Forums: Community: Skydivers with Disabilities:
PHOTOS of Modifications to gear and techniques used by various skydivers with lower limb paralysis



Jan 1, 2010, 7:17 AM
Post #1 of 5 (1308 views)
PHOTOS of Modifications to gear and techniques used by various skydivers with lower limb paralysis Can't Post

i am hoping that those of us who are paralyzed and skydive would take some time to post pictures of the various gear modifications we have that have been helpful in letting us get up to the skies and become solo skydivers.

We all are different people with differences in our needs-and therefore most of us basically have custom modifications of one form or another.
Not every modification works well for every paralyzed person, and this is why I hope to have a thread filled with various pictures and details on what the modification is, why it was done and what was the result (ie. posting even pictures of modifications of things that did not work is important so long as there is explanation as to why it didn't work).

I understand that all of us active paralyzed skydivers have our own threads where we have discussed our particular modifications, as well as posted photos for new people coming to these forums who do not know which person here is necessarily paralyzed, and which thread has photos this may be a good way to collect these all into one message easy to find.

Also differences in landing techniques would be good to see Just today looking back to Peter Hewitt's photos he sent me I see his legs are positioned very dirrerently then mine for landing,,, his are pointing more straight in front of him and his ankles are well below his butt level (perhaps his landing area's were very smooth surfaces-unlike mine which are bumpy in p,aces yet grass on top so i have no idea if there are ruts in the ground where my feet can catch and end up breaking my leg-so I fly with my legs pulled very high up at the knees trying to keep my ankles as high as possible to provide a greater element of safety for my feet).


I will take the liberty of posting some of Dale's photos he has in his threads-and add the link to the original post since they are allready up on this forum (Dale if you have a problem with that just pull them down-or ask me to pull them down( but the photos I have of Peter's gear I will wait till I get his permission to post them, (unless I happen to find them online here but i havent yet).

(This post was edited by gimpboogie on Jan 1, 2010, 7:18 AM)


Jan 1, 2010, 7:32 AM
Post #2 of 5 (1276 views)
modifications to pants [In reply to] Can't Post

1) My pants have a 'crotch panel' (similar to the idea of the traking suit by Pheonix Fly and Birdman)
the purpose of which is to allow the airflow to provide some 'lift' to lower limbs stopping them from falling towards the ground at the waist (this allows me to fly with my legs parallel to my body instead of falling perpendicular to my body at the waist)

2) the black 'seat belt' looking straps sewn to the knees of the pants are made such that they have buckles at the opposite end, with a D ring and a carabiner on both so once under canopy I can clip the carabiner to my chest strap and use the Dring to help pull up the straps lifting my legs up. I pull them as high as they will go-meaning that the part attached to the knee is almost at my chest strap-giving my feet he highest possible position for landing-with the purpose of trying to avert any possibility of my feet catching on any rut in the ground. An added benefit of this is that on early morning days as the grass is wet i have a decent amount of slide on the ground as I land.

There is one photo of me that I'm desperately looking for and cant find which shows a decent side view of how my legs are parallel to the body rather then falling downwards, this is because of the crotch panel. but if you really want to go see how the legs stay parallel with that crotch panel you can check out my 7th AFF video at:
Even the positioning, sizing and type of panel makes a difference for people. While looking through Dale's thread for his photos, I noticed that he decided his potato chipping may be due to the crotch panel being not porous enough-it was catching too much of the air-while for me it was the opposite (as far as the panel goes). I needed to add a second layer of the material to my crotch panel and reinforce the sides to make it less porous, and my potato chipping was due to being too stiff-once I relaxed more it stopped- (there was an exercise called "swimming lessons' while in freefall to show that the arms can be in what ever position, if the body is relaxed and allow the wind to cradle my body the stability comes-so the idea was to literally move arms around as if swimming, while staying stable-i did it in one of my jumps alone and relized it is true-which is why my arms can be in the mantis position-thats another thread altogether though)
Dale's first tandem jump photo shows what I mean by the legs 'hanging down' at the waist.
The crotch panel helps to stop that from happening.

Dales threat is found at:;so=ASC;mh=25;

(This post was edited by gimpboogie on Jan 1, 2010, 9:26 AM)
Attachments: Minna's_FF_Pants.jpg (61.7 KB)
  minna_pants_crotch.jpg (59.9 KB)
  checking%20Alti.jpg (61.1 KB)


Jan 1, 2010, 7:54 AM
Post #3 of 5 (1273 views)
importance of zippers on bottomf of pants [In reply to] Can't Post

zippers on the pant legs is important for a few reasons.
1) the knees are braced together with various methods (DAle and Peter use fibreglass formed into 90 degree angle with straps to put around the knees to keep the knees at a 90 degree angle which has so far been found to be optimal freefall angle) I dont have the money-or anyone to help make them for me, so i do not have fibre glass knee braces. I bought from ebay used knee braces that lock into a variety of positions (again, I also use the 0- degrees) and i wrap them as best as i can with athletic tape (or tensor bandages that stick to themselves) each time i dive-so they stay on properly and in the proper position.

so it is important to have these zippers because the legs of the pants would be otherwise too tight to fit those knee braces inside them, and secondly many/most paralyzed individuals utelize a catheter system of some sort-i use a leg bag which i need to have easy access to-without having to take off the pants completely. This is important because getting dressed is a major chore for some of us-the higher the level of paralysis the more difficult it is, for me it takes a good 30 minutes to just put the pants and knee braces on-thus the zippers are a great time saver in that sense. I also can adjust things, either leg bag or the braces by undoing the zippers more easily then if i had to take the pants off,

(This post was edited by gimpboogie on Jan 1, 2010, 8:03 AM)
Attachments: M_P_zipper.jpg (45.1 KB)


Jan 1, 2010, 9:15 AM
Post #4 of 5 (1257 views)
differences in landing techniques [In reply to] Can't Post

much of this depends on the manner in which the knees are held up to the chest strap.

I explained how mine are, in the section where I show my pants.

Here are some photos of 3 different paralyzed skydivers, all of whom have a different profile while we are flying, and therefore affects the position in which we are in, while we land.

The first photo is from Dale's thread -a real nice side view shot of him flying.

The second one is me and the 3rd is Peter's flying profile
Attachments: Dales landing position side view.jpg (38.9 KB)
  IMG_0064.jpg (51.9 KB)
  landing style.jpg (43.6 KB)


Jan 3, 2010, 1:05 AM
Post #5 of 5 (1202 views)
leg strappositioning=differences [In reply to] Can't Post

these photos focus on leg strap positioning and the different methods-and in Dale's case the difference minor modifications make(and a link to Pookies video-since it details his leg straps well but we do not have photos yet)

We each have different methods, yet the basic principles are the same. we must do something with the legs so they do not flop around uncontrollably. Also you will notice that even within each person, we modify things as we progress in our ideas-there really is no set way of 'this is how its done'.

As Dale discovered by experimenting, -the 1st photo shows how his first settings were and the second photo shows how he modified them to give him more stability.

The 3rd photo shows how they were positioned for my 1st AFF.-which was ok at the time but the goal was to get them away from the lateral webbing-making sure there is nothing near the cut away handles.

M current set up is that i sewed pockets with elastics at the top (like pockets in swoop pants) where I hide the leg straps completely and there is no possibility of any interference with cut away and reserve handles because the straps do not come out of the pockets until after i have done my canopy control check and oriented my canopy flying in an appropriate direction according to the winds and the DZ location.

I was able to get my hands on an old used freefl one piece suit-which is not here yet-but when it arives i will sew the same pockets on,as well as add the straps so then i will show a photo of the final product
the video to Pookies leg strapping can be found on TK;s site here:


I have also a photo in the landing style post a different method-similar to my 2nd set u for the leg sraps but that individual does not have the strap taped to him but rather it is attached o the chest strap and to the legs (it is the photo with the skydiver with a yellow/orange strap as he is approaching landing)

(This post was edited by gimpboogie on Jan 3, 2010, 1:11 AM)
Attachments: Dales leg strap position.JPG (44.0 KB)
  dales leg strap poition more stable he feels.JPG (14.2 KB)
  my 1stset up.JPG (82.6 KB)
  my next settings for leg straps.jpg (42.7 KB)

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