Jul 31, 2001, 11:09 PM
Post #1 of 14
# of jumps
Quick question for you camera pro's. how many jumps is the average before skydivers start strapping helmets to there head? & is this number safe? should people be waiting longer to figure there stuff out considering the added dangers of a camera on your melon?
Marc Did somebody call a medic
quade (D 22635)
Aug 1, 2001, 5:43 PM
Post #2 of 14
I've heard suggestions of anywhere between 200 and 500 jumps, however, it seems that a LOT of folks out there can't seem to wait for even the lower number. I've heard of folks putting on cameras with lower than 50 jumps, but in my opinion, that's just a crater looking for GPS coordinates.
My personal recommendation is for folks to have at least gotten their USPA D License or home country equivalent and that they jump a -docile- canopy while learning the ropes.
Marc, I think 500 jumps is recommended around here... although I know several people who fly camera with fewer jumps. BUT - in light of the recent camera flyer fatalities, I personally am in no hurry to jump camera (I was when I started off in the sport, because I am known to some as "Captain Video").
Here in The Netherlands you have to have a mininum of 200 Formation Skydives. Most of the time peopel will have around 350/400 jumps. I believe this is a realistic number. The good thing is that the combination with formation jumps is made. When video-ing you have to be two steps ahead of what the formation does.
I am by no means an expert, but I always thought people recommended 200 jumps to do it. However, I know people who do it around 100 jumps or so and do quite well. It probably helps to have a D-box instead of a Rak helmet with a big camera on the top due to the catching probability of the bigger stuff. It would seem to me that if you just have a PC5/110 in a D-box, you would have far less to catch on your risers than if you have a bigger camera mounted right on top.
Just my thoughts and remember, I'm no expert....just my .02.
I would say somewhere around 500. Check with your camera guys at your home DZ. They won't be afraid to tell you if your not ready. Just remember, if you put a camera on your head, people will put you in danger EVERY jump. I have about 1200 camera jumps. I've shot 4-way, 8-way, 10-way, 20-way, one almost 29-way(changed my life), 54-way, 4 memorial skydives, freefly and skyboard. In RW, you fly above the formation, what if a pilot chute comes out(had that happen)? What if one of your lines gets snagged on your helment(yep, that happened also)? You just might have to get rid of your helment(and cameras) by cutting them away(there goes about $3800 depending on equipment). People will dump in your face, take you low, and everything else that you can think of that is unsafe will happen. Don't get me wrong, it is very rewarding...skydiving wouldn't be the same for me without it...camerajockeys just have a different set of rules we have to play by. A camera adds alot more danger to an already dangerous sport. Keep jumping and having fun.Let me know if your ever jumping at Skydive San Marcos,Tx or Skydive Houston. I'll shoot some pics for you to take home.
hmmmm nothing like tracking off after a tandem and seeing some skinny black guy pulling right under you huh?....I'm still sorry about that....would those be free pics? ......haven't seen you at SSM where you been?
thanks for the replys guys....I am not planning on jumping one anytime soon....but was wondering because it seems I keep seeing these guys with 50 jumps strapping a camera on there helmet just because everybody else has one....and they typicly seem to be freeflyers...
actually mountainman, most people at richmond who strap on a camera with less than 200 get reprimanded by a select few experienced camera flyers and otherwise experienced jumpers... I started jumping my bonehead/dbox/pc5 around 200 jumps. I felt that was appropriate for me, however, i still got the speech. and the fact is, the speech helped, becuase just in talking to other people, i learned a few things about flying a camera that i hadn't thought of... and I've got over 150 camera jumps since then, successfully, and I'm still learning about flying my camera and safety issues. I progressed well as a flyer, and my flying skills were there before i put on a camera. but even still, there's SO much to learn in this sport, no matter how good you think you are, you still don't know jack... i still don't know jack. but i'm very cautious and have done a lot of research to make sure i consider everything i can about the safety of my set-up, i even practice dumping my helmet. The more experience you get, just skydiving, or flying camera, the more you learn that the less you knew back when you had a couple hundred jumps or less... or more....
AND in reply to your Dbox comment - no offense, but don't make assumptions and DON'T POST assumptions if you haven't jumped it. The typical D-Box has a much higher risk of snagging than a top-mount camera. whereas the Sidewinder which has a molded compartment and doesn't have any huge gaps like you bonehead/dbox is much safer. but you can still get a snag. A topmount will not get in the way of the risers, where some sidemounts have been knocked clear off the helmet from the risers. think about where your risers go on opening, from right behind your head to in front, and on older gear with wide (shoulder width) harnesses, it's not as much of a problem, but strap on a recent vector, jav, mirage, voodoo, wings... and notice how close the risers are to your head...
the point is... there's so much to learn, never stop learning, and never make assumptions. talk to experienced jumpers. talk to experienced jumpers talk to experienced jumpers talk to experienced jumpers talk to experienced jumpers talk to really experienced jumpers
i (after talking to experienced camera jumpers) was planing on strapping on a camera , once im in my hundreds, they agreed that i would be ready, however i havnt jumped in a while so unless i get super current it'll prob be bumped up to 150-200.
Ask at your dz these ppl know you and your skills and limitations better then anyone, prob even you and i dont know any jumper that would chose not hurting someones feelings over safty. if they dont think you are ready most likly they will tell u so.
Also at the moment i am using my camera to make vids and just tape lots of shit so i can learn how it workd in a safe enviroment and also it will give me skills in liek editing and stuff
This is sort of off-topic but I'll bring it up anyway....
You see lots of freefliers strapping on cameras to film/critique but I don't see RW jumpers doing likewise. I wouldn't think there would be a big issue with having a PC100 side-mounted to your helmet for RW, but maybe I'm missing something. About the only reason I can think of is that RW jumpers tend to break/pull lower so there's less time to deal with an entanglement.
-------- Zennie "I know the pieces fit. 'Cause I watched them fall away..." --Tool
i "think" thats its 2 things while doing rel ppl concentrate really hard and prob dont want an extra thing to think about whereas most freeflyen u fuck up the jump you dont care and also with rel you see pretty much just people faces
Hey guys, I am new on this list, but I agree. When you are doing belly flying you mainly see faces and possibly levels, where as FFers you are separated more and can see the changes happen easier.
On the topic about numbers. I agree about talking to people at your dz to learn more. I started jumping cameras on my 93rd, but only do rw filming, I am not into FF too much yet. I also was able to talk to and get advice from guys like Tom Sanders and Joe Jennings when they are at the dz. And speaking of Joe, he told me that even he had around 90 jumps, I think, when he started. As for the higher numbers. I enjoy just shooting friends and LOs for now and I know at my dz the school won't let you even get near shooting students until you have at least 500 jumps under your belt. Just my part of the story. Good luck on what you decide, and most of all, be safe!!!
Jeff "Bullwinkle" Reitz Camera Flyer Home DZ: Skydive Elsinore