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  1. You said you're not wearing a jumpsuit -- are you still jumping borrowed/rental/student gear, or do you have a rig that fits you well? The more outside the "average" you are size wise the more important it is you have a jumpsuit and rig that fit well. It will make a huge difference for you. A tight fitting RW suit with nylon front, spandex back, and booties will serve you well for many years to come. Invest in one that fits well as soon as you can. Used is ok IF it fits you well. The suggestions above about fall rate drills were also good, but you need a good fitting jumpsuit to both help your fall rate and give you consistency from jump to jump. If you wear jeans some jumps, sorts others, tight t-shirts sometimes, looser ones other times then you are constantly changing your flying surface and it will take much longer to develop good fall rate skills.
  2. I also recommend actually weighing yourself with skydiving shoes/helmet/altimeter/jumpsuit/rig the size you're thinking about. I suspect you'll find it adds up to 5-10 pounds more than you're allowing.
  3. I owned 2 Hornets and both of them opened and flared quite nicely. I was very happy with them. Toggle turns were a little less snappy than the Pilot, but I never had any complaints about either of my Hornets. **Disclaimer: they were a 170 and a 150, both loaded at less than 1:1, and both were late model Hornets. I can't speak for ones that were made earlier or loaded more heavily.
  4. I have it (the Bev Suit version in one jumpsuit and the Tony Suit version in another) and would definitely get it again. But the fronts of both of my jumpsuits are Nylon and would not be comfortable without some sort of lining. I don't know if I'd be so willing to pay extra for it if I had a suit with a cotton front.
  5. Off topic, but you might want to weight yourself with all your gear on - you may be surprised. I'd guess that if you're 135 without gear you're closer to 160 with. My rig alone (with Pilot 117 and Optimum 126 in it) weighs 20 pounds and the rest of my gear adds another 5.
  6. Hello Kenny! Welcome to As an AFF student you'll find it very useful for entertainment, wasting large amounts of time, and possibly looking through the classifieds (while consulting with those at Tecumseh who are advising you on gear). Please don't listen to/take/try any advice/suggestions given here until you have learned how to filter through it and throw out all the trash. There is a lot. Some advice here is very good, some is very bad, and some is good for more experienced people but not appropriate for you. In time you'll learn the difference, but that will take a while.
  7. It's SDC Rhythm
  8. Thanks for the clarification. I should have noted that I sent mine back for a comletely unrelated reason - was just pointing out that many manufacturers have quite good customer service and the OP shouldn't make a decision like this based on saving the cost of a repack. I have indeed had other more minor alterations done to my rig by a local rigger without unpacking the reserve.
  9. When I sent my rig back to the factory after having it packed and jumping it a few times they did the modifications free - including reserve repack and shipping both directions.
  10. When I had questions/issues with my new rig last fall I emailed Wings and they responded very quickly and fixed the problem right away. Didn't try calling them so I don't know if it's more difficult to get in touch with them that way.
  11. I'm guessing this may depend a lot on rig size? Or yoke size? Because on my Wings there is only about an inch of riser exposed - basically just the part that has the binding tape wrapped around it horizontally at the very bottom of the riser.
  12. Maybe they afford the course by doing 50-100 jumps that year instead of 150-200? Or maybe they are lucky to have a kind DZO like I did who will allow them to "charge" the course and associated jumps on their DZ account and work it off once they get the rating? (I did actually do 150-200 jumps/year plus some tunnel time the 2 years before getting my rating, but as a student it wasn't easy. It helped that I worked manifest and was able to do some coach jumps. But I was getting paid to go to school. I'd imagine it would be much more difficult for someone who wasn't.)
  13. I think the difficulties lie in the size and location of the drop zone. I am at a small midwest Cessna drop zone. I made almost 175 jumps last year. That was A LOT. My guess is that many out there would look at that number and laugh. It also depends in large part on the ability of the jumper to pay for all those jumps. Do we only want to allow people who can afford X number of jumps per year to be instructors? Of course they can offset the price of jumps by packing or working manifest or some other extra job, but all of those would severely limit the number of days left for accumulating all those jumps, making the above poster's point about fitting those jumps in even more valid.
  14. The more important measurement is the length of the harness, which is related to your height. If you can find a rig from a jumper about your height, the harness should work for you. You may have to tighten the legstraps more than the last guy, but that's no big deal. In any case, you will need to have the gear inspected by a local rigger before you buy. This will include you trying it on, to see what's what. The rigger can tell you if it needs any alterations or adjustments and what they will cost, and you can factor this into your purchase price. Do a search on for how to buy used gear in terms of paying for things, shipping things, having things inspected, returning things, and when the sale is really 'final'. There are ten different ways to handle the situation. In terms of the canopy, call PD and request a demo Sabre2 170. They will ship you one for a very small fee ($30? $35?) and I think you get it for two weekends. Either way, see if the DZ will hook it up to the rental rig that usually holds the 190, and jump it for a day. If you like it, and feel confident, buy the 170. If it's too fast, buy a 190. You'll never know until you try, and from the outside it sounds like a reasonable downsize between your weight, and an endorsement from your instructor. When I demo'd from PD last summer, it was more like $90 something, although I found out later that if I'd had my gear dealer/DZO request the demo instead of requesting it myself, it would have been much cheaper ($50-60? I don't remember exactly). Anyone considering demo'ing from them might have their gear dealer call to see if the prices are still different. That said, knowing that the reserve I bought was the right size and that I was comfortable with it was well worth the ~hundred dollars I spent demo'ing it. And the price does include shipping both directions.