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A Few Newbie Questions


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#1 Tonythetiger

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:47 AM

Hi all, im planning to do the AFF course and I have never jumped before so I just have a few questions. Any help will be great.
I'm most likely going to do the course at Netheravon. Is there any recommended company or instructors to go with?
I'd really like to get started this year, but seeing as the weather is not that good now, I was wondering, if you go up to do level 1 on the first day, and the weather is poor on the jump day, what happens then? Does the jump get postponed, or would you have to repeat the whole ground training and do the jump another day?
Im saving all my spare cash at the moment to do this, but in the meantime, is there anything I can read, or do to help me on the course?
Thanks.
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#2 Tricky

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:13 AM

Netheravon provide their own instructors - so just go direct to the DZ. Most outside companies are just booking agencies - you should get it cheaper if you go direct (http://www.netheravon.com/)

if the weather is pants when you're supposed to jump, it is just postponed. But how long you leave it determines how much refresher training you will get before the jump. But as long as you keep getting this refresher training, the clock resets. The best advice is to get to the DZ as much as possible, as the longer you leave it, the longer the revision training will be (if you leave it more than 3 months you may have to do the whole course again). While you're there and its bad weather you can maybe watch some packing.
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#3 Tonythetiger

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:56 AM

Hi thanks for the advice Tricky. I have had a look kn the netheravon website already, and was surprised to find that it's £1350 on the Netheravon website. whereas the first company I looked at after googling, offers it at £1100. :-/.
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#4 Tonythetiger

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 12:19 PM

Would the cheaper one still be likely to be with the same instructors then?
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#5 Tricky

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 12:37 PM

Are you sure these other companies are based at netheravon? Most companies that offer AFF are small groups of AFF instructors who operate out of selected DZs.
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#6 Tonythetiger

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 01:47 PM

PM'd you tricky
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#7 Fruit

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 02:29 PM

I assume comments other than netherhaven related are welcome. I did my aff with Scotty Milne, Active Skydiving in Empuriabrava. I did the 8 levels and 7 consolidation jumps in 5 days. I enjoyed the intensive immersion approach to learning and felt I progressed well. Obviously you have to factor in accommodation and travel costs. I have experienced no problems with acceptance since returning to the UK. I can imagine there is an advantage to embedding yourself into a club from the start and realise that I will have to put in an effort in this area, but the two DZs I have visited hve been great and really welcoming. I was forced to train in Spain as my weight was somewhat outside the reccomendations for UK training,

Cheers
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#8 Tonythetiger

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 02:47 PM

Funny you should say that. My weight is a bit of an issue at the moment too, at 16.5 st. Though, I am training hard to lose weight so I can jump here, and just for my general fitness too.
I have contacted scotty already as well, and found him to be really helpful in his replies but Id be really keen to hear more from you about it all.
The only slight problem I can forsee about doing it that way is the missus may not be impressed with my use of my leave - i.e going to Spain. To jump out of planes. Without her. LOL.
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#9 sgorf

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 09:10 PM

Hi thanks for the advice Tricky. I have had a look kn the netheravon website already, and was surprised to find that it's £1350 on the Netheravon website. whereas the first company I looked at after googling, offers it at £1100. :-/.


Check what is included. Kit hire and packing for the eight levels? Consols? Kit hire and packing during consols? Full BPA membership? Any extras, like equipment? What are the rejump prices?

I have no idea what Nethers includes as standard either, but if you're comparing AFF courses, these are the things you should take into account.
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#10 Flint

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 09:29 PM

What sgorf said - especially note the cost of level retakes. (Prices to vary wildly - and also bear in mind that a retake of levels 1, 2 or 3 is likely to be more than 4-7)

It's perfectly possible to do AFF in the UK. I did mine at Langar in October 2009 - we had the most beautiful week: blue skies, nil wind, sunshine... 8)

I generally recommend that people consider doing their AFF at the dropzone where they'll regularly jump, cos you'll have a great introduction to the DZ, you'll know the instructors, the local customs and practices. (More importantly, they'll know you, and will be better able to help you through your progression. Having said that, I've never jumped anywhere other than Langar!)

Good luck!

Matthew
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#11 Dazzle

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:18 AM

The only slight problem I can forsee about doing it that way is the missus may not be impressed with my use of my leave - i.e going to Spain. To jump out of planes. Without her. LOL.


I'm usually on the side of doing it in the UK but Ampuriabrava is one of the most "Whuffo otherhalf" friendly DZs that you could go to. The DZ is right on the edge of the town, the town is quite small but has plenty of things to do. If you get a car, which you most likely would then there are many nice places just a short drive away. The night life is good too, both for youngsters and for us older ones.
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#12 Tonythetiger

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 11:53 PM

What on earth is a 'whuffo other half' ? Lol
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#13 Colin

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 11:59 PM

What on earth is a 'whuffo other half' ? Lol


It roughly translates to "partner who doesn't jump". I'll leave it to others to explain the history of the phrase "whuffo" but Empuriabrava is a great place even if you're not jumping. Plenty of shops, bars, great restaurants, bars, beaches, bars, mountains, bars etc. I would recommend having a car though so you can explore. 8)
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#14 Dazzle

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:07 AM

It roughly translates to "partner who doesn't jump". I'll leave it to others to explain the history of the phrase "whuffo" but Empuriabrava is a great place even if you're not jumping. Plenty of shops, bars, great restaurants, bars, beaches, bars, mountains, bars etc. I would recommend having a car though so you can explore. 8)


Urban dictionary to the rescue:

Whuffo

1. whuffo
n, A person who is not a skydiver (from the often-asked questions posed by prospective skydivers)
"Whuffo you jump out of them airplanes?"

2. whuffo
A person that has NEVER made a skydive. A virgin to the experience of skydiving.
Why would anyone jump out of a perfectly good airplane?

Jumpers reply; That phrase is so tired. You'll never know until you do it. Now go away WHUFFO!


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#15 Nick W

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:59 AM

It's perfectly possible to do AFF in the UK. I did mine at Langar in October 2009 - we had the most beautiful week: blue skies, nil wind, sunshine... 8)


The flip to this is that it took me months, and I mean months to do my AFF due to bad weather. On the occasions the weather was good I got stuck in meetings or my wife had booked in "quality time" for that weekend. It was without doubt the most frustrating period in my life bar none. I reckon I spent more on diesel and sandwiches than the cost of the AFF course alone.

That said, my training was excellent and I when I completed AFF not only did I complete my goal but I felt I'd won the most arduous Japanese endurance gameshow ever. It did feel rather special I can tell you.

If I could roll back time, given the unreliable nature of weather I would go abroad. Do my AFF, find a nice DZ back int he UK I am happy with and then work with the coaches there for my FS1. Finally, I would then spank my debit card with as much tunnel time as I could afford.

Good luck.

Edited by Nick W, 08 September 2011 - 09:01 AM.

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#16 Tonythetiger

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:29 PM

Thanks for all that, fellas.
I'm still in two minds about whether to opt for nethers, or empuribrava.
I can see the pros and cons for both, but for anyone who has done their aff abroad, how have they found it when going to their home DZ afterward?
And when you do the course abroad, are you busy learning and doing aff all day every day, or is there 'holiday' time too.
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#17 Fruit

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:35 PM

Thanks for all that, fellas.
I'm still in two minds about whether to opt for nethers, or empuribrava.
I can see the pros and cons for both, but for anyone who has done their aff abroad, how have they found it when going to their home DZ afterward?
And when you do the course abroad, are you busy learning and doing aff all day every day, or is there 'holiday' time too.



Pm'd with phone no, give me a call
Cheers
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#18 Anne

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:37 PM

And when you do the course abroad, are you busy learning and doing aff all day every day, or is there 'holiday' time too.


When I did AFF at Empuria in July there was holiday time - it was called windy weather :P

There's a local wind called the Tramontana which can create quite strong winds even when the sun is shining. It's a good idea to get your jumps in as early as practical, and keep the holiday bit for when you can't jump or when you reach the end of your jump budget.
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#19 Joellercoaster

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 02:50 PM

I'll bite. But this one comes up a lot, worth having a search around for previous discussions...

for anyone who has done their aff abroad, how have they found it when going to their home DZ afterward?


People's experiences vary depending on two important things: where they did their training, and which DZ they come back to in the UK. I think BPA dropzones giving people a hard time just because they trained abroad is a dying phenomenon, though you do still hear about the odd occurrence. I trained in Spain, came back to Redlands (and once to Nethers), and was slotted in with no fuss and a lot of welcome. But by the same token, not all overseas AFF programmes are equal. Ask around - who has the satisfied customers a year later? And (this is often overlooked) if you can figure out where you'd like to jump in the UK and ask their CCI what they think of the programme you're intending to take, that would be super useful.

And when you do the course abroad, are you busy learning and doing aff all day every day, or is there 'holiday' time too.


Not everyone has the same experience, but I was there in Lillo just doing AFF. Which is good, because there's not much else to do in that little town! It's a pretty intense process - although you can find yourself weathered out for a few days and needing to find entertainment, you are more likely to find yourself with all your energy and attention taken up by the process of learning to skydive.

Not to put too fine a point on it, it can be knackering. If you find yourself finished your AFF and consols with days to spare in your trip, then worry about holiday stuff. Trying to interleave them is a) hard, and b) not necessarily going to go well for either learning or holidaying.
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#20 Tonythetiger

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 08:05 PM

Thanks for all the replies guys, I am 99% Decided on what I'm going to do now after having everyone's advice on here, and having had conversations with scotty by email.
There's a lot of benefits for doing the course at Nethers but more for going to Spain.
So, that's what it looks like I'm aiming for. Im not sure when exactly, but hopefuly early next year. Meanwhile i want to have a go at a tandem. Now I need to start saving up for the possibilities of having to re-do levels.
Ive started Running to try and get a bit fitter in general, but is there any specific exercise I could do to make jumping easier?
And also, is there anywhere you can go to just watch the jumps?
Hopefully that makes sense, I just want to learn as much as poss and
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