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    Empuriabrava Spain
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    Wing Suit Flying
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  1. Surely you've got to be stupid to do that. And doing it on a 170 as opposed to a 150 (which is all this guy is talking about, remember) is no safer or sensible. I am crediting the guy with more intelligence. You, perhaps not. I wouldn't like to jump at your DZ if being cut up by someone at 50ft is a regular occurence, or even a rarity. Shame on your standards Shouldn't your attention be on them as well? Life is a four letter word!
  2. The first big step I made in material canopy progression I downsized. You are not talking about downsizing but the progression you are hungry for, by the sounds of it, was similar to where I was at, then. I started 10 years ago, so the science, the understanding of canopies wasn't at it's current level and access to the information was very limited. You are lucky in that respect and you show responsibility in seeking more information. No matter what the other threads say, ignorance kills more than arrogance. And it's not the same thing. So on selling me my new "killer" canopy the guy said to me one piece of advice that I hope may make sense to you, as it did me. He said, simply, 'no turns below 1000ft for the next 50 jumps'. I thought it was crap advice at the time but it sunk in and it has wisdom in it. Lining your canopy up at the exact ideal spot, given winds, tempratures and off-landings for a 1000ft straight-in is really difficult. It taught me a lot at a potentially dangerous time. I got to learn the canopy and land it safely. Now I can put it anywhere, fly it anyhow, I have filmed CREW to competition level with it, I have even done crew on said same canopy. I know every bit of it. But when I progress again, I will probably take the same advice or similar. Which is, slightly modified by me, If you are making changes to your canopy practice high and stay safe for a period you set yourself, and ENJOY. Life is a four letter word!
  3. Triathalon 99, filming 4way CRW;not my choice, but the Team's sponsored kit. It flew like a brick propelled at a constant 45 degree angle. The flare was merely another means of achieving freefall - there are still the ploughed tracks marking my arrival in several places at DZ's in North of England. Life is a four letter word!
  4. If you chose 1) then you are hoping that whoever is above you is paying attention. You count on their not running into you just as the person below you counts on you not running into _him But isn't the point of this thread that you can't always rely on 'whoever is above you' paying attention? Surely you are not saying, when in doubt - do nothing. If your BR is erratic, you need to practice. It is just another skill after all. Life is a four letter word!
  5. Barrel rolls are an excellent skill to have in your 'survival tool box'. I've been using them for wingsuit dives and it's paid-off big time. There is absolutely no reason or excuse, in my mind, WHY anyone should be against performing this sort of maneuver, if the occasion warrants. And wingsuits are like one big mega track, right? Well, it's really relevant to check what's going on around you, and above in even the most 'powered' tracks. My advice is, if you cannot perform this move with confidence, go up and LEARN IT. It will only take you one or two solo's and you'll have it nailed and you may well thank yourself one day. I have to say - the mirror idea is damn whacky. You can't go around risking your life AND (more importantly) OTHER PEOPLE'S on a piece of equipment, especially as stooopid as a bloody mirror stuck on your alti... Life is a four letter word!
  6. Don't worry Kris, it'll soon be summer, and we'll get you out of the kitchen and back in the air!!! Meanwhile keep away from the knifes; It's a cool trick, but I am beginning to worry about you... ;) Hope you had a good christmas and see you in the new year x Life is a four letter word!
  7. Hey, what's more 'magical' than growing wings? Only thinking of jumps in round numbers of a hundred - sorry for confusion! Life is a four letter word!
  8. Boy, I remember when I first started and people were quoting jump numbers at me I found it very frustrating but I agree with the above; 200 jumps is an ideal starting point. Sub-200 jumps and you are likely to spend most of your jump scared out of your wits, and flayling around, semi conscious with adrenaline and probably too pig-headed to admit it, thereby learning a big fat zero. There is more to think about with wing suits on the flight-line (check zips, bindings, wing suit cut away, and other fun bits and bobs), again in the plane, and deployment is a real trauma for the first few until you get it right (really gnarly openings, whip lash, line twists, hesitations). The chances are, after 200 jumps you’ve seen enough for these minor dramas not to phase you, gnarly openings etc, and have got the pre-flightline routine down to pat. How good you are as a wingsuiter, in my mind, comes down to how controlled, relaxed and confident you are with every aspect of what you are doing – this leaves you free to respond and fly to your full potential, ie; not just surviving. So yeah, get out there and bang in as many good jumps as possible – track, and free fly exits like they say, also check out autmonauti – by the time you are done you will be one hell of an airman and will probably be able to out fly any of us old timers on any wingsuit. Meanwhile, if you do get itchy feet, try Babylon at Empuria – they can take you through free-fly, with the intention of developing future wingsuit potential. Speak to Wolf, he’s been doing a lot of flying with wingsuits and including the Access but from the point-of-view of freefly, he’s also good for mentoring the kind of state of mind that you’ll need. Here, I have a story: I was working on a DZ and collecting a batch of first-time jumpers from a RAPS static line course. I was standing in the landing area looking up at one guy and suddenly he cut away, he was at about 1000 feet. His reserve opened and he landed safely right in front of me, so I thought I’d prepare him for the barrage of questions he will get from the instructors back at the DZ and I asked him to tell me what happened. This is EXACTLY what he said: “Well, I jumped and the parachute opened and it looked ok at first, but then I thought, no, something is wrong, so I cut away, and the reserve opened and I thought, no, it looks just the same”. He wasn’t joking, I swear. I guess at times we really don’t know the crazy danger we’re putting ourselves in when following our desires…but then later, after a few hundred jumps, we realise. At the same DZ three or four weeks ago a first timer went-in that cut away at a little less than that height. I the guy I met was a lucky guy, eh?
  9. Ok, I'm a lazy ass, I never checked the link. Right, S-fly Access. Actually I've flown them both. The Access performs well, the wings are easy to grip and drop. On the down-side it doesn't look too grand to wear (pants and jacket set-up) and I didn't feel that comfotable either. I've flocked with an Access too, me wearing the Expert - no problem. Babylon at Empuriabrava can do a ground school offering the Access for your first few taster jumps and then can put you on to an Expert when you are ready. There's only a small hire fee - so this is what I would recommend. Life is a four letter word!
  10. Check the details but if you're going to do it in the UK (which is where you are based?), BPA rules are 200 jumps I believe. meanwhile, S-fly is a brilliant starter suit I can recommend ("Fly Your Body" see dropzone reveiws) and I have one at Headcorn, so if you want to drop by sometime, let me know and I'll try to be there. There are a few other birds there who won't mind the attention either...! Life is a four letter word!
  11. C00KIE


    I have not jumped any other wingsuit as yet, so I review from a limited perspective. However, I can vouch, that this is a superb choice for a starter. The suit is easy to hook up and unhook, easy to check in the plane, and really takes a lot of stress out of the flight-line check stage leaving you free to concentrate on the jump. Similarly the suit feels so stable in the air, instantly, that it is easy to relax (really relax!) and start playing with the performance. I have around 50 jumps on this suit now, but started throwing it around after 15-20 simply because it has given me so much confidence. The suit is really quick to recover after going unstable. The wings are easy to pull manoeuvres such as barrel roles, loops, etc and if all goes a bit funky, just ball up and come back out to re-inflate in an easy smooth stable position again - it's wonderful for this! The only cons I can add here are that I am struggling a little with back flying, and I'm thinking it might be the fact that a majority of all the air venting it on the front (arms), and also the cut away can turn in to a bit of a fumble, as I found out one day after trying it out of curiosity rather than emergency. However, saying that, the suit is so solid that it's hard to imagine ever needing to cut the arms, and even so, something you should be aware of rather than be concerned about. No big deal. I've flown with Vampire 2, GTI, S3, S6 and maybe a few others and found the performance equal, if not a little better on a few occasions. The lift you can get out of it is quite surprising and once you put your shoulders and head down in to speed it can really shift. I have only ever been out-run by a Vampire and the guy was a superb flier and I had about 10 jumps at the time so...I can forgive myself for that! But next time...no chance! I get the feeling with this suit that it really is the flier doing the work, and not the material. And that's the other thing, being a mono-wing, I really get the feeling that my body is determining the flight, and not the suit. What I mean is that I'm not fighting with various bits of it, such as left arm wing, right arm wing, leg wing, etc - you just shift your weight to make it move, kinda like harness-flying a canopy. Very smooth! And thus, much easier to recover from a tumble, too. Once again, I can only write from a limited perspective but I can say that this has been great for me as an introduction and going forward. It is not something I can see myself tiring of either. When I asked for a recommendation on which suit to buy, a good friend of mine immediately said ‘S-Fly’ and for once, it is a recommendation that has withstood the test of time, so I’m keen to recommend it to others. As a first wingsuit, I am just so glad I had the S-Fly because it is so hassle-free and such a good performer, that I had no stress getting in to the sport. I watch people starting wingsuit today and it amazes me the level of anxiety they get in to during their first few jumps (and some never really get over it, it seems!) and I dare to say that you will never get that from this suit. It’s a real confidence builder!
  12. Not to mention the very cool initiation of a chick to the flock, thus alleviating that tricky "nut sack" problem you guys have ...on a S-Fly, no less ;~) Hi Jarno, how's the footage coming along? Hope your trip back to NL went ok Life is a four letter word!
  13. By-the-way, I'm out of touch with the UK CF crowd, so if anyone knows of her funeral (providing there's an open invitation) can they let me know: [email protected] Thanks! Life is a four letter word!
  14. Just a thought I wanted to share: The day we lost Taz I was at Empuria and I phoned a mutual friend of ours to make sure that she knew. She said something that really rang-true to me and helped me understand what happened; she said, that someone like Taz, with SO much energy, having achieved SO MUCH in her life; she was always bouncing around, always up to something new; she was so funny! And my friend said, that it is almost as if Taz somehow knew that her life would be short. She lived it very well. Last year I was sick, diagnosed with a kind of pre-cancer. No one from the skydiving community knew except the friend above. Because she lives in the US, she contacted Taz, who lives in the UK as I do, when she found out and in turn, Taz contacted me. She kept in touch, she kept me going, she was really exceptionally kind; offering to come to the hospital, offering every and any service that she could. When you are sick, you learn a lot about people, especially 'friends' - some choose to ignore what is going on, some are in outright denial, and then a very rare few fall over themselves to be supportive. This was Taz. And she never did it for thanks, or for glory. It was acts like this that really truly kept me alive. Helped me fight. I left hospital 3 months ago. I was at Empuria, back jumping for the very first time in 8 months. When I saw her there I couldn't believe my luck and I got a chance to thank her, and got myself a big hug in exchange! It's utterly mind-blowing now to realise that she's gone. I have an awful lot of regard for all her friends who were at Empuria when she passed away; they showed great courage, respect and an incredible calm. Taz really was a poppet, and this made it so much harder. I heard they scattered roses in the sea. For myself, I'm just so glad that I was given the opportunity to thank her for everything that she did for me, before she left. And I'm incredibly honoured to have had my life touched by her. In the words of another good friend "if there are such a thing as Angels, you can bet that she's with them" Love and Hugs to Taz's family and Taz's friends. I hope you can celebrate her life without too much pain, too much sorrow. She will live in the hearts of many - she IS a great lass! Life is a four letter word!
  15. This Web Site lists 57 fatalities this year (2004); including 7 canopy collisions and 20 landings. Arguably better 'Canopy Control' could have prevented most of these deaths. You've got to ask yourself is the risk from say, 10 to 15 CRW training jumps worth taking to avoid dying under a badly controlled canopy on landing or during flight. You can choose not to do CRW but unfortunately we all have to land, and we usually have to do so with other people in the sky so it's best to be prepared. There was one CRW death in 2004 and that was a member of the French team during training. All CRW fatalities that I've heard of in 5 years has been at competition level which is quite a different thing. Incidentally in Holland it is compulsory to do a minimum of 5 CRW jumps (I may have the exact number wrong) under coaching in order to qualify for a C license. Anyway, this post isn't about avoiding death so much as it is about STAYING ALIVE and getting back to your dilemma about canopy progression I have an idea... I started with about 10 CRW coaching jumps. Once I'd got my qualification in CRW however (CF1) I almost immediately switched to camera. I videoed CRW for about 200 jumps over two years ON A SABRE 135. I learnt so much from flying camera that last year, when I started doing CRW again I found I could make more controlled and targeted dockings than other CRW jumpers with many more jumps. I can really recommend this route. It is one way that you can carry on jumping your current canopy while trying to find its full range. There are a few rules about vidoeing canopy formation (and any canopy) which includes never fly in front of the canopy formation (or any canopy), keep behind the formation at all times, never lose sight of all canopies throughout the whole jump and do not make contact. If you get an opportunity to film a CF team they must brief you before the jump on this and more. Filming CF on a Sabre 135 is a little tricky because they over-perform compared to CF canopies. The first thing you will learn is how to slow its flight right down so you do not over-take the formation. This sounds easier than it actually is. You will pick a spot where you want to fly in relation to your formation and you will have to work every contol mechanism of your canopy to maintain that position; level, speed, etc. and this is where you start to learn the full range of performance that your canopy can give you and you will have plenty of time to experiment. Once you know the full range of your Sabre 135 the arguement of this thread seems to be that you will have something to compare to any other canopy you get the opportunity to demo in the future?? Here's a website on CRW camera work which has been recommended: http://www.crwphoto.com/ I hope this might be of interest! Cookie xx Life is a four letter word!