betzilla

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betzilla last won the day on October 14

betzilla had the most liked content!

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Gear

  • Main Canopy Size
    149
  • Reserve Canopy Size
    160
  • AAD
    Cypres 2

Jump Profile

  • Home DZ
    Great Lakes Skydivers, Gobles, MI (now closed)
  • License
    D
  • License Number
    23089
  • Licensing Organization
    USPA
  • Number of Jumps
    1300
  • Tunnel Hours
    6
  • Years in Sport
    20
  • First Choice Discipline
    Formation Skydiving
  • First Choice Discipline Jump Total
    800
  • Second Choice Discipline
    Freeflying
  • Second Choice Discipline Jump Total
    350
  • Freefall Photographer
    No

Ratings and Rigging

  • AFF
    Instructor
  • USPA Coach
    No
  • Pro Rating
    No
  • Wingsuit Instructor
    No
  • Rigging Back
    Master Rigger
  • Rigging Seat
    Master Rigger

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  1. One place you can look for a part time job is at the DZ - they may need ground crew or a dishwasher in the restaurant, for instance. You won't make a ton of money (with this or any part time job), but at least then you will be surrounded by people doing the sport you just fell in love with. See if you can get your mom out to the DZ to watch some jumping. Maybe she'll chill out a little when she sees how smiley people get when skydiving.
  2. I'm in my 40s, and I relate right now, lol. I think it's really normal to get to college, where we thought as a kid everything would be amazing, and then feel, "shit. Is this it?" I also think there's an expectation that you are supposed to have your life's path figured out at age 18, and progress linearly toward your Life's Purpose. That's pretty unfair. Your brain isn't even finished developing until your mid 20's. You will change your mind about... EVERYTHING hundreds of times over the course of your life, and that is completely normal. Change your major. Take a year off to travel or work. Study something you love, AND something mundane that can earn you a living. Graduate (or don't!), then go back to school for something completely different, or learn a trade and work with your hands. We're all just guessing, really, and that's the thing we have in common. Nobody (really) has it figured out, and it's a shame so many people pretend that they do. Because if we were all a little more honest, you might not feel so alone. If you jump at Skydive Chicago, maybe I'll see you there next season. I'd be happy to chat with you about what it's like to reinvent many times in one lifetime, and still be like, "oh... it's like this now?" Lol. It's just a process. We are all here to help.
  3. betzilla

    Skydiving with a SLAP tear

    I didn't jump much this season, but what jumping I did wasn't problematic. That said, my shoulder WAS sore after a long weekend with 15 jumps or so, all belly jumps. For the same reason I didn't jump much - I am just really busy and kind of crappy at managing my time unless it's an emergency - I haven't found time for PT. I'm inspired to make it happen before too long, though, because a couple personal training sessions this fall revealed some very minor popping and clicking that wasn't there before, and mild discomfort (not quite pain - just a sort of awareness of one spot in my shoulder). So as one might expect, it definitely hasn't gotten better on its own, but it's not getting worse very quickly in my case. Seems likely that it will be manageable with just PT, if I can find the time to do it! Good luck with your tear. I hope PT can manage it for you (they may be able to give you some very focused strengthening exercises), and that your February trip is fun and safe! Keep us posted!
  4. might be trim, might not be. But if it's a brand new canopy that you just purchased from the manufacturer (or through a dealer who bought it from the manufacturer), they will most likely look into it and fix or replace it for you. Your first step should be to contact your dealer for help.
  5. betzilla

    License Number

    If you mean USPA license, it's a totally new license number
  6. 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.
  7. betzilla

    RUSH RESERVE GERMAN ENGINEERING

    I packed one in 2013. I don't recall having any negative feelings about it.
  8. 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.
  9. Dacron lines will add a bunch of bulk.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. The 193 referenced in the Wings size chart is a PR 193, not an optimum. The equivalent optimum would be a 218.
  13. betzilla

    Cookie G4 VERSUS Bonehead Composites Dynamic

    The G4 comes down lower at the back of the head than the G3 does.
  14. 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!
  15. betzilla

    These earplugs are different

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