AFF is the fastest route to becoming a skydiver, with professional one-on-one instruction. If you have decided this route is for you, it pays to research prices and places where you can do the course. How do you decide where to do this? With whom should you place your hard-earned money?

The answer depends on you and your circumstances. But, as a newcomer to the sport, it can be a potential minefield!
This article should help you make an informed choice of whether and where to become a skydiver through AFF. When you are  potentially parting with around £1,500 of your hard-earned cash, it is worth spending wisely. The problem is that many pitfalls only present themselves after the course. It’s too late for a refund then! Here’s an honest answer to the questions usually asked…

What is AFF?

AFF is a personalised intensive course with one-to-one instruction to teach you all the skills you will need as a fully qualified skydiver. A full day’s hardcore training will be followed by a series of jumps from altitude. The full course is described in the box  on page 20 of the Starter Mag. The first three levels will be with two instructors, from around 12,000 feet. Once you have demonstrated your ability to fall stable and pull on your own awareness, you are progressed to Level 4 and will jump with one instructor.

Your freefall skills are increased at each level following a set programme but which is fleshed out by your AFF Instructors, who add additional exercises to suit your own skills (or lack of!). As your jumps progress, you will also receive comprehensive ground-school training in vital areas such as canopy control. After completing AFF Level 7, you do a low-altitude jump on your own. If successful, you qualify for AFF Level 8. The final step to Category 8 is to complete 10 consolidation jumps, which are done on your own but your AFF Instructor should guide and advise you through this stage.

The important thing to bear in mind, as someone who knows little about the sport, is that AFF is far more than a week’s jumping or a jolly holiday. It is a course to do if you want to take up skydiving. As such, think it through. Be clear you do want to take up the sport. If you are not sure, find out if your chosen centre offers a Level 1 jump only, so you can try before you commit to the entire course. Research places and prices following the guidelines here. But also think about what you want to do after your course; where you want to jump and, if possible, plan to purchase equipment soon after your course.

Find out more: See the full article in the Starter Mag.

Photo by Gary Wainwright

Starter Mag First published in the Skydive Starter Mag.