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Darius11

The no BS Honest swooping poll

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One thing to be aware of most people that push the envelope of high performance landings beyond what is generally advised is most end up getting hurt. I can only think of a few people that downsized quickly and started doing HP landing early that did not hurt themselves ( I can think of atleast 15 people that have hurt themselves).
As for myself I down sized to 1.5 to one wingloading @ 135 jumps, waited till I had over 300 jump before starting HP landings. I down sized again to 1.85 to 1 loading on an elliptical canopy 200 jumps later. I thought I had it all figured out until I hurt myself. Attached is a picture of the damage I did to myself, note I did not break any bones.
Kirk

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At this point in time, I have no desire to swoop. Ask me in another 700 or so jumps. ;)

Edited to say: OUCH!!! Those pics look painful, Talonsky. **shudder**
Life is short! Break the rules! Forgive quickly! Kiss slowly! Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that made you smile.

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Those look a like like my pictures at about jump 200. Hurts like a MF'er for about 3-4 weeks huh?

Yeah, I've screwed up before. And will probally again. Mark me into the started under 200 jumps option and got hurt.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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. Hurts like a MF'er for about 3-4 weeks huh?


Oh hell yeah it hurt like hell. I think in 2 weeks I went through 40 Vicondine (Of course I was walking on it because the emergancy room had not mentioned that I should not walk on it.) Those first steps each morning were tha abosolute worsed.
Kirk

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Swooping is fun. But it is also unforgiving of the errors that many of us will make at some point in our skydiving careers. If we are honest with ourselves in respect to our experience in the sport, our knowledge in canopy control (and seek more coaching when needed), are honest with our own risk tolerance levels and realize that none of us is immune from injury and/or death, then swooping is something that we can participate in, in a reasonably safe manner. But the important thing is to realize that swooping takes hundreds and hundreds of jumps on each canopy we jump before we move on to the next (smaller ... more elliptical ... or even cross-braced) canopy. And once we move on to a new canopy, we must realize that we need to start from scratch in terms of learning the performance characteristics of the new canopy and be patient with ourselves. All it takes is one moment of poor decision making (or worse being in the wrong place at the wrong time for whatever reason), to end it all.

I'm about to tell you about my canopy progession which in some people's eyes will be aggresive, but not nearly as aggresive as others which often get's the canopy nazi's attention. Also keep in mind that my exit weight is in the 210 lb range and I do jump at 5000 MSL (meaning I come in fast and don't have much air to flare with, so you may understand why I jump the canopy sizes I do while some others jump smaller canopies). Now I was a licensed private pilot before I became a skydiver. So I was used to the sight picture of landing a wing. For my first 40 jumps, I used student/rental gear ranging in the student F-111 290 sizes down to rental ZP 210 canopies. On jump #40 through the next 50 jumps I was on a Triathlon 220 which I never really did much with except work on my accuracy and consitency with my flair. I did do some front riser work up high, but in retrospective I never did swoop with that canopy. Then on jump #90 through jump #175 I was jumping a Sabre2 190. It was on this canopy that I received my first canopy control coaching and did my first 90 degree front riser swoops (after receiving my canopy control coaching). In many respects, I should have stayed on this canopy longer, but I didn't. I downsized to a Sabre2 170. And it was on my Sabre2 170 that I learned to swoop. I did double fronts, I did 90s and 180s. I understood the recovery arc, but like any quick recovering canopy, I didn't push it because I knew my setup was low. I put 225 jumps on that canopy before I decided to move on to my first elliptical and it was on this canopy (the 170) that I came the closest (knock on wood) to pounding in. Fortunately I was on a large enough canopy that gave me some forgiveness as if I had made the same mistake I made on a smaller canopy, I likely would have femured or even worse. Anyway after 225 jumps on the Sabre2 170, I downsized again. Did I downsize too fast ... again? In reality the answer is yes. But I did so because I felt that my fast recovering Sabre2 canopy wasn't helping develop beyond the point that I found myself in. So on jump #400 I started to jump a Crossfire2 139. It was on this canopy that I did my first 270s with. In retrospective I was doing my 180s and 270s too low. Now it's not like I was constantly digging myself out, but I wasn't letting the canopy recover the way it can recover and part of this was becaused I didn't know any better and none of the more experienced jumpers around me really said much. I put another 225 jumps on this Crossfire2 139 and was pretty current with it. So after spending one long 4 day weekend last year in Eloy (feeling very current), I called up a friend who was selling his Crossfire2 119 canopy and bought his. And it was on this wing that I really began to learn the potential of this canopy. It was on this wing that I got swoop at sea level (wow jumping at altitude sucks) and it was on this canopy where I received my latest high performance canopy control coaching. The information I received about swooping after this latest batch of coaching was ... simply priceless. Coaching means everything when it comes to canopy control. Without it, we are really just guessing how to control our canopy's through trial and error. But with the added coaching, I no longer am a trial by error type of canopy pilot. Because a world class swooper has shown me how to find the performance characteristics of my canopy and he has armed with many tricks to add to my tool box in order to keep my canopy within it's performance envelop. The rest is now up to me to put the knowledge I've been given into use, to know my limits and be patient with my progression from here on out.

So now I'm about to start the latest chapter in my canopy progression. During the Eloy Holiday boogie, two very experienced swoopers (one a former PST jumper) made identical yet independent comments about my swoops as they watched me. Both said that they thought I would be better off (and reasonably safe) under a cross-braced canopy. I originally was going to order a custom Velocity 103. But after I found out that it would take 4 months to make (not the 2 I thought it would take), I thought shit I won't be starting to jump this cross-braced canopy until May which means higher density altitude conditions and less time to learn this canopy before the hot summer months are here and the swooping competition circuit heats up. I could have stayed on my Crossfire2 119 from now until the fall (not a bad choice), but instead I decided to pick up a stock Velocity canopy and given myself five months to learn it before the summer arrives, to start off slow with it and to slowly start pushing myself on it until I get to the point to where I am now on my Crossfire. Plus I will be looking to seek more advance canopy control coaching with the Velocity once I learn the basics with it and learn it's performance envelop (by playing up high with it). So here I am, with a Velocity 111 in my possesion and ready to jump this weekend. And I chose the 111 size over the 103 because not only do I jump in high density altitude conditions, but I can always wear weight when I want to increase my wing loading (like when I visit DZs at sea level).

Now If I crater because of stupidity, I only have myself to blame. But I do believe that while I have been somewhat aggresive with my canopy progression, I have also sought canopy control coaching, I will continue to seek coaching as I progess, I think I'm in tune with my personal skill, my knowledge and my risk assement limits. It's all about choices. If you want to become a swooper, then talk to the more experienced swoopers around you and set out a plan to get you to achieve your goals. But don't forget that the plan takes time to realize. None of the world class swoopers are people who just started yesterday. They are people with experience, with knowledge and are current with the canopies they fly.

PS: If I ever find myself uncurrent on my new Velocity 111, keep in mind that I have many other canopies to choose from. I still own my Crossfire2 (I will ultimately sell it), I own a Samurai 136 (my interim Ground Launching canopy), I have a Spectre 150 (my canopy for wingsuit jumps) and I have a big 293 BASE canopy and another 303 BASE canopy being made as we speak. So I have choices towards how I want to fly my canopies and each choice will depend on the environment in which I jump, my experience and my currency.


Try not to worry about the things you have no control over

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Dumb ass me was given crutches and a bottle of pills. I only took 2 pills total since "If I was man enough to hurt myself, I'm man enough to take the pain" What a really dumb thought process. :S I used the crutches for about 2 weeks since I could'nt get a shoe on and with the snow/ice/slush all over the ground I could'nt just hop on the foot. The embaressment of it at work finally got me to start hopping on it indoors.

Pain sucks. B|
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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Hey Steve.
I know when I think of skydiving my main goal is to learn to swoop. I can’t think of any thing that would be more fun. I am taking my time and am lucky enough to have some great people around me.

Thank you for taking the time to make your post.
I and I am sure others appreciate it.
I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not." - Kurt Cobain

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180's on a small canopy with less than 200 jumps. Destroyed 2 vertabrae in my upper back, tore all my spinal support muscles and tore all my intercostal muscles.

Laying on the ground not being able to breathe, thinking I was dying is still the scariest moment of my entire life.

There's a reason I am so vocal against progressing to quickly....I don't want anyone to feel what I feel EVERY SINGLE DAY. I will pay, physically, for my mistakes the rest of my life.

Sometimes, folks just wanna learn the hard way though, I truely wish the information that is out there today was available to me when I was "learning" (we're always learning I know).

Blues,
Ian
Performance Designs Factory Team

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I'm I lucky?
I have 1000 swoops with x-brace canopies and not did hurt myself.
I was lucky one time. After i asked my rigger to change my half brake point with 5 cm (for the openings on my Fx89) he did not keep the same lenght in the steering lines, they were 11cm longer than the previous lines. Can you imagine the landing? I walked away after a crash with only a stif nek for two day's. It did hurt [:/] but no injuries.

A FreeFly Gypsy

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Yeah, I've screwed up before. And will probally again. Mark me into the started under 200 jumps option and got hurt.



Ditto:S I turned too low on a 90 hook at about 200 jumps and stabbed my toggles so hard on my cobalt that it started to lift me back up about the time my knees, shins, and the tops of my feet hit the ground. I bounced up and over the runway and landed standing up on the other side.:oB| I was LUCKY that i only had bruises. About the part of will probably do it again, yup:S Jump 875, new years day in eloy, turned low out of a 180 and missed my rears, went to toggles barely in time to keep my legs. It wasn't Burke who came out and talked to me but someone else.[:/]

Never look down on someone, unless they are going down on you.

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Not wanting to be an ass to ask, but did you upsize or stop doing 180s after your incident?



Very valid question. I did not upsize (In retrospect I believe I should have as it would have been the wisest option) but stopped doing any speed inducing approaches. Shortly after the incident I came to the US and was lucky enough to get some canopy coaching from a few really good pilots. While I didn't upsize they had me go back to basics and relearn pretty much everything, with a lot of emphasis on patterns and general canopy flight. I also took it upon myself to seek out as much information as I could. From there I followed a more structured progression through double fronts, 90's, back to 180's and eventually where I am now.

There are a lot of things I'd do differently if given the choice again. I believe I set my piloting back by entrenching bad habits that I could have spent time fixing on a larger canopy as well.

Hindsight is 20/20, at least I'm still alive to have it. It was close, that's for sure. Now I try and take that experience and do my best to make sure others don't have the learn the same firsthand lessons I did.

Blues,
Ian
Performance Designs Factory Team

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I am one of the fools that had no one around that knew what the hell they were talking about.. everyone flew triathalons, and literally knew nothing except how to say "dont do that"...the analytical mind as I am I could not accept this as the only way to fly a canopy, but there was this one guy who had a Diablo and hook turned the shit out of it all the time.. I thought it was so cool back in the day.. so i started radical landings early because no one knew anything so I experimented from about 100 jumps on with 180's to 360's before 200 jumps.. But I am one lucky SOB, because I got to start traveling and learning whats tight and right ways of canopy landings.. but I dodged some bullets then.. and saw alot of high and mighty people get hurt... it is amazing what knowledge can do..

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Jump 369, did a 270 on a vengence 135. Broken right femur. At the time i thought i had it all figured out. Laying in the hosipital i decided to back up and start from scratch. Get coaching, and go slow. 300 ft swoops are cool but not worth the titanium they put you back together with.

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I started toggle hooks at 50 jumps. No one did riser turns then. It was 1985, aproaching the end of the last centuary.;)

I broke my femur very badly at about 150 jumps after being caught in the corner on a toggle turn.

At about 600 jumps, I resumed toggle spanking - and continued with great sucess until about 2 years back or +- 3700 total jumps, largely because a) I could do them safely and b) My canopy did not respond well to riser input. (Jonathan 120 loaded to +- 1.65)

For the past 2 years I've been doing riser turns after online input from SkymonkeyOne and Hookitt and the purchase/aquisition of more riser input friendly canopies (Crossfire 109, Stilleto 107, Safire 119, Safire 135, Pilot 132) and have completed about 800 such swoops to date, mainly on the Stilleto and the Safire 119, which with the sizing issue is about a 110.

While the initial learning curve of changing to front risers certainly exposed me to more risk than my habitual toggle turns, the newer learned technique has resulted in better performance landings - certainly enough to satisfy my own requirements to meet self imposed milestones on my endless learning curve.

t
It's the year of the Pig.

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I started working on straight in riser approaches and then progressed to 90 deg approaches at less than 100 jumps. During this i sought advice from the better pilots on my home DZ. (I was flying a 170 loaded at 1.2)

When i arrived in the USA i did a canopy course at Perris that helped me further my knowledge and skill. I started working on 180's at around 250 jumps. (Jumping a 150 loaded at 1.3)

Then i arrived back in SA and hurt myself (broken fib/tib) on a 90 deg approach. (Jumping my 170)

It only takes a momentary lapse of concentration (or in my case a burst of ego) for you to get hurt.

Seek coaching, read as much as possible and don't rush your progression. Trust me, not jumping for 5 months really sucks.

Advertisio Rodriguez / Sky

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Hi

I started double front riser approaches at +- 150 jumps. I recently(200) started 90 front riser approaches. I still tend to started the 90 turn to high and thus ending up doing a double front riser approach.

I have not hurt myself yet. I am jumping a 150 Hurricane loaded at 1.1:1

Cheers
_______________________________________
You are unique, just like everybody else ...

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