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  1. marcwgarber


    I don't come here often at all, but today is the 25th anniversary of my first jump, and skydiving changed my life. I met my first fiance at Skydive Chicago in '94. We got engaged in '97 a 20-way that Roger Nelson orchestrated. I didn't end up marrying her though. I met my now ex-wife in '98 at Skydive Virginia in '98. 3 kiddos. I blame/credit Mike Graham for that one! lol I think he's at Elsinore these days, approaching 20,000 jumps or something like that. I took an 11 year layoff after I became a father. My first child was 3 weeks old, and I made a couple of jumps and after each jump I held my little infant girl, and I just couldn't do it anymore. I was okay with taking the risk for me, but not for my baby girl. So I quit for 11 years. If I had owned a motorcycle I would have sold it for the same reasons. These days I only make a few jumps per year, and in a fun twist of fate my ex-fiance (from Skydive Chicago) gave me back the rig I sold her in '96, that I bought new in '94. The harness/container was a Vector 2 with velcro riser covers and poor pin protection by today's standards, so I swapped that out for a more modern and secure harness/container, but what I'm jumping these days is what I jumped in '94. A Turbo-Z 165 (re-lined), and a PDR-160. Absolutely PERFECT for my level of uncurrency. Most of my jumps are on Viper 105's, which is basically a South African knock-off of the Stiletto 107. I owned three rigs at on point and would do AFF and video back-to-back-to-back. Two Viper 105's and some other South African canopy that was 155. I'm a huge fan of PD, but those Vipers were very affordable and flew almost identically to Stiletto 107's. The only difference was toggle range. The smallest thing I ever jumped was an Icarus EXTreme FX 83, and Quincy in '98. I stood up the landing, but I was scared. I took it back to Beezy (rip) and said NOPE. My struggle was deciding between the 88 and the 93. George Galloway sent me a 93 demo that I put a few jumps on. LOVED IT. Then I had a violent spinning malfunction - so violent that I was ABOVE the canopy. That was my one and only cutaway. Tempo 120 reserves fly well and are easy to land. I met a friendly horse because I was way off the DZ (I didn't spot). I've done the rating stuff too. AFF, Tandem, Video, Senior Rigger (although not much of one). I'm rambling on and on, I realize that. But I'm also having a sentimental moment. 25 years. Soooo many friends. Soooo much camaraderie. A couple of near-death experiences. But I love you fuckers. You're my tribe. I need Wendy Faulkner, Winsor Naughler III, bill von, Kevin O'Connell, and Rhonda Lee (even though she unfriended me on FB). Hell, I'll take Mike Fedek (not sure if I spelled that right?)
  2. My Turbo-Z 165 that I bought new in 1994 flies every bit as well as a Sabre2 manufactured in 2018. Similar opening characteristics (the Turbo-Z may open a bit more briskly). Similar glide path (the Turbo-Z might actually be slightly better at getting you back from a long spot). The Turbo-Z seems to be a bit faster. Hard to judge, very subjective, and I have no measurement device. I would love to jump side by side with someone with identical wingloading to compare. Similar flare and landing capabilities. VERY similar. Most of my jumps are on Viper 105's which are very similar to Stiletto 107's, except the flare point was noticeably lower on the Vipers. Same landing results, but different toggle input needed for landing for Viper 105 vs Stiletto 107. I can discern differences. Turbo-Z 165 and Sabre2 170 - very similar. Point being, what the hell? Was the Turbo-Z (which is zero-p topskin and F-111 otherwise) ahead of it's time? My almost quarter of a century old Turbo-Z flies and lands just as well as a 2018 Sabre2. I'm not knocking PD. I like PD. But dang, I think my Turbo-Z that is a quarter of a century old is just as good as a brand new Sabre2. Unfortunately most of you folks won't be able to offer an informed opinion, but a few will. Wendy Faulkner? A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  3. Just got re-current with my old Turbo-Z 165 that I bought new in 1994. That jump went awesome, so last night I bought a Hurricane 120. Wooo Hoooo! A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  4. Hi guys, I could use some help. Those of you who know me know that I used to be a pretty active jumper from 1994 to 2002. I haven't stayed current since 2002, however, when I became a father. To be precise, I've made three jumps in the past 14 years (all in the past few years). On the rare occasions that I come out and jump, I have been renting a Sabre2 170, which is fine, but I have an interesting opportunity to re-acquire the first rig I bought new when I had 57 jumps. It's a Vector II (converted from ROL to BOC), Turbo Z 165, and PD-160R. The rig probably has 500-550 jumps, the main has 400-450 jumps, and the reserve has zero jumps. All of this equipment was manufactured in 1994. My question is, what's it worth? I know the CYPRES is now useless except as a paperweight (and I hope to hell the batteries have not exploded and ruined anything). The gear is clearly old, but it has mainly been sitting in my ex-fiance's closet for the past 18 years (she quit jumping around '98). The Vector II was a fine product for its day, but I believe it still has velcro riser closures and similar out-dated design features (no articulation). The Turbo Z was a decent canopy but was never super-popular, so demand for it would be on the low end of the scale. The reserve is top-tier, but is there an age at which it must be retired, or is it good so long as it can pass a rigger's inspection? It's probably been through less than 15 repack cycles, so it should be fairly pristine. With the value of the CYPRES being zero, what would be a fair value for the rest of these components? The last time I saw this gear it was all in very good to excellent condition, and it has mainly sat in a closet since then. I want to offer her a fair price so that I can get back into the air (on occasion) with a rig that is safe for my admittedly-low expectations for currency. Thanks for any assistance with component values you can provide! Marc A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  5. Old thread, I realize, but for those who may have future interest in an increasingly-obscure canopy I will say that it flies very well when loaded 1:1 or 1:2 (although I wouldn't exceed that). It's not the easiest thing to land, but most of my 300 or so jumps on it were stand up (starting when I had 57 jumps). Openings are brisk and on-heading. I had zero malfunctions out of ~300 jumps and sold it to my ex-fiance, who had zero malfunctions on the ~130 jumps she put on it. I am re-acquiring it from her now, because it will be nostalgic to me and I know I can handle it when I am uncurrent (which I am). Marc A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  6. No different than rec.skydiving. Just a bit more organized into categories. Nice to see some familiar names! Marc A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  7. Apparently, the judgment and skill required to obtain an AFF rating, Tandem rating, Rigger's ticket, and fly video several hundred times don't count for diddly-squat after taking some time off. If you take some time off then you apparently revert to the status of a moronic novice with zero judgment. At least that's how some people seem to feel. I find that to be really out of place in a sport that has traditionally involved a great degree of personal responsibility, but whatever. I'll repeat my earlier challenge. Show me where I've made an irresponsible statement (paraphrased - I'm not scrolling up for my exact words). Who knew that asking for advice about canopies that are a good bit LARGER than I used to jump would elicit such responses? Sheesh. I mean, I stated my intention to fly significantly LARGER canopies than I used to, and to fly them in a MORE CONSERVATIVE manner than I used to, and yet I keep getting criticized. Some folks are treating me as if I have no common sense at all. I do. I assure you. WTF. What a rude and demeaning return to the sport (from some of you). Marc A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  8. Chris: Your estimate of my travel time to Cross Keys is wildly inaccurate. Absurdly inaccurate. But thanks for your "encouragement." Marc A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  9. Ok - *** I know what I don't know Done. Ok. CONTEXT. "I know what I don't know" is me saying that I am aware of the gaps in my information about the newer canopy offerings. I did not make an unreasonable comment. Next??? Marc A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  10. Ian, Thank you for welcoming me back to skydiving. I understand your point about "moving on," and I respect your credentials and your role as a Moderator. It is not (and never has been) my intention to "stir the pot" but I'd like to make one point: - You state that I am "overly defensive." The funny thing is that I really haven't said anything that should require a "defense." I've made reasonable comments and asked reasonable questions, but I've had some busy-bodies make assumptions and jump to conclusions and offer comments that are not useful to me in any way. I'm "defending" against silliness. The problem lies with the people who are launching the silliness - not with me defending myself against it. Yes, I've been out of the sport for awhile. But I know how to approach recurrency in a safe and responsible manner. Yes, most people buy one main and fly only that one main for a long time. That's not me and never was. I've owned and jumped and demo'd a gazillion different high performance canopies. Yes, I realize that having 1350 jumps is not really a lot - but my exposure to different canopies is far higher than my jump numbers would suggest - and aside from a couple of minor bumps and bruises (off-field, gusty) I landed them all safely. I know what I know, and I know what I don't know. It's just annoying as hell to ask reasonable questions and have people pop out of the woodwork and lecture me on stuff that is unhelpful and non-responsive to my question. FRUSTRATING. That's all. Okay, I think I got it off my chest. :-) Blue Skies, Marc D-17862 P.S. - I will send a check for $50 to anyone who can convince me that I have made an unreasonable comment anywhere in this thread. The comment must be reviewed in it's full context. Actually - yes, you are being part of the problem. You're overly defensive, and your posts reflect that. Couple that with your apparent resistance to advice that goes against what you want to hear, and posters are going to feel frustrated. It's just that simple. Now, lets move on. Welcome back to skydiving. A lot has changed, 10+ years is a long time to have a lay off - regardless of previous currency - so don't let your prior experience blind you to changing what you might have done in the past. Blues, Ian A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  11. That's a fair point. Yeah, when the Stiletto first came out I think it was a 600 jump minimum and the 1.3 wingloading maximum sounds about right. It's good to know that PD made their recommendations more realistic (and multi-tiered). I reviewed Brian Germaine's wingloading sticky on this site recently. I didn't have time to delve into it deeply, but at first glance it certainly looked pretty good, and whenever I've crossed paths with Brian he has always made good sense. That being said, different canopies have different characteristics. When I was highly current I jumped all sizes of Sabres from 170 to 97. 135 was the optimal size for me. I jumped Stilettos from 150 to 97. 120 was good, but 107 (or my similar Viper 105s) were better for me. I never jumped an Icarus Extreme FX larger than 93 (which was about right for me). The 88 was a little too hot. Point being - different canopies have different characteristics and when I was current 135 was the optimal size on one canopy and 93 was the optimal size on another - there can be a big range, and I am simply looking to sort out the differences between the apples and oranges in the newer designs. I don't need advice on how to fly a canopy or how to approach recurrency in a responsible manner - I always ease myself into things and do generally have a clue (which some of the responders to this thread can't seem to grasp - frustrating). ANYWAY, your point about PD's recommendations being more realistic than they used to be is a useful piece of information, and I thank you for it. That's the type of feedback that will help me make more informed decisions. Marc Be careful there. That changed at some point 10-12 years ago. For example- when the stiletto first came out the "max" was 1.3 to 1 (as I remember). Back then going a size or two smaller was no big deal, but things have changed a bit. They changed to the multi tiered wing loading recommendations, and the new max is almost 1.8. Going 2 sizes smaller in that situation probably wouldn't be a good idea. edit-spellloooo A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  12. Thank you Ken. You sum it up very well. Marc I can't believe the shit storm that parts of this thread have become. Some people just can't get over the fact that skydiving is an adult activity and that adults who understand the sport are entitled to decide for themselves the amount of risk they want to assume. I have no canopy suggestions for you. I've been flying the same Stiletto 170 myself for nearly 20 years. I do want to say welcome back, be careful and enjoy. Thank God these people who would like nanny state regulation don't rule. Ken A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  13. Ian, Thank you for the recommendations. My recurrency jump was on a Sabre2 170 and I did a carving 90 degree approach and had a very easy (sort of slow, imo) landing. I would have easily been fine with a 150 for sure. That being said, the Sabre2 is a MUCH BETTER canopy than the original Sabre. For sure. I notice that you're on the PD Factory Team. That's very cool and I respect it. That being said, PD has always been very conservative in their recommendations. I generally jumped canopies that were two sizes smaller than PD recommended. I don't want to do that anymore (because I'm not current enough), but if I buy something it'll probably be in the 135 range - not 150. I consider 150 to be sort of a tuna boat. I've always flown within my limits before (as small as 88). 135 is conservative enough for me, even when I'm un-current. Anyway, thanks for offering advice. Your words have been very reasonable and I will include them in my decision-making process. Sabre2 135 is something that I would definitely like to try out. Marc A-19889 A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  14. LOL. It's not my job to "help" a situation that I didn't create. I know what I know, and I know what I don't know. I know how to fly a canopy and how to approach my re-currency in a responsible and safe manner. Some over-exuberant arm chair quarterbacks have had a difficult time comprehending this, and have decided to lecture me on things that I do not need to be lectured on. Good grief. Again, not my job to "help a situation" that I didn't create. I'm simply standing up for myself. If you can show me where I've made an unreasonable comment then I'll certainly give some careful attention to your words. I see your credentials and respect them. Feedback from someone like you I will pay attention to. But please don't tell me that I'm "not helping" a situation that I didn't create. Instead, tell the other guys that THEY shouldn't have created the situation in the first place. :-) Marc A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
  15. Stiletto, not "Stelletto." Why are you trolling me (on many levels) about the VX? Silly.... Marc A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.