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hokierower

I know it's a ways out but...First Rig

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I know it's a ways out (like 20) jumps minimum, but I like to do a lot of research before I do something so I'm informed (for better or worse). Before I did my FJC I had already read through the SIM, partially out of nervousness but partially out of excitement and wanting to learn the "lingo".

I'm kinda doing the same thing now with gear, even though it's a ways out. I've heard people saying that a new A-license holder should buy a used rig to learn on before moving on or buy a new container and a used main & reserve. I've got $4k set aside for when that day comes and I've kept an eye out looking for what certain items go for. I'm looking at starting out with a 190 which will have a WL of 1.1.

My main question is about Racer containers. I've been taking a hard look at the Shadow Racer 2k3 because:

(a) The reviews I've read had been positive and the biggest complaint I kept reading about was the velco riser covers, something that has since been replaced in the 2k3.

(b) Fully built to fit it's $1450 w/o taxes, so $1600 or so out the door. This would allow me to spend $2400 on the rest of the components and still give me a rig built to fit me.

(c) No options for coloring but as a first rig I'd rather learn how to fly my body and my canopy rather than looking good. Besides, since it's black, when I screw up my landing the rig wont look like a turd.

(d) The reserve system looks/appreas to work pretty damn cool/good. Another bonus.

Does anyone have any insight into the container/manufacturer? I'm not looking at this rig for use in a specific discipline, I'm looking at it as my first rig, something that will allow me to learn as I progress in this sport. I can't find a whole lot for sale which means that either no one uses them or no one wants to sell them. My AFF lvl 5 instructor has one so if I see him this weekend I'll definitely be asking him about it.

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Nothing wrong with racers, just not as popular thats all.

I would still buy a used container if I were you, even if it is a racer. Reason being is it has already depreciated. You have 4,000 to spend. You can get a modern, complete rig with AAD if you're patient for that price easy probably less (more jump money).

That way instead of possibly selling your new racer in 2-3 years when you downsize, you wont take that big of a hit on it.

Money is better spent on coaching rather than new rigs when you start IMPO.

OH YEAH: Learn how the RSL system works on that rig, it can be very dangerous if you do not understand how it works.

edited: To add RSL statement

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agree with ftp about getting it second hand if you can but there are also some benefits to buying a rig that was sized for you and the right canopies along with being modern (?!?) in design so suited to the types of flying that people enjoy in modern times.

You may find that your local rigger charges extra for Racers as some riggers say they are harder to pack or take longer... if so find yourself a better rigger. :)
I like my canopy...


...it lets me down.

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when you downsize



Should be if you downsize.

Nothing wrong with staying at a light wingload, especially as they would be able to at least go one size down with the existing rig. This guy isn't even licensed yet, but the expectation of downsizing more than his rig can accommodate is assumed.

That price of the new racer is attractive, but consider that you should not, IMO, buy a rig with cadmium plated steel hardware - get stainless steel hardware. I don't know if Jumpshack will offer it, as it isn't listed as an option (I'd think they would bend on this item). The notice about the RSL is wise, many would advise having only a one-sided RSL rather than have the risk that the two-sided design imposes.

If you get an AAD, you would have to get a cutter for a 2 pin system, which will cost a little more (about $150) when you buy it new, or you'll have to buy a new cutter if you buy a used AAD that is a one pin unit.
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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Thanks for the replies and others for the PMs. I will definitely be keeping an eye open for good deals on the classified section for both individual deals and whole rigs. Like I mentioned, I was doing some research came across Racers and was wondering about them since I (a) haven't seen a lot at my DZ, (b) haven't seen a whole lot up for sale, (c) searching the forums, never saw much about them.

As far as the reserve system, from my understanding the pilot chute is mounted externally which allows it to deploy faster than a normal reserve system. I got most of that from reading the articles on their website so my understanding is skewed towards the manufacturer's literature v. real world scenarios. I'd be grateful if someone could explain it in a bit more detail.

Currently my weight fluctuates between 180 & 185 and i'm 5'11". Tack on a conservative 30lb for gear and I'm exiting at 210-215. Right now as an AFF student I'm jumping a 230 which puts my WL @ between .9 & .94. I plan to move up to a 210 once off AFF instructor jumps (1-7) and on AFF coached jumps (8-14). Once off coached jumps I plan on jumping a 190 and purchasing my first rig with a 190 in it. This is all up to approval my my AFFI. Anything unreasonable about this canopy progression?

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when you downsize



Should be if you downsize.

Nothing wrong with staying at a light wingload, especially as they would be able to at least go one size down with the existing rig. This guy isn't even licensed yet, but the expectation of downsizing more than his rig can accommodate is assumed.

That price of the new racer is attractive, but consider that you should not, IMO, buy a rig with cadmium plated steel hardware - get stainless steel hardware. I don't know if Jumpshack will offer it, as it isn't listed as an option (I'd think they would bend on this item). The notice about the RSL is wise, many would advise having only a one-sided RSL rather than have the risk that the two-sided design imposes.

If you get an AAD, you would have to get a cutter for a 2 pin system, which will cost a little more (about $150) when you buy it new, or you'll have to buy a new cutter if you buy a used AAD that is a one pin unit.



I'm not expecting myself to downsize for a while. I bought the ticket up, I'm sure as hell gonna enjoy the ride down.

Thanks for the heads up on the AAD & the ring hardware. I'd have to see if they'd make the exception and put SS gear on.

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I will be demoing a racer 2K3 this weekend (I really hope wheather gets good). I don't think they offer stainless steel for the shadow racer. For the other basic option (which starts at a higher price) they do offer stainless steel.

Cadmiun should work fine and outlast the harness if taken good care. However, as it gets old it could start to corrupt the harness material around it and stain it. Cadmiun is toxic too; but again, as long as you don't put it in your mouth and eat it you should be fine.

One of my instructors has a voodoo with cadmiun hardware and he has put ~2500 jumps on it and it looks worn out but still good to go.

Good luck on your search. Talk your rigger/instructors at your dropzone; they usually can find you good deals and point you in the right direction.

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I will be demoing a racer 2K3 this weekend (I really hope wheather gets good). I don't think they offer stainless steel for the shadow racer. For the other basic option (which starts at a higher price) they do offer stainless steel.

Please let me know how it works. The shadow won't have all the bells & whistles but the basic design is the same.

Cadmiun should work fine and outlast the harness if taken good care. However, as it gets old it could start to corrupt the harness material around it and stain it. Cadmiun is toxic too; but again, as long as you don't put it in your mouth and eat it you should be fine.

One of my instructors has a voodoo with cadmiun hardware and he has put ~2500 jumps on it and it looks worn out but still good to go.

Good luck on your search. Talk your rigger/instructors at your dropzone; they usually can find you good deals and point you in the right direction.



I will definitely talk to my riggers/instructors as I draw closer to my A license.

As far as Cadmium goes, I think that I'll be ok, but like all shiny things, i'll have to watch myself very closely.

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If you want to buy something new, buy the reserve then get a used main and container. You will be able to stick with the same reserve for a long time even if you downsize main (and in some cases the container).
You may consider the PD Optimum due to its low volume. Assuming a 190 is the correct size now, you may get an Opt193 and later put it into a rig made for a 170 reserve, for example.
The best thing about getting a new reserve is that you can be sure about its history (number of repacks, deployments, water landings, etc)
Have fun searching!:)
Engineering Law #5: The most vital dimension on any plan drawing stands the most chance of being omitted

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One of my instructors has a voodoo with cadmiun hardware and he has put ~2500 jumps on it and it looks worn out but still good to go.



I put 1700-1800 jumps on my rig and had basically had to throw it away since the Cadmium plating wore off and rust was starting to develop on the hardware. The harness was still in great shape and the container looks like it had half if not a third of the jumps as it does on it. I will never again get a rig with out Stainless.
Yesterday is history
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One of my instructors has a voodoo with cadmiun hardware and he has put ~2500 jumps on it and it looks worn out but still good to go.



I put 1700-1800 jumps on my rig and had basically had to throw it away since the Cadmium plating wore off and rust was starting to develop on the hardware. The harness was still in great shape and the container looks like it had half if not a third of the jumps as it does on it. I will never again get a rig with out Stainless.



I think it worth mentioning for newbies in the audience that the big problem with the rust is not the effect it has on the strength of the hardware, but rather that the rust is abrasive to the webbing it contacts, and the strength of webbing is very sensitive to such abrasion.

I still can't understand how cadmium plated hardware would be less expensive. When I was designing for Boeing, we were highly discouraged from specifying cad plated fasteners because of the costs inherent from the environmental controls required during mfg/disposal/etc.
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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There is nothing wrong with Cadmium plating. Depending on where you jump of course. I'd rather save the couple hundred bucks it would cost. My new rig from 2003 or so has cadmium and about 1800 jumps and no where near any rust or problems. Stainless steel is overrated, unless you jump by the ocean.

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For a harness one of the riggers who posts here regularly suggested that you could get a used harness modified to fit and still save money over new.

I don't remember when the post was made so sorry I can't provide a link.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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For a harness one of the riggers who posts here regularly suggested that you could get a used harness modified to fit and still save money over new.

I don't remember when the post was made so sorry I can't provide a link.



Harness resizing is fairly cheap, but the container cannot be resized without rebuilding it... If the yoke is too wide or narrow, the new harness will still not fit just right.


If it were me, I'd go used all the way... If I don't find a container/harness that fits, I would get the container that fits, and get the harness resized.

FWIW, I recently repacked a Javelin that had the harness resized, which took them a while to do, and its still not even close to what it should be.
"I may be a dirty pirate hooker...but I'm not about to go stand on the corner." iluvtofly
DPH -7, TDS 578, Muff 5153, SCR 14890
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For a harness one of the riggers who posts here regularly suggested that you could get a used harness modified to fit and still save money over new.

I don't remember when the post was made so sorry I can't provide a link.



Harness resizing is fairly cheap, but the container cannot be resized without rebuilding it... If the yoke is too wide or narrow, the new harness will still not fit just right.


If it were me, I'd go used all the way... If I don't find a container/harness that fits, I would get the container that fits, and get the harness resized.

FWIW, I recently repacked a Javelin that had the harness resized, which took them a while to do, and its still not even close to what it should be.




Mine? ;) I bought used gear around 100 jumps or so. I had my harness resized as much as I could. Sadly, I bought the gear without asking enough questions first. It kinda fit & it was a great deal. I later found out that you can email the manufacturer the ID number and your measurements. They'll let you know if that rig will fit you or if it can be resized to fit you. I wish I had known that before I bought my rig. My rig fits well enough for safety but its not as comfortable as it could be. Good luck with your gear search!

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Ok, here's the deal in gear for a newbie, and like most newbies, you've figured incorrectly.

Buy a Cypres 2 new. They have a fixed value due to the 12 year life limit, so you can always sell it for the remaining value at any time if you quit jumping in less then 12 years. Don't buy another brand of AAD, you'll regret it eventually. Buy a new Cyrpes 2 mainly because used ones are hard to find because they sell almost instantly when they are put up for sale.

Beyond that, buy everything used. The short explanation is that you will want to downsize from the 190 sooner than later, and even if you don't, you'll learn more about gear in your first year of jumping that you'll develop an 'educated' opinion about what you want, and you'll want to buy that. Anything you buy new that you don't put 500 jumps is going to be a money loser on resale.

If you have $4k to spend, get the Cypres 2 for $1300/$1400. That leaves you $2600/$2700 for the rest, which is plenty. Figure on $800/$900 each for the reserve, main, and container. Jump it to your hearts content, and provided you don't damage anything, you'll be able to sell it all for 90% of what you paid for it (except the Cypres2, just keep that and put it in your next rig).

Some things to look for - PD reserve, they make a 193 that would be a good choice. PD main, any of the Sabre2, Spectre, Silhouette or Storm would be good. PD makes a great product with great customer service, and they hold their value well. When it comes to reserves, the less jumps the better. Maybe 2 or 3 tops, beyond that people tens to look at them funny. Main canopies are the opposite, look for something with over 500 jumps so it's easier to pack. If it's much more than 500 jumps, look for one with a newer line set on it, or factor in $250 for a new line set when you negotiate the price.

Container wise - stick with the majors for the rist round, Mirage, Jav, Vector3, Infinity, and maybe Wings. It will just make it easier to sell when you want to sell.

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Ok, here's the deal in gear for a newbie, and like most newbies, you've figured incorrectly.

Buy a Cypres 2 new. They have a fixed value due to the 12 year life limit, so you can always sell it for the remaining value at any time if you quit jumping in less then 12 years. Don't buy another brand of AAD, you'll regret it eventually. Buy a new Cyrpes 2 mainly because used ones are hard to find because they sell almost instantly when they are put up for sale.

Understand. That was one of the things I was wondering about as far as buy a rig and then save up for an AAD or buy an AAD and then go with the rig afterwards. Besides the mass of Argus' that just flooded the classifieds, I've seen Vigils and the occasional Cypress on there.

Beyond that, buy everything used. The short explanation is that you will want to downsize from the 190 sooner than later, and even if you don't, you'll learn more about gear in your first year of jumping that you'll develop an 'educated' opinion about what you want, and you'll want to buy that. Anything you buy new that you don't put 500 jumps is going to be a money loser on resale.

Again, makes sense, I was originally thinking about getting a container built for a 170, because it appears that most manufacturers let you go up and down one size. This would give me a container capable of going up to a 190 and then a 170, then a 150.

If you have $4k to spend, get the Cypres 2 for $1300/$1400. That leaves you $2600/$2700 for the rest, which is plenty. Figure on $800/$900 each for the reserve, main, and container. Jump it to your hearts content, and provided you don't damage anything, you'll be able to sell it all for 90% of what you paid for it (except the Cypres2, just keep that and put it in your next rig).

Some things to look for - PD reserve, they make a 193 that would be a good choice. PD main, any of the Sabre2, Spectre, Silhouette or Storm would be good. PD makes a great product with great customer service, and they hold their value well. When it comes to reserves, the less jumps the better. Maybe 2 or 3 tops, beyond that people tens to look at them funny. Main canopies are the opposite, look for something with over 500 jumps so it's easier to pack. If it's much more than 500 jumps, look for one with a newer line set on it, or factor in $250 for a new line set when you negotiate the price.

Talking to instructors I'd figured a Sabre2 190 or Pilot 188 for the first canopy with something around the PD193 as a reserve. Didn't know about the container though since there are a lot of choices out there.

Container wise - stick with the majors for the rist round, Mirage, Jav, Vector3, Infinity, and maybe Wings. It will just make it easier to sell when you want to sell.



Thanks the pointers. Threw in a couple of comments. Keep the advice rolling in!

EDIT: Just thought of a conflict with the Cypress...what if the first rig is a one pin and the second rig is a two pin? Can I just buy the second pin and hook it up?

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I was originally thinking about getting a container built for a 170, because it appears that most manufacturers let you go up and down one size.



That appearance is incorrect. While you "can" go up a size in many containers, the main will be difficult to get into the bag (especially for a novice packer), the container will be difficult to close, the resulting pack job will look like crap and there will be additional stress put on the main flaps and the grommets in the main flaps.

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Talking to instructors I'd figured a Sabre2 190 or Pilot 188 for the first canopy with something around the PD193 as a reserve.



You'll be happier with your main choice if you take the time to put some jumps on a variety of canopies before you buy. Every jumper out there has a favorite canopy or two and they'll be happy to tell you that you should buy the same one (seriously, you should get a Spectre, they must be the best cuz there's one in my rig and I only jump the best), but what is right for my style of canopy piloting may not be what is right for you.

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Hey Hokie,
There are a bunch of us at SSM that know gear very well and what's available in the area for sale. Most of the time the guy you buy something from didn't even know he was going to sell it.
Next time you are out there track down Tony, Greg, Suzanne or K-Hawk. We can certainly steer you in the right direction.
I'm not sure who you are but odds are we've crossed paths since I'm there pretty much every weekend.
I would point you away from any Racer for the simple fact that there is no rigger that wants to pack them out there. There are others nearby that will but most charge a premium. They also have poor resale value in South Texas since most people tend to stay away from them. They are a fine rig and from what I understand quite comfy but there are others that would make more sense.
Track one of us down. I can think of more than a few rigs right now that might work for you.

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