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Rant & Rave

  • Before jumping your new rig...

    (Published in Australian Skydiver Magazine. The text and photos from the magazine article can be viewed at this link.)

    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 is a good start for all new skydivers. Enjoy...and tell others to check it out.

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  • 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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  • Is Your Rig Freefly Friendly?

    So you’ve decided to delve in the realm of freeflying, but you bought a used rig that’s just a tad big on you and that one main riser cover is always opening on you during exit. Is that a big deal? Probably. Can it be fixed? Maybe. Will I have to buy a whole new setup? Not likely.

    Lets take a look at a couple of things to consider before subjecting your body to the possibility of a premature opening at 150 mph.

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  • PIA 2009 Gear Showcase

    The Parachute Industry Association Symposium 2009 has wrapped up in Reno, Nevada, and it did not disappoint those looking for the latest, greatest skydiving products, gadgets and information.

    Here is a rundown of the new products and improvements you'll soon see for sale in gear shops.

    Performance Designs announced it's Optimum Reserve canopies are being manufactured in the larger sizes. This low-bulk reserve canopy was only previously available in sizes 99, 106, 113, 126 and 143. It is now being manufactured in sizes 160, 176, 193, 218, 235 and 253.

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  • Australian Skydiver Forums

    ChutingStar Video

    Dropzone.com may be the be all, end all of internet forums in the U.S., but Skysurfer.com.au is Australia's internet forum...and it's a more interesting one to follow at times.


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  • Rigging for the Naked Skydive

    (Published in the August 2009 edition of 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.

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  • 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.

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  • DZ Talk

    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.

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  • Downwind Swooping

    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

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  • Drop Zone International

    A French skydiving magazine has recently started publishing a version of Drop Zone in English, titled Drop Zone International. This magazine is packed with high-quality, full-color, glossy photographs, in-depth articles and, of course, an international flavor to its articles and ads.

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Fun Jumps!

Check out ChutingStar Wingsuit Athlete Oliver "Olee" Finkelde showing off what can be done in an wingsuit!

Wingsuit Video - Oliver Finkelde

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