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    Vigil 2

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    Skydive Kapowsin
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  1. Don't worry, you're not alone :) I had a hard time learning too. The class I took at the DZ was useless (they taught me on the SOS system, so I didn't even know what to do with the PC lol). So I asked my husband to teach me to pack. I had the same issues as you with lines and flaking, so he told me this: "don't worry, the rule of the thumb is lines go inside, fabric goes on the outside, you're throwing it at 120mph wind, it will open". It worked for me each time :) I stopped stressing out about it being packed wrong or not neat enough. Just make sure that 1) slider is packed correctly (extremely important), 2) lines go inside, fabric outside 3) PC is cocked 4) bridle/pin is routed correctly. These are my 4 checkpoints for an airworthy pack job. With some practice (say 10 pack jobs, the first couple supervised by my husband), it started making more sense to me, and the lines started to align by themselves. With more practice, my pack jobs got faster and neater, and take less effort. Now my pack jobs are pretty neat and almost effortless :) So it will get better, I promise! Find a friend you can trust and ask for help/supervision. Most people I know didn't learn at a class but from a friend. I don't think I know a single person who just went to the class and "got it" and just started packing by themselves from then on.
  2. Go Poland, congratulations! So proud, beautiful achievement and great photos! I'm Polish living in the US, wishing I could have been there to cheer up. Maybe someday I get to meet fellow Polish jumpers and represent my country :)
  3. At this point I have an AAD and would feel uncomfortable jumping without one because: 1) For the type of jumps I do I think AAD is beneficial - belly jumps, hopefully moving on to bigger and bigger ways. The bigger the formation, the more I feel an AAD is beneficial. I would probably be semi-fine jumping solo without an AAD, except for the next point. 2) I don't 100% trust my own skills - like that I won't hit the airplane on exit someday and get knocked out, hit other jumper and get knocked out etc. 3) I don't trust other people I jump with - just like being a defensive car driver and constantly assuming other drivers will do stupid stuff has saved me from quite a few collisions I would have otherwise been involved in in the last 15 years of driving, wearing an AAD *may* someday help save me from dying when someone does stupid stuff, so why not have it. 4) I don't want a situation where someone takes me out on a jump, and I die an otherwise preventable death. I don't want that person to feel guilty for the rest of their life for MY death. I don't want my loved ones to ask "what if I only convinced her to wear an AAD". So yes, I wear it for the comfort of others as well, to some extent. If stuff's bound to happen, it will happen, but at least my loved ones will have one "what if" less to ask themselves. Having said that, I will re-evaluate my use of AAD should I pursue different disciplines in the future. I'm also a very anti-nanny state person. When it comes to personal safety, I believe in education and choice, not forcefully making people safe. I don't believe AADs should be mandatory, just like I don't believe helmets or seatbelts should be mandatory. As long as the only person I am endangering is myself, and I'm not endangering other people, I believe I should have the right to choose to put myself at risk if I want to. The problem with nanny-states is they tend to over-regulate because nobody knows where to draw a line of what is too much regulation. On the other hand, the line of "putting others at risk - illegal, putting yourself at risk - as you please" seems very clearly defined. Now I can also understand why we have mandatory helmets & seatbelts - it would be difficult to enforce higher insurance rates on people who choose not to wear them, effectively raising insurance rates for all of us. Also public costs for road collisions are significant (medical service for under-insured, police service, road service, lawyers, the cost of having a busy freeway closed because of a fatality etc). So if this enforcement effectively cuts some costs in a statistically documented way and lowers my tax burden, I think it's fine. I don't think the lack of an AAD is a significant burden on tax payers though (20 skydiving fatalities per year vs 30,000 car crash fatalities per year in the US), so I don't see a reason why it should be mandatory. Those extra deaths (otherwise preventable) may on the other hand correspond to income loss for the affected DZ though (probably more so in tandem factory DZs, since tandem jumps are most likely to be affected by negative press - my very own speculation, unsupported by data). So if a particular DZO chooses to enforce AAD usage - fine by me, I can choose to jump elsewhere. A global USPA enforcement? Does not make much sense, imho. For those who argue that those preventable fatalities give a "bad name" to the sport - fair enough, I take that argument, but I don't think it's enough to strictly regulate what is in fact a high risk sport. Over-regulation tends to stall progress & innovation, and I think skydiving benefits far more from progress & pushing the limits than it benefits from regulation. If the incentive behind mandatory AADs is to make the sport look safer so more tandem jumpers think it's an amusement park ride - I fully disagree that this is the right direction either.
  4. agaace

    Skydive Chelan

    + the most comfy 182 out there + all levels of jumpers welcome + all disciplines welcome, including wingsuits + all canopy sizes welcome + huge LZ (the main LZ is smallish, but you can land anywhere along the runway & you get picked up) + better weather than Seattle, longer season, more sunny days + good balance of tandem & sport operations (big kudos for that!) + the DZO goes out of his way to cater to fun jumpers, brings in various turbine airplanes & helicopters to complement the regular 182 (I don't think I jumped at any DZ from this many different variety aircraft, including the exotic 207) + several boogies/events each year + chill atmosphere, just feels like vacation + no unnecessary, overly restrictive rules + nice clean indoor packing area + I was the first ever jumper to get licensed there, so bonus sentimental points ;)
  5. This is THE DZ most Seattle area jumpers choose, for a few reasons: + good balance between tandems & sport jumpers + the best fleet in area (caravan + otter + 182) + huge LZ, so you can land a bit further if you don't like the traffic or you're not comfortable cross wind landing + nice indoor packing area + very inclusive, all disciplines welcome, including wingsuits + no canopy size restrictions + some of the best skydivers/ws pilots in the sport + chill atmosphere, no unnecessary, overly-restrictive rules + jumpers of all levels welcome + excellent AFF program + lots of real talent there (majority of the experienced Seattle jumpers jump there) + friendly to novice jumpers - regular belly coaching/load organizing for those fresh off AFF (big kudos for that!) + excellent canopy classes with some of the world's best skydivers + annual boogie (or two) + nice big screen for video debrief of your jumps + food onsite + nice gear store with everything you need
  6. Hi nchlswtsn, I think your idea is great and the criticism that the world doesn't need ANOTHER website does not hold ground - just think what creators of all other successful websites must have heard ;) I do think, however, you will need to be very very careful about execution for this to be successful. I also disagree with the "just come out" argument. There are all levels of jumpers - from professional, to people for whom skydiving is the only hobby (so it's obvious to come out and hang out even if weather is bad/there aren't enough jumpers in your discipline). But there are also people who balance skydiving with other activities and professional life, and try to avoid "wasting" time sitting at the DZ weathered out, when they could spend that time, for example, making money for more jumps. This idea would obviously mostly cater to the needs of the third group, that I feel, is a pretty large group actually (I don't have stats, so it's just a gut feeling based on how mainstream skydiving has become). I've had a very similar idea for a long time but have not executed on it yet due to lack of time (very demanding full time job). Plus it's not very motivating to work on a project like that alone. My idea was a little different than yours, but I think it would align with your idea very neatly: - list of dropzones with basic information (address, airport code, elevation, aircraft, hours of operation, services, disciplines, student programs, rental availability etc etc) - if possible, pull weather information for at least selected DZs (using airport code to find the closest weather station, similar to what the metar app does) - you could set your home/favorite/local DZs and compare weather conditions - useful for jumpers who have a choice of several DZs within driving distance - review system separate for tandem students, AFF students & licensed jumpers, because these customers have very different expectations and not all DZs excel at all the aspects - at a glance comparison of DZs in the area - if you are visiting and have 5 DZs to choose from within driving distance, would let you see which one will be the best bet for you - ability to see people check in at the DZ, so you know which DZ your friends are at / whether it's a low or busy day - if DZ manifests were willing to cooperate, you could get notified when the DZ starts turning loads / gets on weather hold - log your jumps and tag people in them, they could then "sign" the jumps with you with 1 click, maybe add a comment - if possible, find a mechanism to pull logs from your digital altimeter and log jumps for you in batch (this one will be tricky, I know altimeter makers like using proprietary protocols & have exclusive deals with software makers, but maybe, just maybe would be willing to cooperate) A lot of ideas and I think they align beautifully with your ideas. Definitely would need to be scoped down to start simple first. It could also be extended with features infinitely: add info about events, local competitions etc. I think it would have much more value than the same information scattered all over forums/facebook (in fact, I have in the past missed out on events or paid a premium last minute flight price just because I learned about the events too late :() I also see why you would like the online meetup for skydivers. I like traveling solo, and when you first visit a new DZ, it is very intimidating. Even very friendly DZs like Eloy, that have load organizers, can be intimidating at first. Took me 3 visits to Eloy to start feeling semi-homey there :) Also when you're an experienced skydiver, you most likely know everyone in the sport. I'm a newbie (2 years in sport), so that feeling of being a new kid on the block is still fresh in my memory, and I would love to build a support network for those fresh off AFF who start to travel to other DZs. It would by no means replace the existing forums, just supplement them. So yea, I think your idea is valid and thank you for sharing it. I'm also a programmer. If you'd like to team up with someone to try to put a website together, I'd be up for it. If anything, having someone else working with you is a great motivation :) I was thinking of teaming up with a non-skydiver programmer but I feel like they would not get the whole idea of why this is even useful.
  7. Hi Schmoli! Another Seattle area jumper here :) Great to meet you! Ohhh I know that feeling when you start jumping and cannot think of anything else, the closest I can describe it it's like being in love and drunk and high at the same time, right? ;) Enjoy that feeling! I will be happy to jump with you once you are licensed!
  8. Stay. Away. From. Him. Took me 7 years of being single, dating immature boys and getting hurt over and over again until I finally set some hard rules for myself. Actually just one rule: never make someone a priority if you're only an option for them. Then, when I was getting used to the idea of getting cats and spending the rest of my life as a single cat lady, I met the most amazing man, like I won the lottery. Consistent, stable, mature personality. No drama. No games. Open about feelings, willing to commit. Communication is key. It really IS that simple. You either communicate with someone flawlessly or not. Now I look back and wonder how I could have ever been bothered by immature, commitment-phobic boys. The only answer that comes to my mind is that maybe I needed some extra time to grow up as well. The right guy is worth all the wait in the world. Any other guy is a waste of time. After all, being single is pretty awesome too, you get so much more time for yourself, your own little projects and pleasures. Definitely better to enjoy single life than hook up with someone incompatible who'll just spoil your good mood. The deal is men are humans with feelings. We are told by society they are supposed to be cool, hard, macho, non-emotional BS. But truth is men want to love and be loved, and feel someone cares and commit to that person. They get hurt just as easily as women do. Real men don't hide it, if they do or play games, they're still not a man, they're still a boy. If he cares about you, you will know it. He will want to make you feel special and you will feel special. Inconsistency is a red flag. It can mean for example, that he only cares about you when he's got no better option at the moment (harsh but we've all been there..). It can also mean behavioral problems - again if he has his own problems, and will not be open about it, he's not treating you seriously enough.. Oh how I know how you feel.. the deal is, us women often feel in love with our own idea of a guy we barely know rather than the actual person who might be 180 different than how we picture him in our mind. We get obsessed about someone who is unavailable to us and/or incompatible (partially because this unavailability won't let us get to really know that person better and get disappointed, so we keep this perfect image in our thoughts).. deep inside we know it's going to end badly but we stick to it because there's this one thing we love about that person. And then it always ends badly :) I'm so guilty of that one. But hey, otherwise life would be boring.
  9. I live in Seattle. There are no really big DZs here, Kapowsin is the biggest (medium size DZ with an Otter and a Caravan) and Snohomish is a bit smaller (with a Caravan). Snohomish is closer but more "old school", belly, safety + tandem oriented (sadly they banned wingsuits). Kapowsin is a longer drive but is more chill, freefly and "cool kids" oriented (and wingsuit friendly). Depends on what you like. I like Snohomish because people are awesome, friendly, coaches approachable and as a beginner I feel safer there (if someone does stupid shit, they will be talked to for sure). I like Kapowsin because they have fewer rules and are a bit more chill if you are able to be responsible for yourself and loads turn faster. I posted some more details in another thread: EDIT: As to seasons.. Snohomish is open year round except for November and December. Kapowsin I believe is year round (but I'm not 100% sure). Year round usually means that off season it's only weekends. It also means you either suck up the cold and spend half of the weekend wondering if the clouds will clear or go skiing instead. Season is May-October. This year we had fabulous weather since June pretty much every weekend, with maybe 1-week break. But it's not a rule every summer, each summer is a bit different. On the bright side, it's only a 2hr flight to CA :) Also I know people who manage to get 400-500 jumps in a year here (as in recreational jumpers, not instructors), so if you really want to jump a lot, it's doable.
  10. I live and jump in Seattle. There are a few DZs. So there you go. Snohomish + the closest DZ (30 min drive) + the best place for jumping in a tandem (imho) + the best views (imho) - you see the water, Mt Rainier, Mt Baker, North Cascades, downtown Seattle and occassionally, share the pink sunset sky with hot air balloons + you can be on the same load as the tandems + very friendly atmosphere, you instantly make new friends and everyone knows you + if you're new, the DZO himself will introduce you to local jumpers and make sure you have ppl to jump with and you're not stuck doing solos + amazing belly coaches who will coach you for free, often without even covering their slot + belly big way jumps organized by said coaches + recently upgraded plane with speedy climbs to altitude (8 mins to 13k, fully loaded) + you can always land into the wind + huge LZ, plenty of outs + no jump tickets, like in a bar, you open a tab, and pay at the end of the day for the jumps you made - forget about jumping with tandems though, to jump with tandems, you need to be cleared for the smaller, busier airport LZ (it's actually an airport with a lot of traffic) - you will be getting out a few miles before tandems, at the big LZ for students and inexperienced jumpers - to land at the airport, with the tandems, you either need to have a solid log book to back up your experience OR minimum C licence and proved accuracy (10 or 20 declared landings in a row within 2 meters of target) - following a recent fatality of a young jumper who downsized too soon, too quickly, the DZ sadly chose to implement canopy rules - to jump anything below 120 sq ft you will need 800+ jumps and be current (at least 200 jumps a year) - with 120 jumps you may not jump anything smaller than 150 sq ft, especially given that nobody knows you or your skills - strictly 200+ jumps to jump camera - strictly no wingsuits Kapowsin + bigger DZ, more "sporty", less safety or tandem oriented + the cave of the Red Bull guys the amazing Andy Farrington himself will give you the DZ briefing (which will be among the lines "land over there and have fun") + 2 planes instead of 1, so quicker load turnaround + there will be a Leap For Lupus boogie August 15-17, which should be excellent + bigger freefly community + wingsuit friendly + huge LZ + no jump tickets, like in a bar, you open a tab, and pay at the end of the day for the jumps you made - it's a bit of a drive from Seattle (almost 2h drive) - you either learn to properly crosswind land or walk a lot from the back of the LZ - depending on the driver, generally nobody will care to pick you up if you land far - if you're not local, you will need to try a bit harder to make new friends than in Snohomish, ppl have their friends they jump with and are a bit less open to newcomers (imho) Chelan + the most beautiful views a DZ can have, water, lake and you fly over mountains, some texture, not just flattness (make sure to check your position at 6k, because you may be directly above a 3k mountain and need to deploy early) + super chill, relaxed DZO, you can do whatever you want unless you do something really really stupid (like crossing the runway in pattern, proximity flying the mountains or show up with 100 jumps and 100 sq ft canopy, then you gonna get yelled at) + wingsuit friendly + they often organize heli jumps - 3h drive from Seattle - no big aircraft, they only have a 182, but a spacious one - the 182 takes forever to altitude, and it's only 10k - winds can be a bit tricky and turbulent, especially in the summer which sports 100 degree temperatures Hope this helps. Cheers.
  11. Wow I'm kinda scared to touch this thread seeing where it went! In case anyone was interested: I simply went with Pilot 188. That was what I was most familiar with, so I kept jumping on it whenever it was available and did another canopy class, this time with Barry Williams at Skydive Elsinore. Highly recommend!! He took me from eating dirt to book perfect landings I was able to reproduce each time (except accuracy is still something I'm working on). Turned out I just needed one tip: try to lean forward in the harness (or rather stop leaning back), and that fixed both "omg what do I do now" issue, helped the balance, achieving (and being aware of) nice level flight and fixed the tempo to a nice 2-second flare and finding the "sweet spot". I'm still stressing out about landings a bit, but not nearly as much as before. And haven't eaten dirt since :) Back to the subject: After completeing the canopy class and getting a confidence boost, I finally bought my first rig that luckily came together with an awesome Pilot 168. I'm a little closer to 1:1 wing loading now (probably still a little below), and plan on jumping this canopy for a while. It doesn't seem much faster or scarier at landing than 188 did but is surprisingly way more responsive and fun to fly. My landings are more consistent now that I jump the same canopy and my last one would get me C license accuracy :) I couldn't be happier with the Pilot 168, looking forward to this season flying it, and hopefully more canopy classes - they are so much fun, some of my favorite jumps so far :) PS. Did I mention Barry's canopy class is awesome? I couldn't say enough positive stuff about it.
  12. Thanks a million for all the advice! RE: Canopy choice vs canopy course I don't see how this is relevant. I did a canopy course, but it's just a few jumps. I got great feedback on what I keep doing wrong & need to fix, now I have homework to learn to be more consistent. I would simply like to start the learning process with a canopy that will make it easiest and safest for me before I'm decent enough to land any canopy (probably after a few more canopy courses). I also asked in case there are any totally bad choices I should avoid. Sort of like choosing your first car: you ultimately want to be able to drive any car, but you won't hop in a 400 HP sports car with your freshly printed driving license in hand. Cheers!
  13. People with 50 jumps who are in your noob group exiting first, sit on the plane with their helmet off, roll their eyes when you tap them on the shoulder and point to the helmet @ 8,000 ft, take another 2,000 ft to put it on, and then still screw up your exit. PS. Tight female RW suits are sexy and do NOT make you look 40 years older. On a second thought, any tight female suit is sexy. (But an RW suit helps offset a big booty and gives you a bit more sexy 'military' posture, sort of strong & athletic)
  14. Noob here. I'm looking for a 190 canopy I will be loading ~0.85 that would be the most forgiving at landings, precisely when I screw up flare timing - flare too early, flare too slow etc. In other words, a canopy that will give me the most chances to learn my shit without breaking any bones So far I've tried (20-ish jumps total) - Triathlon 190 - and quite liked it, I think those were my best landings (but also never really landed it in true no-wind hot day high elevation conditions, so it may not count), also loved the openings, always soft, always on heading, and I think I had best accuracy with it (i.e. it still sucked, just sucked less ) - Sabre 2 190 - I found it a bit too 'aggresive' (but it was in no-wind high elevation when I jumped it) - Pilot 188 - I quite liked it as well, put the most jumps on it, but had less than ideal off heading openings a couple times on hop'n'pops (but that's probably me, not the canopy) My coach also suggested I try a Pulse 190 and Silhouette 190 (after seeing me land the Sabre 2 ). Those are not available at my DZ, maybe when I jump somewhere else, but I have an opportunity to try a Spectre 190 at my DZ. Any thoughts on what other models I should also try? Or any models I should steer away from as a beginner (other than anything truly elliptical)? Any personal memories from the times when you were just learning all the stuff yourself, what was your favorite model? What's in your opinion 'easier' to land for a beginner - flatter glide (9 cell) or steeper glide & powerful flare (7 cell)? Rectangular or slightly tapered? No, I don't plan to swoop, like ever
  15. Brianne from Axis school. I loved flying with her. She's the best and can hook you up with some 4-ways too.