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Time to Scotchgard

It’s a happy day when you are told your new rig arrives 2 weeks ahead of schedule!!! Niiiiiice :) Thank you Mirage for the awesome turn around time of 6 weeks, it’s killing me knowing that it’s sitting at the DZ and I haven’t seen it yet hehe. Saturday will be a Scotchgard party, any tips from those who have experience Scotchgard’ing a rig?

Also joining the party will be both my main and reserve canopies, let the nylon crack addiction begin again! (no no silly people I won’t be Scotchgard’ing the canopies) And yes JoJo I promise to let you pack my new nylon, well maybe not the first packjob… but when I’m out there banging out hop & pops learning to fly the new wing I’ll come to ya for some expert nylon compression services 😉

You can expect some pictures from the party… very excited :)

… oh the beer I owe on this one hahaha

First Flights on R-Bird

What an absolutely gorgeous weekend it was! Mother nature’s gift after all that rain. Started off Saturday being a tandem dummy for Russ’s tandem re-currency jump. What an odd thing to do a tandem again, this was only my 2nd ever tandem, honestly don’t think I’d do it again. I’m not ashamed to say I got a little motion sick under canopy… the tandem harness plus not being the one driving just didn’t work for me, but I was happy to help out the pep TMs get current.

My new R-Bird got to see the light of day this weekend. I made four flights on it Saturday, and each one was an eye opener. I had been flying the T-Bird before, and I was impressed and surprised as to how much more forward speed and lift power this R-Bird has. I’m very much still in the learning stages of my wingsuit skills so I’m definitely not in a place to give an in depth review of this suit’s performance versus others, but I can share my experiences.

The construction of the suit is solid, they did a great job! Besides my business suits, my wingsuit is now one of the only other garments I own that actually fits my long ass arms lol. The jack the ripper hook knife means business, thinking of moving to the side though, being right in the middle makes it look like I have a permanent hard on when I’m sitting down.

Just Go Skydiving

The sun is shining, the water is receding… the 2010 skydiving season is upon us!

I was asked recently what my goals were for this skydiving season, and I honestly found myself saying “I’m not sure”. Last season was a straight line goal to get into a wingsuit, it was a goal up front and always on my mind. I found myself having to really think about this season.

I want to vastly improve my wingsuit skills obviously, but do I want to bring to the burner other objectives that I past on last season? The biggest one that comes to mind is working towards getting my coach rating. It was nearing the end of the season when I was putting serious thought into enrolling in a coach course, and if it wouldn’t have been postponed I probably would have gone through with it :) But as the time grew closer I had to make the decision to pull back from the coach course. I subscribe to the philosophy in skydiving of KISS (keep it simple stupid). In short I didn’t want to be learning a whole new dicipline (wingsuiting) at the same time I would be going through the coach course.

Darin introduced me to a simple test coach dive and it made me realize I had work to do if for no other reason that to be satisfied with my own level of coaching ability. It was a fun jump and I smiled and laughed as he demonstrated a comet-trail track as a simulated student at the end of the dive. I found the hardest part for me was recognizing and providing feedback on the student’s body position that attributed to their performance on the dive. What body part was doing what to induce an unwanted behavior?

After a few hundred jumps I don’t find myself having to think about how to get my body to do what I need it to do in freefall, if I need to side slide into position, I just do it. Having to witness a manuever of a student and analyze it wasn’t as second nature as “just do it”.  Do I think I could grow that skill enough to be an effective coach for a student? Yes, but at a cost. Mainly being that I would have to seriously split my time in the air instead of keeping that wingsuit attached to my rig 100% of the time. I was very current at the end of the season, whereas now I need time to build up my freefall skills back to what they were.

Winter play while the plane is away

Last season I was still an AFF student when the snow flakes flew and I could not imagine not skydiving all winter, but this time around I decided to have fun and embrace the snow and get back into skiing!

Growing up I use to ski out in the mid-west, frequenting Cascade Mountain and Devil’s Head. But as I grew out of gear and out of shape I wandered away from the sport for a very long time. There was a visit to Killington or Mt. Ascutney every once in awhile, but it’s easily been over 7 years (maybe longer) since I have skied.

Fast forward to this winter, I decided that I wanted to just ski a few times this winter since it would get costly to keep renting gear, well that didn’t last long. After 2 trips with rental gear I was hooked. My knees seemed to be able to handle the mountains so I pushed full steam into ski-mode. I’ve picked up a pair of ’09 Fischer RX8’s for a steal, and Nordica Speedmachine 110 boots, and I’m skiing as often as I can haha.

2009 Skydiving Season

What a year 2009 has been… A year ago today I had only 10 jumps under my belt and still had no idea what I was doing in the sky lol. I’ve gone from AFF grunt to learning the ropes in RW camps, become a tracking machine, and taken flight in a wingsuit clocking 240 jumps!! Along my journey of discovering and learning the world of skydiving there have been a lot of people that have been there to help me succeed and sometimes help push me that extra bit when I needed it 😉

First off thanks goes out to Fran and all the manifest crew for their hard work running Skydive Pepperell, and to Don for keeping so many of us in the air through all the repacks and gear issues solved throughout the year!

I would like to take a moment to remember a Pepperell family member that is no longer with us, Steve Harrington. Flock University posted a great tribute online. Standing room only at Steve’s memorial service was a testament to how many lives Steve touched. You will be missed Steve, fly free!