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  1. My husband and I are working on our A license. We want to take a skydiving vacation and take a few days off from our regular drop zone, meet some new folks and most importantly, work on improving our skills and learning new things they don't teach at our regular drop zone. I found two skydive resorts: Skydive AZ (really interested in what Axis Flight School has to offer) and Skydive Perris (I didn't really see as much variety on coaching and courses offered but this is only a 6 hour drive from where I live). Has anyone taken a vacation here? In terms of coaching, was it worth building a whole vacation out of this? Any opinions and feedback is welcome!
  2. I'm fortunate that I didn't feel panic in the moment. I think I didn't arch instantaneously as I was thrown off by not doing my barrel roll correctly and not recognizing right away that I was in a spin. Instead of keeping my body loose and relaxed, I ended up tensing (big no no per my instructors), which caused me to spin faster. It took a little more work to get my hips into a strong arch at that speed but (as I was able to stabilize myself) it's doable.
  3. You'll have instructors to help stabilize you and get you familiar with your surroundings. Also, the more you jump, the more your body will acclimate with the environment and after awhile you don't get the same butterflies in the stomach when you do your freefall. Your body will get used to it and more importantly, your head will get used to it :-)
  4. Namowal - Just wanted to say I LOVE your blog and your duck has helped me keep my confidence after some crappy jumps :-)
  5. As a current AFF student, I highly recommend the tandem before ground school (especially if you do the tandem at the same drop zone you're doing AFF). You're learning one of the most extreme sports in the most intense unnatural environments for human. The tandem (with the plane ride, exit out of the door and freefall) will help you get familiar with that environment so you might not feel so much sensory overload during your Cat A. I had a guy in my ground school that never tried a tandem before he did his cat A jump. Unfortunately, the plane ride up and the plane threshold was a bit much for him and upon exit, he didn't jump but fell. His instructors were attached to him and able to stabilize him but he couldn't complete his dive flow (no check in with the instructors, altitude or heading check or practice touches) and his jumpmaster had to pull for him. I'm not saying this will happen to you or happens to everyone that doesn't do a tandem. I just think the tandem helps you get familiar with very unfamiliar surroundings. As for gear rental, just use the stuff the drop zone provides you with. If they are teaching AFF, they will have student gear for you to use. At my drop zone, students are welcome to bring their own goggles and altimeter but we definitely can't bring our own rigs and must use the ones provided. Not only is buying your own rig $$$, but the student rig is way bigger and has an AAD. Save the money towards purchasing more jump tickets :-)
  6. No prob. Glad I could share the footage. In my head during the moment, I thought I became unstable, did a few spins and arched right away but after watching the video, obviously I didn't as I was spinning for around 30 seconds. After watching the video footage for the first time, I wanted to crap in my pants and the doubts started to happen (I suck. That could have been ugly. I should have arched way sooner). But I've decided to take the POV that someone mentioned upthread "Thanks for the jump. I learned alot". At least this experience has taught me to recognize what a spin feels like and when it (or any other instability happens), I'll remember to arch ASAP. :-)
  7. Btw, just wanted to add a disclaimer that I am not promoting that anyone should try to spin out like this on purpose. It totally and utterly sucks. But I am definitely promoting that one should arch during any point of instability :-) For my fellow AFF students, yes, our instructors are right. Arching works :-)
  8. So, I got back in the plane today and did a relaxed solo dive with my AFF instructor. It was great! That was definitely the medicine I needed to calm the nerves from last week's jump. For curious minds, below is the link to last week's failed E-1 level. Definitely learned a lot from that experience.
  9. Hi All: Thank you all for the wise words, support and motiviation to get back up there. I'm getting back on the horse...err, back on the plane tomorrow and will start off with just a relaxed dive with a solo float exit (no tricks, barrel rolls, etc). I just want to feel the wind and just enjoy the experience. If there is time, I'll attempt E-1 again. Hopefully, my AFF instructor from last week will be working tomorrow and I can get a copy of the video from last week. Arch, arch, arch :-)
  10. I'm an AFF student with 12 jumps (3 tandems and 9 AFF jumps). I started the program in March and have been going almost every weekend to the drop zone and supplementing with wind tunnel time (just some basic stability/belly flying work). Ever since my C level, I have really fallen in love with the sport. I was no longer feeling the nerves when I took my feet off the plane threshold and stepped into the air. I loved achieving stability, building my skills and just seeing everything up there Well, I went in last Sat to do my E-1 level. I had been practicing my barrel rolls on the ground, watching videos and reading my SIM. I felt confident and so excited to try it and be closer to graduating AFF. I exited out of the plane and achieved stability. I pulled one arm to the side and my roll felt very very messy. I felt myself spin, spin and then spin harder. I didn't realize how fast I was spinning until I tried to pull my arm up to look at my altimeter and realized it was pinned to my side. My instructor flew by me in an attempt to help but I was spinning way too fast for her to get to. I punched out my hips into an arch and when I felt myself slow down, I put an arm over the chest and flipped over. I was at 6k, waved off and pulled. I navigated back to the landing area, landed on my feet next to my target. I didn't panic in the moment and I am so grateful that I was able to arch and recover. However, after seeing the video footage of my dive I feel sick. I was literally spinning and doing 360's at around 80 mph (at least 50 360's). Yes, I am so grateful to be alive. I am so grateful I didn't panic during moment. Everyone at the drop zone keeps telling me that I did the right thing and most people would panic or pass out. Everyone keeps telling me that I had an awesome recovery. But I wouldn't have had to have an awesome recovery if I just did the barrel roll right in the first place. I wouldn't have endangered my life and my instructor's life if I had just done the dive flow right. It really didn't hit me until the next day that the situation could have gone VERY ugly and I keep hearing "what if" scenarios in my head. I love the sport. I really want to develop my skills and become good at it. But I'm also scared now and all of the fears I didn't have before are startint to appear. How do you get over the stress from a bad jump? Any advice on moving forward?