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    Cypres 2

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    Any DZ is home to me!
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  1. SkydiveMO

    Mac book or pro

    Depends what you consider too long. I still use my PowerBook G4 for editing but I just bought the wife a Mac Book (1GB memory). It's blazing next to my PowerBook, I sneak on it from time to time to render video. That being said, if I had the money I'd replace my PowerBook in a second with a blazing new MacBook Pro 2.6GHz processor 4GB memory. Where's Santa when you need him?
  2. SkydiveMO

    Polycotton Suit

    As Bev says the Polycotton suit is “for the mature skydiver with a lower center of gravity or the faster-falling skydiver” At 6’2” and hovering around 210lbs I fit into that fast-falling category. My first jump suit was cotton and in my opinion increased rather than decreased my fall rate. I wasted a good 50 skydives trying to stay up with everyone on RW dives. Luckily I ended up moving and started jumping at a DZ which had an old Bev Polycotton Suit on the rental rack. The DZO suggested I try jumping it to see if it wouldn’t solve some of my problems. Boy did it ever! Before I knew it I was hovering above formations thinking “#%$&! now how do I get down?” The polycotton suit gives me a huge range in fall rate and allows me to fall at a normal fall rate in a relaxed position rather than “hugging the beach ball”. I am still able to fall very fast by simple deflating the drag pockets around the arm pits and when needed I can really slow down by extending my arms and reinflating those same pockets or wings. Bev provides a nice clip system for the swoop cords so they are easily added or removed. If you are a fast faller this is the suit for you. I have now made over 1,000 jumps on my Bev suit in 10 years. I have also made many (oh so many) crash landings in my suit and have done everything I can to destroy it. Somehow it’s still managing to go strong. Last season I had the booties rebuilt and a cordura seat added which has been the only maintenance needed. I believe I’ve easily gotten my moneys worth and then some out of this suit. I’ve been so happy with my Bev suit I’m about to order a second even though I receive a staff discount for another vendors products.
  3. SkydiveMO

    XAOS-27 openings

    I’m still playing around with mine trying to get it to open cleaner. The center cells really like to fold in when the canopy opens slowly. I have found I get better on heading openings when the canopy opens quickly. So don’t pull the slider out in front of the nose and don’t wrap the tail too tightly, other than that just keep everything symmetrical.
  4. SkydiveMO

    Ouragan FreeFly Suits

    I absolutely love my custom two-piece Ouragan suit. I emailed a graphic of what I wanted and Nancy and Yugi made it reality. It’s my opinion that the quality of work on the Ouragan suits is unmatched by any other suit maker currently on the market. Unfortunately, quality and customization comes with a high price tag. That being said, the old adage certainly holds true that “you get what you pay for”. The quality of materials and seams will give my Ouragan suit a long skydiving lifespan. Nancy’s experience making suits for the abusive environment of the wind tunnel is very much evident in the construction of her skydiving suits. There was a long wait period before I received my suit however I understood this would be the case before ever placing my order. I was well rewarded for my patience as my suit arrived with a personal note from Nancy explaining a few of the special little extras she had thrown in. Several of the jumpers at our drop zone currently own personalized Ouragan suits and we are all very satisfied with the work and service we received. As for customer service, Yugi was always available to answer questions and update me on the status of my suit. If you haven’t seen an Ouragan suit yet keep your eye open for the tell tail hurricane logo and check one out. As the proud owner of one of Nancy’s suits I’m more than happy to show mine off when asked.
  5. SkydiveMO


    I recently made several jumps on an Aerodyne Pilot and was very impressed with the canopies performance and controllability. It is a great starter canopy and is very well priced in the market. While talking about how impressed I was with the Pilot I heard from many jumpers that the Sabre2 has a far greater performance range than the Pilot and is a far better canopy for progressing to higher performance landings. So, I got my hands on a Sabre2 and took it for a spin. It is in no way an overstatement for me to say I was quite simply blown away with the canopies performance range. Opening: The openings were consistently smooth and on heading. I found the opening sequence to be a little quicker then what I prefer as a videographer but it was by no means uncomfortable. After several jumps I wore my camera helmet with both video and stills and felt no strain during the opening sequence. I did see the occasional end cell closure but experience tells me that it is the product of a nice slow opening. A tug on the rear risers or a pump of the brakes and things open right up. All in all I give the Sabre2 an A- for opening. Normal flight: The Sabre2 has a nice flat glide path and was very responsive to toggle and input. I was able to go into deep brakes to get plenty of separation from other jumpers or make it back from a long spot. Turn rates were just right in my opinion, the canopy was very controllable and I didn’t note any oversteer in either toggle or riser turns. I give an A for flight characteristics. Front riser turns: Front riser pressure was what surprised me most, for a canopy aimed for the new skydiver I expected high pressure. Instead I found the Sabre2 had perfectly stable medium pressure in front riser turns. The pressure built as you continued in a dive but was manageable. I found it easier to maintain a front riser dive with the Sabre2 than I do with a Stiletto. If you plan to progress into higher performance landings a Sabre2 could easily cover all your landing needs for a long time. Front riser pressure gets an A++. Rear riser control: The canopy felt less responsive in rear riser input to me, but I’m comparing it with fully elliptical canopies I’ve jumped. If needed it could be landed with rear risers but I didn’t feel comfortable using them when I was performing higher performance landings. I experimented with the risers up high and found it stalled rather easily with rear riser input. I give rear riser control a grade of B. Landings: The Sabre2 had a strong flare and was very easy to land both in normal and fast approaches. For high performance landings the canopy would dive very nicely and had a long recovery arc. With a little toggle input the canopy would plane out quickly and glide very nicely to a long swoop. At the end of the swoop there was plenty of flare left for either a soft landing or for a showy pop-up landing. In the straight in approach I could easily use brakes for accuracy and still have plenty of flare to stand up the landing. Definitely a grade of A for flaring ability. I believe the Sabre2 is currently the perfect starter canopy on the market. It can either be flown conservatively or aggressively. As you progress in abilities the canopy is still able to meet all of your needs. In all honesty, other than downsizing with experience and a need for more speed I don’t see the average jumper ever needing another canopy other than a Sabre2. Admittedly the Sabre2 is priced higher then comparable canopies on the market but it is well worth it. For the more experienced jumper I would suggest giving the Sabre2 a test flight sometime, you may be pleasantly surprised if you do... I know I was.
  6. SkydiveMO

    Skydiving and Chronic Pain

    I've dislocated both of my ankles and bruised a knee jumping... OK make that crash landing . Had a hard opening once that chipped a tooth and really tweaked my back. Believe it or not, I find jogging two to three times a week helps keep me limber and pretty much pain free. Keeping in shape will help your body heal faster and stretching will help avoid tears and pulls.
  7. Why not just keep using the FreeZR to freefly in? I use my Z1 for both RW and freefly jumps. I do occasionaly get the "you freefly in a fullface?" question. To which I respond "why not?" I've never been too cool for a little extra face protection... well I've probably never been that cool My mug ain't much to look at but I like to keep it the way it is.
  8. SkydiveMO


    When I was looking to move into the world of ellipticals I had my heart set on an air locked canopy. I liked the idea of a canopy that resisted collapse in turbulence and retained its shape at slower speeds of flight. The choice was between Performance Design’s Vengeance and Big Air Sports’ Samurai. I test jumped the Samurai 136 first and found it very responsive to control inputs and fast in flight and landing. The recover arc was much longer then a Stiletto but I believe slightly shorter then the Vengeance. The Samurai was a little too responsive for my abilities at the time so I tried the Vengeance next. The Vengeance 135 was more subdued in toggle and riser response and tamer in its flight characteristics. Toggle turns are slow initially but after a couple rotations can match or exceed a Stiletto’s turn rate. The big difference that sets both the Samurai and Vengeance apart though is the glide. On a long spot all I have to do is unstow the breaks and pull slightly on the rear risers to flatten out the canopies glide angle and it will cover some real distance. The only canopy I’ve found that can out glide my Vengeance is the new Katana, which if it were available in a 135 yet I would highly consider. Another characteristic of the Vengeance is a long recovery arc, much longer then a Stiletto and nearly as long as my cross-braced canopy. I have had the most difficulty getting the timing right for front riser carves with my Vengeance. It dives a great deal before it starts to plain out. After a great deal of practice and some not so pretty landings I’ve started to become consistent swooping. Whether making a conservative straight in approach or cranking a 270 front riser turn the Vengeance blew away the Stiletto 135 and 150s I have jumped in both distance and flare power at the end of the swoop. After touching down if there is just a little wind the canopy will remain inflated and flying begging me to squeeze out that last bit of distance on the next jump. My only complaints about my Vengeance are that the openings are just plain awkward and that on windy days canopy collection can be a chore. With the airlocks the cells do not inflate in a consistent order and the canopy does a lot of seeking before finally opening off heading. The openings are slow and comfortable and thanks to a long line set the off heading opening simply means a quick 90 or 180 turn that is easily stopped with rear riser input. Another characteristic caused by the long line set used on the Vengeance is over steer. I find often that coming out of a turn I have to counter steer as I am consistently overshooting my target. Like the dive this is all about the timing. My other complaint is that collecting the canopy on a windy day can be a chore. The airlocks are a dream in the air but a real pain on the ground. Following Brian Germain’s tips on collecting an air locked canopy really helps though. I have made about 200 jumps on my Vengeance and am very happy with it as a progression canopy. Now that I’m more skilled as a canopy pilot and am confident in my abilities I think I’d prefer the higher performance of the Samurai. I would have no problem suggesting the Vengeance as an Intermediate level canopy to any jumper. It has a wide performance range and works great as an all-around canopy with a little pep in its step.
  9. SkydiveMO


    The Pilot is an excellent beginner to intermediate canopy at an easy to handle price. I found the Pilot to open smooth and on heading with little to no complaints about bad body position by the jumper. The canopy was responsive but not extreme, if I had to choose one word to describe this canopy it would be predictable. The canopy never did anything I didn’t tell it to do. Glide was great for the canopy and I had no problem making it back to the airport on a long spot. Flares were strong and riser pressure just right for a canopy in this performance range. The Pilot is not a high-performance canopy nor should it be, it is a well-balanced and stable platform. If you wish to progress into swooping the Pilot is an excellent beginners canopy. The front riser pressure is even and the canopy’s recovery arc ideal for beginners. The only complaints I have heard about the performance of this canopy come from people who misunderstand that the Pilot’s targeted beginner to intermediate performance range. I would have no problems suggesting this canopy to any new jumper or anyone looking for a good all around dependable parachute.
  10. SkydiveMO


    The new 8x SuperDrive with multiformat capability is pretty sweet, the 2x SuperDrive on my PowerBook is a real slug. You might want to wait a couple more months till Mac OSX Tiger is released though. Panther came out right after I bought my Mac and I wished I had known it was about to be released so I could have held off my purchase.
  11. SkydiveMO

    ParaMount Super Lite

    ParaMount’s SuperLite camera helmet is a well-built, very light and affordable camera platform. It is perfect for the jumper on a tight budget or who isn’t interested in all the bells-n-whistles offered by other more expensive helmets. I have made over 200 video jumps using the SuperLite with both video and stills for RW, Freeflying, AFF and Tandem jumps. The Pros: Great price – This is the reason I chose the Paramount as my first camera helmet. It actually cost only slightly more then making my own camera helmet from an old Pro-tec. Very Stable – The SuperLite uses a locking band and chin cup to secure the helmet. In freefall the helmet remains firmly secured with no sliding or slipping. Just a side note, swapping the provided soft chin cup with a hard plastic cup used for football helmets makes a big difference in comfort. Lightest dual camera system – Use a lightweight video and still camera with this system and your neck will thank you. Open to the air - The open design of the helmet makes it very comfortable in the summer. The Cons: BRAIN VICE – The locking mechanism used by the SuperLite is a brain vice and will squeeze you senseless. If loosened for comfort the helmet slides around in freefall giving unwanted shudder or movement to the video. This is my only complaint about the SuperLite and my caution to anyone looking to start any serious videography. If you plan on making several jumps a day with this helmet be warned. You can minimize your discomfort by locking the helmet shortly before exiting and unlocking it while under canopy. Easy to bump sight – You must lay the helmet on its side to avoid bumping the sight. Several of the videographers at my DZ used mannequin heads to set their cameras on while dubbing videos. Open to the air - In the cold there is no protection from the wind. I used a balaclava in the winter and had no problems keeping warm. Top-mount video only – The system will not allow you to side-mount a video or still camera. ParaMount’s SuperLite helmet is an excellent product at an excellent price. I would suggest it for anyone looking for a starter helmet. At such a low price I was able to quickly turn the money I made from videos into profit. I later used that money to purchase a more expensive but more comfortable helmet.