Fuck muscle Memory!!!

•October 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

If there’s no risers out, your canopy’s not sniveling, it’s simply not open at all!

Muscle memory can be pretty powerful (and this is NOT a good thing). Your body knows how long it takes from pitch to canopy, if there’s some hesitation, you can’t see it, and your body’s going to react as if things are normal. Get out of this habit, now. If something is not happening as normal, you should not be reacting normally.

I had a great experience with this last weekend. I’ve been throwing nothing but double gainers at the bridge. I huck one and end up rotating much more slowly than normal. I reached after the same amount of time I was used to, but my rotation wasn’t done so I had to wait for another half second before I pitched. If I hadn’t stopped the muscle memory and pitched early, I would have been more likely to catch the bridle or been in a bad position for opening.

Side note:  I posted this over a year ago on another website.  Two weeks ago I did he same thing, but didn’t wait that half second.  I got a bridal wrapped around both my legs.  THAT SUCKED!!!



Ramblings of a love sick me.

•July 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ten days before I move to Colombia, and I get confirmation he is the guy.  I fell for a boy about six months ago, I just didn’t know it at the time.  He was cute, I kissed him (on a dare even), and I conveniently ignored the little spark.  He was a merch guy, that was all I knew.  He knew less about me.

Somehow, I found him in the wonderful world of myspace.  The next time I saw him, I felt somewhat stalked.  Stalked by a rockstar, nonetheless.  (He had moved up from merch-bitch to guitar.) He had looked at all my pictures.  I have too many pictures on myspace, few people look at them all.  It was flattering.

At the time he had a girlfriend, that I even knew of, but he denied it.  After pulling many stories out of him, I didn’t feel all that bad giving him another kiss. (I could still blame that on the dare, right?)  And then he was gone again.

Three months later, his band is back in town.  He was actually single this time.  Turns out he dumped his girlfriend just a few days after he was home from tour.

Throughout the show, he gave me plenty of reasons to feel special.  A kiss at ‘intermission’, sitting next to me when the lead singer was doing his solo stuff, noticing when I went to the bathroom.  (I did say stalker already, right?) ^_^

Problem:  I’m moving out of the country in ten days.  (I already said that too.)  Crap.  I feel like I shouldn’t have any problem leaving anyway.  I’ve seen this guy four times, over six months.  That’s nothing.  There’s just that little nagging piece of my heart, the piece that is actually pretty smart about these things, and I really hate to ignore it.

I’m going to see him one more time.  This time on his turf.  I’m not sure what I hope to gain from this visit, but if I’m going to ignore my heart, I can’t ignore it all.

Snag Points and Body Armor

•July 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Multiple pieces of equipment can get snagged, either on the jumper (delaying or preventing full opening) or on objects. This can cause damage to gear (before or after opening) or cause ‘premature’ openings (your canopy dumping out before you jump).

Most snag points on the jumper are easily eliminated, but on jumps where body armor is used (including knee/elbow pads) it is worn underneath clothing.

Why body armor is worn under clothing: Body armor usually has multiple snag points. Wearing clothing over body armor will significantly reduce the chances of anything catching. Remember: If the jumper is wearing knee pads and shorts, or elbow pads and a short sleeve shirt, the snag points are not completely covered.

Personally, I pay more attention to snag points when jumpers are doing aerials, unpacked jumps, and specialty jumps.

(The following are not comprehensive lists)

What gets snagged: Lines, bridle, risers, pilot chute, shrivel flap, pin cover, cut away handle/cable.

Where they snag on the jumper: Body armor, shoe hooks, helmet (camera or anything else attached to the helmet), jewelry (including watches), even just the hand or arm.

Other snags: Most objects have potential snag points at exit and at landing, including sharp edges, moving parts, branches, and rocks. Rough surfaces can snag pilot chutes and rip or wear them, before and after a jump.


General Disclaimer: I am providing information here, not advice. This is my knowledge of “why”, that I have gathered from my mentor, manufacturers, first jump courses, the base community at large, and personal experience. I would appreciate input if you have other information, or know a more simple way of explaining these techniques.

Routing the brake lines: Slider Up v. Slider Down/Off

•July 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Slider Up: In this method the brake lines are routed through both the slider grommet and the small (guide) ring on the riser. (As far as I know there isn’t a fancy name for this technique.)

Why the brake lines are routed through the slider grommets: If the brake lines aren’t through the slider, the slider won’t always come down. The slider has to have enough of an angle in the lines above it to work consistently. The brake lines create the highest angle because they are at the tip of the tail (as opposed to the D’s that are more toward the nose) and connect at the guide ring, not at the link on the riser.

Why the brake lines are routed through the guide ring: 1. If a toggle blows on opening, it could tangle up with the lines before the slider comes down, and prevent the canopy from fully opening. 2. The guide ring is a stationary spot from which to pivot the brake lines. If the lines are through the slider and not the guide ring, there is a chance the slider will move up/down the lines as you steer and flair. This could drastically alter the canopy performance.


Slider Down/Off: In this method the brake lines are not routed through any kind of ring or grommet. (This is often referred to as a LRT [Line Ring Toggle] set-up, which is the way the brakes are stowed, not the way the lines are routed. It’s in alphabetical order if you ever get confused.)

Why the brake lines are not routed through either the slider or the guide ring: If you let go of the toggles after popping the brakes, they will freely trail behind the canopy. If there is a line over involving the brake lines (the most common, by far) you simply let go of the toggle to, most likely, clear it.


Related gear: WLO (What Line Over) toggles, at this time manufactured by Apex Base. These will completely release the brake line from the toggle.

General Disclaimer: I am providing information here, not advice. This is my knowledge of “why”, that I have gathered from my mentor, manufacturers, first jump courses, the base community at large, and personal experience. I would appreciate input if you have other information, or know a more simple way of explaining these techniques.

Base: Technical Explinations

•July 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I am going to start a series of “Why” articles on technical aspects of base.  It’s mostly an explanation of why we do things, how we came about it, and some observational physics.  This is going to be a lot of things that people already know, but I’m going to try to give a short and long of every answer, but there will always be a short.

I want to make this simple.

It will not be a “how-to”, and there will be few pictures of actual base equipment.  This is for jumpers that are familiar with their gear, but may have never been taught the “why” along with the “how”.

I will be accepting questions from my readers.  I will answer all that actually justify an answer.

Let the flaming begin!

•July 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ok, maybe I am bordering on trolling here, but I posted my ballet base pictures on a few websites.  I also did a little teaser for my friends on the base forums.  I’m not really that interested in the response, but a few people told me I was going to be flamed for it.  It could be fun, I guess.

Ballet Base

Ballet Base

The wonderful world of Internet base.

•July 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Base jumping and the internet.  One of the worst combinations EVER!  However, every once in a while there comes something so good, that all the other crap is almost worth it.

I was directed to two great ones today.  dorkzonehero.com has always been quite funny, but the recent ones are extremely funny.  Also, on YouTube there is a collection of videos entitled TripBox they’re basically awesome.  Check those out an I’ll continue my Internet Base rant bellow.

Many jumpers dislike base on the Internet because it brings in a bunch of kids that saw some videos online, and now they want to be cool like that.  I don’t give a crap about newbies.  Prove to me you know how to jump, and I’ll jump with you.

What I hate is base jumpers talking to other base jumpers on public forums.

I stopped reading the base jumping forums almost a year ago.  A friend of mine died and everyone just talked a bunch of crap about him that he really didn’t deserve.  Sure, he enjoyed pissing people off, but once you met him in-person he was just another fun loving jumper.

Now the forums are filled with vague recounts of jumps, by jumpers that seem to not only have no clue what they’re talking about, but also no clue what to actually do during a jump.  We all joke around that it’s just jump and pull, but so many jumpers don’t know that’s a joke.  I love messing with low-timers, but you’ve got to educate as well.  We all need to teach, and learn from everyone.