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  1. I still have a few used beginner boards laying around that I used as rentals. If you decide to go for it and need a board give me a call. 480-2 ninenine-8913 FYI, I had a 150 min jump requirement to purchase a board. I did my 1st skysurf on jump #53, it went ok but I didn't try it again til I had a couple hundred. The more the better, if everything goes ok no problem but if you have an "issue", you need skills/experience to make the right decisions to save yourself. Sammy Popov used to surf the Vegas tunnel all the time. I've even seen 2 boards in that tunnel at the same time. Kerry
  2. I am putting out an APB on this winged skysurf board. It should look like this pic except it will be plastered with yellow & black Surfflite stickers. Last seen in Eloy 5-6 years ago. If anyone has seen this board, knows who has it or can lead me to where it is, it would be greatly appreciated. Only 2 of these were ever built and I have one of them. Keith Snyder (Kebe), skysurfer extraordinaire, and I really would like to find this thing so Kebe can perform a couple of experiments with it. It was NOT stolen so don't be afraid of ratting someone out. We just would like to have it back so we can test a new event of a more horizontal nature. thanks for all your help in advance. You can either email me at [email protected] or call 480-299-8913. Kerry
  3. Actually, Jerry's primary malfunction was a baglock. Granted having a board strapped to your feet would definitely be a contributor to dealing with a baglock. :) Here is a list of a few skysurfers who are more than capable of teaching (don't be offended if I miss a few). Now whether or not they are for hire is beyond me. But I have yet to meet a skydiver who isn't willing to earn $$$$ whilst jumping. Keith Snyder (Myrtle Beach area) Sean McCormack (Perris/Florida?) Tanya Garcia (Perris) Eric Fradet (France/worldwide) Stephan Klaus (Switzerland/worldwide) Oliver Furrer (Switzerland/worldwide) Omar (Eloy) Paco Romero (Canary Islands) Jose Veras (Spain), probably the most active, funded, skysurfng dedicated guy out there today. Valery Rosov (Russia) Maria Ryabikova (Russia) Mayumi Yanagisawa (Japan) Lawrence Heltzer (Elsinore) Scott Smith (Perris) Dmitry Ovodenko (Russia?) Kerry
  4. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe there has only been 1 skydiving death ever contributed to a skysurf board. It was a jumper with ~750 jumps making their 1st skysurf jump on a beginner board. Deployed their pilot chute between there legs and the board. This person took the board from manifest, without permission, no skysurf training what so ever and made the biggest mistake you can make on a beginner board. Had he at least watched the 30 minute training video (there is a 10 minute section specifically addressing the malfunction he ended up having) he would be with us today. Kerry
  5. is Vladimir's website. There are also a few youtube videos of vladiballs being used if you do a search. As for the concern about the "raining" shot. It is the equivalent of shooting a 12 gauge straight up in the air. The shot dissipates (spreads out) and "rains" down harmlessly. It will not poke holes in a canopy or anything else for that matter. Think about it. You have a ~2" sphere that weighs close to 2 pounds falling to earth at a terminal velocity of ~150-160mph (like a tennis ball sky ball does). That can and has done some damage. But with a Vladiball, if you don't catch it, it opens and releases many tiny lead or steel spheres, the shot is about .075 in diameter. These tiny spheres immediately decelerate to it's new terminal velocity which is about 7-9mph for a piece of lead shot as opposed to a 2", 2 lb spheres terminal velocity. They are safe and I believe last months skydiving magazine stated something like "over 15,000 vladiball jumps logged without an incident." or something like that. We spent many months testing before the 1st ball was sold, most centered around safety. Kerry
  6. Having dealt with the developement, testing and marketing launch of the Vladiball here is what we found. a) If by chance you don't catch the ball and it opens, the lead shot disipates over a very large area before it reaches the ground (~200 foot radius area from 1300ft up) b) The individual pieces of lead shot has a terminal velocity of only 7-12 MPH, thus when it does hit the ground it is fairly harmless. (ever shot a 12 gage shotgun straight up in the air then let the shot rain down? Same affect.) A group of us actually stood under a Vladiball in Eloy, precision dropped by Omar from under canopy several times. Nobody died or were injured. A good dust storms sand hurts more.:) c) A Vladiball weighing 1 lb. 3.8 ounces, (560 grams) falls at ~155 MPH and has been proven to work well with most freeflyers. Belly flying works best with a ball weighing ~0.9 lb. (400 grams). d) Slight adjustments to the tail length affects stability of the ball. Start at 6" long and cut 1/8"- 1/4" off at a time Kerry
  7. Ok, so we have an event still, good. Very interesting thread to say the least. Surfflite once held a competition in Eloy for "novice" skysurfers. No "pros" allowed. You could use pro camera flyers but you had to have no pro competions under your belt. 9 teams entered (from 5 counrties), no skysurfer had more than 25 surfs. Judging was performed by myself, Kebe and 1 other guy (sorry i cannot remeber who) The competition was every bit as fun and exciting as the pros (maybe not as graceful) but still fun and exciting. At the end on the comnpetition the point spread between 1st and last was about 11 points (5 rounds) Everyone had a great time, everyone felt like they accomplished something positive. It was a great day. So what brought the 9 teams to the competition you ask? THE CASH PRIZES. Surfflite put up $1000 for 1st-3rd + a bonus round prize ($100 to the person who did the most revolutions of anykind in the bonus round) Plus I donated 30 jump tickets to the competitors to use during the event. So as you can see $$$$ attract people (not medals) that event cost Surfflite some cash but it all paid off in the end as 3 of the 9 surfers ended up purchasing boards. So we nearly broke even. This is where you all come in. Surfflite could and will offer event help like this but there is a catch. Surfflite has to be making some money. As in board orders. Without a cashflow we simply cannot afford to sponsor events. Now i am not in this to make a profit, I have always done this soley for the reason to continue a legacy started by Jerry Loftis. But with no board orders there is no extra $$$ to offer you guys and girls. So here is my offer to the skysurfing community and those who wish to become skysurfers. I will offer (for the remainder of '05 and 2006) a 35% discount off retail price of any board bought. In order to receive the discount merly mention that you are attempting to save this sport from extinction. That's about all I can offer at this time but at least it is a start. Maybe, if the sport becomes alive again we can offer more. Kerry
  8. To Karen, Kendall and their yet unborn child, Kathy and I are so sorry to hear of this terrible loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers. If there is anything we can do to help please feel free to contact us. With all our love, Kerry & Kathy Vail
  9. Wow, for a minute there I thought I was at .rec I think Vladimir may have got lost in translation in that video. I really think his heart was in the right place. The bottom line is that as stability increases, maneuverability decreases and vis-versa. He's got that right and that's really the only point of the video. As for the Vladiball. It works. There are ~400 Vladiballs out there right now and those who take the time to dial one in and can fly, like it. There are belly flyers using the ball with students and swear it is one of the best teaching tools to come along in quite a while. Ever been paid Serbian wages Winsor? $120/month salary is considered middle class. So what's wrong with what he is doing? Vladiballs and Body Pilot In Command are both totally refundable if not satisfied and they are selling.I can't speak for the video but I have never had to refund money for a Vladiball. I have replaced 7 for either loosing the ball on the 1st jump or a broken hinge after not catching the ball on the 1st jump but that's it. BTW, Cheryl Sterns had a great deal of input in the video. She likes it, but what does she know right? At least, Vladimir has helped a few people understand the stability/maneuverability issues during a skydive. At most, he invented a simple device that contributes to the safety of our sport. Cut the guy some slack. Kerry
  10. Jump #101 was the 1st. Jump #289 was the 2nd (that one got me a $9800 helicopter ride That's it for me. Kerry
  11. Ok, Since this thread is once again alive let me provide more clarity on what I did and what Omar said. I initiated an "aggressive" 360 (as in a full toggle pull from slight breaks to down by my thigh very quickly) 3/4 of the way around I was in freefall watching my chute collapsing, as the lines got tight, line twist began. (at this point cutting away was not on my mind because I was low, IMO) Omar told me to never to make a snapping quick, aggressive toggle only turn. Not to never make a toggle only turn. Obviously, a snapping toggle turn IS a no-no. Just read above how many people have done it with the same results I had, some worse. The main reason I posted this in the 1st place was just for the matter that I have never heard or knew this could happen.
  12. I would have to say that only certified riggers should make "configuration changes" on your rig. Yeh, if a packer breaks a closing loop while packing, they should be able to replace it (as it was) without chasing you down to ask permission. And if a certified rigger is trained on your particular brand rig then they should be knowledgable enough to make safety related mods without your permission, but should let you know what they have done.. But if they only are trained on Javelin's then I don't believe they have any right to "modify" your Vector III without being properly trained 1st. Let's face it, not many packers are supervised by riggers. Their packing experience is only as good as the amount of packjobs they have done. I used to look at it as "hey this packer has packed 1000's of rigs and I have only packed 25 so I trust them more than myself to do it right." That was until a packer packed my perfectly good operational parachute into a malfunction that nearly killed me. Now, I feel the need to take my life into my own hands and pack my own rig. FYI, packers DO NOT carry liability insurance, if they kill or maime you with a half-assed packjob they will still be out there packing for the next person without any responsibility for their actions. JMO
  13. My biggest mistake: Making a 3RD attempt to get my pilot chute out. But it came out alright....and proceeded into a line twist, which was followed by my slider slamming down and unstowing my right toggle. Then the toggle went over the top of the slider and sent me into a hard right spiral. Then realizing my slider grommet on the left side was trapping my left toggle so I could not unstow it. Then seeing the ground ~700 feet below me as my body is horizonal to the ground on about my 6th revolution. Then letting go of my handles thinking I was too low to chop. And FINALLY reaching up and hanging on my left FRONT riser to stop the spin. It stopped the spin alright, but by then I was ~75 from impact going directly downwind on a 20mph wind day. I would have to compare the impact with jumping off the top of an 18 wheeler while travelling down the freeway at 50 mph. Medical bills amounting to $162,000, cool metal parts in my back. Pain everyday (happened 22 months ago) YEP, pretty dumb shit, IMO. Lesson learned: Time FLY'S when you are having fun. If the pilot chute won't come out give it up and reach for that silver handle. Altitude Awarness Altitude Awarness Altitude Awarness Smartest thing I have done since: Jumping again
  14. We have come up with a good belly speed configuration for the Vladiball. Several of our customers have tested it out and are very happy with the results. There are even instructors who are using the Vladiball with students, that's right I said students. According to them it is a fantastic training tool. Below is an email I received from a customer in Ireland describing his findings. along with an attached jpg. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Quote -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We made a number of successful Vladiball jumps this weekend and we had some great fun! In total we made 8 jumps with the ball and we retrieved it every time. I filled the ball exactly as you said: fill one half completely with lead shot (I used lead shot, about
  15. Banned in the UK? Why? Are you saying skyballs are banned and the Vladiball. I can see why skyballs are banned but there is no excuse for banning the Vladiball. Don't you blokes bird hunt? Kerry