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Posts posted by betzilla

  1. A 7-cell rectangular canopy will have four of each suspension line type on each side - for instance, you have 8 A-lines, total, four of them left and four of them right. An elliptical model might have fewer D lines than A lines (I *think* that's what you were reading about). This varies from canopy model to model - Spectres do have four D lines on each side, however.

    You should be putting all of each line type into the center of your packjob, as much as possible - the more you've got lines creeping toward the outer edges of your pack job, the more you are inviting the still-slim possibility of a line over, since things can get further disrupted as you begin rolling the tail during your pro pack. So you would never want to intentionally leave a line out there...

    • Like 1

  2. 2 hours ago, mbohu said:

    The suggestions about collecting signatures and bringing up a motion at a BOD meeting really seem to be the best way to find out how many agree with you and to get something moving on an issue you care so much about.

    Actually... It would be really easy to create a google forms (or some other) miscrosurvey about whether or not the members want the USPA to contribute or not, and the data gathered would be reasonable easy to work with.

    No, I am not volunteering to do this, lol. I'm ambivalent about the whole thing (as I suspect most of the membership is).

  3. I've had several Crossfire2s, all of which have opened like butter (except that one time I rushed through literally the first pack job on one of them - that one was literally the hardest opening I've ever had. Still no ice-pack needed). Worth noting that they are not the most on-heading openings I've ever had, but in about a thousand jumps on them, I could count the jumps on which I've had line-twists on the fingers of one hand

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  4. On 1/26/2020 at 4:55 PM, Remster said:

    Because in freefall (and that's what we've been talking about), you definitely do not want to look where you're going when turning.  

    This statement makes no sense to me. I must be missing something. Can you explain why this is true?


    You will not find a decent FS coach that will say to look where you are turning. Always look back to the center for as long as possible.  As late a head switch as possible, and then only to look back at the center.  If what you are doing is a center turn, you are not going anywhere, you are turning in place. And looking out early (or at all) will make you drift away.

    Sorry... just read this bit here ^^^

    Totally agree, BUT... "decent FS" is far different from the early stages of learning to skydive, which is what our fearless @David Wang is up to.

    • Like 1

  5. On 1/11/2020 at 12:58 PM, JoeWeber said:

    Pass the torch and the authority to the ones who are current and there every day. It's their turn to be senior now, give them their due and their turn to earn respect.

    I love love love this, BUT...

    I think really whether or not you, or I, should STFU depends on context. There will definitely be situations where you are the expert. When that is the case, let fly with it. For me, the best part about growing older, is that I know what I know, I know what I don't know, I know admitting I don't know is perfectly fine, and I know I can still learn a lot of what I don't know, if I care to.

    • Like 1

  6. 2 hours ago, airnutt said:

    Does anybody else put it on the cable, i'm asking because I don't see too many benefits to it

    I know a guy who used to do that (he doesn't rig anymore). To me, it seems it would only attract more grime. I'll stick with silicone spray.

  7. On 1/6/2020 at 12:14 PM, fcajump said:

    If anyone knows how to make (or where to get) the fishing loop he used to pull the pullup cord back through the closing loop, please drop a line

    it looks like it's just a bit of fine piano wire. But there are dental floss threaders that would probably work (I think the brand is 'dentek.' They're blue, shaped like a teardrop with a long tail, and come in a pack of maybe 40-50).

  8. 2 hours ago, DJL said:

    There's no other time like when you just got done with high school to continue academics

    just want to say... I went to college straight out of high school and was a pretty terrible student even in subjects I understood well and enjoyed (I did still finish). I went BACK to school in my 30's studying something completely different and was a far better student having learned through experience to persevere at difficult, unpleasant tasks. Being a non-traditional student was an extraordinarily rewarding experience for me.

    And my mom got her bachelor's degree at age 60! Maybe it runs in the family.... :)

  9. On 12/14/2019 at 4:02 PM, wolfriverjoe said:

    Slinks get tossed

    this is a huge pet peeve of mine.

    Canopies come with links when they are purchased new, and used canopies should too. Whether or not those links are serviceable should be up to the purchaser/assembling rigger. It is an enormous drag as a rigger to have to ask a customer for an unexpected $35 ($25. whatever they cost now) because the seller kept or cut the soft links.


    • Like 1

  10. 9 minutes ago, 20kN said:

    Take excessive and unnecessary risks.

    - Do things that are dangerous needlessly.

    - Are careless.

    - Are an adrenaline junky that always needs a fix.

    This can be true, and that's why it's important to practice how you frame it. But I just finished a top tier MBA, and not a single person advised that I should not talk (appropriately) about the hobby. I did learn quickly that *I* need to steer the conversation carefully though, or it will be entirely about how scary the thought is to my conversation partner.

    If you talk about focus, and how much you can accomplish in just a few seconds, and the importance of systematic training and practice to avoid and handle possible negative outcomes you don't sound nuts. You sound like the right choice (assuming you are also qualified for whatever is at play).

    • Like 1

  11. 13 hours ago, David Wang said:

    so skydiving can really differenciate ourselves??? especially when we apply for college??

    oh yes. Being a skydiver says many things about you:

    ~You can keep a cool head even when things are a little crazy

    ~You are not afraid of risk. In fact you know how to mitigate it.

    ~You will bring something to the student body that probably few other students will -- you will inspire your peers to try something new, or follow their passions in the face of adversity.


    Start thinking about how you can talk about the sport intelligently (you can still be loony about it on the DZ or with your buddies). That will help with your mom, too. Maybe you'll even inspire HER to try something she's been wondering about!


  12. 15 hours ago, David Wang said:

    but the thing is that my mom won't agree with me

    My mom was always pretty happy to hear I was too busy to make many jumps ("you haven't been skydiving, have you?"), BUT whenever she introduced me to someone, that person would say, "oh, this is the skydiver!" Parents want their to be safe and live forever, but they also love to brag about the cool things their kids do, and how their kids are more adventurous (or whatever) than all the other kids. And they want their kids to feel joy and passion.

    You might talk to your mom about how skydiving will set you apart from the other applicants for college and grad school (it really will, especially if you learn to talk about how what you learn about yourself and human nature in the air, applies in daily life and in school), and that it will HELP you achieve the goals you have that she supports. Then follow through on that.

    If your plan is to become a DZ bum once you finish high school, that's going to be a tough one to sell, lol

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  13. 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.

    • Like 1

  14. 14 hours ago, Madigan said:

    I wondered if anyone could relate. I don't know 

    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.

    • Like 1

  15. 1 hour ago, glennryan13 said:

    @betzilla any update on how yours progressed? I was diagnosed with a SLAP tear and the doctor just recommended PT. I   haven't been to PT yet, but am about to start. I'm not optimistic though as I've still been working out in the gym doing shoulder exercises and it hasn't gotten much better (it's been about 4-5 months). I haven't skydived since, but have a big skydive trip in February. It feels pretty stable but I'm worried about a dislocation.



    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!

  16. On 11/19/2019 at 10:57 AM, Lawndarter said:

    I've been fine with a hook knife I've forgetten to remove before, because the TSA folks all looked at it and decided it could not be used as a weapon in any way.

    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.

    • Like 1