I Fell in Love!

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My back fell in love with a new piece of equipment – the Aerodyne weight belt 💕

During the last Fly It Forward event Andreea was part of the 42-way base… only 4 hardcore ladies there 🙂
Photo by Andrey Veselov

A small piece of gear can make a very big difference…

I love belly big-ways. I spent a lot of time and effort since this discipline crossed my path to become a good one.

During the years I tried to become a “Ringer” (someone who can be thrown anywhere in a big-way at a moment’s notice to deliver a perfect performance). I am an “average” size female skydiver, not too tall, not too short etc, and one of the most important skills I learned is to dress for success. My weight belt is always in my bag because I know I’ll probably need it (I have a sadistic urge to volunteer for base slots ☺☺☺)

…one of the most important skills I learned is to dress for success”

This summer, in the only training camp I managed to attend due to the f…ing new presence in our lives I had the chance to try the new Weight Belt from Aerodyne (thank you Milko and Sian for the loan). 

The new Aerodyne rigs come directly with a system on the rig designed to allow the attachment of an Integrated Weight Belt or a Belly Band with buckles.

I found the system awesome – let me tell you why…

My new love – the Aerodyne weight belt
Photo courtesy of Aerodyne

Reasons for falling in love 🙂

  • You can attach your weight belt in the last possible moment, on the way to the plane, minimalizing the time that you spent carrying it. If you ever attended a big-way event you know that no matter how fast the briefings are conducted, you still spend significant time with your gear on. Why carry 3-5-8 kilos for more time than you could?
  • The attachment system is easy to use and the weight belt is connected directly on your rig, so you don’t have any more that discomfort of having weights between your back and your rig. You can actually feel how comfortable the rig feels on your back 🙂 
  • There is no more “shock” on deployment for your spine, as the weight belt does not press on your back anymore. Deploying your canopy with a classic weight belt is not fun, especially if it’s loaded. In time you can feel the physical stress you put on your back. For me, this aspect makes a huge difference. For example, at the last Fly It Forward event I was in the 42-way base in a 222-way formation. I usually started the day with 5 kg and ended it with 8 kg, just because I was getting tired and I needed more to control the occasional floating we had behind us. I wish I had this Weight Belt then…
  • it’s great to use for skinnier students in order to “fixate” the student gear, that can be quite large. The Belly Band can also be used for normal size students for the same purpose. I love that, because it gives me a bad feeling to see how a rig can “dance” on a skinny student’s back, no matter how much you adjust the student harness
  • I am told it gives a snugger fit in head-up flying, although I didn’t have the chance to try it yet in this scenario, 
  • It can be used by the canopy pilots who want to increase their wing loading with the same benefits mentioned above…

Overall, as a big-way flyer and an AFF instructor, I’m sold!

The most comfortable weight belt ever”

Milko Hodgkinson
Milko tracking away, wearing the Aerodyne weight belt 🙂
Photo by Sobakin

If you want to know more details you can check Aerodyne’s site. They offer two options – weighted (the integrated weight band) and unweighted (the belly band). 

I highly recommend it!       

The belt can be used as a belly band to hold the rig tight for freefly
Photo: Josh Ruiz-Velasco by Josh Sattler
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Meet: Andreea Pistea

Andreea started skydiving at 16 years old and the step between hobby and passion was almost immediately made. Nothing changed in the years that passed.

She is a USPA coach, AFF Instructor, Multiple World Record holder in big-ways, former captain of TNT 4-way team and a Romanian Airclub athlete.

Andreea enjoys FS, wingsuiting and freefly. She flyes Sun Path, Aerodyne, Squirrel, Cookie Helmets and Cypres.

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