Skydiver Advice

Skydiver Advice Blog from the skydiving experts at ChutingStar Skydiving Gear SuperStore!
  • Survey: Love Your Main Canopy?

    A huge thank you to the 187 of you who responded to the main canopy survey the first two weeks of May at ChutingStar.com!

    This one was a bit more long-winded than our past surveys, but we felt that was the only way to truly get feedback on main canopies that are so varied by manufacturer, type and size as well as everyone's different experience level. We truly appreciate all of you that took the time to complete this survey.

    After sorting and reading through all the results, comments and feedback, we've found that we can't sum this up in one article. So we're going to be doing a series of articles over the next several weeks in our blog

    What we can tell you so far is that the 187 of you who took this survey have a combined 280,876 jumps! The average number of jumps for those responding was 1502 and the average mains you've tried is 9. So the responses were in-depth and rich with information.

    PD's Sabre/Sabre2 topped every category as the most popular first canopy, your favorite main canopy and the canopy most recommended to others as their first main canopy. It also tops the list as to which canopy you're currently jumping.

    Continue reading

  • Audible Altimeter Survey Results

    While you can always see our comparison of current audible altimeters at this link, we wanted to hear from you on what you love, hate and/or desire in an audible altimeter!

    And did you ever let us know what you think! More than 200 of you took our survey that was open April 1-15!

    For the swag pack winners, we decided to award four of you, instead of one, and chose those who identified in the COVID-19 question as a person in the medical or first-response fields. Thank you for your support during this time! See our related blog article on those stories at this link.

    The short and sweet from the survey is that the majority of you use and love anything made by Larsen & Brusgaard, and L&B's Protrack II is the audible that is being most considered as your next purchase. Still, the Alti-2 N3/Atlas also received high marks as well the AON2 Brilliant Pebbles. And most importantly, we think the written feedback and comments from all of you is an invaluable resource for other skydivers and the manufacturers.

    So lets dive into your responses on these and all the others... Continue reading

  • COVID-19 Stories of Pain & Hope

    Like most everyone else during this pandemic, ChutingStar and our crew members have been negatively affected during this COVID-19 pandemic. This worldwide shutdown will indeed change the world forever, and has resulted in the loss of loved ones.

    At the same time, we're encouraged by the love and strength of the human resolve to not only survive, but make the best of the situation. Stories of families becoming closer, communities supporting each other and businesses switching gears to keep staff employed show us hope for tomorrow.

    In our April Survey on Audibles, we put in one question at the end asking "Good, Bad or Indifferent, how has the Coronavirus and worldwide shutdown affected you?"

    These are the raw responses below. I think the biggest takeaway I get out of these is that we're not alone in our struggles and fear. Empathize with your fellow human during this time. They may put on an "everything's fine" front, but deep down we all have many of the same issues during this time. Encourage, support and help others as you're able. Continue reading

  • Do You Know Your Rig?

    (Also published in Australian Skydiver Magazine)

    Many times when a skydiver purchases their first rig there is a lack of information or education on how to care for their rig.

    The following detailed list I put together in 1999 to give to everyone who purchased their first skydiving rig. It has been updated every year since then, and now applies to all skydivers for help inspecting their gear. It is a great resource for all new skydivers as well as for seasoned skygods who have had some downtime.

    Enjoy...and tell others to check it out.

    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

  • G4 TFX KISS Camera Mount Options

    Just as production of the new Cookie G4 helmet started matching the demand, GoPro released the HERO8 camera. Manufacturers working on camera mounts for the G4 then had to additionally make sure the new mounts would work for the GoPro HERO8 Black.

    Below are the most popular available options from ChutingStar for mounting a camera to a Cookie G4, Tonfly TFX and KISS helmet.

    Please keep in mind that the G4 helmet does not have a cutaway system, and the helmet is tighter to get in/out of than the G3. So take that into account when choosing a mounting system. Some have a cutaway or breakaway feature, while others don't. Same for TFX and KISS helmets.

    One other note is that drilling into the G4 helmet does void the impact protection rating. So keep that in consideration on your mount choice if that's important to you. See the full Cookie G4 camera mount disclaimer at the bottom of this post. Continue reading

  • Reflections On ChutingStar Rigging School

    As we wrapped up our final ChutingStar Parachute Rigging School course for 2019, I ended up placing this group's canopy patch right above our first course patch from 2008. Detailed memories of that first course 11 years ago are starting to fade, but fresh in my mind are all of those riggers and riggers-to-be who birthed what the ChutingStar Rigging Family has become today.

    With the help of the late great Hell Yeah Jack Hammer and ultra detail-oriented Ryan Vosser, we kicked off the first-ever ChutingStar Rigging School in 2008 by pouring all of our knowledge, tips and tricks into John Barnes, Warren Cleary and John Dean. Warren, who didn't technically sign-up for the course, was woken up from the bunkhouse that morning and was told he had to take the course. Ha! He would later work for ChutingStar, become the lead instructor for our rigging courses for several years and earn his Master Rigger certificate. Continue reading

  • Newsletter Spotlights Skydiving Gear

    ChutingStar's newsletter will help you stay in the know on the latest skydiving gear with links to new gear, expert advice blog articles and coupon codes for special event sales.

    Our e-mail information blasts are short and sweet...getting you the info you need to know quickly and allowing you to click over if you need the full scoop.

    Sign up at this link, or click the image above. You can unsubscribe, or resubscribe, at any time. Continue reading

  • Several Gear Pickup Options For You

    ChutingStar's Gear Shop is closed on the weekends so our crew can enjoy their days off jumping, flying in the tunnel or just relaxing with family and friends. But that doesn't mean you can't pickup your gear when we're closed...

    Besides just having the gear shipped to where you live, or where you're travelling to, we also have a Pickup In Store option at checkout that gives options for pickup at our boogie tour events (when Laura has the boogie van and tent on the road), or at the drop zone our staff jumps at on the weekend, Skydive Monroe.  Continue reading

  • 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

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