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Nick117

16 yo looking to get into skydiving

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hi,

i'm Nick, I'm 16 and this summer, i would like to take an AFF course. I have never done any skydiving in my life. I have skydived indoors twice. I was wondering wether or not it is a good idea to start this early (also because I dont know wether or not I will dare to jump)? And if I fall in love with it, how can I make a living out of it and maybe progress into basejumping? personal stories are always welcome of course :)
thanks
(sorry for any mistakes in regard to my language, I'm from belgium)

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Whether its a good idea or bad depends on who you ask. Personally I'd say if you can afford it and find a place that will allow you to do it (without a fake ID) go for it. And in case you need a fake ID just wait a while and some spammer will make a thread offering one.
Your rights end where my feelings begin.

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There's nothing wrong with starting young Some of the best around started very young. It usually involves their dad owning the DZ or something similar.
Here in the US, you have to be 18, but younger is allowed elsewhere in the world.

That's the good, now the bad -

Are you rich?
Are your parents rich?

If not, then you might have a bit of difficulty.

A good place to start is $10000 (that's ten thousand) dollars US to get your "A" license and all the gear you need.

That's a "ballpark" figure. Some spend less, others spend more. But it's a good number for planning purposes.
That's also for jumping in the US. Other places (like Europe) can be more expensive to jump.

Progressing to instructor or camera jumper will take more than an "A" license. More jumps, more training, more money.

Getting sponsored is an option, but you need a lot of experience to get noticed by the companies that offer sponsorships.

Making a living is doable, but it is often a "labor of love" where you make a pittance, live in a tent on the DZ and eat a lot of Ramen Noodles.

Base is a separate discipline, you don't need to be a pro to do it. You do need a decent amount of experience and more training and gear (more money again).

I don't mean to take the wind out of your sails, but it's not a cheap sport to get into or stay in.

Good luck.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Nick117

In Belgium, you can start at 16 :)



Double check your numbers. The 1000 euro course gets you to solo studentstatus, not fully licensed. The 20 euro jumps are for licensed jumpers with their own gear.

I don't know what the license requirements are in Belgium, but here in the US, it's 25 jumps minimum for the first license. You also have to demonstrate certain skills, which is why some people take more than the minimum.

The gear isn't cheap either.

Your best bet is to go out to the DZ and see what they say.
And you can take the AFF course and keep going as your money permits.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Hey Nick,

I don't know where you're located in Belgium, but I jump in Moorsele every weekend! If you want to, send me a pm, and I can introduce you to some instructors who can shed some light on the complete picture, in a way more correct/professional way than I (or anyone else on the internet, don't believe everything you read!) can. Bring your parents along so they can feel at ease to!

Don't even worry about BASE/making a living, just start at the beginning. In a couple of years you can see where it takes you, but there's no use learning to run when you can't walk yet.

Just a small note, AFF courses fill up really fast, so you might have to wait a while to get in. But waiting a little bit makes it even more exciting!

Good luck with your adventure!

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wait til you're older

ETA: I should probably put a reason with that...I got started young, loved it for a while, but in my opinion it's not normal for a 16 year old to skydive...I started when I was 18 and spent almost every weekend at the DZ trying to fit in with 30-40 somethings when I should have been back in the dorms doing stupid shit with people my own age, getting drunk, etc...

I love skydiving, but there's a right time and right place...grow up a bit, make your own money, and when you don't have to ask your mom for a ride to the DZ, then may be a good time.

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$10,000 is a bit steep. About $2500 to get your A... so if you're spending $8000 on only gear with only your A under your belt there's something wrong :P
Carpe Diem, Even if it kills me -- "Dead Poet's Society"

"Are you getting into trouble over there?" --- "Nothing that I'm going to admit to!"
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Starting at 16 could cause a major distraction to your education which will possibly be a major determining factor on how much money u can make so as to skydive throughout your future life.

Not that u can't make good money w/o a good education but it helps most average people.

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wan2doit

Starting at 16 could cause a major distraction to your education which will possibly be a major determining factor on how much money u can make so as to skydive throughout your future life.

Not that u can't make good money w/o a good education but it helps most average people.



And starting at 26 could be a major distraction to your work, causing you to get fired. Starting at 36 could be a major distraction to your marriage causing you to get divorced. Starting at age 46 could be a major distraction to you family causing your kids to hate you because you are spending their college tuition money. Starting at at 56 could be a major distraction to your retirement plans making it so you have to work longer. Starting at at 66 could be a major distraction to your retirement making it so you miss too many shuffleboard games....

Go jump and decide if the thrill of jumping is worth disrupting your life as you know it.

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Jump more, post less!

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Nick117

hi,

i'm Nick, I'm 16 and this summer, i would like to take an AFF course. I have never done any skydiving in my life. I have skydived indoors twice. I was wondering wether or not it is a good idea to start this early (also because I dont know wether or not I will dare to jump)? And if I fall in love with it, how can I make a living out of it and maybe progress into basejumping? personal stories are always welcome of course :)
thanks
(sorry for any mistakes in regard to my language, I'm from belgium)



My son and daughter both started at 16. Your age is not as important as your maturity level. Take things seriously and understand that feeling bulletproof doesn't make you bulletproof.

And never forget that this sport is deadly. You can die on any jump, even when you do everything right.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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StoppieJoe

$10,000 is a bit steep. About $2500 to get your A... so if you're spending $8000 on only gear with only your A under your belt there's something wrong :P



$2500 is minimum, no repeat jumps, no extra coaching.
Almost nobody pulls that off.
The extra jumps add up fast.

And "gear" includes helmet, jumpsuit, altimeter, everything.

It can be done for less.
Careful shopping by someone who is an "easy" fit will help.

But it's a good ballpark number.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Whatever you want to do, man. It's an expensive hobby -- you'll probably pay at least as much for reasonable second-hand gear as you will for training, if you decide you want to continue with the sport after a few jumps.

You probably can't make a living skydiving without a lot more (expensive) experience and training. You could probably do reasonably well as a packer if you want to just be at the DZ all day.

Personally I'd be tempted to do a couple of jumps to see if it's worth pursuing. If you don't like the whole process, you could always just keep flying in the tunnel. Skydiving's more waiting than anything else, and that doesn't appeal to a couple of my friends who are having a lot of fun in the tunnel right now.
I'm trying to teach myself how to set things on fire with my mind. Hey... is it hot in here?

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JohnnyMarko

wait til you're older

ETA: I should probably put a reason with that...I got started young, loved it for a while, but in my opinion it's not normal for a 16 year old to skydive...I started when I was 18 and spent almost every weekend at the DZ trying to fit in with 30-40 somethings when I should have been back in the dorms doing stupid shit with people my own age, getting drunk, etc...

I love skydiving, but there's a right time and right place...grow up a bit, make your own money, and when you don't have to ask your mom for a ride to the DZ, then may be a good time.



I completely disagree. Both of my kids spent nearly every weekend of their lives on the DZ from the ages of 5 and 3 and were far better off for it. Being around adults routinely gave them a perspective on life most kids never get. They were more responsible and mature than any of their peers by a big margin. They also learned a lot about individual responsibility and the consequences that go along with reckless behavior.

They both began jumping at 16 and now at 32 and 30 neither has a single regret. Our daughter did the college thing and excelled. Our son dug into jumping and went big. He's off to the world meet with Airspeed in August.

Normal is relative. My kids would tell you they wouldn't trade their experiences for anything.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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Nick117

In Belgium, you can start at 16 :)

seriously, if you want to do it and have 5000€ to spend on it, go ahead.
If you just have the first 1000, wait. I have seen too many people having to quit due to lack of funds, and see the deception in their eyes.

Ideal would be to have enough for :
-initial formation
-good 2nd hand rig
-100 jumps
-basic gear (altimeter, helmet, goggles)
-a couple of crates of beer

This is the budget for the 1st year.
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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Yo Nick.

36years old now, started on my 16th birthday, no regrets. In and out of the sport, mainly due to.....FUNDS.

I could sustain about 2 jumps a weekend packing though, but, meant I had to pack the whole weekend. Remember, this included spending money and a couple of beers, since I had no other form of income.
You have the right to your opinion, and I have the right to tell you how Fu***** stupid it is.
Davelepka - "This isn't an x-box, or a Chevy truck forum"
Whatever you do, don't listen to ChrisD.

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I don't know where you're located in Belgium, but I jump in Moorsele every weekend! If you want to, send me a pm, and I can introduce you to some instructors who can shed some light on the complete picture, in a way more correct/professional way than I (or anyone else on the internet, don't believe everything you read!) can.



1. He is right. Go to a few dropzones, ask for info. See where you like the athmosphere most. If you live in Antwerpen or Vlaams-Brabant, then Schaffen will not disappoint you.

2. Your age is fine.

3. Unless you have rich parents or a great student job, money will be a problem. Skydiving is expensive. In Belgium it's actually quite cheap because PCV is a non-profit organisation (ongeveer heh):
Aff: 1100
Post Aff course: 350
Jumps with gear rental: 25
Jumps without gear rental: 16
Gear: 2500 - 5000
Yearly costs: 400

I think for a student with limited funds the money will become an issue as soon as you get your AFF. You will have to rent gear for about 30 - 50 jumps, so if you take about 2 jumps a weekend, that will set you back 200 a month. That's plenty of money even if you have a steady income. Then you will be faced with the costs of buying gear, maintaining it, repacks, etc.

My honest suggestion? Save up as much money as you can, and then take your aff March 2015. If you have a few thousand euro on the bank, you will be able to handle the costs and ultimately you will enjoy it a lot more. Lack of funds can be a real killjoy because it will get in the way of progress. It's rather late in the year anyway. Aff will be fully booked for weeks and by the time you get current it will be winter.

3. The best part about being 16 is that you have a lot of dreams. It's also the worst part about being 16, because some of these dreams are just not realistic. I know you won't listen to what I'm about to say, but here goes anyway:
* FORGET ABOUT BASE
* FORGET ABOUT MAKING SKYDIVING YOUR JOB
* FORGET ALL THAT BULLSHIT ABOUT LIVING IN A TENT ON THE DROPZONE.

First worry about getting the 5000 euro to get you through your first two years of skydiving. If you stick with the sport, then you can still worry about being a BASE-hobo when you are 21.

That's the beauty of starting young: there's no rush.

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go for it. dont worry about age, dont worry about specific numbers.
if i can get through the AFF program and stay in the sport for 300 jumps, ANYONE can. and i was making 9 bucks an hour when i started skydiving.

if its right for you, youll know it. if not, it will work itself out and youll move on with your life.

dont focus on the small stuff in life, cause its all small stuff. chase your dreams, you will find ways to make them happen if you want them bad enough.

and for the love of god, become competent and talk to alot of experienced people when you start considering BASE. i had my mentor take me under his wing when i had less than 100 skydives, and the training he put me through was unmatchable. this generally doesnt happen anymore, so be careful out there.

baby steps. good luck
gravity brings me down.........

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And starting at 26 could be a major distraction to your work, causing you to get fired. Starting at 36 could be a major distraction to your marriage causing you to get divorced. Starting at age 46 could be a major distraction to you family causing your kids to hate you because you are spending their college tuition money. Starting at at 56 could be a major distraction to your retirement plans making it so you have to work longer. Starting at at 66 could be a major distraction to your retirement making it so you miss too many shuffleboard games....



Excellent post! I started when I was 17. I WOULD have started at 16, but I got a D in some high school course and my dad (also a jumper/pilot/rigger/instructor) made me wait till I got my grades up. Ultimately, if you can afford it I see no reason whatsoever to wait. Skydiving gave me great focus and made me into a much-more social person.

Chuck

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Nick117

hi,

i'm Nick, I'm 16 and this summer, i would like to take an AFF course. I have never done any skydiving in my life. I have skydived indoors twice. I was wondering wether or not it is a good idea to start this early (also because I dont know wether or not I will dare to jump)? And if I fall in love with it, how can I make a living out of it and maybe progress into basejumping? personal stories are always welcome of course :)
thanks
(sorry for any mistakes in regard to my language, I'm from belgium)



Nick,
Don't be discouraged by the cost or the few that doubt jumping at your age is a good idea. I was 17 when I started and can name at least a dozen others, without giving it much thought, that started at your age. And all of them have thousands of jumps now. It used to be fairly routine in the US for teenagers to skydive and it's only a problem now because of the absurd legal liability climate. Go for it, there are plenty of ways to earn your jump money and there's no reason skydiving should be more a distraction from your studies than any other sport. Good drop zones in Belgium as well.

pms

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