Rant & Rave Blog

  • Taking Gear Customization To A Higher Level

    Marissa Barclay's unique combination of a love of creating art for other people and her late father's business knowledge has skydivers worldwide flocking to her to transform their bland helmets into flying works of art.

    Marissa has only been skydiving since 2013, but like most of us, she fell in love with the sport, culture and people immediately. She painted up her first skydiving helmet with her favorite animal, a crow. In this social media world, her posts of this helmet created a buzz in the skydiving community, and she soon found out there was a full-time market for customizing skydiving gear.

    Marissa's First Helmet. Photo by Javier "Buzz" Ortiz Marissa's First Helmet. Photo by Javier "Buzz" Ortiz.

     

    Compass & Crow Studios was born.

    Continue reading

  • So You Wanna Be A Parachute Rigger?

    Packing parachutes while all of your friends are jumping out of airplanes all day or packing late into the night while they relax and party doesn't seem to make sense to most skydivers. But only riggers know the internal rewards of the mostly thankless profession of parachute rigging.

    FAA Master Parachute Riggers Steve, Mike & Vitaly at ChutingStar Rigging Loft. FAA Master Parachute Riggers Steve, Mike & Vitaly at ChutingStar Rigging Loft.

    Continue reading

  • Artist Joel Figueroa Signature ChutingStar Deck

    Local artist and skater Joel Figueroa has been a godsend to the local skater community around ChutingStar in more ways than one.

    jesus joel colõn-figueroa Jesus Joel Colõn-Figueroa

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  • Best Fit & Value for 1st Skydiving Rig

    (Published in Blue Skies Magazine)

    You’ve talked to your local instructors, scoured dropzone.com and Facebook, clicked through the gear shop web sites and even ventured into the risky eBay waters. Yet that first rig continues to elude you. Although you’d love to go all new, the cash isn’t there. So finding something used or continuing to rent seems to be your only remaining options.

    But your thoughts keep coming back to a container that fits like a glove with all the latest, greatest options. So how do you combine the two?

    Why not a brand new harness/container built to your body measurements and filled with used canopies and a used AAD? Not only do you get a rig with the latest technology, but also one that fits you properly. And you still can keep your costs low as you find a used main, reserve and AAD. Continue reading

  • Skydiving Gear Buying Tips

    (Published in Skydiving Magazine and Australian Skydiver Magazine)

    I spend as much time talking to new skydivers about how and where to buy gear as I do actually rigging, instructing and skydiving. There is a good amount of basic gear information that applies to all new skydivers. If the new skydiver had this basic knowledge first, it would make finding the right gear easier, faster and a safer transaction for all parties involved.

    So what does the new skydiver looking for gear need to know? Continue reading

  • Skateboards Buyer's Guide: Choosing The Right Skateboard

    Want to buy your first real skateboard? This is for you...

    Looking for your first skateboard? Or maybe your first “real” skateboard after trying to ride that one you picked up from Wal-Mart that’s warped and the wheels don’t spin too well?

    ChutingStar can help. We’ve been there and we want to help you dress for success to enable a ton of fun shredding the streets, park and your neighborhood.

    After reading this, you can get started on building your dream complete skateboard, unique only to you, through our Skateboard Builder starting right here.

    Continue reading

  • Skydiving Gear Price Comparison Info

    I've put together the following gear price comparison information for skydivers in the market for new or used gear. This is a brief but direct overview on some of the more popular skydiving gear that we see come through ChutingStar. The following info will give you a brief education on how to value used gear against new gear, and then you can determine which is the best choice for you.

    Note: Canopies/brands listed below are those that ChutingStar has had the most success with and are the most common within our area.

    Also, please see our other articles on buying used gear and using ChutingStar as an Inspection/Escrow service to prevent the seller or buyer from getting scammed. Continue reading

  • Used Gear Inspections/Escrow

    (Published in Skydiving Magazine)

    If the used skydiving gear you are buying isn't local or hasn't been serviced by your local rigger recently, a "pre-buy" inspection should be a condition of the final sale. Having an established rigger, rigging loft or drop zone owner act as the middle-man in all used gear purchases not only protects the buyer, but also the seller.

    As the potential buyer, you want to know the used container, canopy or automatic opener is as advertised and is airworthy. You also want to make sure the container actually fits you. Continue reading

  • Military Discounts on Skydiving Gear

    ChutingStar, along with several skydiving gear manufacturers, offer discounts to our military members for canopies and harness/containers in appreciation for their service.

    Below is the list of those manufacturers and the applicable discounts. Please note the info next to each manufacturer on what is needed to qualify for the discount. U.S. as well as foreign military service is accepted from all on this list. If it states "active service" you must be currently serving in the military. If it states "any military service" then the discount is available to anyone who previously served in the military as well. It is not applicable to civilian contractors working for the military. Proof of service for most discounts offered can come through enlistment or discharge papers as well as a military ID. Continue reading

  • AADs: Which One To Buy?

    Skydivers today have the widest choice ever in the Automatic Activation Device (AAD) to have installed in their reserve container as a backup safety device.

    An AAD cuts the reserve container closing loop if the skydiver is exceeding a set speed at a set altitude. For most sport skydivers, the activation speed is the same (78 mph or greater), but activation altitudes vary from 750 to 840 feet.
    Regardless of the unit, it's a "last chance" deployment for a skydiver who has become incapacitated to deploy or has lost altitude awareness. For U.S. skydivers, there are four AADs that are in the majority of sport rigs world-wide. This article will focus on the CYPRES2, m2 Multi and Vigil Cuatro. Continue reading

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