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  1. Try to find a female instructor or canopy coach, preferably close to your size to evaluate the situation. A bunch of people on the internet who have never flown a canopy at close to your size do not know what it's like. I don't know if you're ready or not, but I do know that someone who has never skydived at under 180 lbs cannot know how docile a lightly elliptical 170 can be at a .85ish wing loading. (Just as we cannot know what a 170 feels like at a 1.2 wing loading.) It also can be difficult for them to truly realize the added challenges involved trying to do all things on the checklist can be when you are loading at .7, particularly when this means you are wise to stand down even (and be less current) in many conditions when it's still reasonably safe for other newbies. Regardless, if you're going to be off for awhile, get another low bulk demo 190 to fly first so that you are current and aren't forcing yourself into a situation you aren't comfortable with. (For example, the aerodyne pilot if you can't do another on a pulse.) It sounded like you traveled to where the demo canopy was before, but you should be able to order one to be mailed to you when your season starts and they usually give you two weeks.
  2. I'm fairly new (about 100 tandems) and take up to 25% over my weight. More than some of my male colleagues can/will do. Less than others. Making it strictly about student's weight and ignoring the instructor's weight makes no sense. I'm not going to hurt someone because someone else thinks I should take up someone up who is double my weight. (I know some female and male TIs who can safely do that, so more power to them, but at least currently I cannot. And I won't pretend otherwise.)
  3. That being said, I would think that PD would want maintain this canopy for people who want to and are prepared to actively fly their canopy.
  4. I agree that I like the Katana exactly the way it is. A better stepping stone ideally would be people putting more jumps (and canopy training) in before going to a Katana and treating it with the respect it deserves. I don't mind an intermediate canopy existing since that is not likely to happen. However, I would like to buy another Katana in a year or so, not a Katana-lite designed for people who don't come close to following long standing recommendations.
  5. Well since you were wrong about at least one supposed "sock-puppet" in the past, it's certainly not beyond reason to think you were again. A few years ago you accused someone I knew of being some Florida guy's sock puppet. And I certainly don't have any proof that you are correct now. Not saying you aren't, but given the history and the tone of this thread, I would want more than you got someone banned as evidence. In any event, I am certainly not wrong about the unnecessary nastiness on this thread. I read every post in it before responding the first time to make sure I didn't miss anything. You don't have to be this mean to get the point across that you disagree. If you are right, than let your reasoning show that. And unless you have first (or even trusted second) hand knowledge that the rest of us have not been made aware of, the three points I listed still stand.
  6. This was lost before (and probably will be again here too), but 1) It was the manner in which Nerra's request was rejected that appears to be the issue. A simple polite rejection wouldn't have inspired this thread. 2) Nerra asked for this while in the process of purchasing a $1500 reserve. (After the other stuff, but this purchase was in progress.) 3) Nerra has made it clear that asking for the repack was only because the store indicated they could not discount the gear due to manufacturer limitations. And then later clarified for those on the attack that this was certainly not meant to make a rigger work for free. Only a way to allow for a discount on the gear that was claimed not to be allowed through other means. As for a moderator having some nasty vendetta for something that is clearly not showing up in this thread, it's mean-spirited and uncalled for. Calling out a defender of Nerra for being sock-puppet was also super classy. Just because someone has a different opinion than you and is also willing to reply in multiple posts (as quade did) does not make them a sock-puppet. Being a moderator should include some kind of responsibility for civility especially when not given any kind of provocation. Actually that should apply for just being human, but having the green letters means that more weight may be given to your replies. I'm hoping quade is just having a bad day and read more into the OP's original response and that an apology for the tone taken will be coming. Sometimes people deserve a bit of reality, but the tone this thread took and the deliberate ignoring of any point that might be in OP's favor is so out of hand. I've never met Nerra, but nothing in this thread indicates why OP would be subject to this kind of mean-spirited response.
  7. Thank you! I couldn't address that part correctly without sounding even more snarky than I feel right now.
  8. Have you missed the part about some people being in over their heads hurting/killing other people? It's not at all about banning swooping. It's not at all about banning high performance canopies. It's about something being in place to protect the rest of us from someone who gets a hundred jumps and think that they are the best thing that ever happened to skydiving. I really don't understand people "needing" to jump specialized equipment so early and other people defending their "right" to do so no matter who else it affects. Skydiving is amazing. If you love it and want to be the best, jump more. It doesn't take long to rack up a couple hundred jumps for a GoPro or Wingsuit. It doesn't take terribly long to rack up a thousand jumps if you want to start being a serious swooper on a cross-braced canopy. In the mean time, you can learn to be a proficient skydiver and canopy pilot. (This is not necessarily directed at you as you may have put in the time or are currently doing so now.) Just some thoughts from someone who is still a tourist. I think I need another 5 years to be a real skydiver. But then again, I don't want to wait...I should yell at someone for imposing on my rights.
  9. I've never heard anything all that pleasant about military jumping, so I'm glad you made the transition so that you can enjoy yourself! Lots of fun to be had whatever discipline you choose. Have a great time flying!
  10. Welcome to the sport! The GoPro does have some snag issues that vary depending on the type of mount you use. However, the bigger issue for many people is the distraction. New toys can make us forget about the important things like correctly routed chest straps, making sure handles are secure, pulling on time, etc. You might be surprised at how much of a distraction just remembering to push a button before exit can be. When I really need to concentrate on something else, I may have 5 minutes of inside the plane time on my video just so that I am not worried about fussing with the camera. It's not cool, but I get to do all my other important gear checks, etc at my preferred pace and time. For other people, the distraction can be worse in trying to get the great shot and forgetting to check altitude as often. There are bunches of low pulls where the distraction of the camera was a major factor. 200 jumps may seem like a lot now, but if you love skydiving, you will be there soon. Enjoy jumping for the sake jumping now and it will make flying a camera easier when you do choose to. FYI, there is a thread with a list of some incidents that had small cameras as a factor in stuff going wrong:;#3894693
  11. This post should be made a sticky. I'd like to see it with the downsizing checklist though the appeal should be considered to be much broader (wind, other weather, beach jumps, cameras, wingsuits, etc). I think almost everyone could find a jump (and plenty of other decisions) that they should have applied this logic to. I know I can. Best post ever.
  12. See I consider all the ground portion stuff (that is generally unpaid unless there is a jump accompanying it) to be work. And I see people who spend way more than 40 hours a week when that is factored in. The jumping (at least for those of us new enough to still be thinking AFFI is way more fun than work) is the part people are more interested in doing. If someone else did the training and all the AFFI had to do was the jump and maybe a debrief, then I would agree that the pay is fine, the hours are not at all long, and that it would be quite easy to work in enough AFFI jumps to stay proficient as a part-timer with time to work on your own skills. And at least for me, it cost more than $1500 to get that rating. I personally needed a bunch of practice before the course (and should have done more in retrospect). And that was working with people who didn't even charge me for the privilege. It was more expensive than 10 years of undergraduate/graduate education. Not many scholarships in skydiving. But for me, it was worth it even if I never earn it back. You learn a lot of stuff in the instructional courses that is good to know even if you aren't going to be an instructor. I'm still very green in this sport which is why I keep bugging popsjumper about his views. I understand diablopilot's and davelepka's points which is why I'm not bothering them the same way on this. (This is not say you don't have good points too, but in terms of skydiving experience we are both still at the point where we don't know the whole story even at our own home dropzones.)
  13. Can I ask (seriously) what careers you find worthy of pay? There is a lot of investment in most career fields both in terms of initial education and experience to improve. Even if there is love to do it, people without trust funds need to earn a living. You seem open to DZOs earning a profit, but I am curious why you think instructors must finance 100% of their living and then spend long hours working with students (only some of which appreciate them). This (as you probably know better than me) cannot leave much time/money for their own continued education in skydiving. If one loves the sport, he/she is going to probably want some time for that too. I completely understand that you think there is a lot to be desired in the quality of some AFF instructors, but the animosity towards the field (and thus all the instructors) is truly puzzling to me. Especially since it is far easier to make money doing tandems. (No disrespect to all the great TIs out there.) The way I see it is this: Is my dentist doing a lousy job because he makes (good) money doing it? I can assure you that he enjoys his work as much as anyone I know. Can I stop paying him because of this? He has been doing it quite awhile now and seems to be better than ever at his craft.
  14. I appreciate it and I apologize for getting overzealous my self. And I think it's awesome that you are going to get ratings and give back. I'm sure you will be one of the good ones. Hope I am too.