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Everything posted by dman415

  1. After a disastrous experience with most of the staff @ Skydance trying to obtain my AFF, I moved on to Hollister and have not regretted it since. I spent a weekend in Perris Valley and was really impressed with their attitude and professionalism, and I have to say that Hollister comes very close to that. Their staff is friendly, informative and very safety-conscious. I especially liked working with Mako and Peter (and Nick and Erica and Emilie). My only complaint is they had a Groupon deal going on and wait times were sometimes all day just to board the aircraft (most all of the customers were tandems, of course, so the rest of us were put on hold). I will continue to consider Hollister my main dropzone, despite a recent ankle injury, and will be returning there to continue jumping after it heals. Facilities are great, and the hangars are HUGE... if you get bored you can drop off on one of their MANY sofas and nap out! Wireless internet, a cafe right next door, what more can you ask for in a dropzone?
  2. dman415

    SkyDance SkyDiving

    I have to agree with rickgarner2000 and most especially thestalkmore. I made the mistake of pursuing my AFF at Skydance, and I've regretted the introduction I've had to skydiving since. I also encountered a great deal of hostility and arrogance from most of the staff there, and learned that if I made even the smallest mistake during a level I was (1.) publically yelled at and chastised as though I were a ten-year-old; and (2.) the incident immediately circulated throughout the entire staff at the dropzone like old ladies gossiping (including to the clerk at the manifest!). I don't know what Skydance's history is, - most of these reviews are at least 2 years old - but despite being a well-equipped dropzone, somewhere along the line no one seems to have taught most of their staff how to deal professionally with the public, at least on an AFF level. They came across as a negative, exclusive group of people with very little patience. (It was, however, fascinating to watch them put on "carnival faces" for the groups of tandem jumpers, and then see the real personalities come out later.) The final straw for me was when one staff member started ranting that he hadn't made enough money that weekend when we had to abort a jump due to low clouds and return to the dropzone. There were two women visiting from Boston who had gone up to do tandems, and I'll never forget the looks on their faces as they listened to his string of four-letter words. After completing jumps/levels at NorCal and Perris and seeing the differences in staff attitudes, I encourage anyone who is contemplating jumping at Davis to take their business elsewhere. There are positive and professional ways to teach an individual a sport; berating, ostracizing and discouraging a customer who's put down close to a thousand dollars, signed his life away and and is determined to learn isn't one of them. An addendum: Everyone on this board is entitled to their opinion. When a user like DHolland makes the comment about another member "The guy below is asserting that Skydance is a bad DZ but who is this guy anyway. He has only posted this review and is clearly not in the skydiving community," this is a perfect example of the attitude I'm referring to in my review. Despite what you may think of yourself, DHolland, skydiving is a sport... it's not Hollywood.