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sandi

I miss skydiving - advice for returning jumper

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I’d like to get back into skydiving after a few years off. I stopped jumping when I was pregnant with my daughter, fully expecting to be back in the air within a few months after her birth. Well, she turned 4 in January so it’s turned into much more than a few months.

I’m finally ready to get back in the air, any advice from others who have returned after a long break? Does it all come back, or is it like starting over again?

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Here is what I did after a 8 year layoff. Think the slowest thing to come back for me was my canopy skills. I would highly suggest jumping something big for your first couple of jumps, then doing a few high hop-n-pops on your own gear.

1)I jumped in the tunnel for 5 minutes.
2)Read through Safety Day check list 20 times :)http://www.uspa.org/safety/safetyday/SafetyDayChecklist2008.pdf
3)Went out to the DZ did an condensed accelerated first jump course 2 to 3 hour refresher.
4) Did a couple of clear and pulls on big student gear.
5) Bought new gear and did a few high hop and pops to learn my new canopy.

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Well, I came back after 22 years out raising some kids. Numero Uno, hope you've saved your logbooks, though if you're jumping at the same dropzone after only 4 years, they should remember you. Otherwise, you'll probably have to start over as if you were a newbie (they cannot just take the word of every psycho who walks in off the street, and it does happen...).

If it's only been four years, you're probably familiar with ZP canopies, or might even still own your own rig. Get your rig into a local rigger, get your AAD serviced if it needs it, and get your reserve repacked. You might do better starting out on student or rented gear for a bit before you get back to the gear you used to jump. Recurrency training will review your emergency procedures and the other essential stuff.

Other than that, take a good half a dozen or so jumps to go solo, or on nothing more than 2 or 3 Way size stuff. You need to get the feel for your basics back. But it will happen quickly enough. Just don't try to step back in where you left off.

And welcome back !

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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I still have my logbooks and most of my gear, although I won’t be jumping my gear for a long time (if ever) because it’s small. I’ll have to rent gear. Hopefully I can find a dz that has rental or student gear that will fit a short person (5’0”).

I live in a different part of the country now, so I’ll be jumping at a new dropzone. I’m in Indiana; I’ll have to check out the dz’s here.

Can’t wait to get started again!

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well skydiving is fun, so sure you can miss it...[:/]

but enjoying the first 4 years of your daughters life, could be even more fun...and you're a loving Mom, to have set aside your interests, As have many many a Parent who enjoys jumping,,, like tbrown for instance.... ( It took me over 12 years to fill up a 150 jump log book, back in the years when my kids were little...):|:(

however , now as life moves on, maybe it's mom's time to re-visit jumping out of airplanes...:oB|:)
Your profile, and care for your gear, and logbooks since you've been away, are the testimony to the fact that you are a "regular jumper" and so your return should be quite straightforward...

What type of plane, are you used to jumping? were your earlier jumps done at a DZ with small planes??? or big planes???
will the new DZ have small planes or big planes ?. It's likely that you'll be viewed a new dz member, who arrives, with a good amount of knowledge, and simply wants to ease back after a relatively short layoff...

One great thing about our sport, is the consistancy of curriculum, and training, from one DZ to the other... Instructors are mostly all on the same page..and as others have suggested, a reasonable pace will work just fine...:)orient yourself relative to North, and study the aerial photo of the place, till it becomes comfortably familiar to you...

You likely already understand lots of things like DZ etiquette, the do's and don'ts during jump operations, manifesting procedures etc... so keep a smile on your face, your eyes and mind, open, and your gear, in date.....
then,

have fun


jmy

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I still have my logbooks and most of my gear, although I won’t be jumping my gear for a long time (if ever) because it’s small. I’ll have to rent gear. Hopefully I can find a dz that has rental or student gear that will fit a short person (5’0”).

I live in a different part of the country now, so I’ll be jumping at a new dropzone. I’m in Indiana; I’ll have to check out the dz’s here.

Can’t wait to get started again!



Welcome back.

I've seen lots of people with 300 jumps get back in the game after a long layoff with no issues and it is always great to see them back.

Can you fit a 135 or a 150 into your rig rather than the 120 you were jumping? Along with the other great suggestion people have been making, dialing it back a notch or two on the canopy size for a few dozen jumps is a good move until you get back in the grove.

There are also a lot of good quality canopy courses out there as one of the biggest trends over the last four years has been needless accidents under perfectly good canopies.

Blue ones,

Major Dad
CSPA D-579

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Can you fit a 135 or a 150 into your rig rather than the 120 you were jumping? Along with the other great suggestion people have been making, dialing it back a notch or two on the canopy size for a few dozen jumps is a good move until you get back in the grove.



I can sqeeze a 135 into my container but it's very tight. I'm not in a hurry to get back to a small canopy. I was thinking of starting on a 170 or maybe 150 and then I'll go from there.

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There are also a lot of good quality canopy courses out there as one of the biggest trends over the last four years has been needless accidents under perfectly good canopies.



I took Scott Miller's course in Deland back in 2003 and found it very useful (I was jumping a Safire 2 109 at the time). I would like to take another canopy course once I get started again. More knowledge is always a good thing. Now that I'm a mom, I'm a little more risk averse. I'm all for anything I can do to reduce the risks (i.e., larger canopy, more training).

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Cheers Sandi

Good to hear.

In addition to some good articles in the Safety Section of DZ.Com there are some good ones on Brian Germain's site such as http://www.bigairsportz.com/pdf/bas-sizingchart.pdf

Hopefully you find a DZ that can help with the transition gear. My home DZ has gear with 190's and 170's for use as transition gear but Edmonton is a bit of a commute for you ;)

Have fun and welcome back,

Major Dad
CSPA D-579

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Hopefully I can find a dz that has rental or student gear that will fit a short person (5’0”).

Most DZs do not have gear that would fit you well. Expect to have a backpack down to your butt and a whole lot of daylight between you and the backpad in freefall. [:/]

A couple of jumps on that stuff and you may feel comfortable going back to your own stuff.

BTW, we have 4 kids but just kept jumping through it all. You won't hurt your daughter by skydiving some.

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