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  1. Hope I'm not too late to the thread, but I used this website in the past. It gives a step by step guide on speeding tickets in California. It's very detailed and covers most scenarios. PM me if you want any further details in my experiences and what I have done. http://www.ticketassassin.com Also a quick note: I'm not a lawyer and not the owner of the linked website. Just trying to help and share my experience with the California speeding ticket process.
  2. Unfortunately, there is no direct shuttle from iFly to Lodi, that I know of. Your best bet if you don't have a car is Greyhound Bus or Amtrak Train. Even then I don't think there is direct public transportation from Lodi to the DZ, you may have to get a Taxi from the Bus/Train station. If you can afford it, rent a car. There are the big rental car agencies like Budget, Enterprise, Hertz where you can rent for days at a time. Then there's Zipcars, which is hourly and day rentals. There's a good chance you may bump into some people at iFly that go out to Lodi on a regular basis so you may be able to hitch a ride. It's the only wind tunnel in Northern California and many skydivers from all of the Northern California dropzones flock to it. Luckily for you, all the dropzones are about 1.5-2.5 hours away by car.
  3. Since nobody has mentioned cost yet, I'll put in my two cents. A license progression can have varying costs depending on the jumper. If a jumper fails an early AFF jump they will have to repeat, and thus pay for the jump again. Also make sure you don't take off for a month, or you will have to do a repeat jump to get current. Not trying to burst anyones bubble, but trying to give a more realistic perspective on cost. Most dropzones will give the cost of getting through AFF or A-license with the minimum amount of jumps. Some will warn you about repeats, some will not. Best advice I ever got about skydiving is, chuck budgets out the door, and be prepared to spend any and all the extra money one might have.
  4. You can tell people what they are doing wrong all day long. When you show them on a TV screen, its like watching a light come on. Ive been teaching and training 20+ years and found out how valuable video feedback was decades ago. Especially in a high risk adrenaline situation where their memory might be a bit fuzzy. Personally with the newer smaller digital cameras (google glass anyone?) on the market these days, it doesnt make sense having coach requirements at one level and camera recommendations at another. Raise coach to the level of camera or lower camera to coach, one or the other. Or remember the camera is just a recommendation and ignore it. YMMV. From a student about to get their A license I have to agree that having video footage of jumps helps a lot. It may not help everyone, but for me it was night and day. I had both instructors that had video footage of me and instructors that did not. I felt the ones with video footage of me helped me improve and learn much more than ones without. After realizing this I continuously tried to seek out the instructors that would film me so I could learn more and improve. If filming a student can be done safely and without distraction, I would say it's something that should be done for every student jumper trying to learn.
  5. So this is kind of a newbie question. I recently purchased a rig that came with both a traditional D-Bag and a Semi-Stowless D-Bag. I'm just starting to learn how to pack and have been reading around the forums and Internets about Semi-Stowless bags. My question is, if you're just learning to pack is it ok to learn on a Semi-Stowless bag? Learning to pack is difficult enough, would this option make it easier for students? Would a semi-stowless bag pose more problems for students that don't fully understand canopy deployment? I don't want this to get into a huge debate on which type of D-bag is better. What I do want to know is peoples opinion on whether learning how to pack on a semi-stowless is feasible and something that can be adopted in the future when teaching new skydivers. I personally have already decided that I will learn with traditional D-Bag first and then maybe switch later on to a Semi-Stowless.
  6. I feel your pain. I've had trouble staying current myself because of work/health issues. I've been chasing that A for almost 2 years and I'm closer than ever. Never give up!!!
  7. You should seriously consider getting ear protection. I certainly did when my coaches allowed me to do so. The first few jumps I had a radio so this option was not available. Do a search on the forums on ear protection. There are lots of threads covering this and it's probably the lowest cost piece of gear you can purchase. I myself currently have a pair of Surefire Sonic Defenders, but I have also used standard foam ones. Both work fine, it's just a matter of preference. There will always been wind noise no matter open or closed face helmet. It's just a matter of how much you can reduce the noise. Save your ears!!
  8. As a person who is just about to get their A license I went through the same thing. I did practice in the tunnel and it does help in being able to maneuver better in freefall. It's not exactly the same(you're not wearing a rig, the air is very smooth and stable, sometimes they lower the speed for safety so it doesn't feel like your going terminal). I would think of it as a tool that augments a small part of skydiving. If you can afford to go and have time I would suggest trying it. My first piece of gear was a pair of goggles. I didn't buy gloves because I'm in a warm area, but I suggest getting those too since it sounds like you're in the cold. From there I just kept on buying things that I knew I could use as a student that wouldn't affect me down the line. My next purchases were an altimeter and helmet. For the more expensive items, save it till you're closer to getting your A. As students we slowly learn that there are a lot of disciplines. Once you get near that A license you'll have a better understanding of what you want to go towards, whether it be freeflying, rw, etc. Also I've seen some people quit in the middle of student status, so it's best not to buy expensive items until you're fully committed to skydiving. I still have yet to decide which route I want to go, but you'll soon find out that some gear is tailored for various disciplines. Both jumpsuits and rigs/main canopies can be very situational.
  9. I was browsing youtube recently watching skydiving videos and came across this old Army informational video about skydiving called "The Big Picture". Amazing how far we have come since then. Also sorry if this video has been posted before, but I figured it was worth a share. It's a bit long, but has some pretty neat vintage clips. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIXdICdP2zI
  10. Thanks for your concern and warning. I treat any opinions and responses on the forum as added info for me to learn. I would like to think that most people on this forum are just trying to help and say what they think is best for the limited info that is provided. Ultimately my selection will be based on advice from my instructors and people at my local drop zone. Those people know me best and know my abilities.
  11. Thanks for mentioning my local rigger. I hadn't thought about consulting them and seeing which brands they pack. This will probably weigh in on my selection of a rig. I have read about the MARD and am very much considering it(still need to read a bit more though). Safety is the top priority for me and this seems to be a good added feature to have.
  12. HAHA thats great, I actually stumbled upon that chart in my browsing/searching of DZ on how to pick a rig. I haven't read it all the way through, but have been following the chart. Thanks for the reminder to read this article fully.
  13. I probably have no right to ask this but why the hate? As a newbie I want to learn why certain containers or manufacturers may be better than others. iE, Hard to service, poor durability, lack of safety features? I want to reiterate that I am willing to spend more for a safer and good quality container if needed. Thank you for the info on canopy selection. I agree on a lot of the points that the author makes and will take them into consideration.
  14. Thank you for mentioning the pendulum effect, I did not realize this occurs with smaller canopies. Canopy size is currently an ongoing discussion with my instructors. I started on a 220 and am currently on a 170. I've downsized several times with the blessings of my instructors. For my last 8 jumps on the 170 I only had one PLF, the rest were all stand ups. I do plan on talking to my instructors more as I get closer to purchasing my rig.
  15. I will definitely have to look into the "Racer" if I go the new rig route as more than one of you have mentioned them. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. In the long run however I do want to mention that I don't mind spending more for a container if I know it will be safer. This type of information really helps. I am sorry you had your reserve rides, but knowing it has always worked out helps me to have confidence in the manufacturer.