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(Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit

 


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

May 19, 2009, 10:17 AM
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(Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit Can't Post

I learned something new, worthy of a skydiving water-cooler discussion:

I've found that there are situations where it's better to wear a slow-fall jumpsuit AND wear weights, rather than wear a fast-fall jumpsuit without weights.

Some background info....
At the Perris 50-way and 100-way camps which I attended, I had the opportunity to experiment with my slowfall and fastfall jumpsuit, as well as my weight. For a big way outer slot I always tend to get low with my fastfall (partially spandex) jumpsuit which I usually use for 4-ways and tunnels. The slow fall jumpsuit makes me happy as a clam in the middle of a fallrate range myself being roughly the 95th person to dock (last out of a trail otter!) on a 100-way formation. For all 18 jumps of the 100-way camp, I always made my slot each and every time without getting low, with the exception of the first few jumps (where I was still waiting for sheepdogs to make it) -- the slow fall jumpsuit has paid for itself many times over, even though I only jump it about 10-20% of the time, I even sometimes got almost too floaty as a 100-way outer (thanks Kate Cooper for calling me a floaty...lol) - easily fixed by pulling up the sleeves a few inches to stop 1-inch or 2-inch underarm "wings" from forming.

I have learned a lot about equipment selection and have found that there are occasionally situations where I actually find benefit mixing a small amount of weight with the slowfall jumpsuit to gain further advantages.

It is very important for one to be very familiar with exactly what equipment I need for a big way jump, and choose the right equipment to be roughly in the middle of the fallrate range when I fly my slot in a big way formation. When wearing my usual jumpsuit, I tend to be a surprisingly fast faller for my compact/skinny looking size, I am about 5lbs heavier than I "look". (i.e. people keep telling me to wear 5 pounds too much, and then tell me I need to wear 5 pounds less on the next jump).

Slow fall jumpsuits are recommended equipment for big way jumpers that want to be good in any slot. I can pop "up the tube" safely without sliding under others; I had to do this once during the September 2008 camp when I was part of a redzone collision -- and recovered within a second or two to dock. Since then, I have had two other people who got low (below stadium) and flew under the whole weed whacker, and this jumpsuit 'saved me' by preventing me from falling into burble. (The trick is to be familiar with fast burble recovery -- tunnel training helps a hell of a lot with that -- the slowfall jumpsuit just makes it very easy to recover from burbles) --
- I have never, ever gone unrecoverably low with the slowfall jumpsuit -- the only occasions I got low (mostly due to burble) I was able to recover to level from, "up the tube" with no sidesliding. So for those who get low occasionally and need to wear a sweater, the slow fall jumpsuit is an advantage -- sometimes an UNFAIR advantage methinks. In it, I'm never of diving fast at a bigway, last-out, from a trail Otter (which I apparently have done a couple of dozen times already -- the organizers loved putting me in a trail-otter last-out slot for some reason.) On one of the last-out situations, I even make slot when I exit 7-8 seconds after the floaters did, because neighbour in front stumbled and the seat fell down. I think I could be just fine at the back of a Hercules line-up (front?) for a 500-way record... That'd be a challenge all the same, but I'm not scared of such a slot anymore...

My two jumpsuits, although similiar in colors, are dramatically different, and having jumped about 150 bigway-camp jumps in the last 1.5 years, I've learned a ton about how different jumpsuits behave in different slots:

My Fast Fall Jumpsuit
- Tight spandex areas
- Great for tunnel, 4-way
- I can cuddle up to the base and fly easily, wearing only 0 through 5 pounds of weight
- If jumping in the base, I only need to wear up to 8 to 10 pounds of weight to keep with anvils sometimes wearing 15 pounds of extra weight.
- I sometimes get low with this jumpsuit, if I am diving from last out or near last out, as it takes a long time for me to brake myself, and then the formation gets too slow.
- Great control being a middle area landlocked with bellyflyers behind and ahead of me (i.e. second wave breakoff out of three breakoff waves)
- More limited fallrate range

My Slow Fall Jumpsuit
- Loose cotton throughout, with enough fabric to stretch out to form 3 inch underarm "wings" if necessary.
- I can eliminate wings just by pulling up my sleeves a few inches, so I can easily 'tune' this jumpsuit.
- Great for last-out big ways
- Amazing stopping power. I can dive fast and easily, safely stop on cue at the top of a big way stadium without overshooting or getting low.
- I can safely pop a few feet "up the tube" to immediately compensate if someone who got low, slides under the formation and almost takes out a few people, puts me slightly below the formation. I've done this a couple of times and not one to slide sideways uncontrollably under a formation trying to fall slower (tunnel training helps with that phenomenon, too)
- I have never, ever gone unrecoverably low with the slowfall jumpsuit.
- Greatly expanded fallrate range.

I also wear weights when needed, and have discovered that sometimes it actually works to my favour to wear weights while wearing the slowfall jumpsuit. Now, this is counter-intuitive to some people, but this combines the expanded fallrate range and stopping power of a slowfall jumpsuit, while the weights eliminate an occasional floatiness problem. Wearing 5 to 10 pounds of weight on my slowfall jumpsuit doesn't even diminish the stopping power of my slowfall jumpsuit noticeably -- I can still stop much faster than wearing my fastfall jumpsuit without weights.

Diving with a slowfall or fastfall, I can dive almost equally as fast - and I can just dive slightly steeper to compensate and still follow a sheepdog all the same. Despite being a slowfall jumpsuit. Often on the first few jumps on the first few days I'm nervous of diving fast, but after a few jumps in the same slot, I become incredibly fast when I know the sight picture -- I've always been able to catch up with my sheepdogs pretty quickly despite the slow-fallness of my jumpsuit. In most of the last camps, I've been commented I generally have very good "funnel recovery" abilities now...

So upon this criteria:
1. I need great stopping power (i.e. last out on a trail plane to a big way, and need to dive hard to reach the bigway quickly)
2. I find myself slightly floaty being last person to dock. I need to prevent being floaty when I finally make my slot, being in the middle of my fallrate range.
3. I would historically almost definitely end up low for the slot if I was wearing the fastfall jumpsuit (even with a sweater -- yes, even a sweater is not enough sometimes I have discovered)

THEN
Wear the slow fall jumpsuit, AND wear a little weight (5lbs of lead). This allows me to be able to reach slot quickly with confidence - with good stopping power to prevent overshooting and going low. I keep the benefit of the bigger fallrate range of the slowfall jumpsuit, while I gain the benefit of the faster fallrate.

It happens too often that the fallrate range of a fastfall jumpsuit (and 9 hours of tunnel training), still isn't enough to prevent me from occasionally going low (even with a sweatshirt) on a bigway outer (especially during my May 2008 camps), sometimes I need to be able to fall fast while simultaneously having great stopping power. I only went low once during all of the 2009 big way camps, and only during the 50-way camp, promptly fixed by switching to the slowfall jumpsuit -- I still have to push the limits of the fast fall jumpsuit as I don't want to get lazy, but at the same time want to be reliable making my slot.

Obviously, this is not a combination used in everyday skydiving, and fairly unconventional. Even irregardless of occasional use of weights, if one needs to be a serious bigway jumper and one often needs to wear a sweater in some slots, consider a slowfall jumpsuit -- it gives you a nearly 'UNFAIR' advantage! (Especially with tunnel time in addition too!)


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on May 19, 2009, 2:19 PM)


elightle  (D 5966)

May 19, 2009, 11:01 AM
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Re: [mdrejhon] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

I hear ya, Mark.

Sounds like we speak the same language. I wore sleeves AND 5 pounds of lead on the 88-way Virginia State Record last September.

Since I'm a short sh_t, I don't have the range a long and lanky person has. This configuration gives me that range.

For 4-way, I wear no sleeves and 10-11 lbs of lead.

For 10'ish-ways, I wear sleeves and 6-7 lbs of lead.

For the outside of 100-ways, I wear sleeves and maybe 4 lbs of lead.

Like Dan BC says, "Dress for success!"

Like Clint Eastwood said in the movie 'Dirty Harry', "A man's got to know his limitations."

Blue Skies and Safe Big-Ways!
Ed Lightle


jsaxton  (D 26818)

May 20, 2009, 8:48 PM
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Re: [mdrejhon] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

How long ago was it that I told you to get a slow suit?
;=P


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

May 21, 2009, 11:01 AM
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Re: [jsaxton] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
How long ago was it that I told you to get a slow suit?
;=P
Yeah, you were one of them to tell me during the May '08 camp! It sure pays for itself even though I paid Bev over $400 to "pimp" it out with all the features I wanted and triple-rush (+$60 fee) it to me!


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on May 21, 2009, 11:02 AM)


MakeItHappen

May 22, 2009, 5:02 AM
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Re: [mdrejhon] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
It is very important for one to be very familiar with exactly what equipment I need for a big way jump, and choose the right equipment to be roughly in the middle of the fallrate range when I fly my slot in a big way formation.

To add some more to what you are learning....

There are 3 ways to adjust your fall rate.
1. Body Position
2. Jumpsuit size/material
3. Weight

You have to evaluate all three after each jump to see if you need to change them.
The post dive video is a great 3rd person view of body position.
Check your arms and legs. Many people do not realize that they have their legs out of the wind to stay down with the formation. They think they have great body position, but it comes at the cost of not driving towards the center.
Booties add a LOT of drag and can sometimes make you have to arch harder in order to stay in position. That is not what you want.

I think that after you have done another 100 +100-ways you'll find your big suit waaaaay too big for you.
When you first used it last fall, KC came over to me and said 'You realize he's wearing a balloon suit - don't you?'
I said 'yes' and had already told you that you'd probably be floaty in it. 'Let him try it because he's so scared of going low. Let's build up his confidence.'
Later that weekend and the next, we had you back in the little suit with weights.
That was the first time you wore weights. (Did you ever buy beer for that? ;)

Remember that you have been jumping on 'camp' loads. The overall experience and abilities on those loads is significantly less than the WR loads.
Some examples:
- tight 4-way suit with booties and 23 lbs of weight while docking on the 20-way base of a 300-way
- tight 4-way suit without booties, no weights while docking on the outside of a 300-way.
- tight 4-way suit without booties, no weights while docking on the outside of many +350 attempts.
(after some people were cut from that load)
- tight 4-way suit without booties, 5-10 lbs weights while docking on the 2nd wacker of a 357-way.
- many other 100 to 150 ways with a tight 4-way type jumpsuit with or without booties and 5-20 lbs of weights.

I'll repeat this:
I think that after you have done another 100 +100-ways you'll find your big suit waaaaay too big for you.

If I were to choose between someone wearing your small or big suit on the outside of a 100-way, I'd pick the guy in the smaller suit.
If you need that big suit on the outside of a 100-way, what will you need on the outside of a 500-way?

.


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

May 22, 2009, 2:04 PM
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Re: [MakeItHappen] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

MakeItHappen,

Excellent observations and you may very well be right! But for now it wasn't too big, because:

I was assigned near last-out of a trail-otter for all 18 jumps in the 100-way camp. So I was forced to use the slowfaller each and every time -- so I had plenty of opportunity to experiment with tuning the jumpsuit (pulling back sleeves, etc). For all other slots that I wasn't near-last-out I used the fastfall jumpsuit. Given my limited choice between my two existing jumpsuits, I think my jumpsuit selection was spoton most of the time. I was pretty close to the middle of my fallrate range on 80% of these jumps, and within 1/3-to-2/3 range on all jumps but two or three or so, with no near-max's or near-min's. But, yes, I actually became a little floaty on some jumps. I compensated by pulling up the sleeves a little, which worked perfectly on the 100-way final -- most jumps showed I looked pretty good, rather than floaty.

I actually experimented with both jumpsuits on similiar jumps on the earlier 50-way camp, but for the 100-way camp they seemed to want to challenge me with last-out, so it was a total nonbrainer for me -- I needed the stopping power of the fastfaller more than the minor floatiness disadvantage which can easily be tuned out by jumpsuit adjustments/weight.

Ideally, I need a jumpsuit somewhere right exactly in the middle between my two jumpsuits - a medium-fall speed jumpsuit, one tuned for future invitation-level bigway events. However, both jumpsuits have sufficient overlap that I can compensate by wearing a little weight in my slowfaller for now -- if I get provisional invite for a 200-way or bigger in Thailand, it may warrant me to purchase another jumpsuit since my fastfaller is clearly obviously too fast (I have recent photographs of 20-ways where people say I need to wear a sweater), while my slowfaller gives me a great advantage at camp-league 100-ways.

I need a longer braking period in the fastfaller, even with my 5 additional hours of tunnel training since September 2008, so clearly I need something slower than the fastfaller, but I already recognize (as you do) the slowfaller can be a bit too slow for "fast" invitational bigways.

I certainly noticed different fallrates even when docking at the end of a weedwhacker. Once I was surprised to actually find I near-maxed myself to fall slow in my slowfaller just maintaining level (not braking)! But on the last jump of the day, I was actually slightly floaty! Different jumps, people were managing to make it the whole big way fall much faster. I think the expanded fallrate range of the slowfaller came in handy that day -- adaptation to a wide range of fallrates. Now, for invitationals, fallrates should probably be more consistent, and can probably risk the slightly narrower range of my fastfaller, although if I am an outer last-out last-dock guy, I'd prefer something slightly slower than my fastfaller, unless even the outer whackers were wearing weights, too.

It is true I'm not afraid of going fast in the slowfaller -- confidence builder -- On one jump, one person complained I was too fast and then abruptly stopped at the stadium's top edge, before I learned to be patient with the slowfaller. (The sheepdogs in front that I passed doing that: I apologized, and I should have followed closely instead -- I was only trying to get into the video frame before breakoff on the first day of the 100-way camp being last-out of a trail Otter!) It is true -- as you say -- I am sometimes too floaty, some of the 100-ways were perfectly in the middle of my fallrate range, while other 100-ways I had to fall slightly fast for or de-tune my jumpsuit a little.

I also experimented with diving fast with my fastfaller jumpsuit (in the weekend-prior bigway camp), and was able to prevent myself from getting low, except once (because I was actually assigned last-out on a 20-way) where I switched back to the slowfaller.

Had I been assigned a 2nd-wave breakoff or a floater slot on any plane, I'd likely have been wearing the fastfaller, possibly with weights. I did on some earlier-camp jumps. But on all 18 jumps of the second weekend (all 18 jumps were all 100-to-107way attempts!) -- last-out on trail otter on 14 jumps and near-last-out on 4 other jumps. Sheepdog for 14 jumps, no sheepdog on some of the jumps because I was assigned a slot that required me to fly to a whacker group mostly populated from a different trail plane, which gave me a fun "radial accuracy" challenge (I docked 100% of the time). I was also given a lot of kudos on one of the jumps of the 100 way camps for having perfect radial while parking waiting for neighbours, and I wasn't floaty on that particular jump. (But I was clearly, though, on a different jump). I'm not perfect mind you... I screwed up other things on certain things, on a first-day jump like passing 3 same-whacker neighbours to follow the neighbour in the weedwhacker in front (I was impatient waiting for my weedwhacker neighbours to get into video frame -- shame on me -- I then on later jumps switched focus to practicing better sheepdog skills. It was my first time being last-out on a trail-Otter on a 100-way, so was a very new slot for me, and I desparately wanted to be in the video frame regardless of my sheepdogs!), So for me in particular, given middle-of-fallrate-range on most jumps, the slowfaller came in really handy. For the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th days of 100ways I made my slot 100% of the time on the 100-way camp -- either dock or park -- with a jump that I had to briefly undock-and-redock (last person on whacker) when I found myself more floaty than middle fallrate -- I promptly equipment-adjusted on next jump -- the day prior I was impatiently waiting for sheepdogs (before I trained myself to be more patient) and decided to work on proximity skills with the sheepdogs -- that improved towards the end of the camp.

Although at times I wish I had a 3rd jumpsuit in between the two, I had a great opportunity to use both jumpsuits and equipment select. I was pleased to find myself, much more frequently, in the middle of my fallrate range, with only minor occasions of lowness and minor occasions of floatiness...

That said, I am stuck with these two jump suits, in today's economy. Weights+slowfaller will have to do for now, when I need a jumpsuit in between these two. No matter how much my skills improve, there will always be much bigger fallrate range in the slowfaller than the fastfaller -- I can fly the fastfaller almost better than I can fly the slowfaller 6 months ago, but any increases I make in my fallrate range in the fastfaller, also means I've also increased my fallrate range of the greatly-expanded-range of the slowfaller. In the slowfall, I loved being able to dive with speed with no fear of getting low, and often having to wait for sheepdogs (once I realized I didn't need to be slow, as I was at first), it was only when I was already in the stadium that floaty problems start -- and then when that happened, I made adjustments on subsequent jumps to de-tune my slowfaller for spot-on middle-of-fallrate on subsequent jumps - as you taught me so well last September 2008.... But on world record jumps (if I get invited) if even the 2nd and 3rd wave breakoffs are starting to wear weights to keep it fast falling, I'll definitely be using something my fastfaller, or something more similiar to my fastfaller even last-out or purchase a new medium jumpsuit (in a World Team color?) squarely in between these two jumpsuits. Needless to say, my experience at upcoming invitationals will tell me what kind of jumpsuit I will need to wear at such a record event, but I think both you and I already know it'll probably be something somewhere between my fastfaller and slowfaller. The question is, if it'll be closer to the spandex fastfaller or the balloon slowfaller.

I feel that the slowfaller was a big boon to me -- even for the reasons you say (confidence building) -- the ability to dive as fast as I can, and still confidently park into the stadium (or next to sheepdog) on cue -- is indeed, a big confidence builder. I did do the same to the fastfaller, to better success this year (during the 50-way camp of course), albiet, I went low once (only once during all the bigway camps, this time around -- and only 5 feet low), so I did equipment-adjust for a re-jump of the same slot.

Either way:
I have lots to learn, I do, I do.

Regardless.
I'm just so happy I've been invited to my first 40-way sequential this year and looking forward to it! A subject for another thread, possibly -- but needless to say, I'll be able to drive to this one instead of fly. Big savings. Smile

PS: I think I'll take the opportunity to write this -- many other Perris jumpers apparently read my posts here at dropzone, so here goes. To that jumper on the packing area, where they suddenly accelerated the next jump (moved up the minutes call early) and where I had to speed up my packing, I want to apologize to you when I got frustrated when you tried to help me. I got frustrated only because I got distracted enough to forget to cock my pilot chute and I had to explain that I needed to 'focus' on fast packing. (It looked like I was the last guy packing, but I ended up accelerating my packjob so much, I beat the last guy packing and still made it to video debrief before the organizers did!) But I think one of you thought I was an asshole when I said "I don't need help" (during my momentary distraction when you held down my rig while I was stressing accelerating my packing work) -- and for that I apologize. I don't know what your name was, and I was never able to catch you later on to try and apologize to you, you were only trying to help me when I got distracted by you holding down my rig-in-progress. I just got freaked when I misstepped a packjob step, I focus better without distractions...it's hard enough for a deaf guy to try to communicate in a hurry in a co-ordinated packjob, especially in the spike of stress when a schedule's been suddenly accelerated; I'm good at focussing on accelerated packing alone once informed, just got stressed when you tried to help me on that one instance. My apologies, if you're reading this. Bigway outers have it fun, especially when the overloaded trucks miss a few of us, walk back, start packing late and tired...and I had already asked the packer who already had 7 rigs to finish, so I had to do it!!)


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on May 22, 2009, 3:08 PM)


yjumpinoz  (D 13167)

May 22, 2009, 6:33 PM
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Re: [MakeItHappen] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree. Lately I have seen people, myself included get in more trouble for being floaty than going low. The trouble I see with being light on a big dive is that it is difficult to fight off lift or push. The organizers will always see it. The place you go low is the approach to the stadium not the last 10 feet. Kate taught me a valuable lesson at K-scope this year. Dress to participate in the dive not just get in. That especially applies to big way sequential. Fun stuff.


MakeItHappen

May 23, 2009, 6:33 AM
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Re: [mdrejhon] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I was assigned near last-out of a trail-otter for all 18 jumps in the 100-way camp. So I was forced to use the slowfaller each and every time -- so I had plenty of opportunity to experiment with tuning the jumpsuit (pulling back sleeves, etc).
.... But, yes, I actually became a little floaty on some jumps. I compensated by pulling up the sleeves a little, which worked perfectly on the 100-way final -- most jumps showed I looked pretty good, rather than floaty.....

These are the signs. You should pay attention to them. Watch the video again and check your arms and leg positions.

What you should be learning on all those last out dives is how to use a change in body position to slow you down and not depend on the jumpsuit so much. Most people dive and then go straight to a flat stable/boxman position.
Learn how to go into a slow fall body position at the end of your dive above the formation, then once you match the formation's fall rate, go to neutral and use small adjustments to approach and dock. There is no rule that says you have to be low on a formation to use a slow fall body position. A slow fall body position is a excellent way to brake for speed after a dive.

Try this with the small jumpsuit plus a tshirt or long sleeve shirt.

See Go-Low Slot FMI on how to practice this without any worry about not getting in the formation.

The end result will be a faster dive and less floaty in the formation.

.


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

May 23, 2009, 8:19 AM
Post #9 of 15 (1918 views)
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Re: [MakeItHappen] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

Good jump for me to try sometime - the intentional preplanned get-low formation jump.

I actually paid attention to my videos (to the best of my ability of the bullet points I was already aware watching for) and made very sure that I did not look W-shaped, or warning signs. Except for two of the 100-way jumps where I made subsequent adjustments, I was within the 1/3 to 2/3 area of my fallrate range. Not sure if you have actually seen the recent videos, but when I say slightly floaty, I still got 1/3 of my range left, meaning I wasn't struggling to fall fast. I discovered pulling up the sleeves a few inches on my slowfall jumpsuit, actually was able to sometimes put me on the faster side of my fallrate range for a floaty camp-league formation (there was 'fast' feeling moments too, not just 'floaty' feeling moments. But roughly three-quarter of the time I felt neither). Other times I pulled down my sleeves over my wrists and tightened my altimeter, but that was one of the jumps I was floaty on. So I knew I had safety margin to speed up my slowfall jumpsuit. Next jump, the sleeve readjust put me at a 50% point in my fallrate range, with the neutral position more similiar to my fastfaller+sweater but with the added fallrate range. So if the situation warrants I might stick with the expanded-fallrate-range configuration, at least until I have more tunnel time to even further finetune my slowfall abilities. (I actually wore some additional unnecessary weights for an hour in the tunnel while doing some 4-ways to help improve my formation flying abilities at different parts of my fallrate range, though I jettisoned the weights later in the day. I flew 2h45min of tunnel at Skyventure Montreal last month, shortly after it opened!)

For formation camp jumps, including 20-way local ones, my fastfaller + sweater had sometimes not been enough, but for invitationals I may very well wear my fastfaller + sweater at first for outers, depending on which slot I am assigned, but I might also choose my slowfaller + weights instead depending on the exit, slots and skills found in the jump (the invitational is in only two weeks!) if I am assigned a very late diver slot, but I will almost definitely jump with the fastfaller first. If everyone wears weights in the entire 40way to make it a very fast falling 40way, it'll definitely mean I'll wear my fastfaller with no sweater, and throw on some weight too.

Knowing history, I probably will be assigned the base or easy slot at first anyway, so I'll just end up wearing all the weights I own (plus borrow some). As my slowfall body position improves, and the events I get invited puts me in people of different skill levels, I'll definitely adjust my equipment. As they say, dress for success for the paritcular moment.

Wish me good luck at my first invitational big way sequential. Smile


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on May 23, 2009, 8:24 AM)


elightle  (D 5966)

May 26, 2009, 11:43 AM
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Re: [MakeItHappen] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

Excellent points, Jan.

I only wear sleeves when necessary, and they're small ones at that. I wouldn't dream of using swoop cords or a baggy suit. Some big-way jumpers would be well-served to do a little 4-way too ;>)

Blue Skies,
Ed Lightle


bob.dino  (E 2185)

May 27, 2009, 4:21 PM
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Re: [elightle] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Some big-way jumpers would be well-served to do a little 4-way too ;>)

Glad to see someone say it [:-)]

You can gain a hell of a lot from tunnel 4-way training, particularly how to change your fall rate very quickly.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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May 27, 2009, 4:52 PM
Post #12 of 15 (1732 views)
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Re: [elightle] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

>Some big-way jumpers would be well-served to do a little 4-way too ;>)

Most would. As a bigway organizer once said, it's easy to take a good 4-way jumper and turn him into a good bigway jumper. It's very hard to do the converse.


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

May 28, 2009, 9:01 AM
Post #13 of 15 (1702 views)
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Re: [bob.dino] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

And 4-way tunnel training is a cheap way to stay current in red zone skills of big ways. Lots of opportunities to learn to become burble-resistant by evading yourself from 'burble accidents', and fun if you practice a few blocks that requires fly-overs and fly-unders.

If I catch the occasional tunnel sale ($500/hr) and when 4 of us go, we split this 4 ways, then it's only $125/hr. 60 minutes of freefall time for the price of 5 minutes worth of jump tickets! Often it's $200/hr at normal prices plus a coach (because at least one might need help to get into 4-way tunnel), still cheap at the price of 8 American jump tickets or 5 Canadian jump tickets, to do 60 jump tickets worth of 4-way skill training.


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on May 28, 2009, 9:02 AM)


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Jun 8, 2009, 4:12 PM
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Re: [mdrejhon] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm back from my first invitational sequential -- New York Premier Sequentials. That was lots of fun! I jumped several slots and exits including floater and last-out.

First exit was an easy one: floater from trail. This was the only jump I was really nervous about: I really wanted to make a good impression at my first multiple-plane sequential. Fallrate finetuning skill is very critical to success. To test the fallrate of the formation, I chose to jump the fastfaller with no weights at first. We did 10 jumps.

My fastfaller has little wings, but I can keep them stretched out by strapping my gloves very tightly. That doesn't affect fallrate much, but in my experience it does slow me down faster marginally (probably 1-2mph additional deceleration per second). enough to allow me to decelerate a couple seconds faster.

Non-camp formations are somewhat ballistic, so that was perfect for me. I just started braking sooner, which was very easy to do with these ballistic-speed formations. In one jump, I fell as fast as 131mph on my belly according to my Altitrack -- on a floater exit so there was no dive sequence to artifically inflate this number! Most averages was 121-124mph fallrate. The word used was, 'ballistic'.

If my memory serves me right, this is what happened:

Fastfaller, no weights (rear float from trail)
Fastfaller, 3lbs (rear float from trail)
Fastfaller, 5lbs (rear float from trail)
Fastfaller, no weight, no stretch (middle diver)
Fastfaller, stretched wings (last-out from center)
Fastfaller, stretched wings (last-out from center)
Fastfaller, 8lbs (middle float from center, dock on base)
Fastfaller, 8lbs (middle float from center, dock on base)
Fastfaller, 5lbs (front float from trail, zipper off base)
Fastfaller, 5lbs (front float from trail, zipper off base)

This may not be in exact order as I am going from my memory alone (my logbooks are packed away somewhere in one of the three bags sitting elsewhere), but you can notice the pattern here of fine-tuning.

See, on the first few jumps, I gradually added weight as I familiarized with the fallrate of the formation. My fastfaller has little wings, but since it's spandex, I can create up to 1.5 inch wings out of it. I devised a way to stretch it, to make sure I had enough stopping power after a nonstop dive, in case I needed that extra 1-2mph per second of deceleration... I probably didn't need to, but I felt like I was taking a gamble deciding not to use the slowfaller. Because if I was last out of a full Twin Otter, I have only successfully docked a bigway if I was wearing the slowfaller suit instead of the fastfaller suit. But since the formations were ballistic, I took the gamble and it worked (remembering that Jan make a big point out of the fine arts of fall-rate fine tuning)

I did my job, with only a few minor mistakes here and there just like everyone else normally does, I made every slot, docked every single time, and I got invited to my next sequential! I seemed to perform much better in these non-camp formations than camp formations, so it's a relief I don't have to focus on slowfalling as much anymore.

Now I'm invited to my next sequential invitational in Chicago. Can't wait!

At the next camp, I think I still need to wear my slowfaller but I may use weights with it more often to speed up my arrival. I may not need to use the slowfaller again at invitational events, unless as a weighted one where I'm forced last out on the first jump of the first day from a trail at an unfamiliar event with unfamiliar people, and the lineup ends up long for the plane (i.e. cramming 23 people in an otter). Though at the camp, the formations fall slow enough to scare me in my fastfaller. At Perris P3 100-way, from a near-last-out from a trail at 16000-16500 exit, I was docked on the 100-way by 9000 feet and stayed docked a solid 18 seconds before breakoff. So the slowfaller still really benefitted me here) At the camps, the slowfaller benefits me by diving fast and being able to stop fast at top of the stadium, being in the video frame sooner. Especially on non-oxygen jumps. But as Jan says, she is totally right about the invitational events (non-camp) being faster!

For people trying to 'ace' the camps (i.e. Perris) before getting invited to sequentials and similiar events, for those who tended to go low even with a sweater, I do highly recommend a slowfaller suit, but not to make it unnecessarily too baggy with too much wings (which I probably did). It made the difference as a confidence-builder. "be prepared", "dress for success", "have a plan B" as everyone like to say.


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Jun 8, 2009, 4:27 PM)


MakeItHappen

Jun 10, 2009, 3:02 AM
Post #15 of 15 (1440 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] (Bigways) Sometimes slowfall suit+WEIGHTS better than fastfall suit [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad to hear that you are doing well. Keep up the good work.
Now, have you done a GoLow slot or two? Try it with both suits.
You won't be disappointed.

.



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