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  1. The only difference in the way I pack is that I push the air down out of the canopy rather than up into it. I'm surprised that anyone who isn't jumping F-111 still does it the other way. Wouldn't this essentially destroy all of the flakes? No. You flake out the canopy and lay it down. Then you tuck the sides in until it's the shape of a cigar. Then, as I was taught, you put your knees on the base of this tube and use your arms to squeegee the air to the top. That's the normal way, or at least the way I was taught and how I see others packing. But for ZP pushing the air up doesn't make sense. I kneel on the top of the canopy, and squeeze the air down towards the other end where it's open. Once I've worked my way down to their I block it with my knee to keep the canopy from reinflating and S fold it. Your weight keeps any of the canopy from moving in exactly the same way as when you push the air upwards. Once you've formed the canopy into a cigar shape how do you get the air out of it? This sounds slightly terrifying to me. Isn't the whole point of bringing the tail up and rolling it closed that the other end isn't open? The technique you're advising sounds like a recipe for a hard opening to me. Happy to be corrected, though. To the OP, sorry for adding to an already off-topic discussion. My advice would be: if one technique is taking you hours, ask another professional packer (i.e. someone qualified to pack other people's rigs, not just a DZ know-it-all) for their technique. In my experience there are almost as many ways to deal with the S-fold as there are skydivers, and someone else's technique might work better for you.
  2. Thanks sundevil. I've realised Leeroy and I were talking at cross purposes I think. By 'data harvesting' I was referring to Dekunu's requirement that you upload data through wifi to the company's servers, which they keep and may sell/use in other ways. I think Leeroy is referring to the user getting data from the alti for their own records.
  3. I had no idea the Viso did it too. That sucks. Worth reading this: I'm increasingly thinking this might be my next purchase...
  4. I have a Protrack and a Pebble from AON2 (two audibles are valuable if you decide to start freeflying, though not strictly necessary unless you start doing head down). Both are great. The screen on my protrack broke about a year ago, so I can no longer read the data from each jump. It doesn't bother me that much. In my personal opinion, if I was flat flying and setting up from scratch, I'd buy a decent digital wrist-mounted alti and a Pebble as an audible. You will get the jump logging from the wrist-mount (L&B are great, Dekunu and X2 unproven but interesting, though I don't like the data harvesting on Dekunu).
  5. Maybe I'm going to get some speculation skytribe, but I'm also asking about whether people have more info than I've picked up. The Dekunu is available for pre order and factors such as their use of my data is a consideration for whether or not I pre order it. Arthur's info about AON2's use of data reassures me and has convinced me to wait and order one of the X2+ units when they become available (if I can get one, I know he won't have many to start with). So maybe you don't like the question, but maybe also check yourself a little - to call it stupid was blinkered at best.
  6. Exactly the info I was looking for Arthur, thanks!
  7. ***Apologies if info is already out there - I searched but couldn't find anything*** So there is now concrete info out there about these two digital altis, and one is available for pre-order, so I am interested in people's views as comparisons. My thoughts below - as you'll see as a UK jumper I'm leaning towards the X2+, but keen to hear from others as to the pros and cons of each. (Full disclosure: I know and have jumped with Arthur who runs AON2 so am influenced by that a little). Dekunu One Pros - available for pre-order now, due for delivery February - features, tech specs etc confirmed in detail Cons - for a UK jumper, delivery, import taxes and charges etc will make it £400 plus - the big one for me: Dekunu are clearly using the units for data harvesting, which they will sell on. I'm not sure I want that. - a bit of a brick in size terms X2+ Pros - slimmer form factor - projected to be cheaper (£300) - some additional features eg letting you know if your current flight path will allow you to get back to the dz - for a UK jumper, delivery, imports etc much cheaper - company already has a product on the market, which works brilliantly (and with great customer service - Arthur swapped my audible for a louder unit no questions asked) Cons - much less concrete info at present - projected for delivery in March, but these timings have slipped a little in recent months - could have the same drawback in terms of data harvesting (Arthur if you read this and know what your plans are it'd be great to know) Hmmm as I read this back my choice is clearly for the X2+, the post reads like an advert for it! (I promise it's not). Anything I've missed?
  8. Not disagreeing with the weight of advice above, but I just wanted to give another perspective. tldr; I bought new sub-100 jumps, love it, would do exactly the same again. I rented gear for 6 months (from Rhomech rigging in UK - well recommended if anyone is UK-based) before buying all new. This rental period meant I got down to a canopy size that I have no current interest in downsizing beyond (150 sq ft) and have now used for 150 jumps or so. I currently can't imagine moving away from the canopy for at least another 500 jumps and got the canopy new for a price that I will be able to resell without much loss of value (£1480). I may well use this canopy for as long as I am in the sport, or until it reaches the end of its life. In honesty I would have gladly bought second hand everything but knew exactly what I wanted and couldn't find exactly that second hand. I searched out the best deals I could find and ended up spending £4310 without AAD. With the AAD included it will be £5360 (I'm renting an AAD for a year to spread the costs a little). This approach has upsides and downsides. Upsides: - I LOVE having new gear. Canopy colours, canopy choice, knowing that if I look after the stuff I can keep it in top condition for a long time all matter. But most of all... - The rig fits like a glove. I bought a Fire container and even compared to other made-to-measure rigs people regularly comment on how little it moves away from my body when sit flying. It is also incredibly comfortable (back to that in a minute). - All the parts of the rig are built to play with each other nicely. If you specify your canopies on the order to SWS, they will build the container to match those canopies. - I was able to install a larger reserve (Opt 176) than my main - this was disturbingly hard to find amongst the second hand rigs I considered. Downsides: - Initial cost outlay was considerably higher than second hand. I probably spent £2000 more than I needed to to get a decent second hand rig. - The big downside: I bought and used a 150 sq ft canopy at a 1.25 wing loading well before anyone sensible would recommend me doing so. From first purchase I have been happy landing in any wind direction and conditions, and have been on several canopy courses since I bought it. But I also recognise I was playing with fire initially. Overall, if I was to do it again I'd do the same thing. I don't generally place much value on material possessions, but love my rig. It was well worth the extra outlay for me. I didn't have the issue that I have heard many times about damaging or scuffing the rig through biffing early landings. To me that is a separate issue about someone's landing technique. One last anecdote: one of my closest jumping friends bought his first rig second hand at about the same time as me and we have progressed together through the sport. He spent £2800 on a decent second hand setup, but it never real fitted properly and was uncomfortable as hell (I know, we swapped rigs the other day). He is just now purchasing his second rig (not sure of cost). He has probably not spent as much on his two rigs as I spent on one, but it'll be close. And his first rig held him back while learning to freefly and has caused him to buy this other rig instead.
  9. I bought one of these in place of an Optima and love it for canopy alarms. Although the Optima has a sort of 'approach' beeping to each of your pattern altitudes, Arthur got me to set it up using two alarms for each of my pattern altitudes. So for example one goes off at 320 feet and one at 300 feet. It works really well to calibrate my turn more precisely. If you're looking for canopy alarms I cannot recommend it strongly enough. As for freefall alarms, my one question is over the volume. I use it alongside a pro track for sit flying and, whilst I can hear both, the pro track is more 'noticeable' at break off. I do have a slight question in my mind over whether I would reliably hear it if I was going a little more quickly at break off. All the same, the number of alarms is awesome. I'm just now thinking that I might set one for 1000 foot above break off as an additional warning that I need to get ready to get out of there. Awesome product for the price. Thanks Arthur!
  10. Makes sense and, acknowledging your caveat, really helpful. Thanks.
  11. Thanks everyone - what an awesome set of knowledge and experience in this thread. Lots of good discussions but on the central point I am convinced by the experience level of those arguing against a barrel roll. Unkulunkulu what you say has interesting implications for ff. In the UK an essential part of my ff coaching was learning to track away on my back and only transition onto my front once I'd scanned the sky above me to check that it is clear. Are you saying you don't think that's the right thing to do?
  12. What you are the higher jumper? You are barrel rolling looking above you, only to hit the jumper below you because you are not looking where you are going. I have seen videos of extremely close calls following this logic. No solution or "rules of the road" is perfect. Lower jumper has the right away and waving off work very well. The barrel roll takes away from this. Derek V Yeah I see that. And I agree about keeping things as simple as possible - just track looking forward and below and pull if you see someone below you. I think also there may be a difference between what is logical in a perfect world and what works in the messiness that the bottom of a jump often is. For example - logic suggests to me that you would only barrel roll once you've checked the sky below you and have seen that it is clear - in the scenario of the higher jumper you mention I'd just pull once I saw someone below me - instinct tells me the chances of another jumper being above me are less than the lower jumper deploying into me. Of course the flaw in this is that you can never be 100% sure you have scanned the sky below you fully. So in the real world perhaps that logic doesn't work. But then that's true whether or not you have barrel-rolled. So then perhaps its more about using the time to get more horizontal separation and the barrel-roll takes away from that. Interestingly, though, the closest call I know of when tracking was on an FF jump - one person below tracking on his back waiting for the person above to pull - person above didn't react so person below was forced low to avoid deploying into the person above. This is an entirely anecdotal story and therefore of pretty limited value to a general discussion but in that situation knowing what is above you was vital. I wonder if there is a difference between flat and FF here because of a higher likelihood of different levels at break off? Edited to add: Hooknswoop my original post was more directed at the question 'what if you barrel roll and see someone above you' than your original 'don't barrel roll' post. I guess my instinct would be to track as hard as possible for as long as I have height for, rather than to do a barrel roll and waste time. But if I *did* barrel roll and see someone above me or if (as is more likely) I was tracking on my back and saw someone above me, I'd prefer to pull a little lower and get clear than to deploy anyway. But I am still relatively new to all this so am replying mostly to have more experienced people challenge my thinking.
  13. I'm not responding as in any way an expert, but just also interested in this question, coming from a different viewpoint. Is it not better to be a little bit lower than you'd planned but clear of the person above you than deploying into them? Opening low with the risk of a low mal compared to having someone hit you at a relative speed of 70mph plus is an unpleasant choice to make, but I'd pick the first one. For me, the way to avoid either of these scenarios is to plan break off and deployment high enough that going 500 feet low isn't a disaster i.e. aiming to be under canopy closer to 3k than 2k. Assuming you give yourself this sort of height to play with, the scenario in which you barrel roll, see someone above you and then turn 45 degrees and track as hard as you can for a couple of seconds before deploying with your eyes on swivels has it's place. Granted if you're in this position you're having a bad day.
  14. Another (less well informed) recommendation to have a look at the SWS Fire, mainly based on price. If you're in Germany it being a Ukrainian company, you'll get a good price for it in Euros. 5 or 6 of the people I jump with (including me) jump them and no-one has had a bad word to say about them. I bought one based on my rigger's recommendation, amongst other things.
  15. And one where I could definitely learn some lessons. Jump 120 or so (Skydive Algarve) 2 way FF - third jump or so of the day and first one with a camera flyer (he wanted the practice). Being on camera caused us to rush set up in the door, and I heard a bang as I exited. Didn't think too much of it, continued the dive, broke off and deployed as normal. Only as I looked to my alti during my control check did I wasn't there! It turned out I'd held the bar in the door in such a way that I trapped my alti between my wrist and the top of the door. As we exited I must have wrenched the alti off my wrist, breaking the velcro strap. Needless to say my fingers were a little sore later on. Flying the pattern was a useful exercise in using my eyes rather than relying on my alti (!), and I knew Phil my jump partner was good with his accuracy so followed his landing pattern as closely as I felt comfortable with. Landing was fine. Remarkably, Sian had not only noticed my alti fly off, but had seen it drop back into the plane and ran down the plane to catch it before it bounced out the door. With a disapproving shout of 'Boys!' she returned it to me in the landing area. I dread to think what might have happened had it landed on an unsuspecting golfer on the golf course directly under the spot. Lessons learned: 1. Camera makes me a bit of an idiot, especially when I'm not used to it. I'm not immune to the desire to 'look good' and being filmed, whilst v useful, is also an extra thing to think about and at my relatively low level of experience can add risk to my jump. 2. In a jump where lots else was going on, my alti awareness was horrendous - otherwise I would have known that I had lost my alti before I got under canopy! Relying on a dytter and my jump partner is poor practice. I thought I was pretty good at this but clearly not as good as I thought. 3. Eyes can a good measure of altitude, at least at a familiar drop zone. I thought setting up for landing would be an issue, but I had a pretty good feel for 1000, 600 and 300 feet. Love this thread - keep them coming.