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    Vigil 2

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  1. I was assigned a month or so to film a couple swooper's runs for a competition, and happened to be filming when they hit the pond really hard (twice). The one thing I noted about that experience is that it took me 3-4 seconds to react to the fact that I had just filmed a sketchy incident before I was able to decide if I wanted to turn my camera off or not, and by then the incident had concluded.
  2. Packing a newer, slick parachute requires refined packing technique, and really maintaining control of the canopy, namely from when you lay it on the ground after rolling the tail until it's in the bag. What I always tell people who are struggling to pack a newer, slick canopy is to NOT LET GO OF IT. Make sure you have the canopy tail/grommets anchored with your knee (5:00 in the video). From the time you start trying to get the air out of it, always keep your hand/arm on it to keep control of it (5:45 in the video). I use the same "get the air out of the canopy" technique as the PD packing video (this one:, but I only do one S-fold (fluffy stuff end), put it in the bag, then place the other S-fold (label end) directly into the bag, always keeping an arm/hand/knee on the pack job, especially when I'm putting the d-bag around the S-fold, as well as when I place the other S-fold in the bag. Once it's in the d-bag, I quickly and smoothly roll the d-bag while keeping the lines taut onto the lid of the d-bag. This allows me to PULL the d-bag around the canopy instead of trying to push all the fabric in. Once I have one rubber band locking stow done, I can fix up the pack job to look better, if needed. In other words, ask for some packing tips at the dropzone. Everyone packs a little differently, and you'll find what works for you.
  3. Here's what a typical summer weekend looks like for me (mind you, I'm a fair weather jumper): Saturday: Get up at 5:30 AM to make the 2.5 hour, 150 mile drive to Elsinore/Perris/Taft (take your pick - they're all the same distance give or take 20 minutes). That usually puts me at the dz in time for the first couple loads of the day, if not first load. I make 2-3 jumps in the morning until it starts getting turbulent/dust devilly (ideal student jump time is first thing in the morning). I may do one more after it settles down (typically around 5:00), but I enjoy the atmosphere of the dz quite a bit as well, and don't like to feel like I have to pack-jump-pack-jump. I enjoy having a little down time between jumps, otherwise I get "in my head" too much. I only drink a bit on Saturday night so I don't get a hangover on Sunday. :) I also camp at the dz so I can save precious jump money (also part of the reason I don't do more is that I can't afford it). I also bring most of my own food - and I pack for myself (after the math, it's saved me hundreds and hundreds of dollars). I also save money by not driving home Saturday night and back to the dz on Sunday. For Sunday, I do the same as Saturday morning (2-3 jumps until it gets turbulent and crappy), then I drive home and do any random stuff at home that I needed. Being a teacher, this fits into my weekend schedule. I just have to make sure to get most of my errand, real-life stuff done on my weeknights. Hope this helps.
  4. I'm a regular jumper who lives in Las Vegas. Most of the fun jumpers go to Mesquite to jump. Call Brad (the DZO) in advance. He sends the 182 up on weekdays if he has students or tandems, but there doesn't tend to be much of a fun jumping scene on weekdays... mostly on weekends. If you ask Brad, he might know if some fun jumpers are planning on showing up.
  5. In your first 100 jumps, what was the hardest thing for you to learn? Share your story!
  6. My circumstance is a little different, as I have had monovision since I was a baby. I have poor vision in my good eye, and see light/dark/movement/some color in my bad eye, but don't have any functional vision in my bad eye. I wear glasses that have a fairly strong prescription and I jump with prescription goggles to give my peripheral vision some correction when I jump - this made a WORLD of a difference for me in skydiving. The other important thing I have learned through my experience is to tell coaches/instructors that you have a vision problem so they can better help you. For example, I took a canopy course to complete by B license (and my landings were pretty pitiful), and neglected to tell the instructor that I only see out of one eye. Towards the end of the canopy course, he began to get frustrated because he couldn't seem to figure out why my problems were inconsistent, until I told him I had a vision problem. He was better able to help me afterwards when he knew what the "real" issue was. But most of all, just remember you can do it. I mean, come on - you jump out of airplanes!
  7. Here's a good one. Got my bootie caught on the Cessna step!
  8. Update! I am moving this week and have my A! Yay! Not-as-good news, this whole "looking for gear" thing is still a work in progress, so I will be renting wherever I end up jumping for the next month or so. Thanks for all the advice. It looks like I might hit up Perris or Elsinore and take some of their classes to help hone my skills, as well as hit up Mesquite and just get a general feel for the different DZ's.
  9. I've been working on my AFF/A license from Skydive Utah (I live in Provo). I have one my AFF grad jump left and will be trying to get my A license before I move, assuming the weather cooperates. I had heard before that Mesquite's landing area is small, which is a big concern for me.... my canopy and landing skills definitely need work. Perris and Elsinore seem to be the next closest, but I really want some good guidance and coaching.
  10. Here's the deal. I have been working my way through AFF (only my grad jump left
  11. Hello! Let's just say that I caught the skydiving bug. Like, really caught the bug. I originally went to do a tandem with some family at The Parachute Center as a bucket list item, but was hooked. I gave it a week to see if I was overly excited about a new experience, but I just couldn't get my mind off it! Every time there was good weather, I would find myself thinking, "Oh man, I wish I could go skydiving again!" So I did. I have since completed another tandem at Skydive Utah and will be attending ground school this week and beginning my AFF course! I look forward to actually figuring out what I'm doing.