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Mach1dmb

Is it worth staying current?

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I just got my A in August and I had been renting gear and jumping all September. I was jumping a 210 for awhile and after my last jump I was finally ready to go down to a 190. But then the weather became shit for weeks. After the hurricane its finally nice here again (cold, but blue skies), but I just looked at my logbook, my last jump was 10/5. Now I feel perfectly comfortable with jumping after a 6 week break, but now I'm not sure if its even worth staying current..I'm in NY and winter is here..I really doubt I can improve my skills with the snow coming and all, and I fianlly lost that urge to get to the dropzone every single day. I still have a desire to jump, but now that its getting cold I can finally not think about skydiving 24/7.

So my question is, should I even bother doing maybe 1-2 jumps a month without progressing at all and make it to spring/safety day while staying current and feeding my slight urge to jump? Or take a break, maybe learn all I get from reading, then take the recurrency test in the spring?

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From my personal point of view doing 2-3 or even 10 jumps per month is not enough to stay current.

In this sport you are degrading if you just stop progressing.

We here live in Saint-Petersburg, infaumous for shitty weather and frequent DZ operation restrictions caused by nearby airport. So we have quite a lot of jumpers like this. In best case, they are just jumping on their own (because their skills are way behind the rest). In worst cases, they got injured or put another's lives on risk.

When I found out that I could not jump as much as I want, I switched to windtunnels and training camps in different places. And last 2 years made me far better jumper than previous 10.

Once again, it is just my PoV.

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At your jump number, making only a few jumps a month just to stay technically current really won't be of much help in building skills. Those jumps would just be a place holder so you don't have to do that recurrancy jump. Ask what your DZ requires for that jump at your license. If you were to save the money you would spend making those few jumps a month, would it pay for restarting in the spring? If you end up ahead on the cash, use that money to buy gear that you don't have yet. Such as helmet, altimeter, goggles and audible. If you already have that equipment, start thinking about buying a rig.

And if you don't want to wait, there is always Arizona, California and Florida during the winter.
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So my question is, should I even bother doing maybe 1-2 jumps a month without progressing at all and make it to spring/safety day while staying current and feeding my slight urge to jump? Or take a break, maybe learn all I get from reading, then take the recurrency test in the spring?



Frist off, at your stage of the game you can learn very little from reading. There are 10 different ways to do just about anything in skydiving, and which one is correct for you depends on you, the gear you're jumping, and the situation you're in, so if any one of those don't match what you're reading about, at best you're wasting your time and at worst you're implanting the wrong info into you brain.

The internet is a terrible place to learn about skydiving. It's an 'OK' place for an intermediate jumper to do some research, but it's best use (skydiving related) is watching videos and arguing back forth about stuff you already know about.

Tha said, jumping is about fun, not some master plan for building skills. If you don't think it will be fun, then don't jump. From a guy who's been at it for awhile, I can tell you it does seem like less fun when you're sitting at home thinking about the long drive to the DZ, the cold, and all the relates hassles of making a jump. However, I've come to learn that I want to jump anyway, so I still make plans to go to the DZ very chance I get. So I might be thinking that it's 'stupid' when I get up early on a frosty Nov morning, and put on 3 layers of clothes, by the time I get halfway there, I'm already starting to drive faster to so I make the next load. Once I actually get there and make a jump, I forget all about the 'stupid' parts, and spend the day jumping and packing as fast as possible so I can make the most jumps before the sun goes down.

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I'm a <50 jumps novice and get better every time I jump even if it's only once every six weeks. As in every other skill or set of skills, the lower a level you're at (i.e. more of a beginner) the less stimulus is required to induce progress and gains in ability. Like when someone starts physical exercise they need only do a very small amount to see dramatic improvements, compared with a more seasoned athlete whose training has to be much more often, higher in volume and "harder" to squeeze out any progress.

It's winter here and I plan to jump at least once more (meaning 1-4 jumps on a day) in November, hopefully some time around the new year, then maybe in February. I'll be fine with that and next spring I'll be a much better skydiver than I am now.

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+1

My experience, too. On days when the weather is questionable I often don't feel like driving to the DZ, but if I do it never fails that as soon as I see a jump plane lifting off, I want to be on the next load.

To the OP: unfortunately, a few jumps a month may not keep you current. More likely, you will be the guy everyone has to watch out for. (Been there, done that.) Make some friends at the DZ, and you will find a way to jump more often, and enjoy yourself more.
"Here's a good specimen of my own wisdom. Something is so, except when it isn't so."

Charles Fort, commenting on the many contradictions of astronomy

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Personally I jump every winter. I mostly do hop-and-pops so that I can stay current on canopy skills. I know my RW skills degrade some over the winter but I think it is worth it to make 3-4 jumps a month for canopy currency. I also continue to think it is fun, although I admit that it is less fun. If we have a really warm, nice day and other jumpers out I will do RW then, and I am enough South of you that those warms days are not too unusual.

I know a lot of people who don't jump in the winter and that seems to work OK for them although they do have to start off a little slow in the spring (and most of them have many times as many jumps as you do).
"What if there were no hypothetical questions?"

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If you are serious about the sport, and also have career job ambitions then you should consider relocating to the sun belt region. Otherwise the nomadic lifestyle of a snow-bird skydiver and hourly-job hopping grunt may appeal to you. Realize that skydiving requires more planning and sacrifice than most other activities.

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I intend to, but if I were much further north it'd be much more of a pain in the ass. Even in the middle of winter we get enough nice days here to make it possible. Whether those nice days fall on days when the Dropzone is flying (They seem to be down to 3 days a week at the moment) remains to be seen.

I could also take some PTO around December and visit somewhere warm for some jumping. My parents don't live too far from Deland B| A mid-winter skydiving vacation to somewhere warm sounds pretty damn nice to me!
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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Skydivers in Britain jump all year round and our summertime is colder than plenty places in the US at winter (some places even jump all year round using doorless c206s!) :)



I've lived in the UK. I'm from Montreal. I've lived in a few other places and jumped in all of them. I know the difference.;)
Remster

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Now I feel perfectly comfortable with jumping after a 6 week break, but now I'm not sure if its even worth staying current..I'm in NY and winter is here..I really doubt I can improve my skills with the snow coming and all



Currency is not about *improving* skills, it is about maintaining skills so you do not fall backwards.

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So my question is, should I even bother doing maybe 1-2 jumps a month without progressing at all and make it to spring/safety day while staying current and feeding my slight urge to jump?



Only you can make that call. But imagine how much worse your urge to jump is going to be when you do try to come back and your skills are nowhere near where they were when you left. I have seen people quit over this. Personally, when I moved from FL to a landlocked location I quit SCUBA diving - It was not worth the hassle.

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learn all I get from reading



You really are not going to learn any skydiving skills from reading. Most of the stuff on here is opinion and I would not trust any of it.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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I'm a <50 jumps novice and get better every time I jump even if it's only once every six weeks. As in every other skill or set of skills, the lower a level you're at (i.e. more of a beginner) the less stimulus is required to induce progress and gains in ability. Like when someone starts physical exercise they need only do a very small amount to see dramatic improvements, compared with a more seasoned athlete whose training has to be much more often, higher in volume and "harder" to squeeze out any progress.

It's winter here and I plan to jump at least once more (meaning 1-4 jumps on a day) in November, hopefully some time around the new year, then maybe in February. I'll be fine with that and next spring I'll be a much better skydiver than I am now.



You make a good point. I went to the dropzone today and did 1 jump. By the time the 2nd load was going on my rental gear was due back curfew. So it looks like I won't be jumping much at all, even if I wanted to. But I did realize that even 1 jump in a 6 week period is still improving my skills. I think I am going to try to stay current and make 1 jump a month.

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