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Everything posted by TrickyMike

  1. FWIW I had Aerodyne resize a second hand Icon Pro that I bought over the summer (main lift web, leg straps and laterals). I had a great experience with them. It was done on budget, ahead of schedule and according to the measurements we agreed upon.
  2. From someone that was just there a few months ago, my friendly tip is to take some deep breaths on the ride to altitude and then one, big deep breath at the door (or as you're approaching). Sounds kind of silly, but for me, it really helped me chill on those first few jumps.
  3. I also struggled with hop and pops... It was the only part of the AFF program that I REALLY did not want to do. What ended up helping me was not more hop and pops but intentionally unstable exits from full altitude. It made me realize how quickly I could get stable if I just hucked myself out the door in an intentional tumble. With that experience in mind the amount of time I had in a typical hop and pop seemed so much longer. I did a canopy course last weekend consisting of all hop and pops and was doing goofy exits for fun after my group had established that we had no issues creating abundant separation. You'll get there!
  4. 60 square feet, which is a lot. Jokes aside, you should know what's in your container at all times...
  5. Thanks y'all. My rig is arriving tomorrow. Can't wait to get some more jumps in!
  6. Well, at 29 jumps (I did a handful of fun solos) I finally got my "A" last weekend (and my first cutaway). I even emptied the bank account and got some gear.
  7. Or whatever village she came from finally gets their idiot back...
  8. Great weekend at Jumptown. A bit of wind both days kept me from jumping as much as I had hoped, but I managed 3 jumps on Saturday and one on Sunday (I knew the wind was coming on Sunday, so I was happy I got up at all). Did 10 more minutes in the tunnel on Friday (52 minutes total now). Started to backfly. Didn't quite get it in my first attempt. Going to take some work there... Anyway, on to Jumptown. Spent the weekend working with Al King. Great guy (ask him about his skydiving themed romance novel audio book... coming soon :D ). He has really helped me a lot so far. Pretty stoked on Jumptown in general. Everybody there has been so incredibly cool and helpful to me. So... Got load 2 on Saturday for my repeat of the C1. Went really well. We were first out of the plane which for some reason helped me relax a bit. No time for the nerves to creep in. Open the door, check the spot, deep breath and go. Nice smooth exit and stable freefall. Did need one leg reminder, though. Cleared for C2. Flew the canopy on advice only with no advice given. Managed a stand-up landing but overshot my target (again) by 15 meters or so. C2 went really well too. Maybe my best jump to date. No input needed from the instructor. We worked on my arms a bit on the ground and I found that it helped a lot in freefall. Instructor released and stayed undocked. Managed really good hover control. Stable solo pull at correct altitude. Really felt good. Like the tunnel work was worth it. Canopy flight again on advice only with no advice given. Stand-up landing but this time I overcorrected my past mistakes and came up short Started to "get it" a little, though, which is to say that I saw that I started to recognize the mistakes. Had to sit a bit for the wind/clouds and was about to call it a day when it finally d broke and Al and I got up for D1. Nice and uneventful. No input needed. I did an extra 90-degree turn, though. Guess I had a bit of a brain fart. we did 5 90's and two 180's. Stable solo pull. Canopy flight felt good. Advice only, none given. Lots of tuns on the rears. Stand-up landing a bit closer this time. Got load one on Sunday. I knew the weather was going to get bad, so I was hoping to get at least one in. Solo floater exit, a couple 360's. Al docked in front of me, which was a really cool first for me. Another 360, stable solo pull with Al undocked. Winds were a bit stiffer on Sunday than any of my previous jumps. I could tell I wasn't moving forward much at all when facing into the wind. It was really cool to feel the difference when I would turn downwind and really start moving. Played it real safe and stayed well upwind just inching towards the start of my pattern. Much better accuracy this time... Maybe 15 feet from the "X" but flared a tiny bit early and had to put a hand down. Cleared off radio. Can't wait to get back up... Hoping to get solo status next weekend.
  9. 10 more minutes in the tunnel last night. Cleared to start back flying. Was hoping to get in the air Sat-Sun-Mon this weekend but the weather up here in MA doesn't look good. Oh well... Maybe I can get a packing class?
  10. I had 32 minutes in the tunnel before my CatC last weekend & I'm going to have to repeat it. I was surprised. For me the big thing is to RELAX. I'm grabbing 10 more minutes on Thursday and will be back in the air on Saturday with my main goal being to just relax. YMMV.
  11. Well, I managed two more jumps on Saturday. I really need to get to the DZ for a longer stretch. I'm hoping to do that over this coming long weekend if the weather cooperates. Got load 2 for Cat B and it went pretty well. Good leg awareness that was missing in my Cat A. The instructors said they were barely holding on as we went through heading correction drills. Maybe that tunnel time paying off? (I'm at 32 minutes now) Nice, stable solo pull. We had a bit of a long spot, so I was thankful to have a radio confirming that I really had to get back to the DZ. Managed to get back and into the pattern no problems (one of the instructors almost had to land out) I staged and flared in time with the radio instructor but either my flare wasn't symmetrical or we had a gust or something because I felt the canopy shift to my left as I touched down and had to PLF. Otherwise the canopy flight felt good. Passed Cat B. CatC1 was a bit of a mixed bag, to be honest. We had a good exit, good practice touches, but we were a little too close to a cloud when we got into hover control. I started to turn left and did not correct. With nothing but white in front of me I didn't realize I was turning. I also started to potato chip a little bit which surprised me since I've managed pretty good, consistent stability in the tunnel. I'm still a bit overwhelmed by the whole process and am hoping that I desensitize over the next few jumps. Altitude awareness was really good. Nice, stable wave and pull with one instructor re-docked. Canopy control felt pretty good. I had much more time to play on this jump and I was all by myself. Tried some rear riser turns. I was still on the radio, but I felt like I was starting to get one step ahead of the instructor instead of just waiting to be told what to do. I ended up overshooting the X by about 10 meters but managed my first stand-up landing. Cleared for "advice only" radio instruction, but will be repeating Cat C1. I was pissed that I couldn't stay and just repeat right then and there. I hated feeling like I was running out with my tail between my legs, but not much I could do about that. Got 10 more minutes in the Tunnel on Thursday and hope to be back in the Sky Saturday, Sunday and Monday if possible.
  12. Will do. I'm hoping to add a little more tunnel time. Everything felt pretty good but I could feel (and my instructors verified with hand signals) some of the weaknesses we identified in the tunnel. I need to pay more attention to my legs. I'm a little too wide there and it affected my arch a bit when I did my practice pulls. Nothing major, but I could feel (and my instructors could feel) the instability creep in. Need to work on that. Also need to work on a bit of tunnel vision. I had real good focus during freefall and could recall all of the hand signals I received during freefall. Once i pulled and did a canopy check, though, I forgot to clear my ears and had a hard time hearing the radio. I had been taught to do this, i just kind of hit a mental saturation point (I just didn't do it). I made some notes to my logbook to remind myself of this for Cat B. Feedback always welcomed. This is a big journey for me. It's exciting to start from scratch.
  13. Had a great day. Everything went really well, but I definitely have some stuff to work on. My instructors and everyone at Jumptown were fantastic. I have so much to learn and am perfectly happy to assume my FNG status. Respect is earned and I'm starting (justifiably) at zero. Can't wait to get back next weekend.
  14. Thanks y'all. My plan is to listen to everyone and do my best to filter out the BS.
  15. I start AFF at Jumptown tomorrow. If that's your DZ say hello, I should be easy to spot. Just look for the noobiest dude there. That'll be me. Really pumped to get started. I did one tandem in the fall and got bitten by the bug pretty good. To be honest I thought I'd just do it once and cross it off the list. Wrong. I should have known better. I had hoped to get going with AFF in the fall, but I ended up crashing the DH mountain bike and spending some time on the couch. I did manage some (22 minutes) of tunnel time over the winter and hope to double that real soon. Hoping it pays off a little. I've also been reading the SIM, Brian Germain's "The Parachute and it's pilot" Parachutist magazine, etc. Advice is always welcome. I've got a ton to learn.
  16. Speed should be airing it live, I believe. I'm not 100% sure because I have tickets and as such, haven't paid much attention to the broadcast schedule. It's not free to air, it's a cable channel that is (on some providers) part of an additional sports package. On Verizon, what I have in the Northeast US, it's part of our regular package. My sister in Phoenix gets it as part of her basic package too, so it shouldn't be too hard to find somewhere to watch. Good luck!
  17. What he said! The slick throwline that tree guys use is the stuff. I keep a bunch of it on a spool that I wind up with a cordless drill. Just be careful about letting this stuff unravel into a mess. It's bird's nest city.
  18. The annoying thing is that there are farms that produce these kinds of things (a la "expert" village). The goal is not to produce content, but to produce traffic to sell to Advertisers. The videos are generally short and worthless. The same "expert" that made this one probably made 15 different videos that day... About 15 different topics they know nothing about. It's really kind of like internet pollution and it's on the rise.
  19. This one is likely a repost repost, but hey... I'm the FNG "Chop it. Chop IIIIIIIITTT!!!!" Yikes.
  20. Yep. I don't know the first thing about choosing a dropzone as I'll be in the same boat myself in a few months. BUT I learned pretty quickly that the best thing you can do when shopping for an apartment is sit your ass on the stoop and talk to everyone that comes in or out the front door.
  21. Thanks again for all of these responses. I agree with the risk vs reward approach and it's one I'm all too familiar with. Most people only see the risks. Maybe we see rewards that whuffos don't? Maybe our perception of the reward is skewed a little? I can't really say, but even if that is true I don't ever see a day where I'm happy with a life of workweeks followed by weekends mowing the lawn and watching football. I know plenty of people who seem like this is all they need to feel like they're "living" but I can't say that I've ever understood any of them. I guess that suit just doesn't fit me.
  22. Do not underestimate the number of jumpers that get seriously injured (either physically or emotionally) at the bar during the evening. Seriously: Have you factored this into your thinking?? Good point. There was this one time years ago when my best mate and I spent the night drinking "surprise me" booze drinks in Austin, TX. This young lady in a ridiculously short skirt goes strutting by my buddy... working the room like nobody's business. She passes him and heads up a staircase. He, being male, watches her pass... Nothing really creepy or anything... at least as far as I could tell. ("surprise booze drink" disclaimer). Anyway, her friend on the other hand, looking to get in on some of the attention walks right up to my bud, SLAPS HIM in the face and yells (more to the room than to him) "Don't look up her skirt YOU LITTLE PERVERT!" As she turned and walked off I managed to yell (between fits of screeching laughter) "HEY!!!!! He's not little!"
  23. Thanks again for the advice. I'm thinking a canopy control course is something I'll want to do ASAP. Is that something I'd benefit from if I took it, for example, immediately after getting licensed? Or immediately after getting cleared for self supervision? Is that too soon?
  24. That's exactly what my post was after, thanks for the reply. I don't really bother with the statistics too much and I try to temper what I read on forums. If I were to believe what I read about motorcycles, be it in the news, on forums or in statistics I'd have a pretty inaccurate picture in my head. I can only assume with skydiving, but I imagine at least some of the same risk perception inaccuracies are in play... from both sides of the fence. Again, this isn't an attempt to discout the risks involved. In both cases they're very real.
  25. Thanks for the replies. A huge part of the appeal for me is the learning experience, so I don't feel any self-imposed pressure to rush through what might seem mundane.