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  1. Thank you, all. It's easy to get discouraged, even easier to think I'm the only person who ever got discouraged while jumping, and I appreciate the reality check that you all provided. My home DZ is having a boogie this weekend and will be flying a caravan, so that should be a good excuse to get more than a few jumps in.
  2. Just looking for some thoughts, advice, blah blah. I started skydiving in 2008, did about 85 or so jumps in 2008 and 2009. I jumped a handful of times in 2010 and 2011, took a long layoff, jumped twice last year, and now I've gotten "current" for real, by current I mean not really current because only 12 jumps in 3 months. Anyway, the majority of my jumps both back in the day and this year, seem to be watching other people have fun while I am unable to get to the formation, just hanging out as close as I can so they know where I am at break off. When I jump two-ways, they go fairly well, I'm guessing that is because I only have to focus on getting to and flying with one person, and that person is also focused only on flying with me. As soon as I have to fly relative to a group (that is, when I have to do a lot more work with fall rate, proximity, etc) it all goes to hell. I just did my 100th jump on Saturday. I spent the entire jump about 50 feet above the formation, arching hard and trying to make myself small, but never getting any closer. Ironically that is opposite from most of my jumps because usually I'm far below the formation because I'm a little bowling ball. I intentionally wore my big baggy suit in an attempt to fall slower. It looks like it worked too well....but that's beside the point. I've done tunnel time, and it's helped, but I feel like it has helped me learn to fly relative to someone, not GET TO someone in order to fly relative to them. I really appreciate the more experienced jumpers who have been willing to do basic two-ways with me to help me build my skills, but I'm sure that gets really boring for them. I guess the answer is to put together a series of 10, 15, 20 jumps with a coach and just really focus on the skills. It would get pricey of course, but it's probably less expensive than continuing to burn jumps doing what essentially are solos. Thoughts?
  3. Sorry, I didn't mean to muddy the waters....I'm not the OP, I just jumped in on his thread because his question was very much in line with what's been a struggle for me as I look for new gear. That said, I'll check out the Wings for sure. And I'm pretty sure I'm sticking with the 190 reserve, I landed my old 190 reserve once and it was, how shall we say, not very graceful. I couldn't imagine trying it on a smaller canopy, at 2000' higher elevation then all of my previous jumps.
  4. I'm just now getting back into the sport after almost a decade away. When I bought a used rig back in 2009, it was pretty easy for me to find something that held a 190 main and a 190 reserve. Now that I am looking at used rigs again, I'm finding the vast majority of containers that hold a 210-190 main seem to have a 176 reserve. It just seems really odd to me. Oh, and don't even get me started on the issue of being a 5'4" 165 pound powerlifter trying to find a rig that fits me AND has a 190....but that's a different issue entirely.
  5. I second the wind tunnel idea. Two weekends ago I jumped for the first time in six years, having done 87 jumps previously. I was shocked as to how much my (admittedly very little) freefall skill had deteriorated. I've got time booked in a tunnel for next weekend, and we'll see how the jumps go after that.
  6. At least, not for me. About 8-10 years ago I did 87 jumps. I was definitely not a natural. Life circumstances took me out of the sport. On Saturday, I sat through a FJC and then did a currency jump with an instructor. From the unintentional front flips out the door to the backsliding all around the sky, it felt like I did back at my 5th jump. I suspect that it was mostly the combination of being very rusty and being very NOT relaxed. I've got some tunnel time booked in a couple of weeks, and definitely hope to do a few more instructor or coach jumps as I ease back in. Those first few seconds out the door, though....I've missed that a lot. Anyway, it is good to be back in the sky, and also, lurking here on
  7. No. What you mean to say is that FOR YOU, eating a weed cookie "laced" will not have any serious after effects compared to other drugs. You do not speak for everyone. Please do not get caught up thinking that marijuana is harmless for EVERYONE. It's not. For some people, the consequences of marijuana use will be just as severe as the consequences of heroin use. I know that you acknowledge that people should not be surprised by what they eat. That is a good thing.
  8. All very good points. Let's also not forget that *every* dropzone most likely has at least one recovering alcoholic/addict whose very *life* may be jeopardized by this type of action. If you think that tricking someone into relapsing is a joke, then I don't ever want to be anywhere near you. That would make you the lowest lifeform on the planet, in my opinion.
  9. (Not a response to Bolas, I'm just replying to the last non-Moderator post in the thread....) Sincere question, I promise I am asking with no agenda or hidden meaning. I would just like some honest answers. An AAD does not activate or deploy the reserve. It cuts the reserve closing loop, which if all goes as engineered, will allow for the reserve to deploy. However, sometimes things do not go as engineered. For whatever reason, cutting the closing loop may or may not lead to a deployment of the reserve. Several reasons for this exist, many are jumper error or situational (e.g., tumbling, etc.) but some are system error (e.g., main, reserve packed too tightly in the container.) My question is this: if there are known problems with the *system* that can cause a reserve pilot chute hesitation after an AAD fire, can these same problems with the "system" cause issues after a jumper pulls silver? If yes, is the extra altitude (preferably pulling silver around 2000') the only solution that exists for these problems with the system? Are there things that jumpers, especially those of us who don't know very much at all, could be asking or thinking about to avoid these types of problems? My point is, it would suck to die because of a pilot chute hesitation after an AAD fire because my gear was not configured optimally. But that's my problem for getting down into AAD territory to begin with. It wold suck much, much more to die because of pilot chute hesitation after a relatively straight forward cutaway and reserve pull, simply because I didn't know what questions I should be asking about how my gear is configured.
  10. (Note: I discussed this with a couple of instructors the day it happened, so please be gentle....) I think he is trying to describe a situation similar to what I had on my cutaway on jump 53. My lightly loaded Sabre 2 (about 1.0 WL) spun me up because I was a dumbass when packing. When I realized I couldn't get the line twists out or release the toggles, I started my EPs, two hands per handle method: Look red, grab red, look silver, pull red, pull silver. I did the first four just right. As I had my hands on silver about to pull, I felt myself getting jerked around. Afraid maybe only one riser released, I looked up to see my white reserve starting to open. Then, because I needed to finish my EPs, I immediately pulled silver. I didn't have to pull it. There was no immediate life-saving value to pulling it. The question the OP is asking is whether pulling it was good "to build muscle memory" or whether the few seconds it would take could be better spent doing other things (such as figuring out where I was landing and how to fly this weird canopy).
  11. My Step-father was awarded a Purple Heart in Vietnam. I have heard some of the stories of what he experienced when he returned from the war. Fast forward to last summer. He and my mom were staying in a hotel in rural Montana, when they heard two men fighting in the parking lot. They went outside and saw the two shoving each other right next to my Step-father's truck. Suddenly, one noticed his Washington Purple Heart license plate, told the other, and they moved away from his truck before resuming their fight. That is the respect they had for his service. Indeed, times have changed.
  12. My suit is also (primarily) black with purple grips. It was recommended to me that I get grey stripes where the grips attach to the suit. The theory was that it will help the grips stand out more. I don't know if that is true or not, but it actually looks pretty cool. Which is all that really matters, right?
  13. I've never posted here, but dude, I just have to respond at this point. I jump at the same dropzone as davelepka, He knows what he is talking about. You should listen to him. But that's not why I'm responding. I'm responding because of an experience I had yesterday. On my 75th jump, I was using a rental 220 Manta because my Sabre2 190 (1.0 loading) was having a reserve repack. On final, for some stupid reason, I flared a bit high. For some even stupider reason, I let up on the toggles. I let out an "oh shit" that my girlfriend heard from the picnic bench and PLF'ed the shit out of the landing. I haven't flared high like that since I was on student status. Thankfully I was under the 220 Manta. It might not have been so pretty under my Sabre2 190. And imagine what it might have looked like under a Stiletto 190....Or are you 100% confident that you would NEVER make that mistake?
  14. bdb2004

    Skydive Temple

    I stopped by Skydive Temple when I was in Austin on business. The winds were gusting above 25mph, so I never got off the ground, but the time I spent at the DZ was not time wasted. I met some folks, had some interesting conversations, watched people slide across the ground in a beer cooler attached to a round... Everyone was quite welcoming, even though I was a visitor with low jump numbers who wasn't going to go up because of the wind. Absolutely nobody tried to pressure me into a jump, which was cool. Oh, and the indoor plumbing is a nice touch. I'm not used to that at a DZ. I hope that I'll be able to make it back to Skydive Temple next time I am in Austin. And maybe next time I will actually get to jump.