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  1. Orthoclase

    Beginner WL

    This thread is a prime example of why I discuss downsizing with experienced people who I trust and who have actually seen me fly, rather than on dz.com.
  2. Orthoclase

    Beginner WL

    I have less time in the sport than you so I'm not sure how valid this is but I'd caution against setting hard deadlines for yourself (i.e. I should be flying a XX square foot canopy by the time I'm at XX jumps, etc). Downsizing isn't a race -- as the saying goes, "it's the journey, not the destination." And that journey will be a lot more fun if you don't hurt yourself. I'm not by any means saying you're going to (so please don't read it like that). Everyone's learning curve is different in this sport. I have no idea where I'll be 100 jumps from now, much less 500. Don't focus so much on the long game that you miss opportunities along the way. Fly the crap out of your current canopy until you're bored with it, and then talk to people about downsizing.
  3. Also, it's fair to say that climbing Everest (or any other 8000m peak, really) represents a pretty elite level of mountaineering that most people will never engage in. I don't know what the skydiving analogy would be, but I do remember them mentioning at Safety Day this year that a significant percentage of the skydiving deaths in 2018 were D-licensed jumpers. It's probably fair to say that with most "adventure sports," the more advanced/technical you get, the lower the margin for error and higher the consequences are. And then there's the "the more times/longer you do something, the more likely it is that eventually, something bad will happen."
  4. Orthoclase

    How long should it take to get on a load?

    I would say if they have student jumpsuits available, use one of them hold off on buying a custom/new one until you figure out what kind of skydiving you want to focus on (freeflying, RW, etc). If you're a bigger dude and you want to do RW jumps, you'll want something with more surface area to slow you down so you can stay with the group. Conversely, if you're pretty small/light, you'll want something pretty form-fitting so you can fall fast enough to keep up with the group. Once you get your license and start jumping with other people of all shapes and sizes, you'll get a feel for how your fall rate is and can make an informed jumpsuit choice at that point
  5. In mountaineering/backcountry skiing people talk about danger and events (usually avalanches, but theoretically it could apply to anything) in terms of both probability and consequence. Almost everything in skydiving would fall under the "high consequence" category, regardless of how rare it is (or who's fault it is -- jumper, packer, another jumper, etc). If two jumpers collide under canopy, (not super common, but it does happen), does it really matter who's fault it was? It's a dangerous, potentially fatal situation for both of them -- including the one who theoretically wasn't at fault. We're all human and none of us are infallible, and you can't really treat real situations involving real humans like some numerical model you whipped up on Mathematica or something.
  6. Orthoclase

    Hey everyone!

    I don’t think a tandem is necessary before AFF. I went into it with no tandem or tunnel time — if I was to go back and do it all over again I’d do a short tunnel session first, just to be comfortable with what arching feels like in freefall, but wouldn’t do a tandem. That said, if you’re on the fence about whether or not you really want to skydive, and just want to experience freefall without having to worry about doing a bunch of skill things, then sure, do the tandem. But if you’re pretty sure you want to go all the way with it, then it’s not really necessary. Once you get licensed, that $220 will go a lot further
  7. Well, the American Alpine Club publishes “Accidents in North American Mountaineering” annually — though according to that micromort list, saying “skydiving is less dangerous than mountaineering” doesn’t really mean squat. Skydiving is dangerous.
  8. Orthoclase

    Good skydiving songs

    Au5 - Freefall
  9. I don't think used gear depreciates quite that much, generally, though it depends on how much wear and tear you put on it.