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thatguythedj

Weight belt help

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I've never had your problem and others are more experienced than I to help answer your questions. But it strikes me at 20 jumps you don't know what you can do in fall rate adjustment without a extra weight.

Do you have the appropriate jumpsuit or jumpsuits for the range you need? You should have lots of spandex and nylon for belly flying. I'll let the lawn darts offer whats right for freeflying.

Have you worked on flexibility and your ability to arch? Do you have a rig that fits well, isn't over sized with wise to create drag and allows you full flexibility. People your size CAN fall fast with practice and skill.

In specific situations where the fast fall position doesn't allow you the needed maneuverability and you made need supplemental weight. While never having or needed weights it's allways struck me as those integrated into the rig were the best solution.

Now I'll let the light weights weigh in, pun intended.;)
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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Hey Councilman, I'll have to stick up for the OP in this case. Even though the issues you brought up are valid, getting a weight belt for a slow faller is a very good thing and not considered a crutch.

He could quit the sport for 6 months to do yoga, and not jump until he buys brand new custom fit gear and jumpsuit. But in practical terms having a weight belt stops a novice wasting jump after jump not being able to play properly with most other people, and not being able to learn proper RW technique. Even if down the road he gains experience and might not need the same amount of weight.

I'm no RW expert but even with thousands of jumps I need weight. I have a tight suit and I have some freefly and PFF instructor tricks up my sleeve for fast falling ... but it would be stupid to try to plan to do RW with others without weights.

As for how much he needs, I can't say. A Small weight belt often only takes about 15 max. So one is really only working with a practical range of 5-15 lbs to experiment with.


-- a still pretty tall & skinny guy

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As for how much he needs, I can't say. A Small weight belt often only takes about 15 max. So one is really only working with a practical range of 5-15 lbs to experiment with.




What he said.


But also what CM said. Make sure you don't add extra drag with a loose jumpsuit.

Then I'd start with 6 lbs. It's not a lot, but it's where it should start to make a difference. Impact on your wingloading will be minimal, but still there (that's a 5% weight increase-ish). Add or remove a couple lbs at a time until you find where you need to be.
Remster

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Just being my own cynical self.:P I wish I needed a weight belt.:S

My wife used one routinely to do 4 way with some bigger guys. Just at 20 jumps seems to be a little early. Although after reading the OP's jumpsuit thread it looks like he's getting some good advice.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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I have to say, I know i am still learning how to fall faster. I am still practicing that on every jump. I did buy a suit that is a snug fit and I have been using rental gear that is a bit big for me. I bought a rig and will be jumping that this weekend. I have been waiting to see how that pans out before resorting to a belt. I am just thinking that if I can't get my skinny butt down to the group that I might need a little help. I would rather not add weight if I can get away with it. But I wanted to know a good place to start.

All your advice is being processed and I will be more aware of what I am doing and try to go without if I can.

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if I can get away with it



You do not want to spend your skydives at a spot that you just "an get away with it". You need to be in the middle of your range for most of the jump of most of your jumps. maxing out your arch is not planning for success.
Remster

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And if it's the Spectre 150 in your profile that you jumping for the first time be aware that it is considered a high performance canopy, even though it's a Spectre and not highly loaded. At your level anything 150 is considered high performance. Get lots of advice and concentrate on canopy control for a while. Articles on PD's website will help. Hopefully the jump to the 150 is from a 170. Go find the articles on downsizing on this site and make sure your ready.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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At 5'8", 130 lbs, you are tall and skinny and potentially have a very big fallrate range. Nice hard Arch with hands in front of your face to fall fast or extend those arms and legs and flatten your arch to slow down.

Weight is a tool for the toolbox, but really is most useful when jumping with the same group over and over.

Get some coaching on your body position and jumpsuit fit. For RW, big booties allow you to sit back onto your hips/legs and free up your arms, good for grips as well as adjusting fall rate.

Think about those jumps where you can't get down to the group - are the other jumpers continuing to drop lower and lower, or is there a consisted distance between you floating above them and you need to learn to dive down to the group?

Keep jumping, keep challenging yourself, keep getting feedback!

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I am 8 inches taller than you, and we weigh about the same. Trust me, I know how you feel.

There are two ways to fall faster:
1: Adding weight
2: Removing surface area

Most new people look instantly at option 1 because they don't realize how they can best utilize option 2.

Tighter suit: You'll want a suit that has a zp nylon front and a lot of spandex. I recommend a custom fit Tony Pit Special, if you can afford it. If you already have a suit, no biggie, you can still use the advice below.

Flying: Pull a 4way guy (or girl) aside and ask them to teach you some mantis. The first thing they should have you do is tuck your elbows down while flying, almost below your shoulders. Push your shoulders back. This removes your entire upper arm from the relative wind, and promotes a better arch in your upper torso, reducing your surface area. It may also drive you forward some. Pull your legs in to counter that forward drive if needed.
Narrowing your leg stance will help you arch deeper. This helps a lot more than you think it will. Think about how wide your legs are after every move. If they're too wide, narrow them again and resume your deeper arch before you move again. Get good at doing both of these without thinking about it, and you'll probably change your mind about that weight belt for most jumps.
Most importantly, jump with other people on every jump. Find a coach of your approximate build and have them show you a few things, as they've also likely worked through them as well. You won't know how much each adjustment helps if you have no frame of reference.

I have not seen your canopy skills, but with 20 jumps I am going to blindly echo councilman24's concerns about your canopy size and haphazardly adding weight to your set up. If you weigh 130lbs, and your gear weighs 25, you're loading your canopy at just over 1.0, which is usually fine for most beginners. Adding 10 lbs to your set up puts you at 1.1 The maximum exit weight for an advanced canopy pilot with a spectre 150 is the 165 lbs you just tallied up by adding that 10 lb weight belt. Not a student, not a novice, not even intermediate. Advanced. I have no idea how old that chart is or how often they adjust it to account for the other canopies on the market that they recommend higher maximum wing loadings for lower experience level jumpers, but think about that. Have you flown a 7 cell canopy before? They fly and flare differently than 9 cell canopies.

http://www.performancedesigns.com/spectre.aspx

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I can't remember where I got the figures from but for fall rate, 1lb of lead is roughly equal to 4 of body weight. So 4-6lb would be a reasonable guess for a starting point.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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I have owned the Spectre for a few months now, I have been using the rental gear until I felt more comfortable with the canopy. I know the Spectre is going to be a BIG difference. I am a little hesitant about using it as of now. One instructor offered to get on a radio with me to help me down safely and to help me fly it. I have still been renting even with that offer on the table.
I will defiantly try to work on my body position more. I have a N3 that can help me see my fall rate. That will help too. I am going to the tunnel at the end of the month. I am going to work on it with the instructor there as well.

Do you think I should stay off my Spectre still? I don't wanna get crazy, but I also don't wanna be afraid of it. It is my rig and I need to start jumping it at some point. I just wanna do it safe.

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Regarding appropriate wing loading and downsizing, the USPA, Axis Flight School, and Brian Germain's bigairsportz.com all have easily google-able explanations of how/why/when to safely downsize. DZ.com has many many discussions of people who want internet support to jump smaller than recommended canopies. Do some reading and thinking about acceptable level of risk if you are going to exceed those recommendations.

Personally, being able to consistently safely land my canopy in any conditions or location, so I know I can make the next load is my highest priority. Totally screwing up a landing flare at night, at an unfamiliar drop zone, downhill, and walking away uninjured and laughing, for example, keeps me jumping and therefore happy.

Also, how often you jump impacts your landing ability and overall response time. 20 jumps in 1 year makes for slow learning.

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sammielu

Regarding appropriate wing loading and downsizing, the USPA, Axis Flight School, and Brian Germain's bigairsportz.com all have easily google-able explanations of how/why/when to safely downsize.

Also, how often you jump impacts your landing ability and overall response time. 20 jumps in 1 year makes for slow learning.



I have 20 jumps from Aug to now, 4 just two weeks ago. We are in winter weather here. Now that the weather is getting nice, I will be jumping every weekend.

The info you have given has been a great help. I have been reading up on downsizing and I think I will rent a little longer before jumping my rig. I would rather walk away and jump again then push something and get hurt. I just started this, I don't wanna get hurt already and have to be out. Thank you!

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Forgive me if it's been said already (I tried to skim I really did), but if/when you start jumping with weight remember that it will have an affect on your canopy flight. That's part of the reason why people will suggest you start with small amounts and gradually add on more.

I know it's not always an option, but if you can, jump with small groups of people who are more experienced than you and they should be able to match your fall rate without weights.

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brbjumping

but if/when you start jumping with weight remember that it will have an affect on your canopy flight.



Not just the flight itself - if you stumble a bit on landing, it can make it harder to recover your balance.
"It's amazing what you can learn while you're not talking." - Skydivesg

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I've read the thread, and been pondering a response.

I'm a hell of a 'featherbutt' too. 5'10" and 155# stepping out of the shower. On my early freefalls (S/L progression) my instructor would bitch me out for pulling low. I wasn't pulling low (and started using a Pro-Track to prove it), I was just falling slow. He was timing my freefall and couldn't believe that I was in freefall that long without going low. His reaction the first time I wore the Pro-Track was hilarious.

I also had a very hard time keeping down with any groups. I was trying so hard to keep my fall rate up, that I really couldn't do anything else. Any attempts to fly to a slot or anything like that would result in my popping up.

So I tried weights. I ended up using 10 lbs. I used dive weights, and put 5# in each front pocket of my pants. They would be below the legstraps and that would keep them in place. Having it down by my hips helped with balance too. I wasn't too "top heavy" like with the "vest style" ones.

I never really noticed the weight under canopy (a 190 Triathlon) or on landing or walking back to the hangar or any of that. It just helped me stay down with the people I was jumping with. And not having to worry about having to try really hard to stay with the group helped a lot too (very much a "positive feedback loop").

As time went on, my flying skills improved. I learned more about "getting small" without having to overarch. Tucking in my arms, but still being able to fly, working more with my legs, all sorts of stuff I learned over time, and with a variety of different people giving advice (some was great, some... not so much).

And I don't need the weights anymore. They were a great learning tool. They allowed me to fly with others when I couldn't without them. Which in turn, allowed me to learn to fly better. And when I was flying better, I learned to fall faster, while still being able to fly my body.

This is something you should discuss with your instructors.
I would suggest adding a few pounds at a time (I went with 5 at first, added a 2.5, then added another).
"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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So over the weekend I jumped to jumps with no weight and fell at my normal 114 mph, I added 6 lbs of weights and was a nice 120 mph and was able to get to the rest of the group. It did really affect the canopy I was flying. Of course some of that is because its a 210 and I am 150 out the door with gear. Thanks for the input. I am going to make sure I remove the belt before I downsize to a 170 in a couple of weeks.

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Interesting topic and read!

Ive been jumping most of my jumps since completion of AFF with between 4 and 6 weights. Im 5'4" and only weigh 110! (1.66m & 50kg) At one point thought due to my weight skydiving might not be for me, but I loved every jump so much...

Now planning some tunnel time soon to work on my body position and fall rate. But for now I'll stick with my good friend the weight belt :)

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I am going to make sure I remove the belt before I downsize to a 170 in a couple of weeks.

...............................................................................................

Do you wear your weight belt inside or outside your jumpsuit.
Might also want to practice "losing" the weight belt in case you open over water.

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