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  1. A man among men, a true skydiver, a friend, a laugh. Chip was everything to a lot of people, mostly he was our dearly loved and adored friend and father. Chip was one of my first instructors and more importantly he was a mentor and best of all he was a true friend. A lot of years have passed since Sir Chip Steel and I first met, but don't worry, just as many beers have passed too. In fact, he introduced me to "the case of beer rule" when something is done for the first time. As i recall, I only had a few bucks left in my pocket and it wasn't enough to buy a case, so Chip, Nelson and I went to the Rusty Horn in Walterboro and we had two beers each and he began telling stories. I knew then that he was someone that clearly unique. When I became a "tandem ho", he told me about all of the hard work involved. I never imagined that the hardest thing he would make me learn was how to say good bye. To know Chip was to know that he went from this world doing what he absolutely loved. HEAVEN IS NOW A MUCH BETTER PLACE; ENJOY YOUR NEW WINGS BROTHER To all of the people at Walterboro, Chester, Pepperell and Palatka as well as those scattered through out, I know your loss is certainly no less than my own and each of you are in my prayers to ease your pain. quote from Chip: " OK...........this skydiving stuff is over, lets get a beer, I'm thirsty" God lent us one of his angels for a breif time, now let us celebrate his life! BLUE SKIES!
  2. uhmmmm, I guess I need to update my vote.... I can't vote again so I am posting jump cross brace injured twice over 1000 jumps and injured while performing HP landing under cross brace details in the incident thread "st. george injury" Sam Live today as tomorrow may not come
  3. Karma man! KAAAAAAAAARRRRMMMMAAAAA! Live today as tomorrow may not come
  4. I am not questioning your experience in any way here. but I have found that I can go further by flying to a "near stall" on rears and then "popping" the toggles for a finish out. Granted, when doing this, I am turf surfing, not doing the "pop-up" technique trying to go for all out distance. I understand why you would want to switch to toggles if you are popping up on a distance round. It gives more lift and you more than likely don't want to stall on rears when your boonkie is 20 feet from the ground either, as well, you can "feather" the toggles while gliding down after popping up. This is just my experience, I am in no way saying that my way is the best. It just seems to be working for me is all.
  5. Drew makes a really good point. Smaller canopies have shorter lines and they also tend to have lower aspect ratios which means that they are going to react with a "snappier" feel to them. Thank you Drew for pointing that out, it isn't something I was thinking of when I put up this post. However, I was directing this to the people who have more than 100 jumps that are wanting to get some higher performing wings in which case wing loading is the more relavent issue. Drew does make a good point to think about though. Although I wouldn't put a 100 pound girl with 100 jumps under a stiletto 120, I might put her under a sabre 120. I have a friend with about 400 jumps and I swear that she can't weigh more than 105 soaking wet. If she jumps anything much larger than a 120, she really has to be careful in windy conditions, otherwise, she won't make it back. This is were wing load really comes into play.
  6. QuoteI load my Katana 120 right at 2.0/1 and have yet to bust my A** on a landing *** does the "ghost rider" attempt count Live today as tomorrow may not come
  7. yes, for about 1/10 of a second there is no control input on the canopy because you are letting go of the rears to take up slack on the toggles. This allows the tail to go back up momentarily and the "popping" sound you hear is the canopy snapping from one extreme to the other. This isn't going to hurt your canopy or anything, but it does happen just like you said. keep practicing different things and find what works best for you. Keep one other thing in mind as well. There are as many different ways to describe things as there are people describing them, so be careful about what you read and then go try. Someone's explanation might not give the same "picture" to you as the person describing it. Sam Live today as tomorrow may not come
  8. copy cat good luck with it brother, have fun! Live today as tomorrow may not come
  9. how much $$$ for straight vs. cascade. What is the life difference between the two. How much of a drag reduction do cascades provide over straight?
  10. this isn't a dig so please don't take it that way. While Rhino is quite correct in what he is saying about doing hop-n-pops, the only thing that wasn't mentioned was currency. One of the things that will help you the most is currency. Reptition is good, and the more repitition you have, the better and that comes down to currency. Having been around the sport for 10 years and actively in it for a little over 7 years now as well as having travelled across the country. The one thing that I have seen that caused the closest of calls is the person who has tons-o-jumps, hot canopy and is uncurrent. If and when you get your little hot rod canopy, always respect the fact that it wants to kill you. If you ever let it go to your head that you are a good pilot, then you are actually probably one of the most dangerous ones. *edit* Icarus or PD will not sell a x-fire or stiletto to anyone with less than 500 ramair jumps, however there seems to be a few reps out there that will. Pay attention to what the manufacturer says and not someone with a dealership. They are only trying to make money when it comes down to it. Manufacturers have guidelines for a reason. *note* Personally, having been in the sport for a long time and having the experience that I have, I wouldn't take canopy coaching from anyone with less than 1,000 HP landings. Anyone wanting to swoop can go to and they have an online coaching seminar for those who aren't able to get to a coached course. However, going to a full on coached course is the best means of learning because they will teach you how to teach yourself, regardless of your jump numbers or what you are flying. That is what those guys are for. Sam Live today as tomorrow may not come
  11. I wasn't ref'g to types of lines being used. I should have been more clear. I was ref'g to the "Moledski mod" of the extra line from the "D's" to the "E's" Do you happen to know how many jumps they are putting on the HMA line sets before they are changing them out? Live today as tomorrow may not come
  12. we tell people of our past "nightmares" because we don't want anyone else to have to lay in a hospital bed. Not because we are wanting to show them that you can bend the rules and get away with it. If someone is going to be hard headed, their butt better be tough. This is why we share our experiences and offer advice as to how someone should learn. You can't hold someone's hand during a hook turn, but you can take them off to the side and tell them that they aren't ready or that they need to get some coaching or what ever might be needed to help them learn. Aside from grounding someone, there is nothing you can do to prevent someone from doing what ever it is that they intend on doing anyway. Our sport regulates itself in many ways. If it comes down to Darwinism, then..... so be it. I am not saying that people should just go out and do what ever it is that they want. Coaching is a really neccessary part of learning. From what I have seen, most people that are coaching up and coming swoopers have made those "critical" mistakes and they know how to learn from those mistakes and they only want to help others who don't know about them, to KNOW about them without having to experience them. If you don't know what you are doing or THINK that you know what you are doing, you more than likely need to get professional coaching if you want to stay healthy Live today as tomorrow may not come
  13. my personal technique is to use the rears as long as possible until the lift is lost and the canopy is about to stall, then I switch to toggles for two reasons. 1st, it gives me a little bit more lift which allows me to "carry" further, just that little bit of extra distance before I have to put my "landing gear" on the ground 2nd, it allows the canopy to slow down for nice soft landings. In a lot of the "PRO" videos, you will see people sacrificing their bodies to get that little bit of extra distance. In competitions, they are wanting to get as much as possible on the distance rounds. I guess the best way to answer the question at hand is this: It is like playing a round of golf. You look at what the wind is doing and decide if you need to add a little bit of spin this way or that to acheive the desired effect for what you are wanting to do. Swooping is the same thing. There is no set techniqe for any given jump. You just have to do what ever it is that you have to do to get things done the way you want it done. It all comes down to experience. I hope that this helps a little, as to why people do different things. Personally, I can land my canopy on rears or toggles, but if I am going for distance, I am wanting to keep it flying as long as possible before my feet touch the ground. Sam Live today as tomorrow may not come
  14. Thank you to all who have posted and voted. I know that this is a hard poll to understand because of all of the options and considering the fact that people change canopies over time. Just to let everyone know what my experience is: currently flying a velo 120 @ 2.05 ( + or - .1, depending on how much I have eaten and whether or not I am flying camera) I add weights sometimes to 2.25 according to the winds and what I am wanting to acheive. velo 111: 200 jumps ( 2.0 ) velo 120: 100 jumps ( 2.0 - 2.25 ) using weights stiletto 120: 500 jumps ( 1.9 ) stiletto 150: 200 jumps ( don't remember my wl at that time) various student canopies: 200 jumps ( mostly skymasters of different sizes, espcially the big'uns after my biff ) *note* my wing load has changed over the years because of my personal eating habits *injured* flying a viper 120: femur, hip and back occured at jump #156, when I was just learning to swoop. I was the hard head that wouldn't listen to anyone edit: I am also a tandem instructor for those who are adding up my jump numbers vs. what I have listed to the left by my name. Sam Live today as tomorrow may not come
  15. I am just curious what these numbers are going to turn out to be. Please be honest with your answers. I am in no way trying to say one type of canopy is better than the other, nor am I looking for info to try and "one up" anyone. Please don't let this turn into a thread that bashes anyone for experience or lack of. This is just to see who is doing what. Thanks, Sam