mbohu

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mbohu last won the day on September 10

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  • Home DZ
    Mile-High Skydiving, Orange Skies Freefall Center
  • License
    B
  • Number of Jumps
    300
  • Tunnel Hours
    10
  • Years in Sport
    3
  • First Choice Discipline
    Formation Skydiving
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    0
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    Freeflying
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    0
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  1. Everything that everyone else said...and: 1. If you can jump with a group of (at least slightly) more experienced jumpers, let them make you the base. That means you get out first (or do a 2-way linked exit) and they come to you. Then you can focus on doing a formation and staying with it and even turn some points. That will tremendously increase your confidence and teach some basic skills, like keeping the fall-rate aligned with the rest of the group, flying your slot when in the formation, not immediately building up tremendous horizontal distance as soon as you let go of your grips, etc. At this point it's only frustrating to focus on diving to a formation. I'd say that is an advanced skill and not that important right now. Let them dive to you. If you're usually falling faster, and the group has any common sense, you should be the base anyway. (You should never have to try to fly up to the formation. They always should come down to you!) 2. If you can, use your tunnel time wisely. What helped me the most was an actual 2-way belly league, where we competed in 2-way formations in the tunnel. If no one organizes such a league in your area, simply find a friend with similar (or better) skills, go to https://www.tunnelflight.com/competitions/draw-generator , create some 2-way draws and see how many points you can do in a 2-minute segment. If you keep doing that, you'll be surprised how much you will improve (of course, if a coach can watch you and give you tips, that will be even much better!) 3. Look for any opportunity to get some serious 4-way training: Skydive Arizona has a "Rookie Roundup" twice a year for newer jumpers (under 200) where you can fly with some of the world's best; or find a beginner 4-way camp, etc. Like everyone said: At 100 jumps and with your infrequent jumping schedule, you shouldn't be expecting to be much further ahead...YET!!!!
  2. mbohu

    Softest opening canopy

    Are you sure there isn't something else going wrong? I've had my Spectre for close to 200 jumps and my last jump was the first hard opening I ever had on it (and I'm pretty sure I know what went wrong, as I had to pack real quickly between 2 night jumps, wearing my jump suit with tons of lights taped to it, and even while packing I thought: "this doesn't feel right") On all other jumps the openings were super soft and always completely straight and controlled.
  3. mbohu

    Downsizing as a student

    The big bold number represents the average size and the small number in parenthesis is the minimum. So the smallest is about a 210, not 230. I was a bit over 250lb exit weight and they had me start out on a 300, so the chart doesn't really seem that conservative.
  4. mbohu

    Downsizing as a student

    Well, personally I would not buy a canopy, before I have jumped that particular canopy. Why buy something that you think you will be "ready for" at some future time? There are many different types of canopies (apart from the size consideration) and if you haven't jumped them, how would you know that you will like how that canopy behaves? I would recommend starting to try out different canopies when you're at the size that you will want to own for a while, and then purchase the kind of canopy that you like best. That's what I did. Of course, it may be that I am privileged to have a dropzone that had a few rental canopies as well as a guy who was renting various types in my area, but between DZs with rental gear, private renters, other jumpers and manufacturer's demo programs, it should be possible to at least try a few canopies before deciding to buy one, no? I tried a PD Storm, PD Sabre 2 and PD Spectre--all in the same size--and after jumping them it was very clear to me that I liked the Spectre and would not have been happy with the Sabre 2 (which pretty much everyone else around me was jumping.) There was no way I could have made that decision accurately if all I had jumped before were student Navigators.
  5. mbohu

    Container comparison

    I recently actually spoke to a rigger that pointed out one subtle advantage in one feature of the Vortex, when I asked him about downsizing and keeping my current rig: The Vortex has the attachment point of the closing loop at the back wall of the container, so when you close the container, the closing loop stretches over (and compresses the middle of) the D-bag first, before it goes through any of the flaps. This means that the D-Bag puts additional tension on the loop. This should make it generally less problematic to have a slightly smaller than ideal main canopy in the container--when compared to a rig that has the closing loop attached to the top of the container--because in the latter case the only tension comes from the flaps themselves, and if the D-bag is not pushing against them enough, there isn't enough tension. He showed me this and it made sense. (The Vortex isn't the ONLY rig with this arrangement, but it's one of few) It's just interesting because that is a detail, I would never really have considered otherwise.
  6. mbohu

    Container comparison

    I'm certainly no expert, but this sounds more like prejudice to me. Sure, I love my Vortex, and sure, I've not jumped other rigs that much (and the ones I have jumped weren't custom-sized for my body, so it's not surprising they didn't feel as good) But: I've seen and talked to a number of hard-core jumpers, many of them competitive jumpers, who jump Vortexes and not one of them had anything bad to say about their containers. Certainly never heard the words "cheap knock-off" applied to them. (See also various threads here on these containers. Never really see anyone say anything bad about them...)
  7. mbohu

    Relaxing

    Stand up landings will come. A canopy course (probably after you completed AFF) will help. Personally, I think it's wise to not try to stand up your landings at first, unless it seems like you're coming in just right. If you take a course, you'll probably change how you're landing anyway. As for the ride up: Take what everyone is saying and combine it into a nice, consistent pre-jump routine: I do this on EVERY jump: 2-3 (or more if it's a complex jump) mental walk-throughs of the jump with eyes closed (include the exit, and canopy-stuff, if you're planning to do specific things under canopy); Relaxing breathing exercise (once or twice): I take a deep breath in through my nose, hold it for a specific count, then release it through the mouth all the way to empty, then hold at empty just a little bit; as I'm letting the breath go I can feel my shoulders relax more (I actually do a sort of mantra in my head, instead of a count--the words "safety" and "gratitude" are part of it...that's just me ) Do 2 gear-check/practice touches run-throughs; At somewhere between 6k and 10k I put my gloves on, helmet on (if not on already) put the visor down & back up (to check it's clear); the rest of the time I joke around or just relax and enjoy the scenery. The consistency of the routine really helps (professional golfers do that too before every shot...) As for how relaxed I want to be: In 4-way FS we call it "On the line"; "over the line" would be too tense; but you don't want to be so relaxed that you're not paying attention and ready to respond in every fraction of a second. Anyway, I think most of this comes automatically if you keep jumping and want to get better and pay attention. Blue Skies!
  8. mbohu

    Main canopies 2000 vs 2014

    Not flying a wingsuit, but I love, love, love the openings on my Spectre. Straight and smooth every time.
  9. Hi, I'm almost certain that there must have been a post about this previously as it's such an obvious thing, but I couldn't find one: The previous version of DZ.com used to jump straight to the first unread post in a long forum topic with many replies: So if I click on a link in the list of recent posts, for example and it's a thread with 5 pages of replies, of which I had already read all the ones down to half of page 4, the link would take me straight to page 4 and scroll down all the way to the first unread post, half way down the page. In this version, I am always taken to post 1 on page 1, no matter how often I have been in that thread. Then it's left to me to somehow find my way back to where I was. Does this version of the forum software you are using not have the capability to identify which posts are new to me? It does seem to mark threads with unread posts in bold, so it seems to know what is new to me, even though that feature seems to be a bit inconsistent--but going straight to the correct post in a thread would make this forum much more usable!
  10. mbohu

    wingsuit jumping order

    Yes, that's what I'm saying. If they left first, as the OP stated, it seems more dangerous. So I don't see any reason why they shouldn't ALWAYS leave last. If they leave last, since they fall slowest, there is never a chance for any conflicts with non-wingsuiters. It sounded to me like you were saying in your first post, that it doesn't matter if they left first or last (other than who gets to be next to the door ) That's the part of your comment I didn't understand. Personally, I'd be scared if I exited after a group of wingsuiters (especially if I exited quite a few groups after them) as my safety would completely rely on their flight pattern, which I can't control.
  11. The link seems to point straight back to this post.
  12. mbohu

    Fear of Landing

    I was doing the exact same thing--actually the exact opposite, as I'd always turn left, and as billvon explained, it was a sub-conscious reach. The neat thing is that this habit (which wasn't easy to stop at all) helped me get the feeling for a more dynamic flare: Since I could not stop myself from the habit of initially reaching down with my left hand, I eventually just noticed that I could easily adjust to correct for it during the flare: I would unavoidably start turning slightly left, but I'd notice this as soon as it started to happen and I'd immediately adjust by pulling the right toggle slightly further down and noticing how the canopy would straighten out. This showed me how much room and time there actually is during the landing flare, for all kinds of adjustments, and I got more and more sensitive to the feedback from my canopy--noticing subtler and subtler changes in its flight behavior. Eventually, I stopped turning left, not so much because I stopped having the unconscious reaction, but more because--if anything wasn't straight, or if I wasn't at the right height or anything else felt off, I would immediately make tiny adjustments in the flare--this now happens almost automatically, just like your body automatically knows how to make balance adjustments, if you're walking on the grass and your foot lands on a slight angle, etc.: You barely notice this consciously, because it feels so natural. The whole thing does get a little more tricky in cross-wind landings when there is some serious wind, though. (and again: I have the feeling that some student canopies just respond a bit more sluggishly, making these adjustments harder to gauge by essentially having a slightly lax interface between pilot and wing)
  13. mbohu

    This "2-stage flare" thing

    I'm no instructor, but I still think there may be a confusion of terms? As I understood it, the 2 "stages" refer to the 2 goals that you want to achieve: Stage 1: level out the flight path of the canopy to (more or less) parallel to ground Stage 2: Bleed off the forward speed and eventually bring the canopy (as close as possible) to a full stop It is NOT meant to (necessarily) describe 2 distinct stages of what you DO, such as: 1: Flare to half breaks 2: Wait and then finish the flare So, HOW you achieve the 2 goals, is entirely up to you and probably depends on a number of factors. I do have to say though, and I know that some instructors have told me I was wrong on this (let the flogging begin!!!), but I still think it's because they haven't flown one of these parachutes for a long long time: When I was renting Navigators at my DZ, there was really only ONE way to get them to level out and that was to yank down the toggles pretty hard and then stop and wait, as they would react with a slight delay. This had to be timed perfectly right. Then you could smoothly finish the flare to stop their forward speed. Ever since I switched to more common sports canopies, and eventually my trusty Spectre, I finally understood what they meant by a dynamic, continuous flare. These parachutes react immediately to the input and I can therefore level them out and bleed out the speed with a continuous flare which I adjust moment to moment with the feedback I get from the canopy. I really don't think that this was quite possible with the Navigator, at least not the ones I rented--but of course, I was inexperienced as well. BTW: I recently jumped in Austria and had to rent student gear, because I did not want to get my rig on an international flight, and that was all the rental gear they had: I did not even try to level the flight path out but just did a continuous slow flare, slowing down the descent without having any "swoop" over the ground. (I know, I know, I'm never swooping as such, but even with my 7-cell there is usually a distinctly long time that I fly straight over the ground before I stop, at least at low winds)
  14. mbohu

    wingsuit jumping order

    Wasn't meant to be.
  15. mbohu

    wingsuit jumping order

    Wouldn't it be much more likely that someone could track into them if they left first? On my DZ they generally fly 90 degrees out from jump run and then turn parallel to it; so if they didn't quite go far enough out, or if someone in the last regular group tracks a longer distance than usual, that person could easily track into them or open right under them, no?--not to mention other tracking or angle groups. It seems to me, letting them out last just avoids any conflict whatsoever (except between the wingsuiters themselves.) It also makes me feel good as a regular jumper, as I'm not relying on the wingsuiters to stick to their promised pattern (After all, these guys look and talk like they came straight from the local anarchists convention anyway )