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ray702

legs numb, out of breathe, sick.

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So when I went for my first tandem a week ago, I felt fine until the canopy opened, then I became slightly dizzy, felt like throwing up ( never did but gagged a lot ) legs and feet went numb, and felt like i was out of breathe the whole way down. i felt like the harness was nice and snug, tight, but i could breathe fine, during freefall i was focusing a lot on breathing, it was an unusual feeling having wind smack my face so fast, i was trying to breathe through my nose, and im pretty sure i was. So im not sure why i felt like i was out of breathe.

I will ask the instructor for advice when i go back this week for my 2nd tandem( i want to be prepared for when i have to fly the canopy by myself during the AFF. )

Has anyone experienced this on there first time?

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Breathing in freefall should be as natural as breathing while on the ground. If you had to concentrate on breathing it may be likely that you were taking too big of breaths and that you experienced an oxygen "high". That's the only thing I can think of but if anyone else has a more likely possibility; shoot!
"Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way." -Alan Watts

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but i could breathe fine, during freefall i was focusing a lot on breathing,



It's an anxiety issue; not a physiological issue. It gets easier each time. Relax.

Next time, tell your Instructor about the leg/feet numbness issue and they'll probably adjust the harness a little.
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

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Try to ignore the smart-ass remarks. There's a well known problem with tandem harnesses that under canopy the leg strap can dig into your femoral artery, and cause the exact symptoms you described.

The reason is that a normal skydiving harness is designed for the jumper to sit directly 'on top' of the legsrtap, with the jumpers body being vertical, and the lagstrap sitting right in their crotch.

On a tandem, the passenger hangs in the forward leaning postion, putting your weight more forward on the legstrap, right on top of your femoral artery.

One solution some TIs use under canopy is to have the jumper lift their knee, and scoot the legstrap forward a few inches down the leg. If you do this on both sides, you end up 'sitting' in the harness as opposed to hanging in it.

Mention the problem to your TI before you next jump, and maybe they can help you out. Single jumper harneeses are much better in that respect than tandem harnesses. One reason the TI might not have picked up on this is that it's hard to tell the difference between a passenger who's just plain airsick, and one who is having a problem with the legstrap on their artery.

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lol john.. anyways.
what i meant was i was focusing so much on breathing because , well at the time thats the only thing i could think of... - wind smacking my face, going up my nose..started to think, am i breathing? keep my mouth closed , and tried to take deep breaths through my nose. felt like i was breathing, so im pretty sure my breathing was fine.

instructor opened the parachute just fine,which i think i could feel it opening, was cool. little line twists but instructor kicked out of them. then i felt like i was suffocating but breathing fine. very bad feeling. I felt around my chest, and the straps were snug, but they weren't to tight, not clue why i felt so out of breath. (and what im most worried about)then i just got nauseous and numb from waste down.

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Breathing in freefall should be as natural as breathing while on the ground. If you had to concentrate on breathing it may be likely that you were taking too big of breaths and that you experienced an oxygen "high". That's the only thing I can think of but if anyone else has a more likely possibility; shoot!



Re-read the OP. He's talking about under canopy, not in freefall.

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Modern harness adjustment methods help eliminate most of those problems.

Refer to the Sigma student harness adjustment chart or similar charts published by Strong Enterprises (e.g. the 2011 version of the Dual Hawk manual).
The key point is adjusting harnness so that the hip junction is at the FRONT of the student's hips. This relieves pressure on the femoral artery and helps them lift their legs for landing.

Modern harness adjustment methods also work well with all the older (e.g.made before 2000) tandem student harnesses.

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I did two tandems before AFF and I know the harness is very uncomfortable. It pulls you up and back, not just up. I had a bruise on the inside of my thigh that I initially thought was caused by a loose strap 'snatching' up upon the canopy opening but I think it was just the nature of the beast.

The container I use in AFF (a reportedly UNcomfortable Vector) is much more comfortable, feels like I am under the canopy - not in front of it, and doesn't leave bruises.

But don't jump if you aren't sure you won't Vagal out. It would suck to pay all that money and not get to enjoy the whole experience. Not to mention, getting hurt would be terrible.

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Breathing in freefall should be as natural as breathing while on the ground. If you had to concentrate on breathing it may be likely that you were taking too big of breaths and that you experienced an oxygen "high". That's the only thing I can think of but if anyone else has a more likely possibility; shoot!



Re-read the OP. He's talking about under canopy, not in freefall.



Freefall doesn't last very long, so the effects of my theory would have lasted into the canopy ride as well; regardless, like I said, it was just a guess! :)
"Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way." -Alan Watts

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