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  1. Thank you, all, for your thoughts thus far. I'll definitely check out Skydive Arizona while I'm down there. I'll also likely pop in on Skydive Buckeye as well. At least based on their website, they appear to be the most licenced-jumper-friendly of the ones I've looked at.
  2. There's a possibility I'll be heading to visit family in the Phoenix area in the next few months, and I was thinking about bringing my gear with me and getting in a few jumps. Besides Skydive Arizona, are there any DZs in the area that are open to licensed jumpers? As someone who comes from a small 182 DZ and only has time to jump a couple of times a month, I'm honestly a bit intimidated by how big and busy it is at Skydive Arizona. But for some reason, I thought I once heard that most of the dropzones in Arizona mostly catered to the tandem crowd. Thoughts?
  3. Note also that the dropzone you go to can play a big part in how much time you spend waiting vs jumping. I jump at a 182 dropzone, and we're the only one on this side of the state. As such, it is really popular for tandems. On Sunday I showed up a little after 10am, immediately manifested, and finally got my first (and only) jump of the day around 3pm. I could have done more if I had arrived earlier, but that's on me. I'm more than happy with getting 1 or 2 jumps in on any given day, I'm not concerned with racking up jump numbers. In the mean time I got to hang out, chat with a lot of different people, watch tandem students having the time of their life, etc. All that is good for me anyway, because I'm such an introvert that it is good to be forced to interact with people.
  4. You already are. I'm 110 jumps in, although about 3/4 of those were a decade ago....and getting back into the flow is like starting all over with regards to the fear. On the drive to the DZ I'm looking for excuses to turn around. Walking up to manifest I'm thinking about reasons that I should just hang out and watch. Riding up in the airplane I'm thinking about all of the things that could possibly go wrong. And then I remind myself, I've been well trained, even if I am inexperienced. My gear is in great shape, I've done a thorough gear check, and I had someone else do a secondary pin check. I trust the people that I'm jumping with, that we're all going to do what we've planned. I have backup plans in case something goes awry, and I have backup plans for the backup plans in case they really go awry. Finally, I remind myself what those first 5 seconds are going to feel like, which is why I do what I do. Then when the door opens, I take a deep breath and get ready to exit. And for the next 5 minutes or so, I get to experience something that is incomparable to anything else that I do in my life.
  5. This is exactly my experience as well. My wife is high risk, so I am very, very careful about where I go and what I do. I really miss skydiving. More than that, I really miss going to the gym. But both of those are out because of videos and photos I'm constantly seeing on Facebook. Meanwhile, I've got plenty of other things I can do for fun and that can keep me in shape until a vaccine is finally ready to go.
  6. Maybe spend some time in a tunnel over the next couple of years, then skip the tandem and do an AFF jump on your 18th birthday?
  7. I wish I could tell you. I've only jumped twice this year, and now my rig is in the closet and probably isn't coming back out until (a) infection rates are back down to the levels immediately prior to reopening, or (b) there is a reasonably effective vaccine. Masks or no masks, I simply don't believe that cramming 5 people in a 182, or 15+ into a caravan, etc., is a good idea. This is also definitely NOT a skydiving thing. I was at a powerlifting competition this past weekend (the other USPA, lol) where masks were mandated for everyone but the lifter on the platform. And yet there was the Head Referee, all day long, yelling commands to the lifters with no mask.
  8. Now that we've been out of lockdown for over a month, I'm wondering who all has returned to jumping and who is still sitting it out? I jumped a couple of times shortly after reopening, on weekdays when there were fewer people at the DZ, but now that infection rates are climbing again I've once again grounded myself. My wife is immunocompromised, and the way I see it, I'm not okay with risking her life just to jump. Fortunately my home DZ looks to be as busy as ever, which is awesome for them. Unfortunately I just have to wait a while before I can join in the fun.
  9. I replied yes, but I am really more on the fence. The truth is that where I live and where I jump, the infection rate is quite low. As such, violating social distancing rules for a few jumps (but not nearly as many as I hoped to do otherwise) wouldn't be that much of a risk. Except, I suspect there is a very good chance that my part of the state opens long before the more populous areas. That leads me to believe that we'll have a huge influx of jumpers crossing the mountains to jump, and likely bringing the virus over with them. So, I would jump with local jumpers from the area, but certainly not with visiting jumpers whose DZs aren't yet open. Side note: Skydiving aside, the possibility of visitors bring the virus to my area already scares me since I live in a small but popular tourist town that is likely to be swarmed with people once restrictions are lifted.
  10. Unfortunately this is true. Certainly no one should put themselves in a situation where they experience hardship while helping other businesses. I am fortunate enough to where if I happen to lose a few hundred dollars, it would be really irritating but not life altering.
  11. Back to the original topic, another idea I would throw out is to buy a block of jump tickets right now. You're going to spend the money anyway, and the extra cash flow right now may be huge for some of the smaller DZs out there.
  12. Thank you, all. It's easy to get discouraged, even easier to think I'm the only person who ever got discouraged while jumping, and I appreciate the reality check that you all provided. My home DZ is having a boogie this weekend and will be flying a caravan, so that should be a good excuse to get more than a few jumps in.
  13. Just looking for some thoughts, advice, blah blah. I started skydiving in 2008, did about 85 or so jumps in 2008 and 2009. I jumped a handful of times in 2010 and 2011, took a long layoff, jumped twice last year, and now I've gotten "current" for real, by current I mean not really current because only 12 jumps in 3 months. Anyway, the majority of my jumps both back in the day and this year, seem to be watching other people have fun while I am unable to get to the formation, just hanging out as close as I can so they know where I am at break off. When I jump two-ways, they go fairly well, I'm guessing that is because I only have to focus on getting to and flying with one person, and that person is also focused only on flying with me. As soon as I have to fly relative to a group (that is, when I have to do a lot more work with fall rate, proximity, etc) it all goes to hell. I just did my 100th jump on Saturday. I spent the entire jump about 50 feet above the formation, arching hard and trying to make myself small, but never getting any closer. Ironically that is opposite from most of my jumps because usually I'm far below the formation because I'm a little bowling ball. I intentionally wore my big baggy suit in an attempt to fall slower. It looks like it worked too well....but that's beside the point. I've done tunnel time, and it's helped, but I feel like it has helped me learn to fly relative to someone, not GET TO someone in order to fly relative to them. I really appreciate the more experienced jumpers who have been willing to do basic two-ways with me to help me build my skills, but I'm sure that gets really boring for them. I guess the answer is to put together a series of 10, 15, 20 jumps with a coach and just really focus on the skills. It would get pricey of course, but it's probably less expensive than continuing to burn jumps doing what essentially are solos. Thoughts?
  14. Sorry, I didn't mean to muddy the waters....I'm not the OP, I just jumped in on his thread because his question was very much in line with what's been a struggle for me as I look for new gear. That said, I'll check out the Wings for sure. And I'm pretty sure I'm sticking with the 190 reserve, I landed my old 190 reserve once and it was, how shall we say, not very graceful. I couldn't imagine trying it on a smaller canopy, at 2000' higher elevation then all of my previous jumps.