Mar 3, 2001, 12:26 PM
Post #1 of 6
Hi Everyone, I've got an "historical" question of sorts. I've seen a few ads here and there for people that want to sell old wonderhog containers. I've heard of these and have the idea that they were used in the mid '80s. Is this right? And more importantly, is this worth considering as a newbie rig? Thanks, Frogger
Frtom what I know your pretty much right. And in the past I have seen a few folks who still jump them. I know I passed one up when it was time to buy my first rig. If for no other reason than the fact that it just would have made me uncomfortable. Maybe some of the older folks can give you some more insight into their history.
have the idea that they were used in the mid '80s. Is this right?
The Wonderhog is the forerunner of the Vectors, all built by Relative Workshop. The Wonderhog was introduced in the 70's. The Vector came out in the early 80's, the Vector II in 1988 and the Vector 3 only a few years ago. Actually, technically all of the Vectors are also Wonderhogs, but that's a long story...
In reply to:
And more importantly, is this worth considering as a newbie rig?
Not if you plan to freefly. In many cases these rigs have been sitting in the guys closet or garage since he quit the sport years ago. Most have round reserves and ROL main deployment and are definitely not Cypres ready.
If you are really really broke and your rigger inspects the gear and declares it airworthy and you only plan to belly fly you might consider buying one of those. But if you can swing it spend the extra and get something that was built in the last 10 years or so. You'll be happier in the long run.
though it pains me to say it, don't buy a Wonderhog unless you're getting into jumping "historic" kit. They (and copies) were manufactured until the mid 1980's and the design is best described as "dated" (that's polite speak for glaring design shortcomings compared to more modern rigs). Personally I gave my old Wonderhog away to a small aeronautic museum.
They're only adequate for belly-flying (read positively dangerous for anything else) and at that age will need quite a lot of maintenance to stay airworthy. I got sick of having to replace grommets & stiffeners at every reserve repack.
There is far far better kit available even budget secondhand. I'd recommend you keep looking.
The first Wonder Hogs had external main pilot chutes that would look realy scary today. Then there was a little thing called a belly band. The first hand deplys where deplyed from the belly band. A twisted belly band killed several people. Sparky
Three specific reasons why you should not buy a Wonderhog: 1. Most have round reserves, and since most skydiving schools quit teaching students how to land round canopies a long time ago, that vastly increases your chances of injury. 2. Wonderhogs were build long before Cypri were invented, so you will have to find a Master Rigger who remembers how to retrofit a Cypres to a Wonderhog and you will have to find a - rarer and more expensive - two-pin Cypres. 3. Most Wonderhogs were built with pilotchute pouches on belly bands, a feature that some skydivers are not bright enough to don correctly, consistently. Recently I had to choose between grabbing an airworthy - but ugly - Bullet (Canadian copy of a Wonderhog) or doing a bunch of sewing on a Vector I. It took me a while, but I spent hours on the sewing machine updating a Vector I to Vector II standard.