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Gear before FJC?
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UpNAtEm

Dec 18, 2018, 10:17 AM
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Gear before FJC? Can't Post

What's the general consensus on getting gear before a FJC? I know there are benefits like becoming familiar with packing, the gear fits well and you know the state of the equipment. I also know there are downsides, like how do you know what you really want if you havent jumped a few containers and canopies. I feel like an FJC is going to be pretty tiring, physically and mentally, and having packing skills would be valuable. How did you start and what do you have to say in retrospect?

eUrNiCc

Dec 18, 2018, 1:32 PM
Post #2 of 22 (6630 views)
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Re: [UpNAtEm] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

Many FJC's are affiliated with a particular manufacturer and will only have you jump their gear. Others have an assortment of gear from all manufacturers so you can jump a little bit of everything and see what you like best before ordering something. Many people, myself included, mix and match containers and canopy manufacturers to put together the rig they want.

Some FJC's will also send you a rig a few weeks before a course to practice packing and/or skydive the canopy so that you don't have to try to land it for the first time after 30 seconds of getting used to it.

Long story short, do some research on the various FJC options out there, talk to the instructors & decide what works best for you!

TomAiello

Dec 18, 2018, 2:33 PM
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Re: [UpNAtEm] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

In general, I recommend that our students purchase gear _after_ the Fundamentals course because;

1) There is a (roughly) hour long lecture in the course about gear gear selection, in which we discuss the various options on the market and compare them;

2) You have almost no idea what kind of jumping you will want to do before a course, so you may buy gear that isn't totally appropriate. For example, I have seen a student purchase a slider up specific rig before a course and only realize he was actually interested in slider down jumping after having downs some jumps.

3) During a course, students will jump many rigs (generally 5 different rigs each jumping day), which gives them a chance to compare different systems in actual use, and sort out their own personal preferences.


In my experience, buying gear before a course means that you're mostly just comparing the manufactures marketing programs, rather than actually comparing the gear.

Dadsy

Dec 18, 2018, 4:48 PM
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Re: [UpNAtEm] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

I purchased my gear before my FJC. The company I did it with didn't have gear for you to use so didn't really have an option. I did a lot of research though and I still jump the gear I bought.
If I had done my course through Tom I may have waited and tried all the options that he has
If you know someone with a rig and can learn to pack I would do that, there are many ways to pack but once you learn 1 way the other options are easier to pick up

Colm

Dec 19, 2018, 5:14 AM
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Re: [UpNAtEm] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

You could ask about renting a rig or borrow from someone too.

TomAiello

Dec 19, 2018, 6:10 AM
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Re: [Colm] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

Colm wrote:
You could ask about renting a rig or borrow from someone too.

We have rental rigs for students before a course as well.

We created a couple "packing practice" rigs (no harness, canopy not airworthy) that students can check out a month before a course to practice packing.

We also rent airworthy systems that students can use to do canopy drills at the DZ (which we always recommend doing before a course.

Dadsy

Dec 19, 2018, 6:11 AM
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Re: [Dadsy] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

A lot of people I know that got their hands on a rig so they could learn to pack ended up jumping it before their course, so don't do that, it's really stupid

flooooooo

Dec 19, 2018, 6:39 AM
Post #8 of 22 (6489 views)
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Re: [Dadsy] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

i bought my gear second hand before my course. it gave me time to practise packing with the packing video i was provided and do a few jumps from a paraglider to get comfortable with the gear and trust my packjobs. i would recommend anyone to do it that way.

as a first time buyer i recommend to go for a used rig (that is in good condition obviously) and buy something that is an allround rig suitable for any type of jumping. the further you develop and know what you want and need and what really the differences are you can make educated purchasing decisions down the line.

in my case:
bought a hybrid2 and a troll as my first rig (had ~100 jumps on it) and was made for someone exactly my size and weight, i still have that rig.

later on (150 jumps in) i bought a new LD3+peak cause all i really do 95% of my jumps is tracking and hike+jump.

further down the line i got a third rig for a good price thats also slider up only because i love gear and like to have backups :P

for the occasional slider down jump i can still use my allround rig but mostly im tracking.

parashootist

Dec 19, 2018, 7:05 AM
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Re: [flooooooo] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

I just finished my FJC in August so I'm still pretty fresh (83 jumps at the time of this post). Since I had no jumping experience I opted not to buy prior to the course. Coming from the paragliding world where it's pretty frowned upon to buy gear before training, it made sense to wait. Ultimately I ended up ordering gear afterward that I never jumped but at that point I had done a month of research and am happy with what I have. If I were to do it again, I'd still wait until after the course to buy gear.

TomAiello

Dec 19, 2018, 7:07 AM
Post #10 of 22 (6472 views)
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Re: [flooooooo] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

flooooooo wrote:
as a first time buyer i recommend to go for a used rig (that is in good condition obviously) and buy something that is an all round rig suitable for any type of jumping. the further you develop and know what you want and need and what really the differences are you can make educated purchasing decisions down the line.

This is great advice. I definitely agree.

flooooooo

Dec 19, 2018, 7:08 AM
Post #11 of 22 (6472 views)
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Re: [parashootist] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

i think its critical (if you really want to jump) to continue jumping after your course and get more experience and not take too long of a break. if you order after your course and need to wait months for your new gear to be ready you miss out on jumping all that time...

TomAiello

Dec 19, 2018, 7:10 AM
Post #12 of 22 (6468 views)
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Re: [flooooooo] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

flooooooo wrote:
i think its critical (if you really want to jump) to continue jumping after your course and get more experience and not take too long of a break.

Again, I totally agree.

That's one of the big reasons that we don't charge students to check out gear after a course for jumping the bridge.

We'll have students check out five rigs and make another 20 jumps in 3 days after a course. In one exceptional case we had a guy who stayed in town for months after a course and made several hundred jumps on our gear before buying his own, which was really an ideal situation.

parashootist

Dec 19, 2018, 7:12 AM
Post #13 of 22 (6466 views)
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Re: [flooooooo] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

flooooooo wrote:
i think its critical (if you really want to jump) to continue jumping after your course and get more experience and not take too long of a break. if you order after your course and need to wait months for your new gear to be ready you miss out on jumping all that time...

Agree with this 100%. I waited almost a month after for my next jump (using a rental) and packing took forever as it was no longer second nature. I ended up getting in stock gear so I could get it quick and spent s full day practicing packing before I jumped again.

flooooooo

Dec 19, 2018, 7:14 AM
Post #14 of 22 (6465 views)
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Re: [TomAiello] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

this is very unique to students of your courses though tom. theres nowhere in europe where you could do the same.

so maybe for SRB students the advice should be:
- wait till after the course and jump their gear for as long as you want

and for everyone else:
buy sth used that fits and is in good condition so you can practice packing beforehand and continue jumping after your course right away Cool

Chewycobra

Dec 20, 2018, 5:09 AM
Post #15 of 22 (6331 views)
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Re: [flooooooo] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

I bought gear before my FJC, and made several skydives on the canopy. This helped me a lot: I shortened my brake lines by about 4-6 inches.
Had a lot better landings than guys with way more skydives than me - BASE canopies are totally different than what most people are used to flying at the DZ. Plus I was able to practice packing and get familiar with my gear.

baselaw

Dec 20, 2018, 9:17 AM
Post #16 of 22 (6285 views)
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Re: [flooooooo] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

flooooooo wrote:
this is very unique to students of your courses though tom. theres nowhere in europe where you could do the same.

so maybe for SRB students the advice should be:
- wait till after the course and jump their gear for as long as you want

and for everyone else:
buy sth used that fits and is in good condition so you can practice packing beforehand and continue jumping after your course right away Cool

Someone should start a school like Tom's in Europe then. I think it is a great method. I just took the SRBA course in November and intentionally waited to buy gear until after the course. During the course I was able to try just about every container and wing on the market. I then bought a used system at the end of the course with much more of an education.

MrAW

Jan 1, 2019, 10:17 PM
Post #17 of 22 (5996 views)
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Re: [UpNAtEm] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

I bought before my course and think it's a good option provided that you are getting advice on your gear by someone who knows what they're doing.
I agree with much of what has been said above too.

MaconFoster

Jan 3, 2020, 8:22 PM
Post #18 of 22 (2752 views)
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Re: [UpNAtEm] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

UpNAtEm wrote:
What's the general consensus on getting gear before a FJC? I know there are benefits like becoming familiar with packing, the gear fits well and you know the state of the equipment. I also know there are downsides, like how do you know what you really want if you havent jumped a few containers and canopies. I feel like an FJC is going to be pretty tiring, physically and mentally, and having packing skills would be valuable. How did you start and what do you have to say in retrospect?

I purchased my gear before my FJC. I did a lot of research.
If you know someone with a rig and can learn to pack I would do that, there are many ways to pack.

TomAiello

Jan 4, 2020, 9:27 AM
Post #19 of 22 (2700 views)
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Re: [MaconFoster] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

MaconFoster wrote:
UpNAtEm wrote:
What's the general consensus on getting gear before a FJC? I know there are benefits like becoming familiar with packing, the gear fits well and you know the state of the equipment. I also know there are downsides, like how do you know what you really want if you havent jumped a few containers and canopies. I feel like an FJC is going to be pretty tiring, physically and mentally, and having packing skills would be valuable. How did you start and what do you have to say in retrospect?

I purchased my gear before my FJC. I did a lot of research.
If you know someone with a rig and can learn to pack I would do that, there are many ways to pack.

We offer packing practice rigs (no rental charge--just actual shipping costs) so that students can practice packing before a course.

It's really better to wait until after a course, when you have a better idea what you want. It's very hard to differentiate on any basis other than marketing without some experience to connect information to. Especially with the ability to check out a rig to make more jumps after the course, there are only a very few situations in which I would recommend that a student purchase gear before a course.

Spiderbaby

Jan 6, 2020, 8:46 AM
Post #20 of 22 (2579 views)
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Re: [UpNAtEm] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

For the love of god, at least memorize the MANY available packing videos before your FJC. Nothing slows shit down like having to stop everything and everybody to show you how to pack from step 1.. over and over....

Hanzo

Aug 10, 2020, 8:02 AM
Post #21 of 22 (1121 views)
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Re: [TomAiello] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

What is your minimum for jumps before you take a student.

TomAiello

Aug 10, 2020, 5:06 PM
Post #22 of 22 (1068 views)
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Re: [Hanzo] Gear before FJC? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hanzo wrote:
What is your minimum for jumps before you take a student.

Minimum number of skydives, you mean?

We do not have a hard and fast jump number pre-requisite.

It's my experience that the BASE-applicable skills you have learned are more important than the overall number of skydives you've made.

I've had students with a thousand skydives who were poorly prepared for BASE (very little tracking and no time on large 7 cells or F-111 canopies), and students with 100 skydives who were well prepared (military guys who had very specific coaching on flying large 7 cell F-111 canopies into adverse situations--PD actually runs a canopy course on this that's only available to military units).

In general, it's more of a conversation than a number. Someone contacts us and asks "how many skydives do I need" and we respond with "tell me about your current level of parachuting experience" and we go on from there.

Someone who has done a lot of accuracy and CRW is usually better prepared than you might expect from their raw skydive numbers.


(This post was edited by TomAiello on Aug 10, 2020, 6:00 PM)
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