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Everything posted by massis

  1. Not saying you're wrong about risk levels or that it's a super safe sport, but it sounds like you need to find a safer DZ . 6 injuries in 2 months is a lot, but statistics point out that roughly 1 in 400 skydives results in an "incident" (someone getting injured or requiring a reserve ride) and rougly 1 in 1800 jumps results in an injury requiring medical care. Statistically, those 6 injuries you've witnessed would require around 11.000k jumps!
  2. Congratulations and welcome to the club! I got cleared for solo last week :-)
  3. Generally you want slick shoes in skydiving. Later on when you get better you will be able to slide in on your feet, but you cannot easily do that with shoes that have a lot of tread/ grip. Most skydivers around my parts wear skater shoes. I use cheap running shoes as they tend to be pretty flat on the bottom with minimal grip. I've been thinking about this and see lots of both at the DZ, slick sole skateshoes and running shoes with threads. Most landings I've seen involve people walking/running instead of sliding (we'll be quite a few years in the future before I even consider swooping, so let's leave those out for now). However, my shoes are SO slippery I've done 3 faceplants with them over the last few months just walking around on normal surfaces, so for now I'll opt for a bit more grip. I've bought cheap running shoes (€20) with slight threads all pointed backwards. Seemed to work just fine for my first jump. (the fact that I was coming down on a solo 250 @0.92 WL in a slight headwind breeze probably helped :-) )
  4. I did my AFF LVL 1 & 2 this weekend. Managed to land on my feet for lvl 1 in no wind at all, but my body position (extend legs!) and altitude awareness (let myself get distracted by the camera guy :( ) needed some improving. While the concepts of downwind, upwind and groundspeed were already clear to me, they got a WHOLE lot more obvious when I pulled during my lvl 2. Before takeoff my JM told me there was quite a bit of wind at 2000-5000ft, and that I had to make sure I didn't overshoot the landing zone on my basewind leg and then fail to make it back. So I pulled, did my canopy checks, flew downwind to the holding area and then turned into the wind to check how bad the wind was. (last one out of the plane, verified there was no traffic around so I had all the time & space to maneuvre) Looked down, and realised my groundspeed was actually 0. I was hovering... Quite a surreal experience. I then proceeded in the holding pattern down to 1000ft and started my circuit. The downwind leg was actually across the wind, so I had to crab the entire leg (which was pretty awesome honestly), turned into my base leg, then into my final approach and came down softly for an uneventful landing. Wore pretty darn slick shoes so I ended on my butt, but who cares?
  5. Sorry for quoting you: isn't AFF 7 levels (ok, followed by 1 solo, but that's not an actual level since noone is evaluating or instructing you seeing as you're jumping solo). Yes, Also obsessed here. Hoping to finally make my first jump this weekend. Stupid winter.
  6. I never understood why one would do multiple tandems, let alone 5, at the same DZ. Even though I'm yet to start AFF (less than 3 weeks to go!), doing multiple tandems to me feels like voluntarily taking the bus, just for the ride. I'd much prefer driving myself! I'm hoping my 6 tunnel minutes & 1 tandem have provided enough "experience" to stop myself from sensory overload on the first AFF jumps. Once finish the first AFF jump and sign up for the rest of the course, I can buy a one time 10-minute tunnel slot for some more tunnel coaching.
  7. Went tunneling for the first time at Indoor Skydive Roosendaal (The Netherlands), they have one wall which is completely mirror so you can see yourself :-)
  8. For a tandem, really? Luckily in the EUR the minimum age for a tandem is 12. AFF is legal from 16 if your parents sign the waiver.
  9. As a total noob (yet to start AFF, did 1 tandem, 6 minutes in the tunnel) I can't wrap my head around this. I know this is going to be an expensive hobby, but 70hours of tunnel, at a minimum of 500$/hour (tunnel time costs about €600-700 without coaching as far as I can tell in Belgium/Netherlands, so more like 800$), would mean learning head down would cost you about 35.000 USD? That's a years salary right there...
  10. Balance, not so much. A wife who'll make it painfully obvious I'm stretching the limits again, that one I do have
  11. Hehe, I don't think it will get THAT bad fast, for now my wife is pretty damnd supportive, as she is of most of my hobbies :-) She's prepared for this to take up a few weekends before I get my AFF, and 1 or 2 days a month from there on out. I'll just have to cut back on my UWH tournament trips & bushcraft tips for now, but seeing as I'm taking my 6y old for a weeklong canoeing trip in Sweden in May, I'm not too concerned there
  12. I always wanted to try skydiving, but never got round to saving up for a jump or actually committing to anything. Besides, I have way to many hobbies as is: woodworking, underwaterhockey, bushcraft & camping, gaming, ... Last November my 30th birthday came around, and my wife decided to have me thrown out of a plane at 14.000ft strapped to another man. -- I never tell anyone I jumped from a plane, I always tell them some other guy jumped and since I was strapped to him I had no choice but to follow -- I can safely say it was a life altering experience, even (or especially?) at temperatures far below freezing and a solid deck of (high) clouds rolling in. If only having -20°C (-5°F) wind in your face at 180km/h would make your face look so damned dumb... tandem pic Since then I can't let go, so I've saved up through the winter and will be going for my AFF this spring, as soon as possible. Knowing myself, I'll soon be addicted to this sport... 'bout me: I'm 30 now, live in Belgium, work in IT, have a lovely wife and 2 boys (a 2y old and a nearly 6y old)
  13. New guy pitching in. (@Pit76: fellow Belgian :-) did my first & only Tandem @PCV Schaffen last November!) I've got a wife, 2 kids, and too many hobbies already. Yet I'm starting AFF this spring. My wife & kids support me (oldest one loves the idea of his dad jumping out of a plane and can't wait to try it, but he's only 6). I'll be a casual jumper as well, 1 or max 2 days a week, slowly progressing and reserving plenty of time to hang out with the wife & kids. That's just the way life is with a family. I'll probably never get over 50 jumps a year, but that's fine for me. I spend the other weekends playing with the kids, teaching my oldest some bushcraft (he loves going hammock camping with me) and taking them to sports etc. Every hobby you have as a parent is somewhat selfish, but also required for your own mental health. Based on my super limited (aka 1 tandem) experience so far, skydiving will be by far the best way to improve my mental health. Is it dangerous? Sure. So is driving your car to work each morning.