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DougH

Questions regarding newbie RW and a purchasing a suit...

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Hey every one.

I am starting to get into fun RW, and I am going to be competing in amateur two way in the collegiate nationals down in lake whales this winter.

I am wondering what is a good base speed for relative work. I am a pretty stout in relation to my height, so I tend to fall fast in tight suits. I weight around 175, but I am only 5'6.

Is there a good speed to be falling at neutral, so you can have a range, both slower and faster through body control?
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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The "mph" doesn't matter as much as being in the middle of your range while your teammate is also in the middle of his range.

Here's the drill:

Title - Every Team's 1st drill

Go out with your teammate(s):
1 - Both of you face off about 5 feet away from each other (hopefull) falling straight down.
2 - On a simple signal both of you close your eyes and then get comfortable in a good medium stressed arch.
3 - Stay eyes close and count to 5 (both of you)
4 - Open eyes
5 - Who's lowest? If it's a lot, then everybody else weights up a bit

adjust the lead weight on subsequent jumps until you both (all) end of within a couple feet of vertical for each other

If you do this immediately, you'll find every bit of training afterwards will go smoother than it would have.

Other variations is for one to lay base while others close their eyes and maybe do a simple turn, or in a 4-way 2 at a time close eyes, etc.

Matching up your comfortable fall rates is the first best thing to do. That and learning a good mantis habit right away. And tunnel. And having money. And........

175 x 5'6" isn't so off the normal chart

Edit: So a good suit should be comfortable without a lot of flapping no matter what build you are - that doesn't mean tight, it means a good fit. Flapping material is a hindrance to smooth air. Check this forum for suit features advice (mega booties, cordura, big grippers all over the place, etc). SInce I'm a fan of smooth airflow, I'm not a fan of mucking with suit fit to affect fall rate. But material selection is ok (poly vs supplex vw nylon fronts) - I think learning fall rate control from a good mantis combined with lead is the better solution for matching fall rate.

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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rehmwa's suggestion is an excellent one. Bottom line, if you're setting the fall rate, you're team mates should be willing to wear weights to stay in a comfortable boxed position. Otherwise, you will not be able to build all RW formations without introducing oscillations into the formation.
We are all engines of karma

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Thanks for the posts so far. :)
My team mate said he didn't mind wearing some weight, althought we haven't jumped yet, but I am pretty sure we will need it.

Since I am going to be using this suit for fun jumping with lots of other people is there a resonable range?

I completely get what you are saying about matching the suit to the team mate, but I don't want to be that guy where every one has to throw twenty pounds on to match either.

Is there even an average four way speed? Or does it vary widely depending on the jumpers?

In my mind it would be stupid for me to get a tight comp suit that makes me fall 140+ in a medium arch. My current suit is probably not giving me clear air flow though, it is super baggy. :D
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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If you call Bev, Mike or Tony and tell them your goal they will build the suit to match up.

I personally like Michigan Suits. When I buy a suit, if it is to used differently than my current suit, I talk over the options with Mike and each time the suit has been spot on.

I am sure it will be the same for Bev and Tony.

There are other suit makers out there sure but in my experience all the top teams gravitate to these three, there must be a reason.

YMMV

Matt
An Instructors first concern is student safety.
So, start being safe, first!!!

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Since I am going to be using this suit for fun jumping with lots of other people is there a resonable range?

I completely get what you are saying about matching the suit to the team mate, but I don't want to be that guy where every one has to throw twenty pounds on to match either.

Is there even an average four way speed? Or does it vary widely depending on the jumpers?

In my mind it would be stupid for me to get a tight comp suit that makes me fall 140+ in a medium arch. My current suit is probably not giving me clear air flow though, it is super baggy. :D



You notice we are all avoiding giving you a speed? ;) belly flyers find 110 on the very slow range and 125 to be pretty fast. 115 to 120 is a good average for most types of jumps.
"We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things." CP

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So a good suit should be comfortable without a lot of flapping no matter what build you are - that doesn't mean tight, it means a good fit. Flapping material is a hindrance to smooth air. Check this forum for suit features advice (mega booties, cordura, big grippers all over the place, etc). SInce I'm a fan of smooth airflow, I'm not a fan of mucking with suit fit to affect fall rate. But material selection is ok (poly vs supplex vw nylon fronts) - I think learning fall rate control from a good mantis combined with lead is the better solution for matching fall rate.



Agreed. Booties, skinny forearms, all the grippers are necessary.

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My team mate said he didn't mind wearing some weight, althought we haven't jumped yet, but I am pretty sure we will need it.



I wear a custom competition Tony suit. Prior to getting the suit, I was wearing 14 lbs to keep up with my centers. After the Tony suit came in, I went down to 12 lbs.

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Since I am going to be using this suit for fun jumping with lots of other people is there a resonable range?



If you're actually going to be doing good RW, you'll need a different suit for the other folks.

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I completely get what you are saying about matching the suit to the team mate,



No one here has told you to match your suit to your team mate. Sounds like you'll be setting the fall rate. You get a comfortable suit. End of story. If the guy is going to be your team mate, he's going to be wearing weights.

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but I don't want to be that guy where every one has to throw twenty pounds on to match either.



I would happily wear 20 lbs! :)SQUARE of your velocity. The difference between 110 and 140 is large. The faster you go, the smaller the move you have to make to produce the same movement. Thus, you end up with potentially smoother skydives (if you can handle the speed). FAST IS GOOD, IMO.

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Is there even an average four way speed?



No. The better ones tend to fall the fastest.

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Or does it vary widely depending on the jumpers?



Yes.

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In my mind it would be stupid for me to get a tight comp suit that makes me fall 140+ in a medium arch.



I would wear 30 lbs happily! But, you're right. 140 is at an extreme for belly. My team goes between 125 and 130. And, we're considered fast fallers.

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My current suit is probably not giving me clear air flow though, it is super baggy.



Keep for doing bigways at your local DZ.
We are all engines of karma

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don't listen to everyone else, if you aren't burning a hole through the sky you aren't goin fast enough



Agreed.

this is true to an extent... ;)

I was having a discussion this weekend with a 4-way competitor this weekend. his arguement was that nearly everyone should be wearing weights...
Livin' on the Edge... sleeping with my rigger's wife...

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his arguement was that nearly everyone should be wearing weights...
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making sure everyone can have that solid fall rate is definitely a plus but there are a few lighter people out there who have the ability to comfortably fall fast without the weight. look at Thomas Hughes for example, same height as me but probably weighs 30 pounds(give or take) less and is comfortable with my fall rate. Although he does arch so much that his head is even with his feet;)

i think the need for weights is more dependant on whats comfortable for a person as was previously mentioned, if you are close to nuetral and have a good fall rate, i'd go without IMO

History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
--Dwight D. Eisenhower

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I was having a discussion this weekend with a 4-way competitor this weekend. his arguement was that nearly everyone should be wearing weights...



DeLand Magik spent a good deal of time loosing weight.

Two schools of thought:

1. The more you weigh, the faster you fall and therefore the more power you have with less input required.

2. The less you weigh, the less power/input you need to start and stop movement. But the more input you can put in with less effort.

Now I don't know, but playing around I have strapped 12 pounds on and did some tunnel. I had TONS of power, but I NEEDED it to start and stop a turn. My side slides required a ton of input to stop. I took the weight off and I felt faster and able to put more input in since I was not fighting the drag to do anything. I was also less worn out.

In reality I bet my moves were close to the same speed...I just felt more momentum (and more momentum that needed to be stopped) with the 12 extra pounds, and since then have worked to not add lead unless I need it.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Wow, this got a ton of awesome replies. Thanks for all the help every one. I will definetly call some of the suit makers and see what we can work out for me!! :ph34r:



You are really focused on just the suit and some mystical "typical fall rate". I don't think you're paying attention, actually.

good luck anyway, it'll usually work out - do the drill before you buy the suit - 175 x 5'6" isn't that out of hand, you might be surprised you aren't as fast as you think you are - and if so, it might not be your build rather your body position. We just can't tell from here.

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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I am wondering what is a good base speed for relative work.



It does not matter. It varies around the country and from DZ to DZ.

If you are looking for a suit call any of the makers and tell them what you want (I am partial to Michigan suits). They are the experts and know better than all of us.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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You are really focused on just the suit and some mystical "typical fall rate". I don't think you're paying attention, actually.



I definetly am listening to what you all are saying. I apologize if I gave you the impression that I wasn't. [:/]
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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I think Ron is spot on(hey that rhymes;)) with his analogy, I've seen people of all different weights, sizes, body types, and fall rates move fast, that being said though the lighter ones definitely have an easier time moving that weight around. If you look at Craig Girard, Kirk Verner, and Mark Kirkby they all have a decent amount of weight to move around, Kirk and Craig are about 190, and I think Mark is just a few pounds behind them. And those three can move around just as fast as anyone else in this game, but if you really watch their flying closely they are putting every bit of input they can into every move, just very efficiently. Compare them to some of the lighter ones, Natasha Montgomery, Thomas Hughes, Eliana Rodriguez, all much lighter and their speed is mostly the same as the bigger ones, but you don't notice them having to give as much input to make the same moves. I've dropped 30 pounds in the last year in an effort to add speed to my moves(that and because Neal Houston said I had too much junk in my trunk for 4 way:P), and I can definitely say that as I've gotten lighter and more flexible my fall rate has stayed the same(I tend to fall on the fast side), but my speed has increased greatly.

Basically everything Ron said was true, I'm just at work and needed to look busy so typing this helped!! The biggest thing though if you are looking to change your fall rate and improve your speed for RW is learn to use your body before you rely on a suit for help.

Good luck
History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
--Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Now I don't know, but playing around I have strapped 12 pounds on and did some tunnel. I had TONS of power, but I NEEDED it to start and stop a turn. My side slides required a ton of input to stop. I took the weight off and I felt faster and able to put more input in since I was not fighting the drag to do anything. I was also less worn out.



I was at a party with Jack Jeffries Saturday night. He made the same point. The faster you fall, the faster you turn. But sliding with weights does take more input to start/stop.
We are all engines of karma

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