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Everything posted by betzilla

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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...
  4. 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....
  5. The pens that come with new Cypreses are awesome on tyvek cards, too...
  6. I've had very few problems with the trusty bic stic (also clic stic), medium point.
  7. 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?)...
  8. 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.
  9. They haven't gone out of business.
  10. Thanks for posting the link to these photos! This is super interesting.
  11. 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.
  12. Hey there, @uer16! Was your RSL shackle among those affected by the service bulletin referenced earlier in this thread? Just curious...
  13. 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.
  14. 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!
  15. most people wear these on their forearm, not their wrist - if that's your plan, order a size up.
  16. 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...
  17. Curious: what was the nature of the toggle "hangup?"
  18. Is finesse and swearing ok? I find myself using that combination a lot on rigs of all types for which I'm rated ...
  19. Icarus World's reserve soft links now have a little orange cloth bit on the ring, with a TSO stamp (the early ones didn't have this, and the ones in the photo you posted don't either).
  20. I largely agree with this, and I think it's more true the less contact the riggers have with others. I'm beyond grateful that my early rigging years were spent in a busy loft with a couple very patient, experienced Master Riggers wandering around to answer my questions.
  21. Thanks for the plug, Bob! (full disclosure: I work at Para Gear) The hand mount Bob linked to is just like what Alti-2 sends with their Galaxies, though, so it might not do the trick for you, OP. But then again, it might.... If you're jumping a borrowed altimeter, the jumper might have tweaked the velcro part of the hand mount a little (I've seen all kinds of tweaks on DZs), and maybe in a way that doesn't work for smaller-boned jumpers - in particular, I'm thinking that if the velcro part has been sewn in place, it might be sewn such that you just can't get it as tight as you need it, and still have enough hook velcro exposed to fasten it securely? There IS a wrist strap available for Altimaster galaxies - if you own that altimeter but want a wrist mount, this would be your most economical route. Anyway... The AloXs hand mount is pretty cool, and looks like it would do a very good job of positioning the AloXs for easy view, and not letting it move around. Larsen and Brusgaard's Alti-Track also has a hand mount that positions it a little closer to your thumb than to the center of the back of your hand (but it doesn't give you the option to switch to a wrist mount in the future, so if that's important to you, keep that in mind!). The Stella is similar, but doesn't have the sexy logbook function - however, the Stella DOES have an available elastic wrist mount accessory (sold separately). And speaking of Larsen and Brusgaard, if you want digital, and you want a wristmount, you should definitely check out the Viso II+. Their elastic wristmount comes in *all the colors,* five different sizes, and allows you to position your alti exactly where you want it. All of these are available at Para Gear, and many other pro shops. Good luck finding what works for you, and with learning to jump!
  22. The market for iPhones is basically the entire population of the developed world, plus a growing proportion of the developing world. So if you decide you don't want that "customized" iphone and don't pay for it, chances are pretty solid that another one of the millions of humans in the world will want the same configuration, so Apple won't lose the $45 they have sunk in the phone - they just sell it to the next guy. The market for skydiving equipment is extraordinarily small by comparison, and the equipment is highly customized. If you flake out or get injured and can't complete your purchase, the small companies relying on the revenue (some of those companies are truly tiny: you could count their employees on the fingers on a single hand) are still responsible for your turquoise/orange/brown monstrosity with custom monograms and left-side throw-out, built for a guy who's 5'2" and 250 pounds, jumping a VK79. See the difference? There's just no reasonable comparison.