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Everything posted by betzilla

  1. I don't think so, though vectran being a little "grabbier" than other line types, it might just be tougher to pfutz with. if I had a canopy in here at the moment with an over-tight larkshead on a line tab, I'd shoot a little video to show you how I handle it. Maybe later in the week when I'm at summerfest, I'll team up with the fabulous Miss FluffieDuckie to make it happen. The worst mishaps I've had in hundreds of relines (I miss relines. Don't get to do many of those at my current gig) are maybe 2-3 line attachment tab replacements required, and maybe two fingertip cuts and a palm stab. Could definitely have been worse!
  2. ha! in this context, I take the word "guys" to be non-gender-specific. No apology necessary :) Some lines will be tighter on the tabs than others, as I'm sure you've noticed. I usually push up on the line, toward and against the tab, to loosen up the larkshead, then cut at the apex of the loop. I wouldn't have the nerve to use a box-cutter either. I don't need any more patch practice, nor do I enjoy replacing line attachment tabs, haha...
  3. I use orange-handled fiskars. They cost about $8 a pop. Loosen the larkshead just enough to get one point in, and keep the tips close together as you push the blades forward onto the line. So you're never really opening the scissors, and you aren't using your hand strength to cut the line - you're just sliding the two blades across it and letting them do all the work. A couple pretty significant bonuses to using cheap scissors for this: - it's not so heartbreaking when you have to throw them away. - you can also buy cheap scissor-sharpeners (about $15, I think) that work incredibly well on cheap scissors, though they probably are worthless on high quality blades.
  4. Lots of good advice already given! The best of this (IMO) is... if this is your first rig, buy used gear if you can find used that fits you (physically and otherwise). When you find a used rig that appeals to you, run it by someone knowledgeable before you buy it (your instructors and/or your rigger), to make sure it's a good choice and a fair price. Someone suggested a new container and used canopies - GREAT idea, especially if you have a non-average body shape. Someone else suggested that a "large dealer" will have everything in stock. That's largely untrue -- we mostly just pull off the manufacturer stock lists at customer request. Many large dealers will have a pretty good selection of used gear, though, so that's worth looking into for sure! Places to look for new gear on-the-quick are the Mirage facebook page (their photo albums are where you'll find their stock containers, and they have a LOT of new stock containers), Sunrise Manufacturing's (Wings) website has a good stock list, and the PD webpage has lots stock canopies. Sunpath also has a wicked-good stock rig program which gets you a hot-looking Javelin container with the harness built to fit you like a glove (and plenty of custom options available), with a 2-week delivery. Good luck in your quest! new (and new-to-you) gear is the best!
  5. Sound like a classic lines-out-of-trim scenario. A reline will get you back to those sweet openings you liked.
  6. Totally agree. I'm learning a ton here...
  7. I totally agree with gowlerk: There has to be a sharp edge somewhere. Maybe the heat shrink, but you should also look at the confluence wrap on the main riser - the hot knifed edge might be a little prickly and making contact. Find the pointy bit and take care of that, and your shouldn't see any further damage, I'd reckon.
  8. I'd be willing to bet that's an error on their redesigned webpage. Wanna put a cosmo on it?
  9. Here's a list of what's been issued since 2001 or so:
  10. Go for it! The only thing tough is the grommets -- the tools to set them are costly, so if you'd need to buy the tools, you might decide to just buy a new slider instead. But if you have the ability/equipment to build a slider, you also have the ability to modify the existing one so that the drawstrings are functional again, so maybe do that first...
  11. looks *maybe* a mite long, but not having T-Rex arms, I'd sure as hell rather have an inch too long than an inch too short. Pilot rigs often have a LOT more extra length on their cables than this.
  12. yep, I was just going to post that very thing. To me, this is as big an improvement as what I feel is the more positive grip afforded by the "phatness" of the phat daddy. FWIW, you could probably still get the old "soft pillow" (you can if you're replacing the ripcord per the SB from a couple years ago, for instance), but you'd have to special order it, I think.
  13. They could in theory, but they won't. They aren't supporting any of their sport products anymore.
  14. The "18" part should be pretty much the same. The "C" in C18 refers to the yoke portion (the width around the back of the neck and shoulders, around to the base ring. "C" yokes generally fit dudes of average build pretty well, and women with broad shoulders). The M-series will probably be a bit narrower through the yoke, though that will depend (I think) on the original owner's measurements. I love Sun Path for making yoke size easy to decipher!
  15. Yes, that ^^^. The rigger who told you if you can't manage to rotate the bag, you can leave it "vertical" is also right (it might look a little bulgy, but that's really the only downside).
  16. ^^^That gave me all the warm fuzzies. You're the best, Terry
  17. Hiya John, I had one customer who wanted to switch back to a PDR 113 after using his OP 126. I think the softness of the opening (softness, not slowness. They don't open 'slow') kind of gave him the willies. Everyone else I've spoken to who has firsthand experience flying OP's is very happy with both the opening characteristics and the flight characteristics. As a rigger, there's no reserve I'd rather pack. I'll probably upsize from my PDR 126 to an OP143 when my ship comes in :)
  18. to me, it mainly looks like the laterals are a little short. MLW length looks pretty good. $210 is a LOT for an assembly.
  19. I bought a great set online for like $15 from a place that sells bike repair tools. If I could remember the website, I'd post it, but that was a few years back. They're better than anything "skydive specific" I've used, or anything I could find at home depot.
  20. That manual IS pretty sweet. Thanks for the heads up that it exists :) I'm not sure what you're seeing that looks unusual, although I'm not sure what the "E" in "E-fold" is all about. That just looks like nice, clean flaking to me.
  21. If they skeeze you out, any rigger worth her salt can add a keeper to them for you :)
  22. That's a specious argument. I totally love my UPT semi-stowless bag. It's faster to pack, my openings are more on-heading (not positive that's a bout the bag, though, as I tweaked my pack jobs a bit at about the same time I went stowless), and in about a hundred jumps with that bag, I think I had to replace a rubber band twice. I've never heard of increased line wear with stowless bags, but I've seen a lot of increased happiness.
  23. The J4 will fit the same stuff as the J4K.
  24. Does anybody have a way to get rid of that awful, puke-like smell that old nylon gets? It makes me retch, and I deal with a lot of pilot rigs that have this stink (I'm guessing butt-sweat is one of the ingredients. sigh).