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  1. SuFantasma

    Skydive Atlanta

    About 18 months ago I wrote my first review of Skydive Atlanta. Well, I was wrong when I said 8.5 out of 10 (remember, I was a newbie back then). 500 jumps later (and after visiting a dozen or so other drop-zones), I can provide an unqualified opinion that Skydive Atlanta is one of the BEST DZs in the United States. Where should I start? The facilities are excellent. Huge hangar, plenty of room. The people are AWESOME, the friendliest DZ I've ever been to. You are never a stranger here. Within 10 minutes you will be introduced to all the regular jumpers (whether you are a free-flyer, belly-flyer or a one-man-hybrid flyer like me). Always a friendly crowd after-hours. Stick around for the videos of the day, sit back, enjoy a movie and a few cold ones. Landing facilities are the best I've seen so far. Not a single dip, hole, rock or stub in the landing area. This is the best groomed landing area in the U.S. Had a bad spot or pulled a tad too low? Don't worry! About 4000 acres of FLAT alternate landing spots. I had four cut-aways in 12 months at Skydive Atlanta. I landed with my main and free-bag twice and the other two times the owners had my main canopy retrieved before I landed the reserve ! How's that for service? Moreover, if you land any where near the end of the runway in either direction,(that's about 1/2 mile from the main landing area) you are pretty much guaranteed a comfortable ride back in a car to the landing area. Needles to say, if you have to land outside of the airport, you can be assured that at least two experience jumpers will be looking for you! Either the owners or another experienced jumper will pick you up! No kidding, this DZ has the most caring jumpers you can ever hope for. Aircraft? How about a screaming King Air, anywhere between 6 to 8 minutes to full altitude (that's 13.5 AGL). In over 450 jumps at this DZ I had less than 5 jumps below 13,000 ( and that's due to weather). Slow day? They will fly you in the Cessna 182 to 10,500. Safety? Extremely safe operation. Best of all, the safety mind-set permeates the DZ. Everyone is on the lookout for your safety ! The instructors are OUTSTANDING. No Sky Gods here. You get an honest input to your questions and priceless advice. In summary, I've been jumping at SkyDive Atlanta for over 18 months and miss the place every day that I am not there. The sport could use more DZs like SDA: caring, safe, friendly and committed to the experience jumpers as well as the first time jumpers. I have NEVER seen a first time jumper complain about the service or the experience. Truly a class-act! If your travel takes you through Atlanta, give it a try. If you are considering a first jump in the Atlanta area, this is the premier place to go. Cheers George
  2. SuFantasma

    Cypress 1

  3. SuFantasma


    Reflex Container (see pictures). Gray Popt-Top with Yellow trim. Black harness.
  4. SuFantasma


    Openings: In my opinion, this is the area where the Synergy has me puzzled. I must say that I rarely pack and my packing skills cannot be taken into consideration since I've never packed the Synergy myself ( Yes, I hate packing). But, I've had over a dozen experienced packers take a crack at this canopy, and the opening performance is highly suceptible to packing performance. You can expect anything from a 1.3 seconds terminal reserve ride-like opening to a 3.0 seconds pitch-to-opening ride. Compared to the Spectre, the openings are FAST, VERY FAST. However, the Spectre can scare the pants out of anyone who hasn't experienced a 1200 ft snivel. The good news: I am not afraid to pitch my Synergy below 3,000 ( as opposed to a 3,100 ft pitch and 1,900' saddle ride on the Spectre). However, even with such speedy openings, it hasn't come close to breaking my neck, even with a Bonehead Optick and a Sony DCR-120BT on Board !) The openings are definitively on the "lazy" side, and end-cell closures are the norm (which accounts for a softening of the blow). Heading is rather predictable, with only one lousy 180 degrees off-heading opening in about 80+ jumps. Flight: This is where the Synergy makes you forget about the opening performance. One word: SOLID ! The canopy flies in orders of magnitude better than a Spectre, but read on. It's almost immune to turbulence, I can't recall a single instance where the canopy buffeted, vibrated or dove amidst unstable air. You will feel a cross-wind, but it will keep flying solid and correcting the direction is not a problem. Takes a significant amount of toggle input to turn (maybe my toggles are set too low), but it's smooth as silk in turns. At the same time, it's not the canopy I like to take on a crew-like ride. I've done two rides from altitude (12,000' or higher openings) and it feels like a Bowflex machine, you will have to muscle your way down ( quite a departure from the Spectre's easy turn attitude). Landing: I am no high-performance canopy pilot, and I seek a forgiving canopy. Well, the Synergy is far more forgiving than a Spectre (for slow learners like me). It's flare is like a checking account overdraw feature, it's hard to run out of funds. It will bring you down safely, period. Even at 1.4+ wing load (near the maximum recommended), the canopy behaves like a champ. Overall: I can't believe there aren't a few thousand Synergies out there. It's a good overall canopy, and that's all I am looking for. Safe, solid, predictable and responsive when needed. Disclaimer: I rarely pack, and I mean RARELY ( one packing job in a hundred jumps). The good news is: you get an objective performance about the opening characteristics regardless of the packer. The bad news, I can't tell you what packing method would give you the best results.
  5. SuFantasma

    Digitude Altimeter - Standard

    LOVE IT ! EXCELLENT ! Easy to glance altitude, accurate, lightweight, versatile! Worth its price and then some. I have two units and love them both. I've been jumping Digitudes for over six months and can't find a reason to go back to analogs. It's just that much easier to read! No double guessing ! Plus the ability to jump at night or on late sunsets without strapping a chem-glow to my wrist.... On Coaching dives, it's an excellent teaching tool along with video. Just put your wrist in front of your camera whenever you want to show the altitude to your student during debriefing! Oh, yeah you can do that with an Analog and spend a couple of minutes figuring out if it was 4000 or 3700 deployment. Specially effective under canopy as the analogs have those itsy bitsy 500ft lines ! The only downside is the reliability of the displays. Unless I am doing something wrong, both units began to lose the display after a couple of hundred dives ( some of the bars go dim or disappear). So a trip to the factory maybe required ! Overall, it's a solid 4 stars.
  6. SuFantasma


    What can I say? I am flying a Spectre 210 at 1.0 lb/^2ft. Everyone at the DZ recommended this canopy for a newbie with less than 100 jumps. So I broke down and bought it. What a difference! So long PLF, it flares like a dream. Takes some getting used to the extra speed, but it is extremely forgiving on landing. Responsiveness? Yes! Extremely predictable toggle input, and it handles like a dream in turbulunce. I plan to get at least a couple of hundred jumps before I go down to the 190 (yes, it will be a Spectre again). Thanks PD !