admin

Administrator
  • Content

    -14
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Feedback

    0%

Everything posted by admin

  1. admin

    NeoXs

    It is lightweight, sturdy, accurate, reliability and accuracy in a small unit. The NeoXs is the latest in the family of audible instruments designed and built by Parasport. It is directly born from the experience of the Skytronic GFX, completing it when the GFX is used as visual altimeter installed on the wrist mount. Main features of the NeoXs include freefall signals, canopy warnings, countdown timer, real time altitude display while climbing to altitude, and the simplified programming of warning altitudes, using 4 user programmable profiles. The NeoXs has also been designed to be easy to inexperienced users too. The ergonomic Navigation Switch allows an intuitive use and an easy programming of the different altitude warnings on the ground as well as climbing to altitude. The unit has aluminium case and has a wide LCD display protected by a polycarbonate shield, being therefore highly shock resistant. It has been designed to be inserted into the inner pocket of a helmet without using any specific adapter. It's compatible with any helmet, full face or open face. Because of the small size and the 12 mm of thickness of the lightweight aluminium case, the NeoXs doesn’t affect helmet fit and comfort once inserted into the inner pocket. The NeoXs is available in 3 colors: Lava Red, Aluminium Grey, and Night Black.
  2. admin

    Kiss

    Bringing innovation and precision engineering to full-face helmet design, Square One presents the KISS. A multi-discipline, state-of-the-art, high-performance helmet, the KISS features a 2mm thick polycarbonate lens with full mouth exposure, panoramic visibility and Square One’s NEW patent-pending anti-fog ventilation system. Whether your aerial pleasures find you belly-to-earth or head-down, this unique vent system will greatly reduce fogging in all conditions. The KISS also features a NEW Quick-Tight Latch Closure System utilizing two levers to tighten or loosen the helmet on the user’s head. Simply pop the levers closed prior to exit and your helmet is secure! Square One went one step further and integrated dual audible altimeter pockets with exterior access. Dual pockets allow for critical instrument redundancy and exterior windows simplify the motions of accessing your instruments to set altitudes, recall information, or simply power the device off and on. These technologies combined with our proven Quick Change Lens System render the KISS the most advanced helmet in skydiving today. FEATURES: NEW Patent Pending anti-fog ventilation system NEW Quick-Tight Latch Closure System Dual audible altimeter pockets with exterior access Full mouth exposure Panoramic visibility 2mm thick polycarbonate lens for superior protection
  3. admin

    Advance OUT

    Advance OUT system has been cretated in 1997 and have been introduced in the market in August 1998. Since its birth a lot of details have changed but the main structure and ideas are still the same. The most important feature of the Advance OUT, is its no reserve side flaps concept, what you see is the reserve bag. This concept allow you to have your reserve bag out of the container faster than any other brands. When time count it is a hit and you can count on it. Advance OUT is a state of the art, perfectly manufactured under a PART 21/G production certification. The Advance OUT is TSO-C23d and E-TSO-C23d approved. It is delivered standard with: stainles steel hardware, new terminal ends concept, ring harness, unique soft back pad, lateral cut webbing, kill line or bungie pilot chute, secured throw out handle, z-knife, leg strap junction and all bags, pilot chutes and handles as well. All these fetures are including in our price, no bad surprises. Available in 10 container sizes including student and Tandem versions Full custom harness (7 measurements) Parapack - Cordura 500 - Cordura 1000 are your choice Over 5500 possibilities choice (colors, sizes, materials)
  4. admin

    Hurricane

    Known for its consistently soft on heading openings; Not prone to spins like most elliptical; Very solid airfoil – stable and predictable; Flatter glide than most other elliptical parachutes in its range, giving it further reach; Known for its long dives on front risers, snappy turns and quick responses, with long flat swoops; Powerful flare without the need of radical turns to generate lift; Small pack volume and easy to pack; Available in sizes: 95, 105, 120, 135, 150, 170; Strung with vectran lines; Custom colours available;
  5. Written by Laura Jane Burgess There’s excited chatter on the mat, the rustle of nylon fabric being packed, the buzzing hustle and bustle of a busy day. Canopies zip overhead. Squinting, mesmerized, though you’ve seen it near a hundred times, you watch the initial glide across the grass, the slide of flat-soled swoopers, and the quick-legged staccato steps as each jumper comes to a stop. You’ve never seen a more perfect day to skydive. Waiver signed you file in line behind a queue of shuffling feet and exasperated sighs—a 15-person traffic jam. Daylight’s burning. Loads should be turning. What’s the holdup? It’s the fellow at the front. A jumper far from his home drop zone (558.9 miles, ± .1 mile to be exact). His innocent intent was to check in and manifest. Except, he doesn’t have so much as a shred of physical documentation to his name. No logbook to verify currency and no physical, tangible evidence of USPA credentials. What’s to be done? His lack of documentation dismissed or ignored? Certainly not. Exhaustive, time-consuming attempts made to secure a paper trail. Undoubtedly. If everyone’s lucky, the ordeal will take 10-20 minutes. However, if you consider that at a busy drop zone you’re likely to encounter the same issue any number of times on any given day. The wasted daylight adds up, cutting into profit margins and the amount of time jumpers spend in the air. Imagine for a moment that the futile task of trying to sleuth down credentials could be avoided, and the check-in process could be made significantly easier—for everyone involved. As luck would have it, this is precisely what the Sigma / Burble integration aims to do. In the late spring of 2019, when the integration launches, skydivers who frequent any one of the many drop zones utilizing Burble software can grant those drop zones access to view their Merits on Sigma. In case you’ve been ignoring those emails the USPA sent you or still feel a little in the dark, Merits aren’t patches to be stitched on a Cub Scout sash. Rather, Merits refer to things like USPA credentials, UPT ratings, corresponding coursework and even your most recently completed skydives. At the close of the day, drop zones taking advantage of the newly integrated systems can send out shareable Merits for completed jumps, whether it be to tandems, fun jumpers, or staff. For jumpers, the Merits can serve as a “digital signature” to verify their most recent skydive. Instead of relying on illegible, potentially forged, physical logbook entries, there will be a traceable, authenticated digital entry. Drop zones can also attach video clips and other media to the merit badges. This creates hefty possibilities for Merit use with student training programs. No matter where a student roams (or if their logbook follows suit), instructors at any Burble drop zone can see exactly who and what they are working with. For jumpers, the integration process requires no real technical finesse. In around three minutes, skydivers can link their Sigma account to their BurbleMe profile. Jumpers can then authorize the Burble drop zone(s) of their choice access to their Sigma Merits. Every time they check in at the preferred Burble drop zone(s), their Merit information auto-populates into their jumper profile. The result? A streamlined shortcut from check-in to freefall. The first time a jumper grants a Burble drop zone access to view their Sigma Merits, they can enable an auto-update feature. From thenceforth, whenever changes to Merits occur, it automatically uploads into the drop zone’s Burble DZM Account and the jumper’s BurbleMe profile. Practically applied, this looks like convenient, real-time access to see as credentials expire, are renewed, or are updated, without the need to request additional physical documentation. After the Sigma / Burble integration, drop zones can have instant access to verified information without having to waste time or manpower on multiple sources. After the integration takes effect, staff will no longer need to manually input jumper information or search the USPA database with the Group Member lookup tool. Fewer steps and less manual data transfer mean less opportunity for error. The instant access to verified, up-to-date information, makes it much easier for drop zones to verify the standing of visiting jumpers and instructors in a shorter amount of time. For DZO’s, in particular, this integration offers untold peace of mind: no more worrying about the legitimacy of jumpers on your aircraft, fears of forgery, concerns over invalid credentials, or issues with input errors. Come spring 2019, you might catch the audible sigh of relief coming from the staff buried underneath the mountain of (soon to be obsolete) paperwork, see the sheer joy of jumpers spending less time at check-in and more time on airplanes, and agree, with the Sigma / Burble integration, t here’s something for everyone to celebrate! Featured image credit: SkydiveTV Vimeo
  6. admin

    Side by Side - A Two Out Story

    April 1st is typically a day for trickery, but the only fool this year was me, and the only trickster was my main canopy! I decided to make a last-minute trip to Skydive Perris with friends to make a balloon jump, but when it was winded out, the generous CReW Dawgs at Elsinore came up with all the gear my friend and I would need to make some beginner CReW jumps. The first jump on borrowed gear went great, but as we packed up my coach informed me the gear I was borrowing was a pull-out, and briefed me on how to use it. We planned a four-stack and lucked out with a camera jumper. As we get out of the plane, I pulled weak and ended up with no canopy. I knew from previous coaching that it’s a bad idea to take a Lightning terminal, so I went straight to reserve. As the reserve came out, I was kicking myself that I wasn’t going to be able to participate in the CReW jump, and would have plenty of time to think about how I got into this mess as my teammates got to play. I decided to fly over and watch, and that’s when I noticed the pilot chute bouncing around on my back. “I should get rid of that,” I thought, and reached for my cutaway handle. I didn’t even have a grip on it before my main came out and settled gently next to my reserve. Next thing I know, the camera flyer is in front of me, pointing and laughing. “What do I do?” I screamed, and he just laughed harder. “Well,” I thought, “if he’s not freaking out, why should I?” So I didn’t freak out. Instead, I worked to get back to the dropzone. No easy task, as I’d soon find out. A west-blowing wind was sending me back over the Ortegas, and with twice the fabric over my head, I was struggling to get any forward movement at all. Unbeknownst to me, my coach flew under me, shouting at me to chop. I tried to force some separation between the two canopies to do just that, but I couldn’t trust myself to hold the reserve away from the main long enough to go for my cutaway handle. Because the two canopies were trimmed so similarly, they really wanted to fly together, although the particular configuration I was flying really wanted to fly south. Considering the town of Elsinore was south, I spent a whole lot of time and energy just keeping the pair flying straight. Image by David Sands (D29444)Imagine pulling straight out of the plane under a large canopy, unable to do much besides try to keep your canopies flying straight and think about the sequence of events that got you here. Imagine looking down and going through your tree-landing procedure, and then multiplying that by two. Imagine trying to figure out how you’re going to steer the two canopies onto one of the small access roads on the mountains. With 1,000 feet to spare, I made it to the field I was aiming for, just at the foot of the Ortegas. I tried the usual landing-out procedure, transposing my pattern onto the field, but my canopies kept wanting to steer to the right, into the small neighborhood next to the field. So instead I just aimed my canopies at a small patch of grass in the field, and hit it gently without flaring. My legs were shaking and I couldn’t stop laughing nervously. It took me three tries to daisy chain my lines, and one of the Elsinore staff members had come to pick me up before I even made it out of the field. My coach, feeling responsible for me, landed in the mountains and called Elsinore to let them know what had happened. It took some time, but they found him, having landed without incident. Once I got back to the dropzone, I cracked a beer and waited for the shaking in my legs to go away. Lessons LearnedThe main takeaway from this is to know your gear. I was briefed very thoroughly by my coach on how to use a pull-out system, and practiced multiple times on the plane. Yet when it came time to pull, I didn’t fully extend my arm, and ended up with a pilot chute in tow. To me that was always one of the scariest malfunctions there are, because there are two schools of thought on how to handle it. One is to go straight to reserve, as I did, and one is to cutaway and go to reserve. In hindsight, I stand by my choice, because cutting away could have fired my main directly into my reserve. The other scary thing about this particular malfunction was that it was a two-out that was flying stable. One school of thought is that you should cut away to avoid a downplane, and the other is that if you’re flying stable, you can pilot it to an open area, which is what I did. If I had downplaned, I could have cut away my main and flown my reserve down, but I wasn’t convinced I could keep the canopies apart long enough to get to my cutaway handle. The problem with this scenario is that, under different circumstances, a dust devil could have blown my canopies into a downplane close to the ground, and I might not have been able to chop my main at all. One last thing I would change is that I would have taken my cell phone. If I had gotten hurt in the mountains without any way to access emergency care, things could have been a lot worse. I’ve since invested in a small prepaid phone to keep in my jumpsuit pocket. In the end, I stand by my choices, and acknowledge that there was a lot of luck that kept me from disaster that day. I regret that my coach got stuck in the mountains, but I’m grateful that he was willing to look out for me. I faced the two malfunctions I feared the most on one jump and managed to walk away with a swollen ankle and a wounded sense of pride. Will I still do CReW? Every chance I get! And I’d trust the riggers, CReW Dawgs, staff, and other jumpers at Elsinore any day.
  7. admin

    Nano

    The ICARUS NANO has revolutionized the low pack volume reserve. With the NANO you get the same low pack volume as its competitor with the added piece of mind that your NANO is made with a more dense low volume fabric that is more resistant to line friction and thereby a safer, more structurally superior last resort. Even with a more dense fabric, we maintain 30% lower pack volume than our conventional reserve. We have tested the NANO above and beyond the specifications required by the FAA's TSO C23d. The NANO offers the same unparalleled opening, flight and landing characteristics as the ICARUS Reserve, now with a much lower pack volume. With high technology, low pack volume, and dependable durability, the NANO is the clear choice. We offer the NANO in sizes ranging from 99 to 253 square feet." 20 DENIER FABRIC vs 30 DENIER FABRIC IN RESERVE PARACHUTES The goal of manufacturers within the skydiving industry is to produce quality products that offer athletes the tools to progress, but also increase the safety of our sport. As the demand for smaller high performance canopies has increased, the size of containers have followed suit. Few companies have succeeded in manufacturing reserve canopies that pack small enough to allow skydivers to carry large reserves in small volume containers. We at ICARUS Canopies recognized the merit of this idea and devoted resources to find a solution of our own. Before we looked for the ideal way to build such a reserve, we began researching low bulk products currently in the market. We discovered that thinner material with less energy absorbing capability was being used in place of the traditional reserve canopy fabric. Technically, the volume of the reserve was reduced because 30 denier fabric was replaced by 20 denier fabric. So what is a denier? In simple words: Weave Density. Parachute fabric is woven from nylon yarn. A single yarn consists of a thread made up of 10 parallel fibers. Denier is the weight expressed in grams for 9,000 meters of yarn. For example: 9,000 meters of 20 denier yarn weighs 20 grams; and 9,000 meters of 30 denier yarn weighs 30 grams. Bottom line: 30 denier fabric is actually 50% more material than 20 denier fabric. Before thinking about the why denier matters, we need to understand why structural integrity is important specifically regarding reserve parachutes. Using your reserve is never the result of an ideal situation, therefore it is important to prevent as many unforeseen outcomes as possible if it must be used. After a cut-away or direct deployment to reserve, a skydiver could be under unusual stress and possibly in a less than desirable pre-deployment attitude (ex. spinning, head down, back to earth etc). The reserve parachute deployment will be affected by such circumstances. Line twists, line overs and faster deployment speeds could all occur and would lead to additional friction between the suspension lines and the canopy fabric. Generally, parachutes are over-designed for nominal conditions to ensure they meet all TSO requirements. Nevertheless, it has been proven time after time that nylon strength diminishes as temperature increases. Friction is detrimental to nylon and suspension lines can produce a great deal of it. When equal loads of friction occur, 20 denier fabric will reach a high temperature faster than 30 denier fabric. This is due to the fact that 20 denier fabric consists of less material, therefore it heats up faster than 30 denier fabric. If this temperature reaches nylon melting point, structural damage called “line burn” occurs. This can make a huge difference in a canopy’s structural integrity after opening. 30 denier is more resistant to this kind of stress but it packs larger. This is a tough decision- pack volume or more friction resistant fabric? ICARUS wanted both. ICARUS has put years of research into weave design into finding a way to have the best of both worlds. The new ICARUS NANO reserve is made of specially woven 30 denier fabric which packs just like 20 denier fabric. Working within the specifications defined under the standard PIA-C-44378-T4, with smaller than required tolerances, we have reduced the pack volume by 30% compared to our Standard Reserve. This superior technology allows the ICARUS NANO to provide structural superiority and the lower pack volume that is being demanded by skydivers around the world. We are proud to present the first of its kind, the new durable low volume ICARUS NANO!
  8. admin

    The Legend of Roger Nelson

    Roger Nelson: If you're a skydiver, chances are you've heard the name. If you're not a skydiver, chances are you've watched one of the few movies that were inspired by this man. While the tales of Roger's life have been passed around to keen ears, mostly between jumpers, as a kind of folk lore, the words that have been spoken have often been words bound in mystery. The lines between truth and exaggeration, as with most stories passed through word of mouth, can get a little blurry at times. However there is no doubting the colorful nature of Roger Warren Nelson's life. Skydiving CareerRoger began skydiving in 1971 at a dropzone in Hinckley, Illinois. He was always a bit of a rebel and never quite fitted in with the then aesthetic standard that prevailed within the skydiving community at that time. In the beginning of the 70s recreational skydiving was still in its early days, with many of the then participants coming from military backgrounds, and both Roger and his brother Carl stood out from the crowd. It's said that the term 'Freak Brothers' which was given to both Roger and Carl stemmed from their less than ordinary presence at the dropzone. As skydivers, Roger and Carl were pioneers. They both laid the groundwork for what is known today as Freeflying. At the time, skydives were done belly down, in a standard practice, but the 'Freak Brothers' threw a spanner in the works when they started what was then known as 'freak flying'. Freak flying was the Nelson brother's own unconventional freefall style, which was described by Roger in 1978 as any body position that saw the flyer's stomach facing up and their back down, towards earth. So while Olav Zipser is recognized as the father of freeflying, the 'Freak Brothers' were already laying the groundwork for unconventional freefall positions years before. In the mid 1970s the brothers started a "zine" called the Freak Brother Flyer, which ran from 1973 until 1976. Freak Brothers became more than just a term for him and his brother Carl, after a while Freak Brothers became an organization and a community with thousands of followers around the world. The Freak Brothers Convention was later organized with the help of Jeanie (Roger's wife) and Carl. These boogies were some of the largest around at the time and drew in over 600 passionate skydivers. In 1979 the Freak Brothers suffered the loss of Carl, who died in a skydiving accident. From 1986 to 1989, Roger ran the Illinois dropzone "Skydive Sandwich". Later in 1993, he went on to found Skydive Chicago, which is now recognized as one of the world's leading dropzones. Roger spent much of the 80s partaking in world records, while spending much of the 90s organizing them. Between the years 1999 and 2002, he won 2 silver and 2 gold medals as Captain of the Skydive Chicago STL 10, in the 10-way speed event. The Other Side of Roger NelsonWhat separates Roger's story from the average accomplished skydiver's, is the other side of his life. While Roger was a well loved individual with much support, particularly in the skydiving community, during the 1980s, he was dealing in some rather shady operations, to put it lightly. Roger used aircrafts to smuggle drugs into the United States, while also working as an informant for the US government. After he was arrested in 1986 on charges that included racketeering, conspiracy to distribute drugs and currency violations, his life would become a enveloped in court dates and uncertainty. He pleaded guilty and in 1987 was sentenced to 10 years behind bars, but was released after serving half of his prison sentence. After his arrest, Roger called out the DEA on not acting to tips he had provided them, that would have helped capture Carlos Lehder, who at the time was considered one of the largest cartel leaders in the world. Despite the information Roger provided to the DEA with regards to being an informant, the DEA would later shrug it off, saying that Roger had not played any significant role in slowing down the influx of drugs into the United States. In 2003 Roger was killed in a canopy collision incident. There was more to Roger than just criminal controversy and skydiving, he was also a family man. His eldest of two children, Melissa recalls in a recent piece of writing, how her and her father wouldn't always see eye to eye, but in his death, has come to realize the leadership he instilled in her. She continued to say how her father had taught her to stand on her own feet, and create her own legacy as opposed to living in her family's. Sugar AlphaThis is all but just a fraction of Roger's life and the reality is that it's hard to summarize such an eventful life. Roger and Melissa have authored the newly released book entitled "Sugar Alpha: The Life and Times of Senor Huevos Grandes". A description of the book offers some insight in what to expect: "Skydiving and drug smuggling pioneer Roger Nelson lives life out of the box. Fueled by a love for adrenaline and adventure, Roger goes after everything he wants with gusto. But now Roger is ready to retire from smuggling. With a parachute center to run and a family to raise, Roger knows it is time to stop the cat-and-mouse games he has been playing with the authorities for years. He and his longtime partner, Hanoi, plan one final run to Belize, where they intend to fill their Douglas DC-3 with enough cannabis to set them up for life. But then Hanoi dies in a plane crash in an attempt to make some "legitimate bucks" flying fish in Alaska while they wait for the growing season to end. Left without a partner or plane, Roger remains determined to return to his family for good. To do so, he decides to stay true to himself and follow through with his retirement run. Roger must rely on a colorful cast of characters and the most unlikely airplane for a gig ever-Sugar Alpha, the legendary DC-3 with the secret fuel tanks and not-so-secret paint job-to help him complete the most daring run in the history of smuggling." With extremely positive early reviews, this book is a must for any skydiver, though you definitely don't have to be one to enjoy it. Get your copy from Amazon.com
  9. admin

    Evo

    Many new extras make this rig safe, freefly friendly and incredibly comfortable. Special padding is throughout the harness and leg pads. Inside the main container are flaps that make it impossible for lines to stick under the reserve tray. Easy closing main container with excellent bridal coverage. Standard features: • Harness quick-fit ring with adjustable length control • Stainless-steel hardware • HD pocket BOC • Type-17 Riser • Main deployment bag • Reserve bag & springloaded pilotchute • AAD setup with inspection window • Quilted back pad
  10. admin

    Atlas

    Atlas is an electronic altimeter with a digital display which can be used as either an audible or visual instrument. Atlas has the following features: Case Ruggedized machined aluminum case with reduced edges and corners Improved USB charging & data transfer through waterproof Micro USB Raised easy-push buttons with protective case recess Waterproof up to six feet for up to one hour Alarms Eight alarm groups; Includes both free fall and/or canopy alarms Customizable through Paralog & Neptune Maintenance Utility (NMU) Canopy alarms include approach alarms preceding each selected alarm altitude Canopy alarm volume is adjustable for those who wish to hear alarms from their wrist Logs Logs over 200 jump Profiles and over 2,500 jump Summaries Jump odometer for fast-paced training days Up to 32 dropzone and aircraft names can be entered using Paralog-NMU Time under canopy and free fall time are logged Display Time can be set to 12 or 24 hour format Date can be set to USA or International format Temperature can be displayed in F or C Speed can be displayed in mph or kmh LCD may be flipped Menu scrolls and wraps Atlas has all of these features and more!
  11. admin

    Colugo 2

    The Colugo 2 release was delayed until after the RedBull Aces event, where new technology in this exciting suit made its debut and was tested by Squirrel team pilots. Andy Farrington took first place flying a prototype that included key innovations present in this new design, including leading edge mini-ribs and a new hybrid leading edge construction. The new Colugo 2 is significantly smaller in surface area than its predecessor. It features a new arm wing profile and leg wing design, new planform, and a new type of Dacron coated leading edge construction, with a flexible segment at the wrist. We are very excited about this new suit and the delay in releasing it is a direct result of us having a bit too much fun with the testing, and wanting to push the progress as far as possible before releasing it. The core mission for the Colugo 2 is to provide a fast and agile suit for advanced-intermediate to expert pilots. The Colugo 2 is now available for pre-order. We expect the first orders to ship in late August and early September. Please scroll down for more information.
  12. Do your suspension lines have a noticeable five-o'clock shadow? Maybe it’s time for your gear to spend the weekend with your friendly neighborhood rigger. If you’re unsure, you’re not alone--plenty of skydivers hem and haw about this particularly important aspect of canopy maintenance. Looking for a little more convincing? Here’s a brief education on line maintenance by Karen Saunders, one of the few (and one of only two women) to hold the lofty Advanced Rigger ticket from the British Parachute Association. Karen has seen enough fuzzy line sets to give any sane canopy pilot the night sweats, and she wants to make sure it’s not you that gets to live the nightmare of a mid-swoop snap. 1. Go with your gut. “Trust your instincts. If you think that maybe your lines are looking a bit shabby, they probably are. Most people will look at their line set and say, That looks a bit shit, but I’ll do something about it tomorrow. Tomorrow turns into a week, and then a month. Before you know it, you’ll have a line snap or an off-heading opening. Fix it before you create yourself some problems.” 2. Know what you’ve got. “The most important thing is to know what type of line is on your parachute. Most people don’t--and if they don’t, then they won’t know how many jumps they can expect to get out of that line set before it needs to be replaced. And they also won’t know whether to expect to have line shrinkage or whether it is going to go the other way and simply snap when it reaches the end of its life cycle. Vectron and HMA will do just that if you don’t take care of them: Snap. They won’t give you a warning aside from the fact that they will start to fray as they age. The other thing to think about is where your line set actually comes from. Most people will buy their line sets from manufacturers, but there are riggers out there that will make cheaper line sets themselves. I can spot a manufactured line set from anything else in a flash, but most people couldn’t--and maybe that’s the line set have got on your canopy that you bought from somebody in good faith. It is always best before you buy anything to get it checked out.” 3. Get some visual reference. “Once you know what line type is on your parachute, look at Performance Designs’ line wear charts for your lines to get an idea of what wear actually looks like. It may surprise you. Using that reference as an example, you can see how deterioration looks over a given period of time and what percentage of strength you lose. You can test your new knowledge immediately by looking at the bottom part of your brake lines and the stabilizers. Those lines are always going to take the brunt of the wear. Generally, having the bottom part of your brake lines replaced at the first sign of wear is going to save you a whole world of problems.” 4. Watch for the warnings (if you have a line type that broadcasts them). “If your lines are made of Spectra or Dacron and you need a reline, you can expect to get some bad openings: an off-heading or big surges after opening. That’s generally because the slider is moving up and down your lines, heating them up and shrinking them. If your parachute opens and it is not on-heading, then it is generally an indication that it is going out of trim. You need to get somebody to look at that. When you do, they might look at it and tell you that the lines are okay; maybe it’s just your body position causing the problem. If they look at your lines and go holy shit, man, you need to replace straight away, then you have your answer. Either way, you’ll have peace of mind.” 5. Don’t get tunnel vision. “Don’t just look at your lines. Your lines are suspended by some binding tape which needs checking as well. Especially after a hard opening, be sure to look at the tape where each line is attached to your canopy, as well as the fabric around it. Kill lines are another thing. Everybody forgets that a kill line wears out in the same way as a suspension line, except a lot more quickly. If your kill line is made out of Spectra and has shortened, then you’re going to start having problems with your openings. The dead giveaway is finding that your pilot chute is turned virtually inside out every time you land. A kill line wears throughout the bridle. The weakest point doesn’t have to be at the bottom or top--it can snap right in the middle--so make sure you pull it through from both ends when you check it. Pull it as far as you can from one end and then pull it as far as you can from the other end to have a good look. Finally: If you’re getting a new line set, please, please, please replace your slinks as well. Don’t put a new line set on it and put an old set of slinks on it. That defeats the object of this exercise. They are not infallible. They do fail, and the last thing you want is for a slink to fail at 200 feet, because you’re not going to survive that.” 6. Remember: The integrity of your lineset isn’t a good place to save a few bucks. “The costs to reline aren’t as bad as you might think. I can tell you roughly what I charge, but I can’t speak for other riggers. That said, I will always look at something for free, and if someone asks me for it, I will always give my advice for free, and that’s also the way most of the riggers I know like to work. I charge 15 pounds, which equates to about 20 U.S. dollars, to replace both lower brake lines. If the lowers go from the cascade all the way to the toggle, I charge 40 pounds--which is something like $60. If you compare that amount of money to losing a brake line when you’re flaring--or when you are at 100 feet--you see the value. You have to weigh the cost of your own safety. If you don’t happen to have a rigger on your dropzone, then go to an experienced jumper. See them and say, Hey, I’m a bit worried about this. What do you think I should do? If they look at it and start laughing, you have your answer.”
  13. Anti scratch, anti fog polycarbonate lens with strategically placed holes provide distortion free vision in extreme conditions. Many world class gold medals in skydiving accuracy have been won with these goggles proving that when it comes to clear vision Akando goggles are no. 1 choice. Besides being stylish in appearance, they provide UV protection.
  14. StarLog Skydiving & Rigging Logbooks Price: $12 Brand new line of Skydiver and Rigger Logbooks. All spiral bound for easy logging and fit inside all standard size logbook covers. StarLog Skydiver holds 304 jumps StarLog Pro holds 1456 jumps StarLog Rigger holds 684 logs Available at ChutingStar Power Tools Price: $19.95 Want a great stocking stuffer with a low price? Give your loved one a Power Tool packing tool in holiday colors! Available at Para-Gear Hanging Handcrafted Wood Swooper Dude Price: $20 Made of mahogany, coconut and jute, the details on this handcrafted swooper includes a canopy, lines, rig on the back, hair, determined swoop face and skirt. Available at ChutingStar Rig Hangers Price: $42 With these colorful hangers you can hang your skydiving rig wherever you want. Whether it's on a rack at the dropzone hangar, on the back of a door, in your closet or anywhere else you can think of. These powder coated hangers make it easy to spot your skydiving rig, as well as give it a nice accent. Available at Para-Gear The Summer I Became A Skydiver, Children's Book Price: $25 Skydiver Ben Lowe wrote this children's book that tell's the story of a boy's introduction into a summer of skydiving. This 29-page hardcover book is a great short story that also helps explain skydiving to youngsters. Available at ChutingStar Glow Face Alt III Galaxy - $169 Meters and Black Only. The phosphorescent face provides a background glow to assist in low light conditions. The glow lasts over 2 hours in complete darkness, and is perfect for either night jumps or those sunset loads when it starts to get dark. The Glow Face Altimaster III Galaxy features a field replaceable lens. In case your lens gets scratched or cracked you will now be able to replace it yourself instead of having to send it to get serviced. Available at Para-Gear Selections Skydiving Photo Book by Michael McGowan Price: $43 This giant, hardcover photo book from McGowan is the perfect coffee table book of some of the most amazing shots in skydiving. Packed with more than 100 large, full-page photographs. Includes forward by Michael McGowan as well as liner notes from Angie McGowan and Tom Sanders. Available at ChutingStar Para-Gear Parachute Gear Bag Price: $85 Durable fabric and heavy duty zippers make this bag ideal for storing and carrying all the gear needed for skydiving. ID sleeve for personal information Dual zippered main compartment with zip protector Back pocket with additional inner zippered-pocket for storing accessories and documents up to size A4 Rubber handle on top and side Heavy duty metal buckles and comfortable-shoulder straps Durable, easy to clean, splash proof material. Available at Para-Gear
  15. Australian start-up Dekunu Technologies have spent much of 2017 teasing the release of a new breed of altimeter. A cool, but somewhat cryptic marketing campaign has generated a great deal of excitement but so far is light on actual details. Why? Behind the project is Brent Chandler - entrepreneur, skydiver and life-long coder. He joins us to shed a little light on the Dekunu project - how it got started, and where it is going. Can you begin with a little bit of personal background? “Without going into too much detail, I created a technology-based business within the hospitality industry in Australia, and over the last nine or ten years developed it to the point where it now runs itself. Once I reached the point where I had successfully built myself out of the company I found myself looking for something that ticked all the right boxes - a tech project that I was passionate about and would allow me to retain a lot of freedom to travel and skydive. After about six-months of conceptualising various different ideas, Dekunu stood out as the obvious choice. I have been passionate about technology my whole life, and although I have always struggled to ever learn say - a second spoken language, computer languages stick with me. For me programming is logical and makes sense. I can see it.” What were the first steps in making this idea into a real project? “Hardware technology. It was a tech genre I had never experienced before. Tech for me had always been software, writing code onto a screen - whereas with Dekunu we are creating concepts, schematics and then a physical product. This was super exciting for me to sink my teeth into, but admittedly intimidating as well. Before we got started I had little idea about what was involved. We got some electronics kits, and a year ago I made the first prototype. The first four prototypes were really just experiments in my understanding. We were using off-the-shelf components and writing code to get them to talk to each other. One of the biggest hurdles was when we moved on to writing our own complete board - where every wire, component, capacitor, resistor and transistor needed to be meticulously arranged. I wasn’t aware of how complicated that process was going to be - even now most days I will have hour-long conversations with our hardware engineers about the placement of one little half-millimetre sized component.” What challenges have you faced creating hardware that needs to work reliably in a skydiving environment? “Earlier in the prototyping process we didn’t have much consideration for things like operating environments - large temperature differentials, humidity requirements, impact resistance or anything like that. We just wanted it to work and then figure out where it was going to break. Being meticulous through all the various versions means that now we can very be specific about our requirements. We need to know what happens if someone leaves their device in the front of the plane under the engine bay and it gets to seventy degrees, or if it gets left outside somewhere below freezing. We have to be very thorough. The devices currently have 285 individual components - if any one of them goes wrong it could potentially harm someone. For Prototype 10 we did a lot of testing ourselves. All of the devices were jumped and the data compared before they were sent off to our team of testers and friends around the world - our Dekunu ambassadors. We decided to run the ambassador programme for a couple of reasons - it is a great marketing opportunity to have influential flyers from around the world running our equipment, but the vital part is exposure to testing environments that highlight things we simply cannot learn from jumping in Byron Bay every day. We have the luxury of being able to make mistakes with the prototypes, but cannot once we start selling the devices. We receive a lot of emails from people voicing their frustration that they cannot yet get their hands on one, and sure - we could capitalise on the engaged audience but to do so too early could very well result in shooting ourselves in the foot.” Everyone wants to know what it does. What does it do? “Without revealing some big, soon to be announced, functionality, the device is going to be all encompassing due to the infrastructure we are creating. Imagine that you come down from your jump and have not plugged into a computer or anything and you have access to all the information it has recorded - a lot of which at the moment without a SmartAlti is dominated by guess work, ego and bias. People will be able to answer a lot of questions with complete accuracy and answer them in the landing area. What was the exit separation? Exactly how hard was that opening? Why did people land off? What was the wind doing? Did we track in the right place? Did we open too close to each other? We want it to be so intuitive and connected that it works seamlessly with every type of device. You don’t have to be plugged into a computer for hours afterwards - you can be in the bar with your friends and have the whole experience on your phone. Also not just your information - a single dot on a screen. All your mates on the jump as well. The entire experience. For many things in skydiving, simple is best. Does a device that is packed with features run the risk of over complicating things to the point of distraction? “This is something we have discussed at length. No matter what happens - as soon as you jump it switches mode and there is nothing you can do on the device except see the altitude on a massive screen. At the moment the device enters a Plane Mode showing heading, ground speed and some other neat features like simple safety tips and reminders on the way to altitude such as when to remove your restraint, check your gear, get a pin check - things like that. We also have a version of the software that includes a student mode - which removes any unnecessary complications. Student mode could, for example, include the important things they need to remember about their jump plan. We are working on making this the best possible device for all users. We’ve saved the complications for our number crunching servers behind the scenes” Brent is more guarded about some of the far reaching potential that fully networked, intelligent altimeters might have for the future of skydiving - sensibly circling back to the importance of the unit itself being success before the big plans happen. “We have done an enormous amount of work on the backend and the visualisation systems - this data that people will have access to is going to allow them to learn so much more from their jumps. It is important for everything to be as intuitive as possible - if we create a system that is good but time-consuming for people to use, then they are not going to use it. We haven’t created this just for the technologically adept - we want it to be the default choice for all skydivers and not just those who like gadgets and want their altimeter to have a touchscreen. Our core ethos is about how this is going to bring more awareness to the sport of skydiving. More data, more transparency - that is really the focus. We see things progressing to the point where, such as with an AAD - if you don’t have a networked altimeter then you are not jumping. The idea being that this will become as normalised as owning any simple altimeter in the way you are required to now - the pricing is not much different, and the information will be so valuable that this is absolutely the way forward for the sport.” The more elaborate details of what the Dekunu device does, and could do, remain to be seen and proven - but anyone who uses a modern phone is able to imagine the prospective gains that one of our mandatory pieces of safety gear becoming fully networked and similarly sophisticated could mean. Within recent history mobile technology has profoundly altered the way our daily lives operate, and transporting this potential into the skydiving environment is a very exciting prospect that could well have an amazing effect on how well we do what we do - how quickly we learn and how safe we all are. Brent and the Dekunu team are hard at work turning these ideas into reality.
  16. admin

    All About Naked Skydiving

    Advice From Jeff Dawson, The World Record Holder for Birthday Suit Skydives Milwaukee might seem like an odd place to rack up a truly epic number of naked skydives. You might expect conservatism and bitter winters to, y’know, get in the way. However, that’s exactly what Jeff Dawson--based at Sky Knights, near Milwaukee--has been doing for more than two decades. Of a little under 4,000 skydives, Dawson has done 722 of them naked, which is the world record by a long shot. Along the way, he has founded the Society for the Advancement of Naked Skydiving, or “SANS,” which keeps track of the world’s current naked skydiving records. (See what he did there?) At any rate, Dawson presents a wealth of hard-earned wisdom for skydivers eager to strip down before they jump out. Whether you’re doing the traditional birthday-suit huck for your hundredth or a way to pass the time while your jumpsuit is at the cleaners, Dawson has you (un)covered. We reached out with our most pressing questions. Q: Why is it that you love jumping naked so much? Dawson: It started off it was a naughty thing to do. I am a fairly conservative person, and it was naughty, so it was fun. Then it got to be the thing, and now it has become a creature all its own. The fact is that I’m not really a group-skydiving guy. I like just to get out of the airplane and enjoy the world around me by myself, just enjoying the awe of the situation. Naked skydiving makes that just so much better. You are just hanging out there. Nobody can see you. There isn’t a care in the world. That, to me, is pure freedom. I never set out to be the world record holder for naked skydiving. It just happened. I don’t go out to see how many naked skydives I can make; it’s just that I like doing it and the club I belong to is very naked-jumping friendly. I have made naked skydives where nobody has said one word about the fact I was naked. They are just so used to it. I have made at least one jump in every calendar year for almost 21 years, and I have made at least one naked jump every calendar month for 16 years. I did three naked jumps this past December when it was maybe 20 degrees Fahrenheit. At Sky Knights, they call [a wintertime naked jump] a “Dawson Pop” because I’ll be doing a hop-and-pop naked. Q: Okay--some basics. Since we all quite obviously have to wear some gear when we jump out of a plane, what is actually considered a “naked jump”? Dawson: Everybody has their own idea of what qualifies. For the purpose of the Society of the Advancement of Naked Skydiving, we say wrist to wrist and neck to knees. That allows safety equipment: a helmet, goggles, gloves, altimeter, shoes and socks if that’s what you choose to do. I have done only one jump where I was completely, 100% naked (with the rig, of course). No helmet, goggles, shoes, altimeter, socks...they called it a “naked naked” jump. Q: Did you start doing the naked thing before you started jumping or did you start doing the naked thing after you started jumping? Have you always been into naturalism? Dawson: Absolutely not. I made my first naked jump on my 100th skydive, but as far as the rest of it goes, no. I don’t even wear shorts in the summertime; always pants. I have nothing to do with nudism, naturalism...anything like that. Except for the naked skydiving. Q: What was it about that first naked skydive that got you into it? Dawson: Actually, it wasn’t that first one that got me going. Actually, it wasn’t that first one that got me going. I didn’t do another naked jump for probably 3 or 4 years afterward. A young female jumpmaster who liked to skydive naked put together a 4-way for a jumper’s hundredth jump, and she asked me to be a part. I think that was September 2001. The same thing happened a month later in October. We decided that we would see if we could make at least a 2-way every month for a year. We did, and of course there were several other people involved at different times. After a couple of years, she moved away, but I just kept going. Q: If someone is visiting Sky Knights on any given weekend, how likely is it that at least one person is going to be naked at some point? Dawson: Pretty likely. I do it more than most people, of course. If the conditions are right, I usually do my last jump of the day naked. Q: What’s the first step to doing a naked skydive right? Dawson: The first thing you have to do is to see if your dropzone even allows naked skydiving. I travel a lot and have been to a lot of different dropzones and talked to a lot of people about this. You have to understand that there are plenty of dropzones that actually can’t facilitate naked skydiving; where if there is any nakedness going on of any kind, the dropzone will get kicked off the airport because that’s in their contract, or charter, or whatever. Then you have to decide how public you want to make it. Cameras and social media are out there in such prevalence today that you have to be careful that someone’s livelihood could be endangered if this type of thing got out in the way that things do now. Unless you want the entire dropzone out at the landing area with cameras, you’ll have to have help to keep it quiet and under wraps. I blame social media for the fact that naked jumping isn’t as popular now as it used to be. Q: How can you set about controlling those variables? Dawson: If you want to do a naked jump stealthily and not have the whole dropzone watching, you can make that happen by arranging for a separate pass or landing area--or just talking to the people who are on the jump and asking them to turn off their cameras. People should understand that it’s a very legitimate concern. Q: How do you go about preparing for a naked skydive? Dawson: First off, I would definitely suggest doing it with someone who has done at least one before. You will want to decide what you are going to do about clothes. Sure, you’ll have a 200-square-foot toga to wear, but what next? Personally, I have a set of shorts that I wear over my leg straps, and then I have a pocket on one of the leg straps. When I am in the plane, I take the shorts off and put them in my leg pouch to put on after I land. I have seen people tie shorts onto a leg strap with pull-up cords. I knew one person who actually stuffed his shorts in the tail of his canopy. Amazingly, it didn’t affect the opening. You can always stash clothes at the landing area, of course. When you’re gearing up, make sure that your straps are relatively tight. We have a saying for the guys: Make sure that you have your junk in the right spot, because you can always cut away from a line-over but you can’t cut away from a nut-under. Nipples can be a problem, too. You can deal with that by either locating the chest strap above the nipples so that they’re out of the way or use band-aids to reduce the snag hazard, especially if you wear jewelry there. I have never seen it myself, but I’ve heard of at least one person who had jewelry ripped out of her nipple. Q: What’s different about the jump itself? Dawson: What tends to happen is that, after one person decides they’re going to do a naked jump, a bunch of people get on it. It can easily turn into a big zoo, with a dozen people on the jump who have never jumped naked before. That’s not a good idea. Naked jumping is entirely different from clothed jumping in that it changes the amount of control you have over your bodyflight. There’s a whole different dynamic: for instance, coming into a formation. If your mode normally is to come in fairly hot and slow down last minute to enter the formation, you’ll soon discover that that doesn’t work as well with a naked jump because you don’t have the drag. People often find they can’t stop. So if you can do it with 2 or 4 people--something like that--it usually works out better. When you’re in freefall, you’ll feel like the container is falling off of your back--or is not centered--because it’s touching your skin and you can actually feel where it is. Don’t freak out. If you’ve done your straps up nice and tight, it’s not actually coming loose; it just feels different. Also: You don’t want to get too wrapped up in the naked part of the skydiving and forget about all the other parts, which brings me to probably one of the most important parts about naked skydiving. This goes for any kind of extraordinary skydive. You’re still making a skydive, and you still have to do it safely. You have to make sure your equipment is right, and you do all of your checks. It is really easy to get caught up--especially if we’re talking about a 100-jump person--in the excitement of what’s going on, and forget about the things that are necessary. One more word to the wise: Choose a day when the conditions are right for a stand-up landing. If you slide in even a little bit, you are going to know it. Even grass acts like sandpaper. Q: Any final words of wisdom? Dawson: Do everyone a favor and be cool about it. If you go out and flash unsuspecting tandem students and airport authorities, then you’re crossing the line. Sky Knights operates a PAC in the summertime and when I’m ready to make a naked skydive, there will usually be tandems on the load. I won’t surprise them with my nakedness. Before they are even manifested, I’ll find out from manifest who they are, introduce myself and ask if they’d mind if I’m on the same load. I’ll also do that with other jumpers I don’t know. Most people are fine, especially when I tell them it’s going to be a world record--because every time I make a naked skydive, it’s a world record. I try to be sensitive about who is on the load and not make anyone feel embarrassed. Being polite about it has allowed me to do all those jumps. Got at least one naked jump? Join SANS! It costs a whopping $5 dollars to join, and with that membership fee you get a member number, a certificate for the wall of your cubicle, some stickers and a refrigerator magnet.
  17. As part of our efforts to fight scams in the Classified section we have instituted a policy that requires users to be registered for a minimum of 3 days before you can either post an ad or contact a seller. If you can not see the contact information for an advertiser then you have not been registered for the minimum number of days required. This feature is simply designed to place an obstacle in the way of creating a quick username and spamming everyone in the classifieds or posting an ad ripped from EBay on the same day. We apologize to skydivers who are simply trying to list their gear or get in touch with a seller. We trust that you'll be back in a few days and wish you the best of luck with your dealings.
  18. admin

    Why was my ad marked as a scam

    We use a number of criteria to determine whether we mark an ad as a SCAM or not. If you believe your ad was unjustly flagged, please send an email to abuse@dropzone.com and include the following information: Your USPA (or other licensing organization) number. How long you've been jumping, how many jumps you've done, the name of your home DZ. The name of your DZO or Instructor, and his/her contact info. When and who did you buy this gear from? Your phone number. We apologize in advance it your ad was wrongly identified as a scam. We are very serious about the security of our users and the integrity of our Classifieds, and prefer to err on the side of caution. Thank you for understanding.
  19. admin

    A Guide To Traveling With Your Gear

    Anything precious in your bag, sir? Introduction Getting into skydiving opens up many opportunities for travel. You might live somewhere where the weather is shit all the time, or simply want to take advantage of the beautiful places available to jump around the world. Traveling with your gear can be a worrisome experience. If you are at all sensible, you should already own both a standard travel insurance policy for your belongings and some additional cover that concerns your physical being and any event in which it smooshes into something unforgivingly solid. However, unless you either arrange additional extended insurance (or jump some wonky old contraption built of very dubious elements), the coverage you are paying for is unlikely greater than the value of a set of modern skydiving gear. Your magical backpack is precious to you, and while traveling abroad you will likely feel most inclined to keep your eyes and hands on it at all possible times. Checked or Carry On? Once successfully embarked on your career as a skydiver, sooner or later someone will share with you a horror story involving airport security and a parachute. The exact details of this tale are variable, but it will usually involve massive injustice on the part of very ignorant and uncool staff against an innocent and harmless skydiver who just wanted to be perpetually within four feet of their gear by taking it into the aircraft cabin as carry-on luggage - only to be harassed, hassled and sometimes ultimately denied. Situations that escalate this far are rare, but they happen enough among a relatively small community of people to then hang in our collective consciousness as a potential problem - prompting the anxious conundrum of either checking-in one’s rig and thus entertaining the very slim but real possibility of it vanishing forever, or sending it forth through the scanner and risk having to cause a scene because some jobsworth insists on popping your reserve and causing a hundred people in the line behind you to all miss their flights. What Is This Thing? What is it about a parachute system that draws the attention of security personnel? It seems logical it would be your AAD that is the most curious element: a mysterious little box complete with a with a couple of protruding wires, a numeric display an activation button (eeek!). In fact, the Cypres unit (the AAD everyone should own) does indeed utilise a very small amount of gunpowder in its design (30 milligrams) - although you should not say this to anyone in charge of aeroplanes. It is up to you to not say this and it is important not to say this. Despite being officially harmless according to all the aviation authorities that matter, try explaining away this nugget of information well enough to be allowed to continue on your journey. Official looking visual aids can occasionally be very useful. Over many years of traveling as a freefly team, we eventually realised that frequently enough one of us would have to explain how a parachute does (and more importantly - does not) work that we began to rotate who went first through security, therefore being the one to get their rig out and do the explaining. We discovered that it seemed not to matter. Sometimes both the first and second rig would pass unassumingly through the scanner, only for the third to be set aside needing the guided tour - thus leaving the two initial team members on their way into the terminal, chortling at the unlucky third and musing about how mystifying and stupid the process is - as if a single rig is but 33% suspicious and only the cumulative effect of several examples passing by in succession is enough to make the final one stand out as suspect. Each time an inspection was required we began to quiz airport staff in turn about what they see that makes one’s gear a thing of interest to them. Although as of yet we have received no definitive answers as to exactly why, it appears that the combination of the reserve cable and pilot chute spring that draw attention. A metal cable spiralling into the centre of things just looks unfamiliar enough to be potentially wrong and bad. What Are The Rules? The gentleman on the left thinks it is cool to go through the airport like this. He is wrong. As far as all the major aviation authorities are concerned, there is nothing about a complete parachute system that categorises it as forbidden to travel in either the cabin or the hold of any commercial aircraft. Individual airlines might have their own rules for various types of sporting equipment (which you should remember to look up before you go anywhere), but these are much more likely to concern weight allowances and excess baggage fees than any specific security rules. There are various formal documents available that concern skydiving equipment, but I am yet to meet any airport staff in the world that have actually read them. As such, each transit situation will depend entirely on the personal experience of those charged with viewing your bags - and can range from cow-eyed unconcern (most common), through mild curiosity (sometimes) all the way to haughty indignation that you would dare attempt to take such a thing onto an aeroplane and put everyone’s lives in immediate danger (sucks to be you). What Happens If You Need To Explain? Be nice. Always, always, be nice. Airport staff at any step of the way can very quickly ruin not only your travel day - but you whole trip if they feel it is necessary - and smile-kill you while they do so. If you are required to give a presentation, usually a quick explanation while they swab your harness for naughty residues will suffice and you will be on your merry way. If their concern does persist past this point it will probably be because whoever you are talking to is somewhat (possibly very) convinced that your canopy can suddenly and dramatically fully inflate in the cabin, thus freaking everyone the fuck out and covering the windscreen or something. The best course of action here is just keep repeating in a soothing tone “That is impossible” and “It doesn’t work like that” while remembering to be nice. If that doesn’t work you can even have the employee in question deploy your main pilot chute limply onto the floor. Go nuts! Have them pop the pin and send your deployment bag down to join it. Not matter what happens through this interaction try to make it as fun as possible and educate the staff a little bit about your gear and doing your bit for those that come after. You never know - the difference you make here might mean as much as the next person who passes this way meeting their connection or not. Success Conclusion Many people have traveled with their parachutes as carry-on many times, to many places, for many years, with no problems. Every now and then someone just has shitty luck and another tale of woe spreads it’s wings. If things do go badly for you and there is now way out other than to pop your reserve and/or get everything out in exquisite detail, just get it over with. The best play regardless of how far you have to go down this road is always make security personnel feel that they are doing the right thing. Inside you will be seething with rage but if you are a dick to them in even the smallest way nothing good will come of it other than a long conversation in a windowless room. So be nice. Things To Remember: 1. Put Your Rig In A Bag You will look super cool wandering around the terminal with your straps all dangling and your G3 clipped to a hip ring like a six-gun. Right up until someone spills sub-standard guacamole all over you. 2. Get Some Paperwork Airtec produce a nifty credit card thingy that you can whip out to look like a stone-cold professional. It shows an x-ray of a rig that explains why Cypres units are fine for travel and does not mention gunpowder at all. Other AADs are possibly available. For the extra careful there is also a selection of formal documents available in different languages that you can print out and keep in a ring-binder.
  20. admin

    Featured Ad Listing

    While we offer a free listing service in our classifieds, we realize that some times you need to make a sale urgently and ideally you'd like to see your ad viewed by as many people as possible. This is why we have created our 'featured ad' option. You are now able to have your classified ad shown prominently on both the classifieds main landing page, as well as at the top of the category page it is submitted to. Furthermore, buyers will feel more comfortable in responding to featured ads because of the decreased risk of the seller being a scammer. We are dedicated to providing our paid link users with the best possible exposure for their ads. Payment can be made securely through paypal. To feature your ad, simply go through the process of adding a new classified ad and submitting. When your ad is submitted, you will be prompted as to whether or not you'd like to pay for the link, the payment amounts are then listed. You are then able to decide which payment option you'd prefer, select that option and then proceed with the link submission. Featured Ads Receive: Prominent placement on the classifieds main page. Priority listing at the top of the category page it is submitted to. 'Stickied' position at the top of the regular listings on the classifieds page. Higher average view numbers.
  21. Numerous people have asked me how to start and maintain a club in the past, so I have put together a little (or not so little) essay on how to do this. I started the skydiving club at the University of Maryland, College Park in September 1998. It has grown quite a bit since then and there is much more active participation by the members. The beginning of a club is very strenuous on the founder, as there is a lot of legwork and red tape to get through. But, someone has got to do it. Each school works differently for how a club could be formed. Anyway, you could find our constitution at: http://www.inform.umd.edu/StudentOrg/cpsc/Documents/Constitution.doc I thought that you could use that as a standard constitution to see what you could put into your constitution. Each school has different rules on what should be in a constitution but for the most part, they are all the same. You should see if you your school would actually permit such a club (skydiving) on campus. I say this b/c I have a friend who tried to start a club at U. Delaware and they didn't let him b/c the school takes on a different role with the student clubs there. At U. Delaware, the university has control over the club that they would be liable for any incidents. At U. Maryland, we are considered a student organization/club, NOT a sport club and the university allows us to do pretty much anything b/c they don't have any liability over us. The only thing that we must abide by are the basic university rules (non-discrimination, etc.). Okay, so I could only tell you how I started the club here at U. Maryland as I don't know how it works at other universities. We needed to fill out a student organization form that required a President's and Treasurer's signature. Moreover, it required a minimum of 7 other undergraduate students to sign and put their social security #'s (Student ID's) on it. Finally, we had to have an advisor sign it. The advisor could be anyone who is faculty/staff of the university as long as they are not an undergraduate student (I'm UMD's advisor now as I finally became a graduate student and TA for the university). Most professors are kind of wary about signing a form to be an advisor for a skydiving club. Therefore, you might need to go to your Office of Campus Programs (that is what it is called at UMD) and request some literature to show to the potential advisor on what they are liable for or what they are not liable for within the club. After you get them to sign the application and you have the signatures/SID #'s of other students and the constitution done, you hand it in to the Office of Campus Programs. It may take a little while for them to approve it as they need to read your entire constitution and pick out the details that need to be changed. After they approve it, you might want to apply to the Student Government Association (SGA) to be a club under them. They may require you to change the constitution a little according to their policies but this is usually a standard procedure and the Office of Campus Programs should be aware of it already. So, you end up filling out another application to the SGA with some student signatures and Student ID #'s (25 minimum in UMD's case). After the SGA approves it, you may have to just be a SGA club without funding from the SGA for the first year. Again, it depends on the school. Anyway, the treasurer or whoever you have as the contact person would get a notification that a budget is due if you are requesting funding from the SGA. You need to fill out a budget with items that you wish the SGA would fund you for. I find the best way to get the SGA to fund a skydiving club is to orient everything around SAFETY as you stress that you want to keep all the skydivers in the club safe. They rarely refuse this. But, if you choose to itemize the same exact item without using the terms safety, they may reject your request. For instance, if you want to get some funding for equipment, you could call it "Safety equipment", which you may have to put under "Contractual Services" (as that is what it would be considered at UMD. Another example would be time in the wind tunnel, which you could call "Free fall Safety Training". This would also fall under "contractual Services". At UMD, they have a few different categories that you could itemize things under such as "Transportation", "Advertising", "Contractual Services", "Subscriptions", and "Dues and Fees". "Transportation" would be the use of a motor pool that your school may have (i.e. van). "Advertising" would be something such as an ad in the school newspaper. "contractual services" typically means paying for a "lecturer" to come (in skydiving, it would be an instructor or some other skydiving expert). Or you could use "Contractual Services" for stuff such as Safety Training (as in my example of the wind tunnel). Moreover, you could designate the "Contractual Services" to alleviate the initial cost of 1st timers. The SGA would also be happy with this as you tell them the entire goal of the club is to get more students into the sport of skydiving and introduce diversity among the club while keeping it as cheap as possible. "Subscriptions" would be something like a subscription to "Skydiving Magazine" in the name of the club. But, this would be rejected if you don't have a centrally located office where students could come to. "Dues and Fees" would refer to the club membership fees to USPA ($200 the first year and $100 every year thereafter). The money from the SGA doesn't usually go directly to the club, but rather an invoice may need to be required by the company, which you want the SGA to pay with the Federal Employee # and mailing address for the check. The university may take a while to process this and send it to the company that you want the money to go towards. Our university is big on "Safety" and "Diversity". So, you could tell the SGA that you are trying to make the club as diverse and safe as possible, so you need their financial assistance. If the SGA says no, they are just pricks. You could make your club a "sport club" by contacting your school's "Campus Recreation Services" department and talk to them about it. They may fund you after a year of recognition or so. This funding may include club gear (rig, etc.) and owned/maintenance by the Campus Rec. Services. But, at UMD, it ends up being a huge hassle b/c the Campus Rec. Services requires meetings every week, a lot of paperwork, permission for the club to leave the state (our dropzone is in a different state), and permission to spend money where we want to. The only advantage of becoming a sport club is that the Campus Rec. Services may potentially buy us gear. Of course, this all depends on the school. Next thing you might want to consider (depending on the drop zone's waiver and the university's policies) is a legal waiver for your members to sign. You could get this done through the Student Legal Aid Office that some schools may have on campus. We started using the legal waiver when we first started but that got phased out b/c the drop zone's waiver covered us, as well as our club is just considered a "referrer" as opposed to a profit organization. A website helps the club enormously in getting information out to the public and to the students who don't quite understand what skydiving is about. You should have descriptions of the types of jumps (i.e. Tandem, AFF 1, and Static Line), prices of the jumps, and pictures of what each type of jump looks like. Also, you should have directions to the drop zone, contact information for possible students, events calendar, FAQ section, statistics on how skydiving is safer than driving your car or even walking on a treadmill. You could take a look at our club's website to get a general idea of what information you may want to have on your web page at: http://www.umd.edu/StudentOrg/cpsc You need to choose which drop zone will handle your club. You should call all of the local drop zones nearby and tell them that you are apart of a club at a university and you want to set some prices that are discounted dramatically from the regular price. If you are apart of a big university, you could tell them that and that you are potentially able to get hundreds of 1st timers each year. Also, you may want to work a club membership fee into the price of the 1st jump. That way, the club could make some money towards other things (i.e. boogies, gear, etc.). You could even have a "referral fee" worked into the price but that is your choice. Basically, you should have the total price be lower than the regular price by a good amount, which will increase your potential of getting students to jump through your club. Another thing to consider when choosing the drop zone is the type of aircraft they have. Drop zones with little Cessna's may not be able provide the necessary service for large groups. Also, if you were to charge a membership fee to people who are jumping through your club for the first time, you may want to give them something back in return such as a "free" t-shirt, sticker, etc. that would cost the club $5 per person. This money would be met up with the money from the membership fee. Anyway, this item that you would give the student would also allow you to get advertising on campus. A t-shirt would be worn around and others may ask that person about it. Then, they would probably direct those people to your club. You should choose 2 - 4 jump dates throughout each semester to start off with. That way, if someone can't make it 1 of the dates, they could make it to another one. Before each jump date, you may want to have an "information session" meeting somewhere on campus. In the meeting, you should go over what each type of jump is like, the costs, the places to sleep/shower at the drop zone, safety, clothing to wear on the jump, what skydiving feels like (not roller coaster type of feeling), pics/video of people who already jumped who are in your club, etc. The pics/video of professional skydivers are good to get the students interested but it is also good to have some of the experienced skydivers at the university. That way, the students would realize that it is very possible that they could become good at the sport while having a good time as you started out the same way at some point. You may want to have the club pay for some pizza, which sometimes is an initiative to get people to go to the meetings. It is okay b/c it will pay off as people will become interested in skydiving through the meetings. You could make this meeting as formal or informal as you wish. You might want to have some gear there to explain the different components of it along with its safety devices (i.e. AAD and RSL). Moreover, you might want an instructor from the drop zone come and make a speech about skydiving and the drop zone itself. Just remember this, the students are going to be very nervous and scared about their first jump, so keep that in mind when giving a speech in these meetings. Don't make any skydiving jokes mocking death. In fact, explain to them that skydiving is safer than most acts of daily living. But, still keep their attention by telling them that you are a student too and like to have fun. Just don't act cocky about it as the students will think that their safety would be in jeopardy. The most important key to these meetings is to smile and act extremely excited about the sport. The students will draw off of your enthusiasm and you will have more students wanting to jump despite the costs! Besides these information meetings, you should have general club meetings with the active members. You should discuss advertising issues, budget issues, etc. with them. This way, you all could brainstorm for more ideas as well as it would get the other members more involved with the club. This way, you don't have to do all the work. You could delegate the work so it is easy for everyone including yourself. Advertising: You should plaster the campus with fliers in the most NOTICEABLE areas. For example, at UMD, no one put fliers up on the bathroom doors in the dorms nor in the elevators until after I started doing it. Students notice these fliers while ignore the most used flier spaces (i.e. kiosks). You may want to make quarter sheet fliers and pass them out at a place on campus that many students frequent (i.e. Student Union or Dining Hall, etc.). Make the fliers have a dark background with light colored writing (i.e. white letters). This also, makes it more noticeable. Try not to have too much text on the fliers as students would just glance at it. You may want to just put "SKYDIVING" in large letters with information on the next jump or meeting along with your website. Other ways of advertising are pretty much infinite. You could put an ad in the school newspaper, put an ad on the football stadium's TV screen (or basketball), have some demonstration team jump onto campus with a banner trailing behind them, set up a table in front of the student union with pics of skydiving on a poster on the front of the table, co-host a happy hour with a local bar, or just email all of the presidents of other organizations (including frats/sororities) with information on your club. Fund raising would predominately be through your membership fees or referral fees. But, you could always purchase t-shirts or stickers, etc. with your club logo on it and sell them at a reasonable cost. If you have any more questions, please feel free to email me at: Lgershen@umd.edu Blue Skies, Soft Landings, Lewis D-25265
  22. admin

    Understanding Camera Switches

    Introduction Taking photos while skydiving is easier today than it has ever been, yet doing the job properly remains serious business. Camera technology marches ceaselessly forwards, and while the gap between the products aimed at the casual consumer and the lofty professional is narrowing - any freefall photographer that considers themselves proper job will very likely rock a stand-alone stills camera as part of their setup. Try as you might - you will never be this cool. Action cameras are great. Their small size, plus both the features they present and the quality of media they capture make them highly useful for everything from skydiving to attaching to your cat to find out where it goes at night. However - any occasion you have to directly compare the images recorded by these teeny wonders with those of a more traditional camera will highlight the superior quality a dedicated stills unit has to offer. The exponentially multiplying capacity of digital memory means that with a GoPro or whatever, you can just set it going at some point before the start of your jump, forget all about it until at least ten minutes after you finish packing then sift through an ungodly amount of chaff later in search of the choicest shots to share about the place. Everybody knows this is cheating though, and that photos created serendipitously by a piece of gadgetry that happens to be attached to your forehead is not your work - but is in fact the subtotal of all human endeavour leading up to this exact point, where you got lucky. A stills camera is the tool of the craftsperson and must be activated manually when something awesome happens. There are a few choices available for this, all of which involve using your mouth to activate the camera and get the job done. As with a lot of things in skydiving, people sometimes feel very passionately about what they believe to be correct tool for the job and will offer to fight you to the death for besmirching their good word by thinking differently - and camera switches are no exception. While all pretty straightforward to operate, they each have some subtle strengths and weaknesses so a little forethought might help you arrive at what is best for you. This man is called Trunk. Trunk runs a company called GetHypoxic. If you are building a camera platform or simply wish to geek out about skydiving technology - this is your guy. Bite Switch The bite switch is either straight or L-shaped with a section somewhere in the middle that you hold between (specifically) your front teeth and bite softly to operate. The Good: Good Feedback: Of the choices available a bite switch provides the most satisfying little clicks to reassure you that you are getting shit done. The Bad: - Head Movement: Operating a bite switch involves moving your jaw a little bit to bite down, which can put a visible wiggle in your framing - particularly if you are capturing video. - Moisture. If you eventually chew through the plastic casing, condensation or saliva can get inside and short out the connections. Blow Switch The blow switch is a small unit about the size of your thumb that you mount to the outside of your helmet. The part that goes into your mouth is a straw-like tube that you blow into to activate the camera. The Good: - Durability. With no wires and such directly in your mouth there are fewer parts that are subject to moisture or wear, and you cannot damage it by biting too much. The Bad: - Low Feedback. With nothing that clicks actually pressing against any part of your mouth you do not receive any direct indication of operation from the device itself. - Breathing. The action of blowing into a tube to depress the button can potentially disrupt your breathing, and vice-versa - having to breathe at some point can interrupt your photo taking. - Gunk. Clean it, you filthy animal. Tongue Switch The tongue switch is usually L-shaped. You grip it between your teeth wherever it feels most comfortable and depress a little button with the tippy end of your tongue. The Good: - Separate Actions. By holding the switch with one part of your mouth and operating the button with another, this option has a sensible tactile nature. - Flexibility. You can hold this switch anywhere amongst your teeth that feels right for you. The Bad: - Due to the available mobility, the internal wiring can wiggle loose and the switch possibly wear out over time. - Moisture. As with the bite switch - if you eventually chew through the plastic casing, condensation or saliva can get inside and short out the connections. - Hilarity. If you use a tongue switch you will quickly grow very, very tired of jokes about your increased sexual powers - from pretty much everybody. A tongue switch and a bite switch respectively. Photographed on a moist houseplant. This is me. The truth is that all these devices work perfectly well. I have a tongue switch now because I have always had a tongue switch. I don’t remember why that was my choice and yet I see no reason to change it. Every now and then someone will tell me it is a worthless piece of shit good only for the bin, yet I rarely miss a photo. There is immense satisfaction to be found in ‘getting the shot’ and if you are serious about the role of aerial photographer a good stills camera is essential. High pressure situations like freefall turn small issues into bigger ones, and although just a small element your mouth switch is an important piece of your camera helmet. One that works well for your needs over something not-quite-right can be the crucial difference between kicking ass or not kicking ass much more often than you think.
  23. admin

    Todd Shoebotham Talks Pilot Chutes

    Todd Shoebotham, Owner and President of Apex BASE, Helps Jumpers Get the Details Right Note: This article discusses pilot chutes in a BASE environment and should not be used in relation to skydiving. Ah, the pilot chute. Our beloved little workhorse, it’s the first thing we take out and the last thing we put in. It gets dragged around. It gets abused. For all the obsessive fawning we do over our canopies, our pilot chutes get surprisingly little love. If you’re looking to change that--and learn a little more about the sizes and styles of pilot chutes that you should invite on your BASE jumping adventures--then you’ve come to the right place. We pinned down the inimitable Todd Shoebotham and picked his brain about it in order to share his infinite wisdom with our beloved public. We’re pretty sure you’re going to learn a few things, so lean in and listen! 1. Keep your fingers out of harm’s way. Does your pilot chute have a tube handle? According to Todd, the data suggests that fingers have an uncanny tendency to make their way into that little tunnel at pull time, which can make for some seriously awkward Chinese-finger-trap deployments. “A few people have reported reaching back and going up to the knuckle into the PVC,” Todd says. “Or getting their fingers underneath the handle. When you’re reaching back, that’s certainly not what you want.” This problem can be solved in multiple ways. If you do have a PVC-style handle with a potential finger trap, Todd recommends taping over the ends in order to eliminate this possibility. Apex pilot chutes forego the tube for handles that wrap rubberized, textured fabric around a solid foam cylinder. “Compared to the old-style PVC handle, this is much lighter, too,” Todd explains, “And that lightness helps the pilot chute get orientated properly.” 2. Travel with a well-curated collection. Since pilot chutes are available in everything from little 32-inch versions to behemoth 52-inchers, it can be challenging to determine what you really need to carry in your gear bag as a traveling jumper. Todd suggests that carrying a quiver of three to four will reliably cover your bases. “On the smaller end, we typically set people up with 36-inch pilot chutes,” he explains, “But we still stock the 32s. The 32-inch PC is probably the least-popular one in our range, because we believe they only belong on the lightest parachutes.” “We used to see 36s on wingsuit-specific rigs,” Todd adds, “But we’ve been seeing a lot of people with wingsuits favor bigger PCs because of their lower airspeed at deployment.” From there, Todd suggests having a 42--”the workhorse in the middle”--which covers your standard Potato Bridge jumping, and a 46- or 48-incher, depending on the size of your canopy, for objects more along the lines of a low cliff or structure. If you have a little more room in your luggage and you’re looking to jump a lot of subterminal objects, Todd suggests a 38-inch pilot chute. “Most people aren’t going to be using a 36 or a 38 handheld,” he says. “If you’re in that 5-to-6 second range, it’s a nice pilot chute to have, the 38. It is a slightly different pilot chute. It is not as strong of a pull, but you still have plenty of room there. I might not use it on all 400-foot objects, but definitely on some of them, and it is a little nicer flying with a slightly smaller pilot chute.” 3. Make adjustments to compensate for your choices. According to Todd, there are mistakes to be made here in both directions. On one hand, unnecessarily oversizing is an easy mistake to make. While it’s not necessarily dangerous, it can negatively affect your jump if you don’t keep your delay relative to your PC choice (and create unnecessary distortion to the canopy during extraction, to boot). “If you don’t have the appropriate pilot chute for your jump and you don’t adjust your delay accordingly,” Todd says, “You might not like the results. If you were going to extremes in exposing a big pilot chute to a lot of airspeed, you would be stressing out parts of the canopy and your body. For instance: if you should really be using a 42 but you have a 46, you’d better go a little short on this one and enjoy the view from under canopy a little longer rather than taking your normal delay for that jump. I know you don’t want to, but that’s the pilot chute you’ve got.” “Also keep in mind,” he continues, “That we have seen peculiar behavior when some large pilot chutes are jumped slider-up. You can get some pretty weird interaction if you do that; the slider just seems more reluctant to come down. Personally, I think it has to do with the distortion that the canopy went through during line stretch; at any rate, we do not recommend it.” Take object familiarity into consideration. Since larger pilot chutes generally provide snappier openings, Todd asserts that object familiarity is a major factor to consider when choosing a pilot chute. “If it is your local object and you’ve really got things dialed in, I can see downsizing,” Todd says. “But if you’re a visiting jumper, you’re going to probably need to treat it a little differently. For example: If all the locals are using a 46, I’ll probably be using a 48 to stack the cards in my favor. If I make enough jumps there to become comfortable with the surroundings, I can see transitioning down to the 46.” “At the end of the day,” he insists, “You have to remember: In BASE jumping, really small changes in performance do matter. Make sure you’re prepared.”
  24. Canopy wear-and-tear can sneak up on you--and, if you’re new(ish) to the swooping trade, you might not know exactly what parts of your equipment need extra attention. Since a dedicated canopy pilot plies his trade on the basis of impeccable nylon, only a seasoned pro’s advice on the matter will do. To that end, I caught up with multi-disciplinary virtuoso Pete Allum to ask him for his best tips and tricks for keeping that kit in fighting shape. Pete started skydiving in 1979, and it didn’t take long for him to clamber up on his first podium. Since 1985, Pete has stood on national- and world-level podiums almost every year (sometimes, more than once). In the pursuit of all that gold--and in the course of his extensive coaching work--Pete has made more than 32,000 skydives. It’s safe to say, then, that he’s seen a few canopies through their life cycles. Here’s what he has to say on the subject. 1. Pack your own parachute as much as possible. When you’re hopping and popping like a broken record, the last thing you probably want to do is wiggle around on a packing mat. Pete suggests that you should suck it up and make the effort, because your personal attention is the most important factor in your gear’s fitness. After all, your packer’s job is to get it in the container. Your gear’s overall well-being is your job. “If I’m jumping 20 times a day,” Pete explains, “I certainly won’t be packing it every time, but I want to make sure I have my own eyes on it regularly. Even if I have a very heavy schedule, I’ll make sure to pack it myself at least a couple of times a week. That gives me the opportunity I need to see the things I wouldn’t if I only jumped it. When it’s in my hands, I can check for problems like closing pin damage, dinged grommets and center cell discoloration from sweat.” 2. Don’t be shy. Keep your standards high. Non-ideal openings accelerate wear-and-tear on your gear (as well as your body), so it falls to you to make sure that some standards are being upheld when a third party is compressing your fabric. Pete advocates a professional, proactive position, especially when it comes to stows. “Packing stows vary widely, and not everyone is aware of how important it is to be consistent,” Pete admonishes. “So it’s a good idea to make sure your packer is using the same large stows throughout and double-wrapping every stow on the bag.” Finally, make sure the packer is dressing the container’s flaps correctly. If they don’t, Pete notes that creases will form, building memory in the fabric over time. These ever-deepening furrows can cause degradation as the container ages. 3. Watch the wear points on the lines. With high performance comes high mechanical stress. A small, aggressive canopy has a tendency to shake the system like an energetic rottweiler thrashes a favorite chew toy, so you’ll need to keep an even more vigilant eye on your canopy’s wear points: especially the lower control lines and the places at the top and bottom of your lines where your grommets like to grind. If there’s even a hint of fraying on your lines, bringing your gear to a rigger should rise to the top of the to-do list. “When I’m in Florida, it’s the easiest thing in the world to bring it over to Performance Designs, so I’ll pop over at the earliest sign of wear,” Pete says. “When I’m farther afield, my standards have to relax a little, but it’s still a top priority to get it done.” 4. Give your pilot chute an extra look. Pete recommends that you check for wear at the bridle attachment point at every opportunity. Beyond that, he notes that you should occasionally tug out the kill line and check it for fraying, twisting and shortening. “The system has a couple of inches of margin,” Pete explains, “But if the kill line measures outside that allowance, you need to take it to a rigger.” 5. Keep an eye on how many jumps you’ve already put on the canopy. Especially if you aren’t a logbook-lovin’ kinda jumper, it’s easy to lose track of a canopy’s jump numbers. According to Pete, that will need to change. When it comes to jump numbers, swoopers don’t enjoy the luxury of unintentional ignorance. “Especially if you’ve been jumping someplace hot and/or dusty, it pays to know exactly how far along you are,” Pete advises. “As soon as the ticker goes over 200 jumps, I start to pay way more attention, even though the line set is expected to last much longer than that.” 6. Be an active participant in a high-caliber team. When your zoomy descent becomes the focus of your skydiving days, your need for a professional team of advisers increases exponentially. Take time to build relationships with the very best, most enthusiastically recommended riggers, packers and coaches you can find, and don’t hesitate to reach out to them for guidance. It takes a village to raise a safe (and super) swooper, after all. To pursue the perfect swoop under the matchless tutelage of Pete Allum, reach out to him through Flight-1.
  25. admin

    Fusion

    The Fusion is Precision's entry range 9-cell elliptical main. This canopy has been developed for the skydiver who wants a little more kick and excitement than might be found in a 7-cell, but is still relatively docile when compared to our upper end 9-cell design, the Nitron. Wing loading is truly the key to the flight performance envelope of the Fusion. Depending on wing loading, the flight characteristics of the Fusion will grow from being docile and tame at the low end to exciting and zippy on the upper end, but the Fusion will always remember who is boss, and respond accordingly. The Fusion could serve a first time buyer very well for their first thousand jumps, and with the High Modulus Aramid fiber suspension lines there will be little worry about having to change out the lineset between seasons. This high-lift low-drag airfoil will always get you back from those questionable spots (or at least get you closer to the DZ than those other guys). For the more experienced skydivers flying at higher wing loadings, the Fusion can still kick up enough attitude to even satisfy those old-timers who used to fly the blade courses with their pocket rockets.