Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Packing faster

 


SpeedRacer  (B 26329)

May 21, 2001, 1:57 PM
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Packing faster Can't Post

I have 52 jumps and I PRO-pack my parachute, but I'm too damn slow. I know how to pack, but I'm so meticulous about it that everyone finishes packing before I do.
On Sunday I was visiting Pepperell, MA and one of the old-timers there was showing me tips on packing. He was smooth and quick, and he had lots of specific techniques to make packing quicker and easier. He packed my parachute as neat as a sandwich. Trouble is, I had to leave early and I wasn't able to memorize all those tips, after seeing them done only that one time. I already know how to PRO-pack, but where can I go to learn how to pack BETTER and FASTER?


Speed Racer

Brew Skies



Grogs  (D 24265)

May 21, 2001, 2:04 PM
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Talk to your riggers and/or packers. They do that all the time, so they have to be at least reasonably fast.
Other than that, the only real way to get faster is through practice. Break the packing down into pieces (setting the brakes and walking up the lines; flaking the canopy; bagging the canopy; stowing the lines; closing the container) and repeat each step several times in a row (rather than doing the whole chute at once) and you'll start to learn your own shortcuts, recognize lines by feel, find the best method for getting the canopy in the bag, etc.



cdunham

May 21, 2001, 2:21 PM
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In reply to:
one of the old-timers there was showing me tips on packing
Was that my man Charlie? He saved my life a couple of weeks ago, after a packer had misrouted my pull-out bridle.

Carl



Premier slotperfect  (D 13014)

May 21, 2001, 4:22 PM
Post #4 of 19 (2595 views)
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Neat is good. Clean folds, straight lines, and being sure of yourself are good too. BUT, neatness only goes so far. You can only make the pack job so neat . . . kinda like putting make-up on an ugly woman - she's only gonna look so good, after a while it's just overkill.

I recommend gathering tips from several sources and trying them all. Most of us who have been at it for a while don't do anything revolutionary; rather we take little tips and tricks we have stolen from others and put them together to make them our own.

I jump a Silhouette 210, and I currently use a combination of Billy Weber's P.R.O. pack (from the "Pack Like a Pro" video) and Beezy Shaw's "Psycho" pack. http://precision.aerodynamics.com/psycho/psycho_pack.htmIf it's too windy, I am SUPER slow at that pack job, so I just flat pack it.

Good luck!

Respectfully,
SP


Pammi

May 21, 2001, 6:52 PM
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ROFL!! You're aweful SP :) hehe

I perhaps would not be the best person to ask. I pretty much have heard to basically make sure the stabilizers are out, the slider is quartered properly, brakes are stowed, if it's a Sabre, you roll the tail and nose...and ya got it! I sort of subscribe to that theory. I try to flake it all nice and neat, do everything all pretty, and I have become somewhat anal about stowing my lines so they don't somehow get tangled and cause a bag lock, but otherwise, it's the 'it'll open' way.

Doesn't mean I'm really fast at it, but not bad for a newbie. Hopefully it'll get even better with time!

Pammi

"The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live."
http://trak.to/skydivechick


Kris  (D 26033)

May 21, 2001, 8:50 PM
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I used to flake every piece of fabric on my canopy to the point where I could have pulled out an iron & some spray-starch and no one would have looked at me funny.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was running late for a load I had to JM and the DZO came up to me and showed me the way:

1. Run the lines & shake the canopy well.
2. Put lines over right shoulder
3. Rotate canopy 90-degrees right and go to town on your nose doing whatever you need to do. (roll 4+4, etc...)
4. With the whole nose firmly gripped in your left hand, firmly shake the canopy towards & away from your body while moving your left hand up as high as possible. (Think moving your left hand out on a 120-150 degree arc starting from your hips and going up while you bring your left arm to full extension. This is important and you will have to work on it but if you do it right the A, B, C & D lines will be flaked. If you didn't give it enough 'oomph' only the A & B lines will be flaked.
5. Bring your left hand back down so it is where you started from, still grasping the nose. (You can look in the canopy here and you will notice that everything is flaked)
6. Flip the left hand away and then back to you so that you put the nose between your knees. If you do it right you should be looking at your center cell when you look down.
7. Assuming it's a 9-cell canopy:
a. Clear & flake the three stabilizer pieces on each side
b. Clear & flake the stabilizer on each side
c. Clear & flake the three tail pieces on each side
d. Remeber on flaking, it's lines to the inside, fabric to the outside...
8. Quarter the slider
9. Pull the tail up to coccoon and throw it on the ground.
10. S-fold it, psycho-pack it, what ever it is that you do then throw it in the bag and stuff it in your rig. Personally, I psycho-pack.
11. Enjoy the beautiful opening on your new "shake to flake" pack job.
12. Land & grab beer.

This has cut my packing time to almost 1/3 of what it was before and has resulted in some of the most beautiful openings I have had in a long, long time. From start to finish I can have my rig done in about 7-10 minutes and that's still checking to make sure I didn't screw anything up.

Just for reference, our DZO is a senior rigger with several thousand jumps & pack-jobs under his belt.

As always, YMMV. Consult a rigger or someone qualified.

Kris




froggie  (A License)

May 21, 2001, 10:30 PM
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Speedracer,
hey. if youre coming down to xkeys this weekend i can show you a few tricks that i have learned from some amazing packers/skydivers/riggers. Just keep doing it over and over again. It gets to be so easy its unbelievable. (for the most part).
kel



Freeflylizard  (A 101254)

May 22, 2001, 3:16 AM
Post #8 of 19 (2527 views)
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I've got 120 jumps and I have packed all of those (except the first 8 AFF jumps) myself. I started off taking about 30 minutes over a pack job (always pro-packing) because I was just learning from other people on the DZ. I practised a bit back at home in the living room, and at the DZ if the weather was bad. Gradually I got quicker at it, and now it generally takes me about 6 or 7 minutes to pack. There is no reason for me being this fast apart from the fact that I have practised. That is the only way in my opinion. I don't do anything differently from my very first pack job, but I do it a 5th of the time because I have done it a lot and often. That's the best way to improve. Practise!
All the best,
Tom Arnold.



Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

May 22, 2001, 7:40 AM
Post #9 of 19 (2502 views)
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I agree with John. General neatness is important, but ironing your canopy out and digging around inside is just a waste of time. I have not had a reserve ride due to packing EVER in my 2,700 jumps, and believe me when I say I pack FAST. For anything eliptical, other than a tri-cell, I PRO pack. I Psycho packed my VX quite sloppily and it worked great; certainly much better than a PRO pack did. Anything semi-eliptical or square gets flat-packed, except for a small Sabre without a sail slider (which gets Psycho packed or thrown in the trash bin. LOL!)

My PRO pack method which I have used on these mains I have owned; Excallibur 150, Stilleto 107 and 97, Alpha 84, Cobalt 85 and 75, Icarus VX-74 until I started Psycho packing it is as follows: Set the brakes; run the lines up evenly while walking up the center. Ensure the slider is against the stops and not inverted or anything. Shake the canopy left and right. Step to the left side of the lines, place the lines in your right hand; hands against the slider so no slack is above your hand. Count the nose out against your left thigh. Grab the nose and roll it or whatever you prefer. While still grabbing the nose in your left hand and the lines in your right hand, lift the nose up and "shake" the rest of the canopy down (as described in another response here); this sets the lines into proper groups. Put the nose between your legs while maintaining the lines against your belly-button area. Reach down and grab the center of your tail (data panel)and stick it under your right thumb. Flip the left side of the tail over to check your stabilizers, then BRIEFLY ensure that your tail folds are not flipped the wrong way; then pull the tail around and stick it around the nose (under your left knee). Do the same with the other side. Pull the left and right side of the tail around with your left hand and start rolling them together above the nose, but below your belly button (you will have to move your right hand slightly away from your body, but leave the tip of the nose between your legs). With your left hand, grab the rolled tail and the nose, release the knee-grip, maintain the lines near your right hip (with no slack behind you) and lay the parachute down right in front of you. Keep you left hand centered under the main with the nose right in the middle. Finally, release the lines with your right hand and put your knees where your right hand was. Roll the parachute under and squeeze out the air. Spin 90 degrees clockwise and put your left shin accross the main, in the middle. Grab the line/slider juncture and put in what is known as a "10 inch fold" on big canopies. In other words, put your left hand right of your left shin (which is keeping the parachute flat), then grab the slider/line juncture with your right hand; slide the canopy slightly under the line/slider juncture. Next, rotate back 90 degrees counter-clockwise and put both knees on top of that fold. With both hands, roll the fabric around the back of the main and "touch fingers". Pull the canopy up to your chest with both hands, then roll that bad oscar down and to the front like a SLEEPING BAG. Put the sleeping bag roll directly on top of the first fold, stick one knee on top of it, then BAG IT!

Simple, huh? I can pack in just over four minutes in a hurry. The KEY to the job is not letting any slack get behind you or down into the main once you walk the lines up. DO NOT release the lines with your right hand for any reason until you lay the parachute on the ground in front of you and you put your knees on that same spot. This is MUCH faster than putting it over your shoulder and playing with it over and over while you dig into the middle and "straighten" your line groups. That key and maintaining the nose/tail wrap in your left hand and in a straight line while you lay it down are what keeps you from spinning. The bottom line is that if your lines are straight up to the main, and your stabilizers are pulled out, your shit is going to open...period. Quartering and folding your slider like a reserve pack job is just a big waste of time; just make sure it is against the stops. Digging around on the inside and making pretty S-folds is a waste of time; you just "shake it out". Anyway, I promise I would not steer you wrong and I really have not had a bad opening using that technique.

If you are jumping a Sabre or an old Monarch for some reason, then put a pocket slider on that rascal before you get an opening so hard you shit yourself (like I did 8 years ago). So long as you have that, a flat-pack (roll-pack) is TERRIBLY fast and opens great every time. If you MUST be high-tech for any reason, then a Psycho will tame any hard (or odd) opening main. As previously posted, the step-by-step instructions for that are on the Icarus website. Personally, I would use the roll-pack on the semi-elipticals too, like the Hornet, Spectre, etc. Don't let anyone say you can't do it, because about half the Golden Knights competition team (RW and S&A) stack-pack their Stilletos because it's faster for them. My wife has packing tabs on her Stilleto 120 and she stack packs it. She gets great openings every time.

Sorry for being long winded, but waiting for people to get packed so I can jump again makes me crazy!

Chuck Blue
D-12501




riggerrob  (D 14840)

May 22, 2001, 9:41 AM
Post #10 of 19 (2489 views)
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Neat is nice, but you can waste all day straightening out things that are only relevant to BASE jumpers.
Only a few things are critical, the rest is fluff.
1. Are the brakes set?
2. Are the lines straight?
3. Is the slider all the way to the top?
4. Is the tail rolled tightly around the canopy?
5. Are the rubber bands tight?
6. Are you manifested for the next load?

Rolling the tail is insignificant by itself, but a tightly rolled tail helps keep the slider at the top of the lines.



Dutchboy  (A 37004)

May 22, 2001, 10:12 AM
Post #11 of 19 (2481 views)
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Re: Packing faster [In reply to] Can't Post

Where appropriate don't forget:
- is your slider uncloppased
- is your PC cocked

I still remember a JM who was doing a coach jump this winter teaching a student how to pack. He told him not to worry about being too neat and that he hadn't had a malfunction in 3600 jumps, despite packing in 4 minutes. He had a mal on that very jump. Turns out he didn't uncolapse the slider and the string got caught in his cascades. Oops! Blush

The Dutchboy
http://www.geocities.com/ppolstra


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

May 22, 2001, 11:33 AM
Post #12 of 19 (2463 views)
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The Dutchboy has a good point. It is best to do both of those things at the exact same moment on every packjob so you don't "miss" it. I personally do not cock my pilot chute till the main is in the bag and the locking stows are done. This gives me more room to move my bag around the main. As for the slider: I unstow it and set the brakes as soon as I hit the ground.

Chuck



froggie  (A License)

May 22, 2001, 11:58 AM
Post #13 of 19 (2460 views)
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Re: Packing faster [In reply to] Can't Post

chuck,
Im definitally going to have to try those tips that you posted! I hope i can get it right.
about cocking your pilot chute and uncollapsing your slider.. I am a freak about that. As soon as the jumper sets the canopy down i uncollapse the slider and cock the pilot chute. then i set my brakes and run my lines. I seperate the line groups and lay the canopy down. I re-check the pilot chute. get the canopy in the bag. Make my first two stows. recheck my pilot chute. Set my risers. recheck my pilot chute. Finish the pack job. when stowing hte bridal i receck the pilot chute. The reason that im such a freak about this is that its such an easy thing to do, only takes 2 seconds. and if something happens and i give slack to that pilot chute and its not cocked then ive just screwed somebody quite badly. Malfunctions can happen, but im doing everything i can to ensure that i dont give somebody one.
The idea that following the same precedure everytime is sooo good. It gets to be natural. and something that you do on habit, not on thought.



Krishan  (D 26361)

May 22, 2001, 3:01 PM
Post #14 of 19 (2440 views)
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That is exactly how I do it. I uncollapse it before I do anything to the canopy about the same time I uncollapse the slider and stow the brakes and I check it no less than 4 times after that throughout the pack job.



SpeedRacer  (B 26329)

May 24, 2001, 10:44 AM
Post #15 of 19 (2375 views)
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Re: Packing faster [In reply to] Can't Post

So after I get better at packing my own rig, suppose I want to become a packer at my DZ?

1) I read that a packer (of mains) must be either the jumper who uses is, or a rigger. Or have a rigger take responsibility for your pack job Shocked! How do you arrange that, especially when you're new??

2) Related to the first question, people seem to have all sorts of different packing tips depending on the canopy, i.e., some types you really have to roll the nose tight to keep from getting a slammer, on others its not so critical.

How do you learn all this stuff BEFORE you can be allowed to pack for others?



Speed Racer

Brew Skies



Grogs  (D 24265)

May 24, 2001, 1:51 PM
Post #16 of 19 (2363 views)
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Re: Packing faster [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
1) I read that a packer (of mains) must be either the jumper who uses is, or a rigger. Or have a rigger take responsibility for your pack job ! How do you arrange that, especially when you're new??
As I had it explained to me, you have to be under the *supervision* of a rigger, which in most cases means that he's somewhere on the dz. Wink

I don't know if that meets the actual letter of the law, but as a practical matter, it's just not always possible to have a rigger pack every chute, especially at a big DZ, so it's just an accepted thing. Generally, the rigger/S&TA will probably want to watch you pack a few to make sure you know what you're doing.

In reply to:
2) Related to the first question, people seem to have all sorts of different packing tips depending on the canopy, i.e., some types you really have to roll the nose tight to keep from getting a slammer, on others its not so critical.

How do you learn all this stuff BEFORE you can be allowed to pack for others?
Normally I ask the person who's dropping the chute off how they want it packed. I've learned the basics for the chutes I pack/see packed most often - roll the nose on Triathlons/Sabres/etc; Don't do anything to the nose on a Silhouette or a Safire, and those types of things. My general pack job if I'm not sure and the person who dropped the chute off doesn't have a preference is to just stuff the nose back into the center. If they come back complaining it opened too hard/sniveled, I adjust from there.



SpeedRacer  (B 26329)

May 25, 2001, 7:58 AM
Post #17 of 19 (2323 views)
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Hey skymonkey & Kris,

Thanks for the advice! I went home & tried that shake-to-flake method in my living room. It works great! It makes sense when you think about it, you're holding the lines together in your right hand and shaking the canopy by the nose with your left. The lines have nowhere else to go but to settle straight down. Worked like a charm!! Cool
Of course, I haven't tried jumping it yetShocked! I'll practice it a few more times & test it out this weekend. Maybe. It looks like we're in for crappy weather this Memorial day weekend Frown.


Speed Racer

Brew Skies



Tee  (C License)

May 25, 2001, 3:01 PM
Post #18 of 19 (2304 views)
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Re: Packing faster [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey SpeedRacer. I'm not sure if you are jumping a slippery ZP canopy or not, but for those of you who are, here is a <A HREF="http://www.skyxtreme.com/safety04.html" target="_new">good article </A> on getting it in the bag.

Tee



Kris  (D 26033)

May 28, 2001, 3:20 PM
Post #19 of 19 (2249 views)
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In reply to:
Hey skymonkey & Kris, Thanks for the advice! I went home & tried that shake-to-flake method in my living room. It works great! It makes sense when you think about it, you're holding the lines together in your right hand and shaking the canopy by the nose with your left. The lines have nowhere else to go but to settle straight down. Worked like a charm!!
Thanks for the thanks. I was skeptical until I put a few jumps on it myself but it has worked like a champ for me and it has even stopped my canopy's little habit of diving off to the left a bit on opening.

There was one hell of a slammer on my canopy this weekend but it wasn't me jumping it. The DZO wanted to put a jump on my Sabre 210 after being grounded for over a year due to knee surgeries and so he could get in on his friend's 1000th jump so I loaned him my rig. They go out from 12K and start an intentionally vicious linked spin and he dumped just a few moments after breakoff giving him, oh, maybe 3-seconds to decelerate.

The fact that I have a slider-pocket, roll the nose and I psycho-pack sure didn't help him when he dumped going well over 140mph. :) I cringed watching it explode open from the ground and he ended up pulling a muscle in his leg from the opening shock.

Moral of the story kids, : Slow before you dump. <grin>

Kris





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