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!
  • Slider Blocks: The Slider Keeper Without Rig Attachment

    Past posts on rigging forums at one time focused on one manufacturer's solution to keeping a collapsed slider at the base of the risers after opening without anchoring the slider to the container. Many jumpers have concerns about a number of slider holders that connect the slider to the top of the reserve container, which could potentially cause a cutaway delay.

    When Team Method (Steve-O Utter, T.J. Landgren and Nate Gilbert) arrived at Atlanta Skydiving Center in 2001, the freefly team showed-off a new slider block design. Over the next few years, ChutingStar riggers tweaked and modified the design for strength, durability and aesthetics.

    Stowed Slider with Slider Blocks Stowed Slider with Slider Blocks

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  • Mirage Unisyn Chest/Hip Rings Harness

    Mirage Systems International recently released a 4-ring harness called Unisyn. The company is touting its design as being better than others on the market (and I will reprint their reasons later in this article), but what I really like about the design is the padding attachments under the four rings.Unisyn Mirage Harness Hip Rings

    The two chest rings and the two hip rings have padding between the wearer and the rings. So in addition to providing a better overall fit, the harness itself is more comfortable to wear. For those looking to purchase a high-quality rig with all the extras, I recommend going the extra mile and adding the Unisyn option; it is well worth it at $300. And those wanting to look even better, the rings can be upgraded to stainless steel for another $260.

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  • 7 Raves on the Basik Seven

    (Published in Blue Skies Magazine)

    If the "small things" in life grab you, then you'll be taken by the Seven. This French-made rig is the brainchild of Basik Air Concept's Jérôme Bunker.

    Basik's Seven container has a minefield of surprises for skydivers and riggers alike. I assembled, inspected and packed my first Seven container last month, and was impressed by the attention to detail and the several of the design features.

    As a rigger, my first “Aha!” was with the full protection pocket for the AAD cutter at the base of the reserve container. In essence this keeps the entire cutter enclosed, allowing just the hole open to feed the closing loop through. It’s a clear concept change from the usual elastic keeper in most rigs to hold the base of the cutter in place, but leaving the rest of the cutter and some of the cable exposed as a possible snag point for reserve lines.

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  • Flite Suit Booties

    Last week’s “Rant” focused on jumpsuit booties that wear out quickly if not protected with a coating of Shoe Goo. ChutingStar received a response to that column from Ryan Gifford, General Manager for Action Air Parachutes, which works closely with the jumpsuit company Flite Suit.

    Gifford says that Flite Suit’s booties are made of something “almost like a vulcanized rubber. I have about 250 high performance, skid-in landings (on asphalt) on these booties, I pack while wearing them and do most all my student training (when we're geared up) with them on. They are still doing great and are wearing like tennis shoes!”

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  • HypEye D Pro Review

    HypEye D Pro Review Video for ChutingStar.

    ChutingStar Video Continue reading

  • Racer DVD Packing Manual Raves

    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.

    I highly recommend every rigger who plans on packing even one more Racer in their lifetime purchase the Racer DVD packing manual. The packing updates, tips and techniques straight from the manufacturer are well worth the money ($15 plus shipping).

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  • Australian Skydiver Forums

    Dropzone.com may be the be all, end all of internet forums in the U.S., but Skysurfer.com.au was Australia's internet forum (since this post it is now defunct)...and it's a more interesting one to follow at times.

    Recently a fellow skydiver turned me on to the forum after a thread started on "Price Wars" in "The Car Park." The gist of it is one skydiver's experience from purchasing a Pilot main canopy from ChutingStar, but the ensuing debate, comic relief and video are worth a read.

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  • First Look: Sony Action Cam

    Sony is making their entrance into the action camera market with the appropriately named "Sony Action Cam". My friends over at ChutingStar loaned me one to try out and see how it stacks up. The Sony Action Cam comes in two models, one that is WiFi enabled and one that is not. I got to play with the WiFi enabled version.

    My first impression was that it's small and light with very few buttons. The bottom is curved so it will not stand up on it's own, you must put it in a case of some sort. In other words, you can't just set the camera on the table and press "record" because it will fall over. The clear plastic housing has a flat bottom with a standard camera screw mount, so it can be mounted onto any tripod or camera mount. Once inside the housing there is only one accessible button. Pressing that button turns the camera on and automatically starts recording, pressing it again will stop recording and the camera will automatically power off in 10 or 60 seconds depending on your settings. An attachment screws into the bottom of the housing which allows you to clip it into Sony's self adhesive mounts. This mounting system is a fixed angle system, so placement of the adhesive mounts is crucial. There is a tilt adapter that can be purchased separately that allows for angle adjustment though, and I think the Surfboard mount kit also comes with an angle adapter. Continue reading

  • Skyhook Javelin Odyssey Review

    The first Skyhook-equipped Sun Path Javelin Odyssey was dropped off at Chuting Star Rigging Loft in April 2008 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.

    From the outside, the Javelin look remains the same. It has always been a rig that has little flash, but gets the job done. The Javelin reserve container has also been one that is what I consider to be rigger-friendly and easy to make look good. It's a combination of the limited reserve container flaps (4) and the fact that the reserve freebag sits fully against the side flaps. This keeps wrinkles in the reserve container nearly non-existent with a smooth pack job.

    The new updates do not change the looks of the reserve or main container. A smooth pack job still leads to a nice looking rig.

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