IJskonijn

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Everything posted by IJskonijn

  1. Canopy control is always worth the time and effort. Whatever you do high up in the air is just fun and games, but safely landing a parachute is a necessity. Knowing how to handle your canopy is essential, and gets more essential the more 'aggressive' your canopy gets. For the fun and games part, choose whatever discipline you want to maximize the fun (while keeping it safe). And the choices you make now are by no means permanent, switching to another discipline is always a possibility once your current chosen type of fun ceases to be fun enough. Then, within that discipline find someone to teach you the basics and the discipline-specific safety requirements. Use their advice to determine whether to learn A or B or C first. And don't forget to smile =).
  2. You and me both, bro. But with the pandemic lockdowns happening all over the place (at least on this side of the pond) there's likely not much jumping this winter. Let's hope next summer season is better!
  3. Nobody is suggesting you do 200-300 jumps on rental gear. I bought my own first rig at 150 jumps, which is a long time before buying own gear. Typically, at ~50 jumps you can expect instructors to start suggesting you get your own gear. And right after you've done AFF, you are in no position yet to decide for yourself what canopy you need. AFF teaches you the bare basics required for safe skydiving (emergency procedures, dealing with the sensory overload, altitude awareness, basic stable body position, etc). Up to (and likely beyond) your A-license, your instructors will have the final say about whether a canopy is fit for you. If you're OK with doing the first 50 jumps on rental gear, then there is no reason to go buy your own rig before that time. And by then you'll have a MUCH better idea of what you do and do not need, based on practical experience rather than on reading webforums and manufacturer size charts. I'm not trying to discourage you from skydiving, far from it. I am trying to prevent you from becoming a statistic, or from wasting several thousand euros on the wrong stuff. So again my advice: do your AFF, enjoy your AFF, listen and learn as much as you can during that time, and start thinking about your own rig around the time you get your A license.
  4. Yup, before you've even made a first jump it is way too early for you to think about a rig. Maybe just maybe you could look into getting your own altimeter or jumpsuit or helmet but you should definitely stick with the student rigs available at the DZ where you do your training. Part of the reason is the typical quick progression through canopy sizes, while a rig will at best fit three sizes (one very tight, one good, and one very loose). And while the 1:1 wingload advice is generically OKish, it is definitely not universally applicable. Some people should be on much lower wingloading, dependent on both their exit weight and their skill level. Even though you say you will "get it" fairly quickly, I will assume you are a slow learner until proven otherwise. This sport is strange, and requires a certain mindset and certain aptitude which is very difficult to predict in advance. Call me conservative, but I've seen too many low-experience people get hurt flying canopies they had no business flying. If you already know you will love this sport, great! Channel all that energy into your AFF course, and be eager to learn as much as possible about skydiving in a safe and enjoyable way (in that order). After you've found your way around in the sky, and have proven your abilities under canopy, it will be time to decide on buying a rig and canopies. By then you will have local instructors who should be able to give you valuable advice tailored to your circumstances and skills. And remember that downsizing is overrated.
  5. I've been happily using generic worker gloves (the maxiflex types, close-fitting) instead of skydiving-specific gloves. They provide a ton of grip, plenty of dexterity for pulling handles and zippers and whatnot, are cheap (but only last me about a season), have no velcro that could snag on stuff. For wintertime, I typically wear silk gloves underneath them. They help, but I haven't found any simple way to keep really warm hands in winter.
  6. Wingstore has them for sale: https://www.wingstore.aero/en/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=stamp But most of my own stamps are custom made by my own design. I've got a set of three stamps with all three CF 2-way configurations, so I only need to write in who was where =). Those small stamps are usually not terribly expensive, I've paid around €10 each for them.
  7. Apart from the general (lack of) feasibility of making a living within this sport, there is also the practical concerns of rules and regulations in the Netherlands. To become a tandemmaster here, you need at least 1000 jumps and 3 years minimum in the sport. Theoretically, you can fly with a camera after 200 jumps, but you need express permission of the tandemmaster to fly tandem video. No sane tandemmaster is going to want a videoflyer without any video experience, so count on at least 500 jumps before you can do some serious tandem video work. But to help you along, the two DZ's in the Netherlands that could be of interest for something like this are Teuge and Texel. These are our biggest DZ's, and even they are closed on weekdays in winter season (November-March). All other dropzones are clubs (single C208 or smaller plane) or small tandem places for tourists.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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".
  11. IJskonijn

    Knee

    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"
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Have you tried contacting Thomas Sports directly? http://www.thomas-sports.com/ As far as I know they are still operational.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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?!
  22. 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.
  23. Terrible openings and constant line twists are not necessarily a result of the canopy type. They may also occur when the canopy hits a certain age, and especially when the lines hit a certain age. Most line types (especially microline, which is commonly found on a Sabre2) will exhibit some sort of shrink. This affects the line trim, which in turn affects (usually negatively) the openings of a canopy. With smallish canopies (~135 and below) those effects can easily happen after only ~300 jumps on the lineset. Microline will typically still look perfectly fine at that age, so just looking at the wear & tear on the lines isn't enough to determine if the lines are still good.
  24. When I bought a secondhand camera helmet, it had a poor man's sight on it. A round piece of coloured plastic with a hole in the middle, on a peg bolted on the helmet. No articulation or other fancy stuff, something like this: http://www.chutingstar.com/camera/skydive-video-gear/ringsights/tinted-eyesight-assembly At least a lot cheaper than all the newton ring or otherwise fancy optics, and it worked perfectly fine for me.
  25. Or even better if they've forgotten that we want to get out 3 km prior due to doing CRW with hardly any uppers. Jackpot is if they climb out right after us. Have fun hiking back! ^_^