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Everything posted by WooHoo

  1. Many years ago I worked on the pilot episode for a proposed television show called The Risk Factor. I examined risk in our lives, in one section they looked at three people in their daily environment, A man who cycled to his job in a bank, a parachute tester and a policeman. The audience were asked to vote who ran the greatest risk of injury or death through their job. Obviously about 90% went for the test jumper. Then they got actuaries (smart mathematicians who work for insurance companies who deal in probabilities) to analyze and calculate who was most at risk. Well you may have guessed it, The guy who cycled to work, followed by the policeman, then the jumper. They based it on statistical analysis and probability. It has been my observation that most jumpers I know, always use a seat belt in a vehicle (including taxis), do not jump to play some form of death dodging and on the whole with the usual exception of 'the cavalier and the crazy which we see in all walks of life, are very sensible, responsible people. I think it is wonderful that the threads and views expressed on this site validate that, but I agree with tbrown, that everything we do carries a risk, skydiving is no different, it is a measured risk, which the participants do everything they can to manage safely and responsibly. I believe everyone who ever jumps made a conscious choice to do it, fighting against self doubt and natural fear in many cases, for the majority the one jump experience is enough. Some go on, the others tick that box and go in search of the next experience. The rest of us fall in love with the sport, the comradeship, the late night beers, the tales of "No Shit I was there" tales around the bar. the final responsibility as to making a jump has to be our own no one can or should ever 'talk you into it', they can encourage reassure and empathize but nothing in life is without risk. Whilst researching the television show The Risk Factor, we looked at the five most common ways of accidental death in the home. If I went through them now I am sure some for would never handle a sharp knife, and electrical appliance, only eat liquidized food, live in a building without stairs or ever take a bath again. So their is a risk associated with skydiving as with all things, but to classify it as dangerous, is misleading. I agree with tbrown if skydiving was that damn dangerous I wouldn't do it either. To NWFlyer who posted the original thread, no amount of statistical analysis will convince you ( it didn't convince me) but my desire to fly did. I have come to realize that at the end of our lives we do not regret our failures, we regret the things we wished fo but didn't do. I had cancer 20 years ago and as I lay on my hospital bed it was my regrets that bugged me, so If you want to jump heed all the good advice, hang out in a DZ for a few weekends talk to jumpers and instructors ( they will al be helpful) talk to other tandem students, and if after that you are not sure, then cash in the voucher, and perhaps another day. "The older I get the better I was"
  2. I have nly been jumping for a year and have jumped in Spain, Eloy and the UK and noticed that Ready Set GO, is the most common and probably most universally accepted standard for making a clean exit. Some folk are taught as AFF student to swing the leg out, then in then out, at the same time shouting "Out In Out" befoer exiting, (well I was anyway) Also as AFF you may be taught "Check In, Check Out, Up, Down, Exit. These are all good very practical and follow a sequence that avoids confusionand mistimed exits. When I did my first static line canopy jumps in 1976, the freefall folk seemed to have a variety of exit counts, my favourite was "One Banana Two banana Three Banana Four Five Banana Six Banana Get out the F**king Door". Obviously I never got past my second jump so never got to skydive with that generation. I would be interested in other exit counts/chants, and would also like to propose a competition to create a fun new count. The only rule is it must last no more than six second. "The older I get the better I was"
  3. How many skydivers does it take to change a lightbulb?
  4. This is more of a query about the most jumps a newbie to the sport has made in say a year. I took up skydiving when I was 49 and thought if I could take a year off, and learn all I could and jump frequently, how far would I be able to progress. I met a couple of folk who straight off AFF packed in their jobs and went to live on or nearby a DZ, one had around 450 in a ten month period. But I am sure their are other who became total converts to the sky and was wondering if anyone ever passed the 1000 jump mark in under a year of making their first jump. "The older I get....the better I was"
  5. Whihlst I am on a roll. I am surprised ski instructors don't wear camera helmets. For 20 year of very infrequent skiiing the instructor says to me "Bend the knees" No I am convinced my legs are bent, but they tell me no. In my early AFF jumps I kept getting the straighten legs signal, and on AFF4 hired a cameraguy to film my jump, once I could actually see it I actually got it, sso I could see it in my mind. When I offered to pay for two helmets to set up a video coaching programme through the local school, they gave me that kinds laugh and shrug of the shoulders, which translated into "It'll never work" Anyone interested, let me know?
  6. I think I was probably going 25-30mph, the 250 -270mph was artistic licence. I did discuss the drouge idea with an instructor who thought it wasn't going to make any difference. I also though ski instructors should use camera helmets, (never seen one on the slopes) he idea behind this thread was more along the humor gland, I was wondering if we can make the case for apparently safe sports being dangerous and vice versa
  7. A few weeks ago I went for a couple of ddays skiing towards the end of the season in France. On the first day the snow was kinda soupy and I was going at a sensible speed for my skill level, when I hit some ice. I picked up a lot of speed quickly and looking for a place to turn discover a group of small kids at the exact point I wanted to turn ( I am not that great a skier and the ski's were end of season rental specials). Now I get to that moment of Woah!!!!!! as in Woah I'm outta control. I figured if I couldn't slow down I was going to fall and it may get an injury as well. As it turned out I managed to make a turn that would not have won any prizes for style, slow down, and stop. No big deal, it got me thinking, when I mentioned that I've taken up skydiving people think it is a dangerous sport. It is a high risk sport but it is so safety conscious, people go out of there way on DZ's to look out for you, anyone will give you a gear check. People will suggest moves to practise and most people run through their EP's before a jump. Most were helmets, have AAD's skyhooks and RSL's. On the ski slope there is no reserve, if you don't wear a helmet and collide aor head butt the ground at 20mph - chances are it's a serious trauma injury. Whilst I was their, my friend dislocated his shoulder ( low speed fall over) a woman broke her back (fell of a T-bar) and I saw the blood truck on the mountain every day. Yes I agree to some extend with the false impression that skydiving is dangerous, but it's high risk in terms of consequences when things go wrong. Now skiing at the end of the season in wet snow, without a helmet, in poor visibility with other skiers of mixed ability who have no sense of safety protocols. Now that's dangerous. In case you were wondering how fast I was going down the mountain when I wished someone had invented a reserves drouge chute for skiers , I'm guessing about 250mph, but I could be wrong.......no it might have been 270mph either way it felt way fast. Oh I got concussed playing golf once as well - so golf too s a danger sport I guess, any others out there anyone would like to add to the list, and in so doing get off all the danger sport lists. "I had a brilliant idea once but I think Alexander Graham Bell beat me to it" to it]
  8. Whilst telling a friend about the difference I experienced between making my second and third jump (about 29 years give or take a month), I explained that there had been so many innovations to make the sport, safer, easier and more accessible to a wider number of people. That was a whole new experience, as though the pioneer days were past. When I started there was no three ring release, no AAD, no audibles, and front mounted reserves were the norm. So nobody really knew what lay round the corner in terms of improvements. So I wondered what will be the next major improvement to the sport will be in the way of gear, rigging or safety, as I can't imagine what it will be. I've rules out jumps suits made of flubber ( the stuff from the Disney movie!!!) with built in helium airbags- because well that's plain dumb So any budding Leonardo DaVinci's out there would like to make a suggestion or two, we might stumble onto something LOL javascript:%20addTag(':)') ["A child of ten could understand this contract.....quick find me a ten year old"]
  9. I have spoken to a couple of jumpers in the last year who when I casually enquire as to how many jumps they had made, replied that they had lost count, and no longer logged them. Or if they did log them they were rather random about it. Obviously being new to the sport and secretly wishing I was an accounts clerk in some government office, keep very accurate details of each jump. I was wondering if that is how we all start, until Homer Simpson like laziness overtakes us to the point that we make guesstimates and then scribble a bunch from memory ( assuming we don't have an audible with a log) Any thoughts? ["I did a speed reading course recently, I read War and Peace in 20 minutes. I think it's about Russia" ]
  10. This thread is the result of a conversation with "a bloke in a pub'. I only mention this because such sources are the stuff of "Urban Myth". Anyhoo this fellow told me of a girl who had never dome a standard parachute static line or freefall jump in her life, and all her jumps were of the BASE variety. Now such stories are told by people who know the second cousine of the barman who served her uncles dentist variety. Nevertheless it got me thinkng. Are there any BASE jumpers who never took the conventional route? Could the stoy be true? So withthat in mind are there any other "Urban MYths" which a) may be true or b) obviouslys are not true but worth telliing due to there "Oh Wow " factor. "The difference between genius and stupidity?..............there is a limit to genius" Albert Einstien
  11. I have been getting fit, losing some weight and on medication for six weeks now. The doc gave me the OK to jump again. Especially as they suspect I may have 'white coat hypertension', which means it shoots up when a doctor takes it. Either way thanks for all the good advice, much appreciated.
  12. When I was learning doing my AFF course the instructors told my friend and I that before the exit we will be asked "Are you ready to skydiVe"? He added that most folk manage to squeak out "Yes" and they would appreciate something more original in reply. So we spent too much time thinking of smart wise cracks to say at the door than on the jump itself. My friend when asked are you ready to skydiVe replied "I'm ready to plummet" I squeaked "Born ready" before giVing the most forced smile of my life. Neither instructor made a comment afterwards, so I guess they were not that memorable? Any other offers? Before you comment my keyboard only giVes me the letter V in capital form. "Don't worry I haVe a plan" ***
  13. I went jumping in Eloy last November and after my final jump a packer put it in the container. I will not realistically be jumping before March and was wondering should I take it out the container. Let it chill out and relax, or is it OK to leave it packed and jump it in March without a re-pack. Is there a time limit on this, and what would you recommend? [" No one knows everything!!!!!! Well except for my four year old neice apparently]
  14. Here is the photo. Turning 50 was like doing a skydive, some degree of nervous anticipation, but once your out the door (as you can see) everything turns to joy! [Fall over seven times, get up eight]
  15. Today I turned 50. I got my copy of Parachutist Magazine delivered with a bunch of birthday cards, to see my name published as an 'A' licence holder. Then I open another letter which were two kickass photos of me taken going out of the back of a Skyvan at Eloy last November. They were taken by a a great guy, who happened to have them developed and sent me those copies. Not a bad way to start my 50's ["You won't be remembered for the things you said you were going to do, but for the things you did."]
  16. I when people talk about bad pack jobs, or rushed pack lobs, I am curious what constitutes 'bad'. Obviously if it results in a mal then no need o enter a debating chamber to work out the pros and cons. But in everyday jumping when the canopy opens and works fine, how forgiving is a poor pack. The reason I ask, is I have been taught to pack, and have a DVD which I have studied to the point of almost being able to lip sync with the on screen packer. But my pack jobs do not look pretty. I usually get a packer when I jump, but am keen to manage my own packs. Am I been overly cautious, looking for perfection, or should I get some extra packing classes. I tend to jump three or four times a year during long weekends so am not hanging out at a DZ every weekend where I can get regular supervision. Also, I am just curious what is the worst pack job you have seen work out fine? ["Breath Relax Arch and shout Yippee"]
  17. I agree with you, Ithink docs are naturally cautious, and I will listen to them, my feeling is any medication that stabilises my BP must be a good thing and automatically redices any chance of a blackout. Especially as I have never had one, so I shall wait a couple of months. In the final analysis, I need to be a responsible jumper for both my self and fellow skydivers so I will listen to the good doctor, and have no doubt I'll be back in the air in next to no time.
  18. I took up skydiving this year, and have logged 58 jumps and got my A license. Recently whilst visiting my doctor for a throat infection, I asked for my blood pressure to be taken. Over the years it has been up but on the upper limit before medication. The doc pulled the kind of face normally seen in old silent movies, and told me it was very very high, and immediately put me on medication. This was a week ago, the BP has gone to normal levels for the first time in a long time. A doctor friend of mine told me to give up skydiving for three months whilst the medication calibrates and regulates my BP. As any adrenaline activity will raise my BP and could cause a blackout. Does anyone know anything about high blood pressure ( controlled with medication) and risks associated with skydiving? ["You will not be remembered for hat you said you were going to do, but for the things you did"]
  19. Thanks for all the good advice. The lessons I learned are cover every eventuality on the ground, and know how to recover from the worst case scenario, which I know this was. I am pleased that throughout the spin I didn't panic and was trying hard, but I think I was trying to arch and turn, (which eventually worked but I must have burned up 5000 to do it). The lesson is well learnt. I am going to practise the recovery routine on the ground again and again, so if it happens again, I will know what to do and have confidence in my ability to do it. It is a humbling sport, that has a habit of biting you, when you assume you know too much. Any other advice is most welcome.
  20. The instructor told me my left shoulder was low, and that tension in my limbs made me more rigid, hence the increase in spin rate. I watched the video, and realised that my unfamiliarity with the perspective of the back fly position, meant I didn't know the right input to slow down. The coach told me to be more relaxed, and added that he would have stopped the spin. He didn't think it was to bad, it sure felt like it though. My safety in the sky is my responsibility so I want to become safe and responsible skydiver, and thanks for the advice it makes great sense.
  21. I have sixty jumps and recently had two coached jumps to learn the basics of back flying. On the first jump I exited well and had a slight rotation caused by not being symetrical. On the second jump the rotation quickly turned into a fast flat spin, on my back. I decided to put in a hard arch, but due to body position just became flatter and faster, I then tried to roll over onto my belly, and couldn't do it. I then made a big effort to relax, and point my legs and hands skywards to increase speed and reduce the spin. The spin slowed but it took me three attempts to finally get on my belly, as my protrack sounded for the first time at 6000. Though at the time I didn't panic, I found the whole experience unsettling and my confidence shaken. I spoke to some expereinced skydivers who said that the arch would have been the way to get back to belly to earth. I tried ( obviously not hard enough) but I am 49 and don't have the flexibility or strength I once had. Has anyone any thoughts as to how to recover this position if the arch cannot be made suffiiently effective. One suggestion was to go into a ball, wait a few seconds then burst out into an arch? I have not jumped since, but am planning a weekend away jumping in six weeks and would like to have some new techniques for recovery in my head should it happen again. Before you ask, I do not plan to do any back flying for a long time.["the impossible is what people say cannot be done until someone goes and does it"
  22. WooHoo


    I am very much a newbie, have been keen to buy my own rig, however have been getting a ton of good advice about canopies. Recently I was able to jump a Spectre for the first time. I was told to expect softer openings than I had been used to on the Sabre 210 that I had jumped previously. I noticed that it took longer to deploy, but was soft and always opened on heading. In flight it took more toggle pressure to initiate turns, but I soon got the hang of it. The turns felt very positive, and the canopy ride felt very stable in some bumpy air I experienced. The landing for me was a learning curve, and after two crash bang Tom and Jerry style landings I got the hang of the flare, and was able to land in zero wind atmy DZ which is 2000 ASL, on two feet, (with run off). I hope to demo the Pilot, and the Sabre 2 as wellas the Safire, but I loved this canopy.
  23. Did a static back in 1976, after six visits to the DZ waiting for the weather to clear up. Now 29 years later I'm back!! Have done 20 jumps since graduation AFF, and am now trying to decide on kit, so far have asked four people and gotten five suggesitons. Oh my poor head its getting sore with all the advice. javascript:%20addTag('crazy') Lots of catching up to do. See you in the skies Opportunities pass they don't pause. Anon ***