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Old 04-12-05, 11:04 PM   #1
goodcatjack
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My honest reaction to skydiving was, well, kind of a letdown. For me, the best part wasn't the 140 or so mph we went during that 30-40 second freefall from 10,500 feet, nor the hard spinning we did during the canopy ride nor that swooping, faster-than-I-thought-it'd-be landing. No, for me, the best part was the experience of making the conscious choice to step out onto the wing, then choosing to just ... let go. Oh yeah, baby, that part was sweet. Except it was over pretty quickly.

So, the reason why I'm posting this thought here: you know what I really, honestly felt was a more terrifying, thrilling, lusty experience? That one time I took my Bianchi Axis down a deserted highway's hill to somewhere between 55 and 60 miles per hour. I'm not kidding! For me, that joyous terror I felt while tearing down that hill -- for me, that white-knuckle rush was ten times scarier and more exultant than jumping out of a plane.

I just wanted to say that ...

cheers,

-alex.

p.s. I remember, there was this poster in the hangar that said, "Our sport can eat yours for breakfast." You know what? Heh. I don't think so.
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Old 04-12-05, 11:11 PM   #2
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eh, i can handle 50+mph, but jumping out of an airplane?

I don't think so. I get queezy just looking out of airplane windows...

(afraid of heights)
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Old 04-12-05, 11:13 PM   #3
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oh, yeah, I can understand that. but I'm not a very good rider, so that was pretty fast for me! I'd love to get to the point where I could say I spent a fair bit of time going that fast ...
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Old 04-12-05, 11:20 PM   #4
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I went skydiving once. I'm not really an adrenaline junkie, I didn't do it expecting a rush or thrill. What I liked about it is that it feels like nothing else, except maybe zero gravity. In freefall, you have total freedom of motion. There's nothing to push off of...it's just a very bizarre sensation when you aren't connected to the ground. Also, in every direction you look, there's nothing nearby. In your immediate vicinity, there's just...nothing. It's really hard to compare to anything else, I was somewhat dazed for an hour afterwards.

I've gone 50+ mph downhill before, but it's totally different. You are very connected to the ground and can feel the road. You can tell how fast you're going by the landmarks around you.
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Old 04-12-05, 11:23 PM   #5
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I can't believe you had time to get all that sensation from your freefall, koan. man, for me, it was over almost as soon as I realised what was happening. I should probably do it again soon, just to check.

oh, and I had to deal with almost losing my goggles and glasses, so I was kinda pre-occupied with that. my tandem guy was funny; he said, "Dude, I saw when you caught your glasses! That was heads-up, man!"
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Old 04-12-05, 11:25 PM   #6
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I want to go into one of those freefall tubes with the giant fan. That I think I could handle.

I know it isn't even close to the real thing, but I could feel that cool zero-gravity feeling you get when you skydive.
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Old 04-13-05, 06:11 AM   #7
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Well, skydiving is probably technically safer than taking your bike to 60 mph, maybe that's why you felt such a difference in experiences.
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Old 04-13-05, 06:27 AM   #8
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the skydriving probably felt safer because of the tandem instructor pulling the shute for you. that's how i did it as well, and it felt pretty safe. if i had to pack my own equipment, read my alitude, pull the shute and guide myself in, i might have a different feeling about the whole thing. although i will say that decending quickly on a bike is up there.
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Old 04-13-05, 06:26 PM   #9
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A colleague who has done some 2,500 jumps describes skydiving as "the most fun you can have in life without taking your clothes off."

I've never done it myself (the skydiving bit that is), and have no intention of ever doing it, but I pass that on for what it's worth.
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Old 04-13-05, 06:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhg152
A colleague who has done some 2,500 jumps describes skydiving as "the most fun you can have in life without taking your clothes off."

I've never done it myself (the skydiving bit that is), and have no intention of ever doing it, but I pass that on for what it's worth.
There are some folks that have done it with their clothes off... what is it then?
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Old 04-13-05, 07:16 PM   #11
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With the right equipment (i.e. a parachute), the danger in skydiving is for the most part mental.
With the right equipment (i.e. a bicycle), tearing ass down a long winding road downhill at 60mph, the danger is very very real.
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Old 04-13-05, 07:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodcatjack
My honest reaction to skydiving was, well, kind of a letdown. For me, the best part wasn't the 140 or so mph we went during that 30-40 second freefall from 10,500 feet, nor the hard spinning we did during the canopy ride nor that swooping, faster-than-I-thought-it'd-be landing. No, for me, the best part was the experience of making the conscious choice to step out onto the wing, then choosing to just ... let go. Oh yeah, baby, that part was sweet. Except it was over pretty quickly.

So, the reason why I'm posting this thought here: you know what I really, honestly felt was a more terrifying, thrilling, lusty experience? That one time I took my Bianchi Axis down a deserted highway's hill to somewhere between 55 and 60 miles per hour. I'm not kidding! For me, that joyous terror I felt while tearing down that hill -- for me, that white-knuckle rush was ten times scarier and more exultant than jumping out of a plane.

I just wanted to say that ...

cheers,

-alex.

p.s. I remember, there was this poster in the hangar that said, "Our sport can eat yours for breakfast." You know what? Heh. I don't think so.
Try jumping out of a Boeing 727 jet at 175 mph sometime (as I have), and then tell me your new opinion. Try a high altitude jump where you have to suck oxygen, but then get over a 2 minute freefall. try head down skydiving where you reach speeds over 200 mph, and if you don't flair in time to pull at terminal velocity, you will probably kill yourself when your chute opens. Try jumping off an antenna, a cliff or a building. What I love about skydiving is you have to save your life everytime you do it! Unfortunately, I have personally witnessed three people fail to save their lives. I also presume that you were on a tandem jump where you had an expert to wipe your nose, and take care of you. Try it when you have the reponsibility to properly open the chute and land without pranging yourself! Different ballgame then.

Let's see, I have had some high speed runs down incredible grades and I have 659 skydives and about 12 hours and 40 minutes of freefall time. I vote for the skydiving!

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Old 04-13-05, 11:51 PM   #13
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jeez, skydive, did I strike a nerve?

yeah, it was a tandem, and I do plan on making my next jump without someone strapped to my back. I don't have any doubt that if I were to do jumps the way you've described yours, I'd have a totally different story to tell. but right now? I don't. not yet, anyway!

cheers,

-alex.
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Old 04-14-05, 05:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodcatjack
jeez, skydive, did I strike a nerve?

yeah, it was a tandem, and I do plan on making my next jump without someone strapped to my back. I don't have any doubt that if I were to do jumps the way you've described yours, I'd have a totally different story to tell. but right now? I don't. not yet, anyway!

cheers,

-alex.
Good point! That's why my very first skydive was a freefall - I knew I would have no enjoyment strapped to some expert's chest. I knew it would simply be like a carnival ride, but perhaps not as exciting, which it obviously wasn't. When you do it for real, you will get addicted. One of the most fun things is the two night jumps you have to do to earn your D or Master Skydiver's license. I jumped into the biggest black hole ever!

No, you didn't hit a nerve, I just wanted to add a bit of perspective from someone who had done both - but a REAL skydive or so!
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Old 04-14-05, 02:11 PM   #15
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I did a tandem jump once. It was a lot of fun, but dang too expensive to do more than once. I definitely don't trust myself to pack my own chute and go on my own. The best part is definitely when you leave the plane. The anticipation on the way up nearly drove me crazy. The hour afterward was great too, because for a while I was just happy to still be allive... I would think that the best thrill is base jumping, like from Angel Falls or something. Being able to see the cliff zooming past you would give you a real sense that you are indeed falling, not just floating...

I think the thrill difference it mostly mental. Riding a bike at 60 mph puts your life in you own hands too. If you have a blowout, or a deer jumps out, equipment failure, etc, you're pretty much dead (or will be wishing you were). We just don't think about it the same way since we ride our bikes everyday. Heck, just riding around town puts our life at risk everytime, but we do it often enough to not even think about it. It's probably the same reason that base jumpers moved from planes to buildings and cliffs - if you do it often enough the thrill subsides everytime.

I have heard that the plane flight before the jump is actually more dangerous than the jump. True?
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Old 04-14-05, 02:23 PM   #16
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How about skydiving versus riding a huffy with coaster brakes and worn out tires downhill at 60 mph?
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Old 04-14-05, 02:28 PM   #17
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Except the huffy falls apart long before it gets past 30mph
=)
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Old 04-14-05, 02:49 PM   #18
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I did a tandem jump once. It was a lot of fun, but dang too expensive to do more than once. I definitely don't trust myself to pack my own chute and go on my own. The best part is definitely when you leave the plane. The anticipation on the way up nearly drove me crazy. The hour afterward was great too, because for a while I was just happy to still be allive... I would think that the best thrill is base jumping, like from Angel Falls or something. Being able to see the cliff zooming past you would give you a real sense that you are indeed falling, not just floating...

I think the thrill difference it mostly mental. Riding a bike at 60 mph puts your life in you own hands too. If you have a blowout, or a deer jumps out, equipment failure, etc, you're pretty much dead (or will be wishing you were). We just don't think about it the same way since we ride our bikes everyday. Heck, just riding around town puts our life at risk everytime, but we do it often enough to not even think about it. It's probably the same reason that base jumpers moved from planes to buildings and cliffs - if you do it often enough the thrill subsides everytime.

I have heard that the plane flight before the jump is actually more dangerous than the jump. True?
Yes, the plane ride is definitely the dangerous part. I think more skydivers have died that way than jumping. One of the rare times I was scared was when I did a helicopter jump at the World Freefall Convention. Part of the ride is the dipsy doo that the pilot does prior to finally hovering and letting us the hell out of that machine. He would fly fast hugging the ground, then do a very steep pull up wilth some G's, then make very steep banks. I found myself trying to grip the bulkhead with my fingers, and has a 15,000 plus pilot, I don't scare too easily in flying vessels!

I actually had an invitation from the Venezulan National Guard to jump from Angel Falls. They offerred to give me full support and a helicopter ride to the summit. I never had a chance to take them up on what would have been a thrilling, very scenic jump. A few of the locals have made the jump with the organized jump that goes once a year, but is a few thousand bucks.
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Old 04-14-05, 02:50 PM   #19
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How about skydiving versus riding a huffy with coaster brakes and worn out tires downhill at 60 mph?
Hell, just riding one would be sufficient punishment.
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Old 04-16-05, 05:19 AM   #20
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Um...no.

Most parachute related aircraft crashes are due to 'chutes catching a part of the airplane
and ripping the part off (rudder, elevator).

Rule of the Pilot:
If you have 2 wings and not on fire, stay with the plane!!

Major difference between 'chuter and rigger:
'chuter screws up? 'chuter dies.
Rigger screws up? 'chuter dies.

CE
I don't agree with you statement about aircraft crashes - there have been an incredible number of high profile, simple pilot screw-up s(not surprising when you talk to the jump pilots with hardly any training, little hours, and little practive in engine out procedures.) As an ex airline pilot, I often, out of curiosity spoke with jump pilots and it was startling to see how little experience some of them had who were turned loose flying a King Air. With endless, boring forays to jump altitude and back, a sudden surprise like an engine failure on takeoff too frequently spelled trouble.
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Old 04-16-05, 07:17 AM   #21
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Years ago, I was a 5 jump commando, & I'll guarantee ya the parachute ride down was a whole lot more friendly than the cargo airplane ride up.
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Old 04-16-05, 09:48 AM   #22
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what's a 5 jump commando?
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Old 04-16-05, 09:39 PM   #23
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what's a 5 jump commando?
Went through Army Airborne School just for the fun of it; ROTC made that possible. All the regular's called us 5 jump commando's, cause they were actually going to an Airborne unit.
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