Skydiver Advice

Skydiver Advice Blog from the skydiving experts at ChutingStar Skydiving Gear SuperStore!
  • Is This Used Container A Good Deal?

    We know new skydiving gear is expensive, and that it's very tempting to buy a used rig from someone you don't know on Facebook because the price is so much lower. But before you end up spending money on a rig you'll never be able to jump, make sure you read the August 2018 interview with ChutingStar owner Mike Gruwell in USPA's Parachutist Magazine at this link.

    A used container can be a great deal, as long as it fits you, is in good condition and will fit the canopies you can currently jump. But it can also be the worst deal ever if you can't jump it or get your money back.  Continue reading

  • Which Full Face Skydiving Helmet To Purchase?

    10 years ago, open face helmets were the norm for skydiving and only RW teams used full face skydiving helmets. But with the increase of wind tunnels over our planet as well as so many different disciplines of closer proximity skydiving, many jumpers and tunnel flyers go straight to a full face helmet as their first and only helmet.

    With several different versions and brands to choose from, which one should you go with? We'll lay out the features, differences, prices as well as highlight some customer reviews, so you can make the most educated choice possible. Continue reading

  • Above All Else...Read This Book!

    ChutingStar has been carrying Dan BC's book Above All Else for the past 5 years, and we have sold well over 100 copies, but I had never taken the time to read the book until this past week.

    WOW...what have I been waiting for? What a story of life...from pursuing your dreams to just trying to survive to a glimpse of the afterlife as well as perseverance, determination and the rewards of never giving up.Above All Else

    Above All Else is a page-turner from the first chapter account of his conversation with his teammate James in the afterlife while Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld was in a coma to the step-by-step personal and business guidance at the end for "Playing to Win." Continue reading

  • Keeping Your Head: Safe Cookie G3 GoPro Mounts

    Skydivers LOVE their Cookie G3 helmets as well as their GoPro cameras...but combining those two together has been a bit of a gamble in the past as the full-face helmet didn't have any type of cutaway system. And a cutaway system is important at 2,000 feet when that pilot chute just got snagged on your camera mount at the end of a crazy, funneled skydive with a "save yourself" deployment.

    Cookie hasn't yet developed a cutaway system for the helmet, so skydivers have resolved to either take the risk, make their own cutaway system, make a mount that is less likely to get snagged or find a mount that cuts away the camera.

    The first cutaway system for mounting a GoPro camera came out of Sweden by skydiver Daniel Fagrell. Daniel developed and produced the GrellFAB mount.GrellFAB G3 GoPro Cutaway Mount

    Continue reading

  • So You Wanna Be A Parachute Rigger?

    Packing parachutes while all of your friends are jumping out of airplanes all day or packing late into the night while they relax and party doesn't seem to make sense to most skydivers. But only riggers know the internal rewards of the mostly thankless profession of parachute rigging.

    FAA Master Parachute Riggers Steve, Mike & Vitaly at ChutingStar Rigging Loft. FAA Master Parachute Riggers Steve, Mike & Vitaly at ChutingStar Rigging Loft.

    Continue reading

  • Downwind Swooping Landing Pattern Issues

    Landing or swooping downwind seems to be a continuing rage at many drop zones. Many of these jumpers are hoping to get a longer surf to finish a great skydive while some are the “high performance canopy pilots” practicing for upcoming competitions.

    Either way, this is not setting a good example for students or less-experienced jumpers. And even worse, this is leading to some hectic traffic patterns and close collisions during landing. While jumpers are trained to check the windsock or tetrahedron for the landing direction they are also trained to land in the same direction as the skydivers landing before them to prevent conflicting traffic patterns or collisions.

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  • As The Prop Turns...

    Incident #1: A visiting experienced jumper tells a seemingly content and happy skydiving student how he doesn’t enjoy jumping at the particular DZ they are at because of all the “bad vibes.” This jumper also tells the student to check out other DZs where the “vibes” are better.

    Incident #2: A regular experienced jumper comes out on the weekend to tell as many jumpers who will listen that another experienced jumper at the DZ has probably stolen several hundred dollars from her. The “accuser” has not personally spoken to the “accused” about the alleged theft but chooses to instead take the accusation public in an attempt to ruin the other jumper’s reputation and gain support for her accusation.

    Incident #3: An experienced skydiver posting praise for another drop zone's boogie on a skydiving newsgroup finishes off his comments by bashing a close-by DZ that had nothing to do with the boogie.

    Continue reading

  • Jumping in Gusty Winds

    On a gusty day this past weekend, three jumpers of different skill levels decided they needed to make a skydive even though tandem instructors along with numerous experienced jumpers had made the decision to wait for the winds to calm down.

    The winds were gusting from 7-25 knots and switching directions 100 degrees. The jumper experience level ranged from about 100 to 2,000 jumps. Amazingly enough, it was actually the most experienced jumper who in the end made the worst decision when coming in for landing.

    A Cessna 205 took the three jumpers up. The spot, skydives and deployments went pretty much as planned. The two lower-experienced jumpers managed to make a little canopy traffic for themselves on landing. With only three people on the load, canopy traffic should be nil if you pay attention to the other jumpers under canopy.

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  • Rigging for the Naked Skydive

    (Published in Blue Skies Magazine)

    The range of naked skydiving experience is far and wide. For some, their only skydive ever was naked courtesy of a tandem jump sans clothes, perhaps with Fast Eddie of Huntsville, Ala.

    Fast Eddie Grantland has taken 111 naked tandem passengers since 1991. Number 111 was two weeks ago.

    For some, it’s just something to do to change it up a bit. Warren Cleary of Atlanta makes one naked jump a year on his birthday and has done so for the past four years. Says Cleary, “Me and my buddy’s birthday are one day apart and one year we just said, ‘Lets go jump naked.’” He’s been doing it every year ever since.

    Continue reading

  • Toggle Malfunction Prevention

    Below is a series of photos showing how a young jumper at Skydive The Farm ended up with a main canopy toggle malfunction.

    The jumper did try to stow the toggles per the manufacturer's manual (United Parachute Technologies TruLock Toggles). But the stowage instructions aren't as detailed for canopies with longer excess brake lines. The jumper also may not have been looking at the toggles when she released them or may not have realized the brake line was looped over the toggle during deployment.

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