sammielu

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Everything posted by sammielu

  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 :)
  16. sammielu

    Icarus World - press release

    I discussed the split, etc with the NZ Aerospoetd guys at symposium. I was excited to hear them say that they are setting up a manufacturing facility in the US near Deland sometime this/next year. Demo canopies here we come!
  17. sammielu

    Icarus World - press release

    Well this helps straighten the list out in my head. NZ Aerosports: Safire Crossfire JVX JFX Leia Petra Icarus Tandem 365 ICARUS WORLD: TX2 Omni Nano S Fire X Fire The names are confusing.
  18. sammielu

    I did my first cutaway and it feels bad

    Congratulations on saving your life! Reacting correctly and quickly to a malfunction is an important skill, and you have it. On behalf of all skydivers, we're really glad you chopped when you need to. Trying to prevent future malfunctions by beating yourself up for factors that led to your malfunction is normal. Analysis is good, but don't make so many new rules for yourself that you rob yourself of jumping when you need to get away from the rest of the world for a few minutes. Slowing down is good, and acknowledge that packing and jump preparation takes practice and that you'll eventually be comfortable with a faster pack job and what feels like rushing to the plane now will be normal timing later. Here's where beer rules come in. Buy beer, take it to your dz, and share it. Use it as in ice breaker - tell people you brought beer because you had your first cutaway and tell the story. You'll hear other people's cutaway stories and realize that beating yourself up after your first one is common. Could you have prevented it? Who knows. Can you handle your shit when things go sideways? Yes, you can. Congratulations, have a beer. FWIW, my first cutaway was jump 41, my first low altitude jump after getting licensed. My canopy took too long to open (and looked like crap because it was opening slow) so I chopped it. Boy did I feel sheepish later - but also SO relieved to know that when shit hits the fan I will handle it, and I have a cutaway story to tell so... win. :) If I went on that exact jump today would I chop it? Probably not, but I know I will chop it when I thing it's time to do so, and that's what counts.
  19. sammielu

    Skydiving Gear Containers

    I've seen a lot of hard sided luggage used at dzs lately - I got mine from a discount store for $30 4 years ago.
  20. sammielu

    25 yr old "like New" canopy...???

    25 years is a long time. Where has it been this whole time? How was it stored? Has a rigger inspected it yet? Was it packed in the container in a musty garage, basement, or closet? How does it smell? Does it even open up or is it bonded to itself forever? Someone has to pay a rigger to inspect it before jumping it. Sight unseen, from an unknown source, I wouldn't gamble the money ($30 minimum to ship a canopy each way, plus whatever your rigger charges for a full inspection). If you buy it upon inspection, have it shipped to your rigger and inspected and it fails for any reason, you now have to pay to send it back and don't have a canopy to jump at the end. Adds up to a big no for me. That said, I personally have a Safire canopy addiction and currently own 3 that were made in 1999 - 2001 and each cost me less than $500. There is one example of a modern design that has been around for long enough to have some old (and perfectly servicable) canopies still on the market for cheap. Modern canopies hold their resale value if you buy the big brands and the basic models (any model Safire or a Sabre II); there will always be a newbie who is ready for your used main when you're done with it.
  21. sammielu

    Landing Pattern

    Not the tandem, but you should keep an eye on how they're flying to determine if they're going to be in your airspace or not (on each jump). Again, fly predictably in the pattern, be ok with landing on the edge of the field to give yourself as much free airspace as possible, and watch out for every canopy in the air even if you think they're going to do X and you don't have to worry about them. Even a TI sometimes needs an emergency bathroom break and speeds up descent and landing. Too many beers and burritos sometimes hits your gut at 4pm... :))
  22. sammielu

    Landing Pattern

    I added a fancy hand drawn on my phone option for your yellow pattern. Your landing area looks tight, but not all that tight. If they land students at your airport, it's big enough. Practice different types of 90degree turn to have more options: a really fast one to use when you need to burn altitude, flat turns, braked turns, stopping turns, and recovering from turns. Consider ways to get the sky to yourself and ask if the rules change (i.e. can you fly over the swoop lane a little bit on the corner if you're definitely the last one down? What if there are no tandems on the load you're on? - just make damn sure you're right when you assume tandem or shoppers aren't in the air at all). My fun jump canopies are a 143 and a 150, loaded around 1.4 because I like burritos and beer. I usually belly fly, usually in the first group to leave the plane... and I'm almost always landing last (aside from tandems, sometimes wingsuits, and wL 1:1 190s in my same group). I pull as high as is safe for the jump and dz (usually I let go of my pc at 3.8 or 4k, per my flysight). As soon as my canopy is open, I hook my thumbs under my laterals or into my hip rings (with toggles in hand - super deep brakes using my rig as as rest to save my muscles) and wait for everyone to get out of my way. If I can get the sky to myself most of the time, so can you. Plus that's so much time to watch everyone else's mistakes (is everyone landing short? Its windy on the ground. Everyone at the very end of the landing area? We're coming in fast and I'll need some room). Obviously I like discussing thus stuff. PM me if you like :) Blues, Sam
  23. sammielu

    Landing Pattern

    My 2 cents, as an instructor to a newbie. I've never seen you fly or been to your dz so this has to be generalized info: The most important part of your pattern to other people in the air is predictability. Keep your downwind leg straight and parallel to your final leg, and do whatever you need to do with your degree of turn, speed of turn (including using different inputs), and length or angle of your base leg to work on accuracy; just keep the other two legs straight and calm and others in the sky will have a better idea of how to avoid hitting you. it is totally possible to fly downwind, do a single 180 degree turn, and hit your target with zero other inputs - you'd just have to make that turn at exactly the right time and with exactly the right amount and speed of input to get you where you want, without looking at your target (because it's behind you). That's possible, but pretty difficult so you won't see people working on accuracy or pro ratings flying that way. Instead, keep your target in sight and you can adjust mid turn and during the whole pattern as needed. Step 1: Your goal is to start your pattern at the same altitude and the same place relative to your target every time. The target can change (the X, thst tuft of grass, thst brown spot, next to that whstever it is), but your starting point in relation to it stays the same. For example, 900' with the target 90 degrees to your side and 45 degrees down. Given that you keep your bodyweight and gear the same for each jump, now the only variables for each landing pattern are wind during that jump and your inputs to the canopy. Its common to need help to determine what a 45 degree angle looks like, that's just step 1, dont get discouraged. Expect the wind to be a bit different every single time, even if the wind flag looks the same. Step 2: On the ground - do some practice thinking, talking, and walking the different lengths for the final leg of your pattern according to the wind (i.e. to hit the same target, if there is no wind to resist how far you fly, you will travel farther over the ground and therefore need to start your final leg farther from the target). 3 basic scenarios to consider here, for each you should know what the wind indicators at your dz look like (zero wind, medium wind, lots of wind where you can expect to travel straight down on your final leg). In the air: before you start your pattern and while you fly your downwind, have a goal for where you want to start your final leg (i.e. far away if it's not windy, really close to the target if it is windy, etc). Then use your length of downwind, length of base, and degree/speed of turns to get there. Note: Always give yourself distance to have a nice big base leg so you have more time to make corrections. Is the wind rocketing you away from your target? Oh shit, turn in now. Did you do too lazy of a turn to start your base and now you're high? Ok, just do a faster 90 degree turn onto final. Alternatively, fly zero base leg, have your entire pattern follow one straight line over the ground with one 180 degree turn, and if you made any mistake at all you have no control where you'll land (sarcasm alert). Sounds funny but this is where pattern shapes accommodate wind and obstacles. Sometimes, in tight spots you will have to fly a narrower pattern to avoid flying over the runway, as an example, or you have a shorter distance for final. My dz has one of those too. Its a challenge, but there are solutions. I'll look at your maps/pics in a bit from my computer. Step 3: Plan to not make any adjustments on final. Of course things happen, you might need to steer into the wind, avoid someone on the ground who is supposed to be watching to get out of your way, shift slightly to avoid hitting the Windsock, etc. In general, your goal is to turn onto final, do nothing, and see where you land. If you turn to final, counter turn to adjust for too hard of a turn, try front risers to get you down, remember that's a bad idea to try close to the ground and release, feet high up to go faster, instinctively flare a bit early because that might help and six other inputs in a row and then you hit your target... well that's going to be really hard to do the next time. Final should be calm, slow down, deep breath, ready to flare. Step 4: Evaluate how it went. What was your plan? Did you fly that plan (this is where the flysight comes in)? Did the plan work? If you flew your plan and it didn't work, time for a new plan. Get yourself into PD Flight-1 course as soon as you can. You shoukd take 101 and 102 straight away. They're amazing and you will learn a ton!!
  24. sammielu

    Landing Pattern

    I think you should get a flysight. It's really valuable to map out a landing pattern plan, then fly it and see exactly what you actually did and where it got you - not just where you landed but exact altitudes for all turns and your speed. Like you, I have a mind for precision and numbers, and boy that thing is the most fun learning tool I've seen for canopy flight!!
  25. sammielu

    Tandem suit

    Our TI staff suits are Vertical, model name Inverted and theyre holding up well, and Vertical has good customer service for adjustments, fixes, etc. We opted for after market hook knife add on (via our riggers) so they are mounted according to each instructor preference for location, type of knife, size, and if it attaches with a snap or not, etc. I am apparently the biggest klutz when dropping my rig so not having a snap on my thigh for the leg strap to get hung up on 17x a day is a plus.