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betzilla last won the day on October 14

betzilla had the most liked content!

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  • Main Canopy Size
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    Cypres 2

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    Great Lakes Skydivers, Gobles, MI (now closed)
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  1. I think this would depend on the type of hook knife -- I was really irritated to have one confiscated until I considered that the "hook" was big enough that I could have lopped off a fingertip with it. The TSA has been cool with me when I've taken my stuff through security, for the most part. I'd just recommend that you allow some extra time, because if you're cutting it close, you'll look nervous, and if you look nervous they'll wonder what you're up to, and it all goes downhill from there. If you are relaxed and willing to shoot the shit with them about skydiving, they will probably not be too jerky about it. I generally carry my gear on if I have connecting flights (if I'm going to get separated from my luggage because of too tight a connection, I'd rather that luggage not be $10k worth of custom skydiving gear!). I check it if I have a direct flight, and I make sure I've arrived at the airport with plenty of time for the baggage handlers to get it to the plane.
  2. betzilla


    I packed one in 2013. I don't recall having any negative feelings about it.
  3. betzilla

    Leg-strap bungee necessity

    A bungee won't keep you from falling out of the harness backwards. Your own muscles will do that (and any rig that fits well enough for you to deploy a canopy safely in will fit well enough for you to stay in it with your leg straps scooched forward a bit under canopy). BUT... if you want a bungee on your rig, it's a really easy thing for a rigger with a decent sewing machine to add, for probably well under $20.
  4. Dacron lines will add a bunch of bulk.
  5. Lawyers have a high rate of misery compared to other professions. A 2-second google search revealed that attorneys have the 11th highest suicide rate by occupation. I'm sad that people immediately piled on the OP. I suspect skydiving has saved a LOT of people from depression, and I think there is HUGE value in people sharing openly about their struggles with mental health. That's undermined when people are jerks to each other when they could just as easily say nothing.
  6. The grommets don't need to stay "together." They need to stay up against the stops (which are apparently offset a little on that canopy, as they are on many other designs). While I'm pushing the air out of a canopy, I put my knee up against the grommets and hold them against the stops. You can check and reposition the grommets right through the tail fabric when you start making your S-Fold too. You'll get better at it as you gain experience packing that canopy.
  7. The 193 referenced in the Wings size chart is a PR 193, not an optimum. The equivalent optimum would be a 218.
  8. betzilla

    Cookie G4 VERSUS Bonehead Composites Dynamic

    The G4 comes down lower at the back of the head than the G3 does.
  9. betzilla

    Consistent sneaky off-heading openings

    one thing I have done with my packjobs that has helped quite a bit, is to spread open the center cell of the nose, before I wrap the tail. In theory, and I think in reality also, lol, this helps ensure that the center cell inflates first, and the canopy then pressurizes symmetrically. Give that a shot and see if it helps. Good luck!
  10. betzilla

    These earplugs are different

    Para Gear no longer carries these. But I second that they are great!
  11. betzilla

    Night jump - altimeter?

    for my night jumps (twenty years ago. damn), I literally duct tapes a mini-maglite to my wrist, pointed at my handmount. It worked great and cost me nothing. It had pretty minimal cool factor though, lol
  12. betzilla

    Anyone jumping a newer vortex

    !!! Keep in mind this means you need to be extra vigilant that your pouch is in good shape, to guard against premature deployments. If your pilot chute slides into the pouch more easily, the same will be true for it sliding out. There is always a trade off. Really nice looking rig though!
  13. betzilla


    It's soooo normal to be nervous - as a student skydiver, every jump requires you to get way outside your comfort zone! Tunnel time might not help you with the nerves themselves, but it WILL help you with the freefall stuff the nerves are keeping you from visualizing. And it will help you with general confidence (which MIGHT help with the nerves!).
  14. betzilla

    Vector V308

    yep. It's doable, but not much fun. PR126/OP143 (and below) is where the one-size-up OP doesn't really pack the same size as the smaller PR, at least in my experience. That becomes more pronounced as you get into smaller and smaller sizes...
  15. betzilla

    Ideal body type for skydiving

    I'm pretty stocky too - 5'4" and a little on the heavy side. I'm also a pretty damn good skydiver. It's much more a mental game than physical. Join us!