Feath3r

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  1. I am 8 inches taller than you, and we weigh about the same. Trust me, I know how you feel. There are two ways to fall faster: 1: Adding weight 2: Removing surface area Most new people look instantly at option 1 because they don't realize how they can best utilize option 2. Tighter suit: You'll want a suit that has a zp nylon front and a lot of spandex. I recommend a custom fit Tony Pit Special, if you can afford it. If you already have a suit, no biggie, you can still use the advice below. Flying: Pull a 4way guy (or girl) aside and ask them to teach you some mantis. The first thing they should have you do is tuck your elbows down while flying, almost below your shoulders. Push your shoulders back. This removes your entire upper arm from the relative wind, and promotes a better arch in your upper torso, reducing your surface area. It may also drive you forward some. Pull your legs in to counter that forward drive if needed. Narrowing your leg stance will help you arch deeper. This helps a lot more than you think it will. Think about how wide your legs are after every move. If they're too wide, narrow them again and resume your deeper arch before you move again. Get good at doing both of these without thinking about it, and you'll probably change your mind about that weight belt for most jumps. Most importantly, jump with other people on every jump. Find a coach of your approximate build and have them show you a few things, as they've also likely worked through them as well. You won't know how much each adjustment helps if you have no frame of reference. I have not seen your canopy skills, but with 20 jumps I am going to blindly echo councilman24's concerns about your canopy size and haphazardly adding weight to your set up. If you weigh 130lbs, and your gear weighs 25, you're loading your canopy at just over 1.0, which is usually fine for most beginners. Adding 10 lbs to your set up puts you at 1.1 The maximum exit weight for an advanced canopy pilot with a spectre 150 is the 165 lbs you just tallied up by adding that 10 lb weight belt. Not a student, not a novice, not even intermediate. Advanced. I have no idea how old that chart is or how often they adjust it to account for the other canopies on the market that they recommend higher maximum wing loadings for lower experience level jumpers, but think about that. Have you flown a 7 cell canopy before? They fly and flare differently than 9 cell canopies. http://www.performancedesigns.com/spectre.aspx
  2. I was about to comment that it isn't a bite switch, but a tongue switch. P.S. I also absolutely LOVE my adapter from Exit Equipment. I had originally bought both an adapter and a tongue switch, but the adapter worked so well (I purchased both after some first durability then connection issues with other adapters from a different source) I sold the tongue switch to a friend before I even had the chance to try it.
  3. I spy a turbine dropzone just south of KC, that will help you get more jumps faster. http://www.skydivekc.com/ Perhaps you should be jumping there instead of waiting all day for the rare open slot on a cessna dz that is probably more interested in tandems? Attend boogies, travel, meet more people, and network. Redemption Boogie isn't too far from you (but already happened this year) has had wingsuit coaches at it two years in a row now. I know Couchfreaks (Dollar Daze) has wingsuiters that attend it, but am not sure if there will be coaches there. Boogies (and turbine dropzones) are great places to make lots of jumps quickly and safely, as long as you know and abide by your own limits.
  4. Feath3r

    Navigation

    This is a terrible and unsafe idea. Do you know why? Everyone flies at different rates. Different fall rates, different horizontal speeds, different glide ratios (GR). The challenge for newer fliers is and has always been to determine at which point they've positioned themselves out of being able to fly completely back to their canopy playground under their wingsuit when hard lanes of wingsuit flight have not been established at a dropzone. I.e.: Where wingsuiters always make left hand patterns out of the aircraft and fly directly back to the dz once in their designated lane, or the plane makes a left turn before wingsuiters get out so they only need to make one turn to point themselves down their lane. Spotting for wingsuits in flight is very similar to spotting for canopies in flight. Have you ever taken a flight 1 canopy course? In the 101 course, they tell you to find the spot on the ground that isn't moving up or down, only getting larger. If you make no other adjustments on your way down, the spot that isn't moving is where you will be landing. Wingsuit spotting is very similar with extra consideration that the spot is going to move significantly when you deploy, (unless you're flying at the same or better GR as your canopy, which may happen if flying into a stiff head wind, or flying a very large suit) and that you don't necessarily see that spot since it is hovering above the patch of ground you intend to deploy at, at your pull altitude. So, first you need to be able to find that spot under your wingsuit, and then have a pretty good clue about where that spot will move to once you deploy. The more experience you have finding that spot, the easier and faster you'll be able to find it while leading flocks, or while flying at less than your personal max. The faster you can find that spot, the sooner you'll know if your flight plan (if you aren't flying down a lane) will need an adjustment and/or a turn.
  5. Is ZHills still having their normal (well, same one they had this year) performance cup, or is this merging that Cup with F&D? A cup almost seems like a conflicting interest with so many wingsuiters in one place. "There are 100 flockers here, but since it is still Friday, go make 6 solo jumps first." That being said, as someone who had to pick between the cup and F&D this year, I'm interested.
  6. *** Indeed, distance is more of a fine art of balancing and trading time and speed to find the best glide ratio, and takes more skill than time to make consistently longer runs. Maximizing distance in all the various conditions (downwind, crosswind, upwind) is also what will get you home when you misjudge your navigation, have less than ideal upper and groundwind combinations, or get distracted by some puffies.
  7. A YouTube video is subjective. Feeling is subjective. Lets check the recorded numbers. Numbers don't lie. Plus, you can explain numbers. 2 is more than 1, for example, but 1st place is better than 2nd. Also, I keep hearing these suits "can fly circles around phantoms" but I've yet to see it actually happen. The best Aura and Colugo times are sitting at 86th and 91st on the time charts flying for 63.9 and 62.7 seconds over a vertical kilometer. Interestingly, those times are the best times flown by those pilots and the best flown by those suits, so those numbers aren't just where they'd be in the charts, they're actually there. The Swift's best recorded score is 52.9 seconds. There are 9 Phantom 3 tracks and 25+ Phantom 2 tracks recorded at better times than the Swift's current recorded best. How about distance? With 1.912 and 2.320 km flown, they'd both be sitting at position 150+++ Interestingly, the swift didn't place too far behind the Aura, with 1.887 km. The Phantom 2 has 25 tracks flying 2.330 km or more. Sadly, there is a prodigy 2 jump that is higher in the distance charts than both the Swift and the Aura has been recorded flying at. What about Speed? At 206.3 km/h the Colugo first appears in the rankings at 172nd. It does not appear that the Aura has done a speed run. The Swift's current best run is 199.9 km/h. I stopped counting before I ran into a 200km/h run on a P2. Don't believe me? Please, go check the numbers yourself. http://paralog.net/ppc/ If you really think your suit is better than everything else, go compete in it so we can see where it really stands.
  8. Welcome to the wonderful world of contradictory opinions and advice. If you ask 10 people at what wing loading someone with xyz number of jumps should be at when they consider themselves a novice, or what you need to do on a canopy before you downsize, you'll likely get 11 opinions. First: Excellent job of noticing that PD suggests A "novice" load their sub-260 sq ft canopies at a maximum of 0.8, vs Aerodyne who will suggest a maximum wing loading for that same skill category and exit weight of jumpers at about 1.0. Second, as long as you continue to ask "why?", you're on the right track. If you go to PD's much more popular sport canopy, the Sabre2, you'll still find they recommend a novice not load their canopy past a maximum of 0.9. What do you suppose is the more conservative suggestion? Also, why might you want to err on the side of being conservative when it comes to canopy flight and the equipment you're using to land? (If you're really a fire fighter, if you get hurt skydiving, can you still work?) Where does the statistically most dangerous part of each and every skydive occur? Everyone flies their canopy differently, learns at a different pace, downsizes at different rates, etc. It is up to you to find the pace that keeps you safest and always under the most control. Also, just because so and so manufacturer says that you, as a novice, should be flying at a loading of 1:1, does not mean you should jump from whatever you're at immediately to 1:1, simply because they said you should be able to. Take gradual steps. A next step off a Nav240 might be a Sabre2 or Pilot 230 or potentially even a 210. You might find that you'll take more time to get comfortable on that 210, since Sabre2s and Pilots fly dramatically different than Navigators, and want to buy that size instead of a 190 so you can make a significantly higher volume of jumps on it (and therefore learn a lot more) than what you've been doing with each size of student canopies.
  9. Heavy whipping cream, freshly whipped with vanilla extract and sugar, will not smell rancid after lingering. I was pied with freshly whipped cream in the dead of winter at a dropzone party where the water lines were frozen. A few hours later, after cleaning up with only paper towels, I still couldn't smell that awful rancid smell that develops after getting ready whip in your hair, nose, and ears.
  10. I had about 300 jumps when I made my first flight on an iffy fitting Birdman Classic. The most difficult thing for me so far, once I bought my T-Bird, was learning how to shut it down enough to flock with others wearing small suits.