Rant & Rave Blog

Reviews, News & Expert Advice

  • Face Mask 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. While ChutingStar has not had access to the necessary materials and we've had limited access to our loft during this time, we do have face mask alternatives available. One of our fellow skydivers and parachute riggers, Nikki Kingen, demonstrated this on a recent trip to Walmart for supplies for her family.

    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. Continue reading

  • PD Euro Demo Sale!

    Performance Designs Europe is currently replacing its demo canopy fleet with new canopies, and they're selling the older demo canopies at great prices!

    See the images below with all the currently available canopies, as of April 6, 2020, along with the prices in Euros. These prices don't include shipping or any import taxes.

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

  • L&B Altimeters Service Centers

    Larsen & Brusgaard continues to show why they are one of the most trusted and respected altimeter makers in the skydiving industry. The company's customer service is well-known as anyone who ever has an issue with one of their products can return it to their headquarters in Denmark for a repair or replacement at little to no cost.

    Well now L&B has gone one step further for it's worldwide market and has added two U.S. Service Centers as well as a center in Europe. Here are the details on how to have your L&B product serviced in the U.S. if you ever have an issue. Continue reading

  • Save In April At ChutingStar!

    Wanna save in April at ChutingStar? We have several offers from manufacturers and ChutingStar that may help take the sting out of being cooped up at home during this worldwide lockdown. ChutingStar is open and continuing to ship stock orders as well as assist and place custom gear orders.

    So here's what available to you through the end of the month: Continue reading

  • Audible Altimeter Survey Open!

    You can always see our comparison of current audible altimeters at this link, but we want to hear from you on what you love, hate and/or desire in an audible altimeter!

    We've created a survey at the end of this post that is open through April 15, and you automatically have a chance to win a ChutingStar Swag Pack.

    The results of the survey as well as the ChutingStar Swag Pack winner will be announced here by April 30. So check back then after taking the survey! Continue reading

  • The Impact-Rated Helmet Revolution

    For the last 25+ years, impact-rated helmets have not been an available skydiving gear option. Helmets with impact ratings, such as from the motorcycle world, tended to be too big and bulky for sport skydiving.

    But in the past year, we have seen helmet manufacturers figuring out how to create skydiving helmets that are passing impact testing, and be comfortable and form-fitting for the heads of jumpers.

    And in a recent ChutingStar survey, we found that nearly 75% of jumpers want or need an impact rating. So what are the options available? Continue reading

  • Do You Know Your Rig?

    (Also published in Australian Skydiver Magazine)

    Many times when a skydiver purchases their first rig there is a lack of information or education on how to care for their rig.

    The following detailed list I put together in 1999 to give to everyone who purchased their first skydiving rig. It has been updated every year since then, and now applies to all skydivers for help inspecting their gear. It is a great resource for all new skydivers as well as for seasoned skygods who have had some downtime.

    Enjoy...and tell others to check it out.

    Continue reading

  • Full Face Helmet Survey Results!

    We heard from you! Thanks so much to the 303 responses to our full face skydiving helmet survey March 1-15, 2020! This was nearly double the responses of our last survey. Woohoo!

    Full face skydiving helmet offerings have changed dramatically over the past year with manufacturers now offering helmets with impact ratings. We recently updated our Full Face Helmet Comparison article at this link with our take on the features of each, but we wanted to hear what you love, hate or want to see in your full face helmet.

    There is so much great feedback we received from all of you detailed below. We hope this helps you in your next helmet purchase as well as for those of you purchasing your first full face helmet. And we've sent these notes to the manufacturers too so they can work on fixing issues or incorporating your ideas into future full face helmets.

    The quick summary is that Cookie's G2, G3 and G4 helmets are clearly the most used and loved helmets, but when it comes to what helmet you're interested in purchasing next, the Tonfly TFX and Square1 KISS are also high on your list after the G4. We also found that an impact rating is important to more than 70% of our survey respondents. Continue reading

  • SonoAlti 2 Unique In Audible Comparison

    Bluetooth connection, 32 alarm sounds and syncs jumps to a Logbook, are just a few highlights of the SonoAlti 2 that shows off the unique design of the newest audible altimeter at ChutingStar.

    Thanks to designer Casey Mongoven of Freefall Data Systems who integrated the Bluetooth connection, you can manage the SonoAlti 2 settings from an app on your phone. Any of 32 alarm sounds can be selected for an unlimited number of alarms for freefall or canopy flight, and then those alarms can be further adjusted by volume, pitch and tempo.

    See this overview of the new SonoAlti 2 below, which is now available at ChutinStar at this link.

    The SonoAlti 2 is one of 10 audible altimeters currently stocked and supported by ChutingStar. Continue reading

  • Which Full Face Skydiving Helmet To Purchase?

    10 years ago, open face helmets were the norm for skydiving and only RW teams used full face skydiving helmets. But with the increase of wind tunnels over our planet as well as so many different disciplines of closer proximity skydiving, many jumpers and tunnel flyers go straight to a full face helmet as their first and only helmet.

    With several different versions and brands to choose from, which one should you go with? We'll lay out the features, differences, prices as well as highlight some customer reviews, so you can make the most educated choice possible. Continue reading

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