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Please comment on Your experience

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Whether you've had 100 or 10000 jumps,
how would you comment on Your "tactics"
of gaining knowledge?

Was is it luck, strategy, gender? Height?
What was crucial for Your present level of 'wisdom'?
What goes around, comes later.

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Actually, what they can do is make things easier or harder in some ways. In skydiving, some women (particularly cute ones) get "more coaching;" people who are either fast or slow fallers (e.g. tall/skinny, short/stocky) spend more time just mastering fall rate and take longer to learn some of the nuances.

My primary strategy has been to think about things ahead of time whenever possible; I tend to over-think, so I figure that I might as well go with my (ahem) strength.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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I learned everything I know from packing.

I became a packer early and packed student and tandem gear. Keeping the operationg going ensured I had many jumps with the DZO's and tandem masters at the end of the day. Best possible way to make money and learn.

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>What the heck do gender and height have to do with gaining wisdom?

Women are generally treated very differently in this sport than men are. Women who want additional coaching get it more often than men do; women who want to be told they are great are told that more often than men are.

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What the heck do gender and height have to do with gaining wisdom? Are short people all stupid?



Height DOES help ... you can see over people to watch video during a crowded debrief ... ;):)
One problem I ran into was figuring out a weighting method ... input from some people should carry more weight than others, and that is not always based on jump numbers, I discovered. Also, as with any aspect of life, some people know more about one specific aspect of skydiving, but may not be the best source for ALL aspects. Getting that stuff ironed out is like the learning process itself, but I think is a key in helping learn the right things relative to your goals in the sport.
Once you have that somewhat in hand, at least you know who to go to with what types of questions! Also, sometimes the best sources are a bit reluctant to wear a teaching hat ... I prod!! I also usually try to get input from several people on any given issue.

Edited to add PS: .... just remember not to ask John how he feels about gun control ... :):ph34r:
As long as you are happy with yourself ... who cares what the rest of the world thinks?

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I subscribed to Skydiving magazine since 1988... Ten years before I did AFF. After that, it was a lot of videos and asking questions.

Learning from other jumper's mistakes was crucial for my present level of wisdom.

I have also learned a lot from Drop Zone.com

Thinking about it all the time and having common sense may be the most important thing you can do.


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>What the heck do gender and height have to do with gaining wisdom?

Women are generally treated very differently in this sport than men are. Women who want additional coaching get it more often than men do; women who want to be told they are great are told that more often than men are.



But that's not something an individual can choose for themselves. It just is. And since the question is what have been our personal methods for acquiring skydiving knowledge, you can't really say; "Well, I just relied upon the fact that I'm a good-looking woman, and waited for men to flock to my side to convey their knowledge to me."

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Height DOES help ... you can see over people to watch video during a crowded debrief ...




Yes it does ~ & when yer 6' 4" & 240 lbs. people tend to be much 'kinder' with their criticism as well! :ph34r:


For gaining 'general' skydiving wisdom, I was really lucky to be a part of a little 'private' club when I started jumping.

...for some reason they saw something in me and allowed me to become a member pretty much just out of the chute (so to speak).

Unheard of with those guys, who were mostly triple digit D's and hardcore jump & party kinda guys.

Hanging around for beer & bullshit wasn't an option, it was mandatory.

I couldn't help but learn a lot from those guys, they pushed ya to be better at every aspect there was...heck, I packed my own reserve following my 1st malfunction.

It took about 4 hours but the club rigger made sure I was familiar with every panel and stitch...no question was ever considered dumb and great pains were taken to see that there was no mystery regarding what when how & why.

They saved my life many times over with the incessant 'What If" game. :S :S :S

What would you do if 'this' happened...okay lets say not only did 'this' happen, but now 'that' happen too...what ya gonna do...what ya gonna do...what ya gonna do...

Makes you think about some pretty wild ass situations and how you would react.


Carried that mantra over into the demonstration jump world and I firmly believe that thinking about and testing yourself in the company of peers 'forces' you to consider just about every possible contingency there is, and formulate a plan...and as we know, if ya don't have a 'plan' BAD things can happen! ;)










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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the real trick is determining who to listen too, once you figure that out the rest is easy - just ask a question

one way to figure out who to listen to is to show up with a mini-camera and small main parachute - those that tell you how cool it is are not the ones :o

like Airtwardo said, many years ago it was easy to get good advice because anyone alive that was still jumping knew all the good stuff, the rest got killed off or crippled up quick, now a days the gear is so reliable that most of that type slip thru and continue to hang around just waiting their turn to eat the dirt :D:D
Give one city to the thugs so they can all live together. I vote for Chicago where they have strict gun laws.

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What Twardo said. Height helps in debriefs. As in life ;)

Seriously though?

I spent the first 100 or so jumps at a little club DZ, sleeping in a tent, drinking with the locals, making mistakes and soaking up the life. I'd recommend it to anybody, it's the lessons you learn early on that set you on the way.

Then I joined a 4-way team. I'd recommend that to anyone too, even if you only do a season in Rookies. Getting coached on just one thing and being forced to focus your enthusiasm is super-duper helpful if you really want to progress in a hurry, and 4-way neatly encapsulates a big subset of the basic skydiving skills that will help you whatever kind of jumping you want to do after that. It's also a cost-effective way to spend some quality time in the wind tunnel!

At this point I decided I liked competing in flat stuff and stuck with it, but I don't think it really mattered - I could have gone freeflying or spent more time with the bigway kids or whatever, as long as there were coaches (the importance of whom cannot be overstated), the important thing for me was to carry on my mantra:

Suck at one thing at a time :)
--
"I'll tell you how all skydivers are judged, . They are judged by the laws of physics." - kkeenan

"You jump out, pull the string and either live or die. What's there to be good at?

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Become confident in controlling yourself in freefall (the tunnel helps), learn to track "well" before you do group RW, and become good at flying your canopy.

Then do what kkeenan says, jump with people who are better than you. Get video of your jumps, watch tons of good video (not zoo dives), and VISUALIZE, which means rehearse what you're going to do in the air then replay your good skydives over and over in your head. VISUALIZATION is a major part of training and learning.

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I hung out with better skydivers than me - especially Roger Nelson.



THAT guy would impart more wisdom on ya in 30 minutes than most could in 3 years!

~you should have seen his brother Carl!

We all started jumping about the same time, about the same place...Carl always seemed to have about 10X's the knowledge & experience his #'s & time in the sport should have dictated. And like Roger, had the gift of tireless & genuine enthusiasm...things that made both of them natural 'teachers'.

I remember being in college when Carl's book on flying techniques came out, the joke around the DZ was ~trying to learn flying your body from a book is about as ludicrous as taking a correspondence course on karate...then we read the book! :DB|

Both of those guys had the rare quality of being able to think 'out to the box' and apply it easily to real world situations...The sport would NOT be what it is today if not for Carl & Roger Nelson.










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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I was lucky enough to get in on the 2nd "Search" put on by Skydive University. That experience gave me the basic skills I needed and the confidence to go jump with people a lot better than me.
We have some very good organizers at Z-Hills that keep challenging you to learn. (Thanks Oren :)
You can't be drunk all day if you don't start early!

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I've had some great mentors over the years, and I am very open minded. I am also a young instructor and I fully realize that I still have a lot to learn.

I feel that reading incident reports is a good way to gain knowledge too.
http://3ringnecklace.com/

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First trip to Z-hills was hooked up with THIS guy. It was like winning the coach lottery. Lukas looked after, stuck up for me, and his energy and passion was contagious. I loved him and the sport in a new way when I left Z-hills. Oh, and staying current.

The man, the myth, the legend, Lukas Knutson.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2GlKvUpVSQ

Fly free, bro!
"Think like a man of action; act like a man of thought." -Henri L.
Bergson

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