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  1. [#112f4d]If insight from someone who's just finished his AFF is useful for you, this is absolutely spot on. My most successful jumps, by far, were the ones where I was with relaxed, chilled instructors who (seemed like they) were just having fun, so that's what I did too.[/#112f4d
  2. Hey OP I'm on the back end of my AFF at the moment. My progression has been both terrible and great, with instructors having to pull for me (because I forgot ) on some jumps, and other jumps going near perfectly with instructors saying I've been one of their best students. I agree with the comments above - also ensure you check the weather before you take time off to jump! All in all, what really helped me was practising my arch, and the tunnel. Before I started the course, I would spend about five minutes every time I went to the gym, lying face down on a bench holding an arch (in 50 second sets - to imitate freefall). I was self conscious so I did this when nobody was around lol. I think it helped me in the sky during my first jump - my arch was described as "beautiful". LOL. Also I spent twenty minutes in the tunnel before Stages 3/4 where they begin letting you go. I was very stable. I'd recommend that too!
  3. Lol, thanks for the discussion guys. Think I might get a custom jumpsuit at some point, so will leave that for later. At my DZ, they're happy for students to get on to full face helmets as soon as they're off radio, which could be quite soon, so I'll be looking into helmets for sure. Re: the audible, I will be getting one, but don't want to rely on it, so will set it at a low altitude, so it's only there if I need it. I want to be able to use my eyes and manual reading of my alti to remain height aware until it's burned in my memory Thanks again all
  4. Lol well, it's an interesting one. When I talk about skydiving to people, I tell them I'm learning. I'm not sure when I'd consider myself a "real skydiver". If I tell myself it'll be when I have my A license, I feel when I do, I won't feel like a real skydiver until I get my B. And so on. In future, when talking to those not in the skydiving community, I plan on saying something along the lines of "I'm a licensed skydiver so sometimes I jump out of planes as a hobby" - try to make it sound low key so that I'm not showing off about how exciting I am. For now, definitely consider myself only a student. Cheers though mate
  5. Hey guys, Thanks so much for all the comprehensive and detailed responses. It's been really insightful, and I have a much better idea of what I'm going to be looking at getting. In the meantime, I shall continue fantasising about being a real skydiver as I work through my AFF
  6. Sup folks, I’m about halfway through my AFF course, and I’m thinking about the time when I’ll need to buy my own gear for when I’m licensed and know what I’m doing, what I like jumping with etc. However, is it too early to start thinking about this stuff? The main reason I’m thinking at this stage (apart from fantasising about when I’m going to be a real skydiver ) is because I’m going overseas for a holiday soon, and I can save on tax if I purchase gear now (tourist refund scheme). The main things I’m thinking about are a (full faced) helmet, alti and gloves. I’m not at all considering getting a rig as I have no idea what size I’ll want at this stage. Primarily I was hoping for some insights into getting an altimeter. I don’t need my own at all, because they’re supplied when you’re a student or hire gear to jump. However, since I plan on getting my own at some point, I don’t mind buying early, unless my preferences change over time. For example, right now I have a preference for analogue altis, because I like that it tells me how high I am, but also I read it like I read my analogue watch – e.g. at 4:12pm, I know it’s 4:12pm but also that I’m a few minutes from quarter past, this far from half past, and that far from 5:00pm, all at a glance. My reading of the analogue alti seems to work the same way. I imagine with a digital one, I’d only be using it to check when the number drops close to my deployment height, and not necessarily being height aware. However, I’m also contemplating getting an audible eventually, which don’t come with the analogue ones as I understand it? The helmet I’m pretty set on. I’m not a huge fan of the hard hat + goggles set up I’m wearing through AFF, ESPECIALLY the goggles which I resent . The helmet also allows me to wear my glasses as opposed to contacts if I feel so inclined. Likewise with the gloves, being a Sydneysider I am used to the heat, and loathe the winter. The gloves really help. What do you guys reckon? How soon into your skydiving lives did you start buying your gear? Did you buy everything at once? Did your preferences drastically change as you gained more experience?
  7. It's hard to say. Unlike the US, Australia has a small population over a large land mass, but highly concentrated in coastal cities - led, by far, by Sydney (where I am) and Melbourne. I would've thought that domestic violence rates would be higher in the congested city areas, but the data (for NSW anyway, the eastern state where Sydney is capital) suggests that DV is worse out in the outback: http://crimetool.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/bocsar/ There seems to be a correlation between rates of assault and economic power across the state. Sydney and other NSW coastal hubs have seemingly lower rates of assault compared to more inland regions. In hindsight, this isn't terribly surprising. I think Bob, you may have seen a somewhat biased news report if your takeaway was that Australia's domestic violence rates are comparable to America's in the 1950s or so. The stats between Australia and America more recently are quite similar (https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf), so I assume there was a little sensationalism in the report you saw.
  8. I'm just about to embark on Stages 3 & 4 of my AFF course (stages I hear it is common to repeat), so I've spent 8 minutes in the tunnel practising stability, and am spending 8 more minutes in a couple hours' time, before getting to the DZ this weekend (assuming weather holds up). Although I have been taught these skills by my instructors at the DZ, the iFly instructors do reinforce these, and for the most part are consistent with my AFF instructors (thankfully). Have not noticed this tbh. If anything, my iFly instructors try to get me to bend my legs more - during AFF they've hammered into me that a hard arch consists of "straight legs, toes pointed", so that's how I executed my body positioning in the tunnel, which leads to a lot of forward movement in a confined area, hence I'm needing to bend my legs more to keep centred. If I'm centred and stable, they get me to execute 360 turns. They want me to also fly up and down by de-arching (slightly, or that's how I understand it) and re-arching, but I prefer spending more time on stability so I tell them I'm happy to save those skills for later, when I get up to them in my AFF.
  9. Hey Bob, Australian here. Yes when I read about domestic violence against women and rape stats here, I was taken aback. I believe our rates of other types of violent crimes are lower than yours though - not that I'm saying one is better or worse than the other. It's just how it's played out respectively I suppose. And just to clarify (not that it matters because I know what you meant) - the ABS is actually the Australian Bureau of Statistics - where I imagine we are getting our numbers from. The ABC is our Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and yes their news reports are generally good quality. You may find this link interesting: http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Australia/United-States/Crime
  10. LOL I hate when there are hop n pops on my load. I hate heights and tiny planes, so the climb-bank-power down-climb-bank cycles I resent big time
  11. Fortunately I'm not American, but I would've voted for Hilary if given the choice between her and Trump. Trump is just not fit to be a country's leader, though I don't dislike him personally, and don't necessarily disagree with his policies. I see Hilary as the lesser of two evils. Every other President America's had have seemed fit to act in the role (perhaps not Bush Jnr ), but Trump does not at all. As a celebrity, I'm indifferent toward him, but as a politician, he seems a clown.
  12. Congrats! I sold my bike earlier today, so at least a couple people have picked up bikes recently lol. I'm happy for you, motorcycling can be fun and is a great skill to pick up. Hopefully I'm just as thrilled as you when I get my next one Have fun with it, and stay upright
  13. That sucks man, I can empathise. Just the other day I went in for AFF2, and had almost exactly the same experience you just had. But I don't do any other cool sports like you, so I'm gonna try again. Only looking to get down to the DZ on a perfect day from now on. They say winds are usually softer early in the morning, so this might mean some early starts for me lol I found this to be very true. It was a VERY fulfilling feeling when I landed my own canopy during AFF1. Though I dropped to my knees after touchdown. I'll get there lol
  14. Hmm I'm not sure if you'll be right about that Bob. Sydney generally has lovely weather, especially in Spring/Summer