Rant & Rave Blog

  • COVID-19 Stories of Pain & Hope

    Like most everyone else during this pandemic, ChutingStar and our crew members have been negatively affected during this COVID-19 pandemic. This worldwide shutdown will indeed change the world forever, and has resulted in the loss of loved ones.

    At the same time, we're encouraged by the love and strength of the human resolve to not only survive, but make the best of the situation. Stories of families becoming closer, communities supporting each other and businesses switching gears to keep staff employed show us hope for tomorrow.

    In our April Survey on Audibles, we put in one question at the end asking "Good, Bad or Indifferent, how has the Coronavirus and worldwide shutdown affected you?"

    These are the raw responses below. I think the biggest takeaway I get out of these is that we're not alone in our struggles and fear. Empathize with your fellow human during this time. They may put on an "everything's fine" front, but deep down we all have many of the same issues during this time. Encourage, support and help others as you're able. 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 service centers: one in the U.S. and one in Europe. Here are the details on how to have your L&B product serviced if you ever have an issue. 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

  • Digital Altimeter Survey Results

    You were heard! We had exactly 160 of you take our digital altimeter survey the first 2 weeks of February 2020!

    Before we dive into the results, we are thrilled to announce that the winner of the ChutingStar Swag Pack is Jake Forest of Raleigh, North Carolina (randomly selected with a blind scroll & click through the 160 responses)! We've sent him his large pack of ChutingStar goods. A huge thank you to Jake and the rest of you for taking the time to fill out our survey! We've also sent this survey results blog post to all the altimeter manufacturers in hopes they will incorporate your suggestions in future altimeter development.

    The quick and dirty is that while L&B's ARES and VISO digital altimeters were the most used by you we found that Alti-2 Atlas was more likely to be your favorite altimeter and it was the Dekunu One that has piqued your interest as being your next altimeter.

    Check out these response charts below as well as specific feedback from your fellow skydivers. Continue reading

  • G4 TFX KISS Camera Mount Options

    Just as production of the new Cookie G4 helmet started matching the demand, GoPro released the HERO8 camera. Manufacturers working on camera mounts for the G4 then had to additionally make sure the new mounts would work for the GoPro HERO8 Black.

    Below are the most popular available options from ChutingStar for mounting a camera to a Cookie G4, Tonfly TFX and KISS helmet.

    Please keep in mind that the G4 helmet does not have a cutaway system, and the helmet is tighter to get in/out of than the G3. So take that into account when choosing a mounting system. Some have a cutaway or breakaway feature, while others don't. Same for TFX and KISS helmets.

    One other note is that drilling into the G4 helmet does void the impact protection rating. So keep that in consideration on your mount choice if that's important to you. See the full Cookie G4 camera mount disclaimer at the bottom of this post. 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

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