betzilla

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Everything posted by betzilla

  1. actually, my understanding is that new javelins no longer have the bridle sewn to the dbag. But to answer your question, as long as you use a bag that is the correct size and shape for your container, and an appropriately sized pilot chute, you will be just fine.
  2. Hi Marc, There are no sane reasons to skydive if you don't enjoy it. Your wife is lucky to have a husband who is willing to skydive to make her happy, but I have to assume that if she is half as devoted to you as you are to her, she doesn't want you to be made miserable in the process. If hanging out at the DZ every weekend cheerleading for her is no fun (it wouldn't be fun for me), try to reach an agreement where you aren't expected to be there all weekend every weekend. Maybe she can take a weekend or two off from jumping each month - and not just the weekends with crappy weather, because that's not fair - so you can do something together that you both love? Maybe you have a thing that you love but she doesn't, that you can pursue on the weekends that she's jumping (Sailing? Bicycling? Gardening? Hiking?). but YES, you might come back to jumping and love it. You also might not. If freefall is the thing that's freaking you out (it sounds like you have a vivid imagination, and are thinking about how all the teeny little motions you could make, could cause you to fly irrevocably out of control), go fly in the tunnel for 10-15 minutes. They can teach you everything you need to know as a student except tracking. Once you have faith in your ability to fall stable and recover stability quickly if something goes goofy, you may find you've got more confidence. ALSO, tunnel is something you and your wife can do together that's kind of a lot like skydiving, even if you never want to jump out of another plane. Might be a pretty good compromise! Importantly: congrats on your weight loss. That (along with the rest of your post) shows that when you put your mind to something, you achieve it. Nicely done.
  3. if you like the snaps on your VK's drawstring slider, you may wish to stay with the PD RDS (or verify that the aftermarket brands have those before purchasing one).
  4. if you're like most of us, you'll do something later on that's FAR more embarrassing than failing an instructional jump (which pretty much everyone does), and might even result in a nickname or two . Shake it off and carry on.
  5. That is exactly what it means. I am that rigger. The 20-year policy was established before I started here, and to be honest, I like it. I can make exceptions case by case, and I have done so on occasion for close friends whose equipment is in exceptionally good shape (For the record, I do not recommend anyone count on my making exceptions to the rule for them. My definition of "close friend" or of "exceptionally good shape" may be different from yours, and I would rather not disappoint you on either count, lol). I've had customers at previous lofts whose gear was "well-loved." While I could not see any reason to retire it in terms of real airworthiness issues, those containers simply gave me the creeps because of their age and the resulting softness of the textiles. In some of these cases, no number of, "it's time to start thinking about replacing your container" talks were effective: The customer asks, "but it's airworthy?" to which the answer is, "technically, yes," and off they go to manifest. I still see some of those rigs in use on the same jumpers when I visit the DZ, six years after leaving that job. It's pretty hard to imagine that they're not in worse shape. I don't recall ever being creeped out by a reserve because of its age - just the harness/containers, which are exposed to the elements jump after jump. I certainly see no reason to retire a PD Reserve just because it's 20+ years old.
  6. your profile suggests you're near Houston. See if you can pick up a little work in the loft in on eof the busy DZs nearby - that will position you to meet customers AND to have someone knowledgeable nearby if you have questions (as you inevitably will, as a new rigger). In my experience, if you can communicate effectively, show up on time, and make rigging your priority, you will have an advantage over many riggers -- some are splitting their time and attention between tandems, video and AFF, and many of those who rig full time are a little wonky in the way they talk with customers. Congrats and good luck!
  7. I'm pretty sure UPT is still using that same design, though it's been a few months since I've assembled a sparkly new Vector. This design requires a #4 grommet too (a good thing to know in case you're thinking of putting a UPT PC on some other manufacturer's d-bag). The type 4 stop can pull through a #5 when it gets broken in and softens up a little. I like the fully enclosed kill-line in the scrunched up bridle. Two slack lengths of tape/line in the deployment bag (like you get with non-enclosed designs) kind of bugs me -- I'm not aware that's ever caused trouble, but it's not that hard for me to imagine it could, somehow...
  8. If it's a #5 grommet, you need a reserve slink -- a main slink will eventually get soft enough to work its way through. I'm generally a fan of removing metal-on-metal pinch points, but I dislike sewn-on bridles - they create extra work for riggers and extra cost for gear owners when it's time to replace the pilot chute (they either have to pay the rigger for all the seam-ripper practice, or just buy a new deployment bag). I think UPT's setup is about as good as they come, with the only metal on the entire PC/bridle assembly being the pin....
  9. The pens that come with new Cypreses are awesome on tyvek cards, too...
  10. I've had very few problems with the trusty bic stic (also clic stic), medium point.
  11. You're gonna have your hands full with those guys . But at least they'll know how to fill out that 8610-2 (or WILL they?)...
  12. I agree heartily that their website leaves something to be desired. They have a new facebook page, and are responsive to messaging there (at least, that worked for me). To the OP - I'd suggest you try getting in touch with them that way, if for some reason you don't want to call.
  13. They haven't gone out of business.
  14. Thanks for posting the link to these photos! This is super interesting.
  15. What's "new" about it? That looks identical to the same 2 square-inch section of any Wings I've ever seen. Also, your pin isn't seated all the way.
  16. Hey there, @uer16! Was your RSL shackle among those affected by the service bulletin referenced earlier in this thread? Just curious...
  17. Technically that's TWO sizes fit all Parasport came out with silicone stow rings, creatively named "Silirings," that come in five different sizes. They come in packs of 12, one size per package. I haven't personally used them (my Sun Path semi-stowless bag came with Tube Stows, which are working fine for my particular needs), but if you're looking for more size flexibility, these might be just the thing you're looking for. You can get them at ParaGear (where I work), and probably a bunch of other shops too.
  18. YES. When I was a student (before tunnels were convenient or powerful enough to be useful to students), one of my instructors said, "Imagine trying to learn to ride a bike one minute at a time, a couple times a week. How long do you think it would take to stop falling over?" I also want to mention that one of the most gifted instructors I've known had to repeat one of his student jumps around 30 times, and WAS given the, "listen, we're going to let you try this one more time and that's it" talk. He passed, and was a better instructor for having struggles as a student. So, Erica, if you enjoy jumping, pushing through the frustration will be worth it!
  19. most people wear these on their forearm, not their wrist - if that's your plan, order a size up.
  20. hmm. seems like it might be related to how the excess was stowed on that particular jump - if somebody decided to stow it the same way UPT used to recommend it be stowed with Tru Lok toggles, that could open a person to that type of problem on those Mirage risers, I reckon...
  21. Curious: what was the nature of the toggle "hangup?"
  22. Is finesse and swearing ok? I find myself using that combination a lot on rigs of all types for which I'm rated ...