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  1. I am actually in exactly the same boat right now. I have decided on the Curv for a few reasons: 1: everyone i have talked to that owns a curv (except for 1 person) says it is the most comfortable rig to wear in the plane and under canopy. comfort is important to me as i am not old, but i am also not a spring chicken anymore. the one person that disagreed said it was just as comfortable any any other rig he has owned. 2 all major brands are TSOd ... so "safety" doesnt really factor for me as they should all be on par with one another. 3 I like the MOJO design better than the skyhook. 4 i love lumbar support ... and the bio curv gives me that (from trying it on, havent jumped one) 5 all the bells and whistles and add-ons put it about 10% cheaper than a comparably equipped vector. money matters to me, the container will be the only "new" part of my rig. it comes stock with a lot of options that are add-ons for most other manufacturers. 6 my dropzone is a mirage and vector DZ and i like pissing in the wind. 7 i like their coloring options better ... 8 the curv has dynamic corners as standard 9 i really like the idea behind their low profile flaps and their stowage flap to help position the hackey 10 the hip rings sit exactly on my hip articulation point .... which is kind of the ... point. keep in mind that from what others have told me, and from my own experience wearing a curv in person, the cut away and reserve handles seem a bit smaller than other manufacturers. I have yet to hear of anyone wishing their EP handles were smaller while in the middle of a high speed spinning malfunction at 1800 ft. just FWIW Curv for me, Broseidon king of the brocean.
  2. I has to do with the equipment, not the location. I know of at least one drop zone in the US that allows tandems all the way down to 12 to jump ... because their European tandem system is rated as such and they are not a USPA Dropzone.
  3. When I was starting my journey into skydiving, I was warned numerous times by the DZO and the staff that the tandem harnesses and the student rig harnesses can induce nausea due to pressure on the legs. I never experienced anything other than crippling fear and bruised thighs ... but i have heard that nausea is not uncommon.
  4. Not a professional skydiver AT ALL (50 jumps), and not nearly burnt out ...... but I have been burnt out of just about every other hobby I have ever had by turning it into a job. I loved hiking and camping ... then I started doing it as a job in Highschool and College working for local outfitters setting up and guiding trips .... I am just now getting back into it after more than 10 years away from it. I loved Whitewater Kayaking ... and wasnt half-bad as a Class V paddler with tons of Whitewater/ Swiftwater Rescue Training. Then I started guiding and volunteering as a Rescue Tech .... killed it for me. I havent been in a boat in 7 years, sold / gave away all my gear 2-3 years ago and I am just now getting to point of entertaining the idea of getting back into it ... in the future .... maybe. I love to build things and work with my hands so i ditched engineering and became a welder ... 10 years in the field as a welder were rough but I enjoyed it ... 3 years into teaching it and the polished shine is starting to tarnish over (Granted, this has been a terrible year for teachers). Being a skydiving instructor, from my short time in skydiving but a very long career in skilled trades, mirrors skilled trade work in a lot of ways .... and all of the bad ones from what i can see. working 7 days a week is not sustainable by anyone ... not without burning the person out and leaving a hollow shell. I would echo what the others have said .... what you describe sounds a lot like just being burnt out. We can get tired of the things we love if we dont take time to remember why we loved them in the first place, and put effort into staying in that place of loving it....which sometimes means keeping it for ourselves. I have already had multiple people approach me about getting my Coach and Instructor ratings and side job / weekend gig blah blah blah .... just like every other hobby I had, I always get asked to consider teaching it .... HELL NO. I have made a vow to myself to keep this for me. Not trying to talk my partner into skydiving either ... or my kids... They can stay home so I can keep this all to myself and be greedy with my enjoyment and love. maybe one day, way down the line, IF being selfish with my love for this sport starts to wane a bit ... maybe I will look at C/I ratings .... or maybe ill just find another niche and be greedy with it a while longer.
  5. I agree with Binary93, must have features and nice to have features put you into the realm of designing two separate audibles for two separate clientele. I also agree with sundevil777, i love my peebles by AON2 and I think its probably the best "simple" audible I have seen. I personally, am not interested in the ability for an audible to speak the altitude to me. i know where its set, i know what my frequencies mean. The only advantage I would see here would be in an instructor role, but even then I think it would be distracting more than helpful. scenario 1 - simple / cheap - Must haves: Simplicity! waterproof USB for connectivity and charging. configurable sound frequency per alarm minimum 6 alarm altitudes speed dependent, and configurable, hard deck alarm external visible or audible standby mode notification (blinking light to let you know its on) climbing notification altitude offset separate high speed and low speed alarms (not a fan of my audible screaming in my ear at 4000ft if we are riding the plane down or I high-pulled) Scenario 2 - flashy - nice to have: Bluetooth connectivity for setup and log download, wireless charging (Qi, etc) better speed and location tracking (like dekunu or aon2 X2) that can be easily integrated into google earth rather than proprietary software output capability for HUD or visual altitude cues (Bluetooth would be nice here to limit wiring) auto powersaving mode below 5% battery standby mode with auto climb activation (so gps isnt running constantly) in-ear speaker (ear bud) would actually be nice. The unit could then be larger, not located in the helmet necessarily, and have an ear bud (or two) that would both block engine / wind noise and make the audible easier to hear.
  6. Turns out the 206 had ads-b issues so we were in the 182. 3 or 4 per run, visors down or open as little as possible, some wore masks while others didnt. Overall the vibe was "relief". We were all ready to jump and very much needed the air bath to cleanse our souls! It was somewhat busy, not packed (small DZ on a private airfield anyway), not the busiest i have seen it, but busier than it has been on many days. This DZ doesnt have a lot of fun jumpers on a daily basis since its small and only an hour from a DZ with two twin otters and a king air ... but we had about 12 fun jumpers taking laps in the 182 most of the day which is very solid for this DZ with no tandems. They were also fielding lots of calls and taking tandem reservations. They were the first to open in the state as far as i am aware and have stayed busy since they opened on Monday. I will be back there soon.
  7. It lees like some DZs are going to try start opening as restrictions become fewer, so it may not be much longer! Wash your hands and dont let strangers cough in your throat.
  8. Aon² x2 records data that can be imported into google maps. Might be worth looking into the X2.
  9. tunnel time / free fall time ... those are the only cures for spins that have not yet happened. If you find yourself in a spin, click your heels together ... I have been told by many of my teachers that legs are the typical culprit of spinning in students. I did not have this issue for more than 360*, likely due to my teachers being proactive about my legs (and yes, it was always my legs that caused my issues). 10 minutes of tunnel time is nice, 20 is great, 30 is invaluable in learning to control your body as a student.
  10. I Use the EP3s as well (referenced in the thread link above). They work well enough for me at reducing the engine noise and freefall noise to keep my ears from ringing the rest of the day and night. I have tinnitus from my years in industrial work and not enough brains to wear earplugs, so now im just protecting what hearing I have left as well as drowning out background noise so i can concentrate.
  11. I started jumping this year; got my A, new audible, new altimeter, free helmet, new gloves, gear bag, used jumpsuit and currently have 35 jumps. Im over $4k into it and i knew going in i was on a shoestring budget (teacher). Its difficult to learn and progress when im only getting a few jumps a month in because of budget ... im basically just staying current at this point. Since im renting gear, its $53 per jump and that adds up quickly. Im done with gear until my summer contracts come through and then maybe ill pick up a used rig for 4k. If you are not financially independent, be prepared to move very slowly. If your parents cant drop $4k easily and willingly, be prepared not to start jumping until you have a chunk of cash. Savings isnt savings if you are spending it.
  12. definitely latex or nitrile gloves to cut out the wind. Another option for gloves would be motorsports gloves (motorcycling or snowmobiling) are usually thin and windproof (I have snowmobiling gloves which work well for me as a new skydiver, about $60 US). Multiple thin layers, as a student you should be in a jumpsuit that is just slightly big anyway, so there should be room underneath. My last jump was -12*F at altitude (30 on the ground) and it was only tolerable in just a jumpsuit (Vertical Raptor) with a T-shirt under it and gloves .... except for my open face helmet, my face was very cold. That is as cold as I want until my full face helmet comes in, and I should have had my thermals on under my jumpsuit to stay comfortable. You are only in the air for maybe 8 minutes (plus the plane ride) and I, personally, would rather be a bit too cold than hot on a cramped plane.
  13. I would second this ... especially as a new skydiver like me. You already have an altimeter, get an audible. My Brilliant Pebbles is set up for break off and track (5500)', pull altitude (4000') and then a single beep at 1000', 600', and 300' for my landing pattern. But those beeps are just there to remind me of my altitude ... my main gauge is always visual. Case in point: on my last jump there was a low pressure system coming in and the winds were howling East above 4k, very confused and gusting up to 14mph below 4k. My 2-way was first out the door and from pull time to landing I made exactly 1 flat turn of approximately 120* around 400' to land. Dont rely on a set pattern ... rely on your eyes. My partner, on the other hand (new skydiver as well) mis-judged the wind and had to land downwind (Not enough altitude to turn-in) which was no fun for him. Since we are newer skydivers, we cant rely on the experience we dont yet have ... but you should rely on your eyes more than a set altitude. I have a digital altimeter, and I really only use it as a guide under canopy. On top of that, two altimeters are better than one, it is always nice to have a backup. With that being said, I do like the digital altimeter under canopy as it lets me play with my canopy and see how my altitude is affected. I did always find it tough to judge the altitude loss in a turn with the sticky old analogues .... again, because I dont have the experience of 1000 jumps to pull from so I do need the information laid out easier for me.