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  • Container Other
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    Safire 2
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    Speed 2000
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    Aero Fallschirmsport GmbH Kassel
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  1. drdm

    Jumping in Europe

    Hrmmm, could be, I'm honestly not sure... I've only been there during boogies and events (our club has their pre-season boogie there every year). Their website says they're open 7/7, but it very well could be that during the low season, there's not much going up during the week.
  2. drdm

    Jumping in Europe

    Germany itself has a good, if small-ish scene. I've been jumping out of Kassel for the last 2 years and it's a great community there. Plenty of other fun places too - a lot of the northern / coastal German DZs have inhopp (island hopping) boogies during the summer. As said though, picking up some German helps. For the winter season, Skytime Castellon is a highly underrated place - about an hour from Valencia, very chill, and literally right next to the ocean - beach landings every time, if ya want 'em.
  3. Of course it's dangerous. Just not *too* dangerous for most of us, obviously. Now that that's out of the way... I've only been skydiving for two years, so I'm pulling what I'm about to say more from years of climbing and freeride / backcountry skiing than skydiving, though it obviously applies in the same way. An important distinction when discussing danger, which I don't think is made enough, is the distinction between risk and consequence. Risk, meaning how likely it is that something goes wrong, and consequence, meaning what is likely to happen when something goes wrong? Understanding both those factors is key to making informed decisions. For example, how would you compare an activity where you're unlikely to die, but you run a 1/10 chance of badly twisting your ankle, to an activity where you're unlikely to sustain a minor injury, but 1/1000 of the time something goes catastrophically wrong and you probably die? Not so easy, is it? I've climbed routes where I'm at my limit and I know I'm probably going to fall, but the rope anchors are solid, the fall angle and expected distance isn't too bad, and I know that I'll probably end up with some scrapes or bruises and nothing more. I've also free-solo'd routes that are so far below my limit that the chances or me falling are only marginally higher than the chances of me spontaneously falling on my face while walking from my bedroom to my kitchen, but I know that if I *do* fall, it's not going to be pretty. Again, how do you compare those situations? Is a laughably high chance of bruising the same as a very very small but none the less quite real chance of broken legs or worse? Being able to think about risk and consequence in a semi-independent way (and understanding when and where they are and aren't linked) is important for evaluating what's a reasonable level of danger for you, and if you aren't taking the time to think about those two aspects first separately, and then in terms of how they interact, you're not evaluating danger right (in my admittedly amateurish opinion). One of the things that I've found to be most jarring about this sport is that there isn't much of a range of injuries. Most other sport have a sort of continuous range of possible injuries, ranging from bruising and sprains to minor broken bones to major broken bones to the really horrible stuff. But you can sort of see the whole range, and see how the worse injuries often correspond with the higher levels of the sport. In skydiving (with the possible exception of injuries from swooping - bad injury, high level in the sport), you don't have that nearly as much. The continuous range we're used to is broken - injuries are either minor (hahaha your buddy rolled a no-wind landing and broke his thumb) or unspeakable (holy shit your buddy turned low to avoid someone on final and femured). There's very little in between (or at least that's my impression). This makes our usual, learned-over-years-of-life evaluation tendencies a bit hard to work with, so you really have to stop and think about these things. Anyway, done rambling for now :-) Blue skies!
  4. drdm

    TDS poptop

    The model name is Teardrop / Teardrop Superfly / Teardrop Viper, and their civilian division is Thomas Sports Equipment - Googling "TSE Teardrop manual" yields a couple manual variants... http://www.ffp.asso.fr/wp-content/uploads/1994/09/Sac_harnais_TEAR_DROP_1pin_sf_09-1994-2.pdf https://pdfhall.com/tear-drop-1-pin-owners-manual-thomas-defence-systems-ltd_5b56aac0097c472c778b4575.html
  5. drdm

    Super light camera flyer tips

    Hey all, reviving this thread as I'm in a similar boat. I'm 62-65 kg (140ish lbs) (depending on how much beer and grilling went on Friday night) and 170cm / 5'7". I had my first full weekend of camera flying with the beginner class 4-way team some friends put together, and have been getting tips from the local camera flyers, who are my primary source of advice. But, with the usual appropriate skepticism, I want to open it up to the internet a bit. I'm flying at the moment with a relatively snug (but not ultra-tight) free-fly suit. Except when they're in very "flat" formations, I still have to work fairly hard to keep up (hard arch, elbows in and under) without losing the camera angle (I could out-fall them when they're together as a group, but then I'd have to also tilt my head up and back). I only got uncomfortably close to the burble once, and was able to easily backslide out a bit before anything happened. I've been encouraged to try a camera suit (with small, i.e. not clipped over the laterals, wings), and will hopefully get to borrow one from a similarly-sized jumper in the next couple of weeks. I know she sometimes flies with weights, and I find it encouraging to see in the last post that weights can theoretically be avoided for people our size. Anyway, that's the background, and now here are the specific questions (again, I'm getting advice from local camera flyers first, but want to open it up as well, with appropriate internet skepticism): -If I order a camera suit, is there anything I should definitely go for (aside from tight and nylon) or avoid? Any brand recommendations? (My DZ works with Rainbow Suits.) -Aside from what's already been said in this thread, any new fast-falling tips? -One thing I notice (and I'll have some local jumpers look at exit videos soon and see if we can figure this out), is that I exit very close to the team (good) (I do a "follow" exit rather than a "just before" exit, as the timing for the "just before" exit is a lot more demanding), then quickly gain separation on the hill (bad), and have to catch back up coming off the hill. Is this a common beginner problem? Any advice for staying with the team through the hill? -Any general advice for an aspiring camera flyer, lightweight or not? Thanks, and blue skies!
  6. Thanks for digging that out of the depths of the SIM! So I guess I wasn't quite right. It's interesting phrasing though, as it refers to "membership" and not "licensing..." I guess that means that I'll need to get (at least a temporary) membership the next time I go back for a visit and want to jump, but don't need to worry about getting a new license... Interesting.
  7. I've been wondering about this in the other direction (if you don't mind the slight derailment) - I'm an American citizen, but a German resident, and got my license in Germany and have not yet had the chance to jump "back home," so to speak, though I hope to soon. I believe, theoretically, that the USPA regulations on whether you need a USPA license and membership at a USPA DZ are based on residence and not nationality (though I could be wrong - feel free to correct), but the number of times I've seen people (in other contexts) get confused by the seemingly simple concept of having one nationality but a different long-term residency is worrying...
  8. drdm

    Pro-Fly jumpsuits?

    Jumped it this weekend and I'm pretty happy with it. In use, I only noticed the pull-down strap thing I mentioned when attempting to sit-fly, and even then only barely. Belly, tracking, and throwing myself into weird unstable positions just for funsies, I didn't notice it at all. The suit was comfy, stretched in the right places, and, after a wonky landing with a PLF, I can confirm that it's also more rugged and durable than it looks - aside from some grass stains, still looks like new. Can definitely recommend it for the price.
  9. drdm

    Pro-Fly jumpsuits?

    I got it today. Looks to be really solid quality for the price - great feel, solid, neat-looking stitching, wind-/water-proof zipper, close-fitting but very soft neck cuff... I'm looking forward to jumping it this weekend if the weather agrees. The one critical point I could make is, the pull-down straps on the ankle cuffs seem quite short - I can't easily slide them over my heels with the suit on, and then when I do they pull the cuff material down low enough that it's annoying to get my shoes on. It doesn't seem worth sending back something that otherwise seems so on point though; I'll just attempt to ply my rigger or a local tailor with a few beers and a few euros to swap them out for slightly longer pieces of webbing or some elastic strap material.
  10. drdm

    Falling out of a Harness

    Not necessarily. There are some exceedingly lightweight climbing harnesses out there with very carefully engineered waist strap buckles that need to be rated to more than 15kn to meet CE norms. It would be somewhat harder than a standard adapter to quickly loosen after canopy opening, but it doesn't weigh much and can sure as hell bear a load. I'm actually consistently surprised that I don't see more modern, lightweight climbing harness type tech in harness-container systems. After all, the shock-loading on the leg straps in a big-but-not-unusual climbing fall probably isn't that much different than the opening shock on typical modern parachute equipment. Then again, maybe for something that needs to be as much of a "workhorse" as a normal sport container system, overbuilt is better. Though that still doesn't explain why you don't see it in hike-and-jump BASE rigs...
  11. drdm

    Pro-Fly jumpsuits?

    Based on a friend at my dropzone getting one and being pretty happy with it, I actually just ordered one. I'll try to remember to update once I've received it and put a few jumps on it.
  12. drdm

    Good skydiving songs

    How on earth has nobody mentioned "Jump Around" by House of Pain? It even starts with "Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin..." Also, JamesBond, to answer your question - I'm still quite a newbie, but I think it's generally accepted that headphones while jumping is a bad idea. In addition to our visual altimeters, a lot of us use audible altimeters (it's a very important habit to always be aware of the reading on your wrist, but it's easy to get a little distracted when trying to nail that formation with your buddies or that freefly position you're trying for the first time, so a bit of backup is useful), and listening to music could easily get in the way of hearing those.
  13. drdm

    American newbie in Germany

    Thanks! Yeah, I've found them to be really welcoming and supportive - I messed up a handful of jumps as well (the canopy flight was pretty intuitive for me, but it took me a while to get the "hang" of freefall), and they were consistently very direct about what I needed to correct while still being quite patient and supportive (which I guess is the German way ). Good point - I guess it'll probably end up being the DFV license, as I don't see any mention of USPA on their website (nor are they listed on the USPA website). Though maybe it's worth asking if there's an instructor there with whom it's possible to do the USPA license instead? If it's not too much of a bother to ask, is there much of a functional difference between the two in the end, or is it mostly just that USPA has the easy-to-follow letter ratings and a wider base?
  14. drdm

    American newbie in Germany

    Hey all, a bit of fresh meat here. I finished my AFF out of Kassel-Calden last Fall, and I'm pumped to start properly working on my A-license in a couple of weeks when the season here starts up again. Excited to join the community, and add yet another entry in my ever-growing list of dangerous-seeming, gravity-antagonistic hobbies with expensive gear (off-piste and ski-touring, climbing, mountain-biking...)