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chrisballance

Newbie looking for advice ... please

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Hi,
I'm 16 and based in Suffolk, England, and thinking of trying skydiving. I was wondering if any of you could answer these questions:
1. Whats best for a beginner, static line or AFF jumps?
2. Does anybody know of any good dropzones in East Anglia (UK)? Looking around I have found 'Old Buckenham' and 'Skydive Sibson'. Can anybody recommend/warn me about there experiences with these places.
Thanks
Chris

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Let me first start with a warning: I'm a newbie also so hopefully other people with more experance can help you out more /end warning.
There is a DZ in Chatteris. I never jumped there, but I stopped by a couple times when I lived in Lakenheath. They seem like a good operation, but again, I don't have much experance.

Here's the web sight:
http://www.ukskydiving.com/

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A good way to start is with a tandem, if they are offered. It let's you experience a skydive without hours of training and see of this is what you want to do.

You might also want to check into the age limit. I don't know what it is over there, but you may have to wait a couple of years.

Shane

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Chris,
I am in the US Air Force and was stationed at RAF Mildenhall. I came to the U.K. as a US Parachute Assn. AFF and Tandem Instructor. I went to Sibson as it was the only drop zone at the time. I was warmly received and the Meacock's (and Ronnie, both Pete's Rhino, and all the "locals") were awesome hosts. I love that drop done (weather permitting :) and would recommend it to anyone. The standards are high but in a sport where there is no forgiveness for a lack of knowledge or stupidity, that is a good thing! I was well received and treated. John, Sue, Stuart and Alex (sorry dude, you're the youngest) run a great skydiving operation and you WILL be safe at all times.
Alibi: I love all of them for what they have done for me when I lived there.

Tim T.
Team Paraclete

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AFF...static line is for pussies.

I'm sorry...your language...

Static line is for fannies.

Just tellin it how it is...

:D

-S
_____________
I'm not conceited...I'm just realistic about my awesomeness...

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There are pros and cons to all styles of jumps.

Tandem can be a good introduction to Skydiving. It allows you to experience freefall and get over the initial sensory overload that swallows up part of a staticline/IAD jump. It is, however an extra cost if you choose to do static line as you really don't learn, you mainly experience.

AFF is an excellent way to learn as you get more freefall working time to iron out bodyposition and pull. It is more intensive and progression can take less jumps than static line.It is, however, cost prohibitive and students are sometimes overloaded and become discouraged when too many levels are repeated.

Static line is perfect for a jumper on a budget. Each jump is more affordable, progression is slower but less demanding for the student. That can mean more sucesses. However, the deployment speed of the canopy does make it difficult to work on form and early jumps are often repeated.

So all have pros and cons.
As you are younger and therefore probably don't have a 9-5 job pulling in big cash, I would recommend static line/IAD. Skip the tandem if cash is really tight and go straight to the first jump course.

A friend of mine went down south an asked how much to complete an AFF course. Comparing the cost without repeating levels, we figured that the same amount would buy an IAD firstjumpcourse, 4 IADs and 20 freefalls from 5 sec. delays up to full delays. That a lot more jumping!

Most of us will try to tell you that the best method is the one we chose. In the end, you know your own situation. Pick what's best for you.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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i think teasons put it best really...

im new myself and asked the same questions last year when i first wanted to jump (i was 16 and i live in the UK wow!)

i got mixed responses also, to be honest it was a really difficult desision to make i had all these questions still floating around in my mind 'will i be able to remember to pull if i do aff' ' will i cope with everything at once' 'will i land it safely'

i really want to learn about the sport and get into it, at first i thought i was going to do AFF, i wanted in quickly. but then as i thought about it i decided that i'd probably be better going with static line because that way i get eased into the sport rather than having to do it all myself from the off.

i figured that by the time i finish the progression i will have more canopy time than the AFF guys, and having several canopy rides before my first proper freefall would be really beneficial because i wouldnt have to worry so much about that part of the jump.

so i did a tandem jump last year at Hibaldstow down south of hull. it rocked, however it made me realise that for me it would be really hard to remember both to arch and pull and steer a canopy on my first jump.

so i had it set in my mind now to do a static line course...


my first static jump is next weekend. i would of done it earlier but my a/s exams got in the way.

hope it helps, if it confuses you more then just holla!

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I jump at Old Buckenham, and it gets better and better. You can do AFF there with Tomo, Grant, Chris and Tex. They're good guys and they work hard. Its your closest DZ, and guess what, you might see me in the plane grinning at you as you get ready for Level 1.

***Die with your boots on

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First off, quit listening to the Yanks that post here. They're (mostly) giving you advice based on their exp in the US. :P Things are very different over here and that will produce big differences in what may be best to do.

At 16 you can jump - but will need parental consent.

Static line is far far more popular here than it is in the states. Here people say AFF is for pussies. That said, the majority of new graduates by far are from AFF. Of those many if not most did so overseas. Not many people are able to stick Static line progression by comparison... it takes way longer and only works out cheaper by a few hundred pounds.

UK prices are really really high. EG, common AFF price is about £1300. For that money, my club will take you to the US for two weeks and put you through AFF over there. You'll get 2 weeks holiday in Florida or California or somewhere as well as your license, all for the same as just your license in the UK. Another popular destination is Spain, or for some the south of France.

That brings me on to clubs - go join a uni skydiving club. If you can't wait till your at uni (if you're gonna go) then go joing one anyway. I think almost all would welcome you regardless. Uni skydiving clubs are the BEST waay for someone arround your age to get into the sport.

http://www.bpa.org.uk/dropzone/dzone.htm
That's a map of UK drop zones. My first instinct where you are would be Chatteris... but it depends on where in Suffolk you are. There are plenty of good DZ's. Go check out their prices.

You could also try contacting the BCPA.
http://www.bcpa.org.uk/
They're a national organisation set up to help students into skydiving. They're used to dealing with this exact enquiry. They also organise anual trips to the states for progression and training.

Static line or AFF? Up to you and what money you have. Static line is great if you have less ready cash and just want to pootle allong and actually work for your license. If you have a bunch of cash ready, you can slap it down and have your license in a week or two through AFF.

Don't bother with a tandem. If you want to try it out go for a first jump course (AFF or static line). If you like it you wont have wasted £200+ on a jump which doesn't count for shit. Static line FJC should cost arround £150ish depending on extras and an AFF FJC is somthing like £350.

If you continue that's not wasted money. If you don't - well you know know a load more than the average person about skydiving... unlike a tandem passenger who will know less than nothing.

On the other hand, if you are really just looking for a once in a liftime exp and have no wish to take it up as a hobby, but simply wish experiancing the joy of freefall (perfectly admirable) a tandem is perfect for you.

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200 quid for a bloody Tandem in the UK?

I'm moving back home!:P

At my DZ in Canada, we charge $189 which converts to about 80 pound!

1300 pound, which is about $2900 CDN would get you about 50 jumps in our IAD progression but it would take you quite a while to do it.

WOW, 200 pound! I'm calling the family, I'm taking a working vacation!
Anyone need a TI?:ph34r:


I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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If you really get into the sport you'll spend a lot of plane rides in between the legs of 6'2'' perverts with hairy arms anyway, so don't let that put you off!

If you like that sort of thing, pop up to Peterlee and they'll sort you out!!!

Nick
---------------------------
"I've pierced my foot on a spike!!!"

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Quote

AFF...static line is for pussies.

I'm sorry...your language...

Static line is for fannies.

Just tellin it how it is...

:D

Not to have this discussion here...How come you tough AFFguys never exit at 2500ft??

I definately recoomend SL! Cheap, and relatively fast learning. You go higher as you deserve it, not by just paying :P

-S


Don't fart at jumprun

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Its cheap, aslong as you dont take 48 instead of 18 jumps to get your licence :)
I think the UK is probably the worst place to skydive in the world. I think we have the most expensive jump prices and most restrictive rules. But I still love it.

AFF is for pussies that cant get stable straight out the plane. And whats this being scared pulling below 5k? I think the only people I see willing to to hop + pops are ex static liners.

I think SL helps you "get in" with the crowd too, cos you're enthusiastic, around alot more and generally more interested. We had alot of people just off aff abroad (some had done 2/3 SL jumps before) over 12 months ago, and we dont seem most of them much.

UK Skydiver for all your UK skydiving needs.

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