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Weight Loss and Downsizing

 

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SkydiverShawn  (D 37274)

Aug 20, 2013, 2:57 PM
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Weight Loss and Downsizing Can't Post

So at my home DZ there are several of us that have taken the time and energy to get healthy, and loose a lot of weight! In one case nearly 60 pounds, but most of us have lost about 40 pounds each. The question of downsizing came up.

When is it acceptable to use weight loss as a reason to downsize? For me I am fine jumping a Stiletto 170 previously loaded at 1.3 and now only 1.1 because there is not a tremendous difference...but what about someone that looses 60 or 70 lbs?

I believe that one should be comfortable, current, and proficient in their current canopy. How does wing loading play into canopy size choice? Is it not similar to up-sizing to loos 20 or 30 pounds?

FYI...I am not curious so one can go out and grab a 135, just curious how much the weight loss should impact canopy decisions.


phreeloader  (Student)

Aug 20, 2013, 3:27 PM
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

Great question! i've been wondering the same thing. I'm still in the process of getting my "A", but due to a motorcycle accident i just had to have my ALC reconstructed so i'm grounded for 6 months or so. I decided that i needed to lose some weight myself to take some of the strain off of my recovering knee ...

My last skydive i was 225lbs and jumping a 260, I'm already down to 205lbs now, and am hoping to be in the neighborhood of 175lbs or so by the time i'm able to get in the sky again so i'm assuming that i'll be looking at a significantly smaller canopy when i go back, so i'm interested to see what the DZ hivemind has to say


grue  (D License)

Aug 20, 2013, 3:51 PM
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

SkydiverShawn wrote:
So at my home DZ there are several of us that have taken the time and energy to get healthy, and loose a lot of weight! In one case nearly 60 pounds, but most of us have lost about 40 pounds each. The question of downsizing came up.

When is it acceptable to use weight loss as a reason to downsize? For me I am fine jumping a Stiletto 170 previously loaded at 1.3 and now only 1.1 because there is not a tremendous difference...but what about someone that looses 60 or 70 lbs?

I believe that one should be comfortable, current, and proficient in their current canopy. How does wing loading play into canopy size choice? Is it not similar to up-sizing to loos 20 or 30 pounds?

FYI...I am not curious so one can go out and grab a 135, just curious how much the weight loss should impact canopy decisions.


I've got a bit of experience in this realm. My first canopy was a 210sqft loaded at 1.2 or so, and then I downsized a bit later and also gained weight. Eventually I was at a 1.5 on a 190 (same model canopy as the 210). Since that peak I've lost a bit over 50lbs, and my wingload is almost back to that 1.2 (and will be below that within another 6 weeks or so).

It is DEFINITELY like being back on my original canopy to an extent, but that said since it's still smaller it's a bit more responsive. I'm a cheapass so I probably won't downsize (unless I just start stealing my girlfriend's 168 occasionally) but if it weren't a finances issue I would definitely consider it.

However, it's just like any other downsize, especially if you've become complacent on your current canopy: make sure you're prepared for every situation on your current wing before you potentially make those situations worse on a smaller one.


adamUK  (C 104423)

Aug 20, 2013, 5:39 PM
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

Wing loading plays a part, obviously, but also smaller canopies have different line lengths which can also affect handling so a 190 loaded at 1.2 will not be as responsive as a 135 loaded at 1.2

There's a few threads on here discussing this if you do a search.

Cheers

Adam.


SkydiverShawn  (D 37274)

Aug 20, 2013, 7:29 PM
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Re: [grue] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

grue wrote:
SkydiverShawn wrote:
So at my home DZ there are several of us that have taken the time and energy to get healthy, and loose a lot of weight! In one case nearly 60 pounds, but most of us have lost about 40 pounds each. The question of downsizing came up.

When is it acceptable to use weight loss as a reason to downsize? For me I am fine jumping a Stiletto 170 previously loaded at 1.3 and now only 1.1 because there is not a tremendous difference...but what about someone that looses 60 or 70 lbs?

I believe that one should be comfortable, current, and proficient in their current canopy. How does wing loading play into canopy size choice? Is it not similar to up-sizing to loos 20 or 30 pounds?

FYI...I am not curious so one can go out and grab a 135, just curious how much the weight loss should impact canopy decisions.


I've got a bit of experience in this realm. My first canopy was a 210sqft loaded at 1.2 or so, and then I downsized a bit later and also gained weight. Eventually I was at a 1.5 on a 190 (same model canopy as the 210). Since that peak I've lost a bit over 50lbs, and my wingload is almost back to that 1.2 (and will be below that within another 6 weeks or so).

It is DEFINITELY like being back on my original canopy to an extent, but that said since it's still smaller it's a bit more responsive. I'm a cheapass so I probably won't downsize (unless I just start stealing my girlfriend's 168 occasionally) but if it weren't a finances issue I would definitely consider it.

However, it's just like any other downsize, especially if you've become complacent on your current canopy: make sure you're prepared for every situation on your current wing before you potentially make those situations worse on a smaller one.

Im sure! I notice a difference with just my weight loss on the same canopy size. I did move to the Stiletto from a Sabre about 50 jumps ago and that I really enjoy. One of our jumpers that has lost the most has really been able to down size and is finally in a 190.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Aug 20, 2013, 8:48 PM
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
just curious how much the weight loss should impact canopy decisions.

Zero. Canopy piloting skill, experience and currency are the only things that should influence canopy decisions. Your weight is only one aspect of the equation, and simply losing weight does not make you ready to jump a smaller canopy.

Look at your skill level and competency on your current wing, and the one you plan to downsize to on the day you plan to downsize. Everything else is just speculation and not relevant to the reality of you jumping a certain canopy on a regular basis.


SkydiverShawn  (D 37274)

Aug 21, 2013, 10:13 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

davelepka wrote:
Quote:
just curious how much the weight loss should impact canopy decisions.

Zero. Canopy piloting skill, experience and currency are the only things that should influence canopy decisions. Your weight is only one aspect of the equation, and simply losing weight does not make you ready to jump a smaller canopy.

Look at your skill level and competency on your current wing, and the one you plan to downsize to on the day you plan to downsize. Everything else is just speculation and not relevant to the reality of you jumping a certain canopy on a regular basis.

Then why would there be jumpers with 100 jumps on a 170 and others with 100 jumps on a 190 and equal on every aspect other than "exit weight". It would stand to reason that wing loading should not be a factor for any jumper until they are at several hundred or even a thousand jumps, assuming that all else is equal.

I completely agree and I personally am very happy with where I am, but we as skydivers do focus on wing load when deciding on a canopy.

Just thinking out loud, not disagreeing...


davelepka  (D 21448)

Aug 21, 2013, 11:39 AM
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Then why would there be jumpers with 100 jumps on a 170 and others with 100 jumps on a 190 and equal oThen why would there be jumpers with 100 jumps on a 170 and others with 100 jumps on a 190 and equal on every aspect other than "exit weight". It would stand to reason that wing loading should not be a factor for any jumper until they are at several hundred or even a thousand jumps, assuming that all else is equal. n every aspect other than "exit weight". It would stand to reason that wing loading should not be a factor for any jumper until they are at several hundred or even a thousand jumps, assuming that all else is equal.

Wing loading is certainly a factor when choosing your first canopy, but once you have done that, downsizing should only be a function of skill, experience and currency. Just because you are lighter does not mean that you are ready for a smaller canopy. Your WL might have gone down, but you still need to base your choices on your current level of performance on your current canopy.


DcloudZ  (B 37320)

Aug 22, 2013, 8:35 AM
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

Just keep in mind:

Example: A katana 170 loaded at 1.3 will not be the same as a katana 135 loaded at 1.3

Smile


DocPop  (C License)

Aug 22, 2013, 9:11 AM
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Re: [DcloudZ] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

DcloudZ wrote:
Just keep in mind:

Example: A katana 170 loaded at 1.3 will not be the same as a katana 135 loaded at 1.3

Smile

Personal experience?


DcloudZ  (B 37320)

Aug 22, 2013, 11:56 AM
Post #11 of 30 (7929 views)
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Re: [DocPop] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

DocPop wrote:
DcloudZ wrote:
Just keep in mind:

Example: A katana 170 loaded at 1.3 will not be the same as a katana 135 loaded at 1.3

Smile

Personal experience?

Logic. Smaller canopies have shorter lines.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Aug 22, 2013, 12:04 PM
Post #12 of 30 (7906 views)
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Re: [DocPop] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

>Personal experience?

Education. John LeBlanc gave a great talk on this one year at PIA.


DocPop  (C License)

Aug 22, 2013, 1:04 PM
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Re: [DcloudZ] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

DcloudZ wrote:
DocPop wrote:
DcloudZ wrote:
Just keep in mind:

Example: A katana 170 loaded at 1.3 will not be the same as a katana 135 loaded at 1.3

Smile

Personal experience?

Logic. Smaller canopies have shorter lines.

Sorry, I meant can you describe your personal experience of this.

I haven't jumped the same model of canopy more than 1 size apart (KA135 to KA120) and the difference to me was not that great - except for opening characteristics.

Did you have a bigger Katana before your 135?


FB1609  (C 1409)

Aug 22, 2013, 6:49 PM
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Re: [phreeloader] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
"phreeloader"but due to a motorcycle accident i just had to have my ALC reconstructed so i'm grounded for 6 months or so.
i'm assuming that i'll be looking at a significantly smaller canopy when i go back, so i'm interested to see what the DZ hivemind has to say

Not the right attitude IMO, You have no experience and a ACL operation...and want a smaller canopy to be cooler? Why everyone wants the smallest canopy these days is disturbing. Get a few hundred jumps before you even think about that stuff...applies to all of you noobs


(This post was edited by FB1609 on Aug 22, 2013, 6:50 PM)


phreeloader  (Student)

Aug 22, 2013, 7:39 PM
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Re: [FB1609] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh don't get me wrong, I'm in no hurry to downsize. I did assume that I would go back to a smaller canopy, just because I know if I had shown up for AFF weighing in at 175, I know i would have started out on something smaller than a nav 260

Like I said, I am interested everyone's opinion.... and it's sounding like i need to stick with the same canopy even after dropping 50lbs


DcloudZ  (B 37320)

Aug 23, 2013, 7:24 AM
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Re: [DocPop] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

DocPop wrote:
DcloudZ wrote:
DocPop wrote:
DcloudZ wrote:
Just keep in mind:

Example: A katana 170 loaded at 1.3 will not be the same as a katana 135 loaded at 1.3

Smile

Personal experience?

Logic. Smaller canopies have shorter lines.

Sorry, I meant can you describe your personal experience of this.

I haven't jumped the same model of canopy more than 1 size apart (KA135 to KA120) and the difference to me was not that great - except for opening characteristics.

Did you have a bigger Katana before your 135?

Oh ok sorry that I misunderstood. Smile

I was on a stiletto 150 before hand, even had I been on a bigger katana, the wingloading would have been different.

If I could get my hands on a bigger sized katana I'd do a few back-to-back jumps and even up the wingloading with weights out of curiousity...


DocPop  (C License)

Aug 23, 2013, 8:32 AM
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Re: [DcloudZ] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

DcloudZ wrote:
even had I been on a bigger katana, the wingloading would have been different.

Duh (to me)!

Apparently I am not either thinking or communicating well! Please disregard! Crazy


DcloudZ  (B 37320)

Aug 23, 2013, 11:47 AM
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Re: [DocPop] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

DocPop wrote:
DcloudZ wrote:
even had I been on a bigger katana, the wingloading would have been different.

Duh (to me)!

Apparently I am not either thinking or communicating well! Please disregard! Crazy

Haha are you suffering withdrawal symptoms? Get back in the air!

But like I said, you can always just add weights while flying the bigger of the two


SkydiverShawn  (D 37274)

Aug 23, 2013, 11:59 AM
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Re: [DcloudZ] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

OK I am back with additional question(s)

Two scenarios:

One - Jumper with 300 jumps has been jumping a 170 for 150 jumps loaded at 1.1

Two - New jumper (small female) with 60 jumps starts on a 170 loaded at <1:1.

So why would the weight and wing load here not matter? should these two not have been on a 190 until mastering the necessary skills then move to a 170? Why do some DZ(s) put smaller people on a 170 and then tell an experienced person "go master the skills necessary for that canopy?

I am starting to get the idea that the thinking here is flawed...Does anyone have experience with actually loosing 20% of their weight and downsizing?

I appreciate the constructive and instructive input!


ridebmxbikes  (D 33588)

Aug 23, 2013, 2:33 PM
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

Think of it like this, you're about to downsize, you load yourself up with weights so you're at the same wingloading on the canopy you have now to see what the smaller one will feel before you jump it. Then you take the weights off (losing weight) and you jump the smaller one. You will probablvcome in at the same speed but the responsiveness will be a lot greater, recovery arcs longer. Everything will be higher performance and will happen faster.


SkydiverShawn  (D 37274)

Aug 23, 2013, 6:01 PM
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Re: [ridebmxbikes] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

ridebmxbikes wrote:
Think of it like this, you're about to downsize, you load yourself up with weights so you're at the same wingloading on the canopy you have now to see what the smaller one will feel before you jump it. Then you take the weights off (losing weight) and you jump the smaller one. You will probablvcome in at the same speed but the responsiveness will be a lot greater, recovery arcs longer. Everything will be higher performance and will happen faster.

No kidding! Ha I never thought about it like that! Like I said before I am happy where I am, but in a few hundred more jumps I may try just that.


adamUK  (C 104423)

Aug 23, 2013, 7:21 PM
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

Whilst not quite 20% I've lost 27lb since September 2012 and have both a PD Pulse 170 and Aerodyne Pilot 188 in 2 separate rigs. The Pulse is faster to turn but the landings now are about the same as the Pilot was a year ago.

Obviously my experience is not entirely objective as I've been getting more jumps in the mean-time (currency counts!) but I may stick the weight belt on when I get home and get on the Pilot and report back Smile


davelepka  (D 21448)

Aug 24, 2013, 3:49 AM
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
So why would the weight and wing load here not matter?

Weight and WL do matter, but really only in the beginning when it comes to a downsizing progression. When you select your first canopy, you should choose a WL that is 'sensible' for your weight and experience.

Once that is done, downsizing is strictly a function of skill, experience, and currency. Regardless of what your weight is now, you only need to look at how well you handle your current canopy when making the decision to downsize. That's the only relevant factor.

You do not 'need' any particular WL, what you 'need' is to jump a canopy that you can safely handle in the worst case scenario. If higher winds pick up when the plane is on jumprun, and turn into high, gusty winds, and you get blown away from the DZ and have to land off, you need to be on a canopy that you can reliably set down in a potentially smaller LZ with the possibility of turbulence. At that point, it's your skill, experience, and currency that will get you safely down, not attaching yourself to a particular WL.

Think about it, your own example illustrates how different DZs and different jumpers will start off on different WL, so to a degree, it's an arbitrary number. To then turn around and take that arbitrary number and make it a 'rule' such that you downsize your canopy because you lost some weight is making a mistake. The number is what it is, but it's not related to your skill, experience. and currency on that canopy/WL.

While there are differing opinions about what sort of canopy or WL is appropriate for a newbie, I would suggest that it's a universal opinion that downsizing should be done one size at a time, and only when you've demonstrated competency on your current wing. While the first step might be different for everyone, each step after that should only be one step at a time.


SkydiverShawn  (D 37274)

Aug 24, 2013, 6:00 PM
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Re: [davelepka] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

davelepka wrote:
Quote:
So why would the weight and wing load here not matter?

Weight and WL do matter, but really only in the beginning when it comes to a downsizing progression. When you select your first canopy, you should choose a WL that is 'sensible' for your weight and experience.

Once that is done, downsizing is strictly a function of skill, experience, and currency. Regardless of what your weight is now, you only need to look at how well you handle your current canopy when making the decision to downsize. That's the only relevant factor.

You do not 'need' any particular WL, what you 'need' is to jump a canopy that you can safely handle in the worst case scenario. If higher winds pick up when the plane is on jumprun, and turn into high, gusty winds, and you get blown away from the DZ and have to land off, you need to be on a canopy that you can reliably set down in a potentially smaller LZ with the possibility of turbulence. At that point, it's your skill, experience, and currency that will get you safely down, not attaching yourself to a particular WL.

Think about it, your own example illustrates how different DZs and different jumpers will start off on different WL, so to a degree, it's an arbitrary number. To then turn around and take that arbitrary number and make it a 'rule' such that you downsize your canopy because you lost some weight is making a mistake. The number is what it is, but it's not related to your skill, experience. and currency on that canopy/WL.

While there are differing opinions about what sort of canopy or WL is appropriate for a newbie, I would suggest that it's a universal opinion that downsizing should be done one size at a time, and only when you've demonstrated competency on your current wing. While the first step might be different for everyone, each step after that should only be one step at a time.

Very nice! I appreciate the responses...sometimes it is hard to find an answer to questions like this that are not filled with opinion and cockyness or simply disregard that fact that one might want not only an answer, but a "why" or "why not".

Thanks,

Shawn


baRRRpirate  (B License)

Oct 17, 2013, 11:36 PM
Post #25 of 30 (6280 views)
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] Weight Loss and Downsizing [In reply to] Can't Post

I went the other way. I gained 15 lbs in between skydives and now im hauling ass into my landings!!!!

its awesome :p


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