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Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE

 

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mirage62  (C 15580)

Nov 26, 2012, 11:55 AM
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Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE Can't Post

First let me state up front that P3 will do a GREAT job at this event, that big ways are risky to put on and require a LOT of work. This event would be only second to the 400, there is a LOT of cost to put on this event and I would be willing to bet that they will fill up this event.

Was looking over the cost for the 333 way and did some simple math:

Registration $2,400 divided by 28 jumps = $85.00 per jump.

Other expenses.

Flight round trip (cheap) $400
Hotel 7 days split $350
Food (they include lunch and breakfast) $231
Car rental split $150.00

Total ďotherĒ $1,131
Registration $2,400

Total $3,531

28 jumps divided into $3,531 = $126.10 per jump
60 seconds free fall divided into $126.10 = $2.10 PER SECOND.

Figure 10% of the 333 will be comp so 300 paying slots @ $2,400 = $720,000.

I just wonder where the tipping point is. Where quality big way jumpers will say thats to expensive.

I really wish a formal way for coming up with scoring sequential points in +100 way size formations for a world record could be done. Then you would have events put on with that goal.

Again this is NOT an attack of the 333, it will be a fun and I'd bet successful event.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Nov 26, 2012, 11:57 AM
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Re: [mirage62] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

To me, the tipping point is right about there, even considering that the event will be local for us...


CarpeDiem3  (D License)

Nov 26, 2012, 12:41 PM
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Re: [mirage62] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

And the danger is that it will become more about who has the money, then who has the skills. There are certainly more people with the skills then the money. But I hope it doesn't get to where a lot of people without big-way skills are slotted just to get the money...


mirage62  (C 15580)

Nov 26, 2012, 12:45 PM
Post #4 of 34 (4615 views)
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Re: [Remster] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

Got a PM that pointed out two things.
1. Big ways have always been expensive
2. Most people won't comment here because the fear of pissing off the powers that be.

I've always been a little bit of a numbers nut when it comes to my fun expense. Even with inflation big ways cost have gone way up. Part of that is that big ways are much more structured now and (I bet) MUCH more succesful.

As far as #2 well there is some truth to that sort of thing. No matter what is said bigways are a social thing and the people that pick the team will tell you to they are blue in the face that they pick the most successful team. True. But given two people that have the rough same skill set they will pick the person they enjoy being around more - thats human nature and nothing wrong with that.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Nov 26, 2012, 1:01 PM
Post #5 of 34 (4577 views)
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Re: [CarpeDiem3] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

>And the danger is that it will become more about who has the money, then who has the skills.

That's always been true. Back about 15 years ago Roger Nelson actually advertised a few slots on his bigway record for rich newbies who had more money than skill; he felt he could put a few (subsidized) skydivers around them to sort of AFF them onto the dive.

Nowadays that doesn't happen, but you certainly need a lot of money to both prepare for the events and to pay for them.


mirage62  (C 15580)

Nov 26, 2012, 1:18 PM
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Re: [billvon] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Nowadays that doesn't happen, but you certainly need a lot of money to both prepare for the events and to pay for them

Bill makes a good point, unless your in the top 50% (fill whatever number you believe in) you need to add a approved camp to the cost.

If you live on the wrong side of the country for camps, as I do, that can really add up.

FWIW I think the camp system is overall a really good thing, I've did two or three before the 400 way. It's a sure fired way to get seen but by no means is it sure fired to get you on the event. (see last post)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Nov 26, 2012, 1:39 PM
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Re: [CarpeDiem3] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

> But I hope it doesn't get to where a lot of people without big-way skills are slotted just
>to get the money...

There are several levels of skill that organizers have to deal with:

1) Have the skills to do the dive successfully and safely.
2) Can do the dive safely, maybe not successfully.
3) Cannot do the dive safely.

1) and 3) are easy to decide on. 2) is the problem.

In an ideal world you take only people in category 1). In the real world there aren't enough of them who can afford to do it. So you have to take some people in category 2). The tradeoff is that if you take TOO many people from category 2, the dive doesn't succeed, and after a while no one goes to your record events any more.

So it's always a balancing act. There are always up and coming new people who probably have the skills; I was on the 300-way with one woman who had about 200 jumps when she got the invite. There are also older bigway jumpers who sort of have the skills. They have been skydiving for 30 years and aren't getting any better, but they're known quantities who can be placed on the dive accurately since organizers know exactly what they are going to do.


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Nov 26, 2012, 4:32 PM
Post #8 of 34 (4306 views)
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Re: [mirage62] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
But given two people that have the rough same skill set they will pick the person they enjoy being around more - thats human nature and nothing wrong with that.



What you're saying is I'm screwed as far as getting a slot.

LaughLaughLaugh


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 26, 2012, 5:12 PM
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
But given two people that have the rough same skill set they will pick the person they enjoy being around more - thats human nature and nothing wrong with that.



What you're saying is I'm screwed as far as getting a slot.

LaughLaughLaugh



Just pull a Tonya Harding on the competition with a crow bar!


mirage62  (C 15580)

Nov 26, 2012, 5:17 PM
Post #10 of 34 (4244 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

Man you are so screwed you'd have to start your on boogie ti get on.... Oh wait a minute ;)


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Nov 26, 2012, 5:20 PM
Post #11 of 34 (4236 views)
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Re: [mirage62] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

Hahaha, yeah, that worked great for the Ga. Record. LaughLaughLaugh

I don't even have a Zerox copy of the record certificate.


bob.dino  (E 2185)

Nov 27, 2012, 3:37 AM
Post #12 of 34 (4008 views)
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Re: [mirage62] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

Could be worse - you could live in Australia and have to pay for a trans-pacific flight, US car insurance, and travel insurance that covers skydiving Tongue.

I'm not actually that worried about the per-jump costs. There'll be an extra plane on standby, a couple of dozen people being paid to be there, and lots of other expenses. The cost seems to be a reasonable amount to pay to cover the organiser's costs, salaries, and a risk premium in case the event is cancelled/weathered out/etc.

Plus, generalising horribly, the average attendee will be a professional in their 40s who can reasonably easily afford the event.


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
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Nov 27, 2012, 4:49 AM
Post #13 of 34 (3945 views)
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Re: [mirage62] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

Curious...have you known people who have dropped out just because of the costs? How many events do you big-way people end up doing through the year?


Mr_Polite  (D 420)

Nov 27, 2012, 5:23 AM
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Re: [mirage62] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

Once you hit a certain point a big way becomes kind of pointless and boring to me. If it's just a one or two point skydive you end up just hanging out in your slot waiting for everyone else. Talk about boring!


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Nov 27, 2012, 6:35 AM
Post #15 of 34 (3858 views)
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Re: [CarpeDiem3] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
And the danger is that it will become more about who has the money, then who has the skills.

It's always been more about who has the money. If you don't have the money, you aren't likely to be able to afford to develop your skills to the point where you'd even get an invite. With the big way camps and smaller events that the organizers want you to have done, you can easily drop $5k just to get to the point of maybe being invited to spend a whole lot more.

There's no way I could have afforded to do my only big way event (JFTC '02) out of pocket; I couldn't really afford the jumps and camps needed to earn my slot. It was only because I could raise the money to cover my slot that I even considered trying.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Nov 27, 2012, 6:37 AM
Post #16 of 34 (3854 views)
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Re: [skymama] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Curious...have you known people who have dropped out just because of the costs? How many events do you big-way people end up doing through the year?

We've dropped out of the big way circuit a few years ago, because of the costs. We were doing about 3 a year.


elightle  (D 5966)

Nov 27, 2012, 11:18 AM
Post #17 of 34 (3665 views)
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Re: [mirage62] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

Obvious answer: YES! But thatís the way big-ways go. It is not a situation where the hardest-working or most skilled or passionate players get selected for the team. But, it does require more commitment than, say, a weekend softball or bowling team. It requires lots of time and money, which can both put a hurt on a family man or woman.

And I would argue that very few big-way jumpers are independently wealthy or born into money. They just choose to follow the big-way circuit because they genuinely love it. If big-ways were exclusively a rich personís sport, then the rest of us might as well find something else to do. But we donít. Because it isn't and we want to play too. We want to be right there with them on a challenging 100-way sequential skydive. We want to know what it feels like to dock on something that looks and feels like a flying island in the sky. We want to broaden our repertoire of skydiving skills. Yes, there is a lot of diving and waiting on big-ways, but thatís the trick. It requires patience, which means trusting that the people docking ahead of us will be there. If that isnít teamwork, I donít know what is.

But I digress. What I am saying is that skydiving will always be expensive and that we donít have to plunk down our money if we donít want to. But we should not be jealous of those skydivers who do plunk down the money and who do get invited onto the world records. They make our sport look good to the rest of the world by giving us media attention. And the photos look pretty cool too!

So, yes, big-ways are expensive. But for a lot of jumpers, it is a great way to spend their time and money.


robinheid  (D 5533)

Nov 27, 2012, 12:48 PM
Post #18 of 34 (3566 views)
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Re: [skybytch] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
And the danger is that it will become more about who has the money, then who has the skills.

It's always been more about who has the money. If you don't have the money, you aren't likely to be able to afford to develop your skills to the point where you'd even get an invite. With the big way camps and smaller events that the organizers want you to have done, you can easily drop $5k just to get to the point of maybe being invited to spend a whole lot more.

There's no way I could have afforded to do my only big way event (JFTC '02) out of pocket; I couldn't really afford the jumps and camps needed to earn my slot. It was only because I could raise the money to cover my slot that I even considered trying.

You make a good point that should be taken in to account when looking at the total coast of doing a big-way.

As you say, you spend money doing the camps to both develop your skills and establish your reputation with the organizers so they know what you can and connot do and thus whether to include you on the big-way to which a set of given camps leads.

All that costs a lot too, so when you add it all up, your investment can easily reach or exceed $10,000 USD... before you get to the final dives.

Then you add up vacation time used -- or time away from work, plus gear costs, special jumpsuit costs, divorce costs...

Fortunately for my pocketbook, big-ways were never my cup of tea, but I know a lot of people who do them, and I have a lot of respect for the commitment, determination and stick-to-it-iveness they show in striving to achieve the end results that we all so much like to see.

Besides, I know BASE jumpers with a higher per-jump $$$ burn rate than people who do big-ways like the P3 333-way. It's all a matter of what makes your ducky quack.

I've also been on the organizing end of events, too, and with every person you add to the mix, your complication factor doubles and the associated headache factor triples, so it's pretty amazing that BJ, Tony D., Dan BC and the rest of the hard-core big-way organizers do it so long without being locked in padded rooms. (Hmmm. maybe THAT'S where they go when the jump day is over!)

Anyway, best of luck to everyone on this one.

44
Cool


kallend  (D 23151)

Nov 27, 2012, 12:54 PM
Post #19 of 34 (3551 views)
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Re: [mirage62] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

It certainly seems that the markup (% over the cost of a regular jump) has increased dramatically over the past 10 years.


mirage62  (C 15580)

Nov 27, 2012, 1:21 PM
Post #20 of 34 (3519 views)
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Re: [skymama] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Curious...have you known people who have dropped out just because of the costs? How many events do you big-way people end up doing through the year?

I know about eight people that at one time did lot's of bigs ways that have stopped but still jump. Others, like myself are selecting events. Someone made the point about age/money relationship. I guess I can afford it easier now but the relationship between the organizers and my GOALS have changed. These that know me know I chased the 400 like a fool. I achieved that goal and will always treasure that BUT for me the attitude of the some organizers has driven me away. It just isn't worth the time and to a degree expense to be subjected to the "attitude". Most of the people that I mention above quit for the same reasons.

For myself it isn't the money - you charge what the market will pay - it's the idea that after being on over 342 +100 way jumps, the world record that I've climb that mountain and didn't fall off, I've seen the view but not sure I want to climb it again. If the 10 years of big ways hasn't proved that I can perform than I'm not motivated enough to keep trying to prove I deserve a slot.

I go to big ways now to see my friends that I wouldn't see otherwise.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Nov 27, 2012, 3:07 PM
Post #21 of 34 (3433 views)
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Re: [mirage62] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Curious...have you known people who have dropped out just because of the costs? How many events do you big-way people end up doing through the year?

I know about eight people that at one time did lot's of bigs ways that have stopped but still jump. Others, like myself are selecting events. Someone made the point about age/money relationship. I guess I can afford it easier now but the relationship between the organizers and my GOALS have changed. These that know me know I chased the 400 like a fool. I achieved that goal and will always treasure that BUT for me the attitude of the some organizers has driven me away. It just isn't worth the time and to a degree expense to be subjected to the "attitude". Most of the people that I mention above quit for the same reasons.

For myself it isn't the money - you charge what the market will pay - it's the idea that after being on over 342 +100 way jumps, the world record that I've climb that mountain and didn't fall off, I've seen the view but not sure I want to climb it again. If the 10 years of big ways hasn't proved that I can perform than I'm not motivated enough to keep trying to prove I deserve a slot.

I go to big ways now to see my friends that I wouldn't see otherwise.

Just curious, but have the events/organizers changed?

Or is it your perception of them, and what you are willing to put up with/pay for what has changed?

This isn't an attack, but a real question.


mirage62  (C 15580)

Nov 27, 2012, 3:27 PM
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Just curious, but have the events/organizers changed?

Or is it your perception of them, and what you are willing to put up with/pay for what has changed?

This isn't an attack, but a real question.

Certainly mid level organizers come and go, the real top organizers for the most part are the same since I started. (BJ, Roger, Kate ect, ect)

Like I said, chasing the 400 way I was willing to do anything, in time and money. So to answer your question I know I have changed...different goals now.

BUT the organizers have changed to some degree. There's a LOT more money being charged, they've been at the top of the hill for YEARS (They earned it not a damn thing wrong with that!) The camp system was just starting when I started. Data bases have been constructed.

Don't get me wrong, I hope to keep doing some big ways (+100) and organizing at a very low level. This thread wasn't an attack on ANY organizers.

I'll throw this out. The camp system has prob done more to keep big ways going. Low time jumpers have a clear path to getting on....yes it cost....but it's a clear path. But at some point the cost is going to push people back....maybe we aren't there perhaps there will always be enough people with skill and $$ to keep it going.

I'd miss it for sure.


(This post was edited by mirage62 on Nov 27, 2012, 3:30 PM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Nov 27, 2012, 4:01 PM
Post #23 of 34 (3365 views)
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Re: [kallend] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

>It certainly seems that the markup (% over the cost of a regular jump) has
>increased dramatically over the past 10 years.

Agreed. Much of this is all the additional expenses. Nowadays plane captains/sector captains get their slot and often some of their travel expenses paid; this lets bigways attract professional skydivers to fill those roles. Oxygen is now almost universal on bigger records, and the sort of aircraft sought for bigways (C130's, Skyvans, CASA's) are a lot more expensive to run. Video coverage is now a lot more intense, and it's not unusual to have five video people on a 100-way, especially at the camp level where the organizers want very specific angles for debriefing. All of that costs money.


mirage62  (C 15580)

Nov 27, 2012, 5:43 PM
Post #24 of 34 (3318 views)
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Re: [billvon] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

There is an organizer on the east coast that uses a format that I really like. You pay $XXX for the event and for that you get XXXX. Rain or shine you pay that amount, no refund at all. You buy your jump ticket from the DZ as needed, refund is at face value of the ticket. To me that is a clear value for the event, knowing what you get.


3mpire  (C 39657)

Nov 27, 2012, 6:43 PM
Post #25 of 34 (3267 views)
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Re: [billvon] Big ways are getting EXPENSIVE [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
There are several levels of skill that organizers have to deal with:

1) Have the skills to do the dive successfully and safely.
2) Can do the dive safely, maybe not successfully.
3) Cannot do the dive safely.

1) and 3) are easy to decide on. 2) is the problem.

Just curious. For jumpers that end up in the third pile do they get a refund or is that a total sunk cost if they get kicked off of jumps due to performance?


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