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Everything posted by darrenspooner

  1. At almost 51 I have reached the inevitable position of needing to wear my glasses under my goggles. Does anyone have any advice about how to use some very nice oakley wrap-around prescription glasses instead of goggles? Do I need to put a foam rim around them , do they need any holes for vents etc?
  2. I'd be more concerned about whether your condition was managed by the medication, than the medication itself. If you are having panic attacks or are prone to them then don't get in the plane. If you're taking mirtazapine or venlafaxine, ditto. If you're taking an older TCA such as dothiepin then think carefully. Shouldn't be a problem with the usual suspects (ie, fluoxetine, paroxetine, reboxetine, citalopram). But ALWAYS ask your doctor. I am a clinical psychologisy and I take some of my patients skydiving, some of whom take SSRIs and benzos. But, Always ask your doctor
  3. Take a look at Brian Germain's book "transcending fear"
  4. This may sound like a trite, irrelevant and unhelpful thing to say but it has stood me in good stead and is like a mantra on every jump I do - there are two types of skydiver, those who have done a low turn and those that are going to. My AFF instructor gave me that little gem and it has meant that I have never taken a chance
  5. I did 60 jumps on a Sabre 2 150 (WL about 1.3, which I know is way above what I should have been jumping) and ended up selling it and getting a saffire 2 159. I was having terrible openings on the sabre 2, squirrely diving openings finally resulting in a spinning mal and cutaway at jump 122. Had it tested by PD with impeccable service, and ended up with the same problem on the demo I used while it was being tested. So I got rid and got a saffire 2. It has more predictable openings. It is clearly the case that my body position and packing were to blame, and things are better now. But I had similar, but less severe, problems with the saffire for a while. It now opens beautifully every time and I have learned to 'dance' well with it, which I hadn't done with the sabre 2. What is interesting was that I had the same shit openings on the Pilot demo jumps I did. Conclusion - try them all, pack properly, go dead man during opening and focus on the horizon, and go with the one that works for you. My lasting impression was that the sabre 2 had superior flying characteristics once open and its flare was undeniably stronger and more robust than the other two. That said I don't know shit. All I know is that they are all good canopies, the problems I had with all three were a result of my packing and body position on opening, but of all three I prefer the saffire 2.
  6. Has anyone ever started a "Mr. Bill..." thread that isn't bad? They always seem to end up bad
  7. How about the poor fucker that hit a glider and died a couple of years ago in the UK? Alost impossible, but skydiving can kill you
  8. 'stupid questions' save lives. Not having the balls to ask will get you hurt
  9. Holy snappers. Don't think this would happen in the UK. How do rookies get the opportunity to do this? My last canopy change was an upsize. But hey, I'm mid-40s with a young family. Funny how kids focus you
  10. You should go and watch people in the tunnel. Its easy to do a lot of damage in a tunnel trying to learn stuff. You need to take is slow. I did half an hour in a tunnel with over 200 jumps and I bounced off the walls just doing flat. When you've only got 16 feet to play with you soon realise how much you move around in the sky. The first replier is right, at least as far as the tunnel I went to in the UK. You got to do a lot of work and proving your competence before they will let you try to sit fly. But I'd say do tunnel time any way. You learn an awful lot real quick. Just one thing - preparation = lots of press ups
  11. Empowering is a good word. I felt like I got my wings the day I had my mal (#122). Knowing you can deal with a mal when need be is a real confidence booster
  12. Jump 122, spinning mal and cutaway. I did what I needed to, the gear did what it needed to, and I left feeling like I'd earned my wings. properly. When you've got 15 seconds to live and you stare death in the face and you realise you can cope, I'd say that's an epiphany.
  13. I don't even know what an S & TA is, but presume you are a safety officer or chief instructor, or someone who others will turn to if there's a problem. Approach the job in a parental frame of mind. Sometimes its tough and you have to be hard and mean. But at the end of the day they will respect it...unless they have a personality disorder. Unfortunately, this sport attracts them. No one likes weakness and invertebrate management. Everyone (notwithstanding personality disordered people) respects and listens to boundaries, discipline, strength and effective management. I may be an absolute novice skydiver, but I do know what I am talking about when it comes to people> be hard, stick to your rules, and most people will respect you.
  14. Hell no. My mouth is dry as a bone after freefall. Sometimes my tongue is cemented somewhere in my mouth/throat. I can't even swallow sometimes. Spit is not on the agenda until I had a drink of something.
  15. Packing dude. I found if I do it neat and right then it closes fine. If I wrestle it in the bag I wrestle to close it. Packing makes a huge difference to folded up canopy size
  16. was on a lift today. Smelled like someone had been eating dogshit. Any worse than that?
  17. Firstly, give yourself a break. All newbies crash. It would embarrass everyone else if they didn't. Secondly, attack the ground. Thirdly, sit down with your instructor and ask them how to land. AFF doesn't always do this well. They rely on talking you down on the radio and pay less attention to teaching students how to do it themselves. Fourthly, on no wind days the more you try to slow yout approach the more you will hurt yourself. You need full glide to flare. Come in on brakes and you'll bang your nose on your knees. Finally, if your instructor says its okay, spend some time learning how your canopy responds to inputs up high. See what happens if you pull the brakes down to your shoulders, chest, waist etc
  18. I like the guy who throws his pilot chute into the plane as he leaves. Drinking in the plane? Try that in the UK...
  19. I've done 100 jumps on my safire2 159, and before that 100 on a sabre2 150. I found the sabre too twitchy for me, but I am sure this was to do with me and body position rather than canopy. It just felt like it was designed for people with more experience than me. All over the shop on opening (which I am sure was body position). Sent it back to PD for testing, then I got a mal. So I switched to the safire2. Its been sweet. Much more stable and consistent openings, although these are clearly correlated with the quality of the pack job. What is interesting (in my lay person experience) is that the safire2 has a lot less power. On low/no wind days I generally skid in on my ass because the flare runs out of legs. It could be my brake settings but never had this problem with the sabre2. Personally, though, I feel safer with the safire2.
  20. Its called panic attack dude. Trigger = fight or flight = fear = anxiety = symptoms (including trouble breathing) = catastrophising (shit, I can't breath) = more anxiety, and so on and so on, Just work through it dude, it will go and it can't hurt you
  21. Tough issue. Think about it like this. If you die you won't feel anything anymore in relation to your children. Medical evidence is quite clear that death of a parent per se has no negative effects on children. What does is the ability of the remaining caregiver to cope with the loss and consistently meet the needs of the children. This is presuming the children are securely attached to both parents. On the other side of the coin you need to consider how remaining in skydiving will enhance you as a parent. Personally, I leave the DV with so much vibrancy (even after a mal) that I am invigorated as a parent. At the end of the day, if you die skydiving there's not a better way of going in my book. You go from being totally alive and full of life and love, to being dead, in 15 seconds or so. The worst you have to deal with is a few seconds of frustration and then that's it. Not even any pain. If you can think of a better way let me know. Meanwhile, if your wife is robust then your kids will be fine. Of course, the obvious thing here is that chances are you will be fine if you continue skydiving
  22. I had the same problem. My instructor (Milko, at Langar) broke convention and told me to go into a 5-second track after release and then stable spread. Fixed it straight away
  23. Get yourself down the tunnel lad. You'll only bang the wall if you twist of go asymmetrical when you pull.