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  1. As said before usually tandem canopies have two sets of toggles. One for flying around and instructor grabs a second set to have more powerful flare. I've flown icarus 330 with one set of toggles which I was told was set that way to avoid tension knots or line overs don't remember exactly. You can definitely feel greater toggle pressure in one line set up but you also need to pull in less of the toggle to achieve same turn rate. I also prefer smaller tandem canopies like icarus 330 ,would love to try the smaller ones they have. I don't see any problem flying 330 with a big fella. Jumped couple guys in 260 lbs range with 330 no problem also jumped big dudes on 330 in moab which is I think 4k above sea level and had no issues. I think if you have good canopy skills there is no problem in smaller tandem canopies. Only think that may have an effect is if you have a malfunction it could be more violent in a line over situation.
  2. Not sure how katana flys differently from velo but being someone who jumps velocity seems like you rolling out on a lower end. After the turn you quickly go on the rears and start to pull out of the dive. Maybe it's just camera angle. Like long doubles, I would start higher, slow down a tad bit the rotation so after the last kick you have more time in a dive before starting to recover instead of pulling it out on the rears. Nice downwinders always make you feel good. And stand up the landings, come one man.
  3. We use video on top and pic on the bottom, because sometimes you can see a bit of bottom camera so I'd rather have it in video than pic. To crop out every pic in that case would be a pain.
  4. Located just off the Garden State Parkway just across the bay from Long Beach Island, Skydive East Coast offers the perfect place to make your first tandem skydive. With amazing views of the Jersey Shore’s beaches and nearby Atlantic City, Skydive East Coast’s highly experienced group of instructors take pride in providing a safe, fun and memorable experience. Experienced jumpers are always welcome!
  5. Learned daffy first but hook is more relaxing for me now. However keep practicing both. You definitely need daffy for transition.
  6. +6" on steering lines used to have 7 but pd only goes in 3" increments to make it easier on themselves. 23" risers and loading ~2.4. Don't have long arms just don't like twitchy feeling and like to flare all the way at arms lenght. ps: I believe comp velo comes with longer steering lines to begin with (may be wrong).
  7. Forgetting all should you shouldn't you.. I owned xf2 139 and xf2 119 and have hundreds of jumps on them. I can say with certainty that I love xf2. Everything about it: worry free openings, nice riser pressure that gives you a good feed back in a dive, swooping capabilities, long spots not a problem, good flare, all in all sexyness. At the same time I new I wanted to be on Velo one day because it was the baddest wing on the market. Heard people saying katana route is best if you want to be on velo and xf if on vx. So I borrowed my friends katana 120 and also demoed same size. It felt very aggressive but what I call 'dumb aggressiveness' always tried to twist up on openings, riser pressure was wussy light, no feedback in a dive, long spot worries, and actually didn't enjoy the flare too much either. Maybe I was biased towards it since I had hundreds of jumps on xf's already but I am all up for them and transition to velo if you elect to take this route someday is not difficult. Hope this helps a bit.
  8. Running out or sliding either one is good however be careful while sliding because numerous people have broken their tib/fib when their foot got caught on bumps/holes on the field. Also it sounds that flaring technique could be improved to slow you down more before placing feet on the ground. Have fun and as some people said fly your canopy until you can't fly it no more.
  9. Why do we talk about 5 foot gates as of some mystical safety margin? Those gates were there to keep score- passed under the gate you in the money, above- you out. How else would you keep score objectively? And who "slows" down before dipping into water? Personally, I want to go ballistic while dragging but just enough dip to keep me going instead of creating too much drag. Water swooping is where the fun is!
  10. I wear prescription motorcycle sunglasses. It works great- had them for the last 3-4 years and still going strong. I would stay away from skydiving goggles made with prescription because those never lasted me even more than a season. have some tight fitting preferably with some padding glasses. One thing to consider is that not all aff instructors like their students jumping tinted glasses.
  11. I am pretty much with cocheese if it's too windy for students its too windy for me. I will jump sometimes at a higher winds but that makes me anxious and skydiving suppose to be fun. If at new place ask locals what 'scary' wind directions are at their drop zone, see how you feel that day yourself also. At some dz manifest puts limitation of certain licenses if it gets windy- to me it means no jump usually and I have ~4000 jumps unless it's windy up high which I know I can handle. Be conservative if you want to last in this sport.
  12. School and skydiving? No problem! Grants and loans can pay for your AFF I know it did for hm hm somebody. In a long run it helped that hm hm someone to pay back and more when working in industry.
  13. ~2000 tandems 4mals. 1-line over ez384. 2-top skin split ez384 3-last stow didn't release on a full line stretch this one was high speed. icarus365 4-line twist that locked and couldn't steer out of it on icarus365.
  14. I am close to your age 27 and had pain in my right shoulder. I found out that it was caused by me doing handy cam and spiraling down to the right all the time just to get that fun shot on a video. I stopped doing that and it helped a great deal. However I still feel my right shoulder is not the same as my left when I work out at the gym but I don't have a constant pain no more. Pay attention to what you do and hopefully your pain can subside and there is no further damage.
  15. Try removable slider. After I got one haven't had any real issues with openings.