Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Riding the rear risers


lazerq3  (C -34113)

Nov 7, 2001, 12:51 PM
Post #1 of 7 (1402 views)
Riding the rear risers Can't Post

Ok I have a question, if your out on a long spot I was taught to leave the breaks stowed and pull down a little on the rear risers to the best glide to make it back, however I have a friend that says no, you realease your breaks and then if you need to pull down on the risers to get back. SO which is it glide before break release or after. I 've been on some really long spots before and have always made it back with my breaks stowed and my legs pulled up.


prost  (D 24959)

Nov 7, 2001, 2:28 PM
Post #2 of 7 (1370 views)
Re: Riding the rear risers [In reply to] Can't Post

Depends on the canopy. In my experience, PD canopies tend to do better with the brakes stowed while Icarus canopies do better with the brakes unstowed.

Premier quade  (D 22635)
Nov 7, 2001, 5:15 PM
Post #3 of 7 (1343 views)
Re: Riding the rear risers [In reply to] Can't Post

You may need to experiment a bit to find the answer to this for your particular canopy, but in general and on most canopies, I think you'll find the best glide ratio will be with the brakes unstowed and the rear risers pulled just slightly -- maybe only one or two inches.


Tee  (C License)

Nov 8, 2001, 7:48 AM
Post #4 of 7 (1290 views)
Re: Riding the rear risers [In reply to] Can't Post

It definitely depends on the canopy. I fly a Sabre and the glide is MUCH better with the brakes stowed, but my sweety flys a highly loaded Stiletto and he gets the best glide ratio by combining how he sits in the harness (losening his leg straps a certain amount), unstowing his brakes and flying in a certain amount of brakes with his toggles. Laugh Too much for me to worry about!


bmarkworth  (A 38022)

Nov 8, 2001, 10:21 AM
Post #5 of 7 (1272 views)
Re: Riding the rear risers [In reply to] Can't Post

Just some food for thought.

While leaving the brakes stowed may in fact lead to a slightly better forward drive, it can lead to other possible problems. One of my good jump buddies was employing this technique on a moderately loaded (1.55 ish) Stiletto 135. He made it back to the DZ with enough height left to do a turn on to final and land, but when he unstowed his toggles only one released and canopy started a fast and nasty spin. He was able to unstow the second toggle (basically at flare altitude) and got a sweet surf off of the unintentional 720 toggle hook. Needless to say he was scared shitless by the experience and it was enough to convince me that unstowing the breaks and maybe not making it back is a better solution.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Nov 8, 2001, 4:18 PM
Post #6 of 7 (1252 views)
Re: Riding the rear risers [In reply to] Can't Post

Generally, you will want to leave your brakes stowed (or release them and go to 1/4 to 1/2 brakes) if you're upwind, release them and let the canopy fly normally if you're downwind. I find that mild rear risering (an inch or so) can help you float a bit, but hard rear risering generally does more harm than good in terms of glide.

There are a lot of other tricks you can do. Pull your slider down as far as possible and kill it, and loosen your chest strap as far as is safe. Both will reduce the "cathedraling" or curve of your canopy, and a flatter canopy is more efficient. Slide back in your harness a little and pick your feet up to reduce your drag. Rather than pulling your rear risers down, spread them a little more with your hands - this flattens your canopy even more and pulls the rear risers down a tiny bit.

As someone else mentioned, whenever you try these tricks, make sure you're in "landing configuration" and have chosen a landing site at a safe altitude, even if you're not quite all the way back. Making it back by five feet and landing downwind in a crowded landing area can be a lot worse than landing off a little.

-bill von

skydivemonkey  (B 102345)

Nov 8, 2001, 9:17 PM
Post #7 of 7 (1242 views)
Re: Riding the rear risers [In reply to] Can't Post

You can also go into brakes, and look at a spot on the ground in front of you. If that spot appears to be moving up, you will land before that spot. If it goes down, you will overshoot that spot. Make small adjustments to brakes / risers and see what happens. I think this is the best way to find the best brake / toggle settings for that canopy on that particular day.

Throw me to the sky becuase I know I'm coming back - Red Hot Chili Peppers

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