Rant & Rave Blog

Reviews, News & Expert Advice

  • Skydiving Gear Links Catalog Updated

    Spend less time shopping and more time skydiving by using the ChutingStar Skydiving Gear Quick Links Catalog!

    We know that the extensive ChutingStar.com web site can sometimes create a sensory overload, so we've created a one-page quick links catalog to get you to the most sought-after skydiving gear quickly! Continue reading

  • Save On These Skydiving Gear Sales!

    Discounts usually are a rare thing in skydiving, but several manufacturers have sale offers currently available. Take advantage of these while they last if you're in the market for a helmet, container, canopy or full rig!

    Here's the rundown on current deals:

    • $200 ChutingStar Credit with the purchase of an Icarus S-Fire, X-Fire or OM-7 in August
    • UPT Stock Container Sale
    • PD Demo, Clearance and Resale Canopy Sale
    • 40% off the base price of any In-Stock Wings Container.
    • Firebird EVO Container + RUSH Reserve for $3900.
    • KISS Full Face Helmet now $225!

    Continue reading

  • Will PD's Sabre3 Be Your New Love?

    With more than 40,000 canopies manufactured by Performance Designs in the Sabre line, the Sabre3 has some big shoes to fill. 

    The original Sabre was released in 1990 and more than 20,000 were manufactured until the Sabre2 came on the scene in 2001. By 2018, the Sabre2 reached 20,000 canopies sold like its predecessor. One of the biggest improvements skydivers talk about from the Sabre to the Sabre2 is a softer opening.

    ChutingStar recently conducted a main canopy survey, and PD's Sabre/Sabre2 line topped every category as the most popular first canopy, your favorite main canopy and the canopy most recommended to others as their first main canopy. It also tops the list as to which canopy you're currently jumping.

    Here are some of those comments from the survey when asked what canopy has been your favorite: Continue reading

  • Canopy Patching Simplified

    (Originally published in Skydiving Magazine)

    Learning how to patch torn canopies was a trial and error process for me when I first got into parachute rigging. I had to sew a so-called "basic patch" in rigging school on a damaged piece of fabric, but that in no way prepared me for working on real damaged parachutes when I bought my first sewing machine.

    I would probably be embarrassed if I ever came across my first 20-30 patches. Opening a drop zone loft meant I got enough practice and work that I just eventually became proficient at patching damaged canopies. But it took me about a year, 30-plus patches, and several visits to other riggers for lessons, tips and tricks to get to that point.

    Continue reading

  • Smoke Grenade Options for Skydivers!

    ChutingStar has long carried and used the white Sport Smoke Skydiver Smoke Grenade, which is a big part of demonstration jumps.

    Skydivers use one of our smoke mounts to attach the smoke to their shoe or ankle, and the smoke gives a definite "wow factor" for people on the ground whether it's used in freefall or under canopy. For several years, we've had requests for colored smoke but we could only find specialized manufacturers with complicated ignition systems and/or the smoke canisters needed larger brackets.

    But we were recently turned on to a UK smoke grenade company, Enola Gaye, that now distributes in the United States. Skydivers, drop zones and demo teams had started trying two different "wire pull" smoke grenades from the company with great success.

    The EG18 and EG18X smoke grenades not only come in several colors, but have a lower price than the Sport Smoke and can be used with all of our existing skydiver smoke grenade brackets. And then this year they added two larger "pro" smoke options in the CM75 The Cloud Maker and the SD75 The Fastest Cloud Maker giving skydivers the most options for smoke grenades every!

    Here's a comparison of the 5 different smoke grenades (4 in multiple colors) we carry for skydiving: Continue reading

  • Survey: Love Your Main Canopy?

    A huge thank you to the 187 of you who responded to the main canopy survey the first two weeks of May at ChutingStar.com!

    This one was a bit more long-winded than our past surveys, but we felt that was the only way to truly get feedback on main canopies that are so varied by manufacturer, type and size as well as everyone's different experience level. We truly appreciate all of you that took the time to complete this survey.

    After sorting and reading through all the results, comments and feedback, we've found that we can't sum this up in one article. So we're going to be doing a series of articles over the next several weeks in our blog

    What we can tell you so far is that the 187 of you who took this survey have a combined 280,876 jumps! The average number of jumps for those responding was 1502 and the average mains you've tried is 9. So the responses were in-depth and rich with information.

    PD's Sabre/Sabre2 topped every category as the most popular first canopy, your favorite main canopy and the canopy most recommended to others as their first main canopy. It also tops the list as to which canopy you're currently jumping.

    Continue reading

  • PD Canopy Sale!

    Performance Designs USA and Performance Designs Europe have reduced pricing on clearance, resale and demo canopies. PD Europe is replacing its demo canopy fleet with new canopies, and they're selling the older demo canopies at low prices! Meanwhile, PD USA has just reduced pricing on many of the canopies on its clearance and resale lists. 

    See the images below with all the currently available canopies, as of May 12, 2020. For the demo canopies with prices in Euros, these prices don't include shipping or any import taxes as these will ship to us from Europe. For the clearance and resale canopies listed in USD, these canopies are in DeLand, so the only other charge will be shipping.

    If there is a canopy that you want to purchase, contact ChutingStar at this link, and we can confirm availability, get the final details and final price for you. Continue reading

  • Rental CYPRES AAD Units Available!

    Need an AAD during the time your unit is in for maintenance? Or just one to get you by until you can save for a new AAD, or find a great deal on a used one?

    ChutingStar has several CYPRES 2 Expert & Speed units available for rental at just over $2 a day!

    Here's the scoop on how the rental CYPRES unit program works: Continue reading

  • UPT Stock Container Sale!

    UPT has several stock Vector sport rigs available, some at very deep discounts. These will not last long, so here are the details.

    The chart below has the basic details on what is available as of May 16, 2020. Click to enlarge.

    The images below (click each to enlarge) have more details on each container. The pricing noted on the detail sheets below have the retail pricing, but with the sale, these prices are discounted anywhere from 25-50% off the base price, depending on the container. Contact ChutingStar to confirm availability, get final discounted pricing and/or to place an order. Continue reading

  • Face Masks & Alternatives Available

    As the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) disease continues to spread, health officials are recommending face masks or coverings. See this link from the CDC on Cloth Face Coverings.

    Those with a sewing machine and the materials have been able to make reusable cloth face masks. ChutingStar has face masks as well as face mask alternatives available. One of our fellow skydivers and parachute riggers, Nikki Kingen, demonstrated on a recent trip to Walmart for supplies for her family how a neck gaiter can work as a face mask too!

    Neck Gaiters or Headsocks have been a staple at ChutingStar for years. These multi-use fabric tubes can definitely be used as a face mask alternative. Furthermore, these can be washed and then after the need for mask subsides, these can later be used on your skydives or in the wind tunnel.

    Our ChutingStar Face Mask design is manufactured by LiquidSky Sports, and are washable and reusable as well. Continue reading

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