0
skyfreek

285 pound wanna be jumper

Recommended Posts

I'll be glad to be one of the peanuts (lol).

Let me ask you this (not being a smarty pants) but what are YOUR reasons for saying no? I emphasize the word "your" because your reasons could be different from someone else's. I am assuming you are the DZO/DZM so bottom line... it is your kool-aide stand and your decision. Because of that, I would just like to ask, "Why do you think you should answer no?"
Learn from others' mistakes, you will never live long enough to make them all yourself.
POPS 10672

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
skyfreek

i was called the other day by a guy who is 285 lbs. he wants to learn how to skydive. he would even buy his own gear to make it happen. my first thought is to tell him no, but i wanted to hear from the peanut gallery... suggestions?



Well, this peanut says, "Go for it!". There will be challenges, and the instructors might work a bit more in certain areas, but he can succeed.

It would be a good idea to let him know that if something happens that prevents him from continuing, that he will probably not get as much money selling the rig as he would like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know of at least 1 manufacturer that has built a custom rig for a large student to learn on (Jumpshack) - then again it all comes down to how much money does he want to spend? My first reaction would be he's going to spend a lot of money for a custom rig to try a sport he may not even enjoy. :S
=========Shaun ==========


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
skyfreek

i was called the other day by a guy who is 285 lbs. he wants to learn how to skydive. he would even buy his own gear to make it happen. my first thought is to tell him no, but i wanted to hear from the peanut gallery...
suggestions?



He can do it. He just needs to find the right DZ that will train him, plus have student gear specifically reserved for larger students. And... what kind of 285 lbs is he? If he's built like an NFL lineman, he should be fine. If he's like Jabba Hutt... I'd lean towards "no".

Personal gear for that size would need to be custom-made. That's a given. I'd rather see him go to a DZ that has student gear that will suit him for his training first, before he splurges for his own gear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
285 pounds is not a joke. I would tell him to lose some weight and come back. Reasons:

-Wingload: I am 190 out of the door. My first jump was on a navigator 260. That's ~0.8. Somebody in the 285 pounds mark will exceed the 1.0 wingload even on the largest navigator. I wouldn't do that to anybody on the first jump.

-Freefall: Unless he is 6'5 he will falling like a cannon ball. Good luck to any instructor catching up. Besides that if his performance is not that good, with his mass and volume it would be pretty difficult for the instructors to keep him stable.

-Health: This applies just if the 285 pounds are mostly fat, not muscle. But if that is the case, his heart won't be the healthiest one. Having a heart attack induced by the adrenaline might be a real possibility.

Now, if the guy is 285 pounds of muscle in a 6'10 body maybe he can try static line. That won't solve the wingload problem though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
as a follow up to this one, even if he gets through training and gets his license, trying to jump while falling like a cannonball just isn't as fun. I have this issue, currently compounded by extra weight from having just had a baby, and it is one of the primary reasons I haven't returned to the sky yet. It isn't always fun falling super fast, yet all alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Deimian

Somebody in the 285 pounds mark will exceed the 1.0 wingload even on the largest navigator. I wouldn't do that to anybody on the first jump.



I have a javelin with a navigator 300 in it that weighs in at about 25 lbs sitting here in front of me. That puts him at 1:1 which is a reasonable maximum weight for a student
www.facebook.com/FlintHillsRigging

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Deimian

285 pounds is not a joke. I would tell him to lose some weight and come back. Reasons:

-Wingload: I am 190 out of the door. My first jump was on a navigator 260. That's ~0.8. Somebody in the 285 pounds mark will exceed the 1.0 wingload even on the largest navigator. I wouldn't do that to anybody on the first jump.

-Freefall: Unless he is 6'5 he will falling like a cannon ball. Good luck to any instructor catching up. Besides that if his performance is not that good, with his mass and volume it would be pretty difficult for the instructors to keep him stable.

-Health: This applies just if the 285 pounds are mostly fat, not muscle. But if that is the case, his heart won't be the healthiest one. Having a heart attack induced by the adrenaline might be a real possibility.

Now, if the guy is 285 pounds of muscle in a 6'10 body maybe he can try static line. That won't solve the wingload problem though.



Not to be argumentative, but there are a few flaws in your reasoning-

Wingload: There are many sky divers, students and experts alike, that weigh more than 190 out the door. There are other canopies than the Navigator for students. His size and wingloading are issues, but they can be overcome, he may have to pay more than other students for the proper equipment, but that is his choice. Give him the options and let HIM control his checkbook.

Freefall: Why does he have to freefall? Isn't static line or IAD an option? They might not be, but if they are then the argument of instructors keeping up with him in freefall is nonexistent. Now, there is another issue that I think should be addressed here and that is aircraft weight and balance. When a tandem instructor, student, and camera flyer all leave the aircraft it is more than 285 pounds. However a T/I is not climbing out on the strut and doing a poised exit. If the drop zone the student wants to go to is a cessna drop zone than the pilot should be consulted.

Health: You bring up a good point, however this is something that needs to be discussed with the student. And yes, this could be an area where the drop zone staff may have to make a judgment call for the sake of safety. You brought up a real good point here.

My bottom line is this: If the military can put out pallets of cargo on a static line, we can put out a human. The biggest issue is cost and if the student wants to pay it then let them. Just be honest and up front.
Learn from others' mistakes, you will never live long enough to make them all yourself.
POPS 10672

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I jump regularly with someone who is over 300 lbs (athletic/tank built).

He can fly with everyone else no problem.

Weight alone isn't the limiting factor. As previously mentioned, fit/athletic, yes, Jabba the Hutt, no/lose some serious weight.

But you should invite him to come have a chat with you so he knows that it is going to be a different learning curve than most people, so he understands what he is getting into before he drops money on (all probably new) gear. It might be good to send him to a tunnel if possible to work out some of the kinks as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mcordell

I have a javelin with a navigator 300 in it that weighs in at about 25 lbs sitting here in front of me. That puts him at 1:1 which is a reasonable maximum weight for a student



I'm not sure I'd say 'reasonable', though it may be possible. By rule in the UK, first jump students must be under 0.8, and other students have to stay under 0.85.

This wouldn't totally prevent him jumping - but we're probably looking at converted tandem canopies, here or even in the US.

Good luck to the guy, hope he gets it working.

[edit: I'm sure they can find him some tank-like AFFIs who could keep with him and keep him under control, should he decide to do AFF. I feel like the fall rate side of things is the last of his worries.]
--
"I'll tell you how all skydivers are judged, . They are judged by the laws of physics." - kkeenan

"You jump out, pull the string and either live or die. What's there to be good at?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I used to know a guy that size here in CO.

As a student, he couldn't find anyone around here to train him, but he found a DZ in FL that would do it. I don't know what gear they trained him on.

Once off training, he had bought a complete military surplus rig with main & reserve both ~300sf.
"There are only three things of value: younger women, faster airplanes, and bigger crocodiles" - Arthur Jones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Plf practice can help determine his level of fitness.

Beyond that, if he wants to spend a bunch of $ on equipment (rigs that are TSO'D higher than the 250lb, like converted tandem rigs, for example), and you have instructors and planes that can accommodate him, go for it... if you want the potential headache of this guy latching on to you and your dz if everything doesn't go smoothly. In my experience, going out of your way to accommodate customers doesn't help your bottom line, ever. If you want to go out of your way to help a potential jumper, go for it, but do so as a nice gesture, not a business decision, because it might pay off in :) but most likely not in $.

I would advise that jumper to talk to other bigger sized jumpers. It is going to be a challenge to find people to jump with until he has the skill to keep up with slower fall rates. I know one jumper who stopped crossfit/some muscle building thing because he was gaining too much and it hindered his skydiving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Might want to mention that unless he's 7+ feet tall he will have trouble flying with other people. I've known several heavier guys that started jumping that were really turned off after spending the time and money to learn and then learning that.

I think it's important for people to understand the challenges they will face before making the investment.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is possible. Like most of the posters have said, gonna have to do some searching for the right equipment, right dz , and right instructors. About 8 years ago at my home DZ we had a guy that was 6' 310 lbs. Not sure where he went through his training, but he had his license and some nice custom gear made for him. What he did in order to not always do solos is he would free fall on his belly and all the free fliers would use him as a base and come in and sting on multi levels. We also had some one go through the aff at my home dz he was 6'1 and 270. once he got his license he bought a new custom 300 sq ft canopy and a custom harness, and had no problems. So it is possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You people do realize that their are jump suits other then skin tight spandex nylon. Ever hear of a balloon suit? Ever hear of swoop cords. Ever hear of wing, and I don't mean a wing suit.

It wont be as easy. Flying these suits is different, it requires different techniques. But he can learn to jump with other people. I've known people of that size that could fly with any one they wanted to. And they weren't 7 foot tall. They were down right round.

With the right container. The right reserve. He could do this.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
coreyangel



Wingload: There are many sky divers, students and experts alike, that weigh more than 190 out the door. There are other canopies than the Navigator for students. His size and wingloading are issues, but they can be overcome, he may have to pay more than other students for the proper equipment, but that is his choice. Give him the options and let HIM control his checkbook.



Of course there are people that weight more than 190lbs.... But from 190 to 300+ there is a big difference. But you made a good point: "he may have to pay more [...] but that is his choice". Fair enough.

coreyangel


Freefall: Why does he have to freefall? Isn't static line or IAD an option? They might not be, but if they are then the argument of instructors keeping up with him in freefall is nonexistent. Now, there is another issue that I think should be addressed here and that is aircraft weight and balance. When a tandem instructor, student, and camera flyer all leave the aircraft it is more than 285 pounds. However a T/I is not climbing out on the strut and doing a poised exit. If the drop zone the student wants to go to is a cessna drop zone than the pilot should be consulted.



I explicitly mentioned static line at the end of my post.

coreyangel


My bottom line is this: If the military can put out pallets of cargo on a static line, we can put out a human. The biggest issue is cost and if the student wants to pay it then let them. Just be honest and up front.



Putting out a human is not an issue at all. But putting out a human of that weight, safely, *with the resources that most DZs have* is a bit more than challenging. However, if you add resources (buying custom gear to accommodate him, even though it will quickly depreciate), and are able to provide the appropriate training methods (SL or IAD), AND the student understand the limitations of his prospective skydiving career, then, by all means, go ahead.

But as somebody else said, unless he is 7', I still think it is easier (and healthier) to just lose some weight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
riggerrob

On a more practical note: the Relative Workshop has published procedures for converting Vector 2 Tandems for solo freefall students. Basically, you replace the drogue with a hand-deploy pilot-chute.



There was a student in Deland in the mid-1980's who was trained using a tandem rig. This was before drogues were in use. He was huge and a challenge but it worked out. You might get some input from Bob Hallet.

Jon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
100lb people do not play pro football and 300lb people do not skydive.

whether or not they are willing to buy their own gear or not, the challenges are massive and many unforeseen. Just loading the airplane and getting this person in and out. The gear will be so limited that it may not even be acceptable 'student equipment'. The gear, like the student, will be on the outer fringes of normal.

who on your staff is willing to go 145MPH in freefall? Someone that is 285 was once 240 and they can get back there and then come see you.

"But I really want to do this!" I really want to be an astronaut, but it does not matter how much I want it, it ain't gonna happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am with TK here, it can be done, but why?

A 280 pound person can be a 230 pound person, even if they are 6'10!

This guy may be a tall individual, who has decided to let himself get out of shape. So sorry, get it under control!

Maybe they are a super fit body builder, good for them, it doesn't change that fact that the two hobbies conflict with each other.
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DougH

I am with TK here, it can be done, but why?

A 280 pound person can be a 230 pound person, even if they are 6'10!

This guy may be a tall individual, who has decided to let himself get out of shape. So sorry, get it under control!

Maybe they are a super fit body builder, good for them, it doesn't change that fact that the two hobbies conflict with each other.



I'll get on that. We tell people quite often that the weight limit is 230 lbs. "So, I can't skydive at 280 lbs." "No, but you have the option of diet and exercise, and doing it at 230 lbs."

I'm 6'8" tall, and there are quite a few things that I simply can not do because i'm tall. I don't fit in little cars. Some amusement park rides can not accommodate me. I'm also not the most attractive guy who ever walked the planet, so was always discriminated against by hot women. Life ain't always fair, if you believe otherwise you're in for quite a few disappointments in life. Lucky for big guys, they have the option of losing weight.

I didn't mention, I'm 210 lbs at 6'8", but I don't stay at that weight by eating an unlimited calorie diet and leading a sedentary life. Not to say that this particular guy isn't 280 lbs at 15% body fat.
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tkhayes

100lb people do not play pro football and 300lb people do not skydive.

whether or not they are willing to buy their own gear or not, the challenges are massive and many unforeseen. Just loading the airplane and getting this person in and out. The gear will be so limited that it may not even be acceptable 'student equipment'. The gear, like the student, will be on the outer fringes of normal.

who on your staff is willing to go 145MPH in freefall? Someone that is 285 was once 240 and they can get back there and then come see you.

"But I really want to do this!" I really want to be an astronaut, but it does not matter how much I want it, it ain't gonna happen.



Are we forgetting about the guy here on Dizzy about 10 years ago named atsaubrey from So CAL???

We had a boogie down there and Bozo and I and a few others had no real problem flying with Aubrey and he was closer to 350+ lbs out the door.

A review of some of his trials and tribulations in our sport is in order.

http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=1789718;search_string=Aubrey;#1789718

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0