Oct 28, 2009, 11:41 AM
Post #1 of 20
So I always wondered what the whole pig with goggles logo meant on the vector rigs and I found out it was an earlier container that UPT made and I would like to see how it looks, anybody have some pictures of it?
The Wonderhogs in the pics are all modified to either BOC or ROL p/c pouches. The earliest models in the mid to late seventies mounted the p/c pouch on the dreaded belly band. The earliest models I ever saw also featured a blast handle reserve ripcord and 1 1/2 shot Capewells. Saw some prototypes of what was called a "3 Ring Circus" cutaway system that had a hard orange piece of tubing for a handle instead of the pillow handle. (I remember wondering where in hell you were supposed to hook your thumbs into the rigs to cutaway.....and I am NOT making this up...).
The Wonderhog sold for a princely $320 at a time when about $240 was the average price of a rig. They - and the SST Racer - were considered the two cutting edge rigs in the sport. And they were.
I remember a container called the "Springhog" manufactured by PISA in South Africa that looked very similar to the Wonderhog - does anybody know if that was a copy of the latter ? I also jumped a Coe-D 210 for a long time which was a PD 210 made under license by PISA , named after the designer I believe .
I ordered my first Wonderhog directly from Bill while my buddy and I were on a Deland jump vacation in 1975 or 76.
This narly looking guy walked up to me with a set of risers and he "forced" me to take one end. He then instructed me to pull back while he pulled on the other end. I gave it a half hearted effort at which time he emplored me to put some weight into it.
Not wanting his "biker buddies" to get involved I really leaned back on the risers.
He then told me to pull this piece of plastic (golf ball or chunk of wiffle bat ???) which was attached to a plastic cable. I almost fell on my ass as the 3 rings released. I immediately told him to hook that up so I could do it again.
After the guy proudly explained to us how his new born child came to be, my buddy and I ordered rigs while we were there. He told us that we had a choice. We could get the rigs right away and have R3s for the cutaway system or wait until he got the large ring TSO'd. He had no idea how long that might be because he still had not found a source to forge the large ring.
I told him to wait until the "3 Ring Circus" was TSO'd. My buddy didn't want to wait and ordered the Rodrigues cutaway.
After about 8 weeks or so my friend showed up at the DZ with his new rig. I was envious.
One week later I showed up with my new rig with 3 rings. My friend was not only envious and jealous he was pissed at himself for not waiting.
My new Wonderhog was awesome.
Even with the belly band, blast handle and folded over bite of bridle to keep the main closed, I would still jump it today with no worries.
I'm pretty sure I had the fiftieth Wonderhog ever made with 3 rings
It looks....scary (in 2009) pictured is the 1978 model
30 years ago I thought those rigs were BEAUTIFUL. Now I just look at them and shake my head. The Vector really changed things, didn't it?
That red one in the glass from the PIA convention a few years back...am I right about it being Number 1 ?
That was #1. I made it for myself and was jumping it at DeLand when a guy came up to me and asked where he could get one. I told him I only made rigs for myself, and already had a full time job as a band director. He said he'd give me $100 for it and I thought, "Why not?" I'll just pocket the hundred, and make another one for myself next week. That was the beginning of the end of my career in music.
Thirty years later, the same guy walked into the Relative Workshop and said, "Gimme $100 and it's yours...and I'll throw in the Church Window PC. As I joyfully gave him his money back I asked, "How long has this been packed?" To which he replied, "About 25 years." Everybody in the room smiled..."Mad Dog" grabbed it and stated, as he walked out the door toward the DZ, "I gottta go jump this!" The 25 year old pack job opened great, and the rig has been jumped several times since. You can see a picture of it on the "ape" on the 50,000th Vector ad.