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AdrianGlave

Tunnel time v Real time

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How similar is being on your own during tunnel time to being released and on your own in real free fall time?

My next AFF is #3 - first release jump - and I took the opportunity on a pre planned visit to Phoenix this weekend to try out some tunnel time at Eloy. I did 2 x 2 minute sessions.

I was hoping it would have given me a comfort factor going into AFF3 but I'm not sure what to take from it.

It was fun, for sure. I got stable-ish for no more than 2 minutes in total - but not a constant 2 minutes. I hugged the tunnel walls some. I also found I had to adopt a very hands forward position i.e. upper arms level but more like 45 degrees out than 90 degrees to the side. Felt more aware of forward and back motion using the legs too.

The final 10 or so second where the coach takes you up and down in a spiral was a insight into how controlled moving and stopping really can be in free fall - and a note that I'm a long way from it lol

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Hi Adrian! I jump up at Eloy and I have never seen anyone go in the tunnel without a coach; except when people are doing slam jams, but they are all experienced. So you will never really be by yourself in the tunnel.

As far as free fall in the tunnel versus in the air is concerned. The tunnel has walls and is a constant reminder of your movements and thus you may be more prone to checking your positioning often.

Free fall in the air without another person/point-of-reference, will make you feel like you are doing better than the tunnel but in reality you may be sliding around and not be aware of it to make a correction.

The tunnel will make you a better free faller, period. Jumping from a plane will make you a better skydiver overall.

Also, when you are in your student phase AFF/A, you may be inclined to think you are very stable when jumping with coaches and instructors. Trust me, they are doing a lot more correcting for a student's sloppy free fall than you can imagine. I just jumped recently with another person who just got their A and we did a lot of chasing each other in the sky. It was a blast, but it did shine a light on the fact that I am not as stable as I thought I was when I was jumping with the coaches.

Just something to think about. I for one will be hitting the tunnel more often after seeing how I performed on these last few jumps.
"Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see."

-Benjamin Franklin

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I had hoped to get 10 minutes in the tunnel but it was fully booked. More time would definitely be a good thing.



More jumps would be a better thing. 99% of all jumpers (maybe more) learned to jump with no tunnel time at all, so just go do the level 3, lesten to your instructors, and you'll be fine.

If you fail it a half-dozen times, then you can start to worry about tunnel time, and other ideas, but for now just go make the jump like most other people and you'll find out it's no big deal. In truth, the sky offers you a LOT of room to move around, so where you were bouncing off the wall in the tunnel, you'll just be flying flat and stable in the sky, albeit with a slight drift in one direction.

Don't over-think this stuff. Go to the DZ, go along with what they tell you, and leave it at that. You can work yourself into all sorts of 'situations' and 'what ifs' if you think too much about it on your own. If you have a concern, by all means mention it to your instructor before your next jump. When they tell you not to worry about it, just forget about it and move on. This is one of those things that seems like a mountatin to you now, but in three more jumps you'll look back and see a molehill and wonder what you were worried about.

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More jumps would be a better thing. 99% of all jumpers (maybe more) learned to jump with no tunnel time at all, so just go do the level 3, lesten to your instructors, and you'll be fine.

If you fail it a half-dozen times, then you can start to worry about tunnel time, and other ideas, but for now just go make the jump like most other people and you'll find out it's no big deal. In truth, the sky offers you a LOT of room to move around, so where you were bouncing off the wall in the tunnel, you'll just be flying flat and stable in the sky, albeit with a slight drift in one direction.

Don't over-think this stuff. Go to the DZ, go along with what they tell you, and leave it at that. You can work yourself into all sorts of 'situations' and 'what ifs' if you think too much about it on your own. If you have a concern, by all means mention it to your instructor before your next jump. When they tell you not to worry about it, just forget about it and move on. This is one of those things that seems like a mountatin to you now, but in three more jumps you'll look back and see a molehill and wonder what you were worried about.

That's pretty where I'm at thinking about it. At least I stayed level in the tunnel, I just drifted about.

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I'm on level 7 and have managed to go 6 for 6 on my AFF jumps (knock on wood/skull). I've spent every weekend of the last two months at the DZ and only gotten 6 jumps in because the weather is crap (South Texas).

I walked in the door 30min ago from the airport after flying home from the Denver tunnel where I flew an hour this weekend (10min fri, 30min yesterday, 20min today). I focused strictly on belly flying instead of trying to start free flying because I needed to get good on my stomach. My instructor was great and the tunnel really helps for a couple of main reasons.

1. You are in a controlled space so any weird turns you'd make in the air but wouldn't notice because you don't have a point of reference you will immediately pick up in the tunnel. I felt that this was one of the best tools.

2. It is very easy to see how adjusting one little movement of your body will affect your fall rate and your position in the sky.

3. Freefall time from 13k feet is maybe a minute if you're lucky and then you have to fly your canopy, debrief, repack, manifest, and fly up to altitude. Oh, and hope that the winds don't show up. The tunnel is AWESOME because you fly in controlled blocks that are long enough for you to learn things with an instructor right next to you without having to constantly be altitude aware. The blocks are also short enough that if you start screwing up, you will run out of time before you get really frustrated. Try getting 15min of freefall through jumping in 1.5hrs as a student.

If you have access to a tunnel, I'd use it. I can't wait for my next AFF jump so I can put my new skills to use.

P.S. don't forget tho that you can't learn canopy skills in a tunnel. [:/]

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1. (Obviously) I'm extremely new to free fall and I didn't appreciate how much I would drift.

2. Yeah. I'm not clear on what adjustments I was making (knowledge of those will come with more tunnel time and more coaching) but again, I was surprised by how easy it was to drop to the floor or shoot to the top.

3. I will definitely return to the tunnel at Eloy and for more significant blocks of time. Free fall time out SDH is sporadic at best with the windy weather at the moment and doing something [free fall related] is better than doing nothing.

Here's my 2 x 2 minutes sessions...

http://vimeo.com/22824985

[Lots of work required on my legs :)]

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1. (Obviously) I'm extremely new to free fall and I didn't appreciate how much I would drift.

2. Yeah. I'm not clear on what adjustments I was making (knowledge of those will come with more tunnel time and more coaching) but again, I was surprised by how easy it was to drop to the floor or shoot to the top.

3. I will definitely return to the tunnel at Eloy and for more significant blocks of time. Free fall time out SDH is sporadic at best with the windy weather at the moment and doing something [free fall related] is better than doing nothing.

Here's my 2 x 2 minutes sessions...

http://vimeo.com/22824985

[Lots of work required on my legs :)]



Next time you go to the tunnel you need to be clear with them that you're doing AFF. The wuffo tunnel experience is not for you. Just an FYI.

Have fun!
~D
Where troubles melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops That's where you'll find me.
Swooping is taking one last poke at the bear before escaping it's cave - davelepka

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Next time you go to the tunnel you need to be clear with them that you're doing AFF. The wuffo tunnel experience is not for you. Just an FYI.

Have fun!

Yeah, I appreciate this more since the weekend. I did mention where I was with AFF on making the booking but was advised I'd need to take the first timers course and this was the only slot available that weekend.

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If you fail it a half-dozen times, then you can start to worry about tunnel time, and other ideas, but for now just go make the jump like most other people and you'll find out it's no big deal. In truth, the sky offers you a LOT of room to move around, so where you were bouncing off the wall in the tunnel, you'll just be flying flat and stable in the sky, albeit with a slight drift in one direction.



+1

I would not be to concerned about comparing the two at this point. Everytime I get in the tunnel I'm reminded how much I suck on my belly, but I can still maintain level, turn points, etc. on a jump.

My advice would be to just focus on what your instructors are telling you and what your diveflows require for your AFF jumps, have fun and after you get your A head into the tunnel to refine your flying.

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I learned so much stuff in the tunnel in the beginning as its less stressful than real jump: practise slipping FWD and reverse rapidly and then side side, vertical speed control and convetional turns and knee turns. Knee turns are a cool trick and tunnel is a great way to practise. Even watching other experienced flyers doing 2-4 way you pick up pointers.

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I didn't go to the tunnel as a student, but for me Tunnel time seemed more beneficial than the same amount of true freefall. When you consider how much you can focus on the task at hand, you can work on a skill for a min or so, get out, and get right back in, there to work on what you learned, remove the adrenaline factor and have a very controlled environment with fixed points of reference... IMO, you have the opportunity to get more out of a given amount of tunnel time than the same amount of freefall.

One thing to consider is that the hostile frefall environment that is freefall is something you will have to deal with when you make your next skydive... so if that is part of the issue it may be a different story. But if you are just wanting to work on specific freefall skills... the tunnel is an amazing tool.

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There were teams practicing VFS this past weekend in Denver. One of the people who was watching them practiced remarked, "not only do we get to watch some of the best flying, we get to watch some of the best wipeouts." It was true, there were some epic 4-way wipeouts.

The nicest thing about the tunnel was about a second after I jumped in the tunnel, I was stable on my belly and facing my instructor. I got a solid two minutes to fly and then did a quick exit out the door when the lights started flashing. 2 whole minutes without having to worry about altitude or clouds or pulling or any of the other distractions on AFF.

I'm not saying those distractions aren't good...my instructor threw out a "pull" sign out of the blue and while it took me a second to recognize it, I immediately went for my butt and where the handle should be.

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1. (Obviously) I'm extremely new to free fall and I didn't appreciate how much I would drift.

2. Yeah. I'm not clear on what adjustments I was making (knowledge of those will come with more tunnel time and more coaching) but again, I was surprised by how easy it was to drop to the floor or shoot to the top.

3. I will definitely return to the tunnel at Eloy and for more significant blocks of time. Free fall time out SDH is sporadic at best with the windy weather at the moment and doing something [free fall related] is better than doing nothing.

Here's my 2 x 2 minutes sessions...

http://vimeo.com/22824985

[Lots of work required on my legs :)]



Thank you for possting that video. I had an epic fail on my 1st level 4 jump on Monday, because I began spinning out of control after each time the instructor docked. From your video, I can clearly see it's common and I that my desire to practice in a tunnel might be the best thing to learn the body awareness I need to hover with stability. and no waste/repeat AFF jumps trying to learn in 35 second intervals.

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I probably have about 3 hours tunnel time or so and as a super casual for fun only skydiver I dont think its worth it. Especially in the very beginning as someone above mentioned. And you cant track or fly your canopy in the tunnel which are the most critical points in the skydive. But it is a good tool if you really want to take your skydiving somewhat seriously and be able to get on certain jumps because of freefall skills.

I play soccer a couple of times a week after work, but I dont go to soccer camps to hone my skills.

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More jumps would be a better thing



I have to disagree.... Having done a bunch of tunnel/AFF instructing I find the students that go through that type of program normally progress through the levels much faster. It does not matter in the long run, but 10 mins of tunnel is like making 10 freefalls with very little time between "jumps".

One such program was 10 mins of tunnel and the student started with L3

Another was 30 mins of tunnel and then started with L4.

I have had a guy do ALL the maneuvers for ALL levels of AFF on the first jump (Except pulls). He had two hours of tunnel.

If you are close to a tunnel, there is very little reason NOT to incorporate tunnel into the program, IMO.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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I'm a new jumper and only have 5 jumps and going to the tunnel in Denver is what finally got me to take classes.

I'm going to try and pick up 10 min this Friday because this weekend I'll be doing my 5 sec and 10 sec freefalls through my S/L progression.

At my DZ we can only get to 9500 AGL as we are already at 5600 MSL, so you only get about 35 seconds of freefall time at full alt, which means 10 minutes practicing in the tunnel is like 20 jumps. So for me, I see it as a good way to get comfortable and be able to relax more when it really matters.

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I have so far made 4 level 8 AFF solo jumps.

I did 25 minutes of tunnel before AFF course. It helped me remove a lot of stress connected to free fall. So it was all worth it.

On the other hand I developed an arch where my chest was pushed forward instead of my pelvis (I am sure the experienced jumper can imagine how "easy" it is to get out of a free fall spin when you arch the torso instead of pelvis)..

What really helped was to video my free fall. It gives an excellent opportunity to study your technique.

I also find free fall in the sky easier compared to the tunnel. And more "relevant".

After you get some real time experience the tunnel is probably an excellent tool to refine your technique.

Ok, this was just a true beginners experience so far, with time the impression could easily change..:P

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Tunnel time WILL make a new jumper a better skydiver *althought it's not exactly the same*; it's an opportunity to deal with some minor issues (usually a pesky turn that you don't have time in a minute-long skydive to figure out and deal with).

I've seen some Tunnel rats that could fly their ass off, but had never made a jump. If they did, they'd be awesome off the bat, but let's remember that a skydive is as much about getting the balls to jump out of a flying airplane as it is about the flying part.
Keith Abner
D-17590

"Those who do, can't explain; those who don't, can't understand"

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I know and jump with a guy who had about 30 hours of tunnel time when he did his AFF. He did a 5 way Headdown on his 16th jump and did fine. All the others where very experienced though and break off was thoroughly briefed:P

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I have spoken with some people about this same issue and some believe that it's better to use the tunnel in the beginning to learn the proper technique, as opposed to later when you have developed bad habits.

My question is, if you can fly stable, then is a little rotation because of an arm or leg really so ingrained in you that you can't correct it later without a lot of training?
"Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see."

-Benjamin Franklin

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