Feb 6, 2002, 1:13 PM
Post #1 of 22
When to start with weights
I'm not much past student status (32 jumps) ... am too light for my frame and am going to have to wear weights. The smallest student rig at our dz was a 215 ... I now have 10 jumps on my Triathlon 160 (puts me right about at 1:1). Question is, how many jumps should I get on my canopy before attempting to add weight (and how much weight to start off with)?
Hi there! I wear weights and started with them at about the 30 jump mark. Generally, unless you are doing REALLY, REALLY big ways, most people won't use very much weight at all. Very seldomly do you see people using more than 6-8 pounds or so. (also, as you get more experienced, you will find that "sweet spot" in your flying and maybe not need weight at all anymore). I am 115 lbs, wear, on average, 4 pounds of weight and jump a Sabre 135 and still don't notice a difference under canopy with my weights or without.
Thanks! I'm 6'2" ... but only 145 lbs. (yes ... I DO eat!) .. bought a fast/tight suit, but can still only get up to about 112 - 113 with control. I have gotten up to 119, but was so tucked in that I was wobbling all over. I haven't taken a poll, but I'd guess that most folks where I jump are more in the 118 - 125 range. So ... I should try a vest with 6 - 8 lbs. first and see how much that helps my fall rate? I really need to up it, so I can jump with other people ... as it stands, there are few that I can stay with, so have been doing too many solos to learn much. One of my JM's (jokingly of course) claims I could burn in and not hurt myself ... lol. Also ... have heard varying opinions of using a vest vs. a weight belt ... any input appreciated!
I don't wear weights myself, but if what you are saying is true I don't think you're going to need even 6-8 pounds. If you really need the weight, try jumping with four pounds and see how that works. It doesn't sound like a lot of weight, but it really will make a big difference. It also won't affect your canopy flight significantly.
And keep working on improving your fallrate range. As you progress in the sport falling faster will be easier because you will be more relaxed in the air. Keep working on it, and someday you'll be loaning your old weight vest to the new skinny guy on the DZ.
A concpet that I can help you with. I am 6'1"b and weigh 165ish. However I have wide shoulders and can comfortably fall with the skinny girls. That is the great thing about being tall and thin you get to jump with all the cute women because you can float. Also you can do all your jumps with just a bit of weight and maybe sleeves. The Fat boys need 2-5 jumpsuits to have the range you will with 12 lbs of weight. I have a weight belt and love it. I have jumped with the vest but find that they cange the weight distribution and are not as comfortanble or as easy to remove and put back on. Borrow a few and try them out. All weights do is give you more range. DOn't use them as a crutch not to arch but do use them so that you can fly in the middle of your range.
a weight belt is much better to use than a vest.... http://www.shannonpilcher.com has a good explanation why. you also dont' need as much weight. a member of our 4way team went from 12 to 8 pounds simply by changing to a belt.
im small to and have used weights a few times i did notice a very slight dif under canopy but not much. best bet ask someone pref a high number jumper/instructer that uses weights then they will tell you how much you need and soirt ouit any probs
I'm about your size and used as much as 18-20 pounds when doing 4-way. One of the guys on the team was a lot bigger than me. It does affect the canopy but not radically. I don't think you should need that much weight though, especially if you get a belt, which I think has several advantages.( I wear a vest, not so comfortable)
I keep a vest on-hand to keep up with a fast fall rate when needed. I think the vest feels better than the belt. You should aim for a fall rate that you can still work and not waist all your effort in a max arch. Borrow an 8 lb vest and see what you think. Then try to borrow a 6-10 lb belt and you will soon know which one you feel most comfortable with.
The most I ever wore was 15 lbs doing CRW under a 165 main with short lines. In that case, yes the weights did effect the performance and landing of the parachute (it sucked for landing). However, you are going to be a long way off with a medium size sport parachute and only moderate weights.
Weight belt vs. weight vest vs. weights sewn into rig. It is a matter of balance. If you are a guy with large muscular shoulders, then you can wear your weights around your slender waist or hidden in your main container. If you are a chick with a "low center of gravity" then wearing weights high will help balance and allow you fly with your arms out. Upper body weights can be worn in the top half of your container, pockets on the front of your rig or around your collar. The higher you wear weights, the fewer you need.
Hint. This subject was covered in great detail in the February 2000 issue of SKYDIVING Magazine.
Borrowed a vest from one of the JM's today and made a jump with it weighted with about 6 lbs. It didn't help my average fall rate that much (ProTrack) ... only gained 1 mph. on the average, but at some point I did hit 120 (solo ... no tracking or anything). The fastest I'd ever gotten before without tucking in so much that I had no control was about 112-113 ... average today was 114. The weight was all in the back ... and the way the vest fit me ... put it just about in the middle. I sure noticed the difference in center of gravity when I flipped the exit!! I couldn't really notice any difference in how my canopy flew with that little weight (thankfully!). Next time I need to do a 2 way with it on and see how it works for me ... maybe with a couple of more lbs. Anyway ... thanks to all for the input ... will see if I can get my hands on the old Parachutist ... is before I started. Oh ... that website ... doesn't have anything on it now ... being revamped.
I'm a newbie to the sport, but your numbers sound pretty significant. Terminal velocity on ones belly seem to vary between about 100mph and 130mph, so a difference between a max of 120 vs a max of 113 is pretty darn significant.
If you don't want o tchange your CG towards your head try a wieght belt so that the weight is where it will do the most good. The other thing that I might suggest is that you think about getting your head and chest up and to counteract the back slide it will induce a little more legs our or knees up. It helped me alot and I get much better vision.
I taked to Shannon yesterday, he's transfering to a new provider, who lost his info, so they have to rebuild it. Cliff notes: many hours of tunnel time and experimentation have led to teh belief (in and for 4way) that a belt is the best option vs a vest.
I think I'm just doomed to stay skinny ... lol. I'm almost 47 now ... and have always been this way. I've tried the beer route, tried having 2 instant breakfasts with every meal ... tried all sorts of things ... think my metabolism is just to fast or something ...