Douglas Spotted Eagle caught up with Bill from Rigging Innovations during the 2013 PIA symposium and chatted a little bit about the new CPX accuracy rig.
DSE: We're going to talk a little about one of the new accuracy rigs that Rigging Innovations has just come out with. So we're going to talk a bit with Bill. You are a world champion in style and accuracy and some 4-way and a few other things?
Bill: A little 8-way when I was on the Knights and some accuracy. It was a long time ago, but I can still claim it I guess.
DSE: A world champion is always a champion. Tell me a little about the new CPX rig?
Bill: Yeah, the CPX is a new accuracy rig and unfortunately all the years of accuracy containers, you know they're a lot bigger - we've got bigger canopies. So normally you just sort of accepted that you would have a big, uncomfortable rig on your back. So what Sandy did, what Rigging Innovations did, was design something with the newest technology and the newest bells and whistles on an accuracy rig. I went to the world cup in Dubai a year ago and I said that just because you're jumping accuracy doesn't mean you need to wear an uncomfortable rig. It's hard, I don't know if you've ever gone to a world meeting and gone tent to tent, it's kind of hard. You go in there and you try to show your product, and at first I tried to talk to people - they don't want to listen to me. They're on a break, these accuracy jumpers want to take their naps; they're older like me.
So Firefly said to shut my mouth and put the rig on them, so I put the rig on them and they'd call everybody over in the tent and they'd feel it, and it's a comfortable rig. And the things we've got on the rig, the bio-yoke is more effective than on the Curv because the size of the rig. When you put the big rig on it has even more feel than the smaller rig. It takes the rig and distributes the weight with the bio-yoke, so you have that heavier rig more comfortable, and it fits you. If you put it on, usually the bigger rig sloshes around but not this, we've even got people doing style with them because it stays so tight on the body.
You've got the bio-yoke, the curve that fits the lower part of your back and then the rest of the things that we have on the newer rigs. There are grips on the handles so you get a good grip, even when wet. We've got non-slip on the stainless, as you know a lot of the rigs now days have a slippage problem. With the way Sandy has designed this, it doesn't slip at all, and accuracy jumpers usually want their rigs tight and not to slip, because everything we do in accuracy is related to your canopy and how it feels. If you get any bit of movement, it'll affect your competition.
On the back we have some new things, the pilot chute has a little protector flap. When you're in smaller aeroplanes, you'll often find that it gets bumped around and slides out. All it is, is a small little flap that goes over the pilot chute and holds it in place and keeps it from coming out, so it's always in the same place and ready for you to pull. It's just a little thing, but it makes it awful nice.
Next, on the backflap - again sometimes you get caught in a small plane, and I know that one time in the 70s I exited the aeroplane and went into a dive and my main opened, because I had bumped my flap and it had came up. Now this rig's backflap has magnets in so even if you knock it out, it'll go right back. Riggers will also appreciate that a lot of the time plastic breaks, but you can see that there is no plastic in here, which also helps aesthetically, as the rig is then flatter.
Then there are some standard features, the tab if you want to have your collapsing pilot chute you can using the magnet.
The suspension points for accuracy rigs are a little different to most other disciplines in that we don't want to be suspended back, but rather facing straight down. The designer has been doing these rigs for more than 20 years, so he has all the old technology but has also added the new technology to the CPX.
DSE: I'm going to interrupt you for just a second there... One of the things we've noticed during these interviews over the years is that a lot of the audience are brand new skydivers who are trying to do that sponge thing, you know - soak it all up. Explain what accuracy is for the newer people.
Bill: Good question. When I did started skydiving you did accuracy which still wasn't as popular as a style event, and then you had the long haired guys who were doing RW, we don't even call it RW anymore! So when we started accuracy, you're trying to land on a target. Now days we land on a tuffet, which was designed from the stuntment and stuntwomen who would need something soft and safe to land on. When I started jumping, the dead center measured 10cm and they measured out to 10 meters, now they measure electronically with the dead center being 2cm which is measured outwards to 16cm. You have shoes that are shaved down to a point so when you come down, you try and put your heel on that dead center and it's then electronically scored. You do 10 rounds of accuracy and then your total after those 10 rounds is how the winner is decided.
DSE: And you're basically just doing those as hop and pops don't you?
Bill: Yes sir, we get out at 2500 feet, open our parachute immediately and then setup your pattern. Most accuracy events now days are done as a team accuracy event which is usually done with 4 or 5 man teams. You get out at 3600 to 4000 feet and then set your stack out and land as a team, they will then take the score of the team and add them together for your score.
DSE: I ask about the altitude because someone said earlier, "How do you get 10 jumps in when you go up to 13 000 feet".
DSE: I interrupted you earlier, is there anything else on the rig you wanted to show us?
Bill: Bill That's all the details about the new rig really. I guess you could say that we've taken an old uncomfortable rig and made a modern comfortable one instead.