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naples

How many tandems

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like my comrade Chuck eluded to and FlyBabeAU confirmed, FEAR of the unknown and SENSORY OVERLOAD are the enemy. having worked at Skydive Chicago, i am very familiar with tandem progression. my advise would be to have the AFF candidate do a "working" tandem on their first jump. one of two things are going to happen, either they perform and move on to AFF, or they lock up and you have a "do over" until the senses kick in.

there is no point in 5 hours of instruction and practice, just to tumble out the door on a shitty count, wrestle with them for 40 seconds, then dump them out and get to talk at length about their failure.

plus they will get advise under canopy at least once, on how not to hit my car in the parking lot, etc.

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FWIW, the standard in Canada with the CSPA has been to have one jump of some sort before entering the PFF program (our AFF), whether S/L, IAD, or tandem.

Nevertheless, DZ's can get waivers if they want to offer PFF from jump 1. Nowadays specific tunnel training is also accepted as a prerequisite for PFF.

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I did one tandem then AFF soon after. I don't think another tandem would have improved anything for me, and in fact the one worked against me on my landing. Tandems concentrate on feet up, but you want your feet underneath you when landing your own parachute.
Other than that it was a benefit in the other areas mentioned, and did help my progression. I recommend people do at least one, if anyone asks me.
Tandems and wind tunnels are great introductions to skydiving, and valuable learning tools, just remember that that aren't the whole thing, like the first jump is. Good luck and have fun.
But what do I know?

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I finished AFF last month and this was the path that i went.

2 tandems, pulling on the 2nd one.
10min tunnel time
AFF.

AFF took a total of 8 jumps for me (repeating Cat-A and Cat-C1) and found that the tunnel time really helped overall for being stable in freefall. 5 minutes is all it took to get the arch down and another 5 was spent working on holding a heading/turns.

Also - most of my exits were terrible, often we ended up on our backs, but remembering to relax and that i had seconds to flip/complete the rest of the jump, made recovering really easy.

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i've worked with more than one instructor who yells at his passengers to "get your legs up!" before landing, but this is a terrible practice as i've witnessed many passengers get their "tailbone" messed up.

they simply need to keep their feet out in front of them for light wind landings, and underneath them, slightly bent, to use as shock absorbers, for straight down/high wind landings.

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gregpso

I did 19 tandems before AFF. That was way too many. 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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5 years later, still telling lies.

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Did 3 tandems, including 2 back to back with less than a minute on the ground before getting on the next load.......it was....interesting to say the least :P

Then AFF, where I was more comfortable being responsible for myself then letting someone else be responsible for me....
Better be on the ground wishing you were up there than being up there wishing you were on the ground.

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I did one tandem before AFF. I did not like the lack of control to be honest. The fear I got during AFF was expected. Someone had recommended doing another tandem to see if I could get over my jitters and honestly I just felt like... that would be more terrifying.

Don't get me wrong, its terrifying for me either way (and fascinatingly addictive and enjoyable on an equal level) but the thought of trusting my fate to someone else... just... gives me the heebies.

No offence, TI's, its just my desire to be in control of my own destiny (admittedly my logical brain accepts they are awesome people who are highly skilled in what they do).

I have heard the idea of "working tandem" and it totally makes sense to me.

as an aside, 2 of my friends went through AFF without a tandem. One got so overloaded he froze and his instructor deployed him; the other couldn't find his PC and brought his knee up causing a crazy barrel roll which his instructor had to dump him. My first jump went textbook. Your mileage may vary.
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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gregpso


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.


I've seen that attitude before, but don't agree with it. I've had tandem passengers make 6-7 tandems over the years, just for fun, with no desire to be a skydiver. Fine and dandy. :)
Our DZ doesn't require a tandem prior to AFF I. I'm okay with that. Lots of good ground training helps most of our students pass their level I first time. :)

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The vast majority of students at my DZ have never done a tandem before doing their first solo skydive, AFF students as well as static line.
As I see it, there's no reason to do a tandem before doing solos unless the student wants to.
When someone asks me if a tandem is required I tell them no and that it's a waste of money if the plan is do solo jumps anyway.

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I've seen that attitude before, but don't agree with it. I've had tandem passengers make 6-7 tandems over the years, just for fun, with no desire to be a skydiver. Fine and dandy. :)
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Our DZ doesn't require a tandem prior to AFF I. I'm okay with that. Lots of good ground training helps most of our students pass their level I first time. :)





Good points.....
There ARE folks, who are often Key members of the DZ community, or spouses of staff and fun jumpers. who simply " Like to make a tandem skydive, every so often..." I always enjoy seeing their Huge smiles... whenever they DO ....

as for AFF, You are correct John, to point out the value of a Quality Instructor....who Must have the patience AND command of the curriculum... Quite a tough and challenging thing... But there are Many Pros out there, who ARE dedicated to the AFF program :)
NOT ME.....:o:S;) however.....My days of JumpMastering Static Lines and teaching the SL 1st jump course are waaay in the past... Now I simply enjoy watching all those AFFIs out there... and TMs out there... "doing their thing "
To answer the OPs original question....In my case,,, I HAVE made a tandem... ONE....after 3 and a half decades in the sport and following shoulder surgery, I was on " the injured reserve list " and moping around the DZ when My Friend Joey came along and said, " Hey wanna have me take you on a tandem " ??? :oB|.. "SURE " I replied,,,, and what followed was a totally memorable and FUN Skydive.....!!!!!
he even gave me a Tandem Skydive Certificate,,, and most everyone on the DZ who "witnessed " it.. signed that cert.B| PS Stand Up In the Pea gravel !!!!;)

:)

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