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    Boston Providence Skydive Center
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  1. Hi; I started AFF 2 years ago and progressed through level 7 in 7 jumps. Then shit happened. I hurt my shoulder and had to take a few months off. Just as it was getting better I got diagnosed with colorectal cancer. I've spent most of a year beating the crap out of this beast and it appears I won !! (It ain't easy). Now I'm busy getting back in shape and evry sunny day I stare at the sky. I can't wait to resume where I left off. What shouls I expect. To go back to Level ! and start over or at least start somewhere in the middle. I have videos that show good stable exits and managed to log 30 minutes of tunnel time during my recovery period. Any advice is mucho appreciated.
  2. DO NOT DISLOCATE A SHOULDER INtENTIONALLY! Each time you do so it will get worse. Although I have not had the surgery, many friends (and my daughter) have. It's not bad. Here in the US it's now day surgery. Recovery and restoration take 10 weeks. After that you're good to go. Slight loss of motion in some cases but no big deal.
  3. I'm also a newbie with only 8 jumps. I have a left shoulder that's been dislocated at least 20 times over a 30 year span. It's been good for years but knock on wood. I never had a freefall problem (went through AFF all levels). However, 8 minuts in the Skyventure windtunnel and it was sore as hell for 3 months. An MRI revealed no damage but my bet is that it may have popped out. Once the lousy New England weather and my work schedule get aligned I intend to start up again in earnest. I also have decided to develop a "plan" of what to do if my shoulder dislocates while jumping. This will include deployment, canopy control, what to do if I have a disclocated shoulder and a mal (!!!) and how to land with one arm incapacitated. I'll also seek the advice of as many jumpers as I can as I've read alot of incidents where shoulder dislocations occured. One final note: physical therapy helps alot. I put mine through weight training and also find that pushups are really good for strengthening the right muscles. Good luck. Be careful. Make a plan that covers the possibilities and stick to it. You might also think about getting it repaired. You'll lose some mobility but you won't have to worry about it. I might do the same to be safe. Final note; talk to your JM's. Don't surprise them with your problem in freefall!!!!!!!!
  4. Be careful. On my AFF Level VII jump, I was fooling around and I buried the right toggle to my thigh. I was told that student 280's were so forgiving that I should try a bunch of stuff up high to explore the canopy. Well.....the canopy surged right and all of a sudden it spun itself up. I had maybe 6 line twists with the right steering line now locked. I immediately thought "CHOP" but looked at my alti and was at 3200 ft. I was in a slow spin but it was getting faster (still slowly). So I grabbed the risers and kicked out of the twists. At least I learned how to do it. This would have been a more painful outcome if done much lower. I was shocked to see that this brief episode ate up more than 1000 feet. The message is try things up high and never below 2500 feet. I learned you can hurt yourself on a student 280.
  5. I'm a newbie w/ only 8 jumps but my left shoulder has a chronic history of disclocations. Old skiing injury but it's been out more than 25 times over the years. I was afraid it would be a problem. Before I started AFF, I worked it for 3 months. Alot of pushups and weight stuff. No professional advice...I just did what I felt seemed to strengthen it. For example, when I started I could not do more than 10 pushups before it started really hurting and feel like it would pop. Now 50 or even 75 are no problem. never had a problem in freefall or deployment but several 2 minute tunnel sessions left it sore for several weeks. I don't know about a compression brace but if you get one let me know. BTW: I'd have a plan just in case you have to land a canopy with one arm disabled. You can steer (3 rights make a left) but flaring is a bitch.
  6. I wear contacts and have not had any problems with good goggles. If I were tolose one, however, my eyesight is good enough so it would not be a big deal. Hor you I'd recommend: 1. Get good goggles 2. Carry glasses in your jumpsuit. You can put 'em on under canopy. 3. Get an audible in case you can't see your visual altimeter if you lose a lens. 4. Discuss with an instructor the tradeoffs of oulling high if you can't see versus relying on an audible. Just my .02 from a very in-experienced jumper.
  7. I did AFF in 7 jumps, although I thought I should have failed level IV. However, between travel, work and weather it took 6 weeks. I'm 51 years old so I'm kinda proud I did it. Can't wait for our New England DZ to open up and get in the air again. BTW: Yes I will do alot of recurrency. Also got some tunnel time in during the winter.
  8. I could not agree more. I did AFF last year (got hurt non-skydiving so have to go backwards this year) and was very proud of my altitude awareness. As for heading, all I knew was if I was turning or not. That goes for all seven levels! Excellent post. When I return I will make a point of knowing the heading. Thanks
  9. You don't really need to buy a radio. Your DZ will give you one during AFF training. After AFF, nobody will talk you down anyway unless you arrange to have somebody do it. So you don't need a radio. The radios I used were one sided; you could only listen. On two of my jumps they broke in freefall and weren't used anyway. By AFF level V you should not need the radio.
  10. Welcome to the greatest thrill on, or off, earth. I was where you are exactly one year ago. Had one tandem and was waiting for warm weather to start AFF. I got all the way through AFF level VII and then never went solo because the weather moved in that day. After that I got injured, not skydiving, and sat out the rest of the season. Now I can't wait for spring to resume. I'll probably have to go backwards a level or two but that's OK. As has already been said, this is not a "safe" sport. I'm a fanatical snow-boarder and I consider skydiving safer than that. You should read everything that you can. The skydivers handbook is great and I recommend you study the hell out of the malfunction section. Also, get the video "Breakaway" which is instructional about mal's. I was scared before every jump. Once out the door, no fear. It was magic! After you land, there's a certain glow that lasts a very long time. I had pretty good line twists on AFF VII but training, and a high opening, kicked in to give me plenty of time to deal with it. That gave me more confidence. Study the incidents at the fatalities page: http://www.skydivingfatalities.info/ There's a lot of educational material buried in those reports. Also note that the vast majority of incidents happen under a good canopy and involve hook turns and turns too close to the ground. Cypress and RSL would have prevented many more. And then sometimes, like everything in life, it's just not your day. If we worried about that then we'd stay in our bedrooms all day! As for me, I will approach every jump assuming that a mal will occur and ready to react. I will trust that I have a reserve and it will work. I will trust that I'm at least competent enough to recognize and emergency and do what I'm trained to do. I'll double check my gear before each jump and ask somebody to check me again. Then I'll have the time of my life flying through the sky! Good Luck.
  11. I didn't fail AFF lvl IV but I should have. I turned and stopped in one direction no problem. Then when I tried the reverse direction I just kept spinning. Probably spinned for 4,000 feet. Just before pull time (5500) I was able to stop the turn and hold a bearing. Not sure why. I expected to fail but got passed on because I stopped the spin. However, I was so bummed out I quit for 2 weeks and then went back. I was sure that level 5 would be another disaster. On the ride up my JM asked how my exits were. I said no problem so he said "fine: exit solo and I'll follow you"!!! This shot of confidence relaxed me and i nailed a near perfect level 5, 6 and 7! I got injured the next week (not skydiving) so now I have to wait until spring (Boston) to continue. The point is that you'll also nail it. I've read alot and level 4 is the most troublesome jump. Hang in there.
  12. I am just like you. I only have 8 jumps and completed AFF. Then I got injured (not jumping) and have been grounded since August. Ready to go now but it's winter here in New england so we have to wait for Spring. Before each jump I was very nervous the days before. i almost hoped for bad weather. The day I planned to jump I was very scared UNTIL I ARRIVED AT THE DZ. Then seeing everybody smile and be so helpful and encouraging, I'd settle down. Then the fear would return on the ride up. Once the door opened I'd again settle down. A final moment of apprehension and then out I'd go. Once you commit it's fantastic. Absolutely no fear in the air. Only adrenelin and wonder. Too bad freefall's only a minute. And then the canopy ride, my favorite part. After a jump, I can't wipe the smile off my face for a week. Good luck. Welcome to the sky.
  13. Nate; Only met ya that one day but you helped me alot. Bon voyage and I'm sure we'll meet up somewhere. Ya wanna learn snowboarding just call. John C
  14. Hey Tom; I was the post on step ins; but I',m also 50 years old. I do agree that strap bindings are generally better. I had Burton step ins and they royally sucked. Now have Switch which are OK. Probably will go back to reguar straps this season. Good advice for Nathan.
  15. Nathan!!!!!! I'm not much of a skydiver yet but I'm a hell of a snowboarder. After skiing for 25 years I crossed over to the "dark side" and started riding. Been doing t 100% for siz years now. All over New England, Jackson Hole and in the Alps. Had I known I could have set you up WITH FREE GEAR. A great learners board plus bindings,. Maybe even boost deending on your size. As for learning take a intro lesson (I should have but thought my skiing experience counted. Not much it turned out). The rental gear is almost always very shitty so if you decide you like it get your own. I'd recommend a decent borad from Ride or Burton; for your size a 158 to 160 cm length would be about right. Step in bindings have come a long way and are easier than strapped bindings. Watch out for Burton step ins as they have a tendancy to freeze up in certain snow conditions. Switch are much better. One final note: catching your heel side edge as a novice frequently results in slamming your head on the snow. I'd strongly recommend a helmut (could have given you one of those also), knee pads (you'll spend alot of time on your knees) and wrist guards (the most common snowboarding injury for beginners is broken writs; doubles are not uncommon). If you're back in New England let me know and I'll set you up. Hope the adventure is going well. I'm going back to the tunnel week after next! Finally healed. John