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  1. This was my FB post: The Squirrel Freak is a GREAT suit! Soooooo much fun and range. Everything from a everything from a very fun and fast 29 second flight powering straight down to a 208 second flight. If super steep and super floaty (fast) are not your thing then crank some super fast rolls and carving instead! Thanks Squirrel! I've now put just a bit over 300 flights on the freak. Its an amazing all around suit. That being said its designed as a step up from the funk once you know how to do aerobatics. I'm seeing a lot of people go from a swift and trying to learn aerobatics in the freak. If you are already very competent at aerobatics you'll absolutely love the freak. Sooooo much more power and yet still comfortable. Don't be mistaken into thinking its a medium flying suit though. Its not a step up from the funk, its a flying leap. Use a small suit, get very very comfortable at aerobatics (Not just belly to back)and then move up. I love it but you have to respect all the extra power. Picture is screen shot during a fly by in between a funk and a carve. Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.
  2. Pigeon Forge and Vegas are not iFly/Skyventure AFAIK The most important is that Arizonians will discover the "no sandblast tunnel" Pigeon Forge and Vegas aren't competition. I'm talking about hourly rates for team-worthy tunnels. A new player in the business might drive rates down as they try to capture market share. Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to happen in the local market here. I bet the new tunnel will be pricing significantly higher that SkyventureAZ. The clean (airflow, not sand ) recirc air will be a big advantage. But, we'll see!
  3. I am sorry that this has happened. I have apologized to everyone affect by the delays in emails to each person. It was never my intent for there to be any issues and I am beyond apologetic that the delays happened. I guess my own feelings didn't match the phrasing I used in that posts. Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.
  4. Hi Everyone, We did have issues. I will openly admit and discuss. Back in October some life events caused me to have to leave the company for a while. It’s easy to say that personal issues should interfere with work but that is not always the case. While I was away there were a number of issues that came up. While I was in the process of getting things back on track in January we had another large issue as we were in the process of moving to Arizona. What this meant was suddenly I was unable to produce at even a fraction of full capacity. In the last three weeks we have produced and sent out over 131 pieces and will be able to fill all the orders within the next 4-5 weeks. We did have issues with approx 20 suits ordered between last August and November and unfortunately the delivery time for those suits did drag on. This further compounded the delivery time on other suits ordered in December. The entire time we worked nonstop between sewing and answer messages. The main issue was that we each had 140-160hrs of work to do with only 120hrs of possible work time to do it, so we struggled to communicate. We are a newer company and there was a very steep learning curve, but we are making leaps and bounds with every lesson learnt. Look at our generation 4 models. We can literally tow a car with the jumpsuit as they are so strong. In essence, with each issue we took stock, improved our design or process and will only keep getting better. An example is wolfriverjoe’s last post. I have send off a few emails and a few face book messages as follow up to his friend but haven’t received a response. Now thanks to Joe I know that he was expecting bootie pants (the order form only shows regular pants and bootie pants is not mentioned in any of the email) so now I know to contact him. If you look at any issue we’ve had the common theme is that the customer state that we have gone above and beyond to resolve. One of the unfortunate issues is that people are not telling us of any issues and we find out at the same time as you reading posts, usually a few weeks after they discuss locally. It’s a case of if we don’t know, we can’t help and fix. The only thing I will state on the negative is semantics. You quote ‘He never spoke to my friend. They exchanged texts and e-mails, never actual voice communication.’ Speaking is a generic term for communication. Unfortunately your friend had a negative experience and so did a few others. Because of that I know that Joe Becker and a few others will not order. Yes we have made mistakes. Know that we will work harder than anyone to correct the past mistakes. We have produced over 415 suits since September, most of which (while delayed) had no issues. My goal is to get so strong that those with negative opinions right now will order from us in the future. The common issue posted on this forum was the time for delivery, once they received the suits they were able to see that quality and durability. In 4 weeks from now we will have delivered every suit in the cue and will have completely resolved the delivery delay issue. If you’re curious about us, ask an actual owner of our suits, ask us or send me a message, I’ll happily send out demo suits so you can see what we are all about. Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.
  5. Ill address all of the above in this post: There is a few days delay once a suit is made so we can verify the measurements and do the quality control. Once in a while we find things that need to be adjusted, taking a few extras days before suits are sent out. When I tell people delivery times (Such as the three weeks) its what I think is possible. Sometimes other stuff comes up that delays. Its a balance, if I said it was 6 weeks to hedge against a bunch of issues then you'd be upset at the 6 weeks. So I try to be accurate and sometimes I have been off by a few days. Will - your suit was shipped and the tracking number was sent to your email. wolfriverjoe - your friend and I spoke and he knows of the additional delay as I have to tweek a few of the options. He and I speak, he is happy and sends me positive vibes, then you post negative in this forum on his behalf? Yes there has been issues and I openly accept responsibility as its my job to control everything. Therefore every delay IS my fault. I have my life invested in making this work. Greyburn - you received the receipt for the refund of your pants. Why it is taking so long for your credit card to process it I have no idea. As I mentioned in the emails I have spent lots of time following up, tracked the refund all the way your bank but couldn't track any further because they wouldn't disclose any of your banking to me. You said you'd get your credit card reversed and I thanked you for that as I've sent a cheque, spent hours setting up to be able to issue electronic refunds and then sent the refund to you. All I want is for you to get our money back. Yes you had to send me messages to get the process started and I apologize for the communication issues. I am working 120+hr (literally)weeks to resolve this and the production delays. Deyan - you misunderstood. What he was saying is our margins are small. We use the money from your purchase towards your suit, there is just very little money left over after that equation. If a suit needs to be re-built that comes out of the mountain of materials that I bought as part of the expansion. I am an avid skydiver and will not be dis-appearing from the sport ever. will glynn - the stock suits in the link are for sale. These are suits that were made last year and given to dealers as showroom pieces. These were not produced while you guys are waiting for your suits. My only focus is to build your suits. Everyone. We've been hammered with issues, but we are working through them. Our suits are extremely durable and my only goal is to provide the best built suits at a low price...... a price that lets you spend the difference on skydiving. Those of you who know me know I absolutely LOVE skydiving, i'll be around for a long time and I'm willing to work longer and harder then everyone else to make this company. Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.
  6. The Skyflyer is what inspired me to build a better suit! It was a wobbly thing to fly but changing the leg wing fixed all that. The glide has a similar look but flies sooo much better. We developed a new method of inflation. the internal cut of the wing is designed to create a micro vortex by the inlet. this causes a low pressure and creates a "vacuum" effect once the wing is inflated, this allows the wing to reach max normal air rammed pressurization and then it will "draw" in more air, increasing the pressure that much more. More pressure equals a more rigid wing, more differential and more lift! To reach me an email to [email protected] is the easiest way. Or you can send a general email to [email protected] for an even faster response as I am in the air most days and sometimes (after receiving 70+ emails) it takes me a day or two to respond to everyone. At the time of Chicks rock we were quoting a 12 week delivery. Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.
  7. Unfortunately this post is an example of someone who cannot distinguish between a personal dislike for me and the business. I did not post right away as I needed to verify the facts. The seller of the suit who is mentioned in this post told me that she doesn't even know Mr. Walczak, let alone texted back and forth with him. Therefore I have no idea where the "screen shot" come from. There is a simple theme to this thread on our suits, those who are actual owners love them. They give good reviews of the quality. A case in point is the seller of the suit mentioned in this post is getting a Vicki model suit (female freefly cut) from us. That says it all. Please ignore any further posts from Mr. Walczak as they will be negative after the reads this response. All his messages are reflecting his personal dislike of me. Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.
  8. Hi everyone, We have been refining the suits over the last few years and have now started actively advertising as the suits are now very strong and last a long time. To date we have sold over 800 suits. I am happy to show samples of the suits to see the quality and design. Peter is right in that the first suits were make in Pakistan but we put some real money into the company since then and now build a very strong product. The solution: we bought our own factory and have our own staff. I am always happy to show samples. Fell free to contact us at [email protected] Cheers! Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.
  9. You need to continue to fly your torso. A solid and stable arch on the wind is needed for stability (same as a jump), then you end up deploying. Cheers! Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.
  10. Ok, all the comments below are general statements and are not directed at anyone in particular. Trying to avoid superimposing onto the statements. Also look at the intent of the paragraphs and not a specific word. After seeing this post I have talked to a number of wingsuiters ranging from novices to experienced to designers. Here’s some common ground: Pros: 1. Consistent FFC instruction Cons: 1. Fear of over regulation 2. Fear of additional costs 3. Will not get rid of poor instructors My Points: 1. Role of the first flight course: 1.1 Outside perspective. This outside perspective helps when people are learning and even experienced jumpers. Just the other day someone with 300 wingsuit jumps was flying in a way that they were stalling the wings. When we talked about it he said “it seemed harder to fly” but did not know why. You do not need to be rated for this observation, but with enough instruction you learn what to look for in body position as a ratio of flight characteristics. 1.2. Introduction to: 1.2.1 Equipment: Knowledge on how different designs fly. Some suits are designed to have a slower vertical but not as much horizontal, others are the opposite. Learning the pro’s and Con’s of the different designs helps you choose the best suit for your type of flying. This education also helps people to make the right wing choice relative to there upsizing. Knowledge of the additional considerations of the bigger suits and why they have minimum jump numbers. This is from a flight characteristic perspective. Anyone can spread there arms and legs, but do you understand the physics of what is happening when you increase and de-crease the internal pressure in the wing? This knowledge helps you fly more consistently and allows you to get out of situations when you understand what is happening. “Things felt weird” doesn’t help you recover from a spin. 1.2.2 Aircraft How to minimize movement / breaking things. I’ve seen lots of novices rip wings; pull zippers, etc in the aircraft as they don’t know how to sit, more around, etc. While not a safety issue it can get expensive and it’s definitely a nice to know that is often overlooked on FFC’s. Different tail heights and configurations. It’s important to learn about all the common aircrafts and not just the one you are learning in. If you will ever travel chances are you’ll jump out of a different type of aircraft. Different exit speeds. The higher the speed, the more likely a tail strike. If you pass within 24 inches of the tail it can take 0.16 seconds to hit if the plane has to apply an 8% power increase or pull up by 2 degrees (based on otter exits speeds). This was calculated using a variance flow model using the AAA aircraft design modeling program. 1.2.3 Exit Staying low. Everyone knows you should keep your wings closed but saying “don’t do this” rarely works. with muscle memory you need to give another task to replace the bad habit, I recommend grabbing materials at the bas of the arm wings, this way when you do try and pull open to “arch” (as jumpers are used to) the encounter resistance to doing so. Once in a while people will simply let go, but I have seen a large increase in proper exits using this method then the “hold handles to your stomach method. Staying stable. This bigger the suit, the longer the inflation period (as a loose correlation). If you exit and are not perfectly symmetrical then this pressurization can be asymmetrical and one side will start to fly before the other. On a small wing you will likely not notice, but on a big wing it’s easy for this to result in a spin. Keeping awareness (of others). Learning how to speed and slow down is very important as it ensures that your flight is predictable. Flying wide to lose altitude and slow down and then tuck back in simply increases the chances of a sideways collision as you leave or come back in. With a forward speed of at least 100mph, an 8 degree rotation will result in a horizontal closing speed of 15mph or 14.6 feet per second, very easy to hit someone. 1.2.4 Flight Flying comfortably Flying calmly Closing speeds How to get up How to get down Flat spins and recoveries 1.2.5 Deployment Reaching the handles. The bigger the suit, the more you have to pay attention to reaching your handles. You also need to have enough body position awareness to keep on flying. Often novices forget that they are still moving forward as they are reaching and stop flying. This results in a messy opening and developing a bad habit. Keeping the wings and legs closed. The majority of line twist on a wingsuit is from novices who keep the leg wing open on deployment. They forget about the forward and vertical speed and expose an asymmetrical leg wing and propeller themselves into line twist. Having video of these deployments is very important as it will show what they are doing vs. what they thing they are doing. Continuing to fly until the final snatch of the canopy. 1.2.6 Canopy Un-zipping. One of the novices I know cut away the other day simply because he forgot to unzip or pull the cutaway handles. The line twist was easily solvable. This happened simply because he had not developed enough muscle memory to unzip out of habit and his first instinct was to reach up and try and kick out of the twist. He couldn’t reach up and he could not kick well because his legs were in a wing as well. Landings and the extra drag from the suit (in the case of a HP landing). 1.3 Observations: 1.3.1 There has only been one fatality, but many more really close calls. These are not recorded, other then through experience of being on loads with broken helmets, altimeters and morale. Ask any of the really experience WS flyers and they will have seen many close calls. 1.3.2 Advanced techniques Rotate downwards (towards the ground) if you keep opening your wings so that you fly down and away from the plane (slower aircraft only) Grab material to exit. If you give yourself a tasks to do it is effective, if you say “don’t open” it’s much harder for your body to enforce. Recovering from flat spins. I have seen from experienced wingsuiters struggle a lot to get out of a flat spin. When asked after they never really learnt the proper ways to deal with that situation as a young WS flyer and just had not run into that situation yet. 1.3.3 Addressing specific comments: This is not a slight against the posters above; this is simply addressing the points as I have heard all these same comments from within the community at one point of another. “Will an instructor rating prevent Wingsuit tail strikes? No chance.” It will not prevent it, but it can mitigate this issue among novices. I have seen a number of WS jumpers teach there friend to exit by holding the handles into there stomach. That works well for them as they have been doing this for a while but with a novice, often it doesn’t work. They are too used to “arch” as you leave the airplane and are at the autonomous stage of muscle memory and will always open. Proper FFC instruction will get them into the habit of physically grabbing material before you exit. Doing this ensure that when you try and spread your arms (which they will out of habit) the grip on the material stops there arms from going any further out. “Ironically wingsuits is my discipline I have chosen one reason being I can get rid of airplanes and regulation and fly in the mountains alone away from this type of control/manipulatin.” This statement reflects what a lot of Junior BASE jumpers think; grab a suit and go. The lesson to learn is that all of the senior and experienced proximity flyers have done tons of aircraft jumps to dial in there suit before moving on to Balloons or Helicopter. That’s hundreds if not thousands of jumps before going anywhere near the hills. You might live through just grabbing a suit and going, but chances are if you get in trouble, it’ll be permanent. Look at simple things: Do you know how your suits going to fly if you blow a zipper? Do you have enough piloting time to be massively asymmetrical and still deploy? Or worse, have to keep flying to get out of the canyon before you can deploy? Too many people base there decisions of the perfect flight, not the worse case scenario. 1.4. The future: 1.4.1 If there are more incidents in the WS world the FAA will become a lot more involved. That’s bad as they are the ultimate in over regulation. If the USPA gets a program together then at least they can defend against the FAA. It’s the lesser of two evils: skydivers regulating or someone who knows nothing about what we do try to regulate us? 1.4.2 Suit sizes continue to increase. The next evolution will be hybrid suits with solid frame cross connectors to increase the span and cord thereby giving better glide and angle of attack. If we are in bad habits now then we will kill themselves as the suits get bigger and bigger. Remember when a GTI was a big wing? 1.4.3 Skydivers as a whole tend to over estimate there abilities as we all look at each situation as “what would I do” based on the perfect scenarios. Not “If I upsized, could I recover from a spin if I mess up the exit?” 1.4.4 Advanced flight courses. We have them for canopy piloting. It’s the same thing. Once you get comfortable doing the normal stuff it would be great to have a course to teach you the advanced techniques as right now most people are learning through observations of others, sometimes in-correctly. 1.5 Definitions (for me): 1.5.1 Novice wingsuiter: Someone with less then 200 wingsuit jumps. Someone who has only flown belly to earth orientated wingsuit jumps. 1.5.2 Over regulation: USPA or FAA rules and regulations which would limit the safe growth of the discipline, not enforcing minimum rules for the purposes of safety. 1.5.3 FFC: First Flight Course also encompasses novice training in addition to the physical first flight. 1.5.4 AAA: Advance Aircraft Analysis, a program used to design advanced aircraft through structural and hydrodynamic modeling. 1.5.5 Symmetrical: The even exposure to the wing or relative winds both vertically and horizontally. 1.5.6 HP: High performance. 1.5.7 Near tail strike: Any part of the flyer passing with 24 inches of the tail on any aircraft type. 1. 6 Summary At the end of the day the wingsuter is 100% responsible for his own survival but at least a minimum quality of instruction would help to add a lot of the “little things” into the FFC’s that I don’t see very often when some experienced WS’ers show people how to fly. Often they take certain things for granted as they are so automatic for them to do that they don’t think about it and therefore do not pass on these points, points that are critical to the consistent success of a novice wingsuiters progression. *Note: Editing for spelling only. Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.
  11. Just another fun day in the air.... Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.
  12. *disclaimer – I’m not talking about anyone in particular, avoid superimposing anything* The discussion at hand should be more focused on setting a high standard for the AFFI course. It was mentioned above “We already have AFFI ratings being handed out like candy.” This is very true in the USPA system. A jumper with 500 skydives, even if they are full altitude, is only 8hrs (approx) of freefall. That is not a lot. I’ll break this down into a few categories: 1. Freefall skills to safely manipulate / save the student. a. Tunnel helps with freefall skills; there is no argument about that. It’s an easier way to get time in manipulating the airflow. The muscle memory loss is less due to the shorter turn around time (more saturation) of airflow time in tunnel vs the sky. b. The CSPA system adds tunnel time to the PFF (virtually the same as AFF) as a way of ensuring your have more memory of how to recover students. Its also used to “vet” jumpers who want to become PFF’s as they will be told what to continue to work on in there flying skills if they are not good enough yet before spending all the money on a course. c. Tunnel should not be used in lieu of the extra skydives. As mentioned above 500 skydives is still a very in-experienced jumper. d. The progression (specific tunnel tasks, not just flying around) covers: i. Maintenance of proximity. If you need to “hang on” to a student you are making the jump harder for them. IMO you must be able to fly a grip without putting any pressure of the student. I’ve seen too many AFFI’s hanging 6 inches below the student…. Then the student wonders why it was so hard to do the turns required on the jump. ii. Stability. If you cannot fly through a few burbles while being pushed and pulled… practice more. Even a bad exit is easy to recover on the hill if you have the ability to let go with one hand, reach over and correct the student (pushing chin up) or if you can roll your elbow under there arm and the other elbow under there thigh and force them into an arch. This way the student does not flip, you don’t have to worry about an instructor “falling off” iii. Skill analysis and the use of signals. You learn quickly when a hand signal is too close, they don’t see it. If the signal is not clear or blocked, obviously they don’t respond. iv. Spin control (flat and inverted) This one takes people a while to get in the air. Using the tunnel for practice might limit the spin to a 14 ft area, but it teaches you the mechanics of reliably flying under there spinning limbs, popping up into the gap and stopping the spin immediately. From there its easy to get them a smile and a thumbs up (to calm them), flip them over and carry on. If you’re concerned about being able to close within that 10 ft area as they are spinning in the sky….. Practice more RW. Learn how to put on sudden acceleration and deceleration. v. Inverted recovery. The tunnel gives you a chance to learn to fly nice and tight to adjust to the faster speeds of a student on there back. They will not be doing the 120 MPH ideal and you have no time to stop and put on weight. (I know this sounds sarcastic, it is not intended to be. I have seen many AFFI’s struggling to get down to an inverted student who is doing 135-140mph as they have no real airflow time at those speeds). 2. Experience in teaching. This is the big one. A jumper with 400 jumps just has not learnt all the “little things” or “tricks” that need to be adapted to the learning style of your specific student. Some will get canopy right away, others will struggle. Knowing the seven major ways to teach canopy to the different learning styles makes you a great instructor. Usually you will only learn this by being around other instructors and over time, picking up on the different ways of explaining things in all aspects of skydiving as listed below: a. Equipment b. In aircraft c. Exit d. Freefall e. Canopy f. Landing At 400 jumps, regardless of your own flying skills you don’t know all the little things about each stage of the skydive or the best methods to teach them to each learning style. Before people start to try and pick this apart: 1. Read the intent of the paragraphs, don’t pick a single word and focus on it. 2. Accept certain facts: Tunnel is a great tool to learn freefall skills, it does not help in other areas of technical knowledge in the sport. 3. My experience: a. I was one of the fast 400 jumpers. By that stage I had lots of tunnel time and felt that my flying was quite good. Looking back on it my flying was good, but my technical knowledge on all the aspects other then freefall was quite limited. At that stage I had less then 2 years in the sport. b. I am writing this from the perspective of tons of tunnel time (RW and other), lots of AFF/PFF jumps and lots of RW skydives. None of my jumps are tandem. c. The only times I have seen instructors lose there student on a jump were new AFFI with only 550-700 jumps, very little tunnel (less then 5 hrs of tunnel time). My bottom line: The AFF standard should be increased; not chipped away by these sorts of initiatives. Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.
  13. Quote[replyI hope, believe, you are helping them get it right, eh?
  14. Fair enough. I am simply stating the method to get your student to the "beach ball" position. Too often student are just told "ride the beachball" without even being walked through the step by step of how to make that happen. If you only tell them somethign they will never learn it properly in a physical sport. Too often I simply see students in the air with there ass pushed out and dropping there knees to "ride the beachball" as they were never taught how to do it properly. Unfortunately I still see this on bigways with fair experiecned jumpers that they panic, push the ass out and drop there knees, trying to get into the "beachball" position and they simply fall away faster. Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.
  15. I stopped using the "hug the beach ball" approach as I've seen more novices simply stick there ass up in the air while still arching there chest and having there knees bent. Instead I will walk them throught the full movement: Steps: 1. Flex abs (flatens torso) 2. Roll shoulder (full roll, not just pushing the shoulder forward) 3. Put positive pressure through your finger tips, pointing at a 45 degree angle downward and away. Method: 1. Have the stand up, nice and relaxed, feet shoulder width apart, arms by there side. 2. Have them arch (so they lean back as far as possible, getting tension on there abs and thigh muscles) 3. While they are leaning back ask them to flex there abs. Doing so will pull them forward, starting to flatten them out. 4. Have them stand up tall again. 5. Get them to place there right hand on there left pectoral (so they will feel the difference from the next move) 6. Have them first push there shoulder forward (they will feeel a little "cupping" as the pec gets pulled back) 7. have them stand up tall again. 8. Place hand on pec. 9. Have them roll the shoulder UP (first, very important step) and then forward. This will produce a significantly larger "cupping" then just sliding the shoulder forward. 10. Pull it all together. Have them arch, then flex abs (pulls the forward), then roll shoulders up and forward (while still flexing abs, then have them point there fingers at a 45 degree angle. If the abs, chest and shoulders are all flexed it will create a very solid "cup". Last step would be to teach them to put there chin to chest (at the instructors disgression, pending the comfort of the student) for a full upper torso de-arch. This will get the to the end state of "hugging the beachball" but gets them there by doing the proper chaining of movements so they know what that positiion should feel like (muscle memory). For the competitors I actively encourage them to do this same process at home while standing at a right angle to a full legth mirror. That way they can arch to the extreme and "cup" to the extreme to develop the muscle memory through repetition, the mirror is important so they see that they are adapting the right body position in to develop the proper muscle memory. I did not mention legs. this I add in after a successful slow fall skydive (or tunnel) with the torso, afterall the torso if the largest percentage of your exposed surface area in belly flying, use it. This is the same torso exercise for the track, just the arms are swept down and slightly forward instead of above the head. Downsizing is not the way to prove your manhood.