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  1. 8 points
    Hello To ALL..... Just checked in here, to find this thread.....Thanks to Each of your for your posts and good wishes......The worst Is now Over. I was discharged on Oct 20th.. " They turnt me Loose " " said I was Well " …. And I AM.... I had gone to Skydive The Falls on Saturday September 14th and after a bit of a wind hold it calmed down and they started sending up loads. I enjoyed a Nice 2 way from 12 grand with a long time buddy....The view of Niagara Falls during the climb to altitude was Fantastic . While Packing my rig afterwards, I found it to Be, a bit of an effort.. and I had to stop 3 times and sit to rest...… Hmmmm. Got home that night and was just feeling wrung out... No real pain, no numbness, but I felt lousy..It was around 10 or 11 pm and Nancy had already gone to sleep. I saw NO value in waking her and having her SIT in an E R waiting room, wondering and Waiting,,,, so I wrote her a note , left it where she could Easily Find it. and said " I am going to the hospital " Got there in a few minutes because it is only a couple of miles away. It was NOT busy and they took me in quickly. They did an EKG on me. and the next thing I knew they were calling for an anesthesiologist AND a surgeon !! Yikes !!!! Well they did a big time bypass on me , had me on a heart pump and a respirator throughout... I was out of it for a few days... and feel terrible about putting my FAmily through those first few days, post Op... I got great care from the doctors and nurses and a few in particular were top shelf, in their encouragement and insistance that I "get UP and get Moving"... I was walking around and improving each day, by about 2 weeks post op and little by little they removed the trach... and the drainage apparatus and the nasal feeding tube and got me back onto swallowing and a bit of a sense of normalcy... I have been Home now for 10 days or so, and I am pain free and no longer need the walker I had been using. Kind of glad we are coming into the end of the year as I am on a hiatus from work and will be doing Physical therapy and building up my appetite the next few weeks. I lost 22 pounds and was Under 170, for the first time since high school..... Anyway things are improving. I am proud that I Did NOT ignore my sense of malaise and instead sought medical care...... I was told I was getting close to a cardiac arrest..... Follow your instincts my Friends No One is bulletproof and certain issues CAN sneak Up on us... I feel blessed that in addition to Great Friends and Family, I also have a Guardian Angel or Two... sitting on my shoulders... Thanks skymama,,, for initiating this thread. I am glad that I checked in here,,, to Find it.... skydive often, skydive safely, skydive with friends . jimmytavino uspa # 9452 A3914 D12122
  2. 5 points
  3. 4 points
    I did not want to be limited to just one hand when I was trying to get out of the situation alive...
  4. 4 points
    Yup. Hey lady, not unlike you; I'm getting a little long in the tooth. Couple of major surgeries and a back and knees that has just crumbled into pieces from years of military jumping. Many of us dinosaurs contributed countless articles on safety, training, etc. to this site in its infancy to help the young'uns. Not unlike you, I don't tread in the skydiving community too often anymore and when I do it's relevant no matter what the timeframe. EP's target fixation, etc. I think the information given here would be more focused from dinosaurs who've been there, done that - than what they'll get from the land of facebook. Respect, Keith
  5. 4 points
    Some people don't finish AFF. Some people never get their license. Some people get their license and drift away soon after. Some people jump for a year or two and then disappear. Some do it until they decide to become 'responsible' and quit. That may be their own decision or they may have 'help' with it. Some jump until they realize how much time & money it takes to stay current and reasonably safe, or to progress beyond 'sorta good'. Some jump until they get hurt, or see someone they know get hurt or killed. The danger isn't 'real' until then. So they quit. Some become Tandem Instructors (or packers or even DZOs), then get burned out by the grind. Of course, some of us keep on despite all of the above and refuse to quit.
  6. 4 points
    It’s Not What You Do (Or the Size of Your Dropzone): It’s How You Do It Jen Sharp -- since 2017, the Director of IT for the USPA -- is a woman of note for a long list of reasons. Jen’s a font of wisdom, a truly badass skydiving instructor and a businesswoman of uncommon strength and clarity (proof: she spent 21 years owning a successful small drop zone in Kansas). When she speaks, one should do themselves the favor of listening. If you don’t already know her story: Jen has been jumping since she was 18 years old. She opened Skydive Kansas directly after her college graduation, when she had a full-time teaching job and only 300 jumps. (Even then, she’d already been working as a static line jumpmaster, instructor, packer, rigger and radio-wrangler. Supergirl, basically.) Since then, she has traveled extensively as a jumper, an instructor and a public speaker. It was 1995 when Jen opened her dropzone: the days of saving up your vacation days for the World Freefall Convention; of spending Friday night to Sunday dinnertime on the dropzone; of single-plane 182 dropzones all over the place and, like, eight places you could go to fulfill a turbine craving. The close knit of those intimate little club-format dropzones has, of course, steadily unwound since then in most places. Adding skydiving to the schedule has become much more of a surgical strike: you get to the DZ at 10am and manifest immediately so you can make it to Crossfit by 4. You sift through regional skydiving events on Facebook, few of which require more than a handful of minutes’ worth of planning. You drive hours for a turbine. Jen takes on her alter ego, “Stu,” as a student (get it?!) on an AFF eval jump. It would be easy to mourn the loss of the small dropzone as an entity -- there are precious few of them left, proportionally to their previous numbers -- but Jen refuses to. For her, the “small dropzone feel” is the culture we should all be striving for, even if there happen to be seven Skyvans in the hangar archipelago. “The best vibes are at the places that keep the actual perspective, not just the party line, that we are all just people and all just want to have fun,” she begins. “The ones that embody safety in the active choices to care for each other. The places that assume the best in people. Luckily, that’s really simple to do.” Simple? Yes. Easy? Not necessarily, but according to Jen, that’s what we are really going for here: an inviting culture. Example after example proves that business success will follow that beacon significantly more reliably than it will follow volume. “What that culture is not,” Jen clarifies, “is the culture of the burned-out tandem instructor, hauling meat; a culture where an instructor never connects with their student; where they don’t even call them students, but passengers. If you call them a passenger, they are one-and-done. They know their place with you. But if you call them a student -- and you truly think of them that way -- the whole dynamic is going to be different.” How do you change the dynamic? By changing the way you see the person in the harness. “The public we meet is awesome,” she continues. “And we forget that! We totally forget this as instructors -- especially, tandem instructors. We forget that the person we’re taking is amazing. Why? Because they are not on the couch. A normal person is just sitting there on the couch on the weekend or maybe vacuuming or making snacks, drinking beer and watching TV. But this person is okay with being uncomfortable; with putting their life in your hands. They are excited about it, and they are trusting you. That already makes them a really cool person.” Doing an interview at PIA 2015. “If you want to see the average person, go to Walmart,” she laughs. “That’s the ‘average person.’ The person walking on a dropzone for the first time is not the average person. They are already living on a level that we should resonate with, especially since they’re new and they need our guidance.” For Jen, in fact, the “passenger” moniker is no less than a dishonor. “Homogenizing everyone who walks in the door into a ‘passenger’ has a couple of outcomes,” Jen explains. “It burns tandem instructors out. It burns the public out against skydiving when we make the assumption that they don’t know anything. Where did we even get that idea in the first place? Sure, they don’t know anything about skydiving, but they probably know a lot about something else.” “When I would take tandem students, I didn’t know who they were, necessarily,” she muses. “I would always ask ‘why are you here today,’ but they weren’t always going to tell their life story. I would find out later that we had just taken a brain surgeon, or the senator from some western county in Kansas. You never know who that person is. They’re just walking around in their sweats because you told them to dress comfortably. So -- if you’re starting to feel the burnout, try allowing yourself to be curious about them. And, if you’re a dropzone owner, strive to instill that curiosity in your instructor staff.” Who knows: That curiosity, manifesting as totally authentic friendliness, could end up defining a regional dropzone’s niche. “If drop zones realize how many kinds of niches there are to occupy,” Jen says, “I don’t think we’d ever talk in terms of ‘small,’ ‘medium’ and ‘large’ dropzone. You can occupy a really strong, functional cultural niche without being the biggest DZ around, or having the most airplanes, or doing the most tandems. As a dropzone, your niche really comes from whatever it is that you want to bring to the table -- and your resources and your passions -- and you succeed when you fulfill that to the max. I think a lot of places are figuring that out, and that’s contributing to the fact that we now have more of a variety of dropzones than we ever have before.” Y’know that bit about a cultural "niche"? Jen insists that it’s not just about feels. It’s about returns, too. A strong niche can turn into a marketing advantage. “Not every dropzone should compete on price,” Jen notes. “It's conceivable for a smaller DZ to actually make more profit by doing less jumps. Profit is not the same as gross.” “It’s as straightforward as reaching the fullest manifestation of what you’re capable of doing,” she adds, smiling, “and, of course, always trying to get better.”
  7. 3 points
    HIPPI CHONKER ADVARNING Oof. This is a big topic. Hits me right in the chonkeratøs. When I was in my 30's I decided to tell the "fuck offs" to a well paid and "highly respectable" career path, went back to college, sold my city apartment and moved my shit back to my parents house. Wish there was some kind of training on this. There isn't. You want advice on how to determine the future. You can't have it. You won't know. You might do 100's more. You might do 1000's. Who cares. Just exit the fucking plane. Do what you enjoy. Feel it. Appreciate the sensation, the people you meet, the places you visit, and those you connect with. Tell them. Accept what you cannot control but take charge of what you can. And if you ever get caught up in a waterboarding situation, good luck with that.
  8. 3 points
    A "little" late, but I wanted to provide some insights for everyone, to learn / improve nonetheless. The mentioned hesitation did not leat to a fatality, I am still alive and came out of it with just some bruises... After opening I recognized a flip-through malfunction, which was caused by myself due to packing directly on a field after an outside landing the jump before. In hindsight, I could have most likely landed it without issues, but in that moment decided otherwise as the canopy above me was not "good". As practised, I grabbed both handles with one hand. I pulled my right hand until full arm extension and tried to pull my reserve handle after that but I was unable to pull the handle at all, it did not move even a little. I turned my head to the left and saw my main still attached by something and my reserve pilot chute being out. My first thought was, that it might be that I did not pull the cutaway cable all the way, so I cleared the cutaway cable from the housing completely. But I was still hanging from my main by something I could not identify in that moment. I instinctively grabbed that thing from what I was hanging, tried to pull up and just before I wanted to pull on my reserve bridle to get my reserve out, the hangup cleared. I saw and recognized that I was no longer attached to my main but due to my body orientation and possibly low speed, my reserve could not be extracted. I turned back to my belly and waited for the reserve to come out, which it thankfully did after a moment. Basically my reserve cable and pin was not able to pass the RSL ring to which the extension cord was attached. It looks like the edge of the pin got stuck at the back of the knot of the extension cord and due to the tension locked there. So I was still connected to my main by my reserve cable and RSL. I just grabbed whatever I was hanging from and thankfully the pin cleared the ring possibly due to me grabbing the pin or releasing some tension. Trying to find the root-cause for this incident myself, I also tried misrouting the reserve-cable through the knot, but this does not happen easily. You have to put way more effort in misrouting it, than in doing it the right way. In the end, Sunrise Manufacturing issued this service bulletin for it.
  9. 3 points
    Less youtube. More actual jumping or tunnelling.
  10. 3 points
    The best way to keep things fresh is trying to learn a new skill every year. I only made 4 static-line jumps my first year. Over that winter I earned a private pilot license. The next summer I flew a bit and only made two jumps. The third summer I made 60 jumps and earned my A license. The fourth summer, I did about 50 fun jumps. The fifth year, I passed the army static-line course and tried out for the Canadian Army parachute display team. The sixth year, I earned a static-line jump-master rating. The seventh year, I did another 50 fun jumps, plus a stack of exhibition jumps. The eighth year, I earned a rigger rating and started flying jumpers. The ninth year, I flew more jumpers and learned how to drop IAD students (1985). The tenth year, I earned an Instructor B rating and tandem instructor rating and did a couple of BASE jumps. I did not jump much while at university, but worked full-time in the skydiving industry for 18 years afterwards. Every year I tried to add a new rating or renew an old rating: Master Rigger, PFF instructor, Cypres installation rating, PIA Symposia, lecturing at PIA Symposia, wing-suit, Rigger Instructor, Rigger Examiner, Tandem Examiner Rating, etc. Eventually, I had to take a year off for knee surgery and cut back to only doing tandems on weekends. I finally quit jumping after the local CSPA DZ shut down and I disagreed with a non-CSPA DZO about seat-belts. If you try to learn something new every year, you will never get bored skydiving.
  11. 3 points
    I have no idea how this got so complicated. I'd just do it. There are some basic rules like don't use a slider with grommets significantly wider then your cell. Depending on the length of your stabilizers your slider should not be setting on your bottom skin when packing. If it's so much wider that it's just crumpled on the bottom skin the fabric will not be holding the grommets up the lines till they slide low enough to lift the fabric off the bottom skin. Only then will the wind be holding it up. That's a fairly extreme limit but I have seen people make that mistake. Don't people futz with there gear any more? Lee
  12. 3 points
    Well please hurry and put the correct manual on the website. As a rigger I can assure you my customers never supply me with the manual that came with their product. I always have to find the manual on my own.
  13. 3 points
    Show up, ask at the front desk if there's anyone looking to jump with other newbies. It might be a newbie, and it might be an old fart who likes jumping with newbies. Slow days increase your chance of jumping with the same person twice is more likely, and doing that will really make it easier for you to figure out what you're doing, so that you can either do more or less of it. But slow days decrease your chance of having someone at all -- ask at the front desk if there are people whom you normally should be looking for. Be honest that you can't afford to pay for coaching right now. And if you can afford to stay at the end of the day, do so, listen, and feel free to contribute beer if it's needed. There's no guarantees, but it beats nothing. Wendy P. (old fart who likes jumping with newbies)
  14. 3 points
    jump. as much as you can afford. be honest with the folks at the dz and you will gain experience by doing it. log them all and don't downsize too early. be safe.
  15. 2 points
    Long time DZO of Lake Wales and Phoenix Z-Hills passed away this morning. She did a lot for our sport and she will be missed.
  16. 2 points
    I made my first jump in 1980. still not sure if I like, so I better keep trying.
  17. 2 points
    <s> Clearly no need for a Sarcasm tag in this thread. <\s>
  18. 2 points
    Probably, that would be best. Your personal sense of right will never let you be quiet if you see a dangerous thing. Obviously, if it's an immediate thing you have to speak up, even at the risk of being wrong. If it's not or if it's being offered more for your ego than anyones benefit and safety then inform staff or the most experienced and current local jumpers you can find. The reality is that after a few, or several, thousand skydives and decades in the sport currency is a different thing. But one or two jumps a year shouldn't be emulated. And, really, even if it's at the same DZ you'd be a transient jumper at best. Sure, just like back in the day, we still have a cutaway handle, a reserve ripcord handle, a reserve and a main and, maybe, an AAD. But it's not all the same, including how we use the things. As I see it, it's not about you or me or any other old timer. Pass the torch and the authority to the ones who are current and there every day. It's their turn to be senior now, give them their due and their turn to earn respect.
  19. 2 points
  20. 2 points
    What they all said, and better than I could have. So please keep posting, skybytch! Wendy P.
  21. 2 points
    I haven’t jumped in 7 years. Doing a recurrency jump tomorrow. Wish me luck and some blue skies!
  22. 2 points
    The average skydiver only remains active for 7 years so a lot of times we "reinvent the wheel" because there is no history of what has already been done experimentally. I see and hear novices all the time using and doing things that they were told is the most modern technique without any clue of the actual mechanics involved. It is important to keep that information available. I no longer do any rigging or instructing (beyond a little impromptu coaching) but I when I see a novice struggling with something simply because they are trying to keep up with "what's cool" I am happy to point out any known solution that might already exist. Sometimes thats amusing, such as the time a fellow instructor asked to use my unpacked rig to demonstrate some things to his FJC class. My SOS, no RSL, bungee pilot chute, B12 snaps, equipped rig didn't quite fit the bill for what he needed to teach and he himself was confused with some of those features. For info this occurred in '99. There is a post on here right now, talking about lubricating the soft loop of the 3 ring to prevent hard cutaways. Ever since mini rings and risers came out, hard cutaways have been a topic of discussion. My last new rig, they called to make sure I actually wanted standard rings and risers and not the "cool" mini's. For a new gear buyer, I could see them accepting what their gear dealer recommends and not what is best for them in the moment. We are seeing it all the time now with jumpers flying canopies that they cannot land and the community response has been mandatory canopy training. Go out and watch a big-way land during no-wind conditions and you'll see from the circus carnage that that hasn't worked! But it keeps the jumpsuit repair people in a job. I recently had an old-time jumper, that was returning to jumping, ask me what happened to the days when you pulled down the toggles and the canopy stopped. He referred to it as the "golden age of parachute landings" and he was referring to the mid to late '80's when grass stained, dirty jumpsuits weren't the norm. I see novices with fall rate and tracking problems because they didn't learn the basic body positions before throwing in mega-booties, weight belts, and competition grips. I got my AFF rating without booties and am still one of the few at my DZ that does FS, up to 40 ways, without them. Yes! Keep offering your advice and opinions even if some may think they are outdated. If nothing else it will keep the "skygods" grounded in reality and points out the differences of what really works and what is the latest faddish technique. Sorry, long post. Rant over!
  23. 2 points
    it depends. if you are commenting on your experiences that are still relevant, then no, don't stop spreading that knowledge around as it is still relevant. most of your knowledge will be like that, as 2012 is only 8 years ago, and you are married to a current instructor, so you have access to current training methods and can also pass that knowledge around. so to answer the original question, no, you shouldn't stfu, your knowledge is valuable and should be shared.
  24. 2 points
    Both are in the desert, so yes, both have dirt................. Try both. You'll likely prefer on over the other/
  25. 2 points
    Oh, Ken, you do huggable so good!
  26. 2 points
    Sometimes new jumpers get to be overcome with the excitement of their new sport. Sometimes they need to express themselves here as keyboard warriors. You have now stepped into the territory of someone who really needs to lurk more and post less. You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last.
  27. 2 points
    Betty's face was one of the kind faces I always looked forward to seeing at Lake Wales when I went through my student progression there in the early 2000's...She will indeed be missed.
  28. 2 points
  29. 2 points
    Dude. You've done A tandem. He's done 5000 not tandem jumps. He's been jumping much longer than you have been alive. Because someone's profile on dropzone doesn't say instructor doesn't mean they have never been one. You might consider doing an actual skydive before telling very experienced jumpers to shut up.
  30. 2 points
    The only people who include the p/c bag and sometimes risers are those who do not have a clue. They do it because it's the least amount of disassembly work. They later find out that they have given away hundreds of dollars worth of container parts. Usually when they try to sell the container and no one wants it because the expensive parts are missing.
  31. 2 points
    Being current is everything in skydiving. Especially when you are a student. If you can not afford to do your AFF program in less than one or two months at the most then I would strongly encourage you to save up until you can.
  32. 2 points
    You must not be aware of the Helium Blend now available in limited markets.
  33. 2 points
    No video recording for 2019 but the 2018 talk is here:
  34. 2 points
    Madigan... I'm over 50... and one of the things that makes me most nervous is listening to someone tell me how they have it all figured out. Do you know what you can teach someone who's got it all figured out...? Not a damn thing. Where as someone who is teachable, never has to stop learning. If I thought there was a trick to all this, I'd say the trick was to learn to love learning. I had to put booze down about the time I was 24. It was a problem for me. At 24, I wasn't a grownup and I wasn't a man. Not by any definition of those terms that I was able to articulate. I'm past that now and that particular story is perhaps long and boring to anyone not in a similar situation. The point of THAT... is I believe I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I believe that today. I also believe that I'm gonna be fine. As long as I remember a few things. What those things are might vary a little from person to person. What they are for you, I don't wanna speculate, since we don't know each other. But I don't think you can't go too far wrong if you start with these 3 things; 1-try to remain teachable. If you have an interest in skydiving, I'd say that's a good start. Not because skydiving is great... tho I think it's pretty great myself and I'm pretty new to it. But because I THINK there's a LOT to learn about it. 2- find the willingness to ask questions. There is nothing wrong with the answer "I don't know", and it's not a bad way to find out what you don't know. 3- happiness is an inside job. If I can't find a way to be happy on my own, no person and no thing is gonna do the job either. Last thing I'd like to say. I'm not sure about other families, but in my family I'd guess that what they find irreplaceable about me isn't any THING I'm outstanding at... except for maybe being me. No one else could do it nearly as well. Blue skies sir. Hope to meet you up there sometime.
  35. 2 points
    Love it. Years of both Harley & skydiving shit would go in mine. The "Last Load Lounge" would HAVE to have the requisite cable spool table for ambience. My only question is - Where ya gonna put the stripper pole?
  36. 2 points
    Yes Gowlerk, I have had similar dreams many times. They started with pulling my main handle lower than normal, then a really slow opening. I usually impact at line-stretch, stand up, dust myself off and hope that nobody saw my landing.
  37. 2 points
    You hit it on the nose Joe. Those are accurate and legit scenarios I have seen. My dad was a jumper in the 70's into the late 80's and was a static line instructor for the last 8 years in the sport. So it did burn him out. The other side of that is some of the people he jumped with are still in the sport and now I jump with some of them, and they are in their 60's and 70's. Bud Lewis jumped in to his late 70's (79) to be exact. Pat Moorehead made 80 jumps in a little over 8 hours in one day for his 80th birthday and that was in 2015 if memory serves me right( I was part of the ground crew/support) and he still jumps, and packs for himself. He started back in the 60's. His wife also still jumps. So it is up to the individual to find ways to keep it interesting.
  38. 2 points
    His son Gary had 6969... Wendy P.
  39. 2 points
    CYPRES units do not have a reputation in the industry for doing what you say. You are mistaken. I would suggest you not post things like this if you are not sure. You may give other people the wrong idea. There are three main AAD manufacturers today. All three make a very good product that people can depend on to perform as advertised.
  40. 2 points
    I have heard that tying the chest strap around & through the reserve handle will prevent this sort of thing. There are other ways, but the potential of locking the reserve handle in place is reduced by using the chest strap.
  41. 2 points
    Seriously. People who work full time jobs and spend their weekends instructing (and even making instructors like someone I know well) have NO right to steal from those who choose to "live the dream". Doesn't matter how much experience the part timer has (although I guess it's worse if they have more than the OP). Those non-"professionals" should go back to their real life jobs and leave the skydiving... or do I mean ride operating? - to those who have dedicated their lives to it. </sarcasm>
  42. 2 points
    Spoke with them this week and they are in process of transitioning to new factory and hence not taking new orders. They are making new parts and dealers have contact details of Chris. They are definitely still in business and just transitioning at the moment.
  43. 2 points
    My wild guess for PISA is Parachute Industry of South Africa
  44. 2 points
    I guess that depends on the motivation of the coach/instructor. My husband is a USPA AFF IE and coach examiner and a Master Rigger with a shit ton of experience. He is happy to talk with, advise, pass on useful information to anyone... for nothing. A beer is a nice offering but not required. He doesn't need to be paid to share what he knows with others. It's not about his pocketbook, it's about helping people become better, safer and more knowledgeable skydivers. Not to mention that it makes newbies feel like they are a part of the dz and not a wallet to empty. I know I'm a dinosaur, but I think It's pretty sad that jumpers now expect to be paid to talk to newbies.
  45. 2 points
    Damn dude, do you kick skydiving coaches in the balls when you see them in person too? The cheapest and fastest way to get good at any discipline is to get coaching. It feels more expensive at the start, but it's not. In the long run you'll get where you're trying to go in far fewer jumps and having spent less money. The same is true for tunnel time. Your strategy of, "wait until a coach isn't working and then try to leech some information/coaching/jumps out of them in exchange for a $5 beer" is insulting...at best. At worst...it's damn near theft. A lot of good people make a living by helping other skydivers become better. I'm sure they don't appreciate you telling people that their services aren't valuable, and that the best course of action is to try and undermine their livelihood. Coaches are valuable, and important, and worth it. Their services are valuable, and should be respected as such. Jumping with an LO is NOT the same as working one-on-one with a dedicated coach.
  46. 2 points
    My husband has a Pilot 132; he likes it, but on no-wind days he's having to run more than he'd like (we're all getting older). He had a Stiletto 120 before that. But if you're currently jumping a 150 and considering you're getting older and jumping less, do you really want to downsize? Wendy P.
  47. 2 points
    I'm also an older jumper with shitty landings. I PLF a whole lot; that saves me from injury. I have no pride whatsoever . They're not getting better with age, but, well, my PLF's are still good. I've taken three or four canopy classes. I just don't care that much any more, because I walk back from all my landings. My default landing is a PLF, which I alter to a standup at the last minute if everything looks perfect. Your statement about ground hungry and two-stage landing makes me think that the ground looks the same coming at you (even at 45 degrees, etc) as it does to me. The faster the landing, the worse, for me. Every now and then I nail it, but I'm not sure that good landings will be in my skill set until I upsize to about a .7:1 BASE canopy or something like that. I currently have a Stiletto loaded at just over 1:1; I've also jumped a Pilot and liked it better; I might break down and get one if I get sick enough of the Stiletto. If you really liked the landings on a Sabre, can you maybe get one with a pocket slider? They're supposed to be magic. Have someone test it for you a couple of times. We're in the age range where a small pack is only useful because it weighs less walking to the airplane, and that's outweighed by a whole lot of other things. I'm in the same size range as you. I upsized my rig a couple of years ago, and bought a container that will allow at least two more upsizes. I'd rather be ungainly than broken. Wendy P.
  48. 2 points
    This has been discussed on here before, so if you can find the other thread you'll see more suggestions. But yeah, know what the experience requirements are for your country and how well you meet those. Also, a question is what kind of flying do you normally do, belly or freeflying? Freeflying skills can certainly help in some instances, but it's primarily a belly flying game. Especially if you're normally a freeflyer, this is what I'd suggest: All of the above, plus - It's been said by a lot of old-schoolers, myself included, that a great training ground for AFF is 4-way. Find 3 like-minded people and start a 4-way team. Doesn't matter about actually competing, just practice that discipline of skydiving. You'll get current/proficient at linked exits, piece flying, close-proximity slot flying, and other belly skills that you'll use in AFF, and do so in a relaxed, fun manner that doesn't feel like you're burning a lot of money and jumps on 'training'. Then, when you're closer to taking the course, get coaching in AFF specific skills like botched exits, spin stops, rollovers and what-not. You can do some of that in the tunnel, but the tunnel negates the reality that you sometimes have to chase unruly students across the sky or through fall-rate variations. Good luck.
  49. 2 points
    What kind of advice are you looking for? Lots of people use what's called a "packboy" or "power tool", which is a metal rod thin enough to go through the grommets with a length of CYPRES loop cord (or similar) that acts as the pull up cord. Personally, I use a standard pull up cord, which has changed since I started jumping from 'normal' binding tape to a softer fabric sort of material, usually printed with company logos. Last summer I found a thing called a PUCA tool (Pull Up Cord Assist). It's a handle that the pull up cord wraps around and gives a comfortable handle to grip. I find it a lot easier on my hands than wrapping the pull up cord around them Really old school is to use the gutted 550 cord, which is standard parachute cord with the center strings removed. Also old school is to use a shoe lace, but if you do that, make sure you remove the aglet. It is vulnerable to being stripped off and jamming the closing pin. The only advice I would offer is: 1 - Try before you buy. Most jumpers I know would be willing to let you use a power tool or PUCA tool, as long as you used it when they didn't need it. As noted above, the power tool rod is pretty thin. I'm not a big fan of them for that reason. 2 - Don't wear the power tool around your neck. The idea of wearing something around your throat that will kill you before it breaks is a really bad one. Lots of people do that, it's pretty stupid. Some wear them when jumping, which is really fucking stupid.
  50. 2 points
    I'll add just this little bit. If everyone considering downsizing at 70 jumps had your thoughtfulness and wisdom we'd have a much safer sport.