How to get ready for your AFF course is a frequently asked question, so we invite you to read this summary prepared by Ivan.
Most students come and simply undergo the training. They are not interested in preparations, they don’t “complicate” their lives, after all, it’s just a course. Usually nothing happens and most of the time there is no injury. However, a certain respect for yourself and for the activity that belongs to the category of high-risk sports convinces some people to get some preparation in advance. Yes, to feel better, to enjoy the plans you are looking forward to do – the professional way. And also to be more confident that you will use the funds for the course optimally.
First of all, physical fitness
This is a subject of interest, especially nowadays, when we spend most of our time in a sitting position, whether during work or leisure. From the car seat to the armchair in front of the TV or at the desk.
Back spine – strong and flexible
During the jumps, the spine will be charged heavily, both when opening the parachute and when landing. Parachutes now open quite gently, unlike their predecessors decades ago. However, the average health condition of the candidate for a jumper has changed too. For worse. It would be very good to consider doing general development exercises to strengthen the muscles of the spine. Strengthen the muscles of the back and abdominal muscles, as well as ensure the flexibility of the spine.
Legs – even a few months before the course
The legs play a very important role in absorbing kinetic energy during landing. Especially if it is not the most successful landing, which can be expected at the beginning of a jumper’s career. Legs need to be strengthened. Strengthen muscles, but especially tendons, tendon attachments, joints and bones. These tissues rebuild much slower because they are less supplied with blood. Therefore, it is worth preparing a training plan a few months before the planned start of the course. We suggest a static bike, an elliptical cross trainer, finally a treadmill, fast marches, walks, and a skipping rope. All this plus stretching.
Shoulders and hips – the key to a good body position
How to get ready for your AFF course when it comes to shoulders and hips? The basis for an efficient course of training is the ability to adopt and maintain the so-called flat body position. The most important thing in this figure is to push the hips forward, which requires some flexibility. That is why it is worth stretching, concentrating on rarely used muscles, what I present in a short training video. The increasingly popular yoga also could be very helpful.
Attention attention! If you’ve ever experienced dislocation of the shoulder, you need to know that this can happen again during free fall, which will be a very serious safety hazard. If the shoulder has been operated on or comprehensive rehabilitation has been carried out – the risk is drastically reduced. If you experienced such an injury several times, the joint socket probably might have been deformed and I would advise you to knock out of your head skydiving. First fix it – then jumps. A declaration of no problems with shoulders is required for the AFF course.
Physical condition is a very general term, it would be more about aerobic fitness, i.e. the ability of our body to undertake physical exertion that requires an increased supply of oxygen. Here, I have some good news for you;) you don’t need to worry too much about this aspect, but people suffering from anemia before should check the current level of hemoglobin. This is because it is very important for skydivers leaving the plane at an altitude of 4,800 meters. If you are deficient in this protein, you may pass out on board. Since medical examinations before jumping are not obligatory – the responsibility for checking ones health rests with the jumper himself. This is just a good and healthy rule. It’s your life, it’s your health, it’s your decision to skydive – take your responsibility for it.
How to get ready for your AFF course in the wind tunnel
Freefall simulators grow like mushrooms after rain. The popularity of floating on the air is increasing every year. My feeling about training in the tunnel before making the first jumps is not very enthusiastic. There are several factors to consider for this. We do not forbid the tunnel, but suggest that the exercises performed there be treated with due awareness of certain aspects.
- contact with freefall experience, both maintaining the body position and breathing control,
- motor coordination in a new environment for humans with much smaller emotions,
- weather-independent training (closed air circulation tunnels).
- two-minute session without being aware of the danger of inevitable approach to the ground,
- work in lower emotions than during the jump,
- a body position different from that during the AFF training,
- no parachute gear changing the balance and aerodynamics of the body,
- no other jump phases, focusing only on one part of the whole skydive,
- possible belief in the acquisition of parachuting skills transferred to the untrained aspects of the jump.
When going to the tunnel, it is worth finding out who will conduct the training. I would recommend that it would be an instructor with skydiving experience, preferably with AFF instructor certification. It should be informed what is the purpose of the exercises and that what matters is the AFF body position – the so-called boxman. If possible, ask for training with a dummy parachute. In the tunnel, focus on:
- stable, strongly arched body position – usually requires a higher speed of air streams, which does not always have to be in line with the policy of a given tunnel,
- practicing reaching for a pilotchute to open a parachute, so called practice pulls
- turnes performed with the help of arms,
- simulating height control,
- responding to signals correcting the body position.
Each tunnel training session can give you some knowledge of what is happening in freefall. In my opinion, you need to spend several minutes “finding yourself” in the tunnel. So if you count on effective tunnel training before AFF, let it be a minimum of 30 minutes. Ideally spread out over two days of around 15. It is about consolidating certain skills and fatigue, which makes learning difficult.
How to get ready for your AFF course theoretically
This is a very frequently asked question. On the one hand, it is good to know something about what we are going to do, especially if there is a threat to health or life due to mistakes made as a result of ignorance. On the other hand – the first mind “coding” should definitely be done by a good instructor.
Another issue is the candidate’s character, temperament or way of being. Some people go through life like a battering ram, while others weigh their steps, pondering their next move. So some people may not need this knowledge, while others do. In response to the inquiries of the candidates for jumpers, I have prepared a few e-books, but for those planning to jump, I would only recommend “Before you start the parachute course” which shows some of the glows and gloom of parachute training. (So far only available in Polish language) Other ebooks are recommended after graduating from your AFF course.
I also recommend the ebook “AFF course, or start doing well” , the guide I have prepared, the reading of which will explain a lot to you before starting the theory, as well as certainly dispel many potential fears. It is free of charge in the AFF course with us.
Initial investments don’t scare you with amounts. You don’t need to think about your own parachute before starting basic training. This is not fishing, where we start our adventure with big purchases.
A good thing for both low and high temperatures. When it is cold it retains heat, when it is hot it transports sweat away from the skin and protects against cold.
Probably not. Apart from the cruel conditions, such as October in Poland, gloves at the beginning of the training can make it difficult to find the pilotchute, they also complicate the control of the parachute and, finally, the emergency procedure. During the training, you can also learn what gloves should be. And they can also be purchased from us on site if required.
Goggles or fancy glasses
Definitely not. You will be better off with what the skydiving school will offer.
Probably not. The first landings may not be perfect and it is a bit of pity to damage your own device when the school has a budget for it. Of course, you can take pleasure in buying an altimeter and keep it in hand until the training is complete. You can also buy an altimeter such as the one for the AFF course from us on site or order it with shippment to your place.
Why not? But be careful! No purchases without consulting the instructor! The jumpsuit is a tool for accurate freefall, not just a protective clothing. It has to be designed according to the jumper’s body build. You can start the basic training in your own suit and you can fly it in the tunnel. We also invite you to ask advice on your idea of purchase without committments, as the first suit does not have to be expensive. In our store you can order one in your own colors or from the stock, from 190 euros.
Definitely not. For basic training, we use helmets with pockets for a walkie-talkie.
We hope that you will find the comments on how to get ready for your AFF course useful and help you better prepare for the AFF course. So that the course is as optimal as possible and gives you a lot of joy and satisfaction! Contact us, if you have any other doubts.