The second time nerves were minimal, but still there obviously. I am just curious to your choice as to when AFF was right. I feel maybe one or two more I would feel ready to tackle it. Any personal experience would be great.



I did one tandem first but I never intended to do AFF, that happened because my tandem jump left me with a bit of 'meh', take it or leave it feeling. Everyone told me I should try it by myself before deciding skydiving wasn't all that exciting, lol.
My ex, who had taken a long break from skydiving for various reasons, did his first tandem at the same time I did mine (he also did AFF many years ago).

I would say get some tunnel time rather than extra tandems - I did 10 mins basic stability and simple turns and getting used to the noise (turned out to be a big part of my door monster!) and I never had an unstable exit until I had to deliberately go unstable to pass a level.
A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr

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I did 19 tandems before AFF. That was way too many. I reckon about 3 is right. By then you are used to getting out a perfectly good plane and free fall holds no surprises. I wish the place I went too insisted I do AFF after 3 tandems rather than take my money... but business is business I suppose... and they did nothing wrong.

I went to another melbourne DZ the boss (Bridgewater)... Ralph, said he never lets customers do more than 2 tandems. I kinda wish I went to Ralph in the first place.... things may have turned out different. too late now.
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I tend to be a bit different. enjoyed my time in the sport or is it an industry these days ??

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I myself did 0 Tandems. My first indroduction of any kind whatsoever was AFF level 1.

I knew I would not have a problem leaving the aircraft when the time came. I'm just that kind of person.
Now, with that being said, not everyone is "that type of person" I would think each individual will have a basic idea of what they can and can't do without hesitation. No one knows you better than you. Trust your gut, don't plan around your wallet. Plan around safety and knowledge.

My teeny tiny 2 cents.
Good Luck.

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I haven't done any Tandems as well. I think if you have done many activities involving adrenaline and heights, like skiing, pool diving, bungee jumping, even roller coasters etc... and you really feel like skydiving there is a small chance that you'll bail at the door.

I think doing a tandem and tunnel time before your first jump do increase your chances of succeeding on CATA, will keep you safer, and might even save you money if it avoids that you fail a level. Although, it might sound silly, but I really wanted the challenge to go, first time, and succeed.

I spent 3-4 years, while in college and poor viewing skydiving videos on youtube from time to time, including AFF and Tandems, watching students like me go out of planes over and over made things easier as well. I don't know why but the falling on the tandem never appealed to me, I've always dreamed about flying and being strapped to someone's didn't match my interest. Even if I decided not to pursue the skydiving career after the first jump I still wanted to do it alone.

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I did 2 tandems and then AFF the next season. Just got my A in September. Do some tunnel time and at most 1 more tandem. You'll need the extra money for alti, helmet, suit. .. Plus, you have to take off the training wheels at some point, why delay.
"The lizards were a race of people practically extinct from doing things smart people don't do."

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My first jump was IAD (basically the new way to do static line). I like many others did not wish to be strapped to someone else. I thought it would be the only jump I ever did and figured I might as well do it under my own control. Of course that led to many more jumps. Looking back on it, I think one tandem might be good for most people to get used to the sensation of jumping out of the plane, but after that I would suggest AFF (or IAD) progression if you think you want to get licensed.

I would also second whoever it was that recommended Clewiston as a DZ. It is a top notch program from what I've seen, and the aircraft and equipment are great down there.

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I did two Tandems before deciding on AFF. I was hit so hard with sensory overload on the initial tandem my brain was basically non functional for about 90% of freefall, and I don't remember most of freefall, had a breathing issue I needed to get sorted out. Loved the canopy flight with a passion. Wanted to learn to fly.

The DZ owner explained to me how the sensory overload I had would pass and said one more tandem was all I would need to know if I'd function enough to enrol as a student in AFF.
The owner set me up on a jump with the AFFI to help me understand a bit of what I could expect on AFF L1 and sort out my breathing. I was introduced to an alti, circle of awareness, a practice pull, was assisted to deploy and enjoyed a fair bit of canopy flight time. Loved it. Got my funds together and enrolled. Best decision ever.

If I had not had heavy sensory overload on jump 1, I think I might have just enrolled straight into AFF and skipped the second tandem entirely. The second tandem in my case was very useful but not everyone might need it. When I did AFF1 a few weeks later it was with a clear head, right out the door. But more tandems would not have made me function any better than the second tandem allowed me to, or be any more ready for AFF ground training or L1 jump or make it easier mentally. It is different in what you do and what you think whilst you do it, to doing a tandem jump.
What prepared me for it was AFF ground training.
I'd say if you are aware what's going on up there and you want to learn, even if you are nervous, just have at it!
Ask some questions of the DZ AFFI if you need to, but then just start and enjoy it if you want to skydive. More $ spent on tandems is less $ you have for gear, coaching, jumps and ongoing education.

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naples

Plan on doing AFF at skydive southwest Florida. I say 5 total because not sure if previous 2 count as part of working tandems, pretty sure they do not. So my understanding part of program will be 3 working tandems as start of AFF and not include 2 previous. Honestly would be fine with me though.



Talk to your DZ, it sounds like they have a TDM ~~> AFF progression which likely has specific performance goals. In all honesty, even if the first tandem is designated as "working", not a lot of work actually gets done on them outside of settling some nerves and developing a much greater understanding of the process. It's possible that two more tandems could be sufficient to knock out the performance objectives for their transition to AFF, but the instructor will be key to that decision.

For a more traditional AFF system, I agree with what Chuck said...while a tandem isn't specifically required, it definitely improves performance on your first AFF jump.

Blues,
Dave
"I AM A PROFESSIONAL EXTREME ATHLETE!"
(drink Mountain Dew)

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Major props to you and those who jumped pre-tandem days or chose no tandem. I'm not sure if I could do that.

I really appreciate opinions from you guys. This is why I love this forum. Nice being able to talk to those who have been there done that. I do feel I would benefit from one more jump with maybe being able to read altimeter and pull shoot on own accord if even allowed and more canopy flying? However, I agree the more thought I put into this anymore than one more is probably not beneficial at all. Need to be able to put on big boy pants sometime. Thanks again for input!

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