sammielu

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Gear

  • Main Canopy Size
    149
  • Reserve Canopy Size
    170
  • AAD
    MarS Parachute AAD

Jump Profile

  • Home DZ
    Snohomish, WA
  • License
    D
  • License Number
    33923
  • Licensing Organization
    USPA
  • Number of Jumps
    1850
  • Tunnel Hours
    4
  • Years in Sport
    5
  • First Choice Discipline
    Formation Skydiving
  • First Choice Discipline Jump Total
    800
  • Second Choice Discipline
    CReW
  • Second Choice Discipline Jump Total
    40

Ratings and Rigging

  • Tandem
    Instructor
  • USPA Coach
    Yes

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  1. sammielu

    Safire 1 Identification

    Paraconcepts is where I get my Safire linsets. Proud owner of 3 at the moment. Is there a serial number inside one of the cells?
  2. IMO, bare minimum is at least 1 day/month, plus mental review and practice - and even at that level your skill is going backwards not forwards (you and your body will forget things). That's the 50 jumps/year minimum. I'd say 100 jumps/year to maintain, at least 200 to improve. At LEAST. And mental practice is a must at any level (both for skill building and for unexpected/what if/emergency training).
  3. sammielu

    Tips for packing a new canopy?

    1. Consider the price if the first 10 packjobs (they're $10 packjobs IMO, even for a packer, new shit sucks to pack) part of the price of a new canopy. 2. Ideally, pay for the first 25 packjobs to save your personal sanity. 3. Constantly changing the way you pack with all these different methods and tweaks and tricks is making it harder on yourself. The only way to learn to pack is through repitition. Pick one method and practice. After 25 times doing the same thing, it get easier. At 100 times it starts to feel comfortable or automatic. At 600 you don't think about it anymore. New to packing = a challenge. New canopy = a challenge So it's doubly challenging already. Now if you did the common thing where you chose a container "that you can keep for future downsizes" and you're cramming the biggest possible canopy into it, that's 2x more a challenge. If you made this hard on yourself, it's absolutely worth a couple hundred $ in paying for packers to make your jump days more fun. It just might keep you in the sport (vs the new folks who get all excited, buy all new everything, hate spending 45 minutes of effort packing for 60second skydives, and jump less and less and then quit). PS. Do you jump somewhere dusty or have a dirt road/patch? Drop your canopy in the dirt a couple times to help it be less slippery faster. Personally, I have a deep deep love for canopies with 1000 jumps on them. I'd rather pay to put a line set on a $500 canopy that I can pack myself than pay 3x that for anything slippery :)
  4. sammielu

    16 year old skydiving

    It's all about liability. Dzs have jumpers fill out a waiver that waives their right to sue (in case of injury, etc). No one can sign away the right for anyone else to sue - only for oneself. A parent can not give up the right for a child to sue, so even their signature doesn't help, and a minors signature doesn't count until they are 18. No waiver, no jumpy.
  5. sammielu

    is it safe to downsize from 230 to 190 ???

    All good advice on here. Get your main inspected by a rigger before you jump it. The only F111 old PD canopies around here are considered garbage (We use them for intentional cutaways) - so I recommend you be cautious with yours. F111 wears with age, not just use (jump numbers). Separate from that is the downsizing question. If you have to ask because you don't know, the safe answer is always no in skydiving. Search on here for downsizing checklists, there are lots of skills to master and ways to add speed before you need to downsize. Personally, I bought my next canopy (10sf smaller) 2 seasons and 1000 jumps ago and still have not hooked it up - because I have no reason to do so. Any canopy can be flown fast and any canopy can swoop with the right skill, so why do yuou need less life saving material above your head at thus point?
  6. sammielu

    Total Cost of your A License (Edited)

    I did static line, not AFF, in 2013. With a couple repeats and going out of currency due to weather I got my A with 29 jumps. Total cost was 2700. The way I budgeted, I kept planning to pay student prices every time I went to the dz and saved the excess for gear (and more numbers of jumps in a day vs 2 expensive instructor jumps). I got licensed on 7/4 and when winter came I had a used helmet ($100), jumpsuit ($200), complete rig ($2800), a new AAD ($1000), and 160 jumps on rental gear along the way. I've added new jumpsuits and helmets since then, and bought 3 mains (I'm a sucker for a good deal) and had my harness resized on my rig... and that's it. Oh, and traveled to boogies 2x/year, got every rating and license available, and took canopy courses every time they were offered. It doesn't get cheaper, you just do more stuff. You can spend 15k if you want, but to be a skydivers make sure you're actually skydiving, not just buying matchy matchy gear - a LOT of the time the matchy matchy newbies quit after 100 jumps and hang on to their gear for 15 years and are mad when it's not worth any money anymore...
  7. sammielu

    Tunnel Time vs. Buying a rig (New skydiver)

    Skydivers skydive, buy a rig and jump as much as you can. Save up fgor tunnel time when and where there are good deals. Learn what skills to work on to lead up to FF skills, and then go do that on your skydives. Spend lots and lots of time visualizing - skydive skills, break off skills, canopy skills, and FF skills. Practice on the ground is free and a absolutely works - get some.
  8. sammielu

    Simple crw with sabre 2

    Microline will slice you to the bone like cutting through cheese with a wire. Trailing pilot chutes are a major entanglement hazard that can kill. Wraps and entanglements are a big fucking deal if you're not trained and haven't had your equipment (rig, clothing choices, etc) reviewed by someone who understands few. The cool thing about CRW is you can't do it alone... So come make friends, get some coaching, and likely borrow gear for a while. It's pretty normal for CRW dawg to loan out canopies, rigs, etc, to enable others to jump. Look up the RawDawgs and come play!
  9. sammielu

    Skyhooks/MARDs

    Would an RSL have saved that person? No way to know in hindsight. Could it have? Yes. And that's why I jump an RSL and an AAD on every jump (except crw). It's also why my reserve is loaded 1:1, I'm really picky about who I'll jump with, I stay current on EPs, and I'm vocal when I see complacency.
  10. Specific language is really important in discussing pull altitude. BSRs specify "container opening altitude", even better, the UPT Strong manual specifies canopy open altitude. My first question to anyone when they start talking about pull altitude is to ask them to talk me through their pull procedure (and then how they "know" they pulled at x altitude and were open by y altitude). Pull altitude is different than brake off, track, stop the track, wave off... and not everyone includes that information in their plan. Pulling at 3k? Cool. Brake off from an attempt at head down for a new free flier at 4k? You probably didn't pull at 3k dummy, especially if you were the only one who couldn't make it back to the landing area. My personal opinion is that pull altitude is timed for group jumps (i.e. break off at 4500, turn, track 5 sec, wave, reach, pull in another 5 sec so estimated pull altitude is 3500' with reinforcement by checking altimeter during reach/pull, and acknowledging that actual pull/open data only comes from technology like a flysight, not your memory of which way the needle on your altimeter was pointed)... and then we usually talk about altitude loss per second and how many seconds someone wants to have to save their life when shit happens.
  11. sammielu

    Cutaway - Vortex 2 with Springo 160

    For me it's a RTFM issue that I don't need to understand. If the manual for my rig includes this detail and my riggers who each have 20+ years rigging experience tell me to do it, I pack that way. Does it matter or not? I don't know. Did I stop ripping out toggle keepers? Yes. Do I mention it to every jumper who has toggles often come unstowed or rip out their keepers? Yes. Does it fix the issue? Yes.
  12. sammielu

    Cutaway - Vortex 2 with Springo 160

    The force on the brake lines comes from the outside. Routing the line straight up from the guide ring to the outside edge of your canopy keeps all the tension in a straight line - so all the force goes where it is designed to go (up) without an angle that could cause the toggle to twist/shift and come unstowed. As an example, if people are ripping out their toggle keepers, its usually on only one side and it's because they set both brakes to one side (i.e. excess to the right side, not always to the inside)... Ugh. I'm having trouble explaining it. PS. I'm passing on info from my riggers, I didn't make it up. Proper brake stowing is always excess to the inside, brake lines to the outside, and so many jumpers and packers don't notice it. Those other reasons are valid but have no bearing on my point. PPS. If your excess brake line presents a snag hazard, stow it correctly. Any rigger can sew your favorite type of stow band/loop/velcro/whatever you like onto your risers, and you can stow it all while you walk in from landing if you need an extra 30 seconds.
  13. sammielu

    Cutaway - Vortex 2 with Springo 160

    How snug does the cat eye on your lines fit the nub on your toggles? How snug does your toggle nub fit into the keeper on your risers? Both are quick adjustments from your rigger. PS. Be sure you stow the excess brake line to the inside of the risers with the brake line that runs up to the canopy running on the outside of risers. It's a small thing that a lot of jumpers don't even think about, but it can definitely make a difference.
  14. sammielu

    DZ Culture

    The coolest kids to be around are the ones who never thought of themselves as the cool kids... after 20 or more years and thousands after thousands of jumps, the best folks in this sport don't give a crap what anyone thinks of them, who they will jump with, or when they'll be invited to whatever event. Also: come do some CRW. Absolutely the most inviting and generous jumpers are the CReW Dawgs. Also: crew is really fucking hard so we're all beginners for a really long time, and any mistake you make we feel your pain because we've been there. :)
  15. sammielu

    DZ Culture

    ^^^^^all those are valid points. Also keep in mind: skydiving has a high turnover rate. After a while, people become jaded to befriending, jumping with, and attempting to bring up people at your level. We've just seen so many quit right after we see them improve and grow to enjoy their company and jumps with them. It sucks on both sides, I know. Remember how when you were a student and you got stuck at something and didn't think you could hack it? Guess what, skydiving is full of speedbumps like that, and you're up against the social/new guy skill speed bump. Pushing through it is worth it if you want it bad enough. Start talking to organizers and looking for small ways. Be the guy who will go on a 3 way with a LO or jump with someone with less skill than you. Take coaching. Ask for and look for feedback. Hang out after jumping and listen more than you talk. Go to boogies- and then go again the next year to continue your boogie friendships. Bring beer, or pizza, or cake, or hot chocolate, or whatever; stand by the stuff you brought and introduce yourself and tell people you're looking to find people to jump with who are at your level. Be humble. Apologize immediately and first if you think you might have screwed up (even if you didn't it's a great way to meet someone if, say, you landed close to them standing in the landing area and you're not sure what to say). Start introducing yourself by just saying, "Hi, I don't know you, my nasme is -----". Ask people for advice, and take it! Take all the coached courses and canopy courses you possibly can. Stick it out and you've got friends and a community at any dz in the world for life. It's worth it :)