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"Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft."

 


Lindenwood  (Student)

Aug 9, 2012, 6:26 AM
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"Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." Can't Post

I am 11 jumps in and expecting to be licensed in the next 2 months or so. I have been looking into gear, figuring I'd buy my first rig as I approached 50 jumps.

I have always been one to enjoy ringing every last bit of personal performance out if machines and equipment, over buying higher-performance stuff to begin with and relying on it to make up for my own lack of skill. Reading through this section, it sounds like a basic sport canopy, even loaded only 1:1 (a ~170 for me) would still likely have a far wider performance envelop than I'd probably even have the guts to explore (I don't see myself getting into major hook turns and stuff, but even if I did, a know such a canopy is more than capable).

Long story short, I was thinking I'd buy a rig for 170cc canopies, and would pretty much keep the container indefinitely. Is it unrealistic to expect to enjoy the same size canopy for a long time? Or do most people who say this still end up downsizing past 1:1 in another 50 or 100 jumps?

Thanks.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Aug 9, 2012, 6:46 AM
Post #2 of 24 (2181 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

That depends on you. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm not planning on going any smaller anytime soon.

I jumped a 190 at 1:1 for a long time. Last year I bought a new rig and went to a 170.

The rig is capable of taking a 150, but I don't really see myself going there. I'm in my mid forties and I'm starting to feel it. The ease of breaking myself and the time to heal are both going up.
I can still crank in some pretty hard turns, I can still build up a fair amount of speed, I can still have a lot of fun under canopy.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Aug 9, 2012, 7:18 AM
Post #3 of 24 (2145 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Is it unrealistic to expect to enjoy the same size canopy for a long time?

As mentioned, it depends on the person, but when you say things like -
Quote:
I have always been one to enjoy ringing every last bit of personal performance out if machines and equipment,
-you might not be one to stay at 1 to1.

Let's keep in mind that 1.2 or 1.3 isn't really 'high' performance, but it's quite a bit higher performance than 1 to 1. In terms of machines, consider that 1 to 1 might be the equivilant of a 4 cylinder car with 110 or 120 hp. It's a fine car, capable of highway travel, and serves the purpose of transportation quite well.

A canopy at 1.2 or 1.3 would be more like a car with a V6 putting out 200 hp. It's no Corvette or Ferrari, but it has some get up and go, and can be fun to pedal to the floor from time to time.

Back to canopies, also keep in mind that the landing is only one part of the canopy ride. When you bump up the WL, you also bump up the responsiveness of the canopy. The turns will be snappier, and the toggles more sensitive. Even if you don't intend to hook turn, a canopy loaded at 1.3 can get a nice 'turf surf' on a straight-in landing if your technique to good, and the winds are low.

Speaking of winds, the WL of your canopy will ultimately dictate what sort of winds you can jump in. The lower your WL, the lower your wind limits will be. Floaty canopies with low WL will get bounced around sooner, and backed up sooner than canopies with higher WL. Remember that once your airspeed equals the wind speed, you're not going to be going forward at all. So if your canopy at 1 to 1 has a forward speed of 15 mph, when you face into a 15 mph wind, your ground speed will be zero, aka, going straight down. (Those numbers are all for example, you normally won't want jump in winds so high that you come straight down, but once they get close to that number, you lose most of your forward drive, and a gust can back you up).

The long and short of it is that most jumpers will want to vanture up the WL ladder at some point. Not all, but given the nature of the sport, the type of people that it attacts, and the practical reasons for a higher WL, most people end up moving up at some point.

THAT SAID - moving up too soon has proven to be deadly and injurious to many. Much like the car example above, flying a canopy will become second nature with experience, and you will be able to focus on the higher performance machine once the basic operations become a non-issue.

In terms of gear, I strongly reccomend used gear to start with. Trying to buy one thing that you think you'll jump 'forever' just isn't practical. Look for an inexpensive first rig, with canopies big enough to be safe, and a container even bigger so it's easy to pack. Once you have 100 jumps, your skills, experience, and knowledge about gear and what you want from it, will be exponentially higher than they are now, and then you can re-evaluate your choices, and adjust them as needed.


(This post was edited by davelepka on Aug 9, 2012, 7:18 AM)


devildog  (C 40302)

Aug 9, 2012, 9:00 AM
Post #4 of 24 (2082 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

I jumped a 1.07 from jumps 27 to 160ish. Went to a 1.17 when my friend was selling his canopy and someone else wanted mine and it turned out to be an even swap more or less. It's a lot zippier, for sure, but I'd have been more than happy to stay at 1.07 for another 100 or so. It really depends on your tastes.


ChrisL  (C 35323)

Aug 9, 2012, 9:15 AM
Post #5 of 24 (2067 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

Long story short, I was thinking I'd buy a rig for 170cc canopies

I didn't know they measure canopies in cubic centimeters Smile


skydiverbry  (D License)

Aug 9, 2012, 12:17 PM
Post #6 of 24 (1996 views)
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Re: [ChrisL] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

Beat me to that oneSmile





Bry


fcajump  (D 15598)

Aug 9, 2012, 12:27 PM
Post #7 of 24 (1982 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

For myself, I had ~500 jumps before getting a second canopy (actually, it was larger than the first... working on traditional accuracy). It was ~800 jumps and 10 years before I down sized.

But then I'm a chicken-shit skydiver who like jumping/flying but hates pain.

Just my $.02
JW


deadwood  (D 9930)

Aug 9, 2012, 4:30 PM
Post #8 of 24 (1864 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm getting old so I just upsized from 1.4 to 1.15.

It's part of my grand master plan for getting even older.


airtwardo  (D License)

Aug 9, 2012, 4:34 PM
Post #9 of 24 (1863 views)
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Re: [deadwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm getting old so I just upsized from 1.4 to 1.15.

It's part of my grand master plan for getting even older.

I went from 1.5 to 1.2 ~ same reason! Cool


Southern_Man  (C License)

Aug 9, 2012, 4:51 PM
Post #10 of 24 (1857 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

I bought my first canopy at 37 jumps and bought one at 1:1 (210 sq. ft). I flew that canopy for 200 jumps and recently sold it and bought a different 210 to replace it. I figure I will jump that for at least 100 and probably 200 jumps before considering downsizing. I'm in no rush and have a lot of fun flying at that wingloading. My container will take at least one size smaller, so I will have this container until I have at least 500-600 jumps.

Several factors go into my thinking and decisions:

1. I'm mostly focused on RW skills and have no desire to get into swooping or other high performance canopy flight (although I do put effort into learning to fly my canopy effectively will all different inputs).

2. I see a lot of risk and not much benefit fo downsizing in general (yeah, it lets your raise your wind limits and jump in higher winds, ask yourself if that is really a great thing).

3. I am old and don't like pain.


nigel99  (D 1)

Aug 9, 2012, 5:14 PM
Post #11 of 24 (1845 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

If you don't have fun on a 170 for quite a lot of jumps then you aren't learning to fly it. Last weekend I did canopy coaching and the coach was pointing out poor canopy flight technique to someone with 8000 jumps!

The problem will be finding a good canopy flight mentor.

Also don't buy new, I realise you haven't said you are. Used gear in the 190 range sells like hotcakes and you rarely lose money. There's no problem buying the gear for 50 to 100 jumps then moving on.


AggieDave  (D License)

Aug 9, 2012, 6:21 PM
Post #12 of 24 (1804 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

I had made that statement before early on in my skydiving career. However I ended up jumping as small as a 96 and my regular canopy was a 111 loaded sort of on the north side of heavy.

You never know where your skydiving career will take you, you never know what will shape your future as a jumper, but all you can know for sure is that if you go too small too fast there is a good chance you won't last in the sport due to injury or death.


champu  (D 28302)

Aug 9, 2012, 7:12 PM
Post #13 of 24 (1772 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

Echoing people's advice to not buy new for your first gear, and take your time regardless of what you end up deciding. I downsized to about a 1.2:1 wing loading pretty quickly, but then I stayed there for about 1000 jumps. I think you can just as easily stay at a 1:1 or 1.1:1 for that same 1000 jumps and still enjoy yourself and learn.

Almost 10 years and 3000 jumps in at 2.1:1 and having jumped smaller canopies a handful of times I can honestly say I'll never downsize beyond 90 sq ft. Tongue


Lindenwood  (Student)

Aug 9, 2012, 10:00 PM
Post #14 of 24 (1710 views)
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Re: [nigel99] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

Davelepka, sorry I meant to say that I tend to prefer milder equipment and pushing myself to be the best "pilot" of it that I can. Like, I used to ride a Ninja 250R motorcycle, but on winding roads I would almost always run ahead of guys on bikes 3 or 4 times as powerful because I had focused on being a better rider rather than counting on the bike to just go fast on its own :) .

In reply to:
If you don't have fun on a 170 for quite a lot of jumps then you aren't learning to fly it. Last weekend I did canopy coaching and the coach was pointing out poor canopy flight technique to someone with 8000 jumps!
And this is exactly what I meant :) . I feel I have begun to appreciate the great breadth of a canopy's performance envelop, that few ever master or even explore. It does seem a decent canopy at 1:1 would have more than enough capability to stay exciting if I ever wanted to get into some mildly aggressive landings, no? I have also been pretty strongly influenced by the "what if" scenarios--landing in light traffic with mild winds in a big field is one thing, but having to dodge a student at 300 feet and then narrowly missing the hanger as I come in for a 15mph crosswind landing on the taxiway is entirely different! I imagine it would take quite a while before Id reached that level of proficiency, so I am in no particular hurry to get ahead of myself!

But yes, while I totally intend to start with some well-broken-in canopies, I had been considering a new container just to have a nice personal touch to the setup. However, while the GF and I did play with Mirage's fancy rig designer for a while, I think I am still leaning toward used stuff to start with. However, I'm not sure she'll be able to resist the allure of those custom patterns :P .

Thanks for the responses!


davelepka  (D 21448)

Aug 9, 2012, 11:17 PM
Post #15 of 24 (1695 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I feel I have begun to appreciate the great breadth of a canopy's performance envelop, that few ever master or even explore.

You're kidding, right? You have 11 jumps total, let's just be realistic, how many of those are on a canopy at 1 to 1? I know you didn't start with 1 to 1, so whatever it is, it's less than 11.

Just to 'keep it real', you have less jumps than busy jumpers make in a day. My personal best is 14 in a day, and I once managed about 85 jumps in a 10 day run during boogie season.

Focus on my advice, where I suggested that you're way to early in the process to be making any sort of long-term plans or desicions about much of anything, because truth be told, you have no idea how to make those decisions.

I'm not being mean, just telling it like it is. You're going to learn more in the next 50 to 100 jumps than you're ever going to learn in this sport. You started off knowing zero, and by 100 jumps you're going to know more than most of the world will ever even consider is possible in skydiving. Slow your roll a little, and just be in this moment a little more than pontifcating about what's to come.

Quick example about your scenario - don't fly towards a hanger, and you'll never have a problem with hitting a hanger. You don't need to fear that possibility, and decide with 11 jumps that 1 to 1 is enough for you, you simply need to take 5 or 10 jumps, learn to flat turn and then plan ahead and don't park yourself in a corner where you have no options. I'm not suggesting that you have to downsize, or that you'll even want to downsize, just that you might be making a mistake to rule out anything at this stage of the game.


(This post was edited by davelepka on Aug 9, 2012, 11:17 PM)


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Aug 10, 2012, 12:04 AM
Post #16 of 24 (1676 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I feel I have begun to appreciate the great breadth of a canopy's performance envelop, that few ever master or even explore.

You have got to be kidding.TongueUnsure Just think what you will be able to appreciate a 50 jumps.

Sparky


nigel99  (D 1)

Aug 10, 2012, 12:12 AM
Post #17 of 24 (1673 views)
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Re: [mjosparky] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I feel I have begun to appreciate the great breadth of a canopy's performance envelop, that few ever master or even explore.

You have got to be kidding.TongueUnsure Just think what you will be able to appreciate a 50 jumps.

Sparky

I can see that it is poorly worded but I read it differently to you. How I understood it

"I have begun to appreciate that there is a great breadth to a canopy's performance envelop, that few master or explore"

I don't see a problem with that as a statement. It's not saying that HE has the skills to explore the envelop.


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Aug 10, 2012, 2:38 AM
Post #18 of 24 (1628 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you have the right idea. Just get the gear that's right for you then you can do a billion jumps on it and have a ton of fun. Don't worry too much about how much value you'll get out of the canopy, you'll get heaps. Smile


fcajump  (D 15598)

Aug 10, 2012, 4:21 AM
Post #19 of 24 (1606 views)
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Re: [nigel99] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
I feel I have begun to appreciate the great breadth of a canopy's performance envelop, that few ever master or even explore.

You have got to be kidding.TongueUnsure Just think what you will be able to appreciate a 50 jumps.

Sparky

I can see that it is poorly worded but I read it differently to you. How I understood it

"I have begun to appreciate that there is a great breadth to a canopy's performance envelop, that few master or explore"

I don't see a problem with that as a statement. It's not saying that HE has the skills to explore the envelop.

Agreed... I think the OP saying "I appreciate" is different than "I have mastered"

However, I will also say that it is also true that he will appreciate even more the breadth with more jumps...

The first, best thing the OP has done it to recognize that there is much to see, learn, experience... and he's right, many don't even look.

Learn much and have fun with it!!
JW


Lindenwood  (Student)

Aug 10, 2012, 6:37 AM
Post #20 of 24 (1555 views)
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Re: [davelepka] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

The later posters did get my intended meaning when I said "appreciate." I thought it would be more clear in the context of the rest of my post, but I can see how it could be taken as "I personally have mastered the breadth" rather than "I can wrap my head around the idea of the breadth," heh :) .

Quote:
Quick example about your scenario - don't fly towards a hanger, and you'll never have a problem with hitting a hanger
The most common downwind here is toward a row of hangers. We students have to stay a little further back, but many of the staff come back over the top of the hanger during the turn for final (including hook turning) for an upwind landing.

Quote:
You don't need to fear that possibility, and decide with 11 jumps that 1 to 1 is enough for you, you simply need to take 5 or 10 jumps, learn to flat turn and then plan ahead and don't park yourself in a corner where you have no options. I'm not suggesting that you have to downsize, or that you'll even want to downsize, just that you might be making a mistake to rule out anything at this stage of the game.
I only meant that unexpected things can and will happen, and no one can ever be 100% in control of his environment. I am not affraid, but I understand there is a lot more to real canopy skill than standup landings in ideal conditions. Of course I probably shouldn't say I'll never downsize, but at the very least I do intend to stay somewhat conservative and spend a good while developing canopy skills before allowing myself to get under something smaller.

And even then, reading about things like 200' swoops under 230+ sqft canopies loaded < 1:1 really helped me appreciate that most canopies are probably a lot more capable of higher-performance lamdings and manuevers than their pilots! After reading things like that, I imagine a talented pilot could spend a thousand jumps just perfecting hook turns on a mildly loaded sport canopy and end up able to put many pilots under smaller canopies to shame, eh? That is what I meant by wringing out the last bit of performance out of a canopy :D .


kallend  (D 23151)

Aug 10, 2012, 7:33 AM
Post #21 of 24 (1526 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I'm getting old so I just upsized from 1.4 to 1.15.

It's part of my grand master plan for getting even older.

I went from 1.5 to 1.2 ~ same reason! Cool

You old fart. I went to a 135 (1.4:1) when I turned 65.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Aug 10, 2012, 8:21 AM
Post #22 of 24 (1502 views)
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Re: [fcajump] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Agreed... I think the OP saying "I appreciate" is different than "I have mastered"

Mastered? A healthy fear keeps you alive.

I though twice I would know all/ enough.....
I got a bite and some(more) metal.
I have not posted my latest hot swoop X-ray yet.

I did swear I would never ever jump anything under 200 sqft.
I got 50+ jumps on 105sqft, WL 2.2-2.3+.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Aug 10, 2012, 10:14 AM
Post #23 of 24 (1451 views)
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Re: [Lindenwood] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The most common downwind here is toward a row of hangers. We students have to stay a little further back, but many of the staff come back over the top of the hanger during the turn for final

Case in point for 'what you don't know'. You can fly over anything you want, but unless the winds are strong enough that your canopy is coming straight down, you're not going to land on that thing, you're going to land out in front of it due to the forward motion of the canopy.

Beyond that, like I said, take the time to learn how to flat turn, and then you don't have to worry. You would have to be landing within 50 ft of an object to not be able to avoid it. The flat turn is one where your canopy does not pick up speed nor lose altitude in the turn, so you can make such a turn at a very low altitude. You may lose some of your flare power when you get to the ground, but nothing that a good PLF cannot take care of.

The point is that you do have control over your circumstances, and turth be told, if you're going to hit the hanger, any WL is going to hurt and hurt bad. Again, if you really think about the circumstacnes surrounding flying so close to an object at such a low altitude with traffic present, you can see that you would have given up all control of many factors along the way to the point, and if you had retained control of any of those factors, you would not be stuck in the position you think you might end up in.

It's a commonly known concept in skydiving that most incidents are the result of several errors, a 'chain' of mistakes, if you will. Breaking one of those links would make the incident a non-event.

Quote:
reading about things like 200' swoops under 230+ sqft canopies loaded < 1:1 really helped me appreciate that most canopies are probably a lot more capable of higher-performance lamdings and manuevers than their pilots!

First off, I'm not sure if those numbers are correct. If it's the story I'm thining of, that would have been Scott Miller, one of the pioneers of canopy coaching, high performance canopy flight, and parachute test pilot for PD. As a goof, and to show people that it could be done, he did some swoops on a 200+ sq ft student canopy. I'm not sure he went 200 ft, but he was making the exaggerated point that any canopy can be flown well by a good pilot, in an effort to get people to become good pilots.

Here's the rub, on virtually every other jump he did, he was on a Velo loaded at 2.0 plus and went much further and much faster.

That's the falacy about your example with your 250 Ninja. You claim that you went faster than less skilled riders on faster bikes, which might have been true. The concept of what you're saying came from the track, where just like Scott, fast guys will go out on a slower bike to prove the point to the new guys that it's not all about the equipment. Again, the rub is that after they proved the point, they would get back on their high output liter bikes, and cut even faster laps.

You see, it is important to learn the craft, but to leave yourself behind in terms of the equipment just becasue you think it makes you better is just wrong. Valentino Rossi won the world championship in 125 and 250cc classes multiple times. He proved he could go fast on a little bike, and then you know what he did? He moved up to the 500cc (and then MotoGP) to go really fast on a really fast bike.

I'll suggest again that you're drawing an awful lot of conclusions based on not much expereince. Just like your 250 Ninja sucked on the highway, or long trips, or with a stiff crosswind, so will a canopy at 1 to 1 when you skills have progressed beyond that canopy. Especially when it comes to high performance flight, there are reasons that you don't see guys doing it all the time on a 230 Navigator. I'm not saying that your skills will progress that far, but most people's skills do go beyond 1 to 1, and for you to rule out anything past that is just the wrong approach.

Keep an open mind to all of the possibilites that might come your way in skydiving. Closing yourself off to one idea or the other might slow your progression, or even cause harm or injury. Especially at this early stage, try to avoid coming to conclusions, and maybe try to 'come to questions'. Instead of making up your mind about one thing or another, make it your point to ask questions about those things and see what comes of that.


(This post was edited by davelepka on Aug 10, 2012, 10:15 AM)


airtwardo  (D License)

Aug 11, 2012, 1:16 AM
Post #24 of 24 (1295 views)
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Re: [kallend] "Oh, I'll never downsize beyond xxx sqft." [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
I'm getting old so I just upsized from 1.4 to 1.15.

It's part of my grand master plan for getting even older.

I went from 1.5 to 1.2 ~ same reason! Cool

You old fart. I went to a 135 (1.4:1) when I turned 65.


Yeah...when I only had 15 years in, I played it a bit fast & loose too. Tongue



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