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  1. I cannot speak for tandem jumping, but within CRW I have only seen vetwrap around riserblocks on the upper part of front risers for the purpose of providing good grip during front riser trim. I have never seen vetwrap used on the lower part of lines for the purpose of protecting lines/slinks from slider humping damage.
  2. My home club switched to PD Students a while ago, and we had free choice of the colour of one end cell, but otherwise it is a lot of in-your-face orange... And to the best of my knowledge, they are functionally identical to Navigators. Which is a good thing, since they are nice docile forgiving canopies with excellent student handling characteristics.
  3. I'm not familiar with belgian tax law, but one border north (the Netherlands) we have to pay tax and import duty on pretty much anything coming in from outside the EU. So I wouldn't bet on a 0% tax rate because it is "essential safety equipment".
  4. IJskonijn


    Even though you didn't post an actual question, I can already give a reasonably accurate answer: Talk with your doctor, or an aeromedical examiner (also a doctor but specialized in the aeromedical stuff). Pretty much always the go-to answer to anything medical related. Goes right along with "Upsizing is underrated, downsizing is overrated" and "Nobody ever got hurt from standing down from an iffy jump"
  5. Rent a student canopy, flare when you think you should flare, hold it and do a landing roll. If your perception of flare altitude is indeed significantly different, you'll roll it out without injury just like any first-jump student. In either case, it's probably a good plan to do a couple more jumps on the student canopy before switching back to whatever you were jumping. Get some airtime with your new glasses and new visual perception on nice safeish canopies. And yes, different glasses or optical corrections have quite some effect in how we perceive this world. I've been using both my glasses and soft contact-lenses for several years, and I still get dizzy for 5 minutes if I switch between them.
  6. I feel it's the right question, wrongly worded. As others have already talked about, it's a tool to gauge the experience of people when jumping together with them, which is vital for a load organiser to ensure a safe and fun jump. However, if an FS organiser asks that question to me, the answer is 1300-ish. That won't help him, since only about 100 of those were actual FS jumps. So the better question would be to ask what one's experience is, what they have done before, which positions, etc. Any good load organiser will quickly be able to determine what jump is safe and fun after that. And good load organisers will not look down on anyone for having a particular (typically low) amount of experience, only the shitty assholes will do that. Seek out the cool load organisers, avoid the shitty assholes.
  7. Have you tried contacting Thomas Sports directly? http://www.thomas-sports.com/ As far as I know they are still operational.
  8. Fair enough, but I'm not sure that this route is the correct one to solving the problem of hard openings. Part of the success of the three-ring system (and why it superseded pretty much any other release system ever thought out) is that it is highly reliable. For skydiving equipment, reliability is a very big concern. As already mentioned, a drogue system adds quite a few failure modes which may make it too unreliable to be worth it. In practical terms: I see more instances of tandems having drogue issues than I see instances of hard openings. The slider already does a very good job of slowing down ram-air canopy openings. It's quite fun (in a slightly morbid way) to take a look at all the ways people tried to slow down ram-air canopy openings prior to the slider. My personal guess would be that an incremental improvement on the slider could very well be better in terms of reliability, with the same effect on reducing hard openings.
  9. This part of your post makes me think you might be jumping Ravens (or Super Raven). Although any canopy design is theoretically capable of painfully hard openings, the Ravens have a reputation of also being practically capable for it. If you have actual experience with painful openings on one of those canopies, I would suggest you first look into switching to another canopy type that is known for softer openings, before walking the difficult and laborious path of building a drogue system on a sport rig, or the slightly less difficult path of messing around with slider sizes.
  10. Agree, but for the example of a Sabre2 190, I think that the difference in performance is not noticeable to anyone but an experienced and attentive canopy pilot. And almost certainly it is inconsequential to the type of flying that's typically done with a Sabre2 190. And in theory, any canopy can be relined with Dacron lines. Some manufacturers won't offer a replacement dacron lineset for some types of canopy, but if you still insist on dacron lines, any Rigger worth the title can cook one up from a stock roll of dacron. It's a lot more work than the pre-made manufacturer replacement linesets though, so likely a lot more expensive too.
  11. Regulations will likely be highly variable depending on the country. In practical matters, a balloon jump requires a willing balloon pilot and a fair amount of experience by the jumper. If you get scared by the idea of landing off in a field that looks grassy from above, balloon jumps are NOT recommended. Assume you land somewhere that you haven't seen from the ground before, assume the landing field is small, assume there won't be much wind on landing (since balloons only fly in calm conditions). If none of that scares you, and if you have enough experience to jump and land confidently in whatever field, I can highly recommend balloon jumps. I've made two of them in my 1300 jump career so far, and both easily rank within my top-10 jumps.
  12. Regarding the bigway record: there's always rumours, but nothing serious has reached my ear. I would image a serious attempt is going to require a multi-year plan with build-up of the bigway skills for the current jumpers. Most of the bigway stuff that I've seen and been involved in during the past couple of years was more recreational-style, having fun and playing around with formations up to 50-ways, but more typically smaller than 36-ways. And there was some stuff going on in the multi-point bigway records and night bigway records last years.
  13. If you have not yet done the basic ground course, there's pretty much nothing you can meaningfully train at home. You need the ground course to know how to do many things properly, then you can practice those at home. If you try stuff before the ground course, it is likely that you'll have to unlearn it later on. And yep, it sucks that all the DZs in the Netherlands are closed right now... Nothing to do but wait.
  14. I agree that this should ideally be DZ in-person stuff, but some people are not fortunate enough to have knowledgable people nearby that they can lubricate with a drink for learning this kind of stuff. And you got me interested, what kind of monster requires 16 risers?!
  15. Usually, this can be found on the manufacturer website. Different manufacturers have different requirements (sometimes none at all). There's a talk on youtube by a British rigger that talks more about this, intermeshed with other stuff regarding inspections etc. I have never heard of reserve canopy lifetime being limited or dictated by actual flight time though, only based on amount of activations and/or repacks and/or age.