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emmiwy

Tandem vs. AFF instructor preference?

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To all instructors,

I'm new to skydiving, currently going through the AFF and loving every step! Thank you for everything you do you are all amazing for passing on your knowledge and love for the sport to us just getting into it. :)

I'm not even close to becoming an instructor/getting any kind of rating, but I'm definitely inspired to become an instructor one day. I'd say now I'd like to get a TI rating because I'd like to help people have a good time, and to share the experience of a first timer is awesome [I know I'll never forget my first jump].

The AFF student can be [like me] a lot more serious and performance driven, but I think it'd be awesome to see the progression of a student through the different levels and see them grow the skydive career long term. I think I'll get both at some point... :)

So what do you enjoy more, teaching tandem or AFF students?

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Okay, I'll be first. Back when I was doing tandem and AFF I much preferred tandem, by a huge margin, but that is because I was working at a tandem factory and was doing maybe 20 tandems for every 1 AFF. I was very comfortable with tandem and felt like I could handle anything (maybe that's a bad feeling to have?) but when I was on an AFF jump I was VERY aware of all that could go wrong, and it scared me.

Bob
"For you see, an airplane is an airplane. A landing area is a landing area. But a dropzone... a dropzone is the people."

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Yeah definitely valid points. What makes the AFF for me so much more nerve-racking [and so much more fun] is thinking of all the things you need to do, and what could go wrong if you don't do it properly. And I wonder what it'd be like to tandem jump with [most] guys who are bigger than I am...

But I definitely think there is the feeling of pride and self-validation from watching someone learn and execute what you teach them AND enjoy it; a feeling I don't think you'd get from doing a tandem jump. I know I strive to make my AFF instructors proud :)

I'm just curious to hear everyone's experience with teaching either way.

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Tandem= Playing with a loaded gun
AFF= Helping a child play with a loaded gun

I wonder how many "instructors" know this.

Both are incredible and VERY rewarding.

Enjoy your journey emmiwy. All journeys end.
..................................
Better you than me
..................................

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Tandem - amusement park ride operator.
AFF - skydiving instructor.

Tandem will abuse your body and scare the shit out of you. AFF will abuse your mind and challenge your flying skills (and occasionally scare the shit out of you).

I've done both. I much prefer AFF, because AFF students want to learn to skydive while most tandem passengers are there for a ride and have no intention of ever jumping again.

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I'm not a TI so I can't comment on that. But, as for AFFI...

There's nothing more rewarding than...
- seeing that big grin and look of astonishment when the in-air "light comes ON."
- getting to sign off on the Progression Card for EPs when they can satisfy my requirement for 100% accuracy in:
a) naming the mal
b) describing what it looks like and,
c) demonstrating how to handle it
....all quickly without hesitation or guesswork.

As for the AFFI in-air work, it's sheer terror occasionally interrupted by moments of sheer joy.
:D:D

One AFFI Course Director told me, "AFFI is like a box of chocolates...."
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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What you will enjoy more will become apparent to you about 150-200 jumps from now.
If you truly want to become some kind of instructor, spend your first 150 jumps on your belly. Freeflying doesn't build the kind of skills you'll need.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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The necessry qualities for a good instructor are the same for both.

A strong knowledge of the sport.

A strong attitude toward safety.

Enthusiasm toward newcomers and a willingness to pass the knowledge and attitudes on.

An abilty to communicate well and to teach well.

By the time you develop those attrubutes, you will have a much better idea where you want to go.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Yes that is an interesting analogy...playing with a loaded gun sounds like so much more fun ;) Though it certainly explains the ecstasy I felt when I first pulled my chute for the first and bounced to my instructors hugging them like a kid would. :) At some point I'd like to try teaching both; thanks for the encouragement!

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Yep the one instructor I talked to at my DZ described the differences exactly the same way, in terms of one feeling like you're really teaching someone to skydive versus showing them a good time.

I get how tandem can be physically more taxing [esp. since I'm female and not that strong], but scare the s*** out of you? Every jump I've made has gotten me a little nervous so I thought that feeling never goes away. :)

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+1

I had a friend recently go through AFF-I, 1200 jumps, mostly free fly - he made it, but struggled.



Will take your advice. :) I haven't done a freefly yet, but so far I'm not having any problem with belly flying--when I did my FJC my instructor told me I was the only student he's had in his [albeit short] career teaching who enjoyed arching. :)

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I get how tandem can be physically more taxing [esp. since I'm female and not that strong], but scare the s*** out of you?



Definitely. A tandem isn't just another skydive. The equipment is significantly more complex than sport gear, making dealing with equipment issues significantly more complex. Then add in the passenger hanging off the front of you, who has been given just enough training to hopefully not do something, without knowing it, that could easily kill both of you.

The nervousness you feel now will likely fade as you get more jumps, but expect it to come back every time you try something new in the sport. I was almost as scared doing my first balloon jump as I was doing my first skydive! :S:D

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Tandem= Playing with a loaded gun
AFF= Helping a child play with a loaded gun

I wonder how many "instructors" know this.



I wonder how many "instructors" believe this hyperbole. :S




Tim,
Why is my analogy bullshit ?

Tandem is dangerous and when not treated that way instructors
drop passengers, hook in it, pull handles out of order, gear failure etc etc

Aff is dangerous and when mistakes are made students and/or instructors die etc etc

Lots of instructors out there do not have a healthy respect for this.
Did I hurt your feelings?
If I was capable of feelings you would have hurt mine :)
I meant no ill will

Regards,
Bob Crossman
..................................
Better you than me
..................................

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Definitely. A tandem isn't just another skydive. The equipment is significantly more complex than sport gear, making dealing with equipment issues significantly more complex. Then add in the passenger hanging off the front of you, who has been given just enough training to hopefully not do something, without knowing it, that could easily kill both of you.

The nervousness you feel now will likely fade as you get more jumps, but expect it to come back every time you try something new in the sport. I was almost as scared doing my first balloon jump as I was doing my first skydive! :S:D



Makes sense to me. I think I'd have to hit the weight room pretty hard if I can even think about carrying the tandem equipment. Or start drinking protein shakes :)

Yesterday I was carrying a NAV-280 and it was pretty heavy for me and I had a pretty hard landing [though I did flare too high]. For my FJC I was on a NAV-240 which I landed well on, but I was told by my level 2 instructors typically AFF students don't start on canopies that size.

Anyway thanks for the reply, I have so many more things to look forward to :)

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Tandem= Playing with a loaded gun
AFF= Helping a child play with a loaded gun

I wonder how many "instructors" know this.



I wonder how many "instructors" believe this hyperbole. :S






Tandem is dangerous and when not treated that way instructors
drop passengers, hook in it, pull handles out of order, gear failure etc etc

Aff is dangerous and when mistakes are made students and/or instructors die etc etc

Lots of instructors out there do not have a healthy respect for this.



Thanks for reinforcing this Bob. Never hurts to be thinking about safety, no matter how experienced you are. A friend of mine today said "Emily, how can you not pull your parachute? That just sound so stupid" [in re: me knowing I was supposed to pull, reached for it @ right altitude but just couldn't find the main handle]. As a student it really needs to be drilled in our brains that the canopy IS going to save your life, that handle is everything.

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Tandem= Playing with a loaded gun
AFF= Helping a child play with a loaded gun

I wonder how many "instructors" know this.



I wonder how many "instructors" believe this hyperbole. :S



He's right. Remember what the waiver says: There is not now, nor will there ever be a perfect parachute system, perfect airplane, perfect instructor or for that matter a perfect student. (From memory....)
----------------------------------------------
You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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For AFF instruction, I enjoy the potential long-term investment in working with someone who truly wants to learn the sport. Then again, it is a lot of hard work and much more risky.

For tandem instruction, it's an incredible feeling being with someone who is enjoying skydiving for the first time. You don't have to invest a lot of time, and they can fully enjoy the experience without all the responsibility to distract them. Then again, there are five handles, 200 lbs of kicking and screaming, drogue in tow, what could possibly go wrong? ;)[:/]

Both have pros and cons.
http://3ringnecklace.com/

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Tandem only pays $35 per jump.

AFF also pays $35 per jump, but you spend twice as long in ground school.

you do the math.



Not at our DZ bc the non method specific is done by us SI and coaches. Then the AFF gets them for the method specific (roughly the time spent on tandem prep possibly a little longer) then they go.
Life is all about ass....either you're kicking it, kissing it, working it off, or trying to get a piece of it.
Muff Brother #4382 Dudeist Skydiver #000
www.fundraiseadventure.com

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Tandem= Playing with a loaded gun
AFF= Helping a child play with a loaded gun

I wonder how many "instructors" know this.



I wonder how many "instructors" believe this hyperbole. :S




Tim,
Why is my analogy bullshit ?

Tandem is dangerous and when not treated that way instructors
drop passengers, hook in it, pull handles out of order, gear failure etc etc

Aff is dangerous and when mistakes are made students and/or instructors die etc etc

Lots of instructors out there do not have a healthy respect for this.
Did I hurt your feelings?
If I was capable of feelings you would have hurt mine :)
I meant no ill will

Regards,
Bob Crossman



I guess you do not understand you definition of hyperbole.

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I was telling my instructors after having to repeat level 2 twice, that they're awesome guys and I love them for coaching and hanging on to me, but was certainly not failing on purpose; apparently a middle aged woman at our DZ who was proficient at her jumps, intentionally tanked levels just so she could continue the coached jumps.

One of the benefits of the AFF instructor rating, students grow attached to you no? :)

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One of the benefits of the AFF instructor rating, students grow attached to you no? :)



I think it's the uniform. Chicks dig that.:)
"For you see, an airplane is an airplane. A landing area is a landing area. But a dropzone... a dropzone is the people."

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