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Elastic Keepers: Sizes and Use

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Elastic keepers come in two sizes: 1" and 1 22/32". The 1" is used on Type 17 webbing. 1 22/32" elastic keepers are used on Type 7 and Type 8 webbing. Elastic keepers are made out of a 1" elastic, trimmed out with Type III tape, double-needle seam and a zig-zag stitch.


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Before jumping your new rig...

(Published in Australian Skydiver Magazine. The text and photos from the magazine article can be viewed at this link.)

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 is a good start for all new skydivers. Enjoy...and tell others to check it out.

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Dolphin Tuck Tab Mod

Dolphin container designer, Mike Furry, continues to update the most affordable sport skydiving container on the market making the newest Altico Dolphin rigs even more frreefly friendly.

Older Dolphin containers were definitely made with affordable in mind. Dolphin containers have long been a solid choice for student operations, belly fliers and new skydivers looking for a well-designed new rig at a used gear price. But as freefly positions have become a mainstay of the skydiving industry, Mike Furry has had to update and modify the Dolphin container to keep those higher skydiving speeds in mind.

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Nailing the Reserve Loop Length

I've had some riggers tell me that they don't usually replace the reserve closing loop during each inspection/repack because a new loop stretches and affects the finished look of the rig. Apparently some riggers feel it's the fault of a "stretching" new loop that the reserve pilot chute isn't completely seated or compressed like the prior pack job.

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Racer DVD Packing Manual

Jumpshack's Racer container elicits many comments from riggers due to how different it is from most other rigs on the market. At the very least, a Racer container takes a little more thought and preparation; and that is where a new DVD packing manual released by Jump Shack steps in to save the day.

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Updated Mirage Packing Tips

At the 2007 PIA Symposium in Reno, I gave a seminar on packing/closing tips for the Mirage reserve container. It had been two years since the last seminar I gave on the subject and updated some of my tips and techniques.

I've added a link at the end of this summary of the presentation so the entire text and photo presentation of the seminar can be downloaded for reference. Keep in mind these tips and techniques are only meant to supplement the Mirage owner's manual. I have found these techniques to lead to a cleaner, consistently better-looking Mirage reserve container.

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Online Resources for Riggers

Over the past few months I've surfed across a few great rigging resource sites that I think need a little more publicity due to their value to the rigging community. Make sure you take some time to browse the following three sites.

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Skyhook Javelin Odyssey Review

The first Skyhook-equipped Sun Path Javelin Odyssey was dropped off at Chuting Star Rigging Loft in April for a full assembly. I had seen the new Javelin Odyssey updates at the Parachute Industry Association 2007 Symposium in Reno, but this was the first time I was able to really see how the updates work with a fully-assembled and packed rig.

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Toggle Malfunction Prevention

Below is a series of photos showing how a young jumper at Skydive The Farm ended up with a main canopy toggle malfunction.

The jumper did try to stow the toggles per the manufacturer's manual (United Parachute Technologies TruLock Toggles). But the stowage instructions aren't as detailed for canopies with longer excess brake lines. The jumper also may not have been looking at the toggles when she released them or may not have realized the brake line was looped over the toggle during deployment.

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Canopy Patching Simplified

(Published in the November 2007 issue of 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.

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Russian Toggle System Secure

I recently had a swooper in Michigan come to me trying to find a "better set of main riser toggles" that would have a reduced chance of coming unstowed during canopy deployment. His complaint with all the main riser toggles in the U.S. is that they are susceptible to coming unstowed with a slider grommet hit on opening or during stowage of the slider below the toggles.

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Is Your Rig Freefly Friendly?

So you’ve decided to delve in the realm of freeflying, but you bought a used rig that’s just a tad big on you and that one main riser cover is always opening on you during exit. Is that a big deal? Probably. Can it be fixed? Maybe. Will I have to buy a whole new setup? Not likely.

Lets take a look at a couple of things to consider before subjecting your body to the possibility of a premature opening at 150 mph.

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Longer Battery Life for Vigil

Skydivers who own an original Vigil automatic opener have been given an extra 6 years on the mandatory battery change per the manufacturer.

The owner's manual for the original Vigil states a lifespan of 4 years or 700 jumps for the Vigil. But an e-mail to Vigil dealers from Advanced Aerospace Designs last week stated that field experience has shown the lifespan can be extended to "1500 jumps or 10 years as long as the message 'Bat Low' or 'Bat Rpl' doesn't appear on the screen."

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Harness/Container Washing Tips

Washing your harness/container every few years can keep your investment looking brand new. You'll be surprised how clean and bright a used container can get with a thorough washing.

Below are tips and a step-by-step "how to" guide for washing your harness/container. These tips have been taken from several manufacturers, riggers and my own experience of washing a few hundred rigs over the past 10 years.

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Internal Audible Mounting in Gath

An Instructor at Skydive The Farm recently installed the Gath Altimeter Bracket to his Retractable Visor Gath, and found the process a bit tedious. He also discovered the bracket is not a "practical" mount for someone who wants to move an audible frequently from a couple of different helmets as it involves unscrewing part of the mount for removing the audible.

So he tried installing the audible on the inside of the helmet by removing part of the Gath padding and securing the audible with Velcro.

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Fun Jumps!

Check out ChutingStar Wingsuit Athlete Oliver "Olee" Finkelde showing off what can be done in an wingsuit!

Wingsuit Video - Oliver Finkelde

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