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  1. Its a combo of a couple of things. First my coaches have been watching my canopy skills, and feel that I'm ready for each down size, and I keep pushing (learning and practicing as much as possible) to get downsized because the transition gear at my DZ in my size are a hot commodity. If my coaches and I feel safe at a size that is something that can be "mine" for the weekend, I'd rather do that then possibly get bumped from loads because my rig is already in the air on someone elses back.
  2. I opened above the 3k USPA guideline. It was my thought process to open lower in case I did turn hard right I wouldnt be turning into other people, and they agreed. Unfortunately I do not remember exactly what altitude I was fully under the reserve. By the time everything settled I was above the runway and felt I needed to take evasive maneuvers to get away from a potential aircraft strike situation. I do remember trying to look right before I cut away, but I thought it was more prudent at that point to get something controllable above my head than to struggle to determine my exact altitude. It was a lot less scary than I thought it would be, but it was still quite the experience.
  3. I Just got my A licence a couple weeks ago, and things have been great since. A hand full of jumps, some great 4 ways, an amazing sunset jump where I was able to hang out under canopy and soak in the fall colors, sunset over the lake and the city on the horizon. I got downsized twice, and things are going great. The rig I'm jumping is known for harsh right turns on opening. I was warned by a few other fresh jumpers prior to my first jump on this rig so I was prepped and ready for immediate correction if need be. I did two jumps on Friday with this rig, slight right turn but nothing major on open, landed great, and the upcoming weekend was looking to be amazing. Wake up early Saturday, get manifested, dirt dive our four way, let the guys know my canopy is known for harsh right turns on open, so after break I'll pull a little later to be below everyone else in case shit hits the fan. 4 way goes to shit but was still hilarious fun, pull at around 3,200, into a super hard right turn and it starts spinning me into line twists. I immediately grab my risers and start to pull and kick trying to get out of them, but they just kept twisting. I fought for a while, felt like forever. I kept pulling and kicking, and I glanced down to take note of my surroundings, and I'm spinning quickly towards the ground. At this point I pull my cutaway and reserve. Thankfully the reserve opens with no drama, and I was able to land on a beautiful white canopy. We found the main in a tree a few hours later, and the freebag and reserve pilot chute were delivered by a good samaritan the next morning. The rush of what happened didnt really hit me until I had my reserve all gathered and was walking back to the club house. Luckily I was cleared to jump again, and made a beautiful, uneventful two way with a good buddy of mine. It was the sweetest case of beer I've had to buy so far.
  4. First of all, I absolutely love this sport. I came from motorcycle riding as my main source of entertainment and thrill, and I havent touched my bike since I started diving. I spend every weekend at the DZ jumping, learning, and buying beer. Lots of beer purchases over the past 2 months. I'm a bit of a larger guy, and I tend to fall fast. Ive done two four ways and I seem to be breaking up the formation because I fall faster than others. I'm a bit worried that this will continue, and people wont want to jump with me. I'm sure at some point Ill get the fall rate right, but I'm hoping to get that fixed quicker than not. Anyone have any pointers for a large fast guy? Ive been looking into freeflying as something I want to start to get into, and I know that 20 jumps in is a tad too early to start messing around with stuff like that, but other than tunnel, is there anything I can do at my current stage to make the transition into freeflying easier? Ive also been looking into gear recently. I have a full face helmet (better than any goggles Ive tried so far at keeping my contacts from drying out), and I want to get a suit and my own alti, are these something I should wait to get until I have more jumps in before pulling the trigger? Lastly, my home DZ has been nothing short of stellar, everyone there is ultra helpful, very welcoming, and it feels more like a lovable but dysfunctional family than anything else. Ive been doing everything I can to help out around the DZ, and Ive stayed on top of the beer I owe, is there anything I can do on top of any of this to show my appreciation? I cant wait to get up in the sky again. Thanks!