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Everything posted by betzilla

  1. I think your theory gives people too much credit, haha. The people I've encountered who've grossly overpaid for crappy used gear have only considered how much cheaper it is than new gear, and have failed to ask someone knowledgeable whether the price makes sense. I'm thinking of telling people that as a rule of thumb, if they're looking at used gear that's older than ten years, or that has been heavily jumped, they should plan on having to drop $500 in upkeep (repairs and replacement parts) on it to make it airworthy, pending a full inspection. But is seems that, since gear is kind of like a trusted friend to the owner, people tend to try to sell their gear for its sentimental value (which is high) rather than its actual value (which is often low, especially if it's been sitting in the closet while the owner hems and haws about leaving the sport for a few years). And newbies pay it, because they don't know any better, and often don't even know who to ask...
  2. I totally agree with this. I did literally hundreds of main relines as a senior rigger, at first with minimal 'supervision,' then totally on my own. During this same period I diagnosed and reworked several grievous errors made by Master Riggers who had relined canopies. I also replaced some reserve lines for a Master Rigger who did not feel comfortable doing it himself, but who knew I had the skill to do it (he did supervise those jobs, since he would be logging the work). Until it becomes true that Master Riggers are actually better at the work, it just doesn't make sense to say only they can do relines, especially when we are talking about just installing linesets built by the factory. I *could* see an argument that only a Master Rigger may manufacture a replacement lineset, but even there I have little faith that the average master rigger is particularly good at that (I'm a strong believer in factory made parts wherever available).
  3. considering that the dues have been the same since I joined in 1998, it doesn't seem that big an increase, to me.
  4. $75 includes wash and reassembly. Repack additional at the standard price. And I always wish I had charged more.
  5. agreed. Those order forms are a bit confusing, as they appear on their website today!
  6. I'm pretty sure the "A" and "V" have distinct bundles of options included in their respective base prices too. I'm not sure how crazy you can get in terms of adding options a la carte with either.
  7. what's the best airport to fly into for this boogie? - curious to see whether I can manage it financially, and it looks like airfare would be the deciding factor...
  8. for some reason I think @Peek might have some info on this, from an experiment he did. I could be wrong, of course, but maybe send him a PM?
  9. Yup. I hate, hate, HATE packing mains. But my openings are nicer when I pack for myself than they are when I use a packer - even my favorite packer. OP: you'll be fine. You kind of have to go out of your way to do something that will cause a chop. Set your brakes, keep your slider where it belongs, keep the lines in the center of your packjob, and cock your pilot chute. As for the rest of it, try to keep it neat, and just go slow until it makes sense. And another little word of advice: do something fun on your first few jumps on your own packjob - that'll take your mind off it :)
  10. Yup. One possible solution is a larger slider (**) which is box pleated at the edges so that the edge dimensions are the same as the original slider size - the result is basically a dome-shaped slider like you find on some of the softer-opening canopies. It's probably worth noting that slowing down the openings might make them more squirrely. That's a trade-off that bears some consideration, especially with an elliptical canopy. ** I have no idea how much larger would be optimal for your particular canopy. But I made a few sliders like this a few years ago when I worked for a guy much smarter than I, for several different canopy models, with generally positive results, iirc.
  11. Although I do like using fewer tools (no locking pullup cord, woot!), I find that molar bags kinda suck when the pilot chute has a large base, like the Mirage PC does. So I like the G3 freebag better in spite of the extra hassle.
  12. I create vertical separation between myself and everybody else. How I do that depends on where I am in the exit order. "Fun" is a secondary concern, but there's plenty of it to be had all the same :)
  13. They also increased the size of the slider on the larger sized Sabre 2's.
  14. but by the time you see enough damage on the Vectran to warrant a reline (say, 500 jumps, give or take), the Spectra may have gone out of trim far enough to make openings squirelly, so you might reline at about the same # o' jumps either way. Personally, I'd choose Vectran and enjoy factory trim for the whole life of the lineset.
  15. How do people think this stuff up? I don't have any chemical info for you, but for my part, I would not allow that those rigs be jumped -- if that polish is on the portion of the loop that goes through the AAD cutter, you never know what kind of effect it could have.
  16. those are pretty cool! Nicely done.
  17. Mirage made some rigs with tuck tab riser covers, that look, feel and pack like G3s, before the product name "G3" came into use. There are probably some differences that are not super obvious, between those and the actual G3... I don't think there is such thing as a Mirage G2. OP, I'd say that if yours doesn't specifically say G3 somewhere on it, you just have a plain old Mirage, without the fancy name, but with all the functionality... Congrats on your new/used gear!
  18. If you want to send a pic to me at, I'd be happy to take a look at the wear that's making you nervous, and tell you whether I share your worry... So... you need the single, 'fat' steering line, all the way from where it joins the uppers? Or just the part that runs from the brake setting loop to the toggle? Or everything from the canopy down? Or just the uppers? I'm confused, haha IMO, if it's just brake-to-toggle, almost any rigger can manage that as long as she has a zig-zag machine and a tape measure. More than that, and it's a little more time-consuming than it's worth to try to build them yourself, UNLESS you have a love of process (because it is really fun to reverse-engineer something and have it turn out perfect!). When I worked for the service center, prices were $70 for a complete set of steering lines (canopy to toggle) and $40 for Lower Control lines. Almost nobody ordered just brake-to-toggle lines, so I can't recall what we charged - probably $10. This was all several years ago, so prices may have risen a bit since then.
  19. I have one, and I really like it. I've barely flown it though, since I'm mostly a belly person, and haven't quite had the cash flow to hit the tunnel like I want to... Great service from Bev, too.
  20. Icarus control lines are 1050 Vectran. You can get it at Para Gear: Or buy a pair of pre-built lowers for $50ish from the Icarus Service Center.
  21. I had a similar experience the first time I was in a hanging harness. In my case, my hand didn't slip off the cutaway handle - it just stopped moving in response to the shear-force of the velcro. The metal reserve ripcord slipped easily from between the velcro by comparison. After that, I very purposefully changed my visualization cadence to peel-pull-pull (I'm a one-hander), then peel-pull-peel-pull, when I switched to a soft reserve handle. I'm fortunate to have a lifetime supply of closed rigs with handles I can pull during repack season (I've been rigging full time for more than a decade). As surprised as I am when jumpers don't choose to pull their handles when they drop their rigs off, I will happily do it a hundred times a year! One thing I have learned is that it matters less, at least in my experience, what kind of handle you have (metal or pillow) than it does that you are visualizing that handle-type. Because I am used to pillow handles, from my own semi-compulsive handle touching on the ride to altitude, I often miss the metal handles when I pull them on customer rigs. Maybe something to think of if you are borrowing gear, and especially when you switch handle type on your own gear!
  22. Buying a used helmet is really good advice, and there are probably lots of used G3's and G2's out there. As for jumpsuits, unless there's a local guy selling one, that you can try on, and that fits perfectly, I would recommend sucking it up and buying new. It's worth the $$ for a perfect fit. I'm not super familiar with Francois' suits, but I've known him as a customer for several years, and he is more than reliable.