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skydvr18

MEET THE TANNING GUY

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**ATTENTION ALL NON-BASE JUMPERS AND NEWBIES: DO NOT READ. THIS IS VERY INACCURATE INFORMATION OFFERED BY THE TANNING GUY. IF YOU MUST READ, DO NOT BELIEVE A WORD OF IT. ASK THE EXPERTS.**

His name is Jim Wagenman, owner of the tanning salon. I decided to call "Native Skin" and act like a complete moron who was planning on making my first skydive, but now I'm going BASE jumping. After two lengthy calls, below is the information I gained.


He was a rigger for 25 years in the military. He has 50 BASE jumps, and 200-250 military static line jumps (he never mentioned sport skydives). He has been giving "amusement park jumps" since 1982, putting off 400 "students." He seems to know a lot about static line jumps, but not very much about BASE.

Below is from our most recent conversation.

-Me: "So is BASE jumping safer than skydiving?"
-Him: "BASE jumping is MUCH safter than skydiving, or even riding in a car, flying in a plane, or riding a motorcycle. BASE jumping is COMPLETELY safe, it is not dangerous at all, since your parachute will open automatically.

-"And my friends and I figure it's also safer because it's closer to the ground?"
-"That is correct."

-"What kind of gear will we be using?"
-"40' Air Force rounds, it's a safe parachute. And a parachute WILL NOT malfunction. I've tried my best to pack a malfunction, I've even cut holes all in the parachute." (I should note that this was in the military, and he was throwing dummies out of the plane...not from the bridge)

-"My friend did a FLIP accidentally when we went bungee jumping and got burned by the bungee cord. What happens if I flip into the lines?"
-"Well, a static line will burn you too. But you won't flip into the lines. Even if you tried to, you couldn't. You'll just jump, feet first. Or you can go head first if you want."

Sorry to bring up bad memories, but this concerns the fatality that involved a bridle that was too short (I don't know the details). This is his account: "The sheriff called me when a guy got killed out here, because I'm a specialist. The guy pulled his pilot chute, it got trapped in his 'vortex', and his canopy 'popped out' at 100', but that was too low. His problem was that he was using a 9-foot 'shroud line,' which is what you use for skydiving. But for BASE jumping, you need a 15-foot 'shroud line.'" More lack of knowledge.

-"Well I'm glad to hear that!! What if I want to keep doing this? Will it cost $110 every jump?"
-"If you want to keep doing this, you MAY want to skydive first, to understand body position. But my rigs are only set up for static line. You'll need to get a SKYDIVING rig. Before you start pulling the pilot chute yourself, you should start with a few practice pulls, a handkerchief or something, on static line jumps."

-"Wow, cool!! I know 'a guy at my school' that skydives. So if I borrow his skydiving rig, I can come out there and pull the pilot chute myself?"
-"Well, sure, but I'd get with other 'skydivers' for instruction."

-"Are there any in Twin Falls?"
-"No, all of them travel here to jump."

END CALL. I guess he doesn't know about the competition (JT).

The first call I made, he gave me some brief info. $110, minimum of 10 people, but he'll put my group of four with another group that's jumping Labor Day weekend (on Saturday, Sep. 4). There's one person scheduled for that weekend. We'll go through a 30 minute "class," jump, land in the water (we'll be wearing life jackets), and a boat will pick us up. He said to mail him our checks, but he won't cash them until AFTER the jump. But if we chicken out, we don't get our money back.

Well folks, I'm a newbie myself (13 jumps), but I don't trust ANYTHING that he has said, nor do I believe all of it. It's scary to think that he gives this information to non-jumpers that are looking for an amusement park ride. Anybody know this guy? Any doubt left that this is a bad idea?

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I think you're spending entierly too much time trying to save people from themselves.

From what I've gathered this guy has actualy put people off safely. What good can come from raining on they guy's parade? Or are you now forming a USPA like organization to regulate BASE jumping at TF?
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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From My computer illiterate non posting cuz that stuff makes no sense friend...
...............

"I would certainly not want to rain on the parade of such a qualified provider of jumping services....hmmm, think I'll get one of those 15 ft shroud lines!"

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:D

You know, I'll bet people looked on tandem jumping the same way at one time.

Does anyone have a problem with it (literacy aside) if the guy is putting people of in a manner that is reasonably safe? If he is, is there any reason he should be restricted from using a public resource in the same manner as is afforded to other citizens. As far as I can see the guy is so far guilty of having bad grammar and USING poor terminology, but what else is wrong?

I wouldn't get into the business simply because of the liability standpoint, but that's just me.
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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From what I've gathered this guy has actualy put people off safely. What good can come from raining on they guy's parade?



Hmmm. How many? Where did you hear this?

The reports I've heard have him telling various people that he's put somewhere between 50 and 400 people off (depending on which time you talked to him).
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Depends on how you define "reasonably safe". He's apparently using some kind of old military surplus container. I'm not sure I'd class that as "reasonably safe."

Still, you have some good points. The more people here who feel like they have something to gain from jumping, the more people will speak up to protect it. On the other hand, if a 17 year old girl who sees the sign at the tanning salon goes in with a total....
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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I think the difference is that the guys who were doing tandems were at forefront of the sport, had a passion for it, and tested their gear. This guy sounds like a yahoo trying to make a quick buck with ancient gear that has questionable functionality from a dead air exit. IMO, it's an abuse of the right to jump at this bridge.

Though it would be really damn entertaining to watch him put people off.
"¯"`-._.-¯) ManBird (¯-._.-´"¯"

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200-250 military static line jumps

So, he's not quite sure? He may or may not have done one fifth of the latter number? 250 jumps isn't that hard to keep track of. Maybe when they happen over 25 years, you forget if that last one one in December of 2001, or May of 1999.
"¯"`-._.-¯) ManBird (¯-._.-´"¯"

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On the other hand, if a 17 year old girl who sees the sign at the tanning salon goes in with a total....



Yeah it would be bad. But it's not like others haven't gone in off TF. For dumber reasons than just wanting a thrill.

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I'm not sure I'd class that as "reasonably safe."



How bout some of the BASE pioneers? I hear there were a couple nuts who actually BASEed Units and lived. You know, the "open on demand" canopy?

:D
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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How bout some of the BASE pioneers?



I certainly wouldn't classify those jumps as "reasonably safe". It's one of the reasons I'm so thankful that there were pioneers--otherwise we'd be learning from scratch.
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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>>Though it would be really damn entertaining to watch him put people off.

"¯"`-._.-¯) ManBird (¯-._.-´"¯" <<

Everything is the same again . . .

This could be the BASE version of how skydiving used to be.

We'd all jump hard at the DZ all day and then, over beers, watch the DC-3 make a last low pass over the DZ disgorging the day’s static line students.

Student follies, we used to call it . . .

Nick :)BASE 194

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It gets worse. On the FIRST call, he said 250-300. On the second call, he said 200-250. And he CLAIMS that none of his "students" have ever been hurt or killed.

And I haven't pissed on this guy's parade...YET. When I call him Sep. 3 and say "Uh, sorry, we chickened out," THEN I will be pissing on his parade. He'll be down $550, with one lonely wannabe he has to turn away.

JP, how much do you know about BASE? If I had to compare it to a tandem, imagine the instructor telling you "OK, you'll be on top, I'll be on bottom, and you'll open the parachute at 1000 feet. When we come in for landing, I want you to fully extend your legs. And don't try to pull down on these little yellow things." That's the knowledge that I see our get-rich-quick tanning guy has.

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And I haven't pissed on this guy's parade...YET. When I call him Sep. 3 and say "Uh, sorry, we chickened out," THEN I will be pissing on his parade. He'll be down $550, with one lonely wannabe he has to turn away.



Nice. Fuck with some guys business just because you don't agree with it.

Hope the burger joint down the way doesn't piss you off too.

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JP, how much do you know about BASE?



A bit. Maybe more than a bit.

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That's the knowledge that I see our get-rich-quick tanning guy has.



No it's your assesment of the knowlage he has. Maybe he wrote himself a script to impress wuffos. Maybe he's got no experience at all. Have you seen his operation?

I'm just trying to figure out why the witch hunt on this guy? How about you go after the guy who sells a testostorone hyped 18 year old a Yamaha R1 next? He's done just about as much wrong and from past history has got a way better chance of getting someone killed.

What has this guy done that is so wrong?
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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What has this guy done that is so wrong?



Nuthin' yet. But if he continues on this path he may just get the IBP shut down.

An ounce of prevention, a pound of cure...? Maybe we should investigate the wisdom of that old adage.

The burger joint is one analogy. How about a guy stood on the school corner selling crack to kids? You wouldn't fuck with his business?

Do you consider his enterprise ethical?

Or are you stoned?

I am.:S
$kin.

Prizes to anyone who gets to read my posts before Mr Aiello's son, Tom deletes them.

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I have to agree with JP here on this. What has this guy done that is so wrong?

Just out of curiousity, how high is this bridge and what is the water like (fast current,obstacles in the water)?

I have no reason to defend what this guy is doing, nor do I really think it's the brightest thing to do to earn a few bucks with the liability involved. However, if the guy is static lining people off of a bridge with sufficient altitude, using a tried and true system that is servicable(be it old or not, we still use rounds in the military and the AF round you spoke of is a solid system) and he has a recovery boat in the water and the people have life vests on it sounds a lot safer than most things I've seen done in the dark of night. The guy was(claims) to be a former Military rigger, if true, then I am confident he knows what he is doing as far as packing that system and rigging it correctly. As for his jumps, that can be speculated all day. In the Military it is mandatory to keep a jump log for all jumps since most people jumping are getting paid to do it. However, it is not unheard of for the jump log custodian to not log a jump if the jumper is still current and isn't jumping back or ahead. It is always best for the individual to keep track of his own shit but it's hard to do that sometimes. Besides, ask any old paratrooper how many jumps they have and you'll get some varing numbers. As for safety, being a military static/HALO jumpmaster ,I understand the possibilities but a static line system done correctly from a fixed object removes some of the hazards associated with jumping from an A/C. If I can jump a round from 500' with a full combat load at night with people shooting at me and land OK I think these people have a pretty good chance of landing OK. Again, don't get me wrong, I think this is stupid to do just for a few bucks and is full of risks(liability) on the guys part.


What this sounds like to me is a few people are upset that their "extreme" or outlaw form of jumping is being mainstreamed by an average joe who isn't a hardcore. I remember the same thng happening when yuppies started riding Harleys.

So again, what is it that this guy is doing that is so wrong ( I am assuming that it is legal to jump this bridge and he isn't burning it)?
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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I have quite a few skydives, I also have a friend with a plane.

What would you say to me, if i started offering people to skydive?

I mean I have some knowledge and also the equipment to do so, but if I had advertised this on the Skydive forums what do you think the response would be from skydivers?

So why such a surprise when something like this causes BASE jumpers to react to it?

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This guy didn't piss me off, and I wouldn't go so far as to call this "a business." He owns a tanning salon. He said he's been doing this for free, but since he spends an entire day repacking, he figured he'd start charging for it. He calls it "a part-time job."

My concern is what's at stake...the bridge. If it got shut down, it'd be similar to shutting down half of the drop zones in the U.S.

Even if you don't know much about BASE, as a skydiver, I'm sure you see at least SOME lack of knowledge. He's telling wannabes that "BASE is completely safe, a parachute won't malfunction, all you need to freefall the bridge is a SKYDIVING rig."

I wouldn't be against his idea AS MUCH, if he were doing it at a site other than the bridge. I personally don't think it's a good idea, period. But risking the bridge is a VERY BAD IDEA.

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What would you say to me, if i started offering people to skydive?



Nothing, people have been opening DZs for a long time and will continue to do so just like people will hurl themselves off of low objects both legally and illegally in the dark of night. So again, what is this guy doing that is so wrong?
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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What would you say to me, if i started offering people to skydive?



Nothing, people have been opening DZs for a long time and will continue to do so just like people will hurl themselves off of low objects both legally and illegally in the dark of night. So again, what is this guy doing that is so wrong?



my point is that I may skydive (or used too sorry) but I certainly dont have the experience to go and hurl some students out............

I also BASE jump, but again I dont have the experience (or the wish) to go hurl anyone off an object.......... (and i have been asked)

The point i was making is that if i with 500 skydives decided to hurl some people out of a plane for a quick cheap way to skydive - how would you react? you would probably say "I was not qualified to do such a thing - whereas I could actually argue that I have to means and enough knowledge to actually do it..................

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Nope, sorry. But maybe if you contacted the military, they might could get you a 15-foot "shroud line." And just to think...thousands of jumps have been made with a 9-foot "shroud line." We can't keep jumping with these shroud lines!! ;) We need to contact all BASE jumpers that use the 15-foot shroud lines. Oh wait, nevermind, there aren't any.

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***how would you react? you would probably say "I was not qualified to do such a thing - whereas I could actually argue that I have to means and enough knowledge to actually do it..................

I think your trying to compare apples and oranges here. Skydiving has rules/laws that have to be obeyed for obvious reasons. Last time I checked, anyone could buy gear and jump off an object. No laws/rules/govering body etc. to regulate your sport, which is why I think BASE attracts some of the personalities it does. I know a few people who BASE who shouldn't cross the street by themselves let alone jump off of a low object but they do. If this guy was handing these people rigs and requiring them to pull themselves then I would have to agree and would be upset with what he is doing.
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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***how would you react? you would probably say "I was not qualified to do such a thing - whereas I could actually argue that I have to means and enough knowledge to actually do it..................

I think your trying to compare apples and oranges here. Skydiving has rules/laws that have to be obeyed for obvious reasons. Last time I checked, anyone could buy gear and jump off an object. No laws/rules/govering body etc. to regulate your sport, which is why I think BASE attracts some of the personalities it does. I know a few people who BASE who shouldn't cross the street by themselves let alone jump off of a low object but they do. If this guy was handing these people rigs and requiring them to pull themselves then I would have to agree and would be upset with what he is doing.



i think you are wrong, last time i checked it was almost impossible for someone to get hold of BASE gear as opposed to buying skydiving gear - I myself have refused to sell gear to someone I felt should not have it.

No there are no rules or regulations in BASE, but there is a sense of self regulation and hopefully not stopping people doing what they want but also stopping people do things to hurt themselves or die............

the fact there is no regulations, is a reason why people get upset of this sort of advert, as we are all self policing and this goes against what alot of us beleive..............

I have recently had a discussion with a skydiver friend who said he thought BASE jumpers were more clique mentality than skydivers - but he agreed that we have to be like this sometimes as we have no rules or regs and the skydiver governing bodies carry out this function of restrictions by their rules............

unfortunaltly having no set rules, and just a "known and understood set of ethics" then when something like this goes against these "natural thinking" rules we all have, then we question it - and thats all is happening here, we are all questioning it and giving our own non regulated, self policing thoughts about it................. skydivers have a rule book to refer to to say "its wrong to do that" - we just have personal thought and ethics...............

I see your a Birdman instructor - if i said I could teach someone to Birdman with 5 birdman jumps would you say i was wrong in doing so?

Birdman coaching is still quite inconsistant in rules across DZ's and countries, but if i said i could take a 200 jump skydiver to my friend with a plane and the fact I have (which i dont) 5 birdman jumps and teach him birdman - would you perhaps think i was doing something wrong?

fuck man - i have WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too much time on my hands!! injury sucks!!!!

;)

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