Congratulations on completing your first solo parachute jump!
If you want to go on to be a regular jumper, you now need to know what comes next, and how to make it happen.
Since you will progress best (and be safest) if you jump regularly, the aim should be to jump as often as possible as cheaply as possible, and to learn as quickly as possible.
Best practice is to spend the whole weekend on the DZ. Not only can you get more jumps in on each trip, but you get to learn so much around the fire on the Saturday evening, listening to the more experienced jumpers talk. It’s called “hangar talk”, it costs at most a beer or a bag of wood, and it is worth more than you can imagine. If you’re a club member camping here is free!
To save travel costs, get onto the “fun jumpers” WhatsApp group and start to get to know people. Ask for or offer lifts to share the cost of getting out to the DZ. Get onto the “Skydive Robertson” WhatsApp group and Facebook page as well for official communications.
Start as early as possible on learning to pack. This will teach you a lot about your gear and once you are licensed, you can earn money for each pack job completed. At about 10 pack jobs per jump it’s not going to cover your costs but it can go a long way towards reducing them.
Static line or AFF (Accelerated Free Fall) ?
First step is to pick your progression program. Everyone starts at Robertson with a Static Line jump. You can then progress through the 27 required jumps for that progression, or you can switch to AFF and complete your progression in 9 jumps.
Static Line Progression
If this is your choice, simply show up as early as possible each weekend and hand your logbook to Manifest. Tell them which jump you are on and whether you have been briefed.
If you need a briefing the duty Jump Master will help you and you can then get your name onto a load. After the jump, find your jump master. You may have to wait if he is still in the aircraft or if it’s a busy weekend. Get him to debrief you and update your logbook BEFORE you leave the drop zone and before your next jump.
The progression consists of 3 “no task” jumps that are exactly the same as your first jump, 5 dummy ripcord jumps and then the progression sequence that you will find on page 30 of your orange student logbook.
This is offered on demand, provided instructors are available. You may not always be able to book. In that case we will give you an indication when we might be able to assist, or you can opt for Static Line in the meantime. The progression is 3 jumps with 2 instructors, 3 jumps with 1 instructor and 3 solo jumps.
Learning to Pack
Although we will sometimes arrange a course, the best way to learn to pack is to get involved on the packing floor when you are not jumping. Rainy weekends can be great for this, but you can also do it on any jumping day while waiting for your next load.
Start by finding out who is authorized to teach, and observe them going through an entire pack job from start to finish. Get them to explain what they are doing, and ask questions. Get the packing notes from Manifest and follow along as the pack job progresses.
Next, ask to participate. They will let you do certain parts and assist you at other parts. Eventually you will be packing on your own, observed by the trainer. You can do this using our student equipment, or you can start off on smaller privately-owned equipment if you can find anyone prepared to let you.
Once you have gained confidence, you can then learn the different closure methods, write your theory test and do your practical packing test.
We have a number of ways to keep up to date with what going on at Skydive Robertson.
If you haven’t already, please like our Facebook page – Skydive Robertson on Facebook
Next you can join our Facebook group – Skydive Robertson Fun Jumpers group on Facebook for regular skydive community updates.
Our WhatsApp group also gets updates and you’ll be notified when we are operating, running courses and other important alerts. To join click here Skydive Robertson WhatsApp Notifications group. This WhatsApp group is notification only, so you won’t get spammed.
If you are brave you can join our chat group. This group welcomes participation and is a good place to make lift arrangements or find out about roadblocks on the way home. We sometimes talk about skydiving too – Skydive Robertson WhatsApp Chat Group.
All the way up until you get your B license, you NEED to jump every month to remain current. Refer to the back inside cover of your orange student logbook for the specifics.
Static Line vs AFF
|Static Line||Accelerated Freefall|
|Just show up||Need to book|
|27 jumps||10 jumps|
|More canopy time||Quicker completion|
|Same skills||Same skills|
|Same total cost||Same total cost|
Bad Weather Weekends
You are enthusiastically working your way through your progression when the worst happens – a dismal forecast covering the whole weekend. What to do?
Come out the drop zone. The duty staff will attend irrespective of the forecast. We know that forecasts lie. It often happens that we find the weather is actually just fine, and we can get several loads done.
Even if it isn’t jumpable, there is lots to learn on the ground. We might put together a quick spotting briefing, or a packing session. Or we might just tell useful stories Your skydiving journey has only just begun and we can’t wait to see you on the drop zone again!