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Gear

    Continuum II: Stories from the Edge

    Triax Productions has partnered with Go Fast! Sports & Beverage Co. to release their second BASE jumping video, "Continuum II: Stories from the Edge." The film will premiere October 8-10th in Cañon City, Colorado at the 2nd Annual Royal Gorge Go Fast! Games, a legal B.A.S.E. jumping event. The feature will be officially released on October 16th at Bridge Day, the annual legal B.A.S.E. jumping event in Fayetteville, West Virginia.
    The feature, as its name implies, is more video-magazine style in its approach. Embracing the entire sport of B.A.S.E. jumping, the film includes athlete profiles, rigging/safety tips, B.A.S.E. jumping event coverage, epic survival stories, trick tips, stealth urban B.A.S.E. jumping, never before seen B.A.S.E. jumping footage from sites around the world, and of course, entertaining bloopers. Some of the sites visited for the film include Malaysia, Thailand, Switzerland, the 2003 Royal Gorge Go Fast Games, Mexico, Southwestern USA and Norway.
    "With the "Continuum II" film project, we saw an opportunity to support three athletes/entrepreneurs who have true ambition, vision and passion for bringing the reputation and portrayal of B.A.S.E. jumping to an entirely new level," says Heather Hill, VP Communications, Go Fast Sports & Beverage Co. "With continued efforts like this film project and the Royal Gorge Go Fast Games, we hope to help authenticate B.A.S.E. jumping's place in the world of extreme sports."
    Triax is made up of local Colorado B.A.S.E. jumpers/skydivers Damian Doucette, Chris Pope, and Kenyon Salo.
    Pope: "We tried to take a different spin on the standard B.A.S.E. jumping video and make it not only interesting to everyone, but informational as well. We were lucky enough to be able to profile a few great people for this video. I had a lot of fun making it! I love this stuff!"
    Salo: "The camera lens shows B.A.S.E. jumping in its true form, and really lets the viewer connect with the action and the intensity of the sport. The Continuum series strives for this connection, whether with an athlete or an object or an emotion, in each and every shot, and we hope we can bring B.A.S.E. jumping into a new realm through this kind of videography."
    Doucette: "In addition to some pretty cool base footage, we utilized techniques such as motion control, time-lapse and animated graphics to increase the overall production value."
    "Continuum II: Stories from the Edge," as well as the group's first release, "Continuum," will be available for sale through the company's website, www.triaxproductions.com as of October 1, 2004.
    For more information, please contact Chris Pope at 303.449.2091.
    Troy Widgery founded Go Fast Sports & Beverage Co., producers of Go Fast Energy Drink and Go Fast Sports Apparel, in 1996. For more information about Go Fast®, please contact Heather Hill at [email protected], call 303.893.1222 or visit www.GoFastSports.com.

    By admin, in Gear,

    Mirage Systems Salutes Our Troops

    Since Mirage Systems has a soft spot for the troops, we’d like to offer a special discount to any soldier (U.S. or Coalition) currently or recently deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan that wants to order a Mirage Systems container for personal use.
    We’ll need verification of qualification, including proof of deployment. Qualified participants get a base container discount of 50% and a 15% discount on options. Any participants can contact Mirage Systems directly at 386-740-9222 or e-mail at [email protected] This offer is good until further notice.

    By admin, in Gear,

    Aerodyne Summer Sale and New Icon

    Aerodyne has a offer for skydivers buying new gear in July. Depending on the purchase the customer will receive a cash rebate up to $300. The offer is valid for all orders whether placed via a distributor or directly on Aerodyne’s website.
    When ordering a main canopy or an Icon Sport container the customer will receive a $100 cash rebate. This is good for the Pilot, Vision and Triathlon main canopies. When ordering an Aerodyne main canopy AND Icon Sport container the customer will receive a $200 cash rebate. When ordering a complete Aerodyne system including a Smart Reserve the customer will receive a $300 cash rebate! Products like the A2 tandem canopy, the Solo student canopy and the Icon Student are excluded from the offer.
    Visit www.aerodyne-int.com for more information.
    New Icon design
    Effective July 1st the Icon is sold with a new design. The new design does not only sport all the latest updates to our harness/container system but also boasts a new mid-flap design. The new mid-flap design features four elements that make up the design.
    The reserve top flap
    The Aerodyne “A”
    The point of the triangle applied to the center flap.
    Embroidered ICON on the yoke. Our engineering staff has also made it possible to offer a new option on the Sport Icon, the fully articulated harness. Chest rings are now available at an additional charge of $200. The hardware for the chest rings is the same flat stainless steel D ring as we use for the standard hip rings. The flat D-ring doesn’t dig into the hip like the bent D-ring which is commonly used for the 3 ring assembly and therefore offers more comfort.
    The A2 – 350 tandem canopy makes its debut
    Our big boy gets a little brother! In line with market demand we have expanded the A2 range to include a 350 square foot version. Perfect for drop zones that have high wind conditions, or that cater to typically light passengers. The A2 350 was extensively tested in several places around the world and we have reason to believe that the our newest addition to the A2 line will be greeted with lots of smiles and soft stand up landings.
    1500lb Spectra lines: Less pack volume, longer lasting than Dacron, with fewer incidences of tension knots.
    Super lightweight stainless steel grommets.
    Extremely soft, predictable openings.
    Light toggle pressure and excellent flair characteristics in both the single and duel toggle configuration.
    New light version of ww.aerodyne-int.com
    In an effort to assist customers who do not have flash installed on their computers, and/or have a slow modem connection, we have released a new light version of our website. It is now possible to browse a simplified and fast loading version of the most relevant information. Note that the online ordering menus are not present in the light version, as the coloring applications require flash technology.
    You can see the lite version at:

    www.aerodyne-int.com/sportlight

    By admin, in Gear,

    2003 US Nationals DVD

    The 2003 US Skydiving Nationals reached monumental success last October; The Florida Skydiving Center commissioned AirZoneXtreme to produce the official event production with a premiere scheduled nationwide over the Memorial Day weekend.
    The 2003 US Skydiving Nationals was a success due to a combination of factors. The weather was beautiful! Betty Kabeller-Hill, owner of the Florida Skydiving Center, was a fabulous host. Air boss Paul and brother Bud Fayard, of Fayard Enterprises, led their superior fleet of aircraft to fly 918 loads making 13,926 skydives during the course of the event.
    Never was a 4-way competition so close as when DeLand Majik, Golden Knights Gold, and Arizona Airspeed scored at the end within three points of each other. DeLand Majik won the gold with 213 points. Because of the ease and success of the event from the very beginning, Event Director Scott Smith, Jack Jeffries, & Harry Parker led in the first ever Formation Live Judging, which brought the competitors & spectators together to watch the outcome of points turned and the judges decision using Omniskore! Throughout the entire event, competition in 4-way, 8-way, 10-way speed, & 16-way freefall formation was challenging, fun, and full of surprises.
    The competition from the Artistic Event divisions amazed everyone who was present during the week and at the Awards Banquets & Ceremonies. Woman competed in each division. Eliana Rodriguez of Arizona Airspeed became the first woman to win a gold medal in 8-way formation skydiving. Elisa Feldt took first in a tough competition with 21-time woman's national accuracy champion, Cheryl Stearns. Among the female competitors was guest, Pauline Richards, champion skysurfer from Australia.
    AirZoneXtreme's goal in the US Skydiving Nationals DVD production was to provide useful tools to help challenge & motivate each and every division of the event, inform the general public, and entertain the skydiving community.
    There are three DVDs, organized by discipline: Formation, Artistic, & Canopy. Each DVD is about 2 hours in length and includes, "Meet the Champions", a complete, 35-minute event documentary. The remainder of each DVD is devoted to edited competition footage, which includes: team pictures, scores & scoreboards, & music with all production rights.
    Formation - 4-way, 8-way, 10-way speed, & 16-way Over 100 competition dives of top teams

    Artistic - Freefly, Freestyle, & Skysurf Each Artistic team represented, Over 100 competition dives

    Canopy CRW - 4-way Rotation, Sequential, & 8-way Speed - Over 30 high scoring dives 13 minutes of Style & Accuracy plus interviews, & 2 Rounds of Sport Accuracy "Meet the Champions" and celebrate the victory once again! DVD previews and details are available at www.airzonextreme.com.
    Get the DVD

    By admin, in Gear,

    PD Demo Program: make it work for you!

    So you want to try a new canopy, and you have already asked what your friends, gear dealer, and local sky gods think about the subject, and they have given their opinions-repeatedly. When it comes to gear, pretty much everyone has a strong opinion on the matter. Unfortunately, as you have probably found, opinions have a tendency to be subjective rather than objective. Lucky for you, most manufacturers now have demo programs, such as the Performance Designs Demo Program, so that you can sift through others' perceptions, and create some of your own.
    The basics:
    The Performance Designs Demo program sends out the canopy of your choice directly to you to be used over the course of two weekends. The cost is currently $30. You receive it, you jump it, you send it back, the canopy is re-inspected, then put back into the demo program; lather, rinse, and repeat.
    The details:
    It's a rather simple process to get a demo. Go to www.performancedesigns.com and fill out the demo request form which can be found on the "support" page. Otherwise, use the direct link, http://www.performancedesigns.com/demorequest.asp
    The demo form will ask some questions pertinent to your jump history, to better enable PD's Demo Queen, Anabel Durham, to assist you with your demo needs. As a side note, yes, it is official, the most beloved Demo Queen of all time, Kolla Kolbeinsdottir, has relinquished her throne. Shed no tears, though, as Kolla has moved on to other projects within marketing at Performance Designs, while leaving the demo program in Anabel's capable hands. But, I digress...
    Following the submission of the demo request, you will be contacted by Anabel. She will discuss your options and the availability of the requested canopy. If it is available, she will ship it to wherever your little heart desires. After a few days of longingly gazing out the window after the Fed Ex truck, the truck will stop, and with that stop will come the knowledge that you will soon feel like a kid in a candy store with your very own PD Demo to use over the next two weekends. Though PD does understand the sort of bond that is forged between jumper and canopy, we do request that you refrain from sleeping with the canopy as it may result in the degradation of the material-save it for the one that you buy.
    Following the two-week romance, you will say that sometimes tearful goodbye, and ship the demo back to the PD Factory, where it will begin its journey all over again.
    How to best make the program work for you: When selecting a new model of canopy to try, it is a good idea to select the same size as what you are currently flying. This will make it possible for you to make a legitimate comparison between the two canopies. Having a controlled aspect between the two canopies, such as size, will better enable you to determine the true differences in the flight characteristics of the canopies. If you change both the size and model of canopy, there is nothing in common to compare. You now have apples to oranges for your test group. When downsizing, try to avoid downsizing by more than one size at a time, as each size has valuable lessons for the avid skydiver.
    The fear factor:
    Many jumpers feel trepidation when considering the possibility of that first reserve ride. Or you just aren't sure of whether or not you are going to be comfortable under that smaller reserve that would fit so much more nicely in your cute, new backpack-sized container. The PD answer to this and many other uncertainties? Try it!! The Performance Designs Demo Program also has PD Reserves set up as mains so that jumpers can give their reserve a whirl, too. It is a fantastic opportunity to try out your reserve in a controlled environment. *Sigh* You really can't put a price on reassurance… oh wait, you can, and that would be $30, as well!! That's a bargain for peace of mind. ; )
    Be realistic about your abilities. The one certainty about skydiving is that there will always be another load and another day, if you conduct yourself in a safe manner. Rush into jumping that canopy that is pushing your limits, and you are decreasing your odds of making that next load, and quite possibly, that next day. By learning how to fly your current size more efficiently, you will be ensuring that you will be able to maximize your canopy's performance once on that smaller size.
    The recap:
    Pick a canopy, fill out the form on the website, be nice to Anabel (bribery never hurts), cough up the 30 bucks, jump until your little heart is content (as long as it fits into the 2 weeks), send the demo back, lather, rinse, and repeat if necessary.
    **Unfortunately, the demo program is currently available only in the United States at this time. If outside of the U.S., please feel free to contact us so that we can direct you to one of our remote demo centers, or check our events calendar to see when and if Performance Designs will be in your area.
    Photos by: Joao Tambor

    By admin, in Gear,

    Aerodyne - New season, new website!

    The Skydiving season is starting to come to life as spring approaches and boogie calendars start to become published. New canopies & gear, new drop zones and new faces... What's more, there will be another change in 2004: You will now discover a whole new www.aerodyne-int.com.
    The actual version of the website appeared in 2002 and gave us the opportunity to increase our audience by offering complete news coverage and interesting features. Now is the time to introduce an improved version of the website, giving you faster access. A more user friendly version with optimized features that lets you browse more easily on the new and improved aerodyne-int.com.
    Check it out! www.aerodyne-int.com

    By admin, in Gear,

    Aerodyne introduces its A2 tandem canopy

    Aerodyne recently started to ship demo’s of its A2 main tandem canopy. The A2 is an elliptical 9-cell canopy with a surface of 389 square feet. It is a so-called hybrid construction, meaning that the top skin is made out of zero-porosity fabric while the bottom skin is constructed from a 0-3 cfm F-111 type fabric.
    Initially Aerodyne baptized this canopy with the name "Gemini", but having been confronted with a claim that this name is already used for a parachute canopy by the Canadian company Canadian Aero Sports we decided to change the name to "A2".
    The A2 caters to tandem equipment owners who are looking to replace only the main canopy. With this goal in mind Aerodyne decided to ship each A2 with a set of miniforce™ tandem risers. "By supplying a set of risers with each A2 canopy we are preventing any compatibility problems with the various tandem rigs on the market", explains Edward Anderson, who is Chief of Operations at Aerodyne Research in Florida. "The tandem owner can easily install the A2 into any rig and is not confronted with the issue of steering line lengths or the position of the steering line guide ring on the riser. And of course there is the added benefit of the unique miniforce™ risers. The "elongated" middle ring of this 3-ring release system significantly reduces the pull force required to cut away. Especially in the tandem environment we feel this feature greatly enhances safety."
    The airfoil and the conservative planform factor of the A2 guarantee superb handling characteristics minimizing the workload of tandem masters. Not only will they find the toggle pressure, turn response and flare power they have been seeking, but they will be pleasantly surprised by the soft on-heading openings. The turn recovery and ability to slow the canopy in no wind conditions are additional features that will be greatly appreciated by all tandem masters. The A2 is equipped with Spectra suspension lines which make for considerably less bulk and a more compact container on the back. Because of their lower weight the Spectra lines also reduce the risk of line dump and subsequent premature opening of the deployment bag, a significant cause of malfunctions.
    We have designed this canopy to maximize safety, but at the same time we made it an economical tool that will maximize the number of jumps per day. To reduce packing time we chose a hybrid construction. To reduce air time we built a wing that will fly slowly in brakes, but gives you a significantly higher rate of descent when flown at full glide.
    The A2 comes standard with miniforce™ risers, Spectra 1500 lines, a slider with lightweight stainless steel grommets and #6 stainless steel rapid links.
    For more information about Aerodyne and our products please go to www.aerodyne-int.com

    By admin, in Gear,

    Derek's Gear Tips

    Image by BoonhuckDerek Vanboeschoten is a Senior Rigger, Tandem Master and AFF instructor with more than 3300 jumps. Derek also moderates the Gear & Rigging forum on Dropzone.com where he first posted this list of Gear Tips. It is republished here for your convenience.
    Use Performance Design's Slinks for the main and reserve canopies instead of Rapide links. Slinks are stronger, lower bulk, easier to install and remove, and won't damage the slider grommets.

    Clean cutaway cables every 30 days with Ace Pure Silicone Lubricant, sold at Ace Hardware stores, to keep cutaway pull forces low.

    Inspect cutaway cables every 30 days and replace nicked or kinked cutaway cables with a new cutaway handle/cables.

    Flex 3-rings every 30 days to prevent them from taking on a "set" and hanging up during a cutaway.

    Inspect Rapide links and bumpers or PD Slinks every 30 days. Always use slider bumpers with Rapide links to prevent damage to the slider grommets, "Lock-Tite" to keep the link from loosening, and nail polish to torque-stripe Rapide links.

    Use metal, capped, and tacked riser inserts for the excess cutaway cables, regardless of main size or type. They prevent difficult or impossible cutaway resulting from the channel "gripping" the cables or from line twists that include the excess cutaway cables.

    Replace the main closing loop early and often. Adjust main closing loop so that the closing pin is snug. Use a stainless steel washer thick enough that it won't bend when closing the container.

    Have Velcro replaced every 100-200 uses.

    Use a kill line pilot chute, regardless of the size/type of main canopy you have. Check the length of your main pilot chute kill line every 30 days. The kill line should have a little slack in it when the pilot chute is "cocked" and the bridle is under tension. If it doesn't, have it fixed.

    Replace a damaged or old kill line pilot chute with a new one.

    "Cock" a kill line PC after laying the cocooned canopy on the ground and just before putting the canopy in the deployment bag.
    Take the twists out of steering lines every jump or, at a minimum, after the last jump of the day.

    When setting the brakes, set them so that the steering line is to the inside (between the risers) and the excess is to the outside. This will put the excess to the bottom of the riser channels, helping to protect the excess steering line.

    Keep gear out of the sun as much as possible.

    Use Velcro-less toggles/risers. Velcro requires replacement every 100-200 uses, and Velcro damages the steering lines, risers and anything else it comes into contact with.

    Replace mini-risers every 500 jumps or less. Inspect them every 30 days for wear.

    While packing, check your line trim every 30 days or less. When new, all the "A" lines are the same length (on 'most' canopies, check with the manufacturer). Spectra shrinks from the heat from friction with the slider grommets, pulling the canopy out of trim. Pay special attention to steering/control lines. Replace line sets that are significantly worn or out of trim.

    Use the proper size rubber bands, 'Sky Bands', or 'Tube Stows' and do not double wrap them.

    Have your rig washed every 500 jumps or so, more if jumping in a sandy or salt-water environment.
    What to do After Landing Your Reserve:
    First, place the toggles back on the Velcro. This will prevent the hook half of the Velcro from damaging the lines. Second, daisy chain the lines. Use the slider to keep the daisy chain from unraveling. This will keep the lines neat and untangled. If you have an RSL, remove it from your main canopy and re-mate the Velcro to keep the hook Velcro from damaging your gear.
    Be very careful with the canopy. Get it out of the sunlight and into a large plastic garbage bag and then into your gear bag. Be careful when zipping the gear bag shut to not get any fabric caught in the zipper. As long as it is clean, put the reserve pilot chute and free-bag in the center of your rolled up reserve. This will protect the spring inside the reserve pilot chute from damage.
    Do not take the main canopy off of the risers to untangle it. It got tangled on the risers, it will come untangled on the risers. Taking the canopy off the risers, or worse, the lines off the links, will only make the job of re-assembling the main more difficult.
    Put the cut away cables and reserve ripcord back into their housings and the handles back in their pockets. This will prevent any dirt on the cables from getting on the reserve or the Velcro from damaging lines, the container, or the reserve. If you lost one, or both handles, order them and have them shipped to your rigger. Also, if the free-bag and reserve pilot chute was lost, order a new one and have it shipped to the rigger. Make sure when ordering handles or free-bag to order the correct size for your harness/container.
    In the gear bag, put a card with your name, address, phone number(s), and any special instructions, such as "install/replace soft links", "wash the container", "remove/install RSL", "I need the rig by this weekend", etc.
    If you have a Cypres, check your reserve packing data card to see when the scheduled maintenance and 2 year battery replacements are due. If the maintenance is due (4 and 8 years +/- 3 months (+/- 6 months for Cypres "2") from DOM), make arrangements with your rigger to ship the unit or have your rigger remove it and ship it yourself (your rigger will need the original Cypres box to ship it). If your batteries are due (two years since installation for the Cypres1), check with your rigger to see if they have new batteries or if they will need to be ordered. The batteries will have to be replaced if there is less than four months remaining in the two-year cycle, for a Cypres "1". Cypres2 batteries are replaced at the 4 and 8 year maintenance by the factory.

    By admin, in Gear,

    Mandatory Inspection of Skyhook equipped rigs

    Riggers (and owners), please be sure that the Sky hook hardware is sewn to the white free bag bridle correctly on all sky hook equipped rigs shipped between October 12 and December 1, 2003. There is a drawing of the correct installation and set-up sewn right next to the Sky hook on every rig, and the Sky hook itself is labeled.
    However, if the Sky hook hardware were sewn on the bridle backwards during manufacture or subsequent repair, (with the pointed end of the hook facing the pilot chute, instead of the bag) then you would tow your reserve pilot chute if deployed in response to a main total malfunction. As the instructions state, this pilot chute in tow can be fixed by pulling the yellow RSL tab.
    Remember, this situation can only be caused by an installation error at the factory, or during a rigger repair of a damaged bridle. It cannot be caused by a packing error. A PSB (PSB#20031203) has been issued in regards to this issue.
    Download the Service Bulletin
    Relative Workshop Web Site
    Gear and Rigging Forum

    By admin, in Gear,

    Aerodyne introduces the Icon harness-container system

    Aerodyne is happy to announce that it secured FAA TSO C23d approval for its Icon harness-container system. Although we have already been displaying the Icon rig at various events in 2003 and have started to take orders some time ago, we are now able to launch the official introduction.
    It looks good

    Design, comfort and fit are of paramount importance. The design team of Aerodyne have worked hard to find the perfect mix of these elements. We have received a lot of good response to the Icon and we are confident it will help us to gain a place in the rig market.
    Safety first
    The Icon is a modern harness-container system that relies on many industry standards, but also includes new features such as the miniforce™ 3-ring system. This patented 3-ring system, designed by Aerodyne’s head of R&D; Michel Auvray, reduces the pull force required to cut-away the main canopy. With today’s smaller and elliptical main canopies, malfunctions often lead to rapid spins with higher loadings and many skydivers have been experiencing difficulties to cut away. The miniforce™ 3-ring system, coupled with “anti-twist” metal housings on the risers and a shaped sure-grip cut-away handle, considerably reduces the likelihood of cut-away problems.

    Other safety features of the Icon include:

    “Link-Stop” panels inside the main container to prevent the risers from wrapping around or catching on the corner of the reserve container;
    A line stow retention system on the reserve freebag to help control reserve deployments at high speeds, while not sacrificing low speed requirements;
    A solid platform in the reserve container to maximize the launch of the pilotchute with one of the strongest spring coils in the industry (23 kg).
    A base price that includes pretty much everything
    In its standard configuration the Icon offers all the popular items, such as a harness with articulation hip rings, all stainless steel hardware, choice of wide or narrow chest strap, a hand deployed pilotchute with “kill line” bridle and an aluminium hook knife. Each Icon rig is also equipped to receive a Cypres or similar type of AAD as well as a Stevens RSL system. Consequently it is very easy to retrofit an Icon rig with a RSL system, just by adding the actual lanyard. This greatly increases the second-hand value of the rig. Relatively few options are charged for additionally: They only concern the choice of a Hackey Sack or Freefly handle on the hand deployed pilotchute, a Stevens RSL lanyard or custom embroideries.
    A range of sizes and colors to customize your rig

    For the Icon Sport, not less than 5 different container sizes are available, while the harness is always made to measure. Customers can choose from a range of colors in Parapack and Cordura fabrics.
    Icon Student
    For instruction purposes the Icon comes also in a Student version with adjustable main lift web. The standard configuration of the Icon Student includes a BOC hand deployed pilotchute. To configure the Icon Student further for a specific method of instruction the available options include a direct bag with staticline, a BOC or hip located ripcord with spring pilotchute, as well as secondary AFF jumpmaster handles.
    Online ordering

    As is true for all Aerodyne products the Icon can be ordered either through one of our distributors or via our website www.aerodyne-int.com
    We offer an on line coloring program enabling customers to visualize their custom Icon before they confirm the order.
    Try an Icon
    Aerodyne representatives will demo the Icon harness-container system over the Christmas period. Meet us at one of the boogies in Ampuriabrava, Eloy, Capetown or Margate and we will be happy to show you the Icon. Naturally this will also be an occasion to test jump one of our main canopies.
    Aerodyne Research Corporation
    Submit a Review of the Icon
    Gear and Rigging Forum

    By admin, in Gear,

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