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    Skydive Opelika (06A)
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  1. Got one: Username => Patrikevan URL => Name => Patrik FromEmail => [email protected] City => Toronto Country => Canada I'm now required to quit skydiving by the US Navy
  2. When I went here I made a couple of jumps and left. Everyone here is all about a giant party from Friday until Sunday. I'm a belly flier and I'm all about some RW so I definitely didn't fit in with these guys. This just wasn't my atmosphere. I know that some people love this place, but I didn't like the landing area or the vibe - I'm not a huge party guy. They're very friendly but I didn't get an overview of the landing area or any instructions even after I told them that I had never been there before. On the other hand, Chutingstar is pretty awesome and extremely helpful in not only selling you the gear you need but just giving you pointers and advice on what to buy. Even if you don't get your gear from them, I advise you give those guys a call and ask them what they think on what you're getting. I know those guys love their dropzone but I just didn't fit in at all and I'm not going to try and force it. Like I said, they're friendly, but just not my style. I've been asked by Hans (the DZO) to revise this review a bit, so I did.
  3. The review right before mine ("The staff lied to us") is just a typical day for these guys. On top of their nasty business practices, these guys own websites like "" and "" and if you call the number on their websites, they will tell you that the closest (and "only reputable dropzone") in the area is in Cedartown, GA. I called them pretending to be an anonymous guy wanting to make a tandem and asked them if there were any closer dropzones or even any other dropzones in my area (Mobile, AL) that weren't owned by their company and they specifically told me NO, there were not. There are 7 dropzones closer to me than this dropzone. As an upjumper I know of them all. Furthermore, they try and take your credit card info and charge you for the jump before they even tell you where the dropzone is. After they've charged you, no refunds just rainchecks, they'll tell you that you've got to drive 8 hours from Mobile, AL to this place. I visited this place to do a couple of jumps with a friend of mine who did AFF there. Their landing area is horrible - completely surrounded by trees and buildings. Turbulence and crap is disgusting and I almost want to measure it to see if they are allowed to use it for students under the USPA regs because it's so small. The 3 times I've been there I saw 7 people land in a tree - one of them was a C license holder (the rest students.) Ask any skydiver who knows a bit about this dropzone (especially the stories of them getting kicked out of USPA and the lawsuit that they started to force their way back in) and you'll hear a nasty hatred. No one should ever go to this dropzone except maybe to leave a flaming brown paper bag on their doorstep or throw some eggs at the hangar. I will give them this: their onsite staff is friendly and I haven't heard of anything unsafe there other than drunk jumps. Their business practices and the fact that their first concern is TANDEMS TANDEMS TANDEMS (for MONEY MONEY MONEY) will keep me away for good, though. When my friend came to me after AFF, the first thing we went over was a landing pattern at the dropzone. She had never even heard of a landing pattern or other simple things that are in the AFF course. I don't know what these guys are teaching from, but I wouldn't want to learn there. Don't go here, and if you came from here, go somewhere else and pray that you're not too permanently screwed up from them.
  4. "Tandem Factory" is the least accurate description I could give to this place. As upjumpers we all know that students and tandems pay the bills, but it seems that these guys really care about their regulars more than trying to pull a huge profit. Of course the Pac doesn't compare to the Super Otter that I've come to love at Gold Coast, but it's still hundreds of times better than the C-182 I've dealt with for most of my jumps! There's a restaurant on site - $3.99 for a hamburger and other very reasonable prices. The gear shop has what you might need (tube stows, altis, goggles, etc) and they make the mistake of allowing you to take what you want and pay for it all at the end of the day! I almost forgot that I snagged a bag of tube stows before I left, but I paid for them. They charge 3% for credit cards so bring a checkbook. $25 per load gets expensive so I guess that's how they handle taking care of their upjumpers more than bumping us for tandems and AFF. Still, one of best dropzones I've been to. Out of the 9 DZs I've visited, I'd rate this one number 2 (right behind Gold Coast in Mississippi) only because of the PAC and the $25 per load. The friendliness of their skydivers and their willingness to jump with you and get you involved in what they do is incomparable, though. I'll definitely be coming back here.
  5. Helo and a balloon? Shoot, I should head up there right now and get there in time to make those jumps today! Any idea whether it's worth it or not? Maybe just to have done it once. I'm now required to quit skydiving by the US Navy
  6. I heard there will be a helicopter this weekend at the Farm. Anyone know details on prices/availability? I'm now required to quit skydiving by the US Navy
  7. It doesn't matter who you are, where you came from, or what your experience level is, you'll be welcomed here and treated like you should be! Plenty of gear rental available, and coaching/instruction is always at the ready. The guys who run this dropzone know so much you might say they invented skydiving, and you wouldn't be too far from the truth! Buddy Blue, DZO, is D-597 and he invented the IAD method of instruction and he's a huge proponent of the static line method. The most amazing thing about this dropzone that you can't find anywhere else is the atmosphere. If you show up to a commercial DZ, they'll see you as jump numbers and cash. Here, not a single person cares about those things. If you want to learn something new, just ask around and you'll find an experienced jumper who'll do his best to make sure that you learn what you need to. Safety is extremely important here, so you can expect a full briefing on where to spot the plane and the landing pattern!
  8. It was a Glide Path and it had mini flares, but it didn't have a warning label or any TSO information. It didn't even say "Glide Path" or have a serial number on it I'm now required to quit skydiving by the US Navy
  9. The packing data on the reserve card listed it as a Firelite, but with a different manufacturer's name... not Glidepath. I believe that it was Glidepath but under an earlier name. I'm now required to quit skydiving by the US Navy
  10. Actually, when I bought my first rig (from a dropzone that had used it as student gear) a master rigger (Ben Crowell) opened it up and found that the FXC had been due for maintenance for 12 years and the reserve didn't have a TSO on it - no warning label, nothing. That ripped all of my faith out of that dropzone. Had to shell out 160 bucks to FXC and 200 bucks to a guy who had an old glidepath firelite reserve. I'm now required to quit skydiving by the US Navy
  11. +1 for option number 2 I'm now required to quit skydiving by the US Navy
  12. Thanks for the reminder. I probably wouldn't mention it to Buddy if I went all the way up there for this I'm now required to quit skydiving by the US Navy
  13. I don't think that the Sabre 2 isn't as good of a canopy. In fact the differences I noticed seem to say that it's a much better canopy. I'm just saying that I'm more comfortable flying the Sabre 1, and maybe that's because most of my jumps have been on a Sabre 1. I still enjoy it more than I do the Sabre 2, so I think I'd prefer to fly it. As far as resale value is concerned, I already know about that. I also know my DZO. He'd let me hand him 100 bucks in a year and he'd trade back. He also has packed a reserve or two for free for me, and given a good bunch of free jumps. I'm not really worried about money between me and the guy who traded it to me. Again, hopefully I'll find some guys that can teach me something about canopies this weekend! I'm now required to quit skydiving by the US Navy
  14. I think this one actually answered my post the best... I'm just a jumper, so even if I did say something it would be taken as pretty much meaningless. If our DZO or S&TA or any of the other old guys sitting around had said something... especially considering my DZO is a Command Master Sergeant... these guys would have probably listened. As far as the 100 jump guy, I don't really think he'd listen anymore. He's been listening too much to himself and a couple of his friends. I'm now required to quit skydiving by the US Navy
  15. I saw a student - not A licensed yet (22 civilian jumps) - with a Go Pro on yesterday. I was wondering if I should have said anything to him. He's had some military jumps - not a large number because I'd place his skill level somewhere between AFF-certified and A license ready. I know that there's a lot of controversy and ideas about how much attention you pay to the jump versus the video camera, but I could tell that this guy was just turning the camera on and leaving it there until the jump was over. I also know another guy who thinks he's hot shit in the air. He's been jumping a Go Pro HD since he had 90 jumps, and he won't listen to anyone who says anything about not using it. I've never seen him open low or even have a questionable landing, but he definitely spends a good bit of his attention on where his camera is. From jumping with him I can tell you that he's a novice freeflyer - he can get into the positions and do a little bit of RW - and a novice belly flyer. I know that USPA recommends 200 jumps before jumping with a camera, and I know the reasoning behind it. I've jumped with a camera 9 times and I have 199 jumps so far. It didn't take away my altitude awareness or cause me to do anything different. However, I know that at 100 jumps I lost altitude awareness once or twice and had a low pull without the camera, so I knew I not to start jumping with a camera at that time. Should we be leaving these decisions to the jumpers themselves, or should something be said? As someone who doesn't even have a coach rating, I hardly think I'm in the right place to say something to the guy with 110 jumps that thinks he's the best thing to happen to skydiving since the square canopy. But should I at least mention something to the student? The main worry I had here is that when I saw the camera and asked him how many jumps he had (20,) I didn't say anything, and he could have interpreted this as acceptance. I'm now required to quit skydiving by the US Navy