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purplened

Otter exits for short people doing camera

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I'm looking for some advice from shorter camera flyers (I'm 5'3) doing otter climb outs pain free. My home DZ is a Caravan so exits are easy; last year in Eloy I ended up with a black bruised left leg from using said leg to anchor off to jump to the camera step (I can't reach the hand hold from the door).
I'd love some advice from individuals who have mastered this; I've talked to 'taller' people and while very helpful; just don't quite get the physics of it.
There must be a successful way to do so, I'd appreciate suggestions, and if there is a thread already please direct me (I didn't find in my search).
Many thanks!

Cheers,
PurpleNed
I'll try being nicer if you try being smarter.

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trying using your foot to hook the inside of the door and rely on upper body a little bit more. I usually hold the door frame with my left hand and get my feet on the step before grabbing the handle. On otters and caravans it doesnt take much to hold on. I am 5'8 and still end up with "otter bites" once in a while.

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I had the same experience a while ago while doing 10-12 videos for a 4way during their training camp.
After one or two days I had the same annoying bruises... (was used to porter, caravan, sky van before, not many jumps from otter...

So... I asked the coach about any special technique, and guess his answer: "Don't use your inside leg..." :-)

It worked :-) So.... I guess, it is just a brain thing, just keep focused during climb out and do it better... I`m not so much taller than you...

alex

--
www.tandemmaster.net
www.skydivegear.de

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The Eloy leg bruise is not just for short people (i'm not real tall ~5-8''). I'll never forget having drinks at the Prop mid way through 2012 Nationals, and about half a dozen camera guys (and gals) were all showing off the left inside leg/knee bruise we got from having to slam our left leg into the back of the door to stretch out far enough to get to the step. Two of the guys were over 6 feet tall

Eloy- Love you guys, but your camera step sucks ass.

Even some of the really short people (5 footish girls) were able to get out there. Not easy..but they got there. Don't be afraid to use both handles if you need too.

My Eloy Otter Climb out is usually- Right hand to the rear handle, weight on my left foot in the door (try not to jam it in the corner to avoid the bruise!). Get a visual on the step, then stretch my right foot to get onto the step, at this point I can't see it. Transition weight to right foot, left hand goes from the floater bar to the rear of the door. Hang out there until it's about time to go, then somewhere between ready and set, I let go of the door with my left hand, and lean/shift my weight back to get to where I really want to be just before exit.

Some guys do the foot switch... I've tried it a few times... not my favorite thing. I think Nik Daniel had an article in here about how he does it that way, and I know a few other big name camera heads that do the hop/switch.

The good news- Most other DZ's have much better setups on their otters.

Skydive Chicago- It's not a step, it is more like a patio that runs almost the full length of the luggage door, and also has 2 handles similar to Eloy but a little further back. Skydive Dallas has a similar step, but just one handle.

There is another style that is pretty common with a medium sized step (maybe 7-8 inches by 3-4 inches?) that is in the middle of the luggage door but a little above the bottom of the door.

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Thanks everyone for your feedback and suggestions. I'm hoping I can find my own unique way of doing it as we have a 8 day 4-way camp coming up and I have visions of a black thigh. Think positive, right?
I've tried the foot hook, leg first vs hand first, neither are reachable; I feel like I"m literally bouldering over the side of the plane and hoping for the best!
Thanks again!

PurpleNed!
I'll try being nicer if you try being smarter.

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Yeah, the inside left leg bruise sort of comes with the territory, even for the tall.

Does the Otter have a camera step for you stand on your right foot after climb-out? If so, and the reach to the handle is just the final obstacle, maybe ask the DZ owner if they could raise the camera step a bit.

Apart from that, maybe get permission to attach a short strap (no pun intended) to the handle that you can reach.

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