Hooked it low

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Not to knock on you Dave but what you just said shares the idea that yes someone with 300 jumps can and has successfully been flying small canopies with low experience in the beginning.

OK, let's put that into context. I was jumping a Sabre1 107 with a WL of about 1.6. Not exactly a high-performance wing, but admittedly a higher WL. However, this was also in a different time, when swooping/high performance canopy flight was in it's infancy.

These days, we have far more experience, information, and resources to fall back on, and because of this there is a new standard for what could be considered an 'acceptable' mistake or accident, and what is the result of gross negligence on the part of the canopy pilot.

To take that one step further, when the negligence is in the area of pre-jump decision making, like what wing to fly and to swoop over a hard surface, it's that much worse. In-flight errors have a degree of 'shit happens' and 'brain farts' that can occur while in the 'heat of battle'. Going into that battle with no bullets in your gun and your flack jacket in your footlocker is inexcusable.

To bring back another point I made, you don't really know how things in skydiving are going to work out until it's over. Was I ready for that Sabre 107 at that time? Looks like it, because I put 500 jumps on it with no problems, and moved on to another wing. Case closed on that wing for me at that time.

However, to the same end, I'm not suggesting that my path is the best, or approrpiate for anyone else. I'm willing to admit that I had a fair amount of luck that played a part in my success over the years, but the simple fact is that I turned out to be a fairly good skydiver. I have the right combination of physical ability and mental acuity that I 'fit' into the skydiving world and have been able to have some success. Again, this is not something you find out until 10 years later, so for someone at the beginning of the road to look at my path and 'say that's for me' would be very short-sighted and probably a mistake.

I've made this point many times when the good Prof. Kallend brings up that he was jumping a Stilleto when he something like 50 jumps. As we know now, he has gone on to jump for many years and many 1000's of jumps, to include various record jumps (both in and out of wingsuits). Kallend, as it turns out, is also not your average bear, and if you hitch your wagon to his canopy progression, you're doing so under the assumption that you too are above average.

As we can see from the example that spawned this thread, that has proven to be a mistake.

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I'm willing to admit that I had a fair amount of luck that played a part in my success over the years

You also had another advantage ... a Sabre1 @ 1.6 with 300 jumps is aggressive, but nothing like a Katana @ 1.9. You had a wing that you could get back under quickly when you made a mistake. You probably made a few but survived because of the way it flew and responded.

IIRC, you moved from the Sabre to a Stiletto107 and put a TON of jumps on that before going to a xbrace. Not popular canopies or a popular progression for people wanting to swoop now, but the time and # of jumps you put on these canopies allowed you to build up a set of skills that kept you from having to rely on luck.

Part of your success has been due to your choice of canopies, how many jumps you put on each and the skills you learned along the way. I would bet that you also took your time after switching to a new or different canopy to ensure that your skills and technique were acclimated to the canopy before laying down a fat, sexy turn...

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Have lots of quality jumps in a short period

Put a bunch of jumps down with coaching

as far as numbers go i was above average and moved down when i and other felt it was right

i was flyin the jvx confidently and just starting to feel at home

Look at the tone of what you said.

I've said it a million times, the trick with knowing when anyone is 'ready' for anything in skydiving, be it swooping, big-ways, etc, is that you don't know for sure until it's over.

So let's correct your statements, and add that you thought you were ready for the JVX, and that you thought you made 'high quality' jumps (whatever those are). The events as they transpired seems to show otherwise.

In terms of jumps, if you don't think that 5500 jumps is enough to be giving advice, or anyway below 'average', I'm not sure what planet you're from. So you have 1300 jumps in 3 1/2 years, which averages out to 371 per year. I have 5500+ in 18 years which averages out to 305 jumps per year. Do you know what the 'practical' difference is between those two? It's not the 66 jumps per year average, it's the 4200 more jumps and 15 more years in the sport.

I started flying 100sq ft canopies when I had 300 jumps in year 3 of skydiving. I would suggest that 5000+ jumps over 15 years on small canopies might give me a place from which to speak. I would also suggest that the fact that you flew yourself into the hard-paved ground from 800ft, under your newly accuired, ultra high-performace, massivly downsized canopy gives me a place from which to speak.

You can get mad at me for pointing out the obvious, or you can get mad at me for the way I pointed it out. The solution isn't to get mad, the solution is not to act in such a way that can be characterized as such. If you weren't pushing it in every way possible, and defending your actions with statements that make it appear that you think you or your situatuion are 'special', and that the common knowledge about these things don't apply to you, then I wouldn't have anything to say.

Like it or not, nothing I said is untrue and nothing I said is anything but 100% your doing. That's the real lesson here.

Where's the 'like' button? Good post!

Apologize if i came off like a dick. Bottom line is i made a mistake... But on the other hand i look at it as i had enough knowledge to recognize it and was able to bail and get down somewhat safely. We could be talking about it in the incident forum. So there was alot of good that came out of it. Its gonna happen. Bottom line. Like a top 3 swooper in the world told me last night. The guys that never get hurt are not pushing it and really never advance. Ask almost all swoopers and they will say they have gotten bit at some point... 5500 is alot. I wasnt trying to bash the guy or put that aside. I know how i fly my canopy and the courses ive taken to advance... This is just going to make me that much better and give me the memories to take it to the next level. I think its not always a bad thing when you have a mishaps... In the end it wasnt that bad. No broken bones... Ill keep flying and growing. You cant get better without pushing it and getting outside the safety box...i guess it all depends on your goals and what you love doing. Apologize if i offended anyone... Thanks for all the advice/criticism

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