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NickDG last won the day on January 28 2019

NickDG had the most liked content!

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  • Main Canopy Size
  • Reserve Canopy Size
  • AAD

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  • First Choice Discipline
    BASE Jumping
  • Second Choice Discipline
    Formation Skydiving

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  • AFF
  • Tandem
  • Rigging Back
    Senior Rigger
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    Senior Rigger

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  1. I couldn't begin to tell you how many times John Sherman saved my stupid ass. I BASE jumped with Racers. And used it doing AFF Cert Courses. As you never know when that 2 or 3 seconds extra time John and Nancy crafted into that rig will save your life by basically making either container disappear. NickDG
  2. >>If it is a case of nobody manning the job, I wouldn't mind doing it
  3. NickDG

    The Sponsor Monster

    No Fear . . . At an early 1990s Bridge Day in West Virginia I was kind of shocked to see the first inroads of corporate tentacles into the sport of BASE jumping. Among the booths set up in a Fayetteville school gymnasium by a fledgling BASE equipment industry there is a new non-BASE related company called "No Fear" hawking their popular line of t-shirts. Most old school BASE jumpers who were there, including me, saw this as a sacrilege. They tried to give away a few shirts for free just to get the ball rolling. But when someone tried handing me one I said, "Get me one that says, "Big Fear," and I'll wear it. I wanted to say more, but it would have been pointless. These were just kids who answered an advert to come work for some "dynamic" new company. BASE jumping was still very much an underground activity in those days, and there was no graphical internet and certainly no YouTube. And except for Bridge Day we were still being chased in the middle of the night by cops and security guards. Or so we thought. The next day two BASE jumpers were handcuffed and arrested on the bridge for outstanding (BASE related) warrants. Believe me, if "Anonymous" masks were available in those days many jumpers would have been wearing them as BASE was still very much a combination of parachuting and bank robbery. But that wasn't my main beef with No Fear. Nobody owns BASE jumping. You can't rent it, bottle it, or sell it. Each of us during our active years as BASE jumpers are merely stewards of a pretty spectacular human endeavor. And it's a legacy stretching back to the 15th century when crude but effective parachutes are being jumped from tall stone towers in Europe. These devices were marketed as a way to escape the fires that often engulfed these towers which were filled with straw furnishings and where flaming torches provided the lighting at night. In more modern times like the 1980s and 1990s that legacy was bolstered by every BASE jumper who broke a leg (or worse) trying to learn something new from a piece of gear or a new technique. And those lessons were passed around the BASE community mostly by word of mouth. There was email in those days and internet bulletin boards were starting to appear but not many BASE jumpers were computer savvy enough to be using them. The very first email I sent was in about 1986 and it was to another BASE jumper. Our legacy includes many things which also means talking about Carl Boenish. And in the thirty years I've been writing about BASE jumping I seldom fail to mention him. I know many of the younger jumpers roll their eyes but in my way it's how I was paying Carl Boenish back for all he did for us. So it was in that frame of mind I stood there in front of that No Fear t-shirt booth and wondered, is this right? Is it something we should embrace or reject? What would Carl think if still alive? But this is almost ten years after he died and there were plenty of BASE jumpers on the scene who didn't care much for history and/or didn't worry about where BASE jumping was going. And I understood that way of thought. To many of them BASE jumping was just another cool thing you could do with parachutes and nothing more. So it was inevitable that corporate sponsors, for good or ill, would come into our world eventually. There's an old adage in advertising. You don't sell the steak, you sell the sizzle. And in a world going bonkers for extreme sports we had the sizzle. But we could stave it off for a while and that was the consensus of the staff manning Bridge Day that year. No Fear was just using us and the sport of BASE jumping for money. And it seemed dirty. So we fired the bridge day organizer who took it upon himself to allow them in. And that was his first and last year in that position. Now here we are all these years later so let's look back at how things turned out. (This is fun, isn't it?) BASE jumping isn't the sport it used to be, but neither is skydiving or anything else for that matter. And except for a few bumps, like when Redbull callously took axes to way more than a few trees at an exit point to get better film in the can, it hasn't hurt us as much as helped us. And we knew a long time ago that BASE jumping would never grow and progress if it remained underground. So it that regard its helped a lot. It used to be if you wanted to organize a BASE jump with permission you had to first explain what BASE jumping was, and that's no longer the case. I know Redbull, and other companies like them, use BASE jumping to sell their swill to teenagers, and I felt some joy when No Fear went bankrupt but in the end, I think it worked out for both these corporate entities and BASE jumping as one hand washes the other. NickD :-) BASE 194
  4. Find an experienced evaluator in your area who might have video of past courses. If you can sit and have them explain what you're looking at it will really help. Here's a portion of a course I evaluated at in Lake Elsinore, it's a bit dated but it might help you out. NickD
  5. Have fun tomorrow, Bill. Wish I could be there. When I look back on my own skydiving career I realize the three most important things have been the throw-out pilot chute, the 3-Ring release, and woman. And without the former two there would have been a lot less of the latter. NickD
  6. I went on my Meals on Wheels delivery route yesterday with a first time volunteer and we were chatting when she asked what brought me to California. I told her skydiving and she said, wow, my grandfather was killed skydiving. So thinking I might have known him I asked his name. Turns out she is Bob Buquor's granddaughter! Her Mother was just four years old when Bob was killed and neither of them knew much, if anything at all about Bob. The Mom did attend a Starcrest event in Bob's honor but that's all. I'm looking to put them in touch with anyone who actually knew (or jumped with) Bob. So please let me know if you can think of anyone. NickD :)
  7. Sort of happened to me once. I was JM with a load of static line students in a C-182. We lined up for T/O and a few moments after the pilot put the power to A/C he passed out cold. I pulled the throttle back, pushed the student that was up against the panel to the side, and reached down with my hands to work the rudder and brakes. We ran off the RWY but I managed to get it stopped before we hit anything . . . NickD :)
  8. Find better Instructors. Okay, I won't leave that dangling . . . There are some Instructors that shy away from problem students and some that welcome them. The ones that welcome them make it their business to see that you succeed. They don't get wrote up in PARACHUTIST, get gold medals hung around their necks, don't get called athletes, or cop big endorsements from beverage companies. But they put their heads down at night re-winding the fact you finally turned and burned on your AFF Level 5. And that makes them sleep like babies . . . So like I said, find better Instructors . . . NickD
  9. Read it this AM over coffee. You don't need a Kindle as it will D/L to your browser via the Kindle Cloud although you do need an Amazon account. NickD
  10. The bigger question is why the person on top is called a Tandem Instructor? NickD
  11. >>Anyone serious about the sport and about instruction in the sport has to accept that 100 jumps is a drop in the bucket
  12. A giant! Rest in peace Ted . . . NickD
  13. NickD
  14. Originally the four lines were only color coded and pilots (after bailout or ejection) were taught to actually cut the four lines with a knife. But once under an open canopy the majority of pilots thought, "I ain't cutting nothing!" The mechanical "four line release" was in answer to that issue. NickD
  15. Richie Stein, BASE 74, had over a hundred B.A.S.E. jumps before he made his first skydive in the late 1980s, and it was sort of a faker at DZ Xray. He was schooled on how to walk up to manifest, along with two other experienced skydivers for a garden variety three-way. (Look nervous and keep touching your handles, LOL.) In the door it became de-facto AFF and he did fine except under canopy at 3000-feet he wondered why he'd pulled so high . . . (I only a little to do with it.) NickD