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PRO/ PRO-GPI /Ultra - vest suggestions


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#1 Chris Allen

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 12:55 AM

Interested in trying different vests....

Have read some posts here talking about the 'Pro' vest.....are these (pro gpi/pro) one in the same? Or are the discussions about an earlier version? (ie. Pro fm vest vs. WK bm vest)

Reason being, I have an Ultra2 vest that I've been using for 2 1/2 years now....attended the Maine Workshop w/Paul Taylor (amazing experience, thx to Paul and his crew) this past Sept. and was given a suggestion to lengthen the vest so the hip pads were actually riding over my hips, or better described, aligning the hip strap with my hip bone....not on my stomach area....thus releaving some of my lower back pain and offering a better operating position.....I'm 6'2"....initially felt better for my back and operating, but now I get some serious 'hotspots' over my boney hips that sometimes cuts off circulation.....

Did some mods (as also suggested) to lower the mounting block about a 1/2" by cutting out some of the front plastic.....also trimmed some of the plastic and moved the back strap mounts up slightly to help aleviate some of the pinching in my hip area.....

Anyways, things are improving slowly, as I experiment with moving the pads around, different stap tightness, etc. but I still have pain that is not making flying fun or consistent......

I would like to try another FM vest like the PRO GPI or any other that anyone can suggest......is there a USA distributer?.....I couldn't seem to locate one.....

Next would be the WK set up.....if I can't figure things out w/my vest at the new position suggested by Paul and gang.....

Any thoughts/experience with the PRO GPI?

Thanks for a great forum.....hope to be buying my own rig someday.....

Chris Allen
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#2 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 12:07 PM

I got my first PRO vest (and yes, that's the GPI, PRO vest http://www.pro-gpi.com/vests.htm) in 1998. I sold it 8 years later with my old PRO rig and got a new one recently with my new PRO rig.

I've used several of the older 3a style vests and a few of the newer master series/tiffen steadicam vests. Hands down I prefer the PRO vest.

When you order one they have you go to a tailor and get various measurements so the vest is custom fit to your body.

I've never tried a Back Mounted vest so I can't comment on that other than to say I've never felt the need. Kind of like owning a Bugatti Veyron and test driving a Ford Mustang.

I know every operator is different and I would imagine that being 6'2" has a lot to do with how the vest fits. I'm only (only??? :blink: ) 5'11".

I'm also not sure about going below the hip line? Anybody else have thoughts on that? I stop just above the hip line and I think going below would hinder my movement too much.


To sum up, I've never heard of anybody that wasn't happy with the PRO vest and I'm particularly fond of mine.

mm.
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#3 Janice Arthur

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 03:35 PM

Mike;

Several things can be done.

1) I had this for a while at some point an it just goes away if you keep tweeking things.

2) Here are the things to try.

3) Yes it should fit on your hip bones not higher. (I see guys' pictures and they look like dolls' vests on them, way too short for my estimation.)

4) Make sure you are not "breaking" at the waist and are leaning back against the weight of the rig in a straight line with your torso. The heavier the camera the more the lean.

5) 90% of the time no one has the vest tight enough. I say, just short of not breathing is right.
It should be very tight and when you pick up the rig the front spar pulls away from you and it feels really good. Tighter is great when operating and solves some other issues too.

6) The vests (FM) all have the mid chest straps that tighten away from you, reorient them so that you can pull them tighter by pulling toward yourself. (very easy stuff with a couple of plastic clips and some seat belt material). (or leave them alone and have your AC pull them much tighter when you suit up.)

Hope this helps. It hurts like mad when you "crush" those points for 10 hours.

Janice
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#4 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 03:49 PM

Janice, I'm guessing you were directing your reply to Chris? If it was ment for me, im confused :blink:

mm.
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#5 Janice Arthur

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 04:00 PM

Mike;

Its for whomever brought up a bad fitting vest must have been the other guy.

All these posts blurr together esp when you rescan/read the post to reply.

JA
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#6 Chris Allen

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 11:26 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.......will focus on Janice's thoughts.....I've been cranking things down tight, but maybe a rearrangement of the pads/chest straps (again) will help. Also will keep in mind to see if I am bending at the hips and allowing the vest to 'pinch in' at the bottom. I think this may be a valid point with me now that I think about it......also maybe I need to train some new muscles a little since I've lengthed the vest? I do fly every day for 3-4 hrs (live TV) so stamina isn't really that much of an issue, but may be.....

Anyways....will keep plugging away....gonna try to add some padding/foam up top.

Mike, I appreciate the PRO experience and will keep it in mind down the road.......I e-mailed them and asked for info, but haven't heard back from them yet.

Thx again,
Chris
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