Product Rant & Rave

The original Rant & Rave from ChutingStar...equal opportunity offenders. Find out the good, the bad and the ugly related to skydiving gear and skate goods from ChutingStar Skydiving Gear SuperStore and ChutingStar Skate Park & Skate Shop!
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 2020 Digital Altimeter Features Comparison

    Digital skydiving altimeters have continued to be improved upon the past few years, but the recent release of the Dekunu One SmartAlti  and AON2 X2 has really shaken up the offerings for skydivers.

    One by Dekunu is the first sport skydiving specific digital altimeter featuring GPS with 3D location tracking. After jump feedback includes jump-path mapping, G-force, swoop and landing zone analysis, which is all synced to the cloud to view, analyze and share.

    So far, VISO II+ has stood strong and continues to be the best selling digital altimeter, but that doesn't mean it's the best choice specifically for you. Read on for a comparison of features to make that choice for yourself.

    Skydivers in the U.S. essentially have 7 digital altimeters to choose from. So what are the features of each that would make you choose one over the other? Continue reading

  • Picking Your Skydiving Helmet Bag

    With most skydiving helmets over $200, and the most common at $400 or more, it's a smart investment to protect your helmet when you're not using it.

    Most skydiving helmet bags also have additional pockets to carry your smaller skydiving gear and helmet accessories together so you're able to keep everything in one place whether you're at the drop zone, the wind tunnel or traveling around the world.

    Henry Kochen of the ChutingStar Crew took some time to show off a few of our most popular helmet bags this week to show you which helmets fit and the features of each.

    Check out this video as well as a video from Mike Gruwell on the new Cookie Flight Bag, and then click the links below for additional info and ordering information.

    Skydiving Helmet Bag Overview from ChutingStar. Continue reading

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