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SkydCanada

Review our article - Gear buying guide for the beginner

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Your comments on helmets are pretty far from reality.

Very few skydiving helmets have a "shock absorption layer". They're usually shells and a comfort liner. And most of them show damage to the shell rather spectacularly. Have you ever seen a CF helmet that took a good hit? Or even a fairly minor hit?

The stuff on the rigs themselves is pretty sparse. Canopy sizing? Planform type?

Why do you specifically recommend a new canopy? Especially for a newer jumper, packing a new canopy is a challenge.

If you look through the forums, you will find more than a few "New guy looking for a first rig" threads. Read through a few of those for some ideas.

Edit to add:

You mention both motorcycle and horseback helmets. And link to the science behind them. There really isn't any comparison between those and typical jump helmets. There's no jump helmet I know of that's certified. The only one that provides any impact protection is the ProTec (and the old Skysystems Benny).
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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SkydCanada

I had the m2 AAD in the article originally but my PR person removed it.
I also fixed Skyhook the MARD

Thank you,



It would be interesting to know why your PR person removed it.
"Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops, that's where you'll find me" Dorothy

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I tore apart a few helmets from 4 brands, I don't want to name brands or anything like that as I am trying to stay neutral on helmet brands but one brand did have a layer that breaks down on impact the other brands did not. The layer that broke down was in no way an amazing level of defense though. I wanted to stay vague on the topic so that people would do research and understand what makes a helmet incredibly important. More demand for safer helmets is a good thing is what I Thoguht

As per seeing helmet damage omg have i ever. I witnessed a motorcycle crash and that is what made me passionate about helmets. I also had a friend take a serious blow with a ski helmet on and the helmet showed zero damage other then a scratch yet he still had a concussion. I don't remember what the materiel was as this was like 5 years ago.

I will have to put more details I wanted to keep it simple so i stripped it down but apparently I did that to much.

Thank you for the input!
https://www.skydivingcanada.ca
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In my opinion that sounds like someone's excuse to hide a bias they have a hard time articulating

"MarS AAD's - A brief history of the production of AAD's in the MarS a.s. company:
MarS a.s. first produced Automatic Activation Devices in 2003, with the MPAAD (MarS Parachute Automatic Activation Device). This device has already received a number of safe activations with many (Skydivers) lives saved. This unit was the second electronic AAD device on the market in the world at that time, catering predominantly to the Eastern European market.
Another earlier MarS a.s. AAD device is the MPAAD-Pilot. This device is intended for use in emergency parachute systems for pilots of aircrafts and helicopters, incorporating dual cutters to cut the closing loops of the rescue parachute.
The new generation of the MarS a.s. AAD is the m2 AAD, combining years of experience, research & development, production and use of previous AAD technology. Designed using state-of-the-art technology to exceed today's parachuting demands. The m2 AAD has been on the Skydiving scene since mid-2011."
"Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops, that's where you'll find me" Dorothy

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SkydCanada

We do sell it, there might be a bias but its not intentional. I hesitate to put it back in I will have to talk it over to determine the direction we want to go on this one




Since new jumpers are always looking for a good deal it makes no sense at at all to exclude the AAD that offers the lowest price.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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SkydCanada

Funny you say that, I had it about twice as long and people told me it was to technical so I hacked it down.

I guess I need to find the middle ground



At the very least, you should back your recommendations up with facts. For Main Parachute, your recommendation is "While we recommend a new canopy, we understand that budget is a reality. New or used is fine, but be picky, get advice from coaches and have it looked at by a rigger.", which essentially translates into "buy whatever your rigger won't consider trash".

how about talking about age, varying levels of square vs tapered vs elliptical, wing loading, various manufacturer considerations, whether it was a desert canopy all of it's life, etc ?

PD has plenty of articles, as does PIA, as does Brian Germain. I'd say all of these are pretty damn trustworthy and very informative.

:(

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Change "coach" to instructor. As an instructor, I really don't want newbies to take advice from 100-jump wonder coaches.

How about including the concept of "change only one thing at a time" - and only once you are comfortable/automatic about your current gear. Regarding a new altimeter I recommend jumping the type you're used to alongside the new one you bought until you can read the new one without needing any mental time to translate it.

That helmet stuff is a hornets nest. Skydive helmets are built for minimal protection but are lightweight and appropriate for skydive wind speeds. The article suggests researching non-skydive helmets for safety features, however those helmets and all thst safety stuff does not apply to skydive helmets. Other than a few half-shell type helmets (i.e. a Benny) only skydive helmets should be used on skydives. Also add that different helmets require additional/different steps (opening a visor after canopy opening, getting a helmet cutaway and practicing using it, considering helmet/goggle combinations, considering camera (and again helmet cutaway) options for the future.

Your suggested order to purchase gear is good, but that should be expanded regarding rig components, i.e. first identify safe canopy sizes, get measured by a rigger or dealer, then look for gear in the following order with or without an AAD:
Container
Container + Reserve
Container + Reserve + Main
Then add AAD

Definitely discuss basic canopy differences and size appropriate considerations for mains AND reserves (that next jump could be on that reserve!).

What about including the basics of buying a used container and having the harness resized? Advice regarding talking to their local rigger and following their advice for what brands and ages of gear they prefer (and those that that individual rigger won't pack or wouldn't recommend for a container resize, etc). List of complete components included with a container?

Mars M2 AADs are the cheapest ones on the market year over year and are the only current AAD that doesn't require paying a rigger to uninstall, ship to the manufacturer for batteries or maintenance, wait, ship it back, then reinstall at some point during the AADs service life. That is something that consumers deserve to know about to consider what works for them.

Why not point to dz.com for a million threads on used gear, comparing components, etc. Where should jumpers even look to buy new or used gear? Where/methods to avoid getting scammed on used gear? How about some resources from manufacturers for info, how to choose a canopy, etc?

Overall, this article is very generic with a wacky tangent about non-skydive helmets. It leaves the reader with the idea that they should buy used or new... and that's all. If this is a place to start, provide some next steps.

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sammielu

Mars M2 AADs are the cheapest ones on the market year over year and are the only current AAD that doesn't require paying a rigger to uninstall, ship to the manufacturer for batteries or maintenance,



Also: New Cypreses. 15.5 years, no maintenance required (tho' recommended). More expensive though. (By 12% at one popular site)

Overall it is a pretty tough topic to try to put into an article what a newbie needs to know about buying gear, so no wonder the original article is getting some thoughtful critiques...

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I would disagree with recommending new gear for a first time buyer - used gear that's in good shape will get them through that first period of downsizing before they find their "forever" parachute.

Does it really matter what order you buy your "smaller" gear in? Alti, helmet, etc? I don't know if borrowing altimeters is a bad thing - our DZ has a bunch of them (they're all the same) available to students and novices.

Why no used helmet? My first two helmets were used...

Not a bad article, but I don't know that I would point someone new towards it and say "that's what you need to know".. there are so many other variables...

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