Rahlmo’s Realm provides tips, tricks & advice from your friendly, neighborhood Master Rigger!Today’s Topic: Line Stows Count!
You hear a lot of opinions about how to stow your lines. But there’s enough solid research out there that you don’t need to rely on opinion. Industry experts have agreed for decades that each byte of lines stowed in rubber bands should release at between 8 and 11 pounds.
Performance Designs, the leading canopy manufacturer, performed more than 12,000 jumps double wrapping every byte in standard 2-3/8” x .012” rubber bands made by Keener Rubber Company. PD reported good results with no bag locks, no significant relationship to line twist, and they put out T-shirts that said, “Stay calm and double stow,” to get the word out.
Understowing lines with insufficient release tension can lead to hard openings ranging from canopy damage to serious injury or worse. Jumpers using semi-stowless deployment bags need to pay close attention. With careful stowage technique, semi-stowless may be the better choice for specific applications, such as wingsuiting or hop-and-pops for serious swoopers. But note that UPT (Vector) makes semi-snowless bags only for canopy sizes 210 and smaller. Sun Path (Javelin) makes them for only 135 and smaller after discontinuing their larger sizes.
The Parachute Industry Association is currently researching double stowing and, in some cases triple stowing where the lines are especially small and few. PIA also wants to verify that 8-11 pounds is the ideal range. So study continues…
Most jumpers will do best double wrapping all their lines in rubber bands in stows between two and three inches long (three fingers wide) in good, fresh Keener standard bands.
Kevin “Rahlmo” Gibson
Master Rigger, DPRE
Rahlmo’s Rigging provides full-time sales, packing, and maintenance support of all major brands of new and high-quality used skydiving equipment. Rahlmo’s FAA master riggers provide reliable training for packing, inspections, buyer support, from A-license student skydivers to training and testing for FAA Rigger Certificates. Visit the full-service rigging loft, showroom, and accessories case at the top of the stairs in the operations hangar at Skydive Orange.
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