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  1. Chiquita

    Pack Monkey?

    Learn to the precision pack (psycho pack). I have only used that pack job for about 20 years and love it. Though I do it a little different then most others. I first learned it when I had a fairly slippery canopy and have never gone back. It takes about half the work to get it in the bag and once it is in it won't pop back out even if you let it go. Back in the day when I used to pack I packed everything with that that way, student rigs, tandems, sport rigs, etc. The tandem master used to say it was the best, very soft, and most consistent openings.
  2. Chiquita

    Big SOB:)

    I think a great video series is AM & PM Yoga for Beginners with Rodney Yee and Patricia Walden, produced by Gaia. They are both about 10 minutes long plus a 5ish minute meditation; short, simple but helpful. They give suggestions on how to do the poses when you have difficulty getting all the way into a position. Just don't push yourself to hard, especially in the beginning. More is not better and trying to do a pose in a way that your body is not ready for can cause injuries, so listen to your body. There is a difference between your body struggling to maintain a pose and pain from holding a pose wrong or pushing to much to get more of a stretch. Yoga is really not about creating flexibility it is more about learning to relax the body and mind enough for the body is able to lengthen and loosen up. Shaking is a good thing, pain is a bad thing. Most yoga classes at a place (gym, studio, etc) are 50-60 minutes or longer. You can find shorter and longer ones on YouTube, or anywhere that you can find fitness videos. Search for yoga for flexibility, as there are several kinds of yoga; some to increase strength, focus, meditation, and/or relaxation, among other things.
  3. Chiquita

    Recommend a DZ (US)

    You will need to renew your BPA membership. Or you might have to get a USPA membership. For where to jump, pretty much what everyone else said, depending on the time of year, and what else you are wanting to do while in the US. But Eloy (Skydive Arizona), Skydive Perris (LA/San Diego CA area), Skydive Deland (Orlando FL area), possibly Skydive Chicago (if not in the winter), are all great places. There is also the Atlanta area, there is 3-4 dzs there in relative close proximity to each other. From my understanding, all of them have a wind tunnel close to the dz or the city. For gear, most dzs will have gear you can rent: rig, helmet, googles, altimeter, jump suit, etc. If you have any gear, you can bring some with you, suit, altimeter, googles. To check out dzs, location, basic requirements, website links, contact info: Dropzones "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"
  4. Chiquita

    Tunnel Rigs and Skills Translating From Sky to Tunnel

    I'm a bit late as well, but only saw this post because of your response. One thing I didn't see anyone mention is that in the sky you have cross winds and in the wind tunnel you don't. I would think that would make a difference as well. "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"
  5. Look into kinesio tape (kinesio tex, rock tape, kt tape, etc), it can help support your shoulder joint as it heals, and afterwards if needed. I would first try to find a person that is truly trained in using the tape. As far as I know only Kinesio Tex and Rock Tape are the only two that offer classes to medical professionals. There are several videos online on how to apply the tape, but make sure you follow all the directions, mainly no tension on either end of the tape. If it is not applied correctly it can hurt more and/or cause skin damage, that's why seeing a professional the first time is good. "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"
  6. Chiquita

    Decreasing Tandem customers

    Here are two more good ideas that I just read in an article about Tony Robbins: Find a way to understand more about your ideal clients than they know about themselves. Do more for these people than any other business is doing. Add this value, and you'll create raving fans. "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"
  7. Chiquita

    Decreasing Tandem customers

    I agree that people don't care, but I believe that is because they do not know any better. If you educate your customers as to why your prices are higher, then the customers you really want will be the ones that come to your business. The needy and cheap ones will go to the Groupon specials. When people ask me about skydiving and start talking about a Groupon deal I try to educate them about the difference in the dropzones in the area (the ones that use Groupon and the one that does not), about the difference in video quality from having outside video to better quality cameras (and the difference in cost to the dz and that most that use a handcam charge nearly the same price as the outside video ones), about the difference in the planes that are used type of plane and altitude that they will get with a Groupon deal (and about how the bigger planes allow more people in it so they get to watch other skydivers jump out and having fun), and about the overall facilities at the places. Overall I try to educate people about how almost any business that is giving a discount (any discount, not just through other sites) and giving 40% (or better) of the remaining amount to Groupon, that they are going to have to cut corners somewhere (or they were over-charging to begin with, just so they can offer a "discount") and that you get what you pay for. Ultimately, some care and some don’t. And to me, the ones that care are much better (and generally easier) customers. I would think if you put good content, in regards to those things, on your website and made sure your seo (search engine optimization) reflects some of it, that you would get more traffic to your website, which (if your website answers enough of their questions and appeals to them) in turn would lead to more customers booking tandems. You could also say something along the lines of how the money that is not given to Groupon allows you to have more money for maintenance and repairs. But you would not want to sound too defensive (with any of it), which would turn varying people away, and, of course, you would want to make sure you are actually doing all the repairs and maintenance (not saying anyone is not doing it, just clarifying to not use it falsely). I have utilized the same tactic for my business, and it is working pretty good so far. For marketing, I do not do much but have a website (that ranks really well on Google) and a few directory listings. If I did a few more things I am certain that my business would do even better, it's just a matter of getting the right people on my team to handle the work and I am very picky about that "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"
  8. Chiquita

    A packers tip question

    I have not read all of the posts, so I am not sure if anyone else has said this or not. But, when I was a packer I really appreciated it when the jumper would stow their brakes, un-collapse the slider and un-collapse the pilot chute. A lot of the times I was the only packer, so I was doing tandems, students, and up jumpers when I could. On busy days, the ones those things did that got packed first I would say that I generally got about $1 a pack job when people tipped. However, I did have one guy that tipped more, brought me food and something to drink, and he pretty much always got packed first. One boogie that I went to he was the only one I packed for. I was there to jump not pack, but he gave me an irresistible offer, breakfast brought to my tent every morning, food & drinks when ever I wanted it (just had to tell his kids I was hungry or thirsty), and told his kids if I needed a ride on his golf cart they were to bring me first even if he was going the other way :-) So, basically, if your treat your packer well they will generally take very good care of you. It is hard work and not everyone seems to appreciate them as much as they should, and the ones that do generally are appreciated very much as well. "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"
  9. Chiquita

    Cross country skydive trip

    FYI, Eloy is very hot in the summer and they tend to stop jumping by 11am due to dust devils (but start early), and are closed Tues & Wed (I believe, or it's Wed & Thurs). However, they are right off the highway so if you were driving by in the morning it would definitely be doable. "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"
  10. I would say Atlanta GA, Jacksonville FL or even Tallahassee FL. If I remember correctly they were all about the same distance or it was similar driving time. So it depends if you are sharing a ride or not and if so where are they coming from. "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"
  11. Chiquita

    Psycho Pack Q's

    I psycho pack all the time, pretty much all I have ever done. With a new canopy it is much easier, to me anyway. When I do it I kneel close to the grommets for the slider to keep everything where I want it to be. In the videos I believe they do it from the top side of the canopy instead of the bottom like I do. I have not had any issues and I used to pack student and tandems that way as well. "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"
  12. Seeing the OP doesn't have their profile fully filled out (no home dz listed) it would be pretty hard to know even what area of the country they are in. Or they removed their home dz so people won't know where they jump. But if you contact Precision and let them know that an "instructor" recently request a demo for a 100 jump newbie I bet they would be able to figure out who it was and hopefully get it back before they kill themselves or someone else. And hopefully never let that "instructor" order demos again. I am sure they will not tell you who it was but maybe they will let you know what dz it was at. "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"
  13. Chiquita

    How NOT to lurk a tandem...

    Ya think Still doesn't make him any more current and that is not the time to be lurking a tandem. Low jump numbers, low experience, uncurrent, arrogant and ignorant all equal a disaster waiting to happen. Once again, I feel sorry for the tandems that go to that dropzone. I'm just glad he lives pretty much on the other side of the planet, which greatly reduces the chances of him and I being in the same general air space at the same time. "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"
  14. I didn't mean for manifest to do the organizing. I think that if it was on the load sheet for each load, before loading the plane, have someone or everyone look at it and come up with a game plan. Maybe assign a load organizer for each load just to organize the loading and landing of jumpers, that way you have a deciding voice and hopefully less bickering. I have often wondering why no one ever seemed to talk about their plan for landing, except for some people, like teams and friends that are jumping together. "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"
  15. Here's some ideas that I have. They are pretty much all things that we can all do a little to help out with, or a person or group can be assigned if so desired. Personally, I think the problem is that we don't seem to talk about what people are going to do under canopy. I know there is no way to dirt dive it exactly, but having at least an idea of what the battle field might look like, makes it a lot easier to get through. When new jumpers show up make sure someone (instructor, coach, or s&ta preferrably) talks to them about what is considered proper canopy flying at that particular drop zone (people seem to think we were all trained the same but we weren’t), don’t expect them to just know or figure it out. If we would police ourselves, as a group, the way we should be, we will not need new government regulations, laws, bsr's, or anything. We just need to start communicating about what we are planning to do on landing and speaking up about blatant violations. We also should start taking responsibility for ourselves and stop letting those in charge not do something when people do something that could seriously harm themselves or others. So here are my suggestions: 1. When people manifest have them say what they are planning to do on the jump, what they would LIKE to do on landing and where, and what color(s) their canopy is. (If you know what to look for, you also know what to stay away from) 2. Organize the entire load, including loading the plane and the landings, before people even get near the plane. If things work out right, the people that want to swoop can (if you know someone is swooping and where, they are, it’s much easier to avoid them). If anyone does anything that they did not plan (unless for safety reasons of course) or were told they could not do, ground them for at least the day, no exceptions. 3. If something is not done, don't manifest. If enough people don't manifest, something will have to be done. When they are not turning loads, they would be foolish, imho, to not do something to one person that is keeping potentially 5-10+people plus from jumping (at some places that is enough to slow loads dramatically). If you don't think your safety is worth standing up for, then how can you expect someone else to care enough to do something about it. If you care more about doing the jump, regardless of who is on it or what they are potentially going to do that could harm someone, why should the people that run the place not care more about something else as well. Will you miss a jump or two? Maybe. Will a record attempt not be done? Maybe (if people cared more about their safety then the jump), though I think if enough people did it at the same time, something would done. Will a dzo or two tell you to f-off? Probably, but your safety should be worth it (see above). But honestly, if people would stop screaming and yelling on here about it and actually take some action (and not necessarily just using my suggestions), I personally think things would change. But then again, maybe I'm just a dreamer with my head in the clouds. So anyway, there you have it. Thoughts? P.S. (I wrote this yesterday and didn’t have time to post it) I see some people are talking about taking action. But we will have to see how much gets done, especially before it becomes too regulated. "Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity"