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Everything posted by Snowcrash

  1. Well... In my case I hope it was actaully the last one. Tried a Lightning, didn't dare hold the fronts low enough, got no flare out of it, was an idiot, broke my wrist. Yeah, yeah. Shit happens.
  2. Having done a lot of FS4 jumps the last two years I've realized just how much I rely on my audible to keep track of altitude. Just like you mentioned yourself, it does happen that the whole group gets so caught up in what they're doing that you go past break-off, no one noticing. I decided to get a second audible as back up. Make sure you remember to change both of them when planning your dives though. Having four, five or six alarms going off at different altitudes is a bit more information than at least my brain can handle
  3. I don't know about risers, but toggles you could get from any of the BASE gear manufacturers; Apex, Adrenaline et al.
  4. I contacted Tokyo Skydiving Club a couple of years ago on [email protected] They were super friendly, helping out with all the hoops you need to jump through to go skydiving in Japan. IIRC you need to be part of their national association and have local insurance. They offered to fill in all the papers and everything. The only thing I had to do was go to a local post office once in Japan to pay for the insurance. I never ended up going though so I couldn't say anything about the DZ as such. They even offered to pick me up from the train, so I'm sure the atmosphere has to be great.
  5. Awesome feeling, enjoy! If you miss it later on you can always start doing sketchy low BASE jumps - brings the adrenaline right back up again.
  6. TL;DR That feeling of nervous excitement in my stomach from the thought of jumping out of an airplane. Had it before I signed up, still do. ...and to make a long story long. I grew up next to a small airfield, seeing gliders and small propeller planes in the sky every summer. It was mesmerizing. Skip forward 20 years, I finally have the job and the time to get a glider license. I liked it and flew for a couple of years, but towards the end of the third summer I was having to realize that I was flying less and less and wasn't really able to keep current. Among the pilots there was always talk of the crazies that would leave the perfectly good airplane. I figured, crazy yes, but it does seem kinda exiting too doesn’t it? So, as sort of compensation for having to give up the pilot’s license I decided I'd sign up for an AFF program; do the course, make the jumps and that would be that. Finished. I’d have another license to tick off the bucket list, no need to make any more jumps. Riiight… I sent an email to the closest DZ, but it was August and the last course turned out to be full. I told myself ok and started getting over the sour feeling of giving up the glider license. Four months later, I'm on a tram on my way home from having a few to many beers with friends and I see I have an email from the girl that handled the reservations for the FJC's at the DZ, saying that, if I was still interested, reservations for next year's courses were open. Enter that lovely feeling in my stomach. There was like a hook that caught my spine and it’s still there. I didn’t want to do it, I had to! I was able to hold of making my reservation... until the morning after. Spent all the money I’d saved up for an expensive full format DSLR in one blink. I remember posting on facebook that "my girlfriend will probably kill me for this, but I'm going skydiving come spring". She nearly did. Three years later I'm a jumpmaster, doing post-AFF jumps with students. I'll probably hold FJC's myself next year and who knows what’s after that.
  7. A bit off topic, but if you are ever in northern Europe, make sure you stopp by Voss (Norway) and Näsinge (Sweden). Both are said to be among the world's most beautiful.
  8. It's taken months, hours and hours of what could have been productive time at work and here I am, at the end of 60 pages of fantastic stories. I'mma give this thread a shameless bump. There is just far too much gold in here for it to be stuck dusting over on page 3. Hopefully the statute of limtations will have run out on some more of Twardo's stories. Also, really sorry if I got the hopes up of anyone seeing this thread back in red at the top of page 1. Fingers crossed someone will add some more scary stories!
  9. Wow, here I was thinking I was pushing it jumping a Sabre2 at 1.5 after only 400 jumps... Does anyone know what happened to our SoFPiDaRF candidate? Did his femurs make it through 2015? Is he sub-100 yet or is he too busy doing gainers from the bridge?
  10. A Silhouette might also do the trick. It's the same sort of hybrid design as the Pulse. Flat glide, good easy to pack first canopy. It will recover very quickly after a turn though, so be sure to give it a second or two to pick up speed again. Otherwise you might stall one side of the canopy when you initiate the next turn. Could give you an interesting perspective on the world if you're down low... Other than that I'd say it's a great beginners canopy.
  11. Maybe you could ask someone else to do 5 pack jobs or so in a row for you (perhaps you could trade or something) to see if it makes a difference? Not that it would give 100% certainty, but if you get consistently good openings on those jumps, then you've most likely narrowed it down to packing technique (or vice versa).
  12. I've got Stiletto 135 serial no. 10, 23 years old. Recently re-lined and still ok. It does lack a bit of oomph in the flair, but it sure is easy to pack... I mostly jump a 10 year old Sabre 2 though.
  13. What size? This thread has been started with Hornet 170. You can expect a fairly short recovery from canopies that big. This was in reference to the OP's Hornet 170. Right you are that size has a big impact on the recovery arc. In my (admittedly rather limited) experience canopy type characteristics still have a significant impact though. Compared to the Sabre2's I've jumped the Silhouette damn near stalled itself from auto-flare after a hard turn...
  14. Could anyone say what the recovery arc is like on a Hornet? My understanding is that this is more common on canopies with shorter recovery arc, no? I managed to do a one sided stall after practicing flares on a Silhouette 190 (which has a very short recover arc). Luckily no line twists but it sure was a quick drop from 1500 to 1000 feet... "No shit, there I was..."
  15. I was super happy to have an old second hand Optima II replaced this summer, but, yeah I can agree that they aren't the best on the communications front. They could definitely improve there, but if I have to chose I prefer a brand new Optima.
  16. I would say that not being able to see your handles is an equally big problem...
  17. #¤%$ bro, you pussying out on the SoFPiDaRF community? How are you ever going to make sub-100 at that pace? C'mon, femurs heal right? I guess you can always go for more rotations though... Just remember, no video, shoes on = no t-shirt. Sorry for the harsh jokes, but seriously, glad to hear that you decided to stay with the 150. A 135 is a small canopy... I just downsized to a Sabre2 120 at about the same wing load as you would have had on the 135. First landing I almost broke my wrist 'cause I was just that little bit to late on my flare. I have twice the number of jumps you do and still wasn't really ready (and I also tick all the same boxes, focusing on canopy progression, taken all the courses etc. etc.).
  18. Wow, how little you know... "You" as in me I mean. Hanging harness and EP practice under an increasing degree of complication and stress is probably the biggest part of ground school here. I was sure it was for everybody. In our club it's also required for annual license renewal for A-C licenses (D license is exempted). The equipment part is relatively brief though. Try a rig on, go through the main parts, but only the basics. For a B license though the "Materials and packing" course is mandatory. It's about 8 hours and includes a more thorough review of the gear, pulling a reserve ripcord in group etc.
  19. I unfortunately think you are very right in that looking cool is a big part of it. Everyone wants that tiny Vector, so they end up with what it can fit. One forgiving argument might be that the 7-cell reserve is most likely more docile than your main canopy, but that is about it I think. ...says the guy with a 113 PDR loaded to 1.6. Can't say I'm looking forward to landing under it having been hit unconscious by someone on a speed star turned zoo jump.
  20. While it might not be the fastest, L&B's service is normally the best. I sent them my Optima II earlier this summer and a few weeks later I had a new one in the mail.
  21. One thing that I've been taught (adding to all of the good advice others have already contributed with) is to go through the jump from the ground back to the ground again to try and find what specifically scares you. For some it's the door, others might fret the pull or the landing. Whatever you find, ask an instructor to practice that together with you until you are so certain you know how and what to do that you don't really need to be nervous about it anymore. For me personally, jumping with the right instructors also made a tremendous difference. Some just seem to be better at making you feel relaxed. Depending on how the student jumping is organized at your DZ, maybe you could talk to one of the instructors that you feel comfortable with, explaining what happened on your AFF 1, and try and set it up so that you make the next attempt together?
  22. Sounds exactly like what I used to have. My guess was that the span-wise pressurization part of the opening was slightly uneven, meaning that one side of the wing would fly just before the other, leading to a quick turn. Speculating wildly, could it have something to do with the way the nose is done? It seems to me that Sabre2's have more fabric over the cell openings than many other canopies. I'm thinking maybe it restricts air flow into the cells to some extent during opening? I'd always look up, see it streaming nicely, have enough time to think "Wow, this one might actually be on hea..!" Boom, 90° right, or left, or 360° or something else.
  23. I flew a Sabre 2 170 (WL 1.07) from 100 to 200 jumps and then a Sabre 2 150 (WL 1.21) for another 100 jumps. As long as you've tried them a few time and can live with being thrown anything from 90 to 360 degrees off heading in the later part of the opening they are in my opinion great canopies. I only had one hard opening on the 170 and that was most likely from a line dump (so my fault for not double stowing). Other than that openings were all soft, almost too snively. Flight characteristics were very much to my liking, responsive with a nice dive to them. The flair was always strong, even if you chicken on the pitch and start pulling on the toggles early. It's been said that the Sabre 2's respond really well to wing load, so a 150 at 1.3 should be a lot of fun. Try it first and make sure the brake lines haven't shrunk too much. A lot of people seem to be getting pulsation when on fronts. Since the Sabre 2's I've made 120 jumps on a Stiletto (which is great fun in it's own way), but just yesterday I got a Sabre 2 120 to replace it. I figure that if I want to progress to a more modern style canopy later on, like a Katana or something, I will have wanted to gotten used to the longer recovery arc.
  24. Yes! Plenty of people have. You are by no means the only one and I'm sure you will be hearing stories from much more accomplished skydivers than I further down this thread of how they also started their skydiving career with a failed AFF1. I would even venture that you learned more from your experience than many who managed enough to pass. You seem to be well aware of what happened, and why, which will the key to learning and improving.